06 March 2007
Global warming and why libertarians should never say “never”

I see Channel 4’s going to broadcasting an Equinox special on Thursday challenging the consensus over global warming.  I also see that leading dark age economics campaigner, George Monbiot, has been getting in his retaliation first.  Somehow, I doubt if he’ll be alone.  The really stinging criticism (from my point of view, at least) is that the producer of the programme is mixed up in the Spiked (formerly known as the Revolutionary Communist Party) crowd.

Might be an idea for libertarians not to nail their colours too firmly to this particular mast.

For other reasons too.  Although I am a global warming sceptic (largely, ahem, as a consequence of a 1991 Equinox documentary), I have the attitude of “Never say never”.  It could be happening.  It could be a bad thing - it’s bound to be bad for somebody.  It could be caused by humans.  Not that I think that’s a problem.

Update 9/3/07  Brian Micklethwait says something very similar but better.

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  1. “Never say never”.  It could be happening.

    I generally agree, admittedly lacking the expertise and interest to pore over the latest study results. Naturally, I think they’ll make a hash of it given that the coordination and incentive problems that the government is trying to solve apply in spades to the government itself.

    If libertarians want to head the statists off at the pass here, a report I’d like to see would be an assessment of how much GHG you could cut simply by cutting subsidies and/or price controls by x%. Kyoto targets might well be met by shrinking government rather than expanding it.

    Posted by Jay Jardine on 08 March 2007 at 03:27am

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