Sunday, April 19, 2015

Highly Linkable

Want to know how much better life is? Look to the Easter Bunny.

Water, water everywhere . . . before you get caught up in the hyperventilating panic, read this and listen to this. Thirsty for more? Try this and this and don't miss this including the block quote at the bottom from a reply to Mother Jones.

They weren't wanting for water at Woodstock as these rainmakers played on. (HT: Tyler Cowen)

Jeffrey Tucker blends up market confusion.

Arnold Kling offers some brief but vital points on sustainability properly considered under the wisdom of economics.

While we're on the subject of the environment, Ronald Bailey asks a great question with wide applicability, but in this case he focuses on global warming. I could make my thoughts on this a much longer post, but for now allow me to make four points:

  • Climate change is a fact! Well, yes. But that is not the debate of substance. No serious thinker believes the climate is static. Many in the environmental movement seem to take as a given that the climate should not change, that species should not go extinct, that man most certainly should not alter his environment . . . in extreme conflict with evidence and reason. This emanates from a status quo (change-hating) bias in opposition to the scientific viewpoint of adaptation. The serious questions are more subtle. 
  • It is important to understand what we can know versus what we most certainly cannot yet prove. Is the climate changing (evolving)? Yes. Are the actions of man partially responsible? Yes. Do we know how much? Not with any reasonable amount of precision. Can we make confident predictions of how the climate will be in the future? No, at best we can make a range of predictions resting on high sensitivity to a host of assumptions. Can we "solve" climate change? No, this kind of question is intellectually bankrupt.
  • There are many implications behind possible climate futures. The good news is we won't be simply thrust into one via time warp. We will have time to continue to discover solutions to various problems including adapting to climates different than what we have become accustomed to as opposed to the impractical luxury of always avoiding those climate changes. Much of Florida might be underwater in 100 years. It is not obvious that Florida as currently conceived is morally superior to things that might significantly affect Florida in the future--assuming we even can pinpoint what those causal things are. Regardless, the future generations will most likely be fabulously wealthier than we are today. They will have resources that we cannot possibly dream of to resolve climate changes. 
  • Beware top-down, all-powerful solutions. This is good advice almost always. Especially this is true when the problem is multifaceted and ill-defined. 
David Henderson has a very good grasp on freedom of association and its implications.

Here's an idea: take a super-powerful organization that is failing at two things and give them a third important task to fail at. Brilliant!

Megan McArdle shows two examples (one for the young and one for the old) where government is making systematic errors that WILL have colossally bad effects.