[Snark Factor: Ridiculously High]
In honor of Earth Day, yesterday Dr. George Reisman, Professor Emeritus of Economics at Pepperdine University and author of Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics, put up a fun little post that mocks the full-employment arguments made by President Obama on behalf of environmentalists and investors in the wind and solar power industries.
On the comment thread, I couldn`t resist expressing my appreciation, while introducing newer readers to the deeper challenge to which Dr. Reisman invites his readers:
I too have enjoyed another delightful article from Dr. Reisman; bravo!
But Dr. Reisman`s style does seem to present problems of
interpretation for some readers, whom do not seem to understand that
while Dr. Reisman appears to simply be bashing environmentalists or
environmentalism generally (by focussing on the most absurd arguments
that some of them offer), he is in fact challenging his readers to do
precisely what he has studiously avoided.
That is, far from simply pulling the wings off of flies as he might
seem to some, Dr. Reisman is actually suggesting that serious students
of economics and libertarian approaches to society should diligently:
For those who think that Dr. Reisman is being serious in his one-sided attack on enviros while ignoring the problems of ongoing rent-seeking by entrenched statist corporations, I would be pleased to refer to other posts in which he is clearly posting tongue-in-cheek and intends no rancor or imbalance. A good example would be his light-hearted post in March 2007, Global Warming: Environmentalism’s Threat of Hell on Earth, in which Dr. Reisman appeared to seriously argue that
"there is a case for considering
the possible detonation, on uninhabited land north of 70° latitude,
say, of a limited number of hydrogen bombs. ... This is certainly
something that should be seriously considered by everyone who is
concerned with global warming and who also desires to preserve modern
industrial civilization and retain and increase its amenities. If
there really is any possibility of global warming so great as to cause
major disturbances, this kind of solution should be studied and
perfected. Atomic testing should be resumed for the purpose of empirically testing its feasibility."
While apparently serious, how could this possibly be a libertarian, nonstatist proposal? The answer clearly MUST be - since Dr. Reisman is a lover of freedom and markets, and not of big government, goverment-run mega projects or statist corporate rent-seeking - that Dr. Reisman was NOT being serious. Instead, in his usual playful manner, he was simply inviting his readers to see through his words, and to productively engage those who are concerned with climate or other commons issues, on the basis of a cool consideration of libertarian and market principles.
Inquiring minds might like to note that I have remarked on Dr. Reisman`s productive and insightful playfulness on a number of other occasions, on top of comments on his environment-related posts, which have been fertilizing the LVMI pages since the 2005 Earth Day.