Global Warming: Science or Politics?

Here is a good example of a warmist really wanting to push social control and using global warming as the excuse.

Naomi Klein on Thursday, Day 21, of Occupy Wal...

Naomi Klein on Thursday, Day 21, of Occupy Wall Street. Klein led an open forum at the event. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Story submitted by John Kehr The Inconvenient Skeptic

I will gladly discuss the science of global warming with anyone. Interestingly enough there is a strong desire to avoid discussing the science from many warmists because they simply state that the issue is settled and it is time to act. With that mindset in place I am starting to see some disturbing attitudes developing. I recently came across an interview of Naomi Klein. She is an author and is a consistent social activist and strongly anti-corporate. Her work is consistently against the free market. Even with that in mind, her latest interview is rather disturbing. I will simply post the interview here.

The title sums it up well… Naomi Klein – Serious about climate throw out the Free Market Playbook.


After reading this article, ask yourself: Is her concern for the planet or for implementing social controls?
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Perhaps one of the most well-known voices for the left, Canadian Naomi Klein is an activist and author of several nonfiction works critical of consumerism and corporate activity, including the best sellers No Logo and Shock Doctrine. She is currently at work on a book about climate change.

Q. In your cover story for The Nation last year, you say that modern environmentalism successfully advances many of the causes dear to the political left, including redistribution of wealth, higher and more progressive taxes, and greater government intervention and regulation. Please explain.
A. The piece came out of my interest and my shock at the fact that belief in climate change in the United States has plummeted. If you really drill into the polling data, what you see is that the drop in belief in climate change is really concentrated on the right of the political spectrum. It’s been an extraordinary and unusual shift in belief in a short time. In 2007, 71 percent of Americans believed in climate change, and in 2009 only 51 percent believed — and now we’re at 41 percent. So I started researching the denial movement and going to conferences and reading the books, and what’s clear is that, on the right, climate change is seen as a threat to the right’s worldview, and to the neoliberal economic worldview. It’s seen as a Marxist plot. They accuse climate scientists of being watermelons — green on the outside and red on the inside.

Q. It seems exaggerated, but your piece was about how the right is in fact correct.
A. I don’t think climate change necessitates a social revolution. This idea is coming from the right-wing think tanks and not scientific organizations. They’re ideological organizations. Their core reason for being is to defend what they call free-market ideology. They feel that any government intervention leads us to serfdom and brings about a socialist world, so that’s what they have to fight off: a socialist world. Increase the power of the private sector and decrease the public sphere is their ideology.
You can set up carbon markets, consumer markets, and just pretend, but if you want to get serious about climate change, really serious, in line with the science, and you want to meet targets like 80 percent emissions cuts by midcentury in the developed world, then you need to be intervening strongly in the economy, and you can’t do it all with carbon markets and offsetting. You have to really seriously regulate corporations and invest in the public sector. And we need to build public transport systems and light rail and affordable housing along transit lines to lower emissions. The market is not going to step up to this challenge. We must do more: rebuild levees and bridges and the public sphere, because we saw in Katrina what happens when weak infrastructure clashes with heavy weather — it’s catastrophe. These climate deniers aren’t crazy — their worldview is under threat. If you take climate change seriously, you do have to throw out the free-market playbook.

Q. What is the political philosophy that underscores those who accept climate change versus those who deny it?
A. The Yale Cultural Cognition Project has looked at cultural worldview and climate change, and what’s clear is that ideology is the main factor in whether we believe in climate change. If you have an egalitarian and communitarian worldview, and you tend toward a belief system of pooling resources and helping the less advantaged, then you believe in climate change. And the stronger your belief system tends toward a hierarchical or individual worldview, the greater the chances are that you deny climate change and the stronger your denial will be. The reason is clear: It’s because people protect their worldviews. We all do this. We develop intellectual antibodies. Climate change confirms what people on the left already believe. But the left must take this confirmation responsibly. It means that if you are on the left of the spectrum, you need to guard against exaggeration and your own tendency to unquestioningly accept the data because it confirms your worldview.

Q. Members of the left have been resistant to acknowledging that this worldview is behind their support of climate action, while the right confronts it head on. Why this hesitancy among liberals?
A. There are a few factors at work. Climate change is not a big issue for the left. The big left issues in the United States are inequality, the banks, corporate malfeasance, unemployment, foreclosures. I don’t think climate change has ever been a broad-based issue for the left. Part of this is the legacy of siloing off issues, which is part of the NGO era of activism. Climate change has been claimed by the big green groups and they’re to the left. But they’re also foundation-funded. A lot of them have gone down the road of partnerships with corporations, which has made them less critical. The discourse around climate change has also become extremely technical and specialized. A lot of people don’t feel qualified and feel like they don’t have to talk about it. They’re so locked into a logic of market-based solutions — that the big green groups got behind cap-and-trade, carbon markets, and consumer responses instead of structural ones — so they’re not going to talk about how free trade has sent emissions soaring or about crumbling public infrastructure or the ideology that would rationalize major new investments in infrastructure. Others can fight those battles, they say. During good economic times, that may have seemed viable; but as soon as you have an economic crisis, the environment gets thrown under the bus, and there is a failure to make the connection between the economy and the climate crisis — both have roots in putting profits before people.

Q. You write in your article, “After years of recycling, carbon offsetting, and light-bulb changing, it is obvious that individual action will never be an adequate response to the climate crisis.” How do we get the collective action necessary? Is the Occupy movement a step in the right direction?
A. The Occupy movement has been a game changer, and it has opened up space for us to put more radical solutions on the table. I think the political discourse in the United States is centered around what we tell ourselves the American public can handle. The experience of seeing these groups of young people put radical ideas on the table, and seeing the country get excited by it, has been a wake-up call for a lot of people who feel they support those solutions — and for those who have said, “That’s all we can do.” It has challenged the sense of what is possible. I know a lot of environmentalists have been really excited by that. I’m on the board of 350.org, and they’ll be doing more and more work on the structural barriers to climate action. The issue is, why? Why do we keep losing? Who is in our way? We’re talking about challenging corporate personhood and financing of elections — and this is huge for environmental groups to be moving out of their boxes. I think all of the green organizations who take corporate money are terrified about this. For them, Occupy Wall Street has been a game changer.

Q. What comes after communism and capitalism? What’s your vision of the way forward?
A. It’s largely about changing the mix in a mixed economy. Maybe one day we’ll have a perfect “ism” that’s post-communism and -capitalism. But if we look at the countries that have done the most to seriously meet the climate challenge, they’re social democracies like Scandinavia and the Netherlands. They’re countries with a strong social sphere. They’re mixed economies. Markets are a big part, but not the only part, of their economies. Can we meet our climate targets in a system that requires exponential growth to continue? Furthermore, where is the imperative of growth coming from? What part of our economy is demanding growth year after year?
If you’re a locally based business, you don’t need continual growth year after year. What requires that growth is the particular brand of corporate capitalism — shareholders who aren’t involved in the business itself. That part of our economy has to shrink, and that’s terrifying people who are deeply invested in it. We have a mixed economy, but it’s one in which large corporations are controlled by outside investors, and we won’t change that mix until that influence is reduced.

Q. Is that possible?
A. It is if we look at certain choke points like corporate personhood and financing, and it makes sense for us to zero in on aspects of our system that give corporations massive influence. Another is media concentration. If you had publicly financed elections, you’d have to require public networks to give airtime to candidates. So the fact that networks charge so much is why presidential elections cost more than a billion dollars, which means you have to go to the 1% to finance the elections. These issues are all linked with the idea that corporations have the same free-speech rights as people, so there would also be more restrictions on corporate speech.

Q. Entrepreneur and writer Peter Barnes has argued that what’s missing is adequate incorporation of the “commons sector” in the economy — public goods like natural and social capital. “Capitalism 3.0,” he calls it, which we’d achieve not by privatizing these goods but by creating new institutions such as public-asset trusts. What’s your opinion of this approach?
A. I definitely think it’s clear that the road we’ve been on — turning to the private sector to run our essential services — has proven disastrous. In many cases, the reason why it was so easy to make arguments in favor of privatization was because public institutions were so cut off and unresponsive and the public didn’t feel a sense of ownership. The idea that a private corporation has valued you as a customer was a persuasive argument. Now it turns out both models have failed. So this idea that there is a third way — neither private nor state-run public — is out there.

157 thoughts on “Global Warming: Science or Politics?

  1. Although I don’t agree with the author’s politics, it is one of the first honest assessments of what’s really going on with AGW, as it relates to science & politics. Kudos for honesty. That’s the only way there will be rational debate.

  2. “Deny climate change” Who does this?
    My “worldview” is of the world. She would change the world, not my “worldview”.
    What was her excuse for killing capitalism before she discovered “Climate Change”?
    She knows what she is, and so do I, a watermelon commie.

  3. I don’t get it. Why doe this Klein person get the attention she does?

    She has somehow positioned herself as a social activist but those people are a dime a dozen. I really don’t get it.

  4. Sound fairly level headed to me. Both sides could do with being more in recognition of their motives

    Her point about world views is why the argument is so heated and full of vitriol most of the time.
    Everyone likes crap on about “the” science but few have any understanding of it.

    Far from being “disturbing” , you don’ t have to agree with where she stands on a left/right scale to see she has a fair point.

    Just for fun , since she’s apparently a director of 350.org, I thought I’d offer her a little “joining the dots” graphic base on the recent Jevrajeva paper covered here a day or two ago.

  5. To the left everything is politics, that’s the very core of Marxism-Leninism. There is no sphere of public or private life or education that can not be politicized to further the cause. However, this was refreshingly candid, the Left rarely comes so clean.

    On the other hand, their are people who will go to all lenghts to make money, morals or society be damned, however this is just as common on the left as the right. Yes, Wall St. hate is all the rage as they break so many of our traditional social contracts against deception and obfuscation, but the rich left break their own pacts with movie stars and celebrities who expend more Co2 in a day than most people do in a year. Think how much Co2 James Cameron’s movies must burn through? Why? So he can make lots of money. Then lectures us peons not to use our pittance to drive to work or take 5 minute hot showers.

    And Occupy whatever has been successful? Really? A – havent’ heard anything about them for months,B– 95% of the people I know think they are a bunch of whiney losers looking for handouts or jealous of those who have what they want… and I live in a college town.

  6. “Climate change confirms what people on the left already believe. But the left must take this confirmation responsibly. It means that if you are on the left of the spectrum, you need to guard against exaggeration and your own tendency to unquestioningly accept the data because it confirms your worldview.”

    I know she is a “social activist”, whatever that is, but it sounds like she has a better grasp of this basic scientific concept than many climate scientists do. Question ALL data, regardless of how it makes you feel. I disagree with nearly everything Ms. Klein says, but I respect her more based on this comment.

  7. Ms. Klein apparently prefers drama to science class. If we believe it hard enough, it will happen.

    I trace some of this back to a century ago, when Americans started moving away from 90% farmers to mainly urban. You couldn’t charm a bigger yield out of the corn or the weather, so our values used to be reality-based. A lot of people don’t seem to think that way anymore.

  8. It is easy to complain when you have no other solutions, but, I did not see much of a solution. I am from the ‘put up or shut up’ school. Also known as ‘walk the walk’ and not ‘talk the talk’. As my father used to say ‘ talks cheap, whiskey costs money!’

  9. …and what’s clear is that ideology is the main factor in whether we believe in climate change.

    Yeah riiiight, it couldn’t possibly have anything to do with each of us independently reaching a conclusion of skepticism in common based upon our God given scientific reasoning skills.

    They really don’t ‘get it’. After they demean us saying that computer models predicting that the Sun will rise in the west tomorrow are so complex that we are not ‘worthy’ to even try to comprehend how they work – they then tell us not to believe our lying eyes the next morning.

    This climate hoax is the poster boy that says lies are generally much more complex than the truth.

  10. Eyal Porat says:
    April 24, 2012 at 11:27 am
    Jeff L says:
    April 24, 2012 at 11:08 am
    “…as it relates to science & politics.”
    What science exactly?

    … My point exactly – that this is really about politics (not science) at the end of the day, which the author , more or less, admits. Refreshing honesty, even though I don’t share the author’s political viewpoint.

  11. Typo alert: “Naomi Klain” in the top post.

    It is quite clear that “climate change” is a “code word” to Ms. Klein. She doesn’t mean that the climate is changing – everybody knows that! She means that us evil humans are changing it. Difficult to have a conversation about “climate change” when the phrase means different things to different people!

  12. Anthony

    The only difference between today and 1971 when the “Limits to Growth” came out is that these true believers are willing to be more upfront about their agenda. This is a good thing. Those of us who reject the LTG meme and who push space, now have a real foil against which to present our argument.

    For those who want to see the evolution of this argument, this is your book reading list.

    Limits to Growth
    Beyond the Limits
    Earth In the Balance
    Limits to Growth, 30 years later

    and the ultimate

    Planet Under Pressure Conference Reports.

    These people at the end of the day are the enemy of liberty and the future of our civilization and finally they are coming out enough to where we can identify their arguments and provide the alternative.

  13. The irony is that the left, who supposedly care about the poor and needy, do everything in their power to fight against the techonology that would life millions out of poverty… cheap energy, genetically altered food, DDT and other pesticides, the internal combustion engine (which is the only thing allowing the population we currently have to sustain itself) and free, global markets. History has shown that if you want someting to fail, put a communist or the UN in charge. Really, the UN has the inmates running the asylum.

  14. I think it is a good interview. Ms Klein honestly states her views and I think her assessment has a fair amount of truth to it. Whether or not you agree with her (and my world view is far from her’s), one has to acknowledge her honesty. And she is correct with regard to the type of action needed. If you truly believe that drastic reductions are needed and that tillions will be needed to upgrade infrastructure, then greater government intervention and control is required.

  15. The main thrust has always been politics, of course there is scientific evidence and proof with rising co2 levels that there is possibly a miniscule influence, but I clearly remember my last active day in the British Workers Revolutionary Party (Gerry Healy and the bloody Redgrave thespians) during the late nineteen eighties and at that time the hard left wing in Britain didn’t even know that there was a theory of AGW. However, as the trade union movement here in the UK under Thatcher was rapidly neutered and the Berlin Wall and finally the Soviet Union imploded; with of course China moving towards capitalism , the left jumped on the AGW theory quicker than a rat up a drainpipe soon turning the whole thing into a trundling bandwagon with which to bash hated capitalism over the head with.

    That explains why the left wing dominated AGW movement so readily, despite seeing with their own eyes, blatantly deny any evidence that shows to the contrary the thieves kitchen UN IPCC projections of sea level rises, hurricanes, rapidly rising temperatures and disappearing global sea ice has failed to materialise; they ironically have become the true deniers.

    You see as a friend of mine says ; the left have an unfaltering propensity to not accept or tell the truth only matched by their capacity to be cruel.

  16. The only thing that Klein has got right is that the conservatives, en masse, have turned, stridently, against the AGW nonsense. Is it because Republicans and conservatives are all stupid, or evil?
    No. These leftists don’t gain anything by saying “look, it’s the right wing that doesn’t believe our baloney!” Their scam has been exposed and their colors are clear. The preponderance, or nearly all, of the AGW leaders, like algor, are leftists. We see that now. From on a previous comment:
    The ideological origin of the warmist scare-mongers is indelible. This isn’t a conspiracy theory. The trail, going back to Club of Rome, is littered with their own words, proclaiming the leftist dream (a simple de-industrialized idyllic life), or leftist scientists and leftist politicians telegraphing their agreement with this leftist dream + their intent to deceive on AGW: http://www.c3headlines.com/global-warming-quotes-climate-change-quotes.html
    Obama’s Science Czar John Holdren in ’73 called for the “de-development of the United States.” Why is it that the solution to g warming just happens to be -exactly- what the eco-idealists had demanded years before: cutting industrial production. It stretches credulity to think that this is just a wild coincidence. Not a chance.

  17. Naomi Klein mentions social democracies as having a strong social sphere, Scandinavia as an example. To establish such a community of thinking, buy in by all the members is necessary. To get buy in, one needs a homogeneous population, with agreed upon homogeneous shared values, homogeneous language, in short, there can not exist any areas of disagreement, no sharp edges, all smoothed, nothing to ripple the flow. Sweden comes to mind. Blue eyed, blond haired, only one official language, everyone Luthuren, hierarchical, parliamentary authoritative.

    Of course that doesn’t go well with a country who proclaimed ” give us your tired, poor,and huddled masses, yearning to be free.” The door was open to those who did not see themselves as having success in the country where they were born. Plenty of Swedes left Sweden by the way.

    The fall of slavery as a viable work force solution left the legacy of slavery and its harness. The dawning of the American Industrialization was on the shoulders (backs as some folks would claim) of immigrants. While 19th Century Europe was in the throes of firebrands and emerging socialists, the tired, poor and famished tumbled out of Ellis Island, into the streets of New York and into the vastness of wilderness dotted with communities. Communities that had some homogeneity soon became inundated with disparate groups, forming ethnic ghettos and institutions. Ultimately, rules of conduct emerged on what was the best way to get along.

    None of the rules on how we were to get along with one another had anything to do with economics. Economics was and to some degree remains a chaotic affair where everyone scrambles to seek their fortune. I am reminded, the the vast number of jobs created and maintained in the USA come from small businesses and not from huge corporations.

    My reconstruction of the growth of a workforce in the USA and the subsequent polyglot of mixtures of peoples is contrasted with the homogenization evident in Sweden is to illustrate that one shoe can not possibly fit all. These two groups are different, have different shared values, have different histories and origins, have evolved their economics to reflect those differences.

    Looking across the fence, or in this case, across the pond for a better solution belies the reality of the extensive differences in these large communities. European Socialism remains European. American capitalism, for better or worse, remains uniquely American and not really duplicated elsewhere because, we’re different. There is no cookie cutter approach to social engineering.

  18. I met Naomi at one of her “presentations”. She was promoting her then new book, The Shlock Doctrine. She’s a charming revolutionary looking for a cause, all the while making money off her books that present a worldview no more sophisticated than that of Engels’ lazy pal Karl. Us good versus them bad.

    Are we really this starved for leadership that anyone narcissistic enough to put their personal philosophy in book form can make a living off it?

    The end of the free world is nigh.

  19. She does say where she is coming from, I’ll give her that. It is very obvious that she is pretty much clueless about everything else. One of the key points is that she thinks she knows the opposition, but from her comments she not only does not understand, she has no capability of understanding.

  20. “And we need to build public transport systems and light rail and affordable housing along transit lines to lower emissions.”

    Yes, make everyone else live not where they want to live but where they are told to live. When liberal leaders go live in “affordable housing along transit lines”, I will eat my car, V-8 engine and all!

  21. Ugh, that was hard to stomach. That she’s lucid and correct on several details just makes it worse – how can Naomi see clearly as far as she does and still cling to the core beliefs she does. I’m expressing the impression this article made on me, not initiating an attack, and I’ve got to say it makes me sick because it looks like deliberate evil to me, which is something I’ve always been skeptical of.
    I need a drink.

  22. I’m just going to comment on this section because its… stands out.

    –“But if we look at the countries that have done the most to seriously meet the climate challenge, they’re social democracies like Scandinavia and the Netherlands. They’re countries with a strong social sphere. They’re mixed economies. Markets are a big part, but not the only part, of their economies. Can we meet our climate targets in a system that requires exponential growth to continue? Furthermore, where is the imperative of growth coming from? What part of our economy is demanding growth year after year?
    If you’re a locally based business, you don’t need continual growth year after year. What requires that growth is the particular brand of corporate capitalism — shareholders who aren’t involved in the business itself. That part of our economy has to shrink, and that’s terrifying people who are deeply invested in it. We have a mixed economy, but it’s one in which large corporations are controlled by outside investors, and we won’t change that mix until that influence is reduced.”

    (My critique)
    Sweden gets about half its power from hydro and half from nuclear, with Norway having a similar mix. Netherlands and Denmark have both invested in wind power, but they both have the ability to import electricity from their neighbors. It seems much more likely that local conditions and not mixed economies are responsible for their results.

    As for mixed economies, the US government owned a substantial portion of the auto and financial industries in order to prevent them from failing. I’m unsure how anyone can still pretend our economy counts as “pure capitalism”.

    As for growth, we get into “arguing with stupid people”. For starters, the world population keeps increasing year after year and many of these people are dirt poor. Unsurprisingly we need growth unless you want living standards to fall.

    For the US in 2010 it had 308 million and in 1990 it had 248 million- our economy needed to grow by 25% over those 20 years merely to continue to provide for everyone.

    I’m also amazed that she believes only corporate capitalism requires growth. The Soviet Union (planned economy) required growth, the Peoples Republic (state capitalism) requires growth, Lincoln Electric (welfare capitalism) requires growth, MONDRAGON (workers syndicate) requires growth, heck even locally based businesses (KFC started out small) require growth.

    Out of curiosuity, does anyone know where she got the 80% reduction figure? I’ve only seen 30% as something that can be defended from the IPCC.

  23. Interesting.

    And to think that as an independent voter I tended to vote mostly democrat since the late sixties. That is, until the last presidential election and it looks like I won’t vote democrat in the next one either.

    And that’s a really bad sign, because I am disappointed at the Republican options for the upcoming elections. Only not as disappointed in republican choices as I was at Obama and Pelosi ramming urban silliness down American gullets “for their own good”. I want no more extreme left/green foolishness nor presumptions of what is for my own good.

    I was a tree hugger back in the seventies. Only I was what people called a naturalist. Back then it meant someone who studied nature and learned understanding of the balances of nature. It did not mean bottled water, super pricey vegan silliness, freaking out about chemicals or gene splicing. Which people think it means today. In other worlds, extremist kooks have migrated the sense of the word naturalist from that of a common person center to the far left and they preach it is the ONLY way.

    Since I touched chemicals and gene-splicing… Gene splicing is how nature does it, every egg fertilization cycle. Chemicals, every animal, vegetable and mineral is some composition of chemicals. Want to talk about the most toxic of poisons? Sure, I want you to walk in the shallows of the sea where stonefish, lionfish and scorpionfish live while you try and tell me how nasty manmade chemicals are…

    And I am really irritated when some urbanite complains to me about chemicals in their food while their lawn is weed and insect free thanks to a regular watering by the lawn upkeep company. One guy tried to tell me as we commuted home that I really should try the service and I replied by pointing out that I have goldfinches and bluebirds living and singing on my property year round and then I asked if he has anything but grackles and english sparrows. Point slammed home and he dropped the topic.

    “Thou can have no other purposes in life that are not ultra-green in our personally greens approved view.” Not forgetting “Do as I say, not as I do.”

    In other words, they’re Kooks! It’s all a masquerade by eco-sillies.

  24. Some Wiki background on Ms Klein:

    Family

    Klein was born in Montreal, Quebec and brought up in a Jewish family with a history of peace activism. Her parents had moved to Montreal from the U.S. in 1967 as war resisters to the Vietnam War.[2] Her mother, documentary film-maker Bonnie Sherr Klein, is best known for her anti-pornography film Not a Love Story.[3] Her father, Michael Klein, is a physician and a member of Physicians for Social Responsibility. Her brother, Seth Klein, is director of the British Columbia office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

    Her paternal grandparents were communists who began to turn against the Soviet Union after the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and had abandoned communism by 1956. In 1942 her grandfather Phil Klein, an animator at Disney, was fired after the Disney animators’ strike,[4] and went to work at a shipyard instead. Klein’s father grew up surrounded by ideas of social justice and racial equality, but found it “difficult and frightening to be the child of Communists”, a so-called red diaper baby.[5]

    Klein’s husband, Avi Lewis, works as a TV journalist and documentary filmmaker. His parents are the writer and activist Michele Landsberg and politician and diplomat Stephen Lewis, son of David Lewis, one of the founders of the Canadian New Democratic Party, son in turn of Moishe Lewis, born Losz, a Jewish labour activist of “the Bund” who left Central Europe for Canada in 1921.[6] Klein announced on March 5, 2012 that the couple is expecting their first child in June.[7]

    [edit]Early life

    Klein spent much of her teenage years in shopping malls, obsessed with designer labels.[8] As a child and teenager, she found it “very oppressive to have a very public feminist mother” and she rejected politics, instead embracing “full-on consumerism.”

    She has attributed her change in worldview to two events. One was when she was 17 and preparing for the University of Toronto, her mother had a stroke and became severely disabled.[9] Naomi, her father and brother took care of Bonnie through the period in hospital and at home, making educational sacrifices to do so.[9] That year off prevented her “from being such a brat.”[8] The next year, after beginning her studies at the University of Toronto, the second event occurred: the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre of female engineering students, which proved to be a wake-up call to feminism.[10]

    Klein’s writing career started with contributions to The Varsity, a student newspaper, where she served as editor-in-chief. After her third year at the University of Toronto, she dropped out of university to take a job at the Toronto Globe and Mail, followed by an editorship at This Magazine. In 1995, she returned to the University of Toronto with the intention of finishing her degree[5] but left the university for a journalism internship before acquiring the final credits required to complete her degree

  25. The author seems to look at everything from a political activist point of view. Of course she thinks the skeptics are also motivated by politics. Science has nothing to do with her worldview.

  26. Anyone who feels the need to rinse their brains of Ms Klein’s anti-capitalist rhetoric should read Thomas Sowell’s “Basic Economics” or anything by Milton Freedman. They show why government intervention in the market has often had the opposite effect from that intended.

    Most anti-capitalists are really nice people who propose policies that do the most damage to the people they claim to want to help the most.

    The golden age of human existence is founded on individual liberty and the right to profit from ones own efforts. Government’s have the duty to see that individuals or groups do not use fraud or force to interfere with the market. It increases poverty and misery when the government uses its power to suppress liberty or property rights in an effort to equalize economic outcomes.

  27. “A Constant Social Activist” in the real world that means she’s good for f *** all else, can’t be bothered to get a proper job and likes sticking her nose in other people business,if she so socially minded why she so happy to see people loose their jobs which in effect what she’s saying with regard to capitalism,it is not perfect, but until someone come up with a better idea we are stuck with it.Dozen a dime these parasites

  28. I was encouraged by her tone of defeatism…..perhaps her and the rest of the twerps are going to p*ss off and find some other great ’cause’ to fill their days with. And like so many ‘progressives’ she’s miles behind the times, especially in her remarks as regards Scandinavia and Holland. Yes they used to be the poster kids for progressivism. Guess what, they tried it, and really, they aren’t any more. What a surprise.

  29. Naomi Klein is an uneducated brainwashed ecofascist idiot, just like the rest of the Climate Liars. She’s incapable of independent, rational thought. She pretends to be civilized but if push came to shove she’d be on the front lines, prodding with a gun, so-called Deniers into trucks heading for ‘reeducation camps’.

  30. Her answers could’ve been written by a computer with access to a small database of typical left-wing talking points.

    I was not impressed.

  31. Klein is arguing for totalitarian government. She would never use such a word to describe her proposals, but that is plainly what she has in mind. She sees individuals running around freely doing what they will as part of the problem, not the solution.

  32. She’s a post-Marxist con artist, conning post-Marxists and people of the power tripper tendency. She’s smart enough to have dropped the carbon market focus, but despite having written a book on “crisis capitalism,” but still she has hitched her wagon to the greatest “crisis capitalism” uber-scheme ever, “climate change.” Her ironic course shows she’s got ice water in her veins. She’s just on the solar panel-methane and other industrial-boondoggle side, not Wall Street finance cap and trade super-duper-scam side. She is right about the right wingers though, they really stink up the “debate” with their aims to eliminate the EPA or their total incomprehension about how the large business factions they idolize could support and sponsor global warming economic games. They have a total blindness to the fact business manipulates government mostly, not the other way around. On the other hand, the leftie zombies have a complete inability to comprehend that a “green program” may be as corrupt or useless as a military or other program they do not identify with.

  33. “Climate change confirms what people on the left already believe. But the left must take this confirmation responsibly. It means that if you are on the left of the spectrum, you need to guard against exaggeration and your own tendency to unquestioningly accept the data because it confirms your worldview.”

    Interestingly enough, Ms Klein does not follow her own advice. Within hours of the Faked Heartland strategy document appearing online, she tweeted “Please RT. This is important” with a link to the DeSmogBlog’s page covering the event.

    Interestingly enough, she appears now to have removed the tweet. There are still a few in her stream a little less embarrassing for her, like “Send @PeterGleick some Twitter love, he took big risks to bring important truths about the deniers to light.” after he admitted to his deception. I said a little, not a lot.

  34. Klein is an excellent and dispassionate observer of the facts. For example, she sees where the warmists get their money, and how that modifies their activism:

    “I don’t think climate change has ever been a broad-based issue for the left. Part of this is the legacy of siloing off issues, which is part of the NGO era of activism. Climate change has been claimed by the big green groups and they’re to the left. But they’re also foundation-funded. A lot of them have gone down the road of partnerships with corporations, which has made them less critical”.

    Klein’s difficulty is that she doesn’t have much more than the crude Left/Right political distinction with which to interpret her social observations. Thus she observes correctly, but misses the true significance of the following:

    “These issues are all linked with the idea that corporations have the same free-speech rights as people, so there would also be more restrictions on corporate speech.”

    Corporations have rather more rights than those of speech. What rights and responsibilities they should have, and how they should devolve to people in the company, is key to the sort of future in store.

  35. “I was encouraged by her tone of defeatism”

    Great comment Bill. I noticed she did not go into the usual routines of distractions when confronted with uncooperative thermometers. Typical of the reactions is to point at polar bears or climate “extremes” or some unverifiable arcana when the thermometers are not doing what faith tells them thermometers should be showing. Maybe she will get over her singular obsession (tacit, if she knows or not) with the Arrhenius CO2 theory, which stands in relation to the “climate change” political cults as Ricardo’s Labor Theory of Value stood with the Marxists: as the “scientific” explanation of near everything important. Then, maybe not. The pseudo-science seems to fill a whole with these people, like the empty embrace of “deregulation” fills their brethren on the other side of tarnished coin.

  36. In March 2012 (when interview was published) she thinks that the Occupy movement was a “game changer”? And that the country was “excited” by it?

    I will admit that here in Seattle there are still a few “99%” stickers on expensive SUVs. But there are also still Kerry/Edwards stickers on those SUVs too. Elsewhere, I bet the excitement has died down …

  37. RobRoy says:
    April 24, 2012 at 11:18 am
    “Deny climate change” Who does this?
    My “worldview” is of the world. She would change the world, not my “worldview”.
    What was her excuse for killing capitalism before she discovered “Climate Change”?
    She knows what she is, and so do I, a watermelon commie.
    —————————————————————————
    This is an important point. She believes that Climate Change means we must invest more in the Public Sector. Does she also agree that if Climate Change wasn’t real we could invest less? No. She wants more Public Sector and less Private Sector. Climate Change is a means to an end.

  38. “what you see is that the drop in belief in climate change is really concentrated on the right of the political spectrum”
    ===============
    Typical…didn’t occur to her that more people became conservative because of climate change…
    liberals are so funny….if you believe something they want you to believe-you’re a moderate

    “The big left issues in the United States are inequality (Al Sharpton, guns and religion), the banks (second tarp, etc), corporate malfeasance (Solandra……), unemployment (obamacare, tax the rich), foreclosures (Barney Frank)

  39. In the late 80s economists applying signal theory to price movements demonstrated rather conclusively that a planned economy could never match the information processing capabilities of the market; that a market economy would always outperform a centrally planned one over time. It has always seemed to me to be no coincidence that at about the same time glabal warming became the new rationale for greater political control over the economy..

  40. “”But if we look at the countries that have done the most to seriously meet the climate challenge, they’re social democracies like Scandinavia and the Netherlands. They’re countries with a strong social sphere. They’re mixed economies. Markets are a big part, but not the only part, of their economies.””

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17824427

    “””A day after the fall of his government, Dutch PM Mark Rutte has urged MPs to react “responsibly” to the serious economic problems facing the country.
    His minority government collapsed over last-minute disagreements about finding billions of euros in austerity cuts.
    “The economy is flagging, employment is under pressure and national debt grows faster than we can afford,” he said.”””

    Just saying.

  41. So Klein is from a wealthy family of dictators of the proletariat, rather than being proletarian herself? I expect she will have the means to winter somewhere warm and sunny, while working class pensioners freeze to death in northern towns for lack of affordable energy.

  42. “Klein’s difficulty is that she doesn’t have much more than the crude Left/Right political distinction”
    She’s moving somewhere, she just hasn’t made the jump that her “solutions” are just as much the products of “corporations,” and their PR firms as anything she might criticize coming from Big Pharma, Military, etc. She writes, “A lot of them have gone down the road of partnerships with corporations, which has made them less critical”. Less critical for what? The only way this is not blindness to the “crisis capitalist” nature of 99% of the “climate change” camp, is if this is a comment on cap and trade and NGOs embrace of it. That would make her possibly a Hansenist of 350.orger. Hansen became the movement’s tacitly exiled Trotsky when he denounced cap and trade as a fraud (which, of course, it is). She could be a true believer, despite what I previously implied. A big chunk of the vocal, older global warming believers seem like they are searching for a replacement-religion for Marxian thought. They need the same strait-jacket of limited thinking Marxism supplied, all the while promising liberation and knowledge. Their rants about “deniers” sound like their elders’ rants about “false consciousness.” The rants are not really meant to change minds, but to keep their own thinking narrowly constrained.

  43. Hey, go easy on Naomi. It is obvious she is extremely skilled at making her own beautiful clothes, jewelry and hairstyle. She surely wouldn’t get them from any kind of ‘free market’ now, would she?

  44. Crony Capitalism is the problem. The lobby people and the commercial banks are a problem. The removal of the glass-steagall act was bad. The murderous invasions were bad, no welfare reform is bad and no taxes on the rich is bad.

    There is no doubt that money is being made with the green scam also.

  45. “She is right about the right wingers though, they really stink up the “debate” with their aims to eliminate the EPA or their total incomprehension about how the large business factions they idolize could support and sponsor global warming economic games. They have a total blindness to the fact business manipulates government mostly, not the other way around. ”
    ******************************

    The mainstream conservative view is that the EPA has vastly and illegally wandered outside its regulatory writ, and is now making industrial policy. THAT’s what mainstream conservatives say needs eliminating.

    AS for conservative total blindness about business manipulating government: Hayek and others argued seventy years ago that socialism inevitably leads powerful corporations to exert undue influence and control over government. Say what you will about Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity et al, but they ALL understand and talk about how big business such as General Electric have used their influence to enrich themselves and freeze out competitors. So do conservative legislators. Why do you think conservatives have objected to the “alternative energy” boondoggles under Obama?

  46. Klein is perfectly clear that the underlying science has nothing whatsoever to do with her thoughts, or the thoughts of many activists. They are already formed (or malformed) and are just looking for a horse to ride. Her honesty is refreshing. Her thoughts are not.

  47. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…

    It’s the same Marxist planned economy, “dictatorship of the proletariat” shtick, simplified and sexied-up for the stupid OWS crowd and the tweeeting, sound-bites generation nitwits to whom this stuff seems profound and novel.

    So, here’s Naomi’s “new” vision: A society of eco-friendly worker-bees eking out a sustainable living along the mass transit tracks, while the important intelligentsia and the necessary nomenklatura travel into the prohibited reserves to ostensibly study and protect the environment, but in reality, buggering off to well-deserved vacations at state-granted cottages confiscated from evil capitalists and posh youth camps for the deserving.

    Been there, done that, actually, under slightly different layers of bullshit. Such were my halcyon summer days for a few years in the mid-60s when Gramps was still a big shot in the regional Party. Then, thankfully, the insane asylum fell apart because a planned economy doesn’t work, no growth means no competition and that means rapid decline, and the hungry and frightened peons, the ones whom we, snotty red-kerchiefed pioneers would lecture to, eventually pushed back…and then some.

    Why are we even discussing this faux-intellectual celebrity here? O, yeah, because she’s now riding the “climate” wagon.

  48. Miss Grundy says:
    April 24, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    “She is right about the right wingers though, they really stink up the “debate” with their aims to eliminate the EPA …

    Yes many of us want to abolish the EPA, but not to eliminate the proper protection of the world we live in from excessive pollution, but to lance the boil and to purge the poison.

    We recognize the simple truth that you cannot reform a nest of snakes no matter how you change their mandate they are still snakes. The EPA has become a magnet for people of totalitarian bent who see themselves as the saviors of the world. The sort of folks who have the chutzpah to declare someones property a navigable waterway and block their use of their own property to build a home, because portions of it are briefly flooded due to heavy rains.

    Close the EPA down and fire the lot, then create a carefully crafted replacement that is firmly constrained to the sort of actions originally intended before they began to metastasize and began manufacturing problems to enlarge their scope and power.

    Larry

  49. Frankly the basic premises is dead wrong , the idea that only the left care about the environment and only the right doubt AGW is unsupported rubbish that owns more to the prejudice of Klien , of which there is plenty , than to the facts .
    In reality people of the left and right support and are sceptical about AGW , but for the watermelons like Klien its automatic reaction to label others views that fail to agree with theirs, as either mad of bad. Which is facility uniquely limited to the right , well at least in their minds .
    Its simply ‘ don’t support AGW and therefore don’t the use of this scare to achieve political goals , you must be mad or bad and therefore ‘right wing ‘ .

    And the irony is that Klien like many of the lefts leaders , has background of privileged that could match the best , well they have little actual time and virtual no understanding of the actual ‘working class’

  50. I suspect that if you dig deep into Naiomi Klien’s funding you will find many of those foundations she rails about in this interview. I’m not buying it. I don’t think she believes a word she says.

  51. Politics. From the beginning. Longer than I’ve been alive.

    And I don’t give her much credit for selective honesty about other leftists, people have political faction fights all the time, never stops “social revolutionaries” from creating cesspits of death and misery whenever they actually get real power.

    The angry revolutionary and the calm revolutionary are going to do pretty much the same thing to you after the revolution.

  52. Ms Klein is backtracking here from her original article in the Nation, where she said:

    As British blogger and Heartland regular James Delingpole has pointed out, “Modern environmentalism successfully advances many of the causes dear to the left: redistribution of wealth, higher taxes, greater government intervention, regulation.” Heartland’s Bast puts it even more bluntly: For the left, “Climate change is the perfect thing…. It’s the reason why we should do everything [the left] wanted to do anyway.” Here’s my inconvenient truth: they aren’t wrong.

    My emphasis. This was a couple months before the Gleick affair, and it explains so much of why the left has bought the CAGW meme so strongly and why it is so hard to overcome with science and data. It has developed into pure belief.

    What she hasn’t done yet is work this out, nor work out that the basis for the left’s claims about CAGW is fallacious. She’s either going to fall very hard when she comes to understand this, or she’ll sail off into that warm fluffy place where the layers of belief become so thick that no amount of truth can break through the delusion.

  53. “…it makes sense for us to zero in on aspects of our system that give corporations massive influence.”

    Like government?

  54. “If you’re a locally based business, you don’t need continual growth year after year. What requires that growth is the particular brand of corporate capitalism — shareholders who aren’t involved in the business itself. That part of our economy has to shrink, and that’s terrifying people who are deeply invested in it.”

    Well, if anyone’s suited for or deserves cave-dwelling, it’s Naomi!

  55. Naomi Klein is right that a structural change to our society is required if we a) agree with CAGW and b) decide we will stop the CO2 emissions that CAGW says is causing the problem. Buying twizzler lightbulbs won’t do it. And she is right that the liberal must support global governance is they really, really want to “fix” the environment. Which is what the “right” have recognized all along.

    Her acceptance of Scandanavian socialism is clear, too. I don’t agree and I don’t agree because I think Scandanavian socialism only works when elsewhere in the world there is a rip-roaring capitalist economy like the US of A dragging everybody else into the future.

    Her mixed economies are stagnant. She admits that much business does not need continual growth – the type that generates a living income for those employed by it. Arms-length profiteers – the outside investors – don’t really need growth, either, as long as the profits are high enough for dividends. Generally they are not high enough, however: the cash flow has to be used to stabilize or grow the asset base because the internal costs, including salaries and CEO bonuses, are too high. If the multi-millions that CEOs etc. get were distributed as dividends, and debt were lower so that debt repayments were instead dividend payments, the dividending of profit outside the company might make current asset-growth not necessary for investor support. You do need growth, or back-and-forth growth among competitors, at least. There is no such thing as standing still in economies or personal lives: they and we go forward, or they and we go back.

    There are some ways to improve the social benefit of capitalism, for certain. But Klein’s view is heavy on government input and regulation. She’s happy with her life, I gather. Many others are not, and want the opportunities of a free-market capitalist state. Look at all the Asian immigration: if socialist states worked, why are they here? You could ask the Eastern Europeans, too.

    Klein gets points for honesty. Straight out. Good: now I can state exactly why I do not support Naomi Klein (though I read her books).

  56. She begins one of her answers by saying that free-market ideology is not under attack:

    “I don’t think climate change necessitates a social revolution. This idea is coming from the right-wing think tanks and not scientific organizations. They’re ideological organizations. Their core reason for being is to defend what they call free-market ideology.”

    Then she ends by saying that climate change necessitates getting rid of the free-market:

    “These climate deniers aren’t crazy — their worldview is under threat. If you take climate change seriously, you do have to throw out the free-market playbook.”

    Is she unknowingly contradicting herself? Or is she doing what the left always does — telling different audiences different things? They say one thing to assure the right that they are not out to destroy the free-market system. Then they say the opposite to assure their friends on the left that they really didn’t mean what they just said. The ideology of the left would never make it out of academia if it wasn’t for their skill in practicing the Alinsky rules of deception.

  57. “These issues are all linked with the idea that corporations have the same free-speech rights as people, so there would also be more restrictions on corporate speech.”

    Would those additional restrictions on corporate speech also apply to the New York Times and MSNBC? Or would corporations that call themselves “the press” be given an exemption? Once you make exceptions, someone has to decide who qualifies for them and who doesn’t. Do we really want the government to decide who must have their speech abridged? I think the left would be perfectly happy to have the government make such decisions as long as they are in power. Let the right take power, however, and they would become the loudest opponents to any curtailing of free speech. So I have to conclude that their desire for corporate censorship springs out of a sense that it would allow the left to stay in power indefinitely.

  58. Sorry, I couldn’t read all that crap. I don’t actually know if I’m right or left wing, probably tend to right, (not that that makes a difference here in the EUSSR!)
    Scientific reasoning has no politics, much as some would like it to!
    What I do hate is the townie/urbanite perception of nature.
    If they were exposed to it, I suspect there would be a heap of Darwin awards.
    Nature wants to kill you!

    DaveE.

  59. Robert says:
    April 24, 2012 at 4:47 pm
    boy, this lady has no problem at all separating science from politics…….
    ———————————

    Alas, it’s mostly politics…and a crazy amount of money. The “science” of CAGW is only a distraction; when you smart folks dismantle those lies, they’ll move the goal posts again before you can lean back and finish a beer. If it cools, CO2 will threaten to bring an Ice Age…Planet Snowball. If nothing new happens, that too will kill us somehow. And then it’s back to another decade of hard labour for you guys. And the non-science camp-followers like me will still be around to carry the water, beat the drums, bind the wounds, clown around and do whatever it takes to cheer you eggheads on. As our friend, the Pointman, reminds us, this is an Information War. See: http://thepointman.wordpress.com/about/

  60. What I do hate is the townie/urbanite perception of nature.
    If they were exposed to it, I suspect there would be a heap of Darwin awards.
    Nature wants to kill you!

    DaveE.

    I think the more appropriate way to state that is:

    That Nature is not benign, and could care less if you live or die. Nature just does what it does, and if you get in its way your in big trouble.

    Nature is not warm and fuzzy, it is lots of other things like hunger, exhaustion, wet, cold, hot, dry and only occasionally warm gentle breezes a full stomach and a feeling of safety.

    Those latter three are almost always manufactured conditions thanks to technology, even if the technology was nothing more than an atlatl to kill a gazelle more efficiently, a fire created from flint and steel or a fire bow, and a wall of thorn bushes to keep out the predators, it was still human technology that created that safe bubble that humanity grew up in.

    I wonder how loudly these elitists would howl if we did have the carrington event everyone talks about and their technological modern world stopped working for 6 months.
    I wonder how anti-technology they would be after watching friends die because they got a blister on their foot and it got infected, or they were reduced to hunting down rats in the alleyway to eat.

    Not that I would wish that sort of social collapse on any society but the fact that these folks think that they are some how above the technological world because they were an early adopter of energy saving bulbs or some other green initiative would be funny if it were not such a sad commentary on their willful blindness to all that things that make their life as pleasant as it is compared even to the life of their great grandparents let alone a third world existence. Maybe if they still had to pump water from the hand water pump in the yard and carry it into the house in tin buckets to take a bath they would catch on that technology is not so bad.

    Larry

  61. If I were scoring her on cliche-stringing, she’d be a 10. On her grasp of economics, I’d give her about a 1.
    Scary.

  62. “Can we meet our climate targets in a system that requires exponential growth to continue? Furthermore, where is the imperative of growth coming from? What part of our economy is demanding growth year after year?”
    ——————-
    Easy answer: her redistributionist policies. If virtually no one pays enough into entitlements to fund their future withdrawals, then the only way to sustain them going forward is compound economic growth. But numbers were probably never her strong suit.

  63. Naomi Klein is just an uneducated communist from a long line of communists. She is unconsciously incompetent. Anyone who pays attention to her, particularly on any matters related to science, is just an idiot.

  64. Dang. And all this time I thought it was a right wing plot, with big finance and big business having a sort of mutual benefit in agreeing with government to filch more of our money.

    I do however think she has a point about ‘perpetual growth’, but am surprised her solution is that ‘small business’ does not have to grow forever. In my mind the limits need to be put on big business.

    A prime example is Australia (small pond, microcosm and all that) where ‘big banks’ are wanting to put their interest rates up as the economy falters, so they can maintain year on year growth (and, coincidently, management bonuses). Very obviously that will contribute to year on year ‘shrinkage’ for the businesses actually producing something in the faltering economy.
    Another example in our small pond is that of the duopoly of big supermarkets, squeezing the lifeblood out of their suppliers to ensure they chalk up growth each year.

    Naomi Kliene does not even bother to touch on the science, and is quite blatantly focused simply on the use of CAGW as a lever to further her socialist ideas.

    It is interesting that she states carbon trading/taxation will not provide the answer.

  65. The funny thing is, when I grew up under a bolshie regime, our script was slightly different from the one the Naomi Kleins are following. We were being regimented and kept cold, hungry and without luxuries for a purpose: To burry capitalism with our heroes of socialist labour, our huge industries and our brave armies, and after we’d won the world, we’d have set out on our rocketships to the stars to conquer the universe. I kid you not. Laugh if you will, but at least there was a goal and a purpose to all of that insanity. It’s when we were robbed by our leaders, left only with the cold and the hunger and without the jeans and Beatles music bit, that things came apart.

    The useful idiots of the West got the sustainability, environmentalism and social justice version. The parts that would impoverish it and turn its population into frightened, passive and defenseless ninnies. I marvel at how wildly successful our old intelligence and propaganda experts were, because here we are, in the marvelous West and well into the 21st century, fretting over medieval savages half a world away and paying them gazillions in tribute while we seriously discuss how best to cut our own throats by declining to make use of the stupendous wealth under our very own feet and by hobbling the genius of our people. Nuts.

  66. I believe it is Nietsche who is creditted with saying: “There is nothing more frightening than ignorance in action”. And Ms. Klein exeplifies that ignorance perfectly. She has no clue about climate or global warming, and is an excellent example of why we engineering students used to make fun of the arts students (behind their backs, anyway…..)
    IanM.

  67. climatetruthinitiative,

    Don’t fool yourself, buddy. Some of us artsies knew too well what you gear-heads were giggling about when you signed up for what you thought were breezer courses. The smart ones among you took women’s or social studies and did well, but a few of your overly confident types wound up in history or philosohy courses and in the seminar classes we taught them to be humble before they signed out real quick!

  68. Peter Kovachev says: April 24, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    I marvel at how wildly successful our old intelligence and propaganda experts were, because here we are, in the marvelous West and well into the 21st century, fretting over medieval savages half a world away and paying them gazillions in tribute while we seriously discuss how best to cut our own throats by declining to make use of the stupendous wealth under our very own feet and by hobbling the genius of our people.

    There is a helluva lot of wisdom right there. THESE are the people we should be listening to: those who have lived through those ideologically brainwashed regimes. (well, lived through the more extreme and impoverished ones, we are obviously all brainwashed by our own ‘regime’ to some extent!)

  69. Peter Kovachev says:
    April 24, 2012 at 6:51 pm
    The funny thing is, when I grew up under a bolshie regime, our script was slightly different from the one the Naomi Kleins are following. We were being regimented and kept cold, hungry and without luxuries for a purpose: To burry capitalism with our heroes of socialist labour, our huge industries and our brave armies, and after we’d won the world, we’d have set out on our rocketships to the stars to conquer the universe. I kid you not. Laugh if you will, but at least there was a goal and a purpose to all of that insanity. It’s when we were robbed by our leaders, left only with the cold and the hunger and without the jeans and Beatles music bit, that things came apart.
    The useful idiots of the West got the sustainability, environmentalism and social justice version. The parts that would impoverish it and turn its population into frightened, passive and defenseless ninnies. I marvel at how wildly successful our old intelligence and propaganda experts were, because here we are, in the marvelous West and well into the 21st century, fretting over medieval savages half a world away and paying them gazillions in tribute while we seriously discuss how best to cut our own throats by declining to make use of the stupendous wealth under our very own feet and by hobbling the genius of our people. Nuts.
    —————————————————————

    I remember reading something in Readers’ Digest a decade or so ago.
    A man was recalling how when he was younger his family hosted a Rabbi visiting from the then Soviet Union. It was the holiday season. Wanting to treat him to something he probably wouldn’t have back in the USSR, his Dad deciding to take them all out to eat at a Chinese restaurant. After the meal, the waiter presented them all with their fortune cookie and a cheap, stamped brass ornament. His father, being in a Chinese restaurant, expected it to say “Made in China”. He was highly amused when it said “Made in India”. He pointed that out and they all laughed. That is, until his father noticed that the Rabbi was quietly sobbing. Concerned, he asked the Rabbi if he was insulted, being a Jew, at being given a gift commemorating a Christian Holiday. He answered was, “No! No! These are tears of joy at being in such a wonderful country where a Buddhist can give a Jew a Christmas present made by a Hindu.”
    We have a great country founded upon the idea that government is there to protect and defend the freedoms of the individual. We’re losing that. This time the attack is wearing green instead of red.
    If someone wants to buy an electric car with no resale value or pay more at the pump for bio-fuel, more power to him. (actually, probably less power) But don’t jack up the price of regular gas to try to force me to do the same.

  70. I’ve given up arguing with lefties like Ms. Klein. Her answers to the questions are an intertwined mix of truths, half truths, half lies, lies, and outright misconceptions. You can spend all your time trying to unravel the parts and get each piece straight. And you won’t even get through one topic before they ravel up another bunch of distortions.

    What’s really scary though is that people like her believe they’re smarter than everyone else, have all the answers, and if they could just get control of people through government that they could implement their idea of utopia. It never occurs to them that their idea of utopia is another person’s idea of slavery.

    Another thing these people believe is that group rights trump individual rights. Here they have a problem…. the U.S. Constitution, a document where individual rights are paramount and groups rights are nowhere to be found. This is a major problem for them and is why they hate the Constitution and try to bypass it or marginalize it whenever and wherever possible with the hope that it will eventually be discarded. They’ve been partially successful. Anyone who supports the Constitution is now branded a right wing radical.

    I agree with other comments here that it is wrong to ever compare the U.S. with any small culturally and/or racially monolithic country. One often hears comparisons to various European countries like Sweden or Finland or even Singapore, but the U.S. is not can cannot be any of those countries.

  71. I’ve not really followed what Klein has been saying much–maybe because I’m a Brit, but I have to say she didn’t sound too unreasonable. I’m very sceptical of CAGW, but also, of both right and left wing ideologies, though both may have underlying merits in specific instances. There has to be a third way, or at least, a different way.

    For what it’s worth, I think it will require something else than “politics” as it’s currently conceived of. I’m not convinced that she would agree with me – I suspect that, despite seeing herself as a visionary, she is a political animal seeking political solutions in which people *like herself* would exercise control. God save us all from the tyranny of the well-meaning.

    If a “third way” ever emerges, I think it will do so spontaneously, despite and not because of right- or left-wing ideologues. It will just emerge and become the de facto reality, in much the same way that the Internet has (and indeed, the Internet may have a role to play). We live in interesting times, and, I believe, are ripe for change. Change of the kind that no one can predict and only future historians will be able to look back on and analyse the reasons for.

  72. markx says:
    April 24, 2012 at 6:39 pm
    ————————

    Ha! Wise? Hey, whoa, markx, that makes me sound too old….I still have my hair and teeth and I’m now only 15 lbs away from my weight at 18!

    But really, believe it or not, this sort of stuff was talked about openly among everyone in the Warsaw Pact, which is what amazes me still. Not only no one in the West clued in, but those who reported it were laughed at. And while there was obviously a lot of propaganda we swallowed, it wasn’t North Korea kind of brain-washing; it was stuff we participated in, wanted to believe in and felt good about believing because we felt better about ourselves. We had Sputnik, Yuri Gagarin and olive green nukes that were paraded on May Day, while your youth were chanting for peace and putting sissy flowers in their hair. They made damn good music, though and the tall American hippie women with the long hair and painted bell bottoms looked divine, even to eleven year old boys…but I digress. If there is a lesson in any of this it’s that we’re all navel-gazing suckers one way or another.

    What brought our scary insanity to a stop is the achilles heel of all big conquest plans: Central planning, the inhumanity of authoritarianism and a stagnating economy. This brings me to your previous post, where you worry about the costs of growth. I hear you, and the idea of being able to lay back and bob gently in a warm pond is attractive, but it’s either perpetual growth or permanent, deadly stagnation. There is no calm pond, no stable economy in an unstable world. It’s kind of like walking being a controlled fall; miss a step and you’re on your face in the mid. Being an Aussie, you can’t forget that just to the north of you there are billions who would love to swarm your beautiful continent and take it for themselves. Uncle Sam and his nasty Navy is the only thing that keeps them from trying. So much for relaxing, right?

    And the growth part applies to everything. Every mom-and-pop operation whines about the “big box” stores and huge supermarkets. But no one stops the little guys, who are so into independence and petty competition among themselves, from teaming up and setting up co-ops for purchasing goods in volume so that they can compete with the big ones on the basis of location, convenience and personability…and the most important bit, price.

    As for Naomi Klein and her sneering at the carbon credits, you had to be around people of her kind at some of the campus parties in the 90s. I went to U of Toronto as well, but never met Klein, at least not that I know, but crashed a few house parties where everyone got drunk and stoned and sat at the feet of the cool and sophisticated “progressive” types who bragged about how they would run the world. They discussed such strange schemes like pollution duties and I suppose carbon credits as well, which were apparently in the works then. The idea was to get the greedy capitalist and petty bourgeois types all excited about making a buck and to pay for the rope that’ll go around their own necks eventually. To me it was scary; it was as if I had crossed an ocean to find the buggers we escaped from right beside me. And guess what? It bloody well worked! My guess is that Klein and her friends probably think it’s time to drop the pretense and to tie the noose already.

  73. Michael Larkin says:
    April 24, 2012 at 8:34 pm
    ——————————–

    Ah, yes, the mythical “third way.” Everyone’s talking about it and waiting for it. And the crickets chirp. But there is no “third way,” and the left-right thing is just a conceptual construct. There are myriad of ways, but in the end it boils down to a system where either people are living under the direction of a powerful few or have the elbow room to explore. That’s been around for at least ten tousand years. People settled, their societies became stratified and either they succeeded or disappeared. And those who felt crowded, moved off and invented a new thing here and there because no one laughed at them or burned them at the stake for it. But let’s pause and look around at the miracle we live in today. It’s very, very new. There’s never been anything like it. The only reason we’re here typing away and sending electrons hither and yon is because we experienced a few rare and fleeting fleeting moments of freedom and liberty. Maybe that’s the “third way.” And whatever comes along that tells you to do with less, to be satisfied with your lot and accept misery cannot be the “third way”; it’s the same old shit from before the miracle, and we better run the other way.

  74. Michael Larkin says:
    April 24, 2012 at 8:34 pm
    ——————————–

    Ah, yes, the mythical “third way.” Everyone’s talking about it and waiting for it. And the crickets chirp. But there is no “third way,” and the left-right thing is just a conceptual construct.

    Right.

    Sorta like the ‘decisions’ handed down by the justices on the Supreme Court, they’re just ‘conceptual constructs’ too (Miranda v. Arizona , Roe v. Wade, FLORENCE v. BOARD OF CHOSEN FREEHOLDERS OF COUNTY OF BURLINGTON, the recent ‘strip search’ decision, all just ‘constructs’.)

    Miranda case – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miranda_v._Arizona
    FLORENCE case – http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/10-945.pdf

    No influence whatsoever on day to day life here in the land of the brave and the home of the free (or vice versa) …

    .

  75. The Occupy movement has been a game changer, and it has opened up space for us to put more radical solutions on the table.

    Bigger sharper knives to gut the goose that lays the golden eggs? Thanks, but no thanks.

  76. All that reasonable, freedom loving people need ever remember is that both Nazism and Communism are products of the political Left.

    Nazi Party = National Socialist Democratic Workers Party (NSDAP), and we all know what the Communist ideology stood for until its demise in most places.

    A Fascist is simply a Socialist in a hurry folks. You draw your own conclusions about the CAGW movement and its supporters.

  77. The Yale Cultural Cognition Project has looked at cultural worldview and climate change, and what’s clear is that ideology is the main factor in whether we believe in climate change. … The reason is clear: It’s because people protect their worldviews.

    That is a considerable overstatement, in that it is implicitly weighed-against by:

    1) the number of apostates from the Climate Cassandra Camp.
    2) The percentage of leftists (20%?) in the Climate Contrarians Camp.
    3) The alternate explanation given below for the overlap between Contrarianism and Conservatism (basically, hardheadedness):

    Chris H says:
    September 10, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    To a limited degree Dessler is right in saying that opposition to big government and climate scepticism go together. However, his implication that the one determines the other is incorrect. As Melanie Phillips points out in her book “The World Turned Upside Down”, the liberal left mindset predisposes to a set of values that is in favour of AGW, “green” issues and big government….

    In contrast, those on the right tend to be more pragmatic and look at what works and consider the evidence. As a consequence, AGW scepticism and opposition to the current US government, which many observers reckon to be one of the most leftwing in the country’s history, will go together without one “causing” the other.

    Here’s another quote from Klein:

    http://www.thenation.com/article/164497/capitalism-vs-climate

    “Responding to climate change requires that we break every rule in the free-market playbook and that we do so with great urgency. We will need to rebuild the public sphere, reverse privatizations, relocalize large parts of economies, scale back overconsumption, bring back long-term planning, heavily regulate and tax corporations, maybe even nationalize some of them, cut military spending and recognize our debts to the global South.”

  78. The Left didnt start using greengas ideologically, British Conservatism under Thatcher did. She promoted the then insignificant issue of greenhouse gases presumably to weaken the powerful coal miners union and strengthn her nuclear strategy (commercial and defence). It was her who created the CRU, source of much of the world’s (adjusted) temperature record, raw data lost and all that.
    The global warming craze polarizes, forces to take sides and definitely drove me from left-liberal to conservative-libertarian.

  79. Peter Kovachev says:
    April 24, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Growth ….the idea of being able to lay back and bob gently in a warm pond is attractive, but it’s either perpetual growth or permanent, deadly stagnation. …….. Every mom-and-pop operation whines about the “big box” stores and huge supermarkets. But no one stops the little guys, who are so into independence and petty competition among themselves, from teaming up and setting up co-ops for purchasing goods in volume so that they can compete with the big ones on the basis of location, convenience and personability…and the most important bit, price.

    Don’t get me wrong, Peter, I’m not against growth, and know it is necessary. But I don’t think it should always come from ‘big business’. I feel the ‘free’ market has to be regulated somewhat, or inevitably we end up with only one or two big companies running everything. Then, in the longest projection, we either buy from them, or work for them, or both, there is eventually little choice.

    Now, it should work as you say, and competitors should move in, but the big became big and keep get bigger because they are harder working , smarter , better organised, have better contacts, more access to cheap finance, more control over their suppliers… etc etc. The ‘big guy’ can undersell, out advertise, outbuy, and out borrow the new little guy.

    And sure, they therefore deserve this success for being smarter etc etc. But is it good for everyone?

    I always like to remember that the ‘free market’ we do have only works due to a myriad of laws, agreements and understandings, not because it is a ‘free for all’.

  80. DirkH says:
    April 24, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Let’em tie themselves to CAGW and see what it gets them.

    Climate Catastrophism will be the left’s Vietnam.

  81. Peter Kovachev says:
    April 24, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    The “science” of CAGW is only a distraction; when you smart folks dismantle those lies, they’ll move the goal posts again before you can lean back and finish a beer. If it cools, CO2 will threaten to bring an Ice Age…Planet Snowball. If nothing new happens, that too will kill us somehow.

    Acidification is next up in the queue.

  82. For science of global warming visit devbahadurdongol.blogspot.com
    Global warming due to gases is impossible scientifically. The blog also explains
    the cause and solution for GW scientifically.

  83. markx says:
    April 24, 2012 at 10:56 pm


    but the big became big and keep get bigger because they are harder working , smarter , better organised, have better contacts, more access to cheap finance, more control over their suppliers… etc etc.

    But then the Peter Principle intervenes, and management becomes overweight with incompetents, and they collude to protect themselves.

    After each 20 yrs, only about 20% of the Fortune 500 that started there are still on the list. GM is a perfect example; now a dead man walking, owned by its unions and the government.

  84. I’m not sure if she understands what growth is. A corporation certainly doesn’t require growth to pay it’s shareholders. It requires profits to do that.

  85. I suppose the continual struggle between world views is a natural part of social evolution and so should be welcomed and encouraged. The difficulty I have with Ms. Klein and those of her ilk is that market based democracy has got the world’s civilizations to this stage of development while their position would quickly reduce us all to being struggling serfs once more.

    I have lived in a Marxist dictatorship and believe me all it does is concentrate money and power in the hands of a very small clique while everybody else lives in a constant state of anxiety and deprivation. Her cry against the 1% is obviously a contrivance but under the Marxist model she and others admire it would be the 0.1% we would be talking about.

    CO2 is the tool de jour for these anti human types to limit everyone else’s opportunity to self actualize.

  86. Peter Kovachev – from your comments above, please think about writing a piece on the parallels you’re seeing between the old “Bloc” and the modern “West”. I suspect you’d open a few eyes, if Anthony were kind enough to post it.

    Naomi Klein – “what’s clear is that ideology is the main factor in whether we believe in climate change”? Oh, belt up. Meme, meme, meme. I’ve never been one of your evil “right wingers”, and I’m just as good at seeing through your evil “left wing” blather. All that’s necessary for climate scepticism is understanding and contact with reality.

    I do agree that politics as we have it now is a problem (arguably the problem), but it’s not going to improve anything until “left” and “right” alike learn to be as critical of their own suggested “solutions” as they are of the opposition. A bit like Richard Feynman’s advice to scientists – look carefully for the problems in your own worldview. They’re there.

  87. What BS! I’m still struggling with: “…choke points like corporate personhood…” What the hell is ‘personhood’? It still doesn’t make sense as ‘corporate manhood’ – assuming you were trying to neutralise a term…. BS.

  88. After reading this article, ask yourself: Is her concern for the planet or for implementing social controls?

    I didn’t have to read past her answer to the first question to figure that one out. The remainder of the article merely confirmed it.

  89. Well she is a child of traitorous commies… So what else can you expect but cognitive dissonance and high contrast propaganda?

  90. _Jim says:
    April 24, 2012 at 9:43 pm
    Ah, yes, the mythical “third way.” Everyone’s talking about it and waiting for it. And the crickets chirp. But there is no “third way,” and the left-right thing is just a conceptual construct.

    That was actually from my post, not from Mr Larkin, so allow me. Not much to answer, really. You do inderstand a “conceptual construct,” don’t you? You went on with “Sorta like the ‘decisions’ handed down by the justices on the Supreme Court, they’re just ‘conceptual constructs’ too (Miranda v. Arizona……” blah, blah, blah, blah. Judges are not conceptual constructs, they are judges, not personifications of “left” or “right.”

    Learn the basics of thinking before you bore us further.

  91. Steve C says:
    April 25, 2012 at 2:19 am
    Peter Kovachev – from your comments above, please think about writing a piece on the parallels you’re seeing between the old “Bloc” and the modern “West”. I suspect you’d open a few eyes, if Anthony were kind enough to post it.
    ———————————-

    You flatter me, Steve, but the very idea terrifies me. Reminds me of essays and of submitting stories and articles in my student days for a campus publication. The first I solved by getting out of university ASAP, the latter by becoming the publication’s editor and assigning articles!

  92. markx says:
    April 24, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    I have to run out for a while, so excuse me (or thank me!) for being brief. You said:

    Don’t get me wrong, Peter, I’m not against growth, and know it is necessary. But I don’t think it should always come from ‘big business’. I feel the ‘free’ market has to be regulated somewhat, or inevitably we end up with only one or two big companies running everything. Then, in the longest projection, we either buy from them, or work for them, or both, there is eventually little choice.

    This is where people here with economics backgrounds should comment, but my impression is that it is only regulations which can concentrate monopolies into the hands of the few. In a true, or at least justly set-up free market arrangement, the competition can always find ways to compete and makes such concentrations all but impossible.

  93. Of course, everything is cool with people like Ms. Klein as long as: (1) the lights go on when you hit the switch, (2) your food shows up at your local grocery store, (3) the internet is available when they need it, etc. And, of course, they don’t every stop to think that all of these things and more are provided by the free market and corporations.

    People like Ms. Klein scare me quite a lot. And to those citizens in the U.S. – please vote accordingly in November, lest we have people like her in positions where they could do some serious damage to our economy…

  94. roberto says @ April 24, 2012 at 11:43 am

    ….I trace some of this back to a century ago, when Americans started moving away from 90% farmers to mainly urban. You couldn’t charm a bigger yield out of the corn or the weather, so our values used to be reality-based. A lot of people don’t seem to think that way anymore.
    _________________________
    That is all part of the larger whole. So why should anyone care about family farms? Lenin, founder of the Russian revolution said it best.

    “The Socialist Revolution in the US cannot take place because there are too many small independent farmers there. Those people are the stability factor. We here in Russia must hurry while our government is stupid enough to not encourage and support the independent farmership. ~ V. Lenin, the founder of the Russian Revolution Quote provided by Anna Fisher

    So the destruction of independent farmership in the USA was carefully planned and executed by the group, called the Committee for Economic Development The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010 was the final nail. However the plan does not end there. Naomi Klein tells us what the ultimate game plan is:

    You have to really seriously regulate corporations and invest in the public sector. And we need to build public transport systems and light rail and affordable housing along transit lines to lower emissions.

    Another liberal, Rosa Koire, has spelled out exactly what Klein means by this. Rosa is a godsend for us because she has been a liberal activist for years and is a very knowledgeable and gifted speaker. Luckily she connects ALL the dots unlike most people who seem to operate as “Useful Idiots” with their minds sewn shut.

    What we are describing is the New Feudalism. Neo-Feudalism. Peonage. UN Agenda 21/Sustainable Development taken to its logical culmination. Remember, Revolution is bad for business.

    You can see if your town/city/county/state signed onto the United Nations International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) the local manifestation of Agenda 21. For example United Nations ICLEI and The City of Spokane

    Rosa Koire writes,

    …According to ICLEI, if you only have one car or no car your disposable income will be at least 20% higher. Does this mean that you will have 20% more money to spend? No. It means that corporations can lower your wages by 20% and still sell you the same number of goods. A compression of the economy with a more efficient outcome for big business. Concentrating populations into urban areas where they can be easily monitored, where their usage of energy can be regulated, and where their consumption of goods can be restricted, is a goal of UN Agenda 21. … [She goes on to detail a Soviet era horror gc]
    READ MORE: http://WWW.DEMOCRATSAGAINSTUNAGENDA21.COM

    http://www.postsustainabilityinstitute.org/the-post-sustainable-future.html

    In Rosa’s talk at a Tea Party meeting she mentions one county in California with well over 1000 miles of paved roads. The county will no longer maintain all those road, only the ~ 150 miles within towns. If you have no roads the middle class can no longer own a home. Only the very wealthy with planes and helicopters can continue to be land owners and the middle class will be restricted to owning Flats or Condos in town if that.

    One question is WHY are counties forced to skimp on road maintenance and other services? Rosa goes into more detail in her talk than at the website. In a nut shell any taxes over a certain amount (tax rate frozen at a specific year) get diverted from the General Fund into the Redevelopment Agency therefore the county/city has no way to raise the tax rate. This explains the doubling of the money supply. It halves the actual tax dollar available to the county and forces austerity measures like not paving roads.

    Her information is backed up by the Wildlands Map, the Rewilding Institute and the legislation documented by the Klamath Bucket Brigade not to mention Scientific American Articles on “Rewilding”
    Could Re-Wilding Avert the 6th Great Extinction?: Biologists and conservationists aim to restore habitat

    Can Re-Wilding Work?: Introducing animal analogues of their extinct cousins might help repair otherwise irreparable ecosystem damage.

    Rosa goes on to lay it all out.

    …The specific plan is called United Nations Agenda 21 Sustainable Development, which has its basis in Communitarianism. By now, most Americans have heard of sustainable development but are largely unaware of Agenda 21.

    In a nutshell, the plan calls for governments to take control of all land use and not leave any of the decision making in the hands of private property owners….. Individual rights in general are to give way to the needs of communities as determined by the governing body. Moreover, people should be rounded up off the land and packed into human settlements, or islands of human habitation, close to employment centers and transportation. Another program, called the Wildlands Project spells out how most of the land is to be set aside for non-humans.

    Over the last ten years there has been a ‘planning revolution’ across the US. Your commercial, industrial, and multi-residential land was rezoned to ‘mixed use.’ ..

    ….Most of your towns provided funding and/or infrastructure development for these private projects. They used Redevelopment Agency funds. Your money. Specifically, your property taxes. Notice how there’s very little money in your General Funds now, and most of that is going to pay Police and Fire? Your street lights are off, your parks are shaggy, your roads are pot-holed, your hospitals are closing. The money that should be used for these things is diverted into the Redevelopment Agency. It’s the only agency in government that can float a bond without a vote of the people. And they did that, and now you’re paying off those bonds for the next 45 years with your property taxes. …

    Redevelopment is a tool used to further the Agenda 21 vision of remaking America’s cities. With redevelopment, cities have the right to take property by eminent domain—against the will of the property owner, and give it or sell it to a private developer. By declaring an area of town ‘blighted’ (and in some cities over 90% of the city area has been declared blighted) the property taxes in that area can be diverted away from the General Fund….. The money gets redirected into the Redevelopment Agency and handed out to favored developers building low income housing and mixed use. Smart Growth. Cities have had thousands of condos built in the redevelopment areas and are telling you that you are terrible for wanting your own yard, for wanting privacy, for not wanting to be dictated to by a Condo Homeowner’s Association Board, for being anti-social, for not going along to get along, for not moving into a cramped apartment downtown where they can use your property taxes for paying off that huge bond debt. But it’s not working, and you don’t want to move in there. So they have to make you….

    Human habitation, as it is referred to now, is restricted to lands within the Urban Growth Boundaries of the city…. Rural property is more and more restricted in what uses can be on it….. in fact there are so many regulations restricting water and land use (there are scenic corridors, inland rural corridors, baylands corridors, area plans, specific plans, redevelopment plans, huge fees, fines) that farmers are losing their lands altogether. County roads are not being paved. The push is for people to get off of the land, become more dependent, come into the cities. To get out of the suburbs and into the cities. Out of their private homes and into condos. Out of their private cars and onto their bikes….

    it’s about remaking cities and rural areas to the ‘sustainable model’. High density urban development without parking for cars is the goal. This means that whole towns need to be demolished and rebuilt in the image of sustainable development….

    Slowly, people will not be able to afford single family homes. Will not be able to afford private cars. Will be more dependent. More restricted. More easily watched and monitored.

    This plan is a whole life plan. It involves the educational system, the energy market, the transportation system, the governmental system, the health care system, food production, and more. The plan is to restrict your choices, limit your funds, narrow your freedoms, and take away your voice. One of the ways is by using the Delphi Technique to ‘manufacture consensus.’ Another is to infiltrate community groups or actually start neighborhood associations with hand-picked ‘leaders’. Another is to groom and train future candidates for local offices. Another is to sponsor non-governmental groups that go into schools and train children. Another is to offer federal and private grants and funding for city programs that further the agenda. Another is to educate a new generation of land use planners to require New Urbanism. Another is to convert factories to other uses, introduce energy measures that penalize manufacturing, and set energy consumption goals to pre-1985 levels. Another is to allow unregulated immigration in order to lower standards of living and drain local resources…. http://www.postsustainabilityinstitute.org/what-is-un-agenda-21.html

    If you do not believe this is progressing along very nicely all you have to do is look at the Department of Homeland Security’s Travel Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP) where they talk of difficulties experienced during travel screening at airports and train stations such as denied or delayed travel.

    U.S. no-fly list doubles in 1 year – USA Today

  95. Markx,

    Further bloviating on the previous point. To illustrate my point anecdotally, since I’m not an economist with figures and theories at my finger tips, a personal tale. After my parents and I made it across the border to Austria as refugees, my dad sought work as an engineer and my mom remembered enough of her family’s business in pre-commie times to look into opening a candy store. They thought we had come to the free West. Wrong. My dad’s German was insufficient, and he would’ve had to pass exams with the professional guild, and to own a candy store in Vienna, one had to belong to the….get this…honourable and holy guild of bloody candy store owners. This was done by apprenticing for a period as a lowly-paid employee in an existing candy store, I think ffor ive years or so, to pass an exam with the guild and then, to plead with the municipality and submit a business proposal because, God forbid, she may have intruded on someone else’s or turf, or horror of horrors, the business might have failed. My dad found work lugging bags of chemicals in a plant and mom was stuck at home. We managed to make it out to Canada. In Canada, dad was snatched by a head-hunter three weeks into his ESL programme while barely able to say “hello” in English, and eventually worked on the Darlington nuclear reactor and as a designer for Pratt and Whitney’s cruise missile engines. And the plant still stands and those cruise missiles blow away the jihadies quite nicely.

    This is what rampant regulation looks like. It wastes talent, keeps people “in their place” and in poverty, favours privileged drones and rent seekers, and slowly chokes economies. It’s killing Europe and no amount of additional regulation will keep its talented people there, while only the desperate ones without skills or ambition will linger to feed off the nice welfare entitlements. Sayonara Europa. The Naomi Kleins of the world know that they’d be fighting an uphill battle in North America, where people still manage to hold back excessive over-regulation for now and salivate at the thought of an omnibus regulatory monster which out-of-control environmental reviews and caps on CO2 promise to provide. Already, she is spasing sand climaxing over mass transit and full oversight of the economy, first of the big nasty corporations, until they get to the candy store owners. People like her need to be fought, to be exposed, shamed and cut off from civilized society not as cute watermelons, but as malignant crypto-fascists with smiley faces who will turn our children into slaves. They need to be watched, exposed, challenged, ridiculed and messed-up in their attempts to creep into respect and power. And this is why they scream “the science is settled,” or “the debate is over” and why they work so hard on limiting freedoms of expression with speech codes, enforced PC-talk and attempts to control the one thing that stands in their ways, the Internet.

  96. If you do not like Mrs. Klein’s politics, then denying the general conclusions of climate science, along with the National Academy recommendations for an emissions reduction plan, etc, is not the best idea. Essentially, you withdraw from the solutions policy debate, leaving it more open to folks like her.

    Dr. Oreskes articulates my point more clearly at the 3:00 mark of this video.

  97. Alright, way to go, Gail, secured my evening reads with the cup of hot chocolate. I’m starting to suspect that either you don’t sleep or you have a research team behind you.

  98. Otter17, I don’t intend to wastes life’s preious seconds by listening to gibberish from Oreskes. I’ve read enough from and about her. Both her and Klein are pretend opposites which are supposed to give us an illusion about a debate. Trying to frighten us as one blows and the other one sucks, into the same place will not work, no matter what millions of dollars in expert PR crap has led you to believe. The “debate is over” as the other muppets keep saying when challenged, so be it. This is, as Pointman said, an information war and we are winning it because we are independent, we are smarter and way faster. And we are winning it with pocket change, in our spare time, and enjoying ourselves as well. Your Academy can stuff it, and in a few years time it will either do a flip-flop or wind up in the trash heap…or the recycling bin, if that’s your thing.

  99. Leftists and communalists always forget the one fact that destroys their entire argument, that taxation to pay for their grand schemes must always come from a healthy, productive, private economy. When governments take over the portions of the economy that run better as private concerns, inefficiency and cronyism begin to destroy incentive and innovation almost immediately. Total government control, as I suspect Ms. Klein would love to see, as long as she could become one of its apparatchiks, leads to shortage and want, suffering and misery, AND it has a horrible environmental record, to boot.

    Our schools have failed the young over the past 60 years, and so many of them come out of their Western K-12 educations not even knowing they’re socialists, or why this is a bad thing.

  100. Peter Kovachev says: April 25, 2012 at 4:42 am

    ….. people here with economics backgrounds should comment, but my impression is that it is only regulations which can concentrate monopolies into the hands of the few. In a true, or at least justly set-up free market arrangement, the competition can always find ways to compete and makes such concentrations all but impossible…

    People with an economic background always tell me exactly what you do above. My own observations and thinking it through tell me otherwise (and I was a great fan of ‘free market’ ideals until I’d worked in big organisations and watched as they quietly devoured nearby competitors, and watched how big they can get).

    I’ve also observed how free trade agreements usually only favour one party in spite of the theories.
    Major hole in that theory? It is based on paired commodities, presumes equal unemployment in both countries, and assumes complete portability of labour! (hence the clowns advocating the idea that trade skills and professional organisations are a barrier to free markets).

    I also don’t think ‘free market’ vs ‘socialist ideals’ are opposite sides of the argument. BOTH end up putting all the money and power in a very few hands, and it is quite feasible that those few can and will align.

    I think we have been brainwashed… again.

  101. Peter Kovachev says: April 25, 2012 at 6:45 am
    “…honourable and holy guild of bloody candy store owners..”

    Peter, I wrote as you posted. Amazing we both touched onto ‘professional organisations’ … and here I must agree: that is a ridiculous example of over regulation and ‘turf protection’.

    Having not experienced that level of bureaucracy, I have to agree we do NOT want to end up there!

  102. Shooter says:
    April 25, 2012 at 7:01 am
    Wait, isn’t she a feminist, too?

    Yes, of the cutsey, fashionable and moderate or mainstream kind. It’s how she started off her career. The mustachioed, short haired and bra-frees set in denim overalls don’t like her much, but they grit their teeth in a show of solidarity with a sister.

  103. Gail Combs says: April 25, 2012 at 6:18 am

    Gail, that is hyperbolic, dramatic and over the top. Most people will read that and snort.

    But I’m starting to believe it all may well be true.

    This, I posted on and earlier thread:

    I see a time coming when the privileged few get to traipse around rainforests and unspoilt beaches at will, while the rest of us become more and more restricted in what we can do and where we can go, and get put into smaller and smaller boxes and walled in areas, our only role being to man the factories and keep the whole infernal machine going.

    We should not laugh at Professor Kari Norgaard labelling any dissent as suffering from a mental disease, this sounds like the first step in making it a crime (McCarthy style witch hunts).

    I’m glimpsing a world somewhat like North Korea, where people of privilege and power will do anything to make sure they stay within the ‘elite’ and can live what we now see as a normal life.

    I marvel at the pointlessness of the EPA shutting down cheap coal fired power stations, against all logic, and with certain negative economic effects, and I wonder if we are reverting to the old method of rule by fear and orchestrated crises. Once, these crises were always wars or a threatening enemy, but now, it seems economic disruption and hardship may be easier to manage:

    …especially if you can simply make energy a lot more expensive.

  104. Markx, your observation about how big businesses can swallow little businesses is not faulty. This happens. Your conclusion that it’s because of free enterprise is wrong, though. There is no perfect full enterprise, so every situation is tainted.

    Here’s an example: If you are hit with impossibly complex tax codes, high insurance fees to cover for contingencies in a litigous and over-lawyered playing field, with overly stringent environmental regulations, restrictive municipal by-laws and rising energy costs, you cannot survive as a small business, as the smallest set back, the first bureaucratic delay or routine revenue-grabbing fine will wipe out your investments and work. It is not free enterprise that’s creating this skewed situsation.

    At the same time, many businesses cannot work well as small-scale enterprises without change and smart thinking. For example, “big box” stores threatened to kill all the little shops and at first it looked like that was happening. But all they did was to cull out the crummy incompetent ones, the ones whose owners put little effort into and felt secure and entitled to what they thought should be a guaranteed income, a life-long job security for them and their fortunate descendants. Now that the deadwood out of the way, and while there is still some “free” remaining in the enterprise formula, smaller operations are challenging the big ones with different strategies and services. It’s the way free enterprise can and should work…it has its in-built “regulatory” mechanism.

    The other part of the equasion is competence and willingness to invest, rather than just pocket good profits and expect people to keep coming. More anecdotal amusements: In the geographically linearToronto community I live in, there’s been a lot of maudlin moaning and groaning about small kosher bakeries being pushed out by in-house kosher bakeries within large supermarkets. “Oy, did you hear X’s closed down, after thirty years in business? Remember when….blah, blah?” The smaller bakeries depended on a population of locals without cars and on customer loyalties which had to do with friendships and quaint histories, rather than quality and price of goods and services. As a consequence of this captive or loyal customer base, some slid down from their glory of the early post-War days and chose not to spend their good income on innovation and improvement; they are now small, dingy, over-priced holes. There is one in my neighbourhood which never posts prices on items, assuming that regulars know about them or that they don’t care because they are there to enjoy the company of the owner who is, admittedly a character. The younger crowd which shops kosher, doesn’t enjoy asking for item prices every few seconds and with the car double-parked, fidgety kids in tow, tired from the day’s work, would rather pass on waiting while everyone in the line-up has had an opportunity to exchange a joke. So, they’d rather prefer to drive half-way across town to the mall-based supermarket bakery where they can park for free, shop for other items and go for a coffee all in one shot. Sad, an end of a tradition, but there is nothing quaint about dysfunctional situations. It’s the way it is in a system where people are free to choose where to shop, free to decide how to operate their business, free to succeed and yes, free to fail when they drop the ball.

    The consistently missing bit in your call for “fairness” is a definition and an indication of just what incredibly complex regulatory and managerial mechanism or model you would employ to make free enterprise fairer through restrictions. Who would you choose to arbitrate, make and enforce decisions? How do you prevent a business, even a small mom-and-pop operation from smartening up, growing and swallowing its competitors? By what moral and legal rationales would you do that? And at what cost to liberties?

  105. otter17 says:
    April 25, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Oreskes didn’t ‘de-construct’ anything. She indulged in a monologue.

    Anyway, no solutions are required since there isn’t a problem, except in the imagination of the catastrophists.

  106. O, and Markx, just in case you think of me as a heartless utilitarian, I’m very much on the left when it comes to a decent social safety net and I’m proud that Canada does well in that respect, far better than our neighbours to the south. We have a manageable welfare system and universal health care, which aren’t grat for our tax rates, but which in spite of doom-sayers and complainers (some sponsored by the health services industries and private insurers), it is of top-notch quality. You may be a homeless person or a millionaire and you will get the same services and care…and the millionaires I know don’t bother crossing the border for ostensibly better or faster care. No offense to my American buddies here intended, as I think they have a great country, but when I did my first driving trip through the US, after a decade of travelling around Canada only, I was actually horrified at the levels of poverty, such as in the urban slums and the Apalachian mountain towns, I witnessed. We lack the massive and stupendous wealth I saw in the US, but also the depressing poverty and hopelessness.

    And I’m not a quaint, small store hater either. There is a small, rickety and not to well-run store owned by a charming Survivor who made it out of Treblinka while a young girl, where I used to go just out of sense of community and solidarity. After she passed away, the business when to her son-in-law and his wife, who thought they could keep the place the way it is and live off the “established” clientele. I see the place is for rent now. The point is that small, semi-functional enterprises have their place too; they connect us to our past, bind our communities and give us a good feeling…but that’s a “service” in competition with others as well.

  107. She’s honest about her left wing ideology and socialist agenda but she tells (or promotes) the same lies the left has been pushing for a very long time to justify their goals. The two biggest ones are that collectivism works and, more recently associated with the environmental movement, that sustainability or no growth is a viable long term goal. The history of the last century effectively refutes the first lie as collectivism has been tried and has failed again and again. The laws of entropy generally applied refute the second. You’re either growing or you’re dying. In fact you’re dying even as you’re growing but by growing you put off death at least for your particular system. Socialists, especially those of the environmental variety belong to a death cult and should be treated as such.

  108. @ Peter Kovachev says:April 25, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Yes, I agree the theory is fine, and in the old days it did self regulate very well and worked just as you say, as ‘big’ tended to turn into ‘dinosaur’ and the head eventually ended up not knowing what the tail was doing (a bit unfair on dinosaurs, but you know what I mean).

    Now, with computers, high speed communication, electronic money transfers, etc that part is well under control. Nothing can stop the big guys except some very poor management decisions, and corporate governance is getting to the point that rarely happens.

    Now, the younger generation don’t only go across town to the mall because they don’t like the old shops any more. The main reason is they are going there anyway, to buy something else, so why not get everything at one stop? It’s probably cheaper anyway. And that becomes the habit.

    So who fights hardest for the rights of the ‘average citizen’ to compete in free markets? Big business, because they need the foot soldier in there casting votes and keeping the politicians on track, and they know should anyone get out of hand, he will be squashed like a bug.

    Laws? We already have antitrust laws now, rarely enforced. A simple approach is needed. It does not need to be done by a myriad of regulations making life more difficult, and as you so ably point out excessive regulation (health, QC, etc) favours “big business’: in spite of their fake squeals, they love it.

    So here we have the situation where all the foot soldiers will come rushing out of trailer parks and ghettos to fight to the death to protect ‘their’ rights, but in truth these rights only practically apply to big business.

    Australia is a nice example of where it goes if you really give it free reign (and you should see the giant computerized warehouse/distribution centres the supermarkets have!) :

    Newspapers: Two. Fairfax 25% News limited 61%. (86% share)

    Grocery Retail: Two. Woolworths and Coles ( >75% between them).

    Petroleum: Two. (The same ones as above!) Chevron /Caltex (Woolworths owned) and Shell (Coles owned) have 75% market share.

    Banking – Four. CBA, NAB, Westpac, ANZ have 68% between them.

    Mining – Five. BHP, RIO, Woodside Petroleum, Newcreast Mining and Fortescue Metals – 75% of market. (note: 67 shareholders own 68% of Rio Tinto and 78 shareholders own 59% of BHP)

  109. (1)”So I started researching the denial movement and going to conferences and reading the books, and what’s clear is that, on the right, climate change is seen as a threat to the right’s worldview, and to the neoliberal economic worldview. It’s seen as a Marxist plot. They accuse climate scientists of being watermelons — green on the outside and red on the inside.”

    (2) “If you take climate change seriously, you do have to throw out the free-market playbook.”

    So the “neoliberals” are right. Thanks for clarifying.

  110. Peter Kovachev says: April 25, 2012 at 8:34 am

    “….We have a manageable welfare system and universal health care, …. it is of top-notch quality. You may be a homeless person or a millionaire and you will get the same services and care…… the US… I was actually horrified at the levels of poverty, such as in the urban slums ….”

    Peter, we agree on so much, and I had exactly the same experience driving in the USA (getting lost on my way through average looking towns, and finding myself in backstreets that looked like some apocalyptic movie set)… I too was astounded.

    But surely that reinforces my point. In the midst of the very bastion of free enterprise, free market systems, THAT is what happens. I think that trip may have been the tipping point in my pure capitalist thinking ways.

    And you are dead right about over-regulation. While we don’t want to get into the current Chinese state of affairs where your food may poison you, western health regulations are chasing a never attainable goal. The less exposure we get to bacteria, the more vulnerable we become. (I’ve spent most of the last 20 years in Indonesia, travel at least two weeks per month to any of Malaysia, Thailand , Vietnam, China, Philippines, etc, I eat anything, and I never get sick (well, very occasionally, but very minor, and half day maximum). (India might be a challenge, but I don’t get that far!)

    That leads me to an anecdotal tale: Singapore – a bastion of capitalism too – contrary to belief, has a cleverly constructed social support system of sorts. Small food stalls in food courts can only be owned and run by lower income nationals. Big business can’t buy them up and make a chain. Foreigners can’t buy them. They are not regulated to death in the areas of health and procedures. Result. A living for a lot of lower income earners, and anyone can buy a cheap meal. In Singapore I can go out and buy a meal for three dollars. In Australia a (usually) far less edible takeaway will cost me $15.

  111. markx says:
    April 25, 2012 at 8:52 am
    ————————–

    But Markx, by your very own description of ignored anti-trust regulations you indicate that there may be other stuff going on than free-enterprise gone bad because of the freedom part. This is something I can only take guesses at, and it’s all beyond my paygrade, but I’ll wager that this is the result of decades of liberal, statist policies which always tend to favour big, established businesses…the cronies who pick and feed governments. In some respects the stuation is akin to Canada’s although you don’t have a massive economic engine a few kilometres to the south of you. Why aren’t Asian or even US chains investing in Oz? Could it be that your silly Julia and company with their carbon credits schemes have put a damper on things? Again, I barely understand my country never mind an island which is really a continent with its people strung along the coastlines and a resource-rich, but deadly desert in the middle.

    Hey, I’d say throw that debate into Bunyip’s corner (http://bunyipitude.blogspot.ca/) and see what the Prof and the regulars there will come up with. That deservedly lazy, but inimitable Bunyip of yours…I think he’s retired to the Emeritus status…is chasing the little balls at some Melbourne golf course as we speak, but invite him here for a peek. I’m a great believer in friendly skeptics’ inter-blogular relations, seeing how Big Oil never came through and no PR firms are out to help us.

  112. i love to break it to you, Peter Kovachev: canada is not a real country.
    it began out of royal lust for tall hats. tall furry hats made short tyrants feel very important.
    thus, hudson bay company grew and prospered. 155 years later, the hudson bay co. magazine, which was there before canada was invented, changed its name from The Beaver to The New Canadian. (they changed the name cuz of spam filters and the freaks.who.fear.naughty.pixels.
    So, canada is not a real country; it is the company store to which you owe your soul.
    canada is also the nosocomial capital of the western world. every year every graduate of mcmasters leaves. that’s why you have medical deities with dots on their foreheads who can’t sterilize a prostate biopsy needle between uses for 150 patients cuz the instructions were in english. sars could only make it in the chinese slums and canadian hospitals.
    collectively, canadians are dissolute and feel zero responsibility for any damage when they get drunk and run over the neighbor’s kid – the government will take care of it.
    never try to hold canada up as an example to which anybody should aspire. collectivism kills. if canada didn’t have natural resources to sell, they surely could never make it by adding value as is done in an industrial nation. but they feel entitled to so much. they feel enfranchised. they are large children, still and ever dependent. it’s nanny nation. you’ll never hear them shouting about liberty. you’ll hear honking in the middle of the night and the drunken cries of ‘go leafs’, though.
    to misquote MIB- a canadian is ok; canadians- not so much.
    but the cia needs the fiction for the sake of recruits who haven’t mastered any language but english…lol – canada has its uses for real players as a proxy.

  113. That’s pretty funny as a comedy act in Vegas, which Canadians help to keep going thanks to our voyouristic fascination with the American fascination with cloying, over-the-top cheese, gnomish.

    Except for the nasty tone, the made-up bits and some of the fall-flat hyperbolae, you could take it on the road. Really. Even to Canada. We can actually laugh at ourselves and will buy you a real beer, the kind you can actually see and taste and get drunk on without downing a whole barrel…not the canned pale pee you’re used to… and we won’t shoot-up the place as you guys would.

  114. Peter Kovachev

    “This is where people here with economics backgrounds should comment, but my impression is that it is only regulations which can concentrate monopolies into the hands of the few. In a true, or at least justly set-up free market arrangement, the competition can always find ways to compete and makes such concentrations all but impossible.”

    Cartelization is another method, although it is illegal. Legal methods of forming a monopoly rely on economics of scale (to form a natural monopoly) or first mover advantage.

    The most obvious occurances of these are in power and water utilities (so they tend to be run or regulated by the government) and due to patent law (which consistently runs into less of evils and unitend consequences).

    I should note that cartelization and cheating, while generally unstable, can occur and, more worrying, can be innocuous. A good example is store guarentees to match prices- aside from good business sense, it is a method that allows stores that have all agreed to raise prices to protect themselves from cheaters.

    markx
    “I’ve also observed how free trade agreements usually only favour one party in spite of the theories.
    Major hole in that theory? It is based on paired commodities, presumes equal unemployment in both countries, and assumes complete portability of labour! (hence the clowns advocating the idea that trade skills and professional organisations are a barrier to free markets).”

    Free trade doesn’t rely on those assumptions- it depends merely on comperative advantage.

  115. Sam says:
    April 24, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Sweden gets about half its power from hydro and half from nuclear, with Norway having a similar mix. Netherlands and Denmark have both invested in wind power, but they both have the ability to import electricity from their neighbors. It seems much more likely that local conditions and not mixed economies are responsible for their results.

    That is a somewhat inaccurate description. The Scandinavian countries are rather different from each other when it comes to energy. It is true that Sweden has a mix of hydro and nuclear power. Norway, on the other hand, has absolutely no nuclear power but abundant hydro power. Norway is a major oil&gas exporter, unlike Sweden and Denmark.

  116. “You have to really seriously regulate corporations and invest in the public sector. And we need to build public transport systems and light rail and affordable housing along transit lines to lower emissions. The market is not going to step up to this challenge. ”

    This is happening in my town as I write this. I live in Kitchener/Waterloo Canada and for the past five or so years we debated a new LRT (light rail transit) transit plan. The initial economic assessment (you know, the actual feasibility, viability and sustainability) done by consultants (who know how to do these things) proved that this plan was a loser. The Regional Government obviously did not like this answer so they dreamed up a new way to make the numbers work called Multiple Account Evaluation (MAE);

    http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/11/09/peter-shawn-taylor-slapping-lipstick-on-a-money-losing-pig/

    So now the numbers work because you make up savings that are dubious at best and down right fraudulent at it’s worst. The Regional Government refused to have a referendum because the prevailing public perception was negative. Governments at all levels have jumped in with other peoples’ money (you know yours and mine) to fund this money losing pig. So now what happens, other cities in Canada see the hay being made here and are jumping in as well;

    http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/08/23/light-rail-disease/

    You see if the private sector won’t do it then it must be a winner and I (taxpayer) should pay for it. No matter that this LRT will be going from one mall (A end) to another mall (Z end) and I would have to DRIVE 5kms (or take a bus that is there today) to the station so that I could NOT save myself an hour of transit time. And K/W is not a large population spread out over a large area. No density, no sustainable manufacturing or business hub along the LRT route but we do have students (two universities and a college). So I should feel overjoyed that I am saving the planet here in K/W even though my pocketbook is being raped. The answer I get from these econuts are the same as in Field of Dreams, if you build it they will come. So you see Naomi’s words I quoted above is happening in spades where I sit.

  117. Peter Kovachev:

    You sound angry at my post. Not sure why–maybe you misunderstood me. Trying to make it plainer, I think politics, on the whole, stinks, whichever flavour it is. There has to be a way in which humanity can proceed without politics, or, if there is politics, of a kind that it is pragmatic and subservient to something higher, like the pursuit of truth and the recognition that we are ignorant of most things.

    As I see it, our current problems are a lot to do with the fact that we are divided into camps, each of which is quite sure it possesses the one and only truth. On the contrary, while there may be a degree of truth in most ideologies, they are flawed and partisan, designed mainly to make their adherents feel safe and comfortable. In many cases, this necessitates making those with different viewpoints feel unsafe and uncomfortable. Political conflicts involve generating and/or being the subject of fear, and it is very difficult (albeit not impossible for a few enlightened souls) to be truly free in such circumstances.

    The enlightened souls of which I speak are individuals, who think their own thoughts, and insofar as is practically possible, act on them. Where that is not possible, they nonetheless do not succumb to fear. If we had a world full of such individuals, politics in its current form would be redundant. That wouldn’t mean that there wouldn’t or shouldn’t be means of effecting collective action.

    I’m saying that most of us are a little bit (and a few a lot) crazy and incapable of envisioning a world without tribalism. Our very concept of freedom is tribal, consisting in our being able to act within circumstances that make us and like-minded others feel safe, be that, for instance, adherence to a free-market economy, or statism. I think there’s something to be said for having elements of both, and in fact can’t think of any country which is or ever has been completely devoted to only the one, though it is true some countries lean more one way than the other on ideological, and sadly not purely pragmatic, grounds.

  118. A third way of some kind is going to emerge because the Ponzi politics all western governments have followed ever since WWII is coming apart. The benefits, horridly watered down to keep the game in play, are not attractive to new punters, the willingness of bankers to fund it is failing as the likelihood of their not being paid back increases. And yet the ‘political elites’ hahaha all over can think of no alternative to promises for votes, knowing perfectly well they can’t fund the new promises. Their business model is finished, bust, redundant. So it will be replaced. They might keep it going for a bit through force in one way or another, but its time is up. Shame that its passing will take your pension, give your kids worthless education, and leave your grandkids footing a huge bill but hey, that’s how it is.

  119. Gunga Din says:
    April 24, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    and

    Michael Larkin says:
    April 25, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Gunga, somehow missed your post and Michael, I’ll have to find mine to see why I might have sounded angry, which is rarely personal. In any case, I was enjoying posting and I’ll have to catch up on work, but will be back later.

  120. Michael Larkin,

    Took a qiock peek because I don’t want anyone to feel slighted for no good reason. Sorry, wasn’t mad at you or your post, it’s that central European thing about getting worked up over ideas and concepts, forgetting they come from people usually. Bbl.

  121. Mickey Reno says:
    April 25, 2012 at 7:08 am
    Leftists and communalists always forget the one fact that destroys their entire argument, that taxation to pay for their grand schemes must always come from a healthy, productive, private economy.
    _____________
    I don’t know who said this first. “A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to their fellow man and is determined to pay that debt using your money.”
    Helping someone in need can be very rewarding on many levels. When any government tries to do that through taxes or other methods of coercion, they’ve robbed the individual of the joy of giving and opened the door for those who would rather be a leech than earn a living.

  122. John Marincic says: April 25, 2012 at 11:30 am

    “…we debated a new LRT (light rail transit) transit plan. The initial economic assessment (you know, the actual feasibility, viability and sustainability) done by consultants (who know how to do these things) proved that this plan was a loser. The Regional Government obviously did not like this answer so they dreamed up a new way to make the numbers work called Multiple Account Evaluation (MAE)..”

    John, one thing my many years in Asia has taught me is when some apparently ludicrous decision making is going on in spite of obvious clear and numerous objections being made, somewhere, someone is making a lot of money.

    This has so far proven to be ironclad, both in regard to government and private business. I certainly look at Australia’s governments in a new light now, especially local government, and especially in relation to planning and re-zoning decisions.

  123. Re Free Trade (and for that matter, other ‘established’ theories of economics!)

    Krugman – (winner of an ‘Economic Nobel’ for his work on free trade – comparing his 1996 thoughts with his 2007 thoughts….Krugman won the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences (informally the Nobel Prize in Economics) for his contributions to New Trade Theory):

    He puts forward arguments in his 1996 essay championing Free Trade “RICARDO’S DIFFICULT IDEA”. He starts out by saying it is a concept that seems simple and compelling to those who understand it, but then writes many pages explaining why nobody seems to understand it, and why many oppose the idea. His argument:

    1. Free trade has an iconic status, so some simply oppose it to appear “daring and unconventional”

    2. It is VERY difficult for those without knowledge of the art to understand. “As it is … part of a web of a dense web of linked ideas” He worries that “intellectuals, people who value ideas …somehow find this … idea impossible to grasp”. (Apparently therefore concluding they must be stupid, not for a moment that he may be wrong).

    3. He feels those who oppose the concepts of free trade have an aversion to mathematics and mathematical models. He then goes on to refute an argument by Sir James Goldsmith against the validity of free trade ideas by telling us Goldsmith simply did not understand the “pauper labour fallacy”, which Ricardo dealt with “refut(ing) the claim that competition from low-wage countries is necessarily a bad thing” .

    Krugeman does not bother to explain that further in the 1996 essay, but in a 2007 essay his own view towards that issue seemed to have changed: “But for American workers the story is much less positive. In fact, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that growing U.S. trade with third world countries reduces the real wages of many and perhaps most workers in this country. And that reality makes the politics of trade very difficult.”
    He concludes

    “It’s often claimed that limits on trade benefit only a small number of Americans, while hurting the vast majority. That’s still true of things like the import quota on sugar. But when it comes to manufactured goods, it’s at least arguable that the reverse is true. The highly educated workers who clearly benefit from growing trade with third-world economies are a minority, greatly outnumbered by those who probably lose.
    As I said, I’m not a protectionist. For the sake of the world as a whole, I hope that we respond to the trouble with trade not by shutting trade down, but by doing things like strengthening the social safety net. But those who are worried about trade have a point, and deserve some respect.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/28/opinion/28krugman.html?_r=1&ex=1356584400&en=502cb187aec80250&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&oref=slogin

  124. Michael Larkin says: April 24, 2012 at 8:34 pm
    …..If a “third way” ever emerges, I think it will do so spontaneously, despite and not because of right- or left-wing ideologues. It will just emerge and become the de facto reality, in much the same way that the Internet has (and indeed, the Internet may have a role to play).

    Michael puts forward an optimistic thought, and I think his “Third Way” does exist:

    But unfortunately it is a delicate balancing act somewhere in the middle. If we can make it work it will be because of communication (the Internet!) and transparency.

    However, I am a pessimist and think those who would control us will move to curtail the freedom of flow of ideas the internet brings, especially after the imminent and soon to be forever famous ‘Failure of the Great Global Warming Scam’, and FOI laws will gradually disappear or become ineffectual.

    The Golden Rule: He who has the gold, rules! (Wizard of Id, Parker and Hart?)

    But (as usual) Bob Dylan said it all better:
    And the masters make the rules, for the wise men, and the fools.

  125. Regulating the corporations makes it more expensive for them to produce whatever it is they produce. They pass that extra cost on to the consumer in order to preserve their profits. This makes the cost of living go up, having more of a negative effect on poorer people. Isn’t that exactly the opposite of what ‘social activists’ want? They are mad.

  126. There’s little new in the communist playbook, Ms Klein is using any event dissonant to capitalism to further central control of society. One of the best ways to convince society to choose the path you espouse is to take away all other choices. If that tack is too slow, simply eliminate those who oppose your approach. Communists like Ms Klein have chosen anti-capitalism and climate change dogma via CAGW to gain control—never let a controversy go to waste.

  127. Carsten Arnholm, Norway
    “That is a somewhat inaccurate description. The Scandinavian countries are rather different from each other when it comes to energy. It is true that Sweden has a mix of hydro and nuclear power. Norway, on the other hand, has absolutely no nuclear power but abundant hydro power. Norway is a major oil&gas exporter, unlike Sweden and Denmark.”

    My mistake. I looked at the wikipedia page and mistook energy consumption with energy production. The actual number wiki gives is almost all their power from hydro.

    markx on trade

    Uh that isn’t a surprise. Net benefit to the country counts GDP gains, what you are complaining about is distribution. Or you could be complaining about the Ricardian paradox which is that long run economic growth depends on productivity gains and the fields that most easily experience productivity gains is manufacturing, so that exporting manufacturing should, in theory, reduce long run growth. Not sure how well that holds up in practice though.

    Also why do people keep using the term “third way”? Don’t you guys realize that was one of the labels fascism billed itself as?

  128. Peter Kovachev says:
    April 25, 2012 at 7:05 am

    “…….. This is, as Pointman said, an information war and we are winning it because we are independent, we are smarter and way faster. And we are winning it with pocket change, in our spare time, and enjoying ourselves as well. Your Academy can stuff it, and in a few years time it will either do a flip-flop or wind up in the trash heap…or the recycling bin, if that’s your thing.”

    Well, I guess you realize that you are indeed activists fighting an “information war”, rather than basing your focus on the general body of the scientific results, such as the Keeling curve, hockey stick, fingerprinting evidence, biology evidence, paleo climate evidence, etc. You don’t have the National Academy of Sciences on your side, and you don’t care, which is simply amazing. If you can provide some evidence that the Academy is on the whole incompetent or compromised, then you might have a point, but you need evidence for that. In any case, whether or not you want to acknowledge a credible risk and plan to mitigate it, there likely will come a time when a plan will be laid down, and your political viewpoints/contributions might be shut out of that plan.

  129. otter17 says:April 26, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    “Well, I guess you realize that you are indeed activists fighting an “information war”, rather than basing your focus on the general body of the scientific results, such as the Keeling curve, hockey stick, fingerprinting evidence, biology evidence, paleo climate evidence, etc.”

    Well, that gets done. Read around a bit otter, it’s all discussed somewhere, and a helluva lot of it is discussed in here.
    If you still feel comfortable with your viewpoint after checking such discussions on the abovementioned areas, well, that’s up to you, you thought processes work differently to mine.

  130. markx says:
    April 27, 2012 at 1:35 am

    “If you still feel comfortable with your viewpoint after checking such discussions on the abovementioned areas, well, that’s up to you, you thought processes work differently to mine.”

    Yes, most rational people would feel quite comfortable considering the consistent nature of the present theory and the backing from the National Academy of Sciences, Royal Society, and many other scientific bodies throughout the world. The difference in thought processes is that I am agnostic as far as solutions are concerned, rather than seeing communists at every turn linked to environmentalism, AGW mitigation solutions, cap and trade, etc. I wish I could identify more with Republicans as of late, but refusing to listen to the National Academy of Science just doesn’t sit well.

    I find credibility with the National Academy, rather than those that seem to be picking and choosing from the scientific body of knowledge to avoid uncomfortable solutions.

    http://nationalacademies.org/onpi/06072005.pdf

  131. otter17 says:

    “If you can provide some evidence that the Academy is on the whole incompetent or compromised, then you might have a point, but you need evidence for that.”

    Evidence.

    It is the same with all the formerly professional organizations.

  132. GDP is only an approximate indicator of national wealth and prosperity. A large public sector inflates GDP without contributing proportionately to prosperity, because it inflates prices from its position as a monopoly supplier. The Government charges whatever it likes. You have to pay up or they punish you, even though you could spend the money better.

  133. I believe that the main driver behind the greenhouse-gas catastrophe theory is technophobia nurtured by the modern environmental preservation movement. Perhaps Bob Beckel expressed this thinking best, recently on “The Five”, when he said something to the effect that we could not add millions of tons of CO2 to the atmosphere without having very serious consequences. I think many otherwise intelligent scientists have been over-motivated by such beliefs to find scientific evidence of the ‘true’ extent of anthropogenic damage to the environment; much like the knights errant of an earlier age, who attempted to find the ‘True Cross.’

    Just as horror movies sell very well, I expect that ‘horror science’ programs and articles also tend to garner wide audiences and thus prevail by viewer selection.

  134. Have you ever read “Animal Farm”? It was written as an allegory of what happened with the communist revolution. There’s an animated version that you can find online. The animated version has the animals rise up again at the end. That doesn’t happen in the book.
    I think it is also an allegory for any kind of class warfare. The “rich” versus the “poor”. Some of the “poor” want to be the “rich”. They would take what the “rich” have for themselves and make the “rich” into the “poor”. All that has changed is the names of who is the “rich” and who is the “poor”. The same goes power. Some aren’t satisfied having power, authority, over their own lives. They want to have power over others. Some of those will use any means to achieve that goal.
    The “environment” has, for this lady, become Napoleon’s (from Animal Farm) windmill. It doesn’t matter whether or not we’re really changing the weather as long as it can be used to further the cause.

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