The November Democratic primary expands!


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Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate for president, has now announced his support for a carbon tax, this following earlier positions that rejected religious liberty and endorsed gun control.

Read the story at the link. It is very clear that libertarian principles have little to do with Johnson’s campaign. He is running as a moderate liberal, through and through.

Adding the Green Party candidate Jill Stein we now have four liberal Democrats running for President, with two (Clinton and Stein) occupying the communist wing of the party and two (Trump and Johnson) occupying the moderate liberal wing of the party . O joy!

47 comments

  • wayne

    “oh joy” is correct!

    “The Gods of the Copybook Headings”
    by Rudyard Kipling (read by Tom O’Bedlam)
    https://youtu.be/hTwHCsTq3IU

  • Andrew_W

    The issue of whether or not unrestrained AGW will lead to adverse consequences for some people around the globe is a scientific issue, not a left – right issue, so assuming that there will be such adverse consequences, what is the correct libertarian solution to what becomes an issue of externalizing costs, pushing the costs of the actions of some onto others?

    I don’t see lawsuits as a sane suggestion, a regulatory regime banning carbon emissions in this or that situation would be unworkable, carbon trading hasn’t worked, a tax would, I think, be the simplest broad method for curtailing emissions.

    Is there some alternative workable, efficient and libertarian correct method for curtailing carbon emissions that I’ve overlooked?

  • Localfluff

    Good news for Trump! LP has taken about as many votes from both big parties thus far, it seems to me by looking at the polls. Now Gary totally surrenders any attempt of competition with Trump’s energy revival of the US economy. I would think that most republicans who turned to Gary in the polls did so because they understand that libertarian policies would at least revive the economy, even if not addressing other urgent issues. Now that’s completely down the drain for him. What a loser! Or does he deliberately want to support Trump?

    Since Ron Paul’s GOP nomination run four years ago, I’ve been following sites like Reason and Mises. It’ll be interesting to see how they react to this. They are very well informed and hard core principled. I think that most libertarians will refuse to vote for Gary now. Ron Paul made a good call to not endorse Gary.

    Too bad, really. I think that the US would’ve done well with a strong third party, increasing the competition among politicians, forcing them to shape up a bit. Now that won’t happen. In spite of the huge nevertrump and neverhillary crowds. Now there’s a neverjohnson crowd created out of nowhere by the imbecile himself. Smoking pot maybe actually damage the brain?

  • Localfluff

    Andrew_W,
    Sure, Gary Johnson’s Poliburo knows how to set the right price on you exhaling, to save the world from doomsday. Who else? Btw, by how much has global temperature increased since 1998? How does that compare to the forecasts then made by the “scientific” models, such as Al Gore’s hockey stick diagram?

    CO2 in itself is actually greening the world, increases wild life everywhere and increases agricultural yields per acre so that humanity now globally use less farmland to feed the increasing population better and better. If CO2 emission had increased temperatures, which it hasn’t, then maybe that would’ve been bad. Or maybe it had been even better! No one knows. The only thing we know for sure is the excessive costs of shutting down fossil fuel industry, the pumping up of dead minerals form the underground, and replacing it with massive deforesting to grow bio fuel, food which is burned. I.e. Johnson’s carbon tax.

    I’m shocked by his statement. Can he still retract it?

  • Cotour

    What will Edward and his fellow, Never Trump / Default for Hillary thinkers going to do? That is if they are planning to vote for president this November.

  • Andrew_W asked, “Is there some alternative workable, efficient and libertarian correct method for curtailing carbon emissions that I’ve overlooked?”

    Yes. You obviously are a new reader to Behind the Black, or you would know that the climate science field is rife with tampered and untrustworthy data, that the science of global warming itself is very uncertain, and that it is simply too soon to make laws and restrict our freedoms or raise our taxes over something scientists are still unsure is actually happening. Do a search on BtB for either “global warming” or the “uncertainty of science” and you will be better informed.

    Moreover, a true libertarian does not immediately rush to use the government to solve our problems. Gary Johnson has been doing that on issue after issue, which is the main point of my post and the link I provided. He is not a libertarian, he is a moderate Republican with many liberal leanings.

  • wayne

    Cotour–
    Can’t speak for others, but I could have easily supported Austin Petersen on the LP Ticket, instead of Johnson, who sounds wackier-n-wackier each week.
    As of today, personally, I’m still not voting Trump. And he’s reinforcing my position every few days…. Much more concerned with maintaining a majority in the House and at least holding the Senate.

    As for “carbon taxes,” –totally oppose, in any way, shape, or manner. And not too pleased with the recent shift of Crony Oil getting on board with them. The only reason they would advocate such oppressive measures, would be to crowd out their direct competition. (and I don’t mean phony-baloney “green energy.”)
    [not opposed to “big oil,” as such, but highly opposed to Crony Oil.]

  • wayne

    LocalFluff–
    I as well follow Reason & Mises; one thing however, you have to remember about the Mises folks– a large percentage of them think Abraham Lincoln was a dictator, a position I can not endorse.
    (You would definitely enjoy Murray Rothbard’s works, at Mises, even though he’s more of an anarcho-capitalist, his Historical & Economic revisionist History is excellent.)

    I generally support the folks at CATO as well, but they are a bit too open-border for my liking. (although they acknowledge the Welfare State has to be drastically scaled back)

  • Cotour

    AND, you are willing to surrender the Supreme Court and the next 40 + years of rulings to Hillary. Elections, whether you like it or not, have consequences.

    Like I have said before, its not rocket science.

  • wayne

    Cotour–
    yeah, it’s not rocket-science, or I’d have a better idea of where this train was heading.

    As for SCOTUS; an issue to be sure.
    – Republican Presidents nominated (are responsible for) 16 of the last 20 Justice’s.
    I’m more concerned with what Mitch will be doing in the Senate, he doesn’t really care if he’s Majority or Minority Leader, he just wants to be called “leader.”

  • wayne

    Back to the topic-at-hand;
    Been in and out of Libertarian politics, State & National, and have opined previously– the National LP is cobbled together with a wide range of factions, some of which are prone to Progressive thinking, and Johnson is illustrating my contention on a weekly basis.
    (Much like Trump, in a different realm.)

  • Cotour

    This is going to make things a bit more interesting for Hillary in the near future.

    https://youtu.be/m1qcQVanK4w

    There are no more dirty political secrets since the internet. So the question remains: How will the powers that be, and want to be, control, discredit or eliminate it?

  • Cotour

    The Libertarian party has never and will never be of any consequence because it is a philosophy and not a mode of governance. Much like the difference between being a Christian and a Catholic.

    A Christian is a believer in the philosophy of Christianity, a Catholic is all about the business of religion I.E. politics. Libertarians are only “Christians” constantly leading themselves and their sick and tired of the status quo followers to the lions.

    It sounds good and is righteous but going no where fast, just like herding cats.

  • Andrew_W

    Robert Zimmerman, I don’t rely on your blog for information on AGW, I prefer to use sources with some authority on the science.
    You’ve pretty much ignored my points, your comment “a true libertarian does not immediately rush to use the government to solve our problems” comes close but still ignores my question that if AGW were proven (not necessarily to your satisfaction but at least to the satisfaction of most reasonable people) to be causing damages and that curtailing of carbon emissions would be economically justified, what would be a libertarian correct method for those emissions?

    LocalFluff, your reply was a tired strawman from start to finish, I am not interested in your personal theories and your ignorance on the effects and consequences of AGW.

  • Andrew_W: “I don’t rely on your blog for information on AGW, I prefer to use sources with some authority on the science.”

    It is a shame that so many people today are so quick to close their mind to other information. The posts I have put up on climate science are almost never research by me, but research by scientists or others illustrating the uncertainty or unreliability of the science. That you simply dismiss them, without even bothering to look at them, speaks volumes about your open-mindedness.

    I also do not write what I write from ignorance, but from a very solid grounding in the actual science. Please note the link at the top of my webpage, Climate and Sun science bibliography It lists a very incomplete bibliography of the actual science research that I have read or reviewed. It is only incomplete in that I stopped adding to the list in 2010, though my research has continued.

  • Andrew_W

    “The posts I have put up on climate science are almost never research by me, but research by scientists or others illustrating the uncertainty or unreliability of the science.”

    I’m just cutting out the middleman, don’t assume I don’t read from a broad range of sources.

    From your list you appear to be looking for a solar explanation for 20th century warming, It’s noticeable that the proponents of solar as a major forcing have been relatively quiet of late.

    You still ignore my question as to what would be the libertarian correct method to reduce carbon emissions should curtailing of those emissions be proven economically justified.

    You seem to be married to the populist position that AGW is just a hoax, thus solving the need to address even the possibility that reducing carbon emissions might be economically advantageous.

  • Andrew_W: The bibliography was developed initially for a book I was considering writing on climate research and the Sun’s influence, so you are partially correct in your estimate. However, I was not simply trying to find “a solar explanation for 20th century warming”, I was trying to get a sense of the entire field and the uncertainties involved. From the beginning I have sensed that the climate is far more complex than most reports suggest, and this research only confirmed that fact. In fact, it confirmed another sense I had had before I began, that the complexity is such that climate scientists are not yet close to understanding the climate in any great detail.

    I am not “married to the populist position that AGW is just a hoax.” If you want to make believe that I am stupid and and not thoughtful, we might as well stop this discussion now. I am a very experienced science journalist and historian who simply notes the large uncertainties in the field, as well as some very suspicious recent data manipulation at NOAA and NASA that makes me question the conclusions of some. I am a skeptic, as any good scientist should be. A sampling of posts below will give you a sense of where I am coming from, if you are willing to read them.

    If you read these posts honestly, you will see that I am a reasonable and thoughtful person. I do not dismiss the theory of human-caused global warming. I simply am not satisfied that its advocates have made their case, and in some cases, I have been disturbed by their tactics and dishonesty.

    As for your initial question, I am not sure what the correct libertarian position would be to reduce carbon emissions. However, I have found in my now long life that picking the government as your first knee-jerk solution, as Gary Johnson does, is generally not a very good or efficient way of fixing things. I should note for example that both during the Cold War and now, it is top-down communist inspired countries like the Soviet Union and China that have the worst environmental records. Free nations that have traditionally focused on capitalism, like the U.S. and Europe have in turn done far better in keeping their house clean, much of which was achieved by popular choice.

  • wayne

    I’ll speak briefly to the “correct libertarian position” on “carbon taxes,” (although I do not speak for the Libertarian Party) — they would say– “no tax on carbon.” It’s a phony solution, in search of a problem.

    “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.”
    Hayek.

  • Max

    Andrew said,” The need to address even the possibility that reducing carbon omissions might be economically advantageous”

    How wonderfully naïve, our entire economic system runs on carbon, our entire biosphere runs on carbon, you run on carbon. (Try holding your breath while running)

    The thought of withholding carbon from our atmosphere is horrific, stuff of science fiction perhaps but the result would be the ending of all life on earth. Do you hate all green living things? They require carbon dioxide to survive. Would you deny them their food for life? Would you prefer our planet looked like the surface of Mars? Devoid of all life?
    Perhaps I misunderstood you, perhaps you just want to get rid of unproductive carbon emitters. Those who do not produce, only consume with their very existence. I believe Hitler called them “useless eaters”. His method of stopping carbon emitters for 11 million people was a bullet or gas chamber. The Red Chinese preferred simple starvation of 50 million of their people. The Russians use trains and shipped 20 million productive producers to Siberia for no more reason then they had too much and they needed to make all men equal. Some would say these alternative ways of thought had good intentions, methods were a little harsh. It would seem we are revisiting some of these lines of thought as we discuss modern politics for the new age… Perhaps we should inprison all climate deniers? After all, they’re just heretics. (Reminds me of pole pot who killed 2 millionpeople because they were intellectuals. Or If they had glasses, they looked intellectual)

    All these examples happened in the last century, in my parents lifetime. What new excuse will they use next? I think it’ll be in the name of saving the planet. It will also have an economic benefit, you wait-and-see.

  • Andrew_W

    ” . . . communist inspired countries like the Soviet Union and China that have the worst environmental records. Free nations that have traditionally focused on capitalism, like the U.S. and Europe have in turn done far better in keeping their house clean, much of which was achieved by popular choice.”

    The situation with pollution is certainly the parallel that is usually drawn when advocating carbon emissions reductions, those reductions in pollution in the U.S. and Europe were achieved through government legislation, I don’t think Gary Johnson is advocating abandoning the US abandoning a policy of being a free nation focused on capitalism.

    You refer to the more inaccurate and pessimistic predictions that have been made by some “alarmists”, but there have been many times that “skeptics” have also been very wrong, I think the true effects of a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere are likely to be near the bottom end of IPCC expectations, and I’m hopefully that carbon taxation won’t be necessary as a result of progress towards low emissions technologies – solar, electric vehicles, modern nuclear.

  • wayne

    Max: Good stuff!

  • Andrew_W

    “Max: Good stuff!”

    It looks like a mindless rant not worthy a reply to me, he may as well have argued that submerging us all in water would be good for us as hey, we’re 90% water!

    Everything is harmless in small doses and anything can be toxic in excess.

  • Edward

    Cotour wrote: “What will Edward and his fellow, Never Trump / Default for Hillary thinkers going to do?”

    I cannot speak for those who are “Never Trump / Default for Hillary” (Cotour insists that Trump cannot win, which is why he wants us to vote Trump, thus he also believes that a vote for Trump is also a default for Clinton and thus is “willing to surrender the Supreme Court and the next 40 + years of rulings to Hillary” — Cotour’s words), but I will do as I have on many previous occasions said that I would do.

    But then, Cotour does not pay attention to what I write, as demonstrated by his false belief and mischaracterization that I am a Never Trumper.

    Then again, with Johnson there may be less chance that his Supreme Court nominations would be as liberal as Trump’s would be.

    Come to think of it, Cotour is not as concerned about the Supreme Court nominations as he pretends. If he were, then he would have supported a real conservative, not liberal Democrat Trump, during the primaries.

    Cotour wrote: “The Libertarian party has never and will never be of any consequence”

    But at least it is not the Democrat Party, as the Republican Party has become.

    Andrew_W wrote: “those reductions in pollution in the U.S. and Europe were achieved through government legislation”

    The recent reductions in CO2 emissions (not quite the same as pollution) in the US were due to fracking by private companies, not by government legislation.

    As for government and pollution, the US government’s Environmental Protection Agency is the biggest (and evilest) polluter in the country:
    http://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/points-of-information/epa-withholds-colorado-disaster-documents-demanded-by-congress/

    http://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/points-of-information/another-epa-wastewater-spill-in-colorado/

  • Edward

    Andrew_W wrote: “It looks like a mindless rant not worthy a reply to me, he may as well have argued that submerging us all in water would be good for us as hey, we’re 90% water!”

    Actually, his argument was the opposite. Max wrote: “The thought of withholding carbon from our atmosphere is horrific, stuff of science fiction perhaps but the result would be the ending of all life on earth.”

    The water equivalent would be Max complaining that withholding water would result in the ending of all life on Earth. This is true. Earth life needs water just as it needs CO2.

    It has been shown that CO2 levels have been much higher in the past, yet life on Earth did not “drown” in CO2. See the chart labeled “Phanerozoic Carbon Dioxide” on the right side of this page:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_in_Earth%27s_atmosphere#Drivers_of_ancient-Earth_carbon_dioxide_concentration

    In fact, we are able to live with 1,000 PPM without any difficulty.

    Meanwhile, Earth’s temperature has not risen for almost two decades. Clearly CO2 is not the driver it is advertised to be. Something else is more powerful.

  • Andrew_W

    “Meanwhile, Earth’s temperature has not risen for almost two decades.”

    Given that all the major data sets show a continuing rise in the trend line for surface temperatures over the last two decades I can only wonder where you get your misinformation.

  • Andrew_W: “Given that all the major data sets show a continuing rise in the trend line for surface temperatures over the last two decades I can only wonder where you get your misinformation.”

    You are not aware of the almost 20 year pause in warming since 1998? Most interesting. You should get out more. :)

    Below are a few links to stories documenting the satellite data that shows this. The first link also shows that more than 70 climate models failed to predict this pause. All had instead predicted that as CO2 rose so would the temperature, in lockstep.

    The first two links above are from climate scientists, with the first a post by the project scientist of a climate satellite that measures the climate. The third is an article in the Journal Science about a climate paper that attempts to explain the long pause. I note it not because the explanation makes any sense (it doesn’t), but because it documents the fact that the established climate community recognizes this pause that you are unaware of.

    The last link, though not written by a scientist, is very well sourced, and very carefully documents the pause, using actual published science data.

    I could give you a lot more links. This is not a mystery. From 1998 until last year, there was practically no global warming, despite every prediction saying the climate should have continued to warm (see the first link above). This past year the climate finally did warm again, but this was also the first time we had an El Nino event of any significance since 1998. It remains to be seen whether this year’s warming will hold, or whether the global temperature will settle back down, especially since this El Nino was not as strong or as prolonged as had been predicted.

  • Andrew_W

    You’re out of date, the warmer temperatures of the last few years has reestablished the trend.

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:1998/to:2016/trend

    And anyone who cherry picks an anomalous starting year to support a political position demonstrates contempt for good scientific principles.

  • Andrew_W: Why is it that those who believe without question in human-caused global warming, as you apparently do, have a complete inability to read the links and the sources I send them? I say this because you are not the first advocate of global warming who has arrived on Behind the Black, and like every previous time, I can’t seem to get you to engage the data I show you. I am not denying the possibility of human-caused global warming, only noting in great detail the problems the theory has, and the uncertainties that surround it.

    For example, you send me a single link with a single simplistic graph showing a straight line of warming since 1998, and then accuse me of cherry-picking my data. However, the graph you created at this link is in itself a nice bit of cherry-picking. It does not indicate where its data comes from, but conveniently shows a straight warming since 1998 with no variation. Using your same webpage but picking the actual RSS satellite as my data source I was able to plot my own graph for the same time period, which shows the exact opposite trend, in as straight a line as yours, but plunging downward at exactly the same rate.

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1998/to:2016/trend

    Is my graph right? Not on your life. But then, neither was yours. Both cherry picked the data set in order to produce a simplistic result. The links I sent you, however, which you apparently refused to look at with any care, showed the full range of the data, with all its uncertainties, but also showed the overall trends. The trend from 1998 to last year was essential flat, no warming.

    Finally, your accusation that I am cherry-picking my data is very revealing, in that my previous comment made very clear that things had warmed in the past year. I wasn’t avoiding inconvenient facts, I was outlining the facts as they are. Why are you so afraid to do the same? The climate did not warm for almost two decades, and climate modelers remain at a lost to explain this.

  • Andrew_W

    I looked at your links, 3 of the 4 were from blogs by people with a reputation for partisanship in the debate, the 3rd link was respectable and did nothing but support the consensus that the has been and will continue to be considerable year to year fluctuations around the trend line as a result of weather patterns influencing the amount of ocean heat uptake.
    All your links were dated.

    As for woodfortrees, I went for the graph at the top of the list – not a cherry pick, you went for RSS the_only_one_of _the_graphs from the 1998 to present showing a declining trend, and it’s known that the RSS data set is being widely questioned due to not being a good fit with other data sets and it having calibration problems.

    “It does not indicate where its data comes from, but conveniently shows a straight warming since 1998 with no variation. ”

    That would be because it’s a linear trend line, I posted the link so that you could make your own graphs, and hopefully draw your own reasonable conclusions.

    If you want to not cherry pick how about you use a 20 year trend line (1997 – 2016)? If you do you’ll find that even RSS shows a positive trend line.

    “The climate did not warm for almost two decades . . .”

    Only if you cherry pick your start date as 1998 and cherry pick RSS as the data set – any other year, any other data set, and you get a positive trend line.

    “. . . and climate modelers remain at a lost to explain this.”

    No, there is no problem explaining the variations around the trend, as I said, your third link explains those variations, did you read it?

  • Andrew_W wrote, “I looked at your links, 3 of the 4 were from blogs by people with a reputation for partisanship in the debate, the 3rd link was respectable and did nothing but support the consensus that the has been and will continue to be considerable year to year fluctuations around the trend line as a result of weather patterns influencing the amount of ocean heat uptake.
    All your links were dated.”

    Bah. The same old dismissive attitude. You don’t like the information from some links, so you dismiss them as “partisan” without considering the possibility that there just might be something to what they say.

    I think this discussion is a waste of time. I would be glad to debate you, but you won’t consider the actual information being presented to you to discuss it. It isn’t to your liking, so it must be ignored.

  • wayne

    Andrew_W:
    “Not good stuff.”

    Personally, I’ll support and encourage whomever I want, irrespective of your characterization.

  • Localfluff

    A growing free market economy will soon quit using fossil fuels anyway, because alternatives will replace it, like coal engines and house heating were replaced by gasoline engines and electricity and “district hot water heating”, and before that sails replaced by coal for ships. Power plant fuels will also change within a few decades, for commercial profitability reasons without any carbon tax. The global warming doomsday forecast is already dismissed, unfounded and ignorant of what an economy is.

    The choice between adapting our society to a changing climate (if it would change, which it doesn’t) and trying to mega terraform the Earth to vainly try to preserve some arbitrary climate status quo of the 1990s, requires an individual value judgement. Climate politics is not a scientific issue. Unless you’re a Marxist and mix up values about what to do in the future, with historic statistics. Since temperatures have not increased since the 1990s, the climate has been preserved at that alleged optimal level. So what’s the problem???

  • Edward

    Andrew_W,
    You wrote: “Given that all the major data sets show a continuing rise in the trend line for surface temperatures over the last two decades I can only wonder where you get your misinformation.”

    Interestingly, you later noted that at least one major data set presented to you does not show a rising trend line, yet you have not acknowledged that you were wrong about “all” of them showing a rise. Whose information turns out to be faulty, and do you reject all data that is contrary to your Gore-induced beliefs?

    You wrote: “I looked at your [Robert’s] links, 3 of the 4 were from blogs by people with a reputation for partisanship in the debate”

    How very interesting that you consider anyone with a reputation for skepticism to be partisan in the debate, but climatologists who fudge data (e.g. NASA, NOAA, Europe’s AVISO, Micheal Mann, and the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia), refuse to publish papers from skeptics (e.g. the American Geophysical Union), are not partisan. You will listen to Al Gore, who profits handsomely from carbon credits, but will not listen to anyone who would debate Gore (Gore refuses to debate, because he knows that his points are misleading at best and some have been determined, by a British court, to be outright lies).

    But then again, I do not expect you to be embarrassed by such hypocrisy, because you performed it as though it is part of your nature; you did not even realize that you did it. In fact, I expect you to deny or ignore that it was hypocritical of you.

    In addition, you conveniently changed the topic from a lack of warming to the false claim that Robert cherry picked his information. You refused to admit what even climate scientists have admitted, that the Earth stopped warming during a time when it was supposed to warm at a tremendous rate.

    Nice job of distracting the debate away from what you can no longer defend, that the government is not the reason that the US has reduced its CO2 emissions to pre-1992 levels (Kyoto Accords’ levels). As Robert noted, you have the same dismissive attitude as many others who refuse to debate based upon science rather than politics.

    You wrote: “I went for the graph at the top of the list – not a cherry pick, you went for RSS the_only_one_of _the_graphs from the 1998 to present showing a declining trend”

    RSS is the actual, raw, unfudged data set. Choosing the first graph is more like cherry picking than choosing to use actual, raw, unfudged scientific data. What was the source of that first graph, anyway?

    Is it that the the RSS data set is having calibration problems, or is it that it has not yet been fudged by NASA and NOAA? Funny how it didn’t have calibration problems until the models stopped agreeing with this data set.

    Speaking of cherry picking, the flat-temperature curve is not determined by cherry picking, but the beginning point is determined by the parameters of the search, a flat temperature least squares fit trend line. In order to determine how long the temperature has not been increasing, a start of the flat period must be found, and that is what is done in the algorithm that determines the start point and thus the length of time no warming has occurred. If warming is happening, then the start point will be recent and the length of time will be short, perhaps only two time-periods long (temperatures do not increase in straight lines, as you seem to believe, but fluctuate up and down).

    That you do not understand this method demonstrates that you do not know good scientific principles and do not care to find out about them. You merely repeat, with complete ignorance of the topic, what someone else said to you.

    You wrote: “That would be because it’s a linear trend line”

    Trend lines are meaningless without the underlying data supplied to back them up. Even a meaningless scatterplot can result in a trend line:
    http://xkcd.com/1725/

    In fact, trend lines are pretty much meaningless, as they are once-removed from the data. The data is collected from the reality, and a trendline without the supporting data could mean anything, as the above scatterplot example shows. The trend line can even be temporary, as Al Gore’s rising line was, in his misleading movie “An Inconvenient Truth.” He tried to extrapolate into the future, but even as you, Andrew_W, discovered, the upward trend is not as steep as Gore said it would be.

    You are drawing your conclusions on once-removed information. You must take great care when doing so, and your conclusions must be backed up by actual, reliable data. Trend lines and data reduction (scientifically acceptable practices) must not be confused for reality. They are merely tools that are used to help find meaning from data, but they can be too easily misused as reality or to obfuscate reality, as demonstrated by the multiple graphs available to choose from. None of these trend lines is reality, they all result from the reduction of the actual data, collected from reality.

    This is why the raw data is included in papers that use good scientific principles and why all modifications to the data, such as trend lines, are noted and explained.
    http://wmbriggs.com/post/5154/

    http://wmbriggs.com/post/15275/
    “The data happened, the models did not. That blue line did not occur; neither has the red line anything to do with reality. These are fictions; fantasies; phantasms.”

    NASA, NOAA, and AVISO have recently started to modify historic temperature data without notifying anyone that they have done so, and also without explaining why and how they have done so. This is the very definition of scientific fudging.

    Their data can no longer be trusted. As more and more data sets are fudged, it becomes harder and harder to create reliable scientific conclusions and reliable models for predicting the future. This is what happened to the current models that have failed to predict current temperatures, they relied upon assumptions that were unsupported by science and they relied upon poor historical data (e.g. data in which a decline was hidden in order to hide the fact that the historical data was not reliable for creating models). Thus, the models provide excuses for political change, but do not provide accurate predictions for future (or current) temperatures. They have no scientific value. If the models disagree with reality, and they did, then they are wrong.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYPapE-3FRw (10 minute)
    “If the process of computing the consequences is indefinite then with a little skill any experimental result can be made to look like an expected consequence.”

    AGW is a vague theory. When there is less snow, then it due to global warming, but when there is more snow, then it is due to global warming. Thus, no matter what happens, global warming must be true, and there are no conditions under which global warming is not true. This is bad science, but it is a method that is continually used to prove AGW.

    You wrote: “The issue of whether or not unrestrained AGW will lead to adverse consequences for some people around the globe is a scientific issue, not a left – right issue, so assuming that there will be such adverse consequences,”

    I find it interesting that we have to assume that there will be adverse consequences. If this is the scientific issue that you believe it to be (not a political issue), then please present us with some scientific (not political) papers that explain your claims:
    1) how it is that global warming actually is anthropogenic rather than natural,
    2) how it is that AGW is unrestrained,
    3) how it is that warming will lead to adverse consequences, not beneficial consequences, and
    4) what those adverse consequences will be and where.

    Without these items proved scientifically, then any solutions, Libertarian or otherwise, are misplaced and wasteful of our valuable resources; the solutions cannot be shown to have the potential to work, and they cannot be shown to be necessary. I do not believe that you will be able to find any of these scientific papers, as none yet exist. So far, it is all conjecture and surmise, funded “by people [and governments] with a reputation for partisanship in the debate”

    Robert has tried to point out that even the AGW scientists admit that there was a halt to warming (but you rejected their admission). Thus, unrestrained AGW does not seem to be the case. Something other than man made CO2 has a greater effect on Earth’s temperature than man has. Without knowing what this is and how it works, we cannot determine a solution, whether there is a solution or whether there is a problem to solve. It is possible — and even probable — that recent warming of the Earth is just as natural as the (geologically) recent Little Ice Age and as the various ice ages, all of which occurred without human input.

    In fact, rather than admitting that we have been saved from AGW, scientists worked overtime to figure out where all the heat was hiding (Robert’s second and third links in his August 25, 2016 at 9:43 pm comment, above). In fact, rather than celebrate our salvation, Andrew_W, you, too, insist that the temperatures are still increasing and AGW must still be solved.

    To advocate for solutions to a problem that we still cannot scientifically demonstrate to exist only demonstrates a great disrespect for science.

    LocalFluff’s comments were based upon actual science, not tired straw men (which no one has knocked down, the purpose of having a straw man). As for the ignorance on the effects and consequences of AGW, you, Andrew_W, must also demonstrate that you are not ignorant on those, too. You had to assume them to be true, and your claims are not yet scientifically demonstrated; they are merely declared true by political papers, not scientific ones.

    By the way, Andrew_W, what *are* those assumed adverse consequences, and what people around the globe will be adversely affected by them?

  • Steve Earle

    “….It is possible — and even probable — that recent warming of the Earth is just as natural as the (geologically) recent Little Ice Age and as the various ice ages, all of which occurred without human input….”

    Don’t forget the MWP, unless excessive human cooking fire emissions caused that.

    “…..what *are* those assumed adverse consequences, and what people around the globe will be adversely affected by them?…”

    Yes, I would like to see some of these so-called “climate refugees” please. And don’t forget to bring up the polar bears while you are at it….

  • pzatchok

    I remember the 1970’s and the coming Ice Age.

  • Localfluff

    It is just sad how prejudice ignorant deniers of basic chemistry and biology and Earth observation sciences like Andrew_W can’t let go of their hope that humanity causes doomsday according to Al Gores vehemently disproven hockey stick doomsday forecast. Completely unable to ever again think a new thought, unable to receive any new information about the reality. These braindead and extremely violent socialists make up the global warming (without warming) lie in order to justify their violence and holocaust. To them, all humans are evil and the only good thing is mass murder.

    You see, socialists have since Soviet Union actually realized that socialism is Hell on Earth with poverty and violence as the only possible results. So now they try to motivate why poverty and violence IS GOOD!

    Btw, in Sweden the Environmentalist-Communist party is in government with the Social Democrats since a couple of years. Now mid term it is obvious that the only thing the greens manage to do, of all their promises to abolish all industry, energy, transport and agriculture, is to introduce a tax deduction for bicycle repairs. They are so totally stupid and corrupt that they can’t do anything more than that during 4 years in government (imagine Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein in coalition, but without doing anything at all because they don’t know how to).

  • Jamie Menzing

    Please tell me which “club” member the Republicans served up would be preferable to Trump. Trump is as far to the right of all candidates on the ballot as one can go. What is my choice? Business as usual Hitlary or someone giving her the finger. I will go with the finger.

  • Andrew_W

    I commented on this thread because I wasn’t convinced that supporting a carbon tax automatically disqualified someone from being a libertarian, after all, libertarianism is all about taking responsibility for your actions and user pays, so if Johnson is satisfied by the evidence that reducing carbon emissions is desirable in macro-economic terms, a natural libertarian should be for emitters to pay for the cost of those emissions, it would be the socialist position that the cost should be borne by wider society.

    Localfluff and his use of “braindead”.

    Localfluff has concluded that I’m a “braindead and extremely violent socialist” on what does he base this conclusion? He bases it on the fact that I accept that AGW is happening and that it MIGHT require a penalty on emitters minimize adverse economic impacts.

    Why does Localfluff think that acceptance of AGW makes one a socialist? I think it’s probably due to Localfluff being sheeple, he runs with his ideological tribe, his tribe links acceptance of AGW to socialism and it’s beyond his ability to understand that AGW is a matter of physics, not of ideology, and that no matter how much those with an ideological bent might wish for AGW to be real or not the physics will determine the actuality. Those who can think for themselves are the ones able to put aside ideology and express opinions contrary to those acceptable to their flock.

    Am I a socialist? Nope, when I test myself on the Political Compass I end up in the libertarian corner of the diagram, and I’d argue that libertarians as a group are people more able to think for themselves and more willing to move against the opinions of the right wing flock.

    The weight of evidence is overwhelmingly that AGW is happening, the “catastrophic” bit I’m not convinced about, but I’m open to persuasion on it. At the moment the strongest argument for “catastrophic” that I’ve seen is the incidents of “blocking” of weather patterns that we’ve seen that have resulted in slow moving weather patterns leading to prolonged droughts and storms. These “blocking” events are being attributed to polar amplification, something that’s predicted by science and which is being seen over the Arctic, with a dramatic increase in Arctic winter temperatures and a steady reduction in Arctic sea ice.

  • Localfluff

    Ansrew_W,
    You ARE a socialist! You advocate the violent attack on innocent people (or what happens if you refuse to pay the tax? Tax is violence), Americans to be precise since you are a racist socialist in the cold war KGB tradition, to greedily loot away everything productive from the society of human kind. Al Gore’s hockey stick doomsday forecast has been utterly discarded. Way more than two standard deviations WRONG! But you ignore such details like the temperature, because you are a violent socialist who just make up lies to try to justify your looting of the USA.

    Gary Johnson has retracted his statement 180 degrees. Good so. One might misspeak, I can accept that, and he must try to move towards the middle to gain votes. Maybe the Green Party is a contender for him among the independents and he wanted to fuzzy this issue up. I give him the benefit of the doubt on this one.

  • Andrew_W

    For a Government to exist it must have an income, so the only people who believe there should be no taxation are either (a) people who believe there should be no Government, such people are called anarchists, or (b) SOCIALISTS, as under socialism the government owns all of the means of production so generates all of the income (in any), and so does not need to impose taxation.
    Everyone else (other than idiots) accepts there needs to be taxation.

    Mann’s Hockeystick graph has been validated by more than a dozen subsequent studies, there was a slow decline in global temperatures from the MWP through to about 1900 AD, since then there has been a relatively rapid increase in global temperatures, until recently those temperatures may not have exceeded those of the MWP, the evidence is that temperatures in the last decade have likely exceeded those at the peak of the MWP.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hockey_stick_graph#2010_onwards

    “Gary Johnson has retracted his statement 180 degrees.”
    That’s sensible of him, it doesn’t pay to upset the sheeple, I thought it was political suicide for him to support the tax in the first place.

  • Edward

    Andrew_W wrote: “The weight of evidence is overwhelmingly that AGW is happening”

    Actually, there is not a single piece of evidence of AGW. It is all conjecture. This is why I asked you to show us some scientific papers (not political papers) that back up your statement. That you have not done so demonstrates that they do not exist.

    Andrew_W wrote: “Mann’s Hockeystick graph has been validated by more than a dozen subsequent studies”

    Mann’s Hockystick graph denies the existence of the MWP, saying that temperatures were a mere .2 degrees warmer then than during the Little Ice Age — which the graph also denies existed. The Hockystick has been demonstrated to be a result of the algorithm used to create it, not to be a result of the data used.

    IPCC reports are political reports, not scientific ones.

  • Andrew_W

    Edward, I’m not interested in playing the game in which any paper you disagree with you label “political”.

    You think that Wegman proved the hockeystick graph a product of the algorithm Mann used? Wrong, you should go read Wegman’s 70+ page report carefully, because – and you probably won’t be able to believe me since you’ve built a foundation on it – but Wegman never published a correction of Mann’s graph using what he (and McIntyre and McKitrick) would advocate as the correct algorithm because, in the end, the resulting graph was not discernibly different to Mann et al’s.

  • wayne

    Andrew_W:

    I’ll take another brief stab at the Libertarian position on taxes, “pollution,” and “user-pays.”

    You are making a huge assumption “carbon” is pollutant, then proceeding to overlay tax & control protocols onto carbon, under the assumption we know exactly what certain levels of “carbon” do to our climate.
    Despite what Obama’s EPA proclaimed, carbon-dioxide is no pollutant, and the most critical “greenhouse gas,” is water-vapor.
    Depending on what type of pollution one is actually trying to control— you have massive externalities on one extreme, and perfectly identifiable point-sources on the other extreme, and that applies to most all pollutants as commonly understood.

    Classical Libertarian Theory would point toward *first* utilizing our Common Law tort & civil liability laws to hold intentional-polluters responsible. Identifiable victims sue identifiable polluter’s.
    When you get into unidentifiable victims and unidentifiable polluter’s or pollutant’s, then you’ve crossed over into the Twilight Zone of the Political realm. Oil & Chemical Companies are particularly hated for some reason, and that has nothing to do with “pollution” or the “environment.”

    Modern environmental law is a huge conglomeration of administrative dictates and is procedurally far removed from Common Law, and the presumption is everyone at the EPA is a Mastermind and knows better than the people who pay their salaries.

    I won’t call you a socialist, but if you aren’t thinking free-market solutions to “pollution,” then I would characterize non free-market approaches as Statism of one degree or another, and to be avoided at all costs for a large majority of “stuff” of which we want less.

    Just because some people advocate a HUGE government agency, Taxing and Administrating every chemical or molecule on Earth, under the rubric of “user-pays,” doesn’t mean it’s anywhere near a free-market or Libertarian solution.

    Nobody here to my knowledge, advocates intentionally fouling our air, water, or land, or destroying the Planet.
    The job of “environmentalists” is to appropriately convince others of the validity of their propositions, not get all authoritarian on people and telling them using electricity will change the weather, and then ordering power-plants be shut down, in favor of windmills. etc., etc., etc.
    (There’s a diagnostic-code for those people, although the common phrase is, “they are crazy.”)
    “Green” however, is the new RED, and the modern environmental movement is anti-human, anti-progress, socialistic, and totalitarian.

    (I don’t argue hockey-sticks or manipulation of data, I know enough about of “data” to navigate and evaluate, but there are far more well-versed people at this site, who can take your assertions apart, piece by piece. But that’s not my bag. Perfectly willing to consider your thoughts, and when we agree I have no problem acknowledging that, if we disagree, so be it.)

  • Andrew_W

    A very smart comment.

    You point out that
    “Classical Libertarian Theory would point toward *first* utilizing our Common Law tort & civil liability laws to hold intentional-polluters responsible. Identifiable victims sue identifiable polluter’s.
    When you get into unidentifiable victims and unidentifiable polluter’s or pollutant’s, then you’ve crossed over into the Twilight Zone of the Political realm.”

    And I agree, which is why I asked Bob “If AGW were proven (not necessarily to your satisfaction but at least to the satisfaction of most reasonable people) to be causing damages and that curtailing of carbon emissions would be economically justified, what would be a libertarian correct method for those emissions?”

    The only practical solution to such externalizing of costs might not be the yearned for ideological solution.

    Whether or not carbon-dioxide should be labeled as a pollutant is debatable, as I said earlier I think anything can be a pollutant if there’s an excess of it in the environmental, soil is great – on the land, but not in rivers, ditto with nutrients, load the rivers and coastal waters with phosphates, nitrates and other nutrients and the growth of microscopic life will deplete the oxygen and kill the fish, it’s not the direct effects of the nutrients that make them pollutants, it’s the indirect effects that cause the damage, and the same can be argued for CO2, yep it’s a fertilizer, but so are phosphates.

  • Edward

    Andrew_W,
    You wrote: “Edward, I’m not interested in playing the game in which any paper you disagree with you label ‘political’.”

    Scientific papers are very specifically organized, are written by scientists, and are accepted by scientific institutions. All others are opinions or are political — especially governmental reports.

    It is funny that you won’t play the “game” of relying upon science to prove your point, but you are willing to disregard any evidence that you disagree with. You are willing to use op-ed pieces and any political papers that agree with you, and even will claim that self-disproved Hockey Stick graphs is valid (both the MWP and Little Ice Age are not represented by the graph — events that you acknowledge happened). You even deny evidence that the climate scientists concede, that there has been a “pause” in temperature changes these past two decades.

    You cannot claim the AGW is scientific when you ignore or deny the science.

    You wrote: “you should go read Wegman’s 70+ page report carefully, because – and you probably won’t be able to believe me since you’ve built a foundation on it”

    First, my foundation is not built upon a discredited hockey stick graph, it is built upon scientific research — including scientifically fraudulent treatment of data — and the political reactions to the subject.

    However, you may also want to read the report yourself:
    “Additionally, we judge that the sharing of research materials, data and results was haphazardly and grudgingly done. In this case we judge that there was too much reliance on peer review, which was not necessarily independent. Moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized that this community can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility.”

    You have become emotionally committed to the AGW position, and no amount of scientific data showing it is untrue or lack of scientific data showing that it is true will sway you — or even pointing out that the public positions were wrong in the first place, as the previous quote attests.

    Real scientists are eager to share research materials, data and results. Real scientists are eager to have independent peer review, for these are the only ways to ensure that their research was correct, not a result of a cognitive bias. Real scientists truly want to be right the first time. This is difficult to do, as is demonstrated by several Nobel Prizes going to researchers who turned out to be wrong — meaning that it was even difficult for their fellow scientists to discover the errors made. This is why skepticism is tremendously important in science. Even Darwin and Einstein had to be proven correct, not just assumed correct, and it was correct to be skeptical of them for decades while the proofs were obtained.

    But then again, you are too emotionally committed to your position to admit that skepticism is good and necessary. That politician, Gore, told you a bunch of lies and half-truths (as misleading as any lie) that he is unable to support in a debate, but you are willing to believe him and support him, anyway. As the old joke goes: how do you know when a politician is lying?

    It is only assumed that the increase of CO2 is the cause of increased temperatures. But it could be that increased temperatures release methane deposits and undecayed biomass in now-thawing tundra, adding to the CO2 in the atmosphere. It is only assumed that the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere is due to human activity, which is why you are unable to find a single scientific paper to support this assumption.

    Although it is possible that human activity is the cause of increased CO2, overwhelming the ability of plant life to absorb the extra 2% above that released by the rest of nature, it is unlikely that increases to today’s CO2 levels will cause an Armageddon that never occurred when CO2 levels or when temperatures were much higher than they are now.

    The assumption of AGW is, so far, unscientific but is used by politicians to increase taxes and to decrease liberties.

    But go ahead, be emotional — not scientific — on this topic. If we spend huge sums trying to stop a non-event, what happens should it turn out that the next ice age, or little ice age, is upon us? Will you continue to insist that we need to stop global warming, or will you admit that climate science is not yet able to predict future climates and we should adapt to global cooling?

    You wrote: “as I said earlier I think anything can be a pollutant if there’s an excess of it in the environment…”

    Arguments of this sort are nonsensical. If we declare everything to be a pollutant, then we would need permits to respirate, consume food and water, and to exhaust or exude … anything to live. Pollutants should not be declared when there is no problem. That results in the waste of valuable resources on a non-problem.

  • wayne

    Edward– good stuff!

    briefly, on “pollutants,” — the EPA is increasingly using a “linear no-threshold model” for those substances it declares to be pollutants. Wherein any exposure is deemed harmful.

  • Edward

    wayne wrote: “the EPA is increasingly using a “linear no-threshold model” for those substances it declares to be pollutants. Wherein any exposure is deemed harmful.”

    In that case, we should eventually see oxygen and water on that list.

    California has a silly “proposition 65” from three decades ago, and on the list of carcinogens is wood dust. There was a time when it was just chemicals that were placed on the list, but now they seem to include everything under the sun to the list.
    https://www.swlaw.com/assets/pdf/publications/2010/12/13/CaliforniaHasListedWoodDustUnderProp65_Sherlock.pdf

    Essentially, every building in the state has a warning sign that it contains something carcinogenic. When Proposition 65 first went into effect and the signs started appearing on virtually every building, a friend of mine and I thought that the exit doors should have a warning that the outdoors contained ultraviolet light, a substance known to cause cancer.

    So which buildings should we Californians avoid? No one knows, and no one cares, anymore. We live our lives as though the list and the signs do not exist. I can’t remember the last time I took note of one.

    Too much of anything is bad for you, and too little of a lot of things is deadly. Oxygen, water, and selenium are good examples.

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