Global warming and its solutions


Gold Member
This is a little exaggerated. Even in total tyrrany or complete anarchy there is some market activity.
There's always at least a little government as anarchy is unstable - it can not stay 'complete'.


Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
No market would exist anywhere without a government enforced rule of law. Nor will you find any free market economist stating government has no role.
I didn't say that, but the question was: should the government(s) intervene in this climate thing, or should we let the market solve it (on its own). By that last thing, one would count on the feedback from "I'm doing something to the climate" hence "50 years from now this might affect my revenues" (higher production costs in changed environment, less revenue because of starving customer population etc....). Or, another mechanism which would be "free market" would be that people would only buy products that are made using low-emission processes, by some kind of preference. As such, it would give your product a higher market value if people only bought it, even if it had a higher price.

Putting quota on emissions by rule of law is an intervention in this otherwise free market. This is like limiting the number of doctors or lawyers per capita.


Gold Member
I didn't say that, but the question was: should the government(s) intervene in this climate thing, or should we let the market solve it (on its own).
I understand that; I was attempting to steer the dialog to a more productive question: what should be the nature of the government action? Putting any emissions restrictions aside for a moment, as I suggested above we still need to have a government to have any free market at all. For instance, it must act positively to assure private property rights. Thus its not representative of an ideal free market to imagine firm A acting independent of the govt. w/ only buyers and suppliers. The govt. must be in that example to enforce rights. This includes, importantly, the protection of third parties which have their property infringed by firm's A emissions. In an idea free market firm A would be required to make all third parties whole. Even in the case of AGW, if firm A contributed to some percentage of a catastrophic rise in sea level that destroyed my beach property, they owe me in an ideal free market. Unfortunately this idealized scenario doesn't work because of the transaction costs involved with large scale cases like AGW. So instead we need the govt. to act on our behalf instead by regulating the emissions. The interesting question is, how does it best do that with out wrecking the productivity of the enterprise.
It won't be solved in any form you know, but in the end it will be corrected for though non-governmental solution as follows:

The US energy solution will go something like this. A declining population caused by weather related disasters and pollution even if we cut carbon emmisions in the US to 0. Lower consumption due to increasingly scarce goods and the fact that our money is being owned by everyone overseas (all we have is debt). So in the end, conservation or not, we will not be able to afford too much power besides hydroelectric. We basically burn about everything we can get in our country or countries we invade (Canada has lots of wood). Sounds silly grim but I bet your children's kids won't think that when they have kids. They will probably ask, "Why didn't you do something about it back when you could of?"

Af course we could build tons of nuclear power plants willy nilly and set up mass transit all over and encourage people to live close together. That will help alot whit the gas problem. And we won't need air conditioning except on the top of the rocky mountains and in Alaska anymore. That will save loads of electricity if you don't mind no air conditioning.

Then there is India, who will at current exponential growth have more population than the rest of the world in your grandchildren's life. What can you do about that? Basically, although you may feel the US' actions can save the world, such thinking is obviously false.

Well I guess, the wild card for the US is fusion power that fits into your car and can run air conditioners to blow hot air onto less fortunate countries until the world heats up to a nice warm 250 degrees or so (when living at all may be a burden). Otherwise kiss the present days goodbye.

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