The Quotable Cowen

The general point remains that most discussions of global warming focus on prices and technologies alone, without incorporating realistic models of politics.

More here. The failure to incorporate realistic models of politics into one’s thinking is the reason many people are statist in the first place. When they are romantically statist, you know there is little hope in having a productive conversation.  When concerted political action based on this or that moral framework is conceived as a redemptive ideal, questioning its desirability just makes you a bad person. Tyler is right that “Being pro-science also means being pro-economic science.” But for many pushing large, immediate anti-warming action, there is exceedingly little interest in science per se, but a great deal of interest in the rhetorical and political possibilities of science. When you see Scientific American giving its pages over to English teachers to argue that economics is not a science, in order to clear the way for political action, you can be sure that the science of it all is not really the paramount concern.

Author: Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research at the Niskanen Center