Trillions and Trillions

If the old saying were coined today, it would be “a few trillion here, and a few trillion there, and pretty soon we are talking about serious money.” Who knows what trillions mean anymore – is the U.S. a $15 trillion economy, or are dollars fluid, and benchmarks meaningless?

Deficits are now counted in trillions of dollars, joining quantities previously ascribed only to global reserves of major commodities, or the annual output of large nations. One trillion. A thousand billion. A million million. Debts and deficits are now routinely counted in trillions with a T. Will requiring counting and auditing CO2 emissions, then taxing and assessing fees on CO2 emissions – and auctioning permits to emit CO2 – become the mechanism for governments to address their exploding debts and deficits, now denominated in trillians, and will such policies best advance the interests of humanity and the earth?

Commodities, along with the value of economic output, or economic capacity, wax and wane in the flux of the global market. If you try to completely regulate all this capitalism, if you try to eliminate all the waxing and waning, you are very likely to create a political economy resembling either fascism or communism. Enforcing a regulatory scheme so comprehensive as to encompass literally all combustion, concerned not merely about clean burning but burning itself, cannot help but require such tyranny.

“A trillion here, and a trillion there, and pretty soon we are talking about serious money.” Is the output of the entire [...] Read More

The Climate Alarm Industry

On May 22nd, 2009, in the Wall Street Journal there is a commentary by Danish economist Bjorn Lomborg entitled “The Climate-Industrial Complex,” and that description says it all. One would think Lomborg is pointing out the obvious – that climate alarm is the pretext to orchestrate a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich – but sadly, this observation is still obscured by overwhelming and terrifying visions of planetary meltdown.

Lomborg has never said global warming isn’t a reality. Like most skeptics, he acknowledges there has been about a 1.0 degree (centigrade) increase in the average temperature of the planet in the past 150 years. Lomborg doesn’t even question the latest and greatest climate models, which, despite the disastrous worst case scenarios that are constantly emphasized, only predict minor sea level rise and moderate temperature increases over the next century. Lomborg’s primary mission has been to simply perform basic cost-benefit analysis on the measures being proposed to allegedly reverse global warming, such as it is. When you do these cost-benefit exercises (read “How Much for a Degree“), the rhetoric of those who think we can actually control climate quickly is seen for what it is – misguided and often misanthropic.

In his May 22nd commentary, however, for the first time, Lomborg went a step further, and exposed the agenda of the “climate-industrial complex.” He quoted U.S. President Eisenhower, who coined the phrase “military-industrial complex,” and [...] Read More