09 May 2009

Climate and Science

Patrick Crozier writes (a couple of weeks ago, but I've been distracted) that libertarians should actually talk about the economics of climate change, and that the best defence is rapid economic growth that can only happen through a freer market.

It sounds pretty reasonable. I think, as a practical matter, the association of libertarianism with climate denial is harmful to our public image. We would be better off accepting climate science, and, as Patrick says, dealing with the economics.

The trouble with that, as reasonable as it seems, is that I can't do it.

At least it solves one thing. I used to worry that my view of the science was being influenced by my politics, that I was hostile to AGW because it was inconvenient to libertarianism, rather than because of its merits. But I find, that if it comes to a choice between libertarianism and climate denial, I'm more convinced of the scientific question than the political one. Libertarianism has bigger problems than Global Warming. (In a word, democracy)

Indeed, and this is yet another point due to Mencius, I would say that in the long run, the closed loop of "official science" is the biggest problem of the managerial state. I was trying to work up to this gradually before I got sidetracked.

Frankly, if I was to rely only on work produced within the last 50 years, I wouldn't believe in evolution. It's only the work done before the state took over all science that convinces me (and the fact that it's simple enough that I can work through it for myself). By the time we finally give up on global warming (in 25 years or so), science will be so utterly discredited that it will be irrelevant - gone the way of theatre, or sittings of the House of Lords - something that is still done because the state funds it, but nobody can quite remember what the original point was.

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