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Thursday, July 23, 2009

"Cap and Trade" Fnord

It's always interesting to notice fnord phrases get created and circulated. I already mentioned that the "global warming" scare is probably one huge scam. It's an excuse to increase the size and power of the State, while providing corporate welfare.

Surprisingly, I didn't receive any hate mail for my "The Global Warming Scam" post. I expected somebody to comment "FSK, you're a scumbag for suggesting that carbon dioxide does not cause global warming!"

The phrase "greenhouse gases" is itself a fnord phrase. That phrase has as a hidden assumption "Carbon dioxide causes global warming.", a statement I consider to be not proven.

The latest "carbon dioxide control" proposal is called "cap and trade". Superficially, it sounds like a noble proposal. There will be a cap on carbon dioxide emissions. You can buy or sell the right to produce carbon dioxide. It sounds like a free market solution!

The fallacy is the way that the carbon credits are allocated. Old businesses are grandfathered. If you own an old coal-burning power plant, then you receive a carbon credit equal to your emissions at some time in the past. If you want to build a new coal-burning power plant, then your only option is to buy a credit from someone else. The only fair way to allocate carbon credits is "Every person gets an equal credit." None of the proposals include a uniform allocation per person. Insiders always get preferential treatment.

Viewed this way, the carbon credit proposal is welfare for existing businesses, while a barrier to entry for someone who wants to create a new business. If you read the fine print of the proposal, it's thinly veiled corporate welfare.

The carbon credit proposal is further corporate welfare for the financial industry. They will create the new market where the carbon credits are bought and sold. That is silly, because the financial industry is already leeching a pretty large percentage of all economic activity.

Another defect in the carbon dioxide control laws is that "developing 3rd world countries" are exempt. The carbon cap in the USA provides an economic incentive to move jobs from the USA to other countries.

The carbon tax is essentially a tax on all economic activity. There already is a huge tax on all economic activity: the income tax. Even though I work as a software engineer, I still use electricity. Some carbon was burned to provide me with that electricity. When I take the subway or buy goods in the store, energy was consumed. This new tax is pretty much unavoidable.

The only way that agorists could avoid the carbon tax is to find ways to generate energy outside the control of the State. One example would be an agorist ethanol manufacturer. If Zero Point Energy technology is real, then that would make the global warming debate silly.

These carbon tax laws will further strangle the economy. For this reason, my reaction is "Great! Let's wreck the economy even more!" If there's anything that Congress and the President can do to accelerate the collapse of the economic and political system, I'm in favor of it!

Another interesting aspect of the law is that it's phased in gradually over many years, rather than all at once. This means that the damage caused by the law will occur at some point in the future, and the problems may not be directly attributable to the law. Once in place, the Federal Reserve was politically untouchable. Similarly, the carbon tax law probably won't be repealed once it's passed.

State-licensed scientists provide lots of research proving "Carbon dioxide causes global warming." My favorite fnord is a computer simulation proving that temperatures will rise in the future, due to carbon dioxide emissions. Such a simulation has, as an assumption, that carbon dioxide causes global warming. It's built into the assumptions of the simulation, making the conclusion meaningless!

State-licensed scientists receive most/all of their funding from directly or indirectly from the State. Suppose politicians provide lots of funding for scientists who say "Global warming is a real problem!" and they deny funding for scientists who say "Global warming is a scam!" This naturally leads to the result that a majority of State-licensed scientists back global warming. If a politician says "95% of scientists agree that global warming is a problem!", that's nonsense for the same reason democracy is nonsense. The truth is not determined by a majority vote. This is especially true when people are brainwashed to be stupid, or have a financial incentive to be stupid.

Peer review exacerbates the problem. Suppose that a majority of scientists are brainwashed to believe the global warming propaganda. If a scientist comes along and says it's wrong, then he's essentially telling his colleagues "You're all frauds!" Via peer review, it's difficult/impossible for a scientist who challenges conventional wisdom to find a job. The peer review system is actually a great system for slowing the rate of scientific process.

It's amusing to watch the cluelessness. Most politicians now accept "Carbon dioxide clauses global warming!" as an unstated assumption. "The way to solve society's problems is via more government violence!" is another unstated assumption of all politicians. If you see politicians debating the carbon tax law, they aren't debating "Does carbon dioxide cause global warming?" They're debating "Is this a good law, or should we try something else?"

If you read the fine print of all the "Combat global warming!" proposals, they're thinly veiled corporate welfare. As usual, a heavily-hyped issue is an excuse for looting and pillaging.

The pattern is very recognizable. It's pathetically obvious now that I can see the fnords. The mainstream media propaganda surrounding the bailout/TARP proposal is almost the same as the hype surrounding the carbon credit proposal. Just from that correlation alone, I can conclude that there is some funny business surrounding the global warming scare.


George Donnelly said...

"For this reason, my reaction is "Great! Let's wreck the economy even more!" If there's anything that Congress and the President can do to accelerate the collapse of the economic and political system, I'm in favor of it!"

Exactly. Nicely done.

Mathias said...

Good article. I agree about cap and trade. It is a new energy tax that will be difficult to avoid.

However, there are ways to avoid it. I ride a bicycle to work most days (no gasoline tax). Agorists and other Do-It-Yourself people across the country are making alcohol stills to make their own energy. Even if the still is legal with a permit, it places the power of distribution back into ordinary people's hands. Energy taxes are less (or non-existent, if you choose).

It's been a noticeably cooler summer in most of the United States this year. I made the observation that "global warming" had to be renamed "climate change".

The guys I was talking to agreed that "climate change" was a better name for it, but then made sure to back up the accepted assumption that the earth was warming up. They wouldn't be caught dead disagreeing with a Politically Correct stance. I just smiled. I had introduced doubt in their minds. I won't push my luck by making myself obnoxious.

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