John Bagnell Bury on Francis Bacon and the idea of progress


Source: Beware greens in progressive clothing | Books & Essays | Environment | spiked.

Solution aversion and the anti-science Left


Climate science is the latest manifestation of solution aversion: denying a problem because it has a costly solution. The Right does this on climate science, the Left does it on gun control, GMOs, and plenty more. Cass Sunstein explains:

It is often said that people who don’t want to solve the problem of climate change reject the underlying science, and hence don’t think there’s any problem to solve.

But consider a different possibility: Because they reject the proposed solution, they dismiss the science. If this is right, our whole picture of the politics of climate change is off.

Some psychologists wasted grant money on lab experiments to show that people that think the solution to a problem is costly tend to rubbish every aspect of the argument. Any politician will tell you you do not concede anything. Sunstein again:

Campbell and Kay asked the participants whether they agreed with the IPCC. And in both, about 80 percent of Democrats did agree; the policy solutions made no difference.

Republicans, in contrast, were far more likely to agree with the IPCC when the proposed solution didn’t involve regulatory restrictions…

Here, then, is powerful evidence that many people (of course not all) who purport to be skeptical about climate science are motivated by their hostility to costly regulation.

The Left is equally prone to motivated readings. For example, it was found that those on the left are much more concerned about home invasions when gun control can reduce them rather than increase them.


The Left picks and chooses which scientific consensus as it accepts. The overwhelming consensus among researchers is biotech crops are safe for humans and the environment. This is a conclusion that is rejected by the very environmentalist organisations that loudly insist on the policy relevance of the scientific consensus on global warming.

Previously the precautionary principle was used to introduce doubt when there was no doubt. But when climate science turned in their favour, environmentalists wanted public policy to be based on the latest science.

The Right is welcoming of the science of nuclear energy or geo-engineering. The Left rejects it point-blank. Their refusal to consider nuclear energy as a solution to global warming is a classic example of solution aversion. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

How to deal with science denialists

Most climate alarmists do not separate the policy issues, the economic issues, from the science of global warming as suggested in this flowchart. Specifically, they do not ask what is the economic and social cost of global warming.

Science progresses one funeral at a time?

George Stigler and the innovator as propagandist

Source: Stigler Conviction vs. Feynman Integrity | Paul Romer.

I used to write essays about the threats of global cooling in high school

John Stuart Mill on the importance of having critics


Karl Popper on the evolution of knowledge


John Stuart Mill on the role of error in finding truth


Hayek on the role of error in the growth of knowledge


Previous Older Entries

The History of Parliament

Blogging on parliament, politics and people, from the History of Parliament


Res ipsa loquitur - The thing itself speaks

(macro)Economics live from London

Franck Portier's professional page

Catallaxy Files

Australia's leading libertarian and centre-right blog

Climate Audit

by Steve McIntyre

The Secret Barrister

Independent Blogger of the Year, The Comment Awards 2016 & 2017

Notes On Liberty

Spontaneous thoughts on a humble creed

A New Zealand lawyer, ex-MP, farmer and enthusiast for life opines on law, politics and the universe

Books & Boots

reflections on books and art

Legal History Miscellany

Posts on the History of Law, Crime, and Justice

The Dangerous Economist

Celebrating humanity's flourishing through the spread of capitalism and the rule of law

Sex, Drugs and Economics

Celebrating humanity's flourishing through the spread of capitalism and the rule of law

The Long Run

the EHS blog

The Undercover Historian

Beatrice Cherrier's blog

Vincent Geloso

Economics, History, Lots of Data and French Stuff


Tracking Anthropogenic Climate Alarmism

Science Matters

Reading between the lines, and underneath the hype.

Point of Order

Politics and the economy


Libertarian environmentalism

Doc's Books

A window into Doc Freiberger's library

Newmark's Door

Celebrating humanity's flourishing through the spread of capitalism and the rule of law

Media Myth Alert

Calling out media myths

Uneasy Money

Commentary on monetary policy in the spirit of R. G. Hawtrey

European Royal History

Exploring the History of European Royalty

Tallbloke's Talkshop

Cutting edge science you can dice with


Small Steps Toward A Much Better World


The blog for those who LOVE Lieutenant Columbo...

The Risk-Monger

Let's examine hard decisions!


“We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without criticism. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. We know that in secrecy error undetected will flourish and subvert”. - J Robert Oppenheimer.


The truth about the great wind power fraud

Trust, yet verify

Searching for the missing pieces of climate change communication

Roger Pielke Jr.

professor, author, speaker

Promoting fair and accurate coverage of Israel

Economics in the Rear-View Mirror

Archival Artifacts from the History of Economics


Celebrating humanity's flourishing through the spread of capitalism and the rule of law

Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

Celebrating humanity's flourishing through the spread of capitalism and the rule of law

Lindsay Mitchell

Celebrating humanity's flourishing through the spread of capitalism and the rule of law


Celebrating humanity's flourishing through the spread of capitalism and the rule of law

croaking cassandra

Economics, public policy, monetary policy, financial regulation, with a New Zealand perspective

%d bloggers like this: