The Krugman Effect

Paul Krugman, Nobel Laureate

Roger Pielke, Jr. Fri Jun 06, 05:24:00 PM MDT writes:

A delightful comment at the NY Times under Krugman’s post:

Link: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/06/05/energy-choices/?smid=tw-share#permid=11963264

—————–

BlueSky Phoenix, AZ 7 hours ago

Almost every one of you is mistaken. Krugman made up the argument that a percent reduction in emissions translates into a percent reduction in GDP, one-for-one.

Pielke didn’t say anything remotely like that. He never even mentioned any magnitdues or sizes or numbers pertaining to reduction of emissions translating to GDP loss.

What you’re doing now, running for the hills talking about how stupid or dishonest Pielke is, because this guy you like who is on your team said that Pielke is stupid or dishonest — this is bogus. You have no idea what you’re talking about. Neither does Krugman. He doesn’t understand the Kaya Identity. He doesn’t understand Pielke’s argument, and he certainly hasn’t reported it to his readers.

Pielke is saying that we can’t just wave a wand and instantiate some linear growth in technology that costs the same as oil, coal, gas. He said technological progress is not linear. He said technological progress is not completely predictable. These are perfectly reasonable things to say, epecially since they happen to be true. He didn’t make any wild claims.

I think people in the future will have empathy for us. It’s really weird to see Nobel laureates be such terrible sources, isn’t it? It’s unbelievably weird. A Nobel economist should never make the errors Krugman makes, and no human being should so revel in his own malice and hatred that he openly expresses joy at purporting to find out that someone is stupid or dishonest. This is the New York Times??

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Gerard Harbison

I see the commenter is familiar with Krugman.:-)

The Old Crusader

Yes, it is the New York Times.
Just like it has been for 80 years or more.
The same folks who brought you Walter Duranty’s account of Stalin’s bloodless agrarian reforms.

In this article Krugman’s contempt for Pielke was obvious. It was also obvious to me that this contempt precluded any logical or rational discussion in the matter. It is just the sort of bigotry and name-calling we should expect from a group of people who have no evidence to back up their arguments.

Krugman is the NY Times’ Nobel laureate lapdog. They trot him out regularly whenever they have a flimsy argument that needs some “offical-sounding” validation and he obligingly does their biding, no questions asked. Of course there are only (roughly) 14,234 Nobel laureates floating around, it seems, no two of whom agree on anything, it seems. Certainly in his field of economics, where strong, predictive theories are non-existent. How can one be an expert in a field where such beings do not exist, you might wonder.
I wonder how much of Krugman’s income comes from the Times?
It would be interesting to see if the work he did to obtain that Nobel prize has been invalidated by further research.

Jim Hodgen

Yes, this is the New York TImes. All the demagoguery that will fit in print. Krugman’s Nobel work is also a little suspect… it is not holding up very well in light of new work. But a Nobel is a point in time and a bit of a popularity contest lately anyhow.
To your point about Krugman “… making errors…”. I have very reluctantly come to the conclusion that they are not errors. In combination with his wife, he is over the edge of research into proselytizing and has abandoned the constraints of genuine research while wrapping himself in the banner of reliability of work done in the past. That also fits with the way things are now in the husk of the NYT. Things are not as they used to be… truth and reality are discards for their pursuit of the approval of their self-selected peers.

jjs

The left is so scared about debating and having their true objectives exposed for all to see. They are very nasty people inside with very nasty agendas. They use the same tactics dictators have used over the centuries: put down any opposition even if it means to kill millions to protect their power and agendas. Krugman is no different in his personality and beliefs along with the rest of the hard left including the Obama. I know WUWT is a science blog, been reading it for many years, but what is going on is no longer about science.

Grant

Krugman’s problem isn’t that he doesn’t know economics. His problem is that he’s an ideologue and it badly affects his judgement. He is not concerned with truth.

NikFromNYC

Paul who today is spinning a fantasy that cutting emissions won’t cut wealth likewise, is a partisan hack and skeevy opportunist:
“In 1999 Paul Krugman was paid $50,000 by Enron as a consultant on its “advisory board,” and that same year he wrote a glowing article about Enron for Fortune magazine. But he would change his tune. After Enron collapsed in 2001, Krugman wrote several columns excoriating the company. (One featured what may be the most absurd howler in the history of op-ed journalism: “I predict that in the years ahead Enron, not Sept. 11, will come to be seen as the greater turning point in U.S. society.”) In most of these columns Krugman worked hard to link Enron to the Bush administration, and in one he actually blamed Enron’s consultants for the company’s collapse — while neglecting to mention that he, too, had been an Enron consultant.”
http://michellemalkin.com/2011/10/10/former-enron-adviser-paul-krugman-joins-progs-war-on-plutocrats/
His FAQ on his Enron payment as he worked too at the NY Times:
http://www.pkarchive.org/personal/EnronFAQ.html

“Pielke is saying that we can’t just wave a wand and instantiate some linear growth in technology that costs the same as oil, coal, gas. He said technological progress is not linear. He said technological progress is not completely predictable.”
“Waving a magic wand” by destroying what works in energy and agriculture and promising government money and support for new developments is what young people are being promised all of the time. But destruction is not profitable; and all of these young people would be totally shocked by products that are extremely expensive that used to be cheap and abundant, shortages, famines, bans, and things that don’t work. The wand is a lie.

Being referred to as an expert in economics is almost an oxymoron and an insult. While some very simple notions largely hold true (reduce the money supply and prices go up and economic activity
suffers) accurate economic forecasts are impossible. Why? Because economic activity is a
result of human activity and human activity cannot be predicted with any precision. There are a million and one unpredictible events that might plausibly occur in the future that will affect human
economic behavior. Even if we knew how the populace would react to a given set of future circumstances (which we clearly don’t) we have no way of predicting the likelihood of such a set of circumstances. For example, from my own recent activities, I have become aware of the proposed new three-wheeled, three cylinder auto called the Elio, a two seat, 84MPG (hwy) costing $6800, hopefully and likely to be built at the old GM Hummer plant in Louisianna, to be serviced and repaired under warranty at Pep Boys. Constructed almost entirely of readily available off-the-shelf parts : over 90% North American content. The car produces 3 times less (carbon) emissions per highway mile than the typical Tesla Model S electric car, which costs $70K (and up, waaa..y up),
receives over $30,000 in govt subsidies and pays no highway road taxes (and wears out our roads likely 4 times faster than the Elio, since it’s 4 times heavier). Now, if this Elio vehicle
makes it into production, and sells in the numbers anticipated, the effects on the economy will
be significant, and probably not predicted by a single economist. Reduction in oil imports, gas prices, personal transportation costs and so forth. While not having the economic impact of the Model T, this car will be sold in large numbers and have a multitude of positive benefits. I
am following the story of the Elio vehicle with great interest, mostly because I think it is both significant and, quite frankly, very interesting. Last week I had never even heard of this car.
See how quickly circumstance can change (and I remember the hula hoop and the twist).

Mac the Knife

NikFromNYC says:
June 8, 2014 at 10:01 am
“In most of these columns Krugman worked hard to link Enron to the Bush administration, and in one he actually blamed Enron’s consultants for the company’s collapse — while neglecting to mention that he, too, had been an Enron consultant.”
Nik,
I guess he’s left with the Hillary Clinton Benghazi defense:
What difference, at this point, does it make?
Thanks for that insight into Krugman’s ‘integrity’,
Mac

“He said technological progress is not linear. He said technological progress is not completely predictable.”
Technological progress will be a thing of the past, with this catastrophic black mat of bureaucracy laid over every sector of society. Now the EPA wants to get into the business of food portions and packaging!

From my own point of view, I find Krugman boring and predictable. He has one job; to validate the current popular “progressive” position on things from a position of “authority”. He is used as a sort of a bishop in the church of rainbows and unicorns. He denigrates those who need denigrating if they oppose the “progressive” view, he rationalizes things that need rationalizing in order to maintain support in the face of failure. And he does all this by stamping it with the great big red KRUGMAN stamp of approval which is supposed to somehow certify that what has been said is true and good and comes from the words of one who can’t be criticized by the unwashed masses because we are not worthy. His job is to legitimize progressive propaganda. The idea is “hey, if this really smart man buys it, then you should, too!” or “if this really smart man thinks so-and-so is an idiot, then you should, too!”.
He’s a propagandist. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. A propagandist that the rank and file “progressive” would be ostracized by their peers for criticizing. I call him Emperor Krugman.

Gino

Arthur4563, have you looked up the Messerschmidt KR200?

There is something that both Krugman and Pielke are doing here that annoys me …
Krugman quotes Pielke: “Carbon emissions are the product of …” Pielke is being lazy there, referring to carbon dioxide as “carbon” because that’s what everybody else is doing in the popular media. But it’s just wrong and confusing. How do you distinguish “carbon emissions” from emissions of black particulate carbon?
It’s dioxide, Pielke. Come on … don’t be lazy about it.

Tom J

Out of masochistic curiosity I decided to google Krugman’s name, and I discovered this:
‘Paul R. Krugman
Professor of Economics and International Affairs
Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544-1013’
Well, that explains everything doesn’t it? Any institution that prides itself in calling itself the ‘Woodrow Wilson School’ is definitely right up Krugman’s alley as a progressive. It’s quite arguable Woodrow was the US’s first instrumental progressive before the term ‘progressive’ rightfully acquired a bad name and was changed (inaccurately, of course) to liberal. Then, after having given that term a bad name our progressives, hoping people would forget Woodrow’s legacy, returned to the progressive label.
Let us remind them what the progressives, under Woodrow Wilson, wrought. One of the first acts of his presidency was to sign legislation initiating the federal income tax: the goose that laid the golden egg for the massive federal government we so very much enjoy today. Since an income tax was not authorized in the Constitution (I wonder why) an amendment was added to overcome this limitation. To be fair it must be noted that this legislation was in the works before Woodrow plopped his academic behind in the Oval Office. Nonetheless it was Woody who signed it. Oh, and the Federal Reserve was also created during the Wilson presidency. Having lived with the Fed for so many years it might be humorous to note that it was created to stabilize the banking system (you’ll have to tell that to Bonnie and Clyde and the rural folks who cheered them on) and … ready? … to counteract inflation. One thing I would recommend, before continuing, is that any time the reader has an argument with a progressive (or liberal, or progressive, or global warming, or climate change, or, what the heck, it’s always changing) on any subject they remind them that every major war that the US was involved in; every single one of them except Desert Storm; was initiated by a progressive Democratic administration. And, it’s quite arguable that Woodrow Wilson’s involvement in the first truly major one, World War 1 [the war to end all wars (ok, for about 20 years)], was the harbinger of the other ones to come. And it’s also quite arguable that US involvement in WW1, unlike WWII, was elective. May we also remind progressives that Woodrow Wilson was the first university president to occupy the Oval Office (tells you something, eh?); had no use for the US Constitution, openly calling it outdated (Al Gore calls it a living, breathing document – essentially the same thing); brought segregation to the federal government; supported the Klu Klux Klan; and, oh, one more thing…
… presided over the start of Prohibition.
Good alma mater Paul!

sabretruthtiger

Jim Hodgen – “To your point about Krugman “… making errors…”. I have very reluctantly come to the conclusion that they are not errors. ”
Wrong, Pielke never claimed a one to one relationship, this isd the primary error identified.

Tom J

I made a mistake (I know it’s not the first, or second, or third, or…) in my comment. It should read:
One thing I would recommend, before continuing, is that any time the reader has an argument with a progressive (or liberal, or progressive, or global warming, or climate change, or, what the heck, it’s always changing) on any subject they remind them that every major war that the US was involved in, IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY; every single one of them except Desert Storm; was initiated by a progressive Democratic administration.

In his article Krugman mentioned the Japanese scientist Koichi Kaya. In fact the Japanese Aerospace Agency(JAXA) released their IBUKU climate satellite evidence a couple of years ago. This showed that the net carbon dioxide coming from the US, EU and UK norther4n industrail countries was zero, while all the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was coming from high vegetation equatorial regions of the earth and also from South Americas a result of natural temperature inspired releases.. add to that the natural releases from the oceans as a result of the Medieval Warm Period and it is clearthat human based contributions to carbon dioxide levels is minimal

Brute

Not everyone can be blind to the irony… “and no human being should so revel in his own malice and hatred that he openly expresses joy at purporting to find out that someone is stupid or dishonest.”

krugmans an ass.
simple.

jai mitchell

Almost every one of you is mistaken. Krugman made up the argument that a percent reduction in emissions translates into a percent reduction in GDP, one-for-one.
Except Krugman never said that. Not in the article and certainly not anywhere else. This is the most cynical straw man argument I have ever seen.

Severian

Given how Krugman was hip deep in the Enron scandal, it’s amazing to me that anyone, anywhere, ever uses his opinion for anything other than a birdcage bottom.

Severian says:
June 8, 2014 at 11:31 am
Given how Krugman was hip deep in the Enron scandal

The whole notion of “Carbon Exchanges” was cooked up with Al Gore and Enron. Kyoto was supposed to create a vast market for CO2 exchanges. Enron was the leader in those sorts of “exchanges” and was going to make a boatload of money. Krugman was brought in to give the KRUGMAN stamp of approval. The US did not adopt Kyoto, Enron went out of business, nobody seems to remember Krugman, and Gore disclocated a Chakra.

In the UK until about a year ago the BBC used to regularly trot out Krugman to explain how dangerous and plain wrong our Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne was in pursuing an austerity policy to bring our economy under control and generate a recovery. He said on many occasions this policy had never worked and had no chance of succeeding this time. Now that we are one of the fastest growing economies in the developed world we never see Krugman this side of the pond. Good riddance.

ConTrari

“Our source was The New York Times.”
– USSR Ambassador in Dr. Stangelove.

jim2

It’s pretty obvious to, I would assume, just about everyone but Krugman that Pielke meant we either have to ramp up energy source research to a very high level to find a non-CO2 but energy-dense source of energy OR continue to burn fossil fuels OR suffer economically.
Krugman is a shill for the left.

Stephen Richards

jbenton2013 says:
June 8, 2014 at 11:41 am
That hasn’t stopped the BBC. Just read their report on the IMF visit last week. Read it ? Now read the actual report.
The predjudices are showing aren’t they. Liberal rabble the BBC.

u.k.(us)

Brute says:
June 8, 2014 at 11:21 am
Not everyone can be blind to the irony… “and no human being should so revel in his own malice and hatred that he openly expresses joy at purporting to find out that someone is stupid or dishonest.”
=====================
Yep, it reads too much like Schadenfreude, disguised as journalism.
So here we are.

This is the New York Times??
========================
Yes, and has been for years.

“This is the New York Times??” Absolutely!

Progressive liberals will always put Politics over Science as they are for the most part are non-science educated individuals. It seems to be the Gaia effect . . believe it then it will happen.
Pielke is correct – technology can not be forced it can be helped by more research money as America did with the nuclear bomb.
America had a international Fusion scientific study project with international scientists and funding participating – ti was making progress but Bill Clinton cancelled the project.
We have been researching fusion for 50 years but all uneducated are afraid of the BOMB the BOMB – nuclear is our only near term solution of AGW if it is real. Dense energy products are few and there is no serious data that indicates that wind or solar can be anything but a small player and at a very high cost.
The wind and solar projects have been installed – closed down – sold – repaired – closed and they still can not function with the current generation of the systems. It has been 50 years and almost no advancement in cost – density – environmental costs – it is all about we wish it could be free. Really it cost 3 to 10 time what the loaded with legal, studies, more legal, delay with more lawsuits but nuclear even with decommissioning costs is under $ .05/KWH – solar is over $ 30/KWH and wind is around $ 15/KWH – yes that includes the land cost and offsetting millions of bird and endangered species.
California is littered with closed down wind farms and solar farms – even geothermal plants.

Krugman is beyond belief. A mathematical identity is a simple concept and it is always true. There is nothing to discuss about it, like there is nothing to say about a=(a/b)*(b/c)*c, or in other words, a=a.
The fact that a Nobel in economics cannot seem to understand elementary maths says a lot about the quality of Nobel Prizes in economics.

MikeUK
MarkW

“This is the New York Times??”
Yes

latecommer2014

I quit reading Krugman some time ago. As was said above he one of the ” useful tools” of any far left program needing propping up. I think being ignored is the deepest cut.

kim

All the News That is Left to Print.
=========================

Aphan

Jai Mitchell said:
(From BlueSky Phoenix)
“Almost every one of you is mistaken. Krugman made up the argument that a percent reduction in emissions translates into a percent reduction in GDP, one-for-one.”
Except Krugman never said that. Not in the article and certainly not anywhere else. This is the most cynical straw man argument I have ever seen.
________________________________________________________
False. 7th paragraph of that very article written by Krugman. In writing.
“All these choices would impose some cost, and reduce real income to some extent — but the effect wouldn’t remotely be that real GDP would fall one-for-one with emissions.”
Krugman is trying to insinuate that PIELKE is saying that, which Pielke is not. Krugman is lying/misrepresenting Pielke’s argument. Hence Krugman built the strawman here.

Jai Mitchell said:
(From BlueSky Phoenix)
“Almost every one of you is mistaken. Krugman made up the argument that a percent reduction in emissions translates into a percent reduction in GDP, one-for-one.”
Except Krugman never said that. Not in the article and certainly not anywhere else. This is the most cynical straw man argument I have ever seen.
________________________________________________________
False. 7th paragraph of that very article written by Krugman. In writing.
“All these choices would impose some cost, and reduce real income to some extent — but the effect wouldn’t remotely be that real GDP would fall one-for-one with emissions.”
Krugman is trying to insinuate that PIELKE is saying that, which Pielke is not. Krugman is lying/misrepresenting Pielke’s argument. Hence Krugman built the strawman here.

Oscar Bajner

This is The New York Times?
Same as it ever was, all the news that’s printed to fit.

Evan Jones

I have been mad at Krugman for decades.

Yirgach

From 2009, seems like a parody now…

George Steiner

As you all know Krugman got his Nobel for fierce Bush bashing not because he was the most deserving.
As for the fellows comment.that “it is really weird”. Teenagers use this word “weird’ because the only have a 300 word vocabulary. But so has he.

Why hasn’t any one but me noticed that carbon free means no ethanol or methanol or bio gas methane or wood chips or firewood. Basically to really be carbon free requires returning mankind to before fire. That would certainly end AGW – and mankind. Maybe that’s the point.

stockdoc77

I’ve read both Pielke’s letter and Krugman’s critique. What Pielke seems to be saying is that future reduction in carbon emissions can only occur if we either have new low carbon energy technologies or accept substantially lower economic growth (he doesn’t say it is a one to one tradeoff, but does imply that the tradeoff is substantive and not minor). Krugman argues that Pielke is being way too pessimistic, and that lower emissions are possible without assuming major technological breakthroughs that cannot be predicted or planned for. Certainly, any international regime which requires poor countries to remain poor and rich countries to go into recession is a non-starter. On the other hand, there are many rich countries with substantially lower per capita carbon emissions than the US. Energy efficiency of GDP varies widely, even between states in the US. Existing technologies such as high mileage vehicles, nuclear power, and gas rather than coal are all practical and proven. The rapid decline in both solar and wind price over the last 30 years bodes well, we are nearing grid parity in both, and thorium based nuclear power is certainly feasible and carries no weapons risk and much less waste and accident risk than current nukes. If Pielke is arguing that more R and D of low carbon power is needed, I agree, but companies and countries will not invest in that unless there is a political reason driving them to do so. I think both Krugman and Pielke agree that there are costs associated with decarbonizing energy use, the dispute is whether those costs are mild and manageable in the long run, or so large and burdensome as to make a political decision to limit carbon emissions globally impossible. The Chamber of Commerce report on that question would seem to side with the optimistic view, as would I.

stockdoc77

Mr. Schroeder is being facetious or doesn’t understand how the carbon cycle works. Burning fossil fuels adds net carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, the use of wood or any other biofuel does not, because those biofuels were created by plants removing CO2 from the atmosphere and turning it into carbohydrates. They cycle back into atmospheric whether we burn them or eat them or they are decomposed by bacteria. There is no net effect on atmospheric CO2 concentration.

Juice

I see a lot of people here making the mistake of calling Paul Krugman a Nobel laureate. Lets get it straight. There is no Nobel price for economics. Not really, anyway. It’s the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics. It’s not the Nobel Prize. It’s a prize awarded “in memory of” Alfred Nobel. It’s not funded by the Nobel endowment, but by the Swedish Central Bank. They give the medal at the same ceremony, but that doesn’t make it an actual Nobel Prize.

Juice

*Prize, goddammit

stockdoc77

Can we debate the issue and not the person? The vitriol directed at Krugman is unnecessary. Either his position is right or wrong or in between, but ad hominem attacks are not a badge of intellectual integrity.

u.k.(us)

stockdoc77 says:
June 8, 2014 at 3:22 pm
Can we debate the issue and not the person? The vitriol directed at Krugman is unnecessary. Either his position is right or wrong or in between, but ad hominem attacks are not a badge of intellectual integrity.
===============
But, we already knew that.