Guardian Economics Editor Promotes the Authoritarian Chinese “Directed Capitalism” Solution to Climate Change

Smog hangs over a construction site in Weifang city, Shandong province, Oct 16. 2015. Air quality went down in many parts of China since Oct 15 and most cities are shrounded by haze. [Photo/IC]

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

“People underestimate the power of models. Observational evidence is not very useful” – John Mitchell, Chief Research Scientist British MET

Capitalism can crack climate change. But only if it takes risks

Larry Elliott
Thu 16 Aug 2018 15.00 AEST

Anglo-Saxon capitalism’s drive to maximise profits in the short term won’t save the planet. Perhaps the Chinese model can?

But by the time they do, it could be too late. Capitalism – especially the dominant Anglo-Saxon variant of capitalism – has trouble thinking beyond the here and now. People running big corporations see their job as maximising profits in the short term, even if that means causing irreparable damage to the world’s ecosystem. What’s more, they think they should be free to get on with maximising profits without any interference from politicians, even though the fight against climate change can only be won if governments show leadership, individually and collectively.

Winning the race against time requires political leadership. It means acknowledging that the Chinese model of managed and directed capitalism might be more appropriate than the Anglo-Saxon model. A massive scaling up of investment in clean technology is needed, because the $300bn spent on decarbonisation worldwide last year merely matched the cost of the losses in the US from climate and weather-related events. It also means scaling up the lending of the World Bank and the regional development banks to help poorer countries build wind and solar capacity. And a global carbon tax set high enough so that fossil fuels remain in the ground must be implemented.

And, more than anything, it means accepting that the world needs to wage war against climate change. Powerful vested interests will say there is plenty of time to act, and they are aided by climate-change deniers who say there is nothing to worry about. These people need to be called out. They are not deniers, they are climate-change appeasers. And they are just as dangerously misguided as fascism’s appeasers in the 1930s.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/16/capitalism-climate-change-risks-profits-china

In my opinion repeated praise of the Chinese system by climate scientists and greens is a terrific illustration of what is wrong with climate science.

The observation is that China has hideous pollution problems and rapidly growing CO2 emissions. But the political model greens cling to suggests that Chinese authoritarians could sweep these issues aside by decree – the objections of “climate appeasers” could be swept aside by naked force, the objections of “climate deniers” could be crushed by an authoritarian regime which does not tolerate dissent.

One question – why hasn’t this already happened?

The reason of course is because this naive vision of absolute authority which answers to nobody is not how China works. Yes authoritarians in China do regularly trample on the rights of others – but that trampling is frequently done in the name of making a quick profit, to silence the objections of people whose communities have just been turned into a toxic chemical cesspit by ruthless, well connected corporatists.

Western democracies are far better custodians of the environment, because under the Western system, people whose rights are being trampled by greedy corporatists have the power to vote for politicians who can right those injustices.

Greens continue to ignore this reality. Greens cling to their failed visions of an authoritarian climate revolution, because they refuse to consider observations which contradict their idealised political models. They cannot accept the possibility that they might be wrong.

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316 thoughts on “Guardian Economics Editor Promotes the Authoritarian Chinese “Directed Capitalism” Solution to Climate Change

  1. So now it is the Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and other Germanic tribes native to the Jutland peninsula who collectively colonized England to the detriment of the Celts; who are responsible for the aberrant form of capitalism that actually insists on making a profit. Will need to think about that. I was thinking it was the Protestant Ethic.

    • And I always thought that the origins of our modern capitalism (especially banking) took place in the Italian city states during the Renaissance. Nothing to do with Anglos.

      • Capitalism is inherent in the change from hunter gatherer to herding and agriculture.

        Cattle in a fileld and grain in storage are both possessions that represent capital assets.

        Communism and Marxism is a nostalgic yearning for a morality that was applicable when there were only a million people in the world.

        It seeks to return us all to that state,

        • If capitalism is so good, why won’t most people who claim to support it accept the idea that business should pay the actual cost of doing business? This would include the cost of the effects on the environment and the health costs associated with business practices. If this was included, then business would have the necessary incentive to look after the environment. As it is, we are creating disaster after disaster and trashing the planet in the process.

          • Business does pay the cost of doing business. I suggest your parents sue whatever 4 year daycare they sent you to, they got ripped off.

          • If this was included, then business would have the necessary incentive to look after the environment.

            Stogy you don’t understand business nor the horror you’re proposing for the poorest among us. Already the poor are suffering unjust regressive taxation by governments that tax corporate profits, payroll, etc.

            Do you believe these corporations don’t build the cost of whatever tax into the price of their products, such that in the end the consumer of that product pays the tax?

            How will you prevent a business from simply doing the common sense thing businesses do in such a case, i.e., pass the cost on to the consumer, many of whom are the poor?

          • You are free to not buy the products of companies that you believe are not behaving responsibly, and to pay extra for the products of those that include all costs on the environment. I don’t know how somebody would define and measure that! I am sure you know that planes create greenhouse gases. Does your concern about externalities prevent you from flying? Or driving a car? Neither of those activities are compulsory.

          • Some environmental costs can be traced directly back to a given company or industry and may be due to negligence. In these cases, there are legal remedies and/or governmental remedies. In other cases, the environmental effects are diffuse, and difficult to trace back to companies or industries. Air pollution arises from many different industries and one could argue that the pollution due to cars is due to the people driving the cars. Even air pollution has been combated through government and response to public concern. Milton Friedman often talked about 3rd party effects and pollution taxes as the most efficient way to decrease pollution with the fewest detrimental economic effects. One needs to be cautious with “3rd party” effects as it needs to be proven that real damages are occurring. In this day and age, some want to claim almost anything as a 3rd party effect, including things that may happen hundreds of years in the future or even emotional or mental effects that are unproven. With effects of CO2, you need to balance the good and the bad of both CO2 itself, and the benefits of cheap energy (or any energy – for poor countries). But, many of the postulated “bad” effects are speculative and based on either shoddy and incomplete science such as ocean acidification or mostly on computer models that seem to be inaccurate. The real problem is that less than half the population of the USA thinks that the CO2 and global warming will be a problem and most of those are in one political party. These same people then have a hissy fit when they don’t get their way about every single item on a long list of demands – many of which will have little effect, or may even have detrimental effects on quality of life.

          • There are no negative aspects to CO2. The greening of the planet is 100% good, and the tiny bit of warming is also completely beneficial.

          • Bill W 1984 sez
            “With effects of CO2, you need to balance
            the good and the bad of both CO2 itself, ”

            DISAGREE:
            There are no bad effects from adding CO2
            to the atmosphere — doing so was, inadvertently,
            the best thing humans have ever done to
            improve our planet’s ecology.

            Burning fossil fuels / wood in a way that pollutes,
            as in China and India, is very harmful for
            people living there … and Chinese air pollution
            even reaches the US left coast — possibly
            a cause of the mental confusion common there?

            Let’s not confuse the harmful chemicals
            that are a byproduct of burning fossil fuels,
            with harmless (beneficial, based on real science)
            carbon dioxide — the staff of life on this planet,
            that is greening our planet, and accelerating
            the growth of C3 food crops.

            CO2 is “pollution” only in the imaginations
            of angry leftists, who have demonized the gas
            in an effort to control people and gain political
            power.

            They now sell socialism’s slow economic
            growth as good news — slow growth will save
            the planet from CO2 !

            Malarkey, of course, but many people believe
            anything told to them by government bureaucrats
            (who are seeking more power for themselves).

            My climate blog:
            http://www.elOnionBloggle.Blogspot.com

          • There is also the concept of the bond; of being bonded: you lay up some money in the case of some possible undesired effect.

          • Pro Tip: Captain Planet was a cartoon, and Luten Plunder was not an accurate depiction of a business owner/corporate executive.

            Government do-gooders interfering in private enterprise create far more disasters than any business, no matter how “irresponsible”, could do by itself.

          • Claims of harm to the environment require proof that will stand up to cross examination. Without that you may as well stand on a street corner with sandwich boards proclaiming “The End is Here!”

          • Virtually everything you have, has been brought about by capitalism.
            Without capitalism we would still be living in dark-age conditions.
            No, capitalism is not perfect and corruption must be rooted out, but it is the best of the alternatives.

          • The fallacy most of these people fall under is that since they can look backwards and see how companies could have handled things better, therefore they believe that they can do better than those same companies when looking forward.

          • That’s because 90% of these so called externalities are completely made up by activists who are upset because people are allowed to behave in ways that they disapprove of.

            PS: If you want to examine true trashing of the planet, just visit most socialist and any communist country.

          • sycomputing, most major American cities are good examples of socialism.

            With some of them, the remnants of capitalism still provide enough revenue to keep things running, but for the rest …

          • Instead of poop patrols, how about sending homeless to camps, in the desert, to reform or die. I’d prefer the latter. They are a plague of careless drug addicted losers, a virus that city officials seem to want to strengthen. These savages are a reflection of liberalism and social decay

          • Honest liberty,

            Over the last few years I’ve had to deal with the sidewalk sleepers, bike path poopers, & transient campers near my home (and on my property). I’m getting closer and closer to your views. (It’s kinda sad, but I catch myself feeling a little better when I notice that at least they used a sock, rather than nothing, to clean up with.)

            In any event, the vast majority of the poopers didn’t need to turn out to be the way they are; the progressives’ freedom without responsibility stance leads to the proliferation of the poopers.

          • That sounds a bit harsh. My suggestion is that all the compassionate, caring, liberals go off and form their eco-Utopian communes, and they can invite all the addicts, refugees, shirkers, and criminals – the victims of Western society – and look after them, or reform them, and they can all live happily ever after.

          • People are far more likely to neglect or outright trash things they use but don’t own, versus what they do.

            My brother who often cleans and maintains rental houses for his landlord boss, can attest to this.

          • A small amendment…

            “made up by activists who are upset because people* are allowed to behave in ways that they disapprove of”

            * (other than themselves)

          • Because what you are asking for is a way to take as much money from business as possible and give it to others—socialism or communism. What you want counted is uncountable. It’s imaginary and easily manipulated. Much like loving models because they are so much easier to manipulate than observational data. You want models, not reality.

          • On the other hand, our high standard of living is a product of capitalism and business gives value, not cost, to our lives and our environment. The world and its peoples have never done better than now and improvement in all factors of life are being made: less poverty and hunger, increased longevity, more democracies, better education and freedom for women, less warfare and war deaths, dramatically reduced loss of life from natural disaster, and more. Significant problems remain, of course, and most are rooted in authoritarian governments, especially theocratic ones. Under capitalism, disasters are in deep decline and the planet is cleaner; the opposite is true for authoritarian dominated countries. Apparently many are ignorant of the environmental degradation of the Eastern bloc countries when the Soviet Union was in power, and the current state of North Korea, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Sudan, and undemocratic Middle Eastern countries. Be open and learn; appreciate what we have and work to improve what needs improvement, not what ideology demands.

          • What are the costs of using whatever device you used to post that ignorance to this website? If you really believed what you wrote you would be living in a cave.

        • Ah, but only for the masses, those aspiring to be “in charge” or the Ruling Elites, will want for nothing! They’ll need to consume all those grand foods & wines & champagnes, to reduce the immense near intolerable stress they will undergo, dictating to everybody else! 😉

      • Banking is only a tiny percent of what makes up capitalism.
        The notion that individuals have rights and own the products of their labor is what the Anglos gave us. That is the heart of capitalism.

        • Mark, I’m in commercial lending. Currently, banking is the backbone of capitalism. Nothing is accomplished without financial assistance, save for the extremely wealthy.
          Banking is far more than 10% when you factor all of its indirect input

          The saturation of government regulation is suffocating. Disgusting beyond description

          • People use banks to raise money, because that’s the easiest way to do it.
            Absent banks, they would still find ways to raise capital. Just as they did before the advent of modern banking.

          • To put it another way, banks make capitalism more efficient, but they aren’t capitalism and capitalism could still exist without them.

      • Voluntarily, the world’s financial center moved from the Forum in Rome to the northern city-states in Italy. The latter thrived after 800 AD. Then with the massive discoveries and production of silver in the Hartz Mountains the money center became Augsburg in the 1400s. ( valley, thaler, dollar ). Then, with the wealth from fishing in the North Sea and other trade, the market was in Bruges. When that estuary silted up the market moved to Antwerp in the mid-1500s. Then, Amsterdam.
        By the early 1700s England’s trade and prosperity made London the financial center.
        On the legal side, tribal legal traditions of the Anglo-Saxons (as German-Roman provinces) were codified around 400 AD. Unlike Rome’s law it was not top-down.
        The baton of freedom and prosperity was passed on to the Brits who in turn passed it on to the rest of the world. And in many places accepted.
        Bob Hoye

      • Perhaps the Chinese model can?…

        not really…pollute all you want…and get paid by your competition to do it

    • “gymnosperm

      So now it is the Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and other Germanic tribes native to the Jutland peninsula who collectively colonized England to the detriment of the Celts; who are responsible for the aberrant form of capitalism that actually insists on making a profit.”

      The Angles (English), are “Germanic”!

      • basic comprehension.. I read that angles Saxons, jutes and other Germanic tribes… this implies all in the list are Germanic. ergo he said that!

        • And the island that England occupies the most fertile part of is called Great Britain, i.e. the home of the “British” (Welsh, Cornish & Breton) people. Not to forget Scots, Picts, Gaels and Normans. Anglo-Saxons were just a part of this ethnic cocktail, and cannot be solely blamed for its successes in the creation of prosperity and freedom.

        • English is a Germanic language, a tradition reinforced by colonizing Vikings and later Normans (substantially Vikings as Normandy was ceded to the Vikings to prevent further raids on Paris). Latin influence is also strong, Romans, Normans; but compulsive industriousness to demonstrate the possibility of being among the “elect” was Protestant. Calvin was French.

    • I think capitalism has been around as long as trade has. Not too many Anglo-Saxons in Ancient Egypt, Persia, Rome*, the Indus valley, China…..

      *until the Romans invaded them.

      What utter drivel from the Grauniad’s ‘economics editor’ with the usual Marxist inspired self loathing, like ice addicts ripping at their veins hallucinating that their pulse is actually worms under their skin. Another sad, sick little pinhead.

      • Not just long distance trade, but any time two individuals exchanged goods freely.

        I believe the earlier point was that for most of the world’s history, the peasants had few rights and the lords were free to take anything they wanted pretty much any time they wanted.

        It was in England that the notion of serfs having rights that nobles were required to honor first took root.

  2. Everyone who proposes an authoritarian solution to a problem assumes that it will be them and their kind in charge – indefinitely.

    • And such people are completely lacking in self-awareness and humility. Their confidence in their ‘rightness’ and their moral and intellectual superiority is extremely dangerous. A lot of leftists have good intentions, but they do not understand they are being manipulated by darker forces. They are the useful idiots. They don’t realise that not only will they not be in charge come the revolution, they will be dispensed with very quickly. Guardian readers frequently call for a massive decrease in population to save the planet. Of course they never imagine that they and their families might be on the cull list. They think they are on the good team, and all their virtue signalling and green points earns them special dispensations. They are incapable, due to emotional immaturity, limited intelligence, ignorance or laziness, of freeing themselves from their comfortable virtue signalling bubbles, to understand the dangers they are courting.

      • excellently put.

        What surprises me is after the dust settles – no one was a eugenicist.. they all shuffled about pretending it was everyone but them. . No one admits they cheered the rise of Pol Pot, it was ‘someone else’ and they never mentioned it again . . Supporters of the New Way, the Great Leader, or any other massive popular movement that ended in tears was always ‘the other guys’. After an appropriate period of time has passed they then label the instigators right wing and wave their arms hysterically in warning of what the right gets up to when left unsupervised – never taking responsibility for the miserable and cruel acts they supported in the name of a Good Cause. With no lesson ever learned they repeat their mistakes time and time again. All they seem to think they need is a Strong Leader and everything will be alright.

        • Well, we have one of those right now in America. You can just feel the love and peace and harmony emanating from the Dems as they fellate our Chief Executive.

          Always Our Idea, Never Our Fault

      • Guardian readers can afford to be smug about this.

        Although the paper has now gone full tabloid, it no longer has enough readers left to be worth culling them.

        For a real mass decrease, we’d need to be talking Sun, Mirror and Mail readers in the UK.

    • Thank God for democracy

      Give me the ballot box over these thugs any day.

      • In the USA our political structure is a Representative, Constitutional Republic. Our Founders knew the shortcomings of Democracies. Many of our Politicians specifically far Left Democrats don’t understand this principled structure. And the prior administration attempted to change a system and failed. That’s why they lost. Now they are trying to undermine elections because they know their failed Socialism will not be approved by the 70%+ of Americans who do not subscribe to this philosophy.

        MODS what is wrong with the editing feature???

    • It is curious that anyone proposing an aristocratic or Leninist society always assume that they are to be one of the elite.

    • Indeed. Authoritarian systems are great – for the authoritarian in charge, no so great for everyone else. And the fools praising authoritarian systems can’t imagine the scenario that they (and their fellow travelers) aren’t the authoritarians in charge. For all the lefties praising authoritarian systems, just imagine if the US was such a system and Trump, Cruz, or even one of the Bushes were the authoritarian in charge. Still think Authoritarian systems are the best?

      • Stalin killed about 50 million of his own people. Mao killed about 80 million Chinese. Then there are the lesser players like Pol Pot, etc who killed a few million Cambodians, but a much larger fraction of the country’s population.

        This is the undeniable history of Marxist dictatorships – economic incompetence and huge systemic murder of civilians.

        Can we not learn from history? Do we really have to do all this again?

        Leftist leaders typically are psychopaths/sociopaths and leftist followers are delusional imbeciles.

        Clearly, it takes people of far-less-than-average intelligence to want to relive the horrors of the 20th Century – and yet there they are, the so-called “Progressives”, concentrated in our public schools and universities, saying “This time, it’s going to be different! This time, it’s going to work! Just trust us!”

        As George Carlin said, “Damn, there are a lot of really stupid people out there!”

  3. It’s been obvious to anyone paying close attention over the years that this is the endgame of the environmental movement. It isn’t about the climate, or environment, or protecting an isolated ecology … it has *always* been about undermining capitalism and replacing it with socialist agendas. A few are true idealists, to be sure, but they’re the useful idiots exploited by organizations that hide behind a mask of concern.

    • Psion CORRECTLY observed:
      “It isn’t about the climate, or environment, or protecting an isolated ecology … it has *always* been about undermining capitalism and replacing it with socialist agendas.”

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/08/08/claim-failure-to-control-co2-emissions-will-lead-to-global-fascism/#comment-2424478

      When Marxists want to sabotage a country, they increase energy costs unnecessarily, which cripples the economy. That is the left’s strategy, and it is working, except in the USA, China and a few other countries.

      A key leftist strategy is to cripple the energy industry – examples are endless regulatory snarls and successful anti-pipeline movements – these have cost Canada $120 billion in lost revenues – a huge amount of money that should have been available for industrial re-investment, job creation, health, education, etc.

      The leftists were the scourge of the 20th Century – Hitler, Stalin and Mao killed a total of about 200 million people. Then there are the many lesser leftists killers, who like Mao and Stalin almost always murdered their own citizens

      Almost 200 countries that once had viable economies are on a downward spiral – Zimbabwe and Venezuela lead the way, but many others follow. That is the Marxist agenda, and it is working.

      Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.
      _____________________

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/07/03/can-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-save-the-world-from-climate-change/#comment-2395902

      Marxism made simple:

      The Groucho Marxists are the leaders – they want power for its own sake at any cost, and typically are sociopaths or psychopaths. The great killers of recent history, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot. etc. were of this odious ilk – first they get power, then they implement their crazy schemes that do not work and too often kill everyone who opposes them.

      The Harpo Marxists are the followers – the “sheeple” – these are people of less-than-average intelligence who are easily duped and follow the Groucho’s until it is too late, their rights are lost and their society destroyed. They are attracted to simplistic concepts that “feel good” but rarely “do good”.

      George Carlin said it best: “Think of how stupid the average person is; and then realize half of them are stupider than that!”

      One can easily identify many members of these two groups in the global warming debate – and none of them are ”climate skeptics”.

      Need more evidence? Read the quotations at http://www.green-agenda.com

      Just a few examples:

      “The goal now is a socialist, redistributionist society,
      which is nature’s proper steward and society’s only hope.”
      – David Brower,
      founder of Friends of the Earth
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      “If we don’t overthrow capitalism, we don’t have a chance of
      saving the world ecologically. I think it is possible to have
      an ecologically sound society under socialism.
      I don’t think it is possible under capitalism”
      – Judi Bari,
      principal organiser of Earth First!
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the
      industrialized civilizations collapse?
      Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”
      – Maurice Strong,
      founder of the UN Environment Programme
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      “A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the
      United States. De-development means bringing our
      economic system into line with the realities of
      ecology and the world resource situation.”
      – Paul Ehrlich,
      Professor of Population Studies
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      • There is something going on in some areas of ecology that may have an influence, SOMEDAY. Part of the science application is the seemingly logical ecosystem management idea, but it may be turning out that the original wildlife management concept is closer to reality. The reason is that in the ecosystem concept there still are winners and losers, which is not well understood by the mainstream. Nevertheless, this understanding has been around for a long time. Pure ecosystem management creeps into nativism, maybe because the engineering gene (and others) is hard to kill and understanding evolution still has a long way to go, even (especially?) in academia.

      • All these people calling for socialism must not be aware of the environmental differences between Socialist East Germany and West Germany before communism collapsed there. Now we can look at Venezuela as an example of the greatness of the socialist revolutions (/sarc).

        • Like all the other failures of socialism are ignored.
          They are convinced that this time, under their management, it’s going to work.

        • Posted in 2015 and earlier.

          http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/07/04/2c-or-not-2cthat-is-the-question/#comment-1978813

          Agreed rgb.

          For two years I ran an oil project in Kazakstan near Kyzl Orda, on the Syr Darya River – one of the rivers that was diverted to irrigate cotton and rice plantations in the Central Asian Desert, and thus caused the drying-up of the Aral Sea to the west. Poor irrigation practices also caused the destruction by salting-out of plantation fields over large areas. I recall you can see this salination from air and satellite photos.

          The USSR’s spaceport at Baikonur was a located a few hundred km to the west and our oilfields were littered with space junk from failed and successful launches.

          I was also in East Germany in July 1989 just before the Berlin Wall fell – the East Germans did not even treat their (un)sanitary sewage but just dumped it in the rivers, and their coal-fired power plants had no apparent pollution controls for SOx or particulates.

          The Former Soviet Union was and is an environmental disaster.

          The watermelons don’t care, because environmentalism was just a false front to gain political power to implement their failed economic programs.

          Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, provides a history of the rise of eco-extremism, below. Moore says that the far-left political movement effectively annexed the green movement after the fall of the Berlin Wall, when pro-Soviet groups were discredited and needed to find a new power base for their far-left political agenda.

          The extremists have obviously succeeded. Governments, academia, the media and large corporations are all cowed into submission. Leading scientists have been ousted from their universities for speaking and writing the truth. Only a few tenured or retired professors and the occasional renegade dares to speak out, and many use aliases for fear of retaliation.

          I suggest it is time for all those who have been cowed into submission by the bullying of global warming alarmists to grow a pair and stand strong for your convictions.

          After all, there has been no global warming for over 18 years!

          And after all, it is Independence Day in America!

          Regards to all, Allan MacRae

          The Rise of Eco-Extremism
          by Patrick Moore (1994)
          http://www.ecosense.me/index.php/key-environmental-issues/10-key-environmental-issues/208-key-environmental-issues-4

  4. hhmmm – someone should tell Larry Elliott that China has, very possibly, the worst pollution problem of any country on the entire planet.

    And we should learn from them?

    No thanks Larry, I’ll give this brain spark of yours a miss.

  5. I grew up in L.A. in the 60s. I remember when taking a deep breath was a painful proposition but the callouses on my lungs were no match for Beijing air in the early 2,000s. I was sitting in a taxi in a underground parking area and thought the end was nigh because I really could not get enough air. Beijing has mountains to the North like L.A. and just like 1960s L.A. most of the time they were invisible. Central planning in China still has a few wrinkles to work out.

    • Rick, I lived in San Gabriel during the 1950’s & 1960’s. I remember going to watch my cousin’s Pop Warner football games and we couldn’t see the other end of the field because of the smog.

  6. and slavery is just ‘directed freedom’?
    the attack on the word ‘capitalism’ is meant to devalue the meaning by inflation.
    the same thing was done with ‘rights’ – with rights of this, that and the other- and even animals.
    (hint: there are the rights of the individual, period. there is nobody who can own rights except an individual human person.)
    by devaluing a concept, it makes it difficult to perform logic with it.
    logic is the distinguishing characteristic of reason.
    so no, there are no varieties of capitalism any more than there are varieties of liberty.
    it is or it ain’t. this is a binary distinction.
    capitalism is a system of trade whose distinguishing characteristic is ownership.
    (clue 2: there is no such thing as public property because there is no such thing as collective ownership.
    ownership means exclusive control. there is nobody who can own anything but an individual human person. exclusive means if it ain’t yours- keep your selfie hooks off it)

    capitalism is based on respect for the right of every individual’s ownership of that which he produces.

    what you have in china is a variety of socialism. the distinguishing characteristic of socialism is the individual is sacrificed to his neighbors by other neighbors. it is cannibalism on the installment plan.

    • It’s a little more complicated than that. Who owns the air? Who owns the oceans? National parks? All capitalist economies have some collective ownership, and collective rights.

      • not complicated – and i just described the nature of your confusion.
        if some air is unclaimed, go for it. if some ocean is unclaimed plant your flag.
        this is how a territorial claim has always been established and even the lowest chordate does it the same way. it’s practically instinctive.

        there is no such thing as collective ownership.

        public means that no individual may own it
        but some individual will demand to be paid to exercise HIS control over it in your name…lol
        or did you think collectives have no individuals running the show?

        there is no such thing as collective rights.
        if, however, you believe you belong to some other person- or tribe- if you repudiate self possession- there’s a question to wrestle with.
        by voluntarily sacrificing your own rights, does that rather suicical act make you no longer worthy of ethical consideration? does it not, in fact, make you something less than human?

        • “if some ocean is unclaimed plant your flag.”

          How do you do that even 100 meters from the shoreline? You are going to tie yourself in knots trying to argue that there is NO common ownership of anything.

        • “not complicated – and i just described the nature of your confusion.
          if some air is unclaimed, go for it. if some ocean is unclaimed plant your flag.”

          Absolute nonsense. All air is shared, you can’t claim it. So I take it you are ok with Country A emitting billions of tons of noxious emissions, which then circulate and mix with the air over your country?

          • i have tanks of it. i have lungs full of it.
            will you try to steal it from me?
            do you even dispute my ownership?
            if you do, then would you have any right to complain if somebody suffocates you?
            think a little sometime. i’m not the idiot whisperer.

            what do you think might happen if you crap in my yard?
            do you think i have a claim of damages that i might enforce?

            sharing…lol – that’s what you call it when you take it without earning it, right?

          • The air space directly above national borders.

            National airspace is an excellent objection to Chris’ argument that “[a]ll air is shared, you can’t claim it.” Sovereign nations certainly may, and as far as I know, all sovereign nations do make such a claim.

          • reading with better comprehension i think i have mistaken mr patrick’s comment, so i’m sorry for that.

        • I understand your point, but that really does leave us with the survival of the fittest scenario. Ironically, if civilisation collapses, that is exactly where we’ll find ourselves, and it will be every person for themselves. It won’t be pretty, and the fiercest, or most cunning or most powerful or most ruthless will take the resources. I think the underlying premise of capitalism, which is competition, is the best fit with the way the ‘natural’ world works, but there are trade offs there, too. Even plants and animals demonstrate co-operative resource sharing (even between different species). I think when an organism becomes overburdened with parasites (like the left) it dies. And this is what the left fails to recognise. The parasite, in staking claim to a piece of the capitalist’s bounty or the State’s or the next door neighbour’s, is nevertheless competing with OTHER parasites for a piece of the host. Hierarchies are inevitable. This is what leftists obsessed with equality and diversity and free rides, JUST DON’T GET!!! The tape worm still has to fight the other tape worm for a spot! Or else do what they’re told by their tape worm overlords, and accept what they’re given. That’s why the left are largely stupid, clueless, unintelligent hypocrites. People on the right are not, because they accept hierarchies and competition as the natural state of man and nature. Equality is an ever receding mirage, until you end at zero.

          • it’s a terrible temptation to generalize but generalization requires one to ignore the individual case.
            herein lies the rub: every case is an individual case when you are dealing with individuals.
            so you have to count people one by one. collective nouns will not help and probably will confound any such effort- yet reality requires it.
            if something does not look ‘black and white’, then the observer has not yet resolved it to the dots. (i know, metaphors suck. sorry.)

            it should be noted, perhaps, that a thief, by definition, does not respect the right of ownership. therefore he can not claim it for himself either.
            you can not steal from a thief. a parasite has no rights.

          • Ryan- if only you had an abundance of thoughts…you might actually not believe the lies you do forever

            fixed it for ya there, our little watermelon miscrient

          • I didn’t say that; I’m not sure how you got that from my comment. I was saying the opposite. My tongue-in-cheek reference to tape worms was about socialism/communism. I think a tape worm is a nice analogy for a socialist/communist. I mean, the ultimate aim of communism is to make everybody indistinguishable from everybody else. Could you tell the difference between one parasitic tapeworm, and another? 🙂 When everybody is ‘equal’ and competition is disallowed, limited resources can only be allocated on the whims of the Tape Worm in Chief. The reality is ‘equality’ and ‘inclusivity’ is impossible. I was saying the opposite – that transactions in a free market are not purely competitive; they are co-operative, and that even in a socialist economy, competition is inevitable, because all resources are finite. That’s why they ALWAYS devolve into authoritarianism; it is built into the system.

          • Sylvia, here:

            “if civilisation collapses, that is exactly where we’ll find ourselves, and it will be every person for themselves”

    • One minor nit gnomish, assemblages of people, have the same rights that the individuals in the assembly have.

      I have a freedom of speech. If I get together with a few hundred of my friends and we pool our money, we as a group have the same free speech rights that we as individuals do.
      It’s not that corporations have rights, it’s that the individuals who make up the corporation don’t lose their individual rights just because they joined together.

      Likewise, groups of individuals do not gain any rights that individuals do not have.

  7. Many comments on the also article call for authoritarianism to ‘fix’ the problem. This from a paper which regularly warns about the dangers of the right and the rise of fascism! I guess it’s not fascism if the left is running the show, because they’re ‘good’? These people are completely lacking in self-awareness and choose to be belligerently ignorant of scientific facts, reality, and the lessons from history. The Guardian censors facts when they get in the way of their delusions and propaganda.

    • The claims of fascism is a misdirection, a false-flag operation.

      Any doubt is erased by the Left’s calls to limit Conservatives and climate skeptics their free speech on the 21st century internet…
      because burning books is so 1930’s.

      • The list is growing, and it’s amazing who they’re targeting. I believe even PragerU has had videos pulled, and they’re hardly right wing extremists! People like Jordan Peterson and Richard Lindzen have done presentations for them. It’s sinister. People are now moving off YouTube and Google to other platforms.

        • avoid Vimeo as well! they censored Alex Jones as well.

          this will spell the death of MSM and left wing journalism. once these youth are exposed to logic, it eventually takes hold.
          Save for those seriously indoctrinated like Ryan, Chris, Mosher, etc.. those human haters will never repent

    • Problem with the Left is they wouldn’t recognise fascism if the stood shoulder to shoulder in support and Tweeted its virtues.

      The Left are actually very supportive of the idea of fascism because they believe the only way to bring about their view of universal fairness is to just bring in enough regulation (with them regulating the regulations of course, as only THEY are smart enough to be in charge) and the best way to bring in regulations is to fully control the state.

      What they fear is not a totalitarian state, but a state rallying around a national identity and rejecting their vision. Remember that for most Lefties they are incapable of accepting a dissenting view. They honestly believe that everything would be better if THEY were in charge as only THEY have the skills and knowledge. To accept that someone else might be equally clever would destroy their entire world view about their self importance and force them to question their entire lives. Since they refuse to do so they simply take the easy path and reject everything and everyone who dares to disagree.

      By comparison a Right doesn’t automatically want to be in charge. They want to be better and be happy. Sometimes they want to better their group, sometimes just themselves. Being a Right doesn’t automatically make you a saint. What it does make you is open to other ideas as the best way to judge what is ‘better’ is to observe what others are doing. Copy the bits that work, change the bits that don’t. Lift your game and by extension, raise the bar for everyone else.

      It’s not a perfect system, as some people are not good at playing the game and can get left behind with the now higher bar, but that constant desire to be better improves the base line. Face it, if you had the choice would you live in a blue collar 2018 house, or a chieftain’s hut in 650?

      Capitalism for the win.

          • Says who? And who cares about ivory tower definitions, what matters is what works best for not only companies, but also the citizens. If you think unbridled capitalism is best, you should take a time machine back to the early part of the 20th century. You’d love it – polluted environment, companies hiring thugs to beat up workers who had the gall to ask for better working conditions and pay. But hey, the companies made tons of money and the CEOs made fortunes. That’s all that matters, right?

          • That unbridled capitalism also generated the wealth which allowed Europe and the US to clean up the environment.

            The environmental record of the Soviet Union is hardly wonderful.

          • Yeah, but then you had to bring in environmental regulations to clean things up, because unbridled capitalism wasn’t environmentally sustainable. Turns out that the free market did need to controlled in some manner.

          • Turns out that the free market did need to controlled in some manner.

            Don’t you contradict yourself, Philip? As far as I’m aware, the most rampant pollution that currently exists on the planet is found in Communist China. If the free market is directly responsible for pollution, why then isn’t command/control the answer to it?

          • sycomputing,
            The answer to your question is that, in a Constitutional Republic, The People have enough power to force changes that impact their life style. Whereas, the Chinese people don’t have that power! So, Capitalism is not responsible for a cleaner environment, it is the fact that elected representatives are answerable to the electorate, and not the corporations. That results in legislation that restrains corporations from doing anything they want without regard to the consequences. We have a principle that one’s rights extend only so far as they infringe on the rights of others. So, if a corporation poisons my air or drinking water, I have the right to take them to court to force them to stop. Under Chinese government, the best one can do is stand in front of a tank and hope that it doesn’t keep going.

          • The answer to your question is that, in a Constitutional Republic, The People have enough power to force changes that impact their life style.

            By your answer, Clyde, it would appear you’ve bought Philip’s premise that the free-market is directly responsible for pollution. But then you argue the reverse, i.e., “The People” have enough power in our system to demand or in some cases, make changes on their own.

            So you seem to be saying that the free market is both responsible and not responsible for pollution at the same time. In that case, don’t you make the same conceptual mistake as Philip?

          • sycomputing,

            You misunderstand, willfully or otherwise. Since the goal of Capitalism is to make a profit, there is little or no incentive to spend money on things that don’t maximize profit. Particularly, when a company is publicly traded, the share holders expect management to do everything possible to make a quarterly profit. They might well complain if a company spent money it wasn’t required to do legally.

            You confuse the “free market,” which is how companies do business, with the self interest of the consumers. In the end, companies have little incentive to be concerned about pollution unless it affects the ‘bottom line.’ However, if people in general object to pollution, they can pressure their legislators to pass laws to force the companies to spend some of their potential profit to reduce pollution.

            Thus, a compromise is found where the company provides goods and services that people want to buy, at an affordable price, and the consumer forces them to keep pollution to a tolerable level. Totalitarian regimes, whether socialistic or quasi-capitalistic, are immune from such public pressure and that is why China and Eastern Bloc countries have such horrible pollution. The will of the people is ignored.

          • Thus, a compromise is found where the company provides goods and services that people want to buy, at an affordable price, and the consumer forces them to keep pollution to a tolerable level.

            And here you make my point for me, thereby contradicting yours and Philip’s premise that the free market is responsible for pollution. It can’t be both at the same time, Clyde.

            Because free consumers are integral to the free market, that market must include both business and consumers, not just business alone, as you claim. You and Philip are blaming the system when the system itself isn’t the problem. It can’t be because the system isn’t in control of anything.

            Totalitarian regimes, whether socialistic or quasi-capitalistic, are immune from such public pressure and that is why China and Eastern Bloc countries have such horrible pollution. The will of the people is ignored.

            Right. That’s the beauty of free markets as opposed to authoritarian markets. The free market controls nothing, therefore it has no authority. If it has no authority, it has no control. If it has no control, it cannot be accused of anything (like causing pollution) other than being an impartial arbiter as to who wins or loses in the game of business.

            Human beings are in control, however, and therefore only they can and should be held responsible for willful and negligent acts related to polluting the environment. The objective evidence of this truth is that pollution happens in both free and controlled markets.

            Blaming the system is a convenient Straw Man attack that Progressives and other anti-Corporate types use to attack the idea of free markets for reasons other than pollution. Such an attack is specious, but only surface-wise. Because it’s also a logical fallacy, it should be rejected by rational individuals.

          • Clyde, I can see that you have never actually worked for a company.
            I can assure you that businessmen concentrate as much on the long term as they do this quarter’s profit.

            Like most victims of the modern school system, you have been trained to believe that all business people are unfeeling automatons with no connection with the rest of humanity.

            People who run companies live in the same world as do the rest of us, when it’s polluted, it hurts them as well.
            Beyond that all business people care about anything that their customers and employees care about. If they don’t, they won’t have any of either.

            If you believe that the only form of public pressure is via the ballot box, then you have never spent any time in the real world.

          • MarkW,

            You said, “I can see that you have never actually worked for a company.”

            I formerly had a high opinion of your remarks. Considering that you are making an assumption without any basis, I’ll have to consider your future remarks in that light.

            I worked my way through college working for Lockheed MSC in Sunnyvale (CA), and retired from Ball Aerospace and Technologies. So, contrary to your unsupported assumption, I do actually have experience working for real companies. Mileage may vary with the individual, but my takeaway way was that I was always surprised at how incompetent management was. It was as though they were working hard to prove the Peter Principle. It always struck me that there seemed to be a certain threshold of size where it became difficult to fail. You see, during my career, I also worked for smaller companies, such as a division of a Fortune 500 company, and a startup funded by Boeing. They weren’t too large to fail when the main corporation decided they had sunk enough money into them.

            I suggest that you stick to forming opinions about things that you actually have some experience with, or are in a position to verify. Otherwise, someone might mistake you for a climatologist.

          • To these people, every private enterprise is owned by a Luten Plunder and needs to be chaperoned by the State Planeteers and their hero Captain Regulation.

            The possibility that private enterprises would undertake pollution reduction measures on their own, and would do it faster and better without a government nanny looking over their shoulders, because sh**ing in your own bed is not a sound long-term business strategy, never occurs to them.

          • Companies had already begun to clean up the environment. For two reasons:
            1) Business owners aren’t the monsters most socialists believe them to be.
            2) Their customers and employees wanted it.

          • Try examining the real history Phillip. The environment began to clean up long before government got into the act.
            Beyond that, the most polluted places in the country were also those places that had the most government.
            It was government that suspended riparian rights at the behest of major contributors.

          • MarkW,

            I wish it were so, but my experience is that businesses are typically too short-sighted to see the importance of sacrificing some profits for anything long-term other than building out their infrastructure or markets. If it can be shown that investing in a new technology will increase the efficiency and profits, management will approve it.

            I attended junior high school in the San Fernando Valley (north of Los Angeles) in the late 1950s. There were times when the smog was so bad that I could barely see the houses on the other side of the street from the playground. I frequently had sinus infections and heartburn from the smog. Things got even worse during the 60s. Fortunately, by then, I was living in the Santa Clara Valley, and it wasn’t yet as bad as the San Fernando Valley had been. It wasn’t until the state of California stepped in during the ’70s and demanded smog control devices (like recirculating crank case fumes through the engine), and later, catalytic converters, that things started to improve. It never occurred to Detroit to do those things on their own simply because it would earn the goodwill of the consumers or add years to their lives.

            Another anecdote: When I was in graduate school, I went to the San Jose Water Works to ask permission to sample their deep wells to see if mercury from the gravels in the re-charge ponds adjacent to the New Almaden Quicksilver District was making its way into the drinking water for the valley. They had never tested for it! So much for community responsibility.

            Look at how ‘responsive’ Microsoft is to the complaints about their products! You live in a fantasy world.

          • wow. this is your lucky day! i’m really stoked to shatter ur bliss!
            ‘to make money’ is a uniquely American expression.
            it derives from the epiphany that wealth is produced!
            i want you to write that on the blackboard 1000 times.
            this is important because it means life is not a zero sum or negative sum game where the only way you can have something is by taking it from somebody else.

            i know it may seem complicated, but the thing to remember is:
            capitalism permits the wealth you so envy.
            if you want some- come and make it. if you won’t do that, it is clear that you must subsist on swindle and scam – pillage and rapine being too demanding for soibois.

            those ‘exploited’ by capitalism got 40 years of extra life free- as a bonus for living during the renaissance that first comprehended the rights of man and gave birth to it. life got that easy when rights were respected and people were not leashed.

            trade, you see, is entirely different from theft.
            if you trade value for value, you grant that others have rights to their own property. because you never trade something of greater value to you for something of lesser value, everybody profits! profit is not loot, you see.
            words have definitions so we can tell about these ivory tower abstractions- it’s what cognition is all about. reason can’t be plucked off the neighbor’s vine when he’s away, see?

            capitalism freed the serfs, and oh, how the old lords hated it.
            they still have their housebois, tho. *lookin at you*

          • What works best has never been socialism.
            Socialism works great for those who run it, which is why those who want to run it are always in favor of it.

            PS: I really love how Chris actually believes that the ignorant stereotypes that he thinks in are accurate reflections of reality.

            It was capitalism that created the wealth and the devices to clean up the environment. Poor places are always polluted.

            The only people who got beat up, were those who were illegally occupying factories in order to force even those who didn’t agree with them to participate in the strike.

            As always, Chris is most upset that there are people who are permitted to have more than he does.

          • I’m a little surprised at the number of down votes Chris received. After all, we have a Constitution that limits the power of the federal government and a Bill of Rights that provides rights and protections for the individual. Isn’t it reasonable that corporations should similarly be restrained? Aristotle defined virtue as the arithmetic mean of two vices. That is, “Moderation in all things.” So, neither anarchy or totalitarianism are desirable — rather, something in between. That doesn’t strike me as such an extreme idea.

          • Government has the power to force people to do what they do not want to do.
            No corporation has such power. Nobody is forced to buy from a corporation. Nobody is forced to work for a corporation.
            So no, corporations do not need the restraints that are necessary for government.

          • MarkW,

            You said, “… corporations do not need the restraints that are necessary for government”

            The history of anti-trust actions against monopolies disagrees with your claim. The history of suits against companies polluting streams says otherwise. I could go on, but I’m sure you’re smart enough to think of examples yourself.

          • The fact that government has acted against big business is proof that government needs to act against big business.

            Yet another glorious example of your eager use of circular logic.

            Monopolies can only exist when government enforces them. None, not a single one, of the companies broken up using anti-trust was a monopoly, not even close. In every single case, the companies were broken up at the behest of major contributors to powerful politicians.

            As to being smart enough to think, I wish you would.

          • well, this is why definitions are important, isn’t it?
            do you yield the concept of gender to those who obliterate the definition 57 different ways or do you stick to a self consistent and invariant definition?
            if you insist on consistency, people are likely to be able to find the sense in what you say.
            if you use a rubber ruler, who can trust your measurements? (i put a quarter in the metaphor jar, ok?)

            my point is this:
            virtue is the means by which one gains or keeps something of value to himself. vice is the means by which values are sacrificed.
            sacrifice is the exchange of something of greater value for something of lesser value.

            those definitions will make it a lot easier for you to parse reality.

          • Gnomish- moral relativism. you can smell it a mile away. This all relates to the ancient texts about the fight between good and evil, those axiomatic truths the left so vehemently despises. They are the most egregious offenders, the most rotten hypocrites!

            This war has been waging forever, and will never end. I’m starting to see some validity in the works of Daniel and Revelation, as it references current affairs. Socialism, government, etc, external authority through the abdication of personal responsibility is Satanism.
            Moral relativism is Satanism. Unrestrained hedonism. cultural decay. misanthropy. resentment. low hanging fruit that rots the soul. the easy way out because they can justify any action. inconsistent.

            Moral absolutism or objective morality is goodness, consistency, responsibility, the hard road, the more rewarding path in the long run, unyielding, strong, worthy of defending, etc.

            This is the tired old story of humanity. Two types of people, those who want to be left alone and those who refuse to leave them alone. Guess which party almost always refuses to leave others alone.

          • One thing I’ve noticed; Those who whine the loudest about definitions, are usually those who are trying to hide something.

          • Isn’t it reasonable that corporations should similarly be restrained?

            Corporations are people too!

            🙂

            See Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1818), Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts v. Town of Pawlet (1823), Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific (1886), etc.

          • Corporations are made up of people, they have same rights as do the people that make them up.
            Governments are made up of people, they have no rights that the people themselves do not have.

          • “Isn’t it reasonable that corporations should similarly be restrained?”
            the 14th amendment gave rise to our current infestation of crony capitalism, or Corporatism/fascism, which absolutely exists. Corporations are not persons and it was a disgusting collusionary amendment, a treasonous attack on the individuals of this nation.

            Capitalism is one thing only: respecting private property rights. What follows from that is the respect for the non-aggression principle, basically don’t steal others property. The moment government lays claim to legitimacy to control private property, it ceases to be private property and is now ultimately controlled by the government. The same is with capitalism. We haven’t had a capitalist society for over 100 years, since the Rockefellers and major international banking families began writing the rules to prevent fair competition. And if you think what I’m saying is nonsense, go spend some time researching history. It is not up to me to educate you in the real history of America.

            All of you watermelons talking about the ills of capitalism don’t know shi* from shinola about how government really operates, or why big business is so big. News flash folks: it is because of government! Your desires for centralized control create the very bloated corporations you despise. Too big to fail? Remember that?
            The Federal Reserve? which is neither federal nor reserved, its quasi-privately owned banking cartel that was absolutely essential for the bankers to inject socialism aka The New Deal, on the beaten down public of the great depression. think I’m making stuff up? Do your daggone homework.

            The list is endless. Statism, the world over, throughout history, is responsible for the most theft, destruction, death, rape, and deceit. Not religions, not corporations which were originally temporary charters to complete tasks (which I oppose because of the 14th amendment), not individuals. The state. period. FOR ALL TIME.

            so seriously, socialists, shut the hell up because you are ignorant and your opinions, based on fanciful lies you stupidly bought into, are baseless and you have not the authority to comment on that which you haven’t investigated with honest intent. Seriously. Stop interfering with the lives of others and take the damn log out of your own eyes!

          • Honest liberty. So you believe that people lose their rights when they incorporate? By declaring that corporations don’t have the right to protect their property, you have violated the prime directive.

          • Moderation in all things, including moderation.

            Believing that the right answer or solution is always in the middle between two extremes is Golden Mean Fallacy. Or in baser language, Dog Poop Yoghurt Fallacy.

          • ‘take a time machine back to the early part of the 20th century’

            … and take that time machine back and take a look at the rest of the world while you’re at it.

          • Zactly.

            ‘Capitalism’ is Marx’s pejorative of free enterprise. Managed and directed free enterprise is both ignorant and stupid.

        • With the highest electricity prices and the 3rd highest income taxes and the absolute highest tax revenue as a % of GDP of a whopping 51% in the world. No!!!!! not for me.
          Glad I dont live there. If the taxes are that high and given that they are in the EU the regulations must be suffocating.

        • Denmark can afford to give away free stuff because it doesn’t have much of a military defense. 20,000 active troops and 117 aircraft. They are relying on the capitalist U.S .of A to protect them..

          • Maybe Trump needs to start charging fees for all the policing of international waters that the US Navy currently does for free. Piracy didn’t end with the Age of Sail, you know.

        • Socialism is impossible. You cannot have the government own 100% of the capital assets of a country and still have free and open elections. China’s socialism is “only” 67% and they as yet have been unable to have free and open elections. The best you can do is Denmark which has the highest ratio of taxes to GDP of 51%. However since Denmark is part of the EU which is run by a cadre of unelected officials, even Denmark doesnt really have a 51% socialist state.

      • Increasingly I think leftism is a form of mental illness. I think there is a lot of narcissism involved, because they want to control everyone, whereas libertarians seek freedom for themselves and everybody else.

        • I think it’s a bit subtler than that, Sylvia. I like the r/K explanation for its predictive abilities. Leftists are “r” strategists, and the easiest way to imagine what that means is to picture them as rabbits – not mentally ill, but chaotic, focused on consuming resources and reproducing as fast as possible, pooping all over the place, with no thought of kinship, planning for the future, owning things, stewardship, etc. (Hence their desire for open borders, communal ownership of all resources, etc.) Rabbits are very successful at what they do, so they’re clearly not mentally ill, but you won’t find them building cities or going to the moon any time soon. This behaviour pattern in humans seems to be associated with an underdeveloped amygdala, so it’s probably best to think of them as children rather than mental patients.

          Rightists, on the other hand, are “K” strategists, like wolves – carefully guarded family units, strategic hunting and killing for food when necessary, with great effort devoted to social hierarchies, border defense, raising a few young, and planning for their future. They’re the ones you want in charge, of course 🙂

  8. Capitalism and private property are the enemy of those want to save the world, or is that, rule the world.

    SIX ISSUES THAT ARE AGENDA 21

    “We must make this an insecure and inhospitable place for capitalists and their projects. We must reclaim the roads and plowed lands, halt dam construction, tear down existing dams, free shackled rivers and return to wilderness millions of acres of presently settled land.” Dave Foreman, (Earth First).

    https://americanpolicy.org/2016/05/10/six-issues-agenda-21/

    • Colorado parks and wildlife is shutting down all camping within 100 ft of water, near roads, and all points of easy acres for car camping.
      Their claim? Humans running the drinking water by shitting all over the place. Fire bans and no shooting even though bullets don’t start fires, save for tracers. As usual, the people buy into the narrative, never being able to see the great picture.
      This is agenda 21/2030 in action.
      I’m currently investigating their claims about drinking water and human feces. I’m demanding their evidence and I’m investigating water treatment standards in clear Creek county. These campsites have been fine for decades and packed during summer and fall that whole time.
      People need to start using force to defend their rights against theft through fines.

      Gnomish vindicated- national Forest and BLM is our land collectively, supposedly, yet the service in charge keeps shutting down access

      • You will find their claims likely substantiated by water quality tests. I’ve been involved with a few developers that went all in and paid for significant (DNA) testing to refute the high e-coli claims.

        Findings were that birds are responsible for almost all poops. followed by other creatures (including dogs; not ag area, so no cows). there were no contributions from the septic tanks that were the claimed culprits.

        My guess is that you would find no human DNA e-coli samples in the tested creeks/rivers. (but somebody has to pay for the proof).

    • P. J. O’Rourke asks this question in his economic treatise Eat the Rich.

      His theory (from memory) is that Scandinavian socialism is not the total disaster it would be if attempted elsewhere because all the lazy Scandinavians long since died out from exposure, when they failed to work hard and put aside enough to survive the winter. They work hard even when there is no real incentive to do so.

      Though he points out that maybe we don’t see the damage – perhaps Ikea would be selling furniture on the moon if Scandinavians allowed themselves to unleash their full potential.

    • With the highest electricity prices and the 3rd highest income taxes and the absolute highest tax revenue as a % of GDP of a whopping 51% in the world. No!!!!! not for me.
      Glad I dont live there. If the taxes are that high and given that they are in the EU the regulations must be suffocating.

      • Yes, they must be poor and miserable… So why are they so wealthy and happy?

        What, with all that free education and health care.. Shouldn’t they be broke? How do they manage to have one of the highest levels of income equality?

        Have a look at this: https://www.demos.org/blog/10/20/15/united-states-vs-denmark-17-charts

        If their system is so bad, then how do they manage those figures? The US actually has a higher per capita income than Denmark, so how do you explain Denmark’s prosperity while maintaining that their system is bad and you wouldn’t want to live there?

        • Why not compare Denmark to Danes in the United States instead of countries as a whole? I found this passage from a 2016 op-ed by Tyler Cowen illuminating:

          Nima Sanandaji, a Swedish policy analyst and president of European Centre for Entrepreneurship and Policy Reform, has recently published a book called “Debunking Utopia: Exposing the Myth of Nordic Socialism.” And while the title may be overstated, his best facts and figures are persuasive.

          For instance, Danish-Americans have a measured living standard about 55 percent higher than the Danes in Denmark. Swedish-Americans have a living standard 53 percent higher than the Swedes, and Finnish-Americans have a living standard 59 percent higher than those back in Finland. Only for Norway is the gap a small one, because of the extreme oil wealth of Norway, but even there the living standard of American Norwegians measures as 3 percent higher than in Norway. And that comparison is based on numbers from 2013, when the price of oil was higher, so probably that gap has widened.

          Of the Nordic groups, Danish-Americans have the highest per capita income, clocking in at $70,925. That compares with a U.S. per capita income of $52,592, again the numbers being from 2013. Sanandaji also notes that Nordic-Americans have lower poverty rates and about half the unemployment rate of their relatives across the Atlantic.

          Now, the op-ed goes on to say that there may be a selection effect involved here, as “Nordic immigrants to the U.S. probably came from the better trained, more literate and more ambitious segments of the population.” It may well be better to be a poor Dane in Denmark than in the United States. “A small country with higher ethnic homogeneity and with only a few concentrated population centers usually can provide higher levels of social insurance without experiencing the level of system abuse that might occur in the U.S.”

          It’s also easy to overstate Denmark’s interference with capitalism. “Conservatives should note that when it comes to regulatory efficiency and business freedom, Denmark has a considerably higher score than does the U.S., at least according to the Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom.” (This was in 2016, before Trump’s regulatory rollbacks, so more recent rankings may have narrowed the gap.)

          But the bottom line is that if Danes in America are better off than Danes in Denmark, there’s no inherent reason to think that Danes in Demark are better off than the average American because of their *government*.

          If you value “highest level of income equality” over “higher per capita income”, as you obviously do, then socialism may certainly be appealing to you. As Churchill is supposed to have said, capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings, socialism is the equal sharing of miseries. For my part, I don’t consider “income inequality” a factor at all, I am only concerned about “opportunity inequality”. America isn’t perfect there, but I’ve seen no evidence that socialist states in general are better.

          • Dale many thanks for this…can’t seem to find the op ed. Would you mind passing along a link?

          • Wouldn’t have anything to do with Danes being well educated and healthy when they arrive in the US, at an advantage over the average US born person would it?

          • …at an advantage over the average US born person would it?

            That isn’t what he said, Philip.

            What he said was, Danes in the U.S. do better than Danes in Denmark: “For instance, Danish-Americans have a measured living standard about 55 percent higher than the Danes in Denmark.”

          • sycomputing said:

            “That isn’t what he said, Philip.

            What he said was, Danes in the U.S. do better than Danes in Denmark: “For instance, Danish-Americans have a measured living standard about 55 percent higher than the Danes in Denmark.””

            Right, so they grow up with the benefits of excellent free education and health care, and are well prepared for well paid high tech jobs, and then they move to a state with lower taxes.

            All the benefits while growing up and studying that are provided by the state in return for high tax rates, and then the benefits of lower taxes and competing with a less well educated population when they move to the US.

          • Right, so they grow up with the benefits of excellent free education and health care, and are well prepared for well paid high tech jobs, and then they move to a state with lower taxes.

            But now it would seem you’ve contradicted your original argument:

            “Yes, they must be poor and miserable… So why are they so wealthy and happy?”

            and this after you’ve cited some economic figures:

            “If their system is so bad, then how do they manage those figures? The US actually has a higher per capita income than Denmark, so how do you explain Denmark’s prosperity while maintaining that their system is bad and you wouldn’t want to live there?

            Why would the Danish system be so much better than ours, only for the beneficiary’s of that system to move to the U.S. as soon as they could (or so it would appear you argue), in your words to “move to a state with lower taxes”? Don’t you contradict yourself?

          • sycomputing said:

            “But now it would seem you’ve contradicted your original argument:”

            You’re assuming that the only reason to move to another country is to escape a bad life.

            “Why would the Danish system be so much better than ours, only for the beneficiary’s of that system to move to the U.S. as soon as they could (or so it would appear you argue), in your words to “move to a state with lower taxes”? Don’t you contradict yourself?”

            No. It’s very simple. If you grow up in Denmark you get the benefits of good education and health care, and it doesn’t matter if your parents are wealthy or not. Everyone gets a good start. If one of those people then moves to a society with lower taxes, like the US, they still keep the advantage they gained by being well educated and in good health, but they no longer have to pay the taxes that supported them as they grew up.

            Denmark isn’t emptying. There is no mass exodus. If I recall correctly around 23,000 out of a population of 17 million live in other countries, mostly other Nordic countries.

          • You’re assuming that the only reason to move to another country is to escape a bad life.

            It’s your argument, not mine. I’m not assuming anything except that which you’ve offered as true premises.

            Philip, you appear to be all over the place. First, Danes are “so wealthy and happy” in Denmark that they’re leaving their families, their culture, their history, i.e., all they’ve ever known, including all that wealth, happiness and great health care for the sole reason of lower tax rates. Seems rather disparaging to describe American Danes as being such greedy, selfish buggers.

            But then you contradict yourself again. Danes are leaving, then they aren’t: “Denmark isn’t emptying. There is no mass exodus.”

            And then you contradict yourself a third time. Danes are coming to the US for lower tax rates, then they aren’t: “If I recall correctly around 23,000 out of a population of 17 million live in other countries, mostly other Nordic countries.”

            I’ll be taking my leave now.

            Take care!

          • sycomputing said:

            “It’s your argument, not mine. I’m not assuming anything except that which you’ve offered as true premises.

            Philip, you appear to be all over the place. First, Danes are “so wealthy and happy” in Denmark that they’re leaving their families, their culture, their history, i.e., all they’ve ever known, including all that wealth, happiness and great health care for the sole reason of lower tax rates. Seems rather disparaging to describe American Danes as being such greedy, selfish buggers.

            But then you contradict yourself again. Danes are leaving, then they aren’t: “Denmark isn’t emptying. There is no mass exodus.”

            And then you contradict yourself a third time. Danes are coming to the US for lower tax rates, then they aren’t: “If I recall correctly around 23,000 out of a population of 17 million live in other countries, mostly other Nordic countries.”

            I’ll be taking my leave now.

            Take care!”

            “for the sole reason of lower tax rates. ”

            I never said that. Those words are yours.

            “Danes are coming to the US for lower tax rates, then they aren’t”

            I never said that. Those words are yours.

            How exactly did making an argument for why Danes do well in the US become a claim about why they moved? The claim that it must be about lower taxes is all on you.

            Either quote the bit where I link lower taxes to why they emigrated or quit this nonsense.

            If I tell you I moved from New South Wales to Queensland, and I tell you that it is cheaper to register your car there, do you say the reason I moved there for the cheaper car registration?

            You don’t know that.

          • Well it appears I made an invalid assumption, Philip. My apologies. But some of the responsibility for the confusion would seem to lie at your feet. I specifically stated the following on August 18 at 1:30PM:

            “Why would the Danish system be so much better than ours, only for the beneficiary’s of that system to move to the U.S. as soon as they could (or so it would appear you argue), in your words to “move to a state with lower taxes”? Don’t you contradict yourself?”

            You had ample opportunity to object to the bolded part before now, but you didn’t until this last comment?

            Sorry for any misunderstanding!

            Take care!

          • If this means that we can have honest discussions in good faith, then I don’t particularly care about blame.

            I’ll take an honest man who believes I’m completely wrong about everything if they argue in good faith, over someone who is full of it but tells me what I want to hear.

          • If this means that we can have honest discussions in good faith…

            We will always be able!

            I’ll take an honest man who believes I’m completely wrong about everything…over someone who is full of it but tells me what I want to hear.

            So far I believe you’re wrong about everything, but you’re a brave soul to hang around here and tell me anyway…gotta admire that.

            I’ll never be one tell you anything except that which I believe is the Truth.

            You take it easy buddy…see you around again I’m sure.

            🙂

          • It really is amazing how socialists can ignore reality in an effort to find any excuse to claim that only government can create good.

          • MarkW said:

            “It really is amazing how socialists can ignore reality in an effort to find any excuse to claim that only government can create good.”

            I don’t claim that only government can create good, but I do claim that the highly taxed Danes with a government that has much more control over business than most countries are some of the happiest, healthiest, best educated and most productive people on earth.

          • I love it when alarmists try to think. It’s so amusing.
            1) Please demonstrate that Danes actually are better educated than Americans, rather than just believing they are. Also show that this has been the case for the last 100 years, during which Danes have been immigrating.
            2) Please demonstrate how this alleged better education continues through the 2nd and 3rd generations.

          • Socialist systems can pretend to work as long as there’s an underlying economy they can leech off of.

            When the middle class is squeezed to the last drop by tax and regulation and the flow of Other People’s Money slows to a trickle, you learn in short order why a world of empty buckets and dry faucets can’t function.

          • Each generation, the number of people who discover that they can have an acceptable life style without working grows greater.
            Socialism “works” so long as the number of such leeches remains very small.

            In the early years, there is enough social pressure to make sure that people work when possible. With each succeeding generation, the social pressure lessens.

          • How long do they have to go without going broke before you would have to say “If I was right they should have been broke by now”?

    • Wealthy now, mostly still living off of their capitalist seed corn.
      The consequences of generations living under socialism are creating greater problems every year.

    • Ah Philip. Such a child in mind and sprit

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=X03KETGSV9U

      Sufficiently counters anything you’ve bought into as truth, when in fact it is exactly the opposite.
      Of course you won’t watch it though. Your type isn’t interested in reality, only sophistry to suck up to your overlords. You are weak

      • “Of course you won’t watch it though. Your type isn’t interested in reality, only sophistry to suck up to your overlords. You are weak”

        Well, thanks for your input on my character.

        Your sneering bitterness drips from your tongue in all your interactions with those who disagree with you.

          • Theft and slavery? Are you one of those “sovereign citizen” nutters who equate taxes with theft? Sorry I wasted my time. I won’t trouble you again.

  9. ““People underestimate the power of models. Observational evidence is not very useful” – John Mitchell, Chief Research Scientist British MET”

    At first I thought wow! what a thing for hime to say. But really it all depends what you are trying the achieve. You can make a model support any narrative you like, observations only decribe reality.

    • Yarpos – absolutely right. I thought exactly the same when I read this stunning and disgraceful sentence. This sentence should be copied widely and hung round the climate alarmist community’s neck as an infamous admission of what they have reduced their “science” to.

    • In one sense he’s right. Models can be a wonderful tool for engineering purposes. They are great for contained, well understood, relatively simple, non-chaotic systems. They can be verified and validated and shown to be reliable.

      None of the above describes climate models. John Mitchell is a well educated idiot who’s missing some basic modelling principles, like verification and validation. You can’t verify and validate a model of a very complex chaotic system. What are we left with, the good judgment of scientists? Give me a break. That’s nothing but hubris.

    • Even though fracking has reduced CO2 emissions we skeptics dont really care about that. The real question is the economics. Fracking isnt the saviour that you think it is. It doesnt produce the heavier oil that is needed for many parts of the economy. The US still has to import 53% of its total oil use. However new discoveries off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico may yet turn the US into a super dynamo again.

      • Alan,
        You miss the point completely. I have no illusions of fracking being a ‘savior’ and your allegation to that effect is a blatant falsehood. Heavy oil, light oil, CO2 are all canards. ‘Climate Change’ is a global fraud.

        Lest you miss the point again: ‘Frack’ the fraud known as Climate Change!

  10. Benevolent dictatorship is almost certainly the best form of government there is: the difficulty is finding a benevolent dictator.

      • Can I be one of your flunkies with more power than brains? I promise not to stab you in the back…right away….

      • I’ve always said, if I was in charge, my world would be a fun place… of course there’s a FEW that might have to get tossed in the volcano.

        It’s a short list, but it’s been laminated.

    • Such people exist, people like George Washington, General Cincinnatus of Rome (whom was one of Washington’s heroes), a handful of people through history who wielded absolute power then retired as soon as the work was done.

      Problem is there is no way of knowing ahead of time if someone can be trusted with such power – and most of the time they can’t.

      • Actually I’d say there is no such thing as a benevolent dictator by definition. Because a truly benevolent dictator would immediately step down because there is no way to be a dictator and continue to be benevolent.

      • There’s an account (probably apocryphal) of King George III being informed that Washington planned to resign as commander of the Continental Army and not make himself an American king.

        “Should he do that,” George III allegedly said, “he will be the greatest man in the world.”

        It is not so much that power corrupts. It’s that power brings out who you really are. Many in this world only follow the rules because they fear reprisal by the powerful. Given the chance to become powerful themselves, the masks of civility and virtue quickly crumble.

        But for a select few for whom virtue is not just a mask, power brings out something different, something that in a less cynical world we would call heroic. It can make a farmer the Savior of a Republic. It can make a junior British officer the Father of a Country.

    • And even if you do, what guarantee he or she will find equally benevolent underlings?

      Ulysses S. Grant’s character was impeccable during his presidency, but his Administration was racked by corruption because he was a poor judge of character in others.

  11. “repeated praise of the Chinese system by climate scientists and greens”

    Doesn’t actually happen. I’m making it up.

    “Greens continue to ignore this reality. Greens cling to their failed visions of an authoritarian climate revolution, because they refuse to consider observations which contradict their idealised political models. They cannot accept the possibility that they might be wrong.”

    More – I’m making it up.

      • “Larry Elliott’s view is hardly unique.”

        It’s hardly common either. I’ve never heard anyone express a desire to implement the Chinese system of government in Australia, and I come from a family that involved with the Australian green party. Sure I’ve heard some stuff online… but you can and will hear everything that could ever be conceived if you spend enough time on the intarwebs.

        I have heard people say we could take some tips from Denmark about how to manage and direct capitalism.

        • “Sure I’ve heard some stuff online…” – I said repeated, not ubiquitous.

          Here’s another good one.
          https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/06/08/the-conversation-dictatorships-are-better-climate-custodians-than-democracies/

          The main concern is the people I’ve seen praise the Chinese system are in positions of influence – university Professors, senior media execs like Larry Elliott (Guardian Economics Editor), and the occasional scientist like James Hansen (father of the Global warming scare), etc.

          There are also the attacks on democracy which don’t mention China, and milder demands to somehow “direct” capitalism.

          Praising the Chinese system is maybe less common in Australia, possibly we Aussies feel the presence of our large Northern neighbour more than some other nations.

        • It is sad and very instructive to hear many greens talk negatively about capitalism. Even our own PM of Canada admires the China way of doing things. I meet them everyday. They have been conditioned by the liberal school system which has refused to acknowledge that capitalism is the best system that we have available short of finding benevolent dictators.

          • That’s the only way for the dictator to remain benevolent. As soon as the sheep start publicly disagreeing, then the iron fist has to come out.

    • Even though he provides quotes, he’s still making it up.

      It really must be nice having a brain that is completely impervious to reality as you do.

  12. said:
    “They are not deniers, they are climate-change appeasers. And they are just as dangerously misguided as fascism’s appeasers in the 1930s.”

    Predictably, no mention of the appeasers of communism in the 1930s.

  13. Neither Hitler nor Mussolini collectivized their economies, they just directed the private sector what to do, with no doubt severe repercussions if the private companies did not comply.

    This method of controlling the economy was different from Marxism or the Russian version of it who practiced collectivism in order to meet the same end.

    This “Directed Capitalism” sounds very like National Socialism or Fascism to me, or perhaps if the government wants to micro control the economy, perhaps “collective capitalism” would be a better bet.

    Wow!

    Cheers

    Roger

    http://www.thedemiseofchristchurch.com

  14. I posted this comment on the Guardian article less than an hour ago:
    “What on earth is going on at the Guardian? Why are you letting your economics editor use hate speech? Referring to people who are skeptical about catastrophic anthropogenic global warming as ‘deniers’ and ‘appeasers’ – and comparing them to fascists – is hate speech, pure and simple. You say ‘Please keep comments respectful’. Surely your senior journalists must abide by the same rules.

    By the way, some of these ‘deniers’ are highly-respected and eminent atmospheric scientists with a lifetime’s experience of climatology behind them. This is not the way to conduct a civilised and respectful conversation. This newspaper was the home of James Cameron, Harry Whewell, Jack Rosenthal and others. There is no place for hate speech in the Guardian.”

    It has just been removed because it does not abide by the newspaper’s ‘community guidelines’.

    This is all you need to know about the desperate straits this once fine newspaper is in. By the way, the article and my response to it appear under the paper’s “Comment is free” section. Yes, Guardian. Of course.

    • The Chinese are pretty nifty about removing or blocking online speech they don’t like. Perhaps the Guardian is doing what they can to apply a political model they admire.

    • The Guardian has become remarkably thin-skinned of late. A sign that the tide has turned against its brand of Progressivism?

      • Please let it go bust, please let it go bust, please let it go bust. It does seem to be getting more ridiculous and more dishonest every day. It really is trash.

    • I got censored too. Happens all the time, when you politely undermine their ridiculous BS with actual facts and logic. I also pointed out the vindictiveness of the term ‘denier’ and ‘appeaser’. It really is a cesspool of hate. How they manage to twist things so that polite conservatives presenting rational arguments are the evil ones, is what’s so concerning.

  15. The author of the Guardian article is deluded, he recycles the usual renewable disinformation conflating CO2 emissions and air pollution, claiming China is committed to phasing out coal and that the prices of electricity generated by solar and wind are collapsing.
    Incidentally one of the most successful and according to the Heritage Foundation the freest economy in the world is Hong Kong which was built on an ’Anglo-Saxon’ model.

  16. Maybe someone should explain to Mr. Elliot that “Chinese Capitalism” does not include a “Free Press” !!

    • Given the Guardian’s apparent hostility towards comments which challenge their views on climate change in my opinion they aren’t exactly champions of press freedom.

    • No doubt the Guardian hopes to become one of the official government newspapers.
      They are already playing that role.

  17. I can’t believe what I just read – there are so many contestable assertions and no facts. The author surely wrote that from his bed in the psychiatric ward. No, that’s an insult to the unfortunate souls who are in such wards

    • Nuts! And the comments! Even more nuts! It’s scary to think those people are out in the world and walking around among us. Shiver.

  18. a global carbon tax set high enough so that fossil fuels remain in the ground must be implemented.

    I don’t get this one. If the goal is to ensure that fossil fuels remain in the ground, why do they need a tax of any sort? Wouldn’t a law making it illegal to remove fossil fuels from the ground do a better job? What’s the goal here, keep the fossil fuel in the ground or (nudge nudge wink wink) scoop up a whole pile of tax dollars while pretending to try and keep the stuff in the ground?

  19. The Chinese communist party abandoned marxism in the late 1970’s, has gradually moved towards a hibrid system with centralized control of capitalists and entrepreneurs, which happens to be very close to the german national socialism experiment of the 1930’s. The Guardian has ben controlled by neomarxists for a long time, and therefore its not surprising they are now pedding a national socialist variant such as used in China (which the Castro family is also trying to implement in Cuba).

  20. such comparisons are always approached with a bias.

    Ideologies are compared, not results.

    “The capitalistic West” sank into unemployment and homelessness in 2008 while China went along.

    A big empire like China can not show “the size of the empire” like a cloak covering the ground behind the bearer

    to negotiate with other global players on an equal footing.

    It takes real global players – even if that can be interpreted as trampling on other people.

    • China has no real opposition by foreign governments except for the new sheriff in town Donald Trump.

    • So the fact that the economies of the west temporarily slowed down, while China’s continued to be mediocre, is somehow converted into proof that being mediocre is a good thing?

    • MarkW
      So the fact that the economies of the west temporarily slowed down, while China’s continued to be mediocre, is somehow converted into proof that being mediocre is a good thing?
      ____________________________________________________

      It’s up to you to answer your question. Decide between the 2 alternatives left.
      ____________________________________________________

      Bear in mind: you’re not alone. and: in a democracy everyone has the right for his own mind.

  21. “Democratic government is the worst form of government, except for all the rest.” Winston Churchill.

  22. “People underestimate the power of models. Observational evidence is not very useful” – John Mitchell, Chief Research Scientist British MET

    Really? Seriously?

    Perhaps Richard Feynman can shed some light:

    “In general, we look for a new law by the following process. First, we guess it (audience laughter), no, don’t laugh, that’s really true. Then we compute the consequences of the guess, to see what, if this is right, if this law we guess is right, to see what it would imply and then we compare the computation results to nature, or we say compare to experiment or experience, compare it directly with observations to see if it works. 

If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is… If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”

    Now, it seems to me that the only experiment we actually have going related to the atmosphere is, well, the atmosphere. So maybe that nasty old observational evidence might be of some use.

    I wonder where Chief Research Scientist Mitchell went to school. Perhaps he can get a refund.

  23. A massive scaling up of investment in clean technology is needed, because the $300bn spent on decarbonisation worldwide last year merely matched the cost of the losses in the US from climate and weather-related events.

    I studied logic. I majored in history. I minored in philosophy. And none of that even makes any sense to me. Is it even supposed to?

    • It makes sense only if you imagine the following are true (which of course, they are not:)

      1) A scaled-up investment in clean technology would *eliminate* losses from weather-related events.
      2) Even with a massive scaling of investment, less would be spent than are incurred by *worldwide* weather-related events.

      Meanwhile in the real world, climatic effects on the frequency of extreme weather-related events are conspicuous by their absence. In nations like the USA our costs keep going up because there’s more to destroy; as a percentage of wealth losses aren’t increasing and fossil-fueled wealth has dramatically reduced the death toll compared to less developed nations. But the $300bn spent worldwide on decarbonisation accomplished *nothing* related to weather-related events.

      So the columnist is arguing “We wasted all this money and prevented nothing — we obviously need to spend a lot more!”

  24. “People running big corporations see their job as maximising profits in the short term, even if that means causing irreparable damage to the world’s ecosystem”

    Larry Elliott is as inept at political history, environmental history and financial investing as the climate models are at forecasting weather and climate?

    Though, it does take wilful blindness and perhaps malfeasance to not recognize that socialist/communist dictatorships are not good stewards of environment.

  25. OK, lets us apply “directed capitalism” against all these ecotards first! Drive them into poverty, starvation and disease for 10 years, then ask them how well it works? It would certainly work excellently for ridding the human race of their leftist cancer.

  26. To save us from all the bad things that climate change will inflict upon us, we must change to an oppressive political system that has achieved a level of prosperity where half the country lives on… what… $2 a day? I think I’d rather have the warming.

  27. Guardian + Economics – two words, that for me, don’t sit terribly well together.

    Our current level of prosperity has come about because of capitalism and when capitalism goes wrong it is usually government intervention that caused it.

    China, by virtue of its “directed capitalism” is an economic parasite. Getting rich by selling to the west whilst gaining commercial advantage through poor environmental and employment standards, low wages, theft of technology, government subsidy (allowing it to dump goods on the international market), currency manipulation and a regime that allows no dissent.

    Without western wealth China’s economy would fail. As the latest reports suggest that, following the tariffs imposed by the US, it is.

    • Trump is prodding the host to reject the parasite, in order to pressure it into not sucking so hard. 😮

  28. A simple question to ask Mr Elliot would be how East Germany compared to West Germany on environmental policies.

    • That’s a very good example, because they were one people prior to WWII. So we can minimize the problems of differing populations.

  29. Capitalism is retained earnings and market (i.e. democratic)-based cost determination and allocation. It’s not Anglo-Saxon in principle. It’s not profit-oriented per se, or a short-term perspective. Although, it has been painted that way: racially and ideologically.

  30. I haven’t read through the comments yet, but I have a fairly unique view of this for someone on the NA side of the pond and want to get it down before I get distracted. Pardon the length and if someone already said this.

    In 2016, the G8 countries met in China over the course of several months. The final, photo-op, meeting occurred at the end of August/beginning of September in Hangzhou, a city with a metro population of about eight million (considered a mid-sized city). My wife is from there, and I was flying over to meet her 2 days after the conference ended. She was there during the conference and for some time before. It was common knowledge that the Chinese government did two things: First, they told a butt-tonne of Hangzhou residents to go on holiday–and they did. It overwhelmed a lot of resorts that weren’t used to that kind of traffic, and it annoyed a lot of other Chinese people as a result. We went on a trip after I got there, and she was reporting to me some of the things she overheard from people who didn’t know where she was from. Second, they shut down ALL heavy industry that might charitably be considered upwind of Hangzhou (and I think Beijing, but I’m not sure). I’ve never seen properly-clear skies over Hangzhou, but my wife sent me pictures of how blue it was during and prior to the conference. Command economy.

    When I arrived–remember, the second day after it ended–industry had already begun to spin up again. I did see blue skies a time or two, but the sky was already re-developing the haze. In Shanghai, my usual port of entry, the haze never really goes away, due to the size of the city, but on arriving in Hangzhou it was already redeveloping there. By the time we got to our trip destination, Huangshan (Yellow Mountain), an entirely-rural area with some large and small towns to service the national park, the haze was prevalent. Ten days after the conference ended, it was back to normal. Funnily, on the one English-language CCTV station, a panel was discussing pollution in China (approved by censors, I’m sure). IIRC, they were mumbling something about cracking down on polluters, without acknowledging how easily the gov’t could do it if they wanted to. The destruction of their economy as a result was never mentioned.

    This is how the Chinese government manages its environmental problems: how, when, and where they choose. Full stop.

  31. …..because the $300bn spent on decarbonisation worldwide last year merely matched the cost of the losses in the US from climate and weather-related events.

    How did this guy get out of graduate school with this level of reasoning?

    Does he assume that there were no “weather events” prior to 1850 when humans supposedly destroyed the climate?
    If we reduce CO2 output through draconian authoritarian measures such as a global carbon tax will “weather events” cease?

    If you can’t put a logical argument together than your “opinion piece” is garbage.

    There of course was the obligatory sentence at the end that tried to subliminally remind readers of the link between “fascism” and the D word.

  32. Well this is the Grauniad, home of socialists, fascists, the Greenblob, snowflakes and useful idiots.

  33. I wonder how these meatballs would react if there were “directed readership” by some central authority that precluded reading their rubbish. TE has not been good for a long time, but since the Germans bought it, it has really hit the skids.

  34. “In my opinion repeated praise of the Chinese system by climate scientists and greens is a terrific illustration of what is wrong with climate science.”

    Actually, it is proof. as if anymore were necessary, that “climate science” is just left wing politics in a lab coat.

  35. “Directed Capitalism”

    Isn’t it fascinating how many new names they keep coming up with for socialism.

  36. “People running big corporations see their job as maximising profits in the short term”

    People who talk like that are people who have never actually dealt with businesses.

    CEOs do try to maximize current earnings, but they are also charged with preserving the long term health of the corporations they run.
    Any CEO that sacrificed the long term in order to boost earnings a few percent would be ousted by the board in a heart beat.

  37. I guess the Soviet form of socialism is no longer in favor with the fools, as Russia supposedly stole their election here in the US. {facepalm}

  38. “People underestimate the power of models.”
    Nah, we know climate models are powerful propaganda tools, meant to deceive.
    “Observational evidence is not very useful”.
    Yeah, especially when it negates your ideology.

    • That the planet isn’t going through anything it hasn’t gone through before, and that it does not, has never, and will never need their brand of “saving”, is a thought that never occurs to them, or if it did, it was quickly banished.

    • They should have a “little green book” they could carry around with them, so they could have all the “answers” at their fingertips. The cover would be green, but open it up, and everything would be red. It’d be awesome.

  39. God help us all if this man really is Economics Editor of the Guardian. No wonder the paper will soon be no more.

    • None. Which is why “regressive” is a better name than “progressive” for that leftist garbage.

    • There is no problem that can’t be solved with a generous combination of:
      1) higher taxes
      2) more government power to regulate
      3) wealth transfers.

      It’s a universal toolbox.

      • And the hell of it is, they never solve anything – they just keep demanding more money.
        Ironic – at the same time they disparage money-makers, they seem to think all you have to do to fix anything is to simply throw money at it – which simply doesn’t work.
        And THAT’s assuming there was an actual problem to fix in the first place.

        Ahhhh boy – I woke up with a headache today.

  40. How can anyone “crack” climate change when it is a built in phenomenon?

    No matter what we do, climate change will always exist as long as the sun shines and the planet is intact.

  41. Profit making corporations can’t afford to squander millions on systems and equipment that don’t perform as advertised, e.g. farting unicorns on treadmills.

    And there is a limited budget for feel good projects that make a warm & fuzzy impressions and don’t really do anything, e.g. eliminating plastic straws.

    Climate science has turned engineering/economics/science into full time BS factories.

    For the greenhouse theory to operate as advertised, i.e. warming the earth by 33 C, requires a GHG up/down/”back” LWIR energy loop to “trap” energy and “warm” the earth and atmosphere.

    For this GHG up/down/”back” LWIR energy loop to operate as advertised requires forcing energy from an ideal black body, i.e. 1.0 emissivity, LWIR of 396 W/m^2 from the earth’s surface. (K-T diagram)

    The earth’s surface cannot provide that much LWIR because of the contiguous participating media, i.e. atmospheric molecules, moving over 50% ((17+80)/160) of the surface heat through non-radiative processes, i.e. conduction, convection, latent evaporation/condensation. (K-T diagram)

    Because of these contiguous turbulent non-radiative processes at the air/surface interface the oceans and lands cannot possess an emissivity of 0.97, actual emissivity being 63/396 = 0.16. (K-T diagram)

    No GHG LWIR energy loop & no RGHE means no CO2/man caused climate change and no Gorebal warming.

  42. Does that include the use of nerve gas to be used against enemies of the climate policy state?

  43. “People underestimate the power of models. Observational evidence is not very useful”

    Definitely why our Walmart understocks items so often. Must be one of their credos these days.

  44. Directed Capitalism.
    A new cute name for Socialism.
    Private ownership but government control.
    The individual takes the risks but the government reaps the benefits.

  45. “Greens cling to their failed visions of an authoritarian climate revolution, …”

    Because they’re authoritarians at heart… watermelons, all of ’em!

  46. What a surprise?!? Who would have suspected that the progressive Guardian would make common cause with the collectivist fascists in China?

    In reality, there is very little difference between a fascist and a progressive.

  47. “People underestimate the power of models. Observational evidence is not very useful” – John Mitchell, Chief Research Scientist British MET

    Models are so much better because they can say anything you want them to. Observational evidence is just doesn’t cooperate and should be considered valueless. Sure, that’s science. NOT.

  48. Are they aware that the Chinese stock market has lost 40% of its value the past 3 yrs, that China leads the world in building coal plants, and that pollution is terrible in China? No, they only focus on green energy investments, which are probably mostly bogus.

    • Since the Chinese government is part of the movement, declarations of intent are sufficient.

      Sort of like Obama declaring that if is elected, the oceans will cease rising.

  49. Yes, the Chinese are most efficient at control…..

    WSJ–today
    China’s Uighur Camps Swell as Beijing Widens the Dragnet
    Satellite images show expansion of ‘re-education’ centers in China’s Xinjiang region

  50. Directed Capitalism at work: from Jo Nova 8/17/18 -“Solar boom to bust in China: worlds largest solar PV projects drop 43% as subsidies cut”

  51. Big surprise. Another Progressive Supremacist is promoting tyranny for our own good.
    I can think of many names to describe these defective people and their left wing movement.
    But watching them panic & suffer into torment and violence as Trump appoints a SCOTUS that will stop them for decades is absolutely fantastic.

  52. The correct term for this type of “economics” is Fascism. Once again this ugly form of government is raising its head in mainstream media in the EU, Britain, and the United States. This article reveals the true nature of the CAGW crowd. They put a name on others that exactly matches what they, themselves, believe.

    Chinese attempts to manage corporations have only hurt its people economically. The economy of China is weak enough that the government suddenly wants to talk about a deal with our President. Besides ridiculous pollution in their cities, very little of the money generated by their form of Capitalism seems to get to the people living in the countryside.

  53. The current environmental movement is in fact just a Trojan horse stuffed with two hundred years worth of the hideous collectivist scams that have (to date) resulted in the murder of hundreds of millions of people. I have been to China may times. I have seen a purple sunset in Qingdao and the fake stars they have created in Beijing by attaching LED lights to the tethers of helium balloons to give the people of that horrifically polluted city whatever pleasure one can get from gazing at fake stars.

    Only an idiot or a wannabe tyrant would recommend adopting the Chinese model of environmental stewardship. I trust the The Guardian would not hire an idiot for an editor.

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