A reader of mine, whose name shall remain anonymous, has attributed to me a stance this is not mine. To the best of my knowledge I ever said, let alone wrote, anything to the effect that a small increase of temperature every year would not have dire consequences, eventually. That is the viewpoint he attributes to me. I never made any such claim, to the best of my memory, in any public talk or debate; certainly, I never published anything supporting anything like that. Rather, here are my views on temperature change.
The lefties in the 1970s claimed global cooling would do us all in and it was the fault of capitalism. Then, after there were a few hot years, the liberals in the 1990s claimed global warming would be the end of us all and it was the fault of, guess what, yes, the free enterprise system. Then there were a few cool years and the “progressives” in the 2010s claimed temperature change would have dire consequences and it was the fault of the evil private property and profits-based system. The latter of course is tautologous in that no state of affairs of the weather could refute this claim.
Clever pinkos. Note how they continually change how they want us to refer to them. You would adopt this policy, too, gentle reader, if you were as mistaken as they are in all such matters and wanted to shield yourself from criticism. “Hey, that’s not our view!” they might say. “It was those other guys.”
Note, also, that weathermen can hardly predict their way out of a paper bag — for a few days hence, let alone a week or more. You have to take pretty much everything they say with a grain of salt. Ditto for meteorologists, who predict weather for decades hence, even centuries. Talk about chutspa. If you look back at what anti market meteorologists were saying 50, 75, 100 years ago, their record is not too good.
So, what, then, are my own views of the future of the weather? I HAVE NONE! Rather, I take the position that specialization and division of labor are crucially important. I’m having enough difficulty with economics and libertarian theory, areas where, perhaps, I can make some claim to expertise, to stick my neck out making claims way beyond any expertise I might have. In my classes on environmental economics at Loyola University New Orleans, I insist, only, that students be aware of all shades of opinion on all issues. I certainly don’t make this claim that was falsely attributed to me.
So, in which direction do I veer on these issues? I veer against the left. I do so for two reasons. One, the above-mentioned changes in their views. Two, consider the following. The astronomers are now having a debate as to whether or not Pluto is a planet. What is my view on that? Like temperature change, I have no view on this matter AT ALL, since I must repeat, I firmly believe in specialization and the division of labor.
But, suppose the anti Plutoists (Pluto is not a planet; it is some other type of heavenly body) dealt with the Plutoists (Pluto is indeed a planet) in the same manner as the left deals with their critics: cancelling them, disrupting their public speeches, trying to get the Plutoists fired from their jobs, even threatening the Plutoists with jail sentences. Then, I would veer in the direction of thinking that if the anti Plutonists were correct in their claims, they wouldn’t need to resort to such below the belt tactics. I would suspect that the Plutoists were correct. Would I then become an avid outspoken Plutoist myself? Of course not. I know nothing of astronomy. I respect the concept of specialization and the division of labor. I apply it to EVERYTHING.
Modesty is not totally unbecoming on issues about which I know virtually nothing.
Reprinted with the author’s permission.