Growth, trade, economic well-being and yes, fossil fuels are the best protection we have from a nature that isn’t nice – so in the name of sustainability, let’s have more of those things.
Whenever accusations of “bubbles” are thrown about, I think of these extraordinary stories and the grand selection mechanism that is financial markets.
Every step of the way, Goldstein’s account is mistaken.
For years, people like Naomi Klein, the author of This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, have said that their goal is to destroy capitalism ‒ and climate change just happens to be the best tool and best argument she has found.
The truthfulness, or “factfulness,” of a proposition does not depend on the biases of the person uttering it – psychologically, ideologically, pecuniary, or otherwise. It depends on the nature of the evidence.
When the world suddenly changes, we want an economic system that adjusts and reflects our updated knowledge and desires. That requires prices to move, quantities to change, bankruptcies to occur and a whole lot of profiteering – whether in our world or in fictional worlds.
Three Books on Solving The Climate Crisis: False Alarm, Apocalypse Never and Green Market Revolution
Joakim Book contrasts and compares Bjorn Lomborg’s “False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet”, Michael Shellenberger’s “Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All”, and Christopher Barnard and Kai Weiss’ edited book “Green Market Revolution: How Market Environmentalism Can Protect Nature and Save the World.”
The full judgement of the Swedish experiment must wait a while.
The environmentalists had a field day during the corona pandemic. The anti-human policies they have called for, protested for, disrupted societies and other people’s lives for, were suddenly implemented en masse, albeit on a temporary basis. Think of it as a trial for green policies.
The crisis of 2020 has invited a lot of comparisons to the past, particularly the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 and to various war efforts. For those concerned with banking, public finance and monetary policy, the summer of 1914 might be a more appropriate candidate.
A disturbing trend among true believers is to quip that “Bitcoin fixes this,” almost regardless of what the problem may be.
The kind of reasoning that underpins the tired old asymmetric information bogeyman in health care falls straight into the behavioral symmetry between market participants and policy makers that is a core contribution of modern public choice economics: it is not believable to submit that governments have magic wands.
“Laissez-faire” Stockholm seems to fare better than locked-down New York.
Riding out storms and sharing risks across billions of people is a feature, not a bug, and the affluent capitalist nature of our institutions puts us in a better position to deal with them.
Contrary to what almost everyone has said during the last three months – from media talking heads to presidents and epidemiologists and your neighbor – the growth of pandemics is not exponential. The number of people infected and number of dead don’t follow “exponential” curves. They follow S-shaped curves.
Contrary to the U.S., where President Trump and Governor Cuomo and countless other political figures compete for the attention of their constituents and populace and underlings, the Swedish experience has been one of decentralized decision-makers and arms-length officials calling the shots.
Let poor countries grow rich, and in due course they will, too, look after their forests.
Instead of succumbing to the eternal alarmism that should undermine ecologists’ credibility, we should accept that maybe – just maybe – the world is getting better. And much-reviled capitalist markets are, in no small feat, to thank for that.
Voice of Capitalism
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