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The Rise of Hysterical Left Wingnuts


Cullen, I've been reading Pragcap for 10 years. I can remember back during the financial crisis when it was tea party wingnuts who were in full panic mode about QE and the deficit and all the things you were so busy debunking. Today I feel like the pendulum has completely swung and now it's left wingnuts going hysterical about inequality and climate change trying to scare people into believing that the world is ending and we need to tear the whole system down.

Do you get this impression as well or is it just me?

Yeah, I’ve noticed this a bit. Not sure I’d say it’s quite as hysterical as the hyperinflation nonsense I regularly encountered back in 2009. But yeah, I do see the Left using fear as a tool for policy. Maybe they’ve learned from Conservatives after all this time?  🙂

"Pragmatic Capitalism is the best website on the Internet. Just trust me. Please?" - Cullen Roche

Calling someone who is worried about climate change (a scientific fact) or inequality (an economic fact) a wingnut is a bit of a different view.  Are facts a problem?  The QE hysteria was not based on facts.   They are very different.

There is no doubt that there are many highly energized people concerned about climate change and inequality and hyperbolic rhetoric has become the norm today.  Understanding climate change and inequality is a wise thing to do in evaluating ones personal macroeconomics just as it is part of strategic planning at the Pentagon and many large corporations.

Climate change is already having an impact on personal spending decisions as evidenced by how governments are dealing or not dealing with property loss (e.g. see Florida Keys road support, or being able to insure a house for fire in many regions of the west).  Is the Earth going to burn up?  No!  In fact warmer means wetter which is good for biological life.  It's just that will largely be lower life forms like fungi, bacteria, reptiles, ..... that benefit.

The impact of inequality is a bit different.  The existential threat is revolution.  It's happened many times.    Are we on that path?   We have at least one candidate (Sanders) calling for a "revolution" in ways that are related to pre-French-Revolution rhetoric.  There is increasing inequality today and it makes an important data point in allocating ones savings and how best to deal with potential changes to tax structures.

In the end I think being knowledgable about climate change and inequality is just part of being an informed human.   The same with understanding QE as Cullen has described.

This is a good example of hysterics. There is evidence that the climate is changing, but that evidence is very unclear as to how much it's actually changing and how much that will negatively impact the environment. There are people out there claiming that mankind will be gone if we don't do something about climate change soon.

The worst part is that the USA can't even do that much. If the US and Europe don't get China and India onboard with their climate policies then none of it matters anyhow.

The entire debate is a hysterical overreaction to things that aren't certain and can't even be controlled by the hysterical people getting hysterical about them.

Recognizing that climate change is real is the opposite of hysterics and accusing me of hysterics is so intellectually vapid after what I said it appears you are unable to comprehend simple english.  I pointed out global warming would not burn up the world and would make some places more hospitable to human life but that there would be larger benefits for lower forms of life (fungi, bacteria, reptiles, ...).   That is not hysterics but straightforward scientific analysis.

To say that "There is evidence that the climate is changing, but that evidence is very unclear as to how much it's actually changing and how much that will negatively impact the environment." demonstrates an inability to read critically with comprehension.   We know with a solid scientific basis that the world has warmed by 1.5 K over 250 years and 0.9 K over the past 50 years.  We know with solid scientific basis that the rise over the past 250 years is primarily due to AGW.   Have you studied the Berkeley Earth projects reports?   Here you have a project initiated by a UC Berkeley Physics Professor (Richard Muller) who was skeptical of the AGW claims and wanted to bring the skills of astrophysical data analysis to the problem.   He had reason to be skeptical because of his long standing interest in ice ages  (he had published a book “Ice Ages and Astronomical Causes”).  His team produced the most extensive analysis of temperature data done to date after which he concluded that the warming trend is almost entirely due to AGW.    

It's not hysterical to be concerned about AGW.  In fact it's exactly the opposite.   In fact it demonstrates the value of one of the greatest of human gifts, science.   Intelligent beings recognize that studying AGW and working to moderate human induced change is in the best interest of humanity.

There is disinformation being produced on both "sides" of the AGW issue and many people lack the background and intelligence to sift through disinformation.   You have clearly been the victim of effective disinformation.    All major scientific organizations in the USA solidly support the view that AGW is real (caused by humans) and potentially damaging to humans.    There is virtually a 100% consensus among scientists of this view, not just climate scientists.

Calling all scientists, whose core view of the world is rational, hysterical, is comical.


I suspect large scale data analysis like that in this Nature Climate Change article will continue to accumulate.  Physicists have an exceptional ability with large scale data analysis, from single photon quantum entanglement experiments to the LAHC to LIGO.



The problem isn't a lack of evidence. The problem is that the Democratic party has started using this as a scare tactic to try to pass their policy agenda. They know that we can't stop climate change without changing policy in China and India, but that hasn't stopped them from hysterically screaming that the world is going to end if we don't pass the Green New Deal. This is dishonest scare mongering even if the climate change science is real.

I don't think the core of the Democratic party is hysterically screaming the world is going to end if we don't pass the Green New Deal, but certainly there are some.   But what are reasonable people supposed to think, that it's not a problem?   No!  For instance it will absolutely be a problem for many people in the world who live close to sea level (e.g. Miami, Bangladesh).   It will also be a problem where changes in weather patterns drastically hurt crop production (e.g. Western Guatemala).

The Pentagon investigates AGW as a risk to US security because of how it could impact groups of people around the world, increasing migration and resentment of the US around the world.   The world will adapt to change, the issue is will the change be managed and stable, or violent.

AGW by the most simple physics means weather will get more extreme because we have put more energy into the system and to first order the fluctuations will go as the square root of the energy in the system.  But that's a much harder sell with the mostly ignorant voting public.

Actually, China has been on board for a long time, and possibly way ahead of the US.  They are "foresting" their cities.  Their new coal plants have been designed to be modifiable  and run without coal in the future.  And other innovations as well.  We should remember that we basically exported our pollution to China when so many product sold in the US are marked "made in China" rather than "made in the USA."  So China is not only contending with the pollution generated by and on the behalf of the Chinese, but also that generated on behalf of the rest of the world.

I think the physic angle might resonate with the voting public.  As it stands, they do not understand why effects would be more extreme than the inputs.  A couple of physics equations with those squares might help, like (kg*m^2)/s^2.


When Blackrock decides that its portfolio will include the impacts of climate change on investments (just like the Pentagon includes the impacts of climate change on US security) it's very hard to understand people who argue it is "hysteria".

Here in Colorado, where both fire and hail damage have increased, insurance companies have drastically changed their policies.   A single hail storm two years ago resulted in $1.5B of claims in a small area near me.   As a result most homeowner policies changed, and my prior house insurer (Progressive) made roof replacement zero value for roofs that were not under 5 years old.

Some apparently think it's hysteria, but the reality is we are seeing real economic impacts.