October 11, 2018

Global Warming

Sometimes, each side chooses to cover entirely different subjects. Today, we decided to focus on two issues that are being widely covered on one side but less so on the other. While there won’t be a “flip side" to the arguments being made below, we think alerting our readers to the topics themselves is part of bursting media bubbles. We welcome your feedback!

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued a special report on the impact of global warming... This new study says that going past 1.5C is dicing with the planet's liveability. And the 1.5C temperature ‘guard rail’ could be exceeded in just 12 years... Keeping to the preferred target of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels will mean ‘rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society’."

BBC

See past issues

From the Left

The left is deeply alarmed and calling for global action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“This isn’t just a science report. This is a few hundred of the world’s best scientists screaming (in terrifyingly politely worded specificity) for the world to step up.”

Salon

“[The report] finds that the world has already warmed by... 1 degree Celsius since humans began sending industrial pollution into the atmosphere. The costs of this warmth can be seen around the world: This decade alone, sweltering heat waves have killed thousands; engorged floods have ravaged cities from Houston to North Carolina; and half of the coral in the Great Barrier Reef has died. The question is what happens next."

The Atlantic

If we are able to successfully reduce emissions, “hundreds of millions of people would be spared extended periods of extreme heat, water scarcity, drought and flooding. Crop yields would not fall as drastically. Coral reefs would have a chance of survival. Countless species would be spared extinction."

Bloomberg

Worth noting: “It is not the direct effects of climate change alone but their indirect effects on the political and economic structures of the world that make it a genuinely existential threat... Among the tipping points that we cannot foresee in any detail is the prospect of historically unprecedented refugee migrations as whole populations who have no choice but to starve or move set out for land where they can live."

The Guardian

Many are calling for a carbon tax.

What ought to happen is that the US sits down with the European Union and Japan and decides on a carbon tax. The initial tax should be low, but it should be set to escalate. And the three big players in the global economy should also agree to impose a fairly stiff tariff on any country that doesn’t agree to join the carbon tax club. Right away, a bunch of countries will want to join the club, and with each new country that joins, staying out of the club becomes costlier.”

Vox

“Unfortunately, no alarm seems loud enough to penetrate the walls of the White House... Perhaps the most important thing the public can do right now is seek out and support candidates who take this threat seriously. Also ballot measures: In Washington State, Gov. Jay Inslee is asking voters to approve a carbon tax. It would be the first of its kind, in any state, and could serve as an inspiration for others."

New York Times

In addition to a carbon tax, here are nine other policy ideas to reduce emissions.

Vox

From the Right

From the Right

“Cut through the spin, and the only debate Democrats are having is whether to eliminate private health insurance in one blow or on the installment plan… Mr. Biden supports a new government insurance plan that would ‘compete’ with private insurance. We use quotation marks since a government insurer with zero cost of capital and political backing starts with an unbeatable advantage. The public option would undercut competitors on price, stiff providers with low reimbursement rates, and crowd out private insurance over time…

“South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has called a public option a ‘glide path toward Medicare for All.’ Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said at a town hall this year that with a public option ‘over a couple years you’re gonna transition into single payer.’ Remember this as Mr. Biden says—and this may sound familiar—that if you like your health insurance, you can keep it.”
Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal

“Kamala Harris won [the debate] going away. She was sharp, aggressive, and took chances (e.g., tearing into Joe Biden, and criticizing Barack Obama). She totally dominated the stage… Pete Buttigieg did well. He’s smart and calm without being soporific. He’s probably not going to be the nominee, but if Warren or Harris wins the nomination he’s going to be their vice presidential pick… [But] the Democrats have gone off the left-wing deep end… After watching last night’s debate, as well as tonight’s, you would reasonably conclude that the Democratic field cares far more about the well being of illegal immigrants than actual Americans… And tonight, Kamala Harris ripped Joe Biden up for having opposed — wait for it — school busing, one of the most unpopular policies of the 1970s.”
Rod Dreher, The American Conservative

Regarding migrant detention centers, “the vast majority of the people and the outlets that shared [the] exchange [about toothbrushes and soap] failed to note that the violations being discussed had occurred during the previous administration… Instead, they jumped straight to the conclusion that the federal government, headed up by President Trump, was deliberately inflicting pain on babies. This isn’t true. It wasn’t true during the Obama administration either. Then, as now, the violations weren’t part of an intentional or evil ploy, but were the product of the system’s being overloaded… Certainly, some facilities have taken shortcuts, as the result of either bureaucratic incompetence or limited resources. But those infractions will be fixed by additional funding, additional facilities, better oversight, and quicker processing, not by pretending that the president is a tyrant.”
A.G. Hamilton, National Review

Regarding his candidacy overall, “There’s a lot of conventional wisdom in Washington that the early front-runner always loses. And that’s true except when it isn’t… in 1999, George W. Bush dominated the polls and, except for a brief scare from Senator John McCain in the New Hampshire primary, essentially cruised to victory. A key part of Bush’s early success, not just in polls but in fundraising, stemmed from the fact that he was promising a Bush restoration…

“He was offering a referendum on the incumbent president and the scandals and partisanship that defined the end of his administration. He vowed to restore ‘honor and dignity to the Oval Office’ and to be a ‘uniter not a divider.’ The very different context notwithstanding, this is pretty much Biden’s campaign message. The ideological, activist, and Twitter-obsessed base of the Democratic party may not like Biden’s pitch. But it sure looks like rank-and-file Democrats do.”
Jonah Goldberg, National Review

“Not only did [Trump] attack the ‘squad,’ he managed to do it in a way in which no other prominent Democrat can continue to criticize them publicly, lest they be perceived as echoing the president’s contention that they should go back where they came from. At the exact moment the accusations and counter-accusations were set to do lasting damage, Trump just had to jump in and give them an attack that would unify them all. It often seems like Trump would rather have a bad news cycle that focuses on him than a beneficial news cycle that focuses on someone else… Everyone around the president can read a poll and knows that his rage-tweeting is a liability; it is perhaps the biggest liability in a presidency that, with prosperity and a perception of peace, ought to be comfortably cruising to reelection.”
Jim Geraghty, National Review

“If Joe Biden can win his way through the primaries, he’s almost lab-engineered to beat Trump. He doesn’t cause Republican panic, he has the potential to connect with white working-class voters in a way that Hillary couldn’t in 2016, and he has a potential to connect better with black voters than Hillary did… if Biden emerges from [this] crucible, Trump will face a very different challenge than he faced in 2016.”
David French, National Review

“NBC and MSNBC embraced Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in the first debate of Democratic presidential candidates Wednesday night, treating her like the star of the show. The debate led off with Warren, who had a huge popularity advantage from the start… NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie started it off sounding more like Warren’s press secretary. ‘You have many plans – free college, free child care, government health care, cancelation of student debt, new taxes, new regulations, the breakup of major corporations,’ Guthrie said, before teeing up an economy question. Guthrie even used Warren’s plan to break up tech companies as the foundation for a question for Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey… the round-robin final comments also ended with Warren, as Maddow asked her for the ‘final, final statement.’ That let NBC bookend the entire debate with Warren and Warren.”
Dan Gainor, Fox News

President Trump should be happy. As much as Warren is articulate, obviously intelligent, and energetically supported by Democrats, she would also be far easier to defeat than Joe Biden… Considering Trump's economy, the president is well placed to defeat Warren.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

A libertarian's take

“The fans who avidly followed the men’s tournament certainly weren’t doing anything wrong. And it’s hard to argue that each of them had a moral obligation to be exactly as interested in women’s soccer. Even if we could stop them from watching the men more than the women, should we?…

“It’s tempting to answer that the fan choices aren’t innocent, they’re sexist. But since we can’t peek into their hearts, to say that definitively, we’d have to assume that men’s greater speed, strength and endurance definitely make nodifference to the sport’s quality. Fair enough, but then why do fans prefer to watch Megan Rapinoe play instead of the sedentary elderly who could presumably use some exercise? Alternatively, maybe pay should be equalized precisely because biology is unfair. But that seems to be an argument for curbing the pay of all top-level athletes, who have to hit the genetic lottery just to get on the field. It might be easier to focus on the distributions across society at large, rather than every individual industry, especially when fundamental biology is in play.”
Megan McArdle, Washington Post

On the bright side...

This massive hammer is missing from a California town. Police are stumped.

USA Today

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