Category Archives: Economics

The Gordian Knot of Climate Change and Terrorism

Following the recent terror attacks in Manchester and on the London Bridge, both the Left and the Right have been quick to give their own narratives of what happened and why. The Right, predictably, blames the attack on open-borders, multiculturalism, and Islamic extremism, whereas the Left is placing blame either upon “hate-mongers,” climate change, and interventionist foreign policies. As with all things, I think that the truth lies in the middle…but that is not the point of this post. The point of this post is to reply to dear, old Tomi Lahren and the following asinine tweet of hers:

Tomi’s tweet, along with countless others like it, are imbued with a fundamental misunderstanding of the Gordian Knot that is the relationship between climate change and terrorism. This post will be a modest attempt to explain what people mean when they say “climate change is linked to terrorism.”

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Why Climate Change Really Is Our Most Urgent, Number One Priority Right Now

A little over a week ago Bill Nye (the Science Guy) was on CNN’s “Crossfire” segment where he “debated”, and I hesitate to use this word when describing the following people, pundit S. E. Cupp and the Heritage Foundation‘s Nicolas Loris on the impact that climate change has on our lives. Amidst Bill’s clearly superior understanding of climate science and Loris’ “>muh federalism” cries, Cupp stepped up and did make one interesting point when she said

[Y]ou can look at entitlement reform which will bankrupt this country long before climate change destroys us, heart disease kills 7 million a year worldwide, 870 million suffer from hunger; I want you to look me in the eye and tell me in good conscience that climate change is our most urgent, number one priority right now.

While I loved Bill’s response and her reaction, I feel like he could have run with it more. Specifically, climate change directly affects the root cause of each of those issues and solving climate change is a prerequisite to solving any of the issues Cupp brought up. You see, climate change really is our most urgent, number one priority because it will not only be a huge blow to the economies of the world due to flooding and relocation issues, but it will disrupt global food supplies due to crop failures and ocean acidification, and the increased temperatures will create higher outbreak rates for diseases. All these, which will be fleshed out below, are reasons why climate change is a prior question and answers the impacts of Cupp’s claims.

My aim in writing this is not to provide a comprehensive list of the impacts of climate change, rather to point out that climate change comes before every issues that Cupp claims is more important.

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Attempting the Impossible – Calculating Capitalism’s Death Toll


While there have been other attempts to count up the number of deaths that can be attributed to Capitalism (to counter the figures presented in The Black Book of Communism as well other places), most noteably, determinatenegation’s list and The Castroists’ list, neither critique the methodology used by the the supporters of the “OMG Communism killed 70 trillion people!!1!” nor do they provide easy to verify sources. So while I think both lists are fabulous (and I may use parts), this post will be not only a critique of the methodology used by the other side, but also a more user friendly list.

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Climate Denial and the Death of Rationality

Unfortunately, despite all our scientific advances and supposed advances in rationality, there is still one lingering and debated issue…whether climate change is anthropogenic or not. If you’re a person who enjoys the Kochs or believes everything the CATO Institute tells you, this is directed towards you. In 2013 a study was completed by and authored by nine different scientists ranging from climate scientists at the University of Queensland to geological scientists at Memorial University of Newfoundland. The article, titled, “Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature”, apart from being one of the best articles on climate science I have ever seen, without a doubt proves the human influence on the environment. Specifically, the authors, Cook et al., took over 10,000 peer-reviewed scientific articles published in journals examining climate science over the past 20 years and found that “papers rejecting the consensus on AGW[1]…[make up]…a vanishingly small proportion of the published research” (Cook et al.). Specifically, the study found that literally less than 1%[2] of all the papers published and studied rejected the anthropogenic thesis. When one churns the math (.007 * 11,944 papers = 83.6, rounded to 84), 84 out of the over 10,000 papers rejected the thesis that climate change is anthropogenic and, as per the study, that already amazingly small percentage is shrinking (Cook et al.).

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Capitalism’s Coercive Nature


During the course of this paper I will be attempting to prove that the modern day capitalist bourgeois-proletariat contract is just as coercive as the “forced taxation” that modern day Libertarians and Anarcho-Capitalists complain about. I aim to prove that the “agree to this or die” mentality inherent in any profit driven labor contract is no more “just” than the tax man coming to your door telling you to hand over your money. If one works within the framework of the non-aggression principle* and the moral philosophy of Stefan Molyneux in Universally Preferable Behavior then one ought to reject the capitalist bourgeois-proletariat contract as being “unjust” and “another form of coercion”. At this point it must be noted that I do not intend to prove that coercion is either a moral or immoral thing, I merely am attempting to prove that bourgeois-proletariat contract is coercive and therefore is immoral under the framework laid out by modern Libertarians and Anarcho-Capitalists. The issue of an apriori ethical framework shall be in a later post, this one is building off existing frameworks.

I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence.       -Eugene V. Debs[1]

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