Hayek & the “Global Warming” Scare

Energy regulation economist Robert Murphy weighs in:

Fans of Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek — who warned against the “pretense of knowledge” — should be even more concerned about the sheer audacity of the field of climate economics. After all, it is rather absurd to argue about the impacts of present tax policies on global temperatures in the year 2150. Yet, it is precisely these projections that provide the foundation for policy recommendations.

Many critics have raised this objection before, but it bears repeating: We have no idea what the world economy will be like in the 22nd century. Had people in 1909 adopted analogous policies to “help” us, they might have imposed a tax on buggies or a cap on manure, needlessly raising the costs of transportation while the U.S. economy switched to motor vehicles. This is not a mere joke; “serious” people were worried about population growth, and the ability of large cities to support the growing traffic from horses. Had someone told them not to worry, because Henry Ford’s new Model T would soon transform personal locomotion without any central direction from D.C., these ideas would probably have been dismissed as wishful thinking. As famed physicist Freeman Dyson has mused, future generations will likely have far cheaper means of reducing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, if the more alarming scenarios play out.

4 comments to Hayek & the “Global Warming” Scare

  • - We should be more concerned about Global Warming and Climate Change because Typhoons are getting much stronger and there are greater incidence of Flooding. take for example the recent Typhoon Ketsana which devastated some countries in South East Asia.

  • Elevic Pernis

    I’m from the Philippines, one those places devastated by Typhoon Ketsana. TACNET, all those talk about Climate Change is nonsense if the proposed solutions are statist.

  • So much for the Global Warming scare when it is clear thanks to CLIMATEGATE that it’s only a hoax.

    http://blog.mises.org/archives/011078.asp

  • Global Warming and Climate Change is the biggest environmental issue that we face these days. the long term effects of these environmental changes to a nations economy is quite damaging. there would be a shortage in food supply as well as on water supply too.

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The fundamental principle that in the ordering of our affairs we should make as much use as possible of the spontaneous forces of society .. is capable of an infinite variety of applications. — F. A. Hayek

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