Klein’s solutions to climate change worse than the warming

Naomi Klein’s Inconvenient Climate Conclusions

The abundance of scientific research showing [upcoming catastrophic anthropomorphic climate change] demands a new civilizational paradigm, one grounded not in dominance over nature but in respect for natural cycles of renewal—and acutely sensitive to natural limits, including the limits of human intelligence.

This is what liberals like Klein and “a-little-piece-of-their-pie” Michelle Obama don’t understand. There is no pie, and there is no limit to solutions for solving energy problems. The only limit is the market-kneecapping, innovation-stifling regulation liberals like Klein advocate.

The market isn’t the cause of environmental degradation. In reality, markets facilitate rewards for innovation. Technological progress enables humans to meet their needs more efficiently, which generally means with less damage to the environment then before the innovation.

You can see this process at work in the way technological progress has made farming less ecologically damaging than it’s ever been. The same is true of industry. You can now manufacture more shit with less damage to the environment than ever before. Markets –> competition –> existential struggle for greater efficiency –> innovation –> cleaner ways of doing business.

As dumb as her premise is, her solutions to climate change are even dumber.

First up she proposes… mass transit. What in the world makes people think mass transit will ever happen?

The gravity of the climate crisis cries out for a radically new conception of realism.

In Klein’s “conception of realism” mass transit is a viable solution and not a perpetually 0ver-budget, behind-schedule, wholly impractical and middle-class repelling boondoggle. I want what she’s smoking. She does seem willing to admit what seriously attempting public transit would do to budgets when she writes, “Government budget deficits are not nearly as dangerous as the deficits we have created in vital and complex natural systems.” First of all, we’re already we’re on the path to total financial collapse, without expensive new public transit programs. And I don’t know about her, but I imagine that collapse will be far worse than the climate change it will exacerbate. Burning coal in homes for heat a la our first Great Depression isn’t environmentally friendly.

Her second solution? She wants to recover ”an art that has been relentlessly vilified during these decades of market fundamentalism: planning.” She proposes, seriously, citizens gathering at city hall to decide together what the laid-off coal workers are going to do after the coal plant is shut down because… global warming. Oh my God I want this to happen so bad. I want this meeting to take place and I want her running it, standing in front of hundreds of factory workers, listening. Has Klein ever been to a public meeting before? Is she for real about this?

If I’d been drinking coffee I’d have spit it out when I read her third solution. When describing the kind of coercive economic intervention she’d like to see more of she writes, “Much can be done with incentives: subsidies for renewable energy.” Is she completely and totally unable to grasp that the public has (rightfully) no taste for “green” corporatism in the wake of the Solyndra scandal?

Klein just proves that the the proposed solutions’ consequences are actually far worse than the threat of global warming itself. Implementing these ideas would be analagous to clubbing yourself to death because there might be a bear in the bushes.

Guest Post: Linguistic non aggression principle

Our language carries a legacy of the authoritarian societies of the past. It has historically evolved to reflect what the ruling members of the society needed expressing: demands, dominance and intimidation. This language is still disconnecting people from each other today. This causes conflicts and makes the state grow.

If the anarchist evolution is going to happen through anarchistic means then the best step towards social change is to make room for more anarchy in our private social networks. This can be best achieved by applying the non aggression principle to these relationships.

I came across some good ideas for what this could look like in an excellent book by Marshall Rosenberg called “Non Violent Communication”. I do not believe Rosenberg is an anarchist but when reading his book, I could not stop thinking how deeply anarchistic his ideas are. He believes that linguistic violence leads to inefficient, unsatisfactory and unpleasant interactions. In extreme cases linguistic violence is a prerequisite for physical violence.

The most obvious form of violent language is making demands or telling people what they “must”, “should” or “are supposed to” do. The “must” is violent because it is an attempt to exercise authority and take away choice. Rosenberg believes that the “must” word was introduced by kings or other tyrants to allow them control their subjects. Without a “must” it would not be possible to give orders to soldiers or extract taxes from individuals. This word and its derivations are simply not used in non violent communication.

A similar example of aggressive language is giving uninvited judgement. For example saying “you made a bad decision” means that the speaker puts himself in a position of a judge of the behaviour of others and hence claims a position of authority. Claiming authority in this way is linguistic violence even if the judgement pronounced is positive.

Violence committed by the state goes unnoticed by the majority of people. They consider it a normal state of affairs. In a very similar way more subtle forms of linguistic violence escape most people’s attention.

One example of more subtle linguistic violence is labelling. It is easy to understand why labelling someone a “murderer” is the first step towards denying them empathy. The “murderer” becomes an abstract category. Everything he does or says can be from now on explained by him belonging to this category so there is no need to understand him as a person anymore.

But it might be less obvious that calling someone “a good programmer” can also be considered violent. One reason it is the case is because this means acting as a judge again. Another reason is that once someone is labelled “a good programmer” we start paying less attention to their actions. Hence the quality of the interaction with this person deteriorates.

A particularly violent form of labelling is making comparisons. Telling your son “you are a worse student than your friends” is likely to hurt him deeply. In addition to all ways in which labelling usually retards an interaction, making comparison will be perceived as unfair because the person being judged has zero control over other people, whose performance now contributes to his assessment.

I recommend Rosenberg’s book to anyone interested in reforming the way they communicate. Adopting a verbal non aggression principle makes inter human connections stronger and harder for the forces of social coercion to corrupt. And developing stronger and happier relationships with fellow men is a logical strategy for building a voluntary society.

Jan Iwanik blogs for Mises.org, Mises.pl, AdamSmith.org and a few other places other prominent economics blogs. He lives in London.

Arpaio: tough on crime, not terribly concerned with civil rights

File this under why I’m a libertarian.

APNewsBreak: Feds say Arpaio violated civil rights

People! Having to give your McDonald’s order to someone with a limited grasp of English is annoying. Getting pulled over without probable cause and arrested without charges and forced into solitary confinement is fucking terrifying. I’m sure the person who called in the complaint about the McDonald’s workers feels like they don’t need to stand up for civil rights because they’re protected from police abuses by their race and class. But we middle-class white people are not as safe as we think we are. When you’re applauding police for being tough on crime, remember that every day more activities are included in “crime.” Are you going to applaud these measures when they’re turned on you?

Fast and Furious: Tragically, however, these bureaucrats are both corrupt and stupid

Issa: Holder protecting staff over ‘Fast and Furious’

Conceived by the Phoenix Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives — a Justice Department agency — Fast and Furious began in November 2009 after calls by Justice officials to focus resources on Mexican drug cartel leaders rather than low-level straw buyers. At its core, the operation was intended to allow straw buyers to supply drug cartels with firearms in the hope that ATF could identify cartel members after the guns recovered at crime scenes in Mexico were traced to their original place of purchase.

This program, which Holder has finally acknowledged was “fundamentally flawed,” occurred with the knowledge and approval of Justice. Tragically, however, the program’s guns have been linked to numerous murders in Mexico. The operation was only halted after the death of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry a year ago in the Arizona desert. The two guns recovered at the murder scene both traced back to Fast and Furious.

So the plan was for the BATFE to sell guns to cartel members, who would use them to kill people. Then the cartel guys would hopefully leave the guns at the crime scenes, so the cops could trace the guns back to the cartel members and arrest them. That’s how it was supposed to, and did, work.

How then does Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., preface the program working exactly as expected with “Tragically, however?” This isn’t the normal case of government programs having unintended consequences, unless you count people getting pissed off when your program works exactly as expected as an unintended consequence.

This is how bureaucracies work – ATF Fast and Furious edition

Documents: ATF used “Fast and Furious” to make the case for gun regulations

OMG ya’ll. Let me explain to you how government bureaucracies work.

In a bureaucracy, an inordinate number of people sit in a room with nothing to do. No one expects, much less demands, that the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) actually put even a dent in black-market alcohol, tobacco and gun sales. So the bureaucrats sit around and think up ways to continue to get to sit around and think up ways to continue. The pressure is on to be as ineffective and wasteful as possible, because actually getting results gets you nowhere but out of job (no problems = no bureaucrats). Also failing to spend your whole budget gets you a smaller budget next year.

That’s default. But sometimes — while justifying their existence by spending as much money as stupidly as possible — bureaucracies fuck shit up to such a degree that the MSM notices. For instance when cartel members kill a US Border Patrol agent with guns bought from a US government bureaucracy as part of the “Fast and Furious” BATFE program.

Some say that this harebrained scheme is the result of an BATFE conspiracy to perpetrate more gun control. No doubt. But not because ATF fuckheads care about getting guns off the streets. Clearly that’s not their main concern since they were PUTTING GUNS ON THE STREETS OF MEXICO.

No, the BATFE want more gun control for the same reason the DMV wants you to have to walk your ass down to their office every damn year and buy a sticker, and the Department of Education wants to further regulate and nationalize curricula, and the FDA wants to expand their oversight into supplements. They want more gun control because it means bigger budgets, increased job security and promotions as people are hired under the existing bureaucrats.

It’s a fucked up when the best we can realistically hope for out of an organization is that they waste time and money in ways that DON’T KILL PEOPLE. And they still fail!

I’ll end with this. Gun control is a pointless, fascist farce aimed at, on the benign end, giving lifelong bureaucrats something to do, and on the less benign end, of depriving people of their last recourse against a tyrannical government.