With libertarians like this, who needs statists
Reason Magazine describes itself as libertarian. Its slogan is "free minds and free markets." It claims to provide "a refreshing alternative to right-wing and left-wing opinion magazines by making a principled case for liberty and individual choice in all areas of human activity."
Ronald Bailey is the science editor of Reason. He was recently interviewed by Jami Floyd on the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC radio to talk about global warming. Some excerpts from that interview follow (my transcript).
Floyd: "I know you're not a fan of a lot of the suggested solutions to global warming, but you do accept the underlying premise that it's happening, right?"
Bailey: "Yes, I do."
Floyd: "So what convinced you?"
Bailey: "Well basically, it's a weight of the evidence kind of argument. Is that over time you would see how the trends are going. But you would also see trends like sea level rise, glaciers melting around the globe. That kind of thing. And eventually it became a weight of the evidence and I was going 'well, it is probably happening and I should get on board with that'..."
Floyd: "What do we do?"
Bailey: "... My policy suggestion is that what you do is try to create, and I think the world is going to move in this direction, a harmonized carbon tax. It is very transparent. You know whether a country's implemented it or not. You charge the tax at the mine head, at the well head for oil. And it goes through the economy there and you gradually raise it over time. That would be my solution."
There you have it. The science editor of perhaps the premier "libertarian" magazine in the country advocates a global tax, a "harmonized" tax, on all fossil fuels -- a tax that should "gradually raise" over time. Also note that the only scientific evidence he cited was for warming trends, and not any evidence to show that those warming trends were man-caused rather than natural, or that any cure is not worse than the disease.
By the way, here are a few suggested readings for Mr. Bailey and anyone else interested, for starters.
- Freeman Dyson, renowned physicist; Fellow of the Royal Society; winner of the Lorentz Medal, the Max Plank Medal, Enrico Fermi Award and the Templeton Prize.
- Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT. And writing more recently here.
- William Happer, Cyrus Fogg Bracket Professor of Physics at Princeton.
- Bjorn Lomborg, author and professor at the Copenhagen Business School.