Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The economic basis of climate change denialism

Paul Krugman, Digby and Amanda Marcotte all speculate on on climate change denialism. But they focus on the politics; they're missing the economic factor. Denialism is rising fast, which means that people with money, serious money, are funding it. And people with serious money aren't stupid: they put their money where their economic interests lie.

The right wing has been against environmentalism in general for many decades, and it's not just to "piss off the liberals". The crux of the biscuit is that in general, labor extended on environmental activities does not produce profitable commodities. You can't bottle clean air, you can't wrap a healthy ecosystem and sell it at Best Buy: you can't rent the capital to workers and take the exchange the surplus labor for your own profit. The only way to improve the environment is by taxes, and these taxes come, one way or another, out of the pockets of the rich.

The only non-commodity production the right wing is interested in supporting is the military and the police. (It's ironic that Libertarians, those soi disant opponents of coercion, support the socialization of only the police and the military, whose only raison d'ĂȘtre is actually coercing people. Libertarianism without coercion is anarchism, and I like anarchists a whole lot better than I like Libertarians... of course, I like rabid weasels more than I like Libertarians.)


  1. Not all self described libertarians are minarchists.

  2. I'm as uninterested in the fine details of Libertarian dogma as I am in the fine details of Christian theology, for almost exactly the same reasons.


Please pick a handle or moniker for your comment. It's much easier to address someone by a name or pseudonym than simply "hey you". I have the option of requiring a "hard" identity, but I don't want to turn that on... yet.

With few exceptions, I will not respond or reply to anonymous comments, and I may delete them. I keep a copy of all comments; if you want the text of your comment to repost with something vaguely resembling an identity, email me.

No spam, pr0n, commercial advertising, insanity, lies, repetition or off-topic comments. Creationists, Global Warming deniers, anti-vaxers, Randians, and Libertarians are automatically presumed to be idiots; Christians and Muslims might get the benefit of the doubt, if I'm in a good mood.

See the Debate Flowchart for some basic rules.

Sourced factual corrections are always published and acknowledged.

I will respond or not respond to comments as the mood takes me. See my latest comment policy for details. I am not a pseudonomous-American: my real name is Larry.

Comments may be moderated from time to time. When I do moderate comments, anonymous comments are far more likely to be rejected.

I've already answered some typical comments.

I have jqMath enabled for the blog. If you have a dollar sign (\$) in your comment, put a \\ in front of it: \\\$, unless you want to include a formula in your comment.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.