Saturday, March 8, 2008

Climate "poison"

The following stands out as an example of gaseous hyperbole:

Picking your poison [Drew Thornley]
One of the comments from the Heartland climate change conference that stood out to me came from Vladimir Putin’s former chief economic advisor Andrei Illarionov, now an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute.

During the question/answer portion of a panel that discussed cap-and-trade vs. carbon taxes, Illarionov rhetorically asked: if given the choice, would you rather be hanged or shot at the hands at Stalin. His answer: Neither! Whether killed in private (the hidden tax of cap-and-trade) or in public (the direct carbon tax), either way, you’re dead.

Illarionov’s point was that, no matter how you slice it, regulating CO2 is lethal to an economy. Instead of weighing the pros and cons of cap-and-trade versus carbon taxes, opt for neither.

Good plan -- stop thinking about pros and cons, or evidence, or the bias of the quoted source, or simple good taste. Just throw out some overstated rhetoric and a ludicrous Stalin analogy and call it a day.

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