Thursday, March 14, 2013

Epstein on the Climate

First of all, here's another great explanation of libertarianism from Richard Epstein: Epstein on Libertarianism

And here is his latest from Hoover on the Voting Rights Act: The Mirage of Racism

The latest Libertarian podcast: The Voting Rights Act

Now, here's what threw me for a loop. I had never really heard Richard Epstein talk about climate change until I found this: Epstein talks about climate science

That video starts out awesome, with Epstein kicking everyone's ass intellectually in the way only he can do. But then he starts talking about climate science. Now, my understanding of global warming and all that is mostly informed by just a Teaching Company lecture series I listened to on the subject which left me convinced that while there are very smart objections raised by very smart skeptics, at the end of the day the science is still pretty compelling that anthropogenic climate change is real.

Climate skeptics include the likes of genius physicist Freeman Dyson, so I'm not entirely surprised when brilliant people express skepticism on the subject. But Richard Epstein is not just any brilliant person. I expect him to be right about, well, everything he says. Is it possible that he could be flat wrong about a subject as big and controversial as climate change?

Well, I'm going to claim agnosticism on this one. I really don't know if Epstein is as solid on climate science as the climate scientists who think differently than he does, or if in fact there are many climate scientists who share Epstein's views. I just finished reading this fascinating article by Epstein that goes into the subject in much greater detail: Richard Epstein on Carbon Dioxide That article presents far more nuanced views that he seems to express in the video, such that he comes across as more moderate on the issue than skeptical, per se. And the six point proposal he offers in the end is a must-read.


  1. Kevin,
    There are many climate scientists who share Epstein's views and the case they make gets stronger with each passing day. We are 1 year+ since you posted this and I'm wondering if you're still an agnostic.

  2. Hi Equsnard, thanks for commenting! Yes I'd say over the past year I've become a lot more skeptical of the extreme climate claims myself.