Worstall, Carbon Tax and Floating Polar Bear Syndrome
Tim Worstall doesn’t argue the scientific case for global warming. He openly admits he doesn’t understand the issue on the grounds that he “isn’t a scientist” or climate expert. Unfortunately, neither are most of the ideologues running the discredited UN IPCC “scientists” – nor is there any such thing as a ‘climate expert’. And yet, based on the word of IPCC and those associated with its position, TW concludes that global warming-climate change is a “problem” and we should be pouring mammoth sums into fighting, even though the empirical scientific data reveals plainly there’s been no warming at all for 15 years.
TW’s faith in the highly politicized outright intellectual skull duggery of the UN IPCC is, for one normally so astute, perplexing. Even though climate study is still plainly in its infancy, with apocalyptic speculations constantly failing the test of empirical science, TW calls for state intervention that commits us all to paying a carbon ‘poll’ tax instead of the current raft of green taxes.
Carbon Taxomania: Stupidity-on-Steroids
In Debunking the Great Carbon Tax Hype I have already highlighted the core flaws in TW’s campaign. Since then, however, in ‘Problems like climate change are just too important not to use markets to solve them’ TW takes up the pen again, in an ironic argument that must call into question his free market ‘credentials’. TW is basing his latest case on a statement from the manufacturers’ trade body that identifies coalition green policies as “incoherent and failing”. No problem there. They are. But the statement goes on to allege that the “incoherence” is due to “time-consuming, inefficient and costly regulations” of bureaucratic arrangements. TW takes up the case asserting that the bigger problem still is that “the Man in Whitehall is trying to beat climate change by planning the economy.” He goes on that by “demanding which type of energy is produced, how much we use, whether we recycle and how we recycle” bureaucracy is “creating a blizzard of paperwork”.
Ah, so this is the reason the raft of green taxes is completely failing to impact CO2 emissions which in turn is failing to stop global warming…which…er…isn’t actually happening. Just cut the regulations and associated paperwork, simplify the tax system and, hey presto, the state will soon be merrily manipulating the climate. Yes, TW does actually believe it is actually possible – and desirable! – for the state to achieve control of the climate. (Someone should tell the British Met Office, which can’t even tell us with any accuracy what the weather will be like in a few days time that the state could – given the right tax – it could achieve more accuracy.)
Not that TW openly advocates Soviet Union-style central planning, you understand. He points out that planned economies – the “socialist calculation problem” – is a failed relic of the twentieth century, there being “just too many variables to process – even for extremely powerful computers.” Well I nearly fell off my chair laughing at the complete irony in TW’s case.
Just why TW thinks that such a socially ubiquitous ‘poll’ tax would be less of a bureaucratic nightmare, isn’t really clear. Imagine the social fallout from a carbon tax that sets citizen against bureaucracy over an unproven and distinctly dodgy scientific case. Then we’d have (informing) neighbour against neighbour, the impact on heavy industry, the impact on jobs, the impact on…the list is endless. And all to “solve” a “problem” that is not only beyond TW’s understanding, but patently way beyond the current understanding of science.
But that’s not the real irony. Having bought lock, stock and two smoking barrels into the climate scare, TW fails to grasp that the infant science of climate study is so riddled with complexity with “too many variables” of its own, that the climate models of “extremely powerful computers” have constantly proven so wildly inaccurate in their use of data and their predictions, that even former hard-boiled co-alarmists like James Lovelock have been reduced to admitting: “We just don’t know what the climate is doing.” Ah, if only science researchers raking in vast government largesse would be more honest and more often admit “we just don’t know”.
In a nutshell, TW’s case is that a simple bureaucratic change of tack to manipulate the free marketplace is to way to go to achieve the goal: state manipulation of the climate. Not exactly the kind of argument I ever expected a committed free marketeer to make. No wonder University of Houston Professor, Larry Bell, commenting on the new bipartisan mood for compromise among some conservatives in the U.S., tags Carbon Taxomania: “stupidity-on-steroids”.
The fact is that we need to rid ourselves entirely of a plague of green taxes which are having zero impact in the pointless war on a harmless trace and minor greenhouse gas. Arguing for a state intervening substitution of one failed bureaucratic tax system for another merely avoids facing the real scientific conundrum Warmists are avoiding: How is it that CO2 emissions have continued to rise exponentially while the global average temperature has not risen for 15 years?
Ah, the floating polar bear
But I must mention one other thing in connection with TW’s Telegraph missive. Next time such a piece is in the offing, it might be an idea to ensure that it isn’t totally undermined by a dim-witted sub-editor including the iconic green propagandist tool: the image of a polar bear ‘cast adrift’ on an Arctic ice floe. Yes, TW’s piece is captioned with riotous pomposity: “The man from Whitehall cannot protect this polar bear”. Ah yes, FPBS – floating polar bear syndrome! The fact is that polar bears can swim. There’s nothing the cuddly imps love more than jumping onto and riding around on ice floes. It’s what polar bears do for fun. Warmists just haven’t learned the fact yet.
I would expect this kind of bunkem from the BBC, Guardian or the New York Times, but not from The Telegraph. TW’s sub-editor might also like to know that far from being on the point of extinction, as this article in … er … The Telegraph makes clear, polar bears are actually thriving. It seems that if a small area does warm (or cool) polar bears do what they have always done, adapt and move on. I thought this point particularly worth mentioning in the event said sub-editor should unwittingly commit the same error that lately distinguished an activist ‘green’ editor at Disinfo.com. Warning of the threat to polar bears in the Antarctic, said editor overlooked one minor issue: there are no polar bears in Antarctica. But hey, let’s not lot facts get in the way of well-worn, propagandist iconic imagery – the same imagery invoked to embellish TW’s recent column.
Having nailed his colors and reputation to the Warmist mast in a book and in regular articles, we must thus expect TW to float similar arguments. But they all essentially boil down to one: “the Man from Whitehall’ could “solve” the climate “problem”, if only he would substitute an alternative bureaucratic tax system; or, more prosaically, exchange one centrally-planned, environmentally-ineffectual, social nightmare for another.
But enough with the floating polar bears, eh Tim?