We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

The stories had all the signs of dutiful public service announcements – “fake news,” as they say today – and they contained not a single quote from a single dissenting voice, because, of course, no respectable news outlet would give voice to “climate deniers.”


Let me pause to protest this “denial” language. It attempts to appropriate the widely shared disgust toward “Holocaust denial,” a bizarre and bedraggled movement that belittles or even dismisses the actual history of one of the 20th century’s most egregious mass crimes against human rights and dignity. Using that language to silence questions about an attempt to centrally plan the energy sector is a moral low that debases the language of denial.

This rhetorical trick reveals all you need to know about the desperate manipulation the climate planners are willing to engage in to realize their plot regardless of popular and justified skepticism concerning their regulatory and redistributionist policies.

Jeffrey Tucker

26 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Critique is the essence of science. Sensible people give a scientific result the time of day only if it has been subjected to true (i.e. critical, questioning) peer review, replication, etc. – and will continue to be subject to them. Whenever a scientific field adopts the “you can’t say that” culture from PC, it promptly ceases to be science – and sensible people stop crediting its claims.

    ‘Denier’ is one of many evidences that climate science succumbed to this corruption long ago.

  • Laird

    A good quote, from a good article, but it’s neither the best nor the most important insight. That would be:

    “Continued reliance on undemocratic, uneconomic, imposed strategies such as the Paris Agreement will only further feed the populist revolt that could end in the worst possible policy combinations of strong-man nationalism, nativism, protectionism, closed borders, and backwards thinking in general. No good can come from this. The backlash against globalism can be as dangerous as globalism itself.”

  • staghounds

    What “widely shared disgust toward “Holocaust denial”? No one without an agenda gives a second, or even a first, thought to Holocaust deniers, any more than they do to moon landing or round earth deniers.

    They are just crazy people. Crazy people get pity, plus ignoring everything else they say.

  • Julie near Chicago

    staghounds, it sounds as if you think there was an actual moon landing. Surely you haven’t fallen for that hoax? Everybody knows the video was shot in a back lot in Culver City.


    An Earth Denier


  • bobby b

    Even in the face of the venality of the climate change industry’s efforts to disguise their attempts to take over society as “science”, it remains more important that the Paris Agreement be given the disrespect and ridicule that it deserves under American constitutional requirements for treaties.

    In spite of Obama’s (and Congress’s) attempts to slide this unratified piece of goo in as an actual treaty, it is not a treaty in our legal sense of the word. Obama knew he could never receive the required two-thirds of the Senate’s votes had he presented this to them for ratification, so he never even tried.

    The entire international community was vividly aware of this failure, and simply did their best to walk around it with averted gaze.

    Lately they – including Senate Republican wimps – have been arguing that it really IS a treaty, hanging their hats on the precepts of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. In other words, their position has become that global law trumps the US Constitution even within the US.

    Their efforts to subvert our Constitution offend me even more than their scientific ignorance.

  • bobby b

    June 1, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    “A good quote, from a good article . . . “

    Laird, you pulled out the one quote that caused me some concern.

    My reading is that this author is another “conservative” who sees danger in the Trump-era feeling that even we stupid non-elite hillbillies deserve to vote and to be heard – who believes that the danger of the global elite pushing through things such as the Paris Agreement isn’t that those things are wrong in and of themselves, but that they’re wrong because they encourage us low-lifes to become involved and active in order to fight them.

    So, is he yet another “shut up and let the think tanks rule” type? Was he truly saying that the global elite are wrong simply because there are better ways to slip bad rules past us commoners without causing the commotion and pushback that Paris engendered?

  • Laird

    An interesting take on it, bobby b, and you could be right but that’s not how I read it. I read it to mean that it was the disregard of the democratic process, the foisting of this pseudo-scientific nonsense on us by an arrogant soi-disant global elite, which risks a backlash of the sort which produced Hitler and other such monsters. (Neither he nor I is saying that Trump is such, mind you, merely that the risks of such a man arising are heightened in such an environment.) At least, that’s how I read it, and I think he’s right.

    I agree with you about the Paris accord violating the Constitution. It is a treaty, by any rational definition of that word, and thus is ineffective and nonbinding unless and until ratified by the Senate (which it won’t be). The same is true, incidentally, about a long list of other “executive agreements” and accords, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, etc. Unfortunately, as I’m sure you’re aware, no private citizen would have the ability to challenge any of those in federal court because we would be deemed to lack “standing”; only a sitting Senator would (probably) have that ability, and none of them has the courage to raise the issue. That includes not only the “wimps” but all Senate Republicans (and Democrats too, for that matter, as it is equally their lawful power which has been usurped by a succession of aggressive presidents of both parties). The country would be well served by a Congress which insisted on preserving its constitutional powers and reined in the imperial presidency. For a long time Congress, and especially the Senate, has been abrogating its duty to serve as a check on the presidency; the constitutional balance of power has been severely upset.

    But as to your fear that global “law”* could trump the Constitution, I don’t share your concern because the Supremacy Clause contains a clear sequence of priority. “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; . . . .” The order of those words makes it clear that should there be a conflict between any of those legal structures, the earlier one controls. That is why a statute which has been enacted pursuant to all proper procedures can be declared “unconstitutional”; a treaty no less so. And indeed, that interpretation makes perfect sense when one considers the difficulty of enacting each type of rule: the Constitution (and amendments) required ratification by 3/4ths of the states; an ordinary statute must be passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the President; but a treaty merely requires approval by the President and ratification by the Senate. The less difficult the enactment process the lower the priority in the event of a conflict. And treaties are lowest on that list (superior only to state law).

    * Sneer quotes because in reality there is no such thing, merely temporary concessions of sovereign power which can be rescinded at any time it becomes politically expedient to do so.

  • Bobby

    Who are these GOP wimps who are trying to call this “Agreement” a Treaty ?

    Please name names ?

  • staghounds (June 1, 2017 at 11:06 pm), when I was young, your description of holocaust deniers as “just crazy people” would have been true for Britain. They did exist back then: I once encountered just such a crazy old woman in Braintree (in the crowd around a street stall debating the Maastricht treaty at the start of the ’90s), and, just as you say, she was treated as a somewhat embarrassing joke by all.

    Even then, it was not true of the middle east: what could more accurately be termed holocaust indifference, but could express itself as holocaust denial or holocaust belittling, was mainstream in various movements there. That culture has come to us, and in Britain today we must be careful how we critique it lest we be arrested. (The left in Britain does not need to be careful – they have welcomed it with open arms.)

    ‘Denier’ stole an opprobrium that was dwindling precisely because it was becoming more needful.

  • Paul Marks

    The present deal (not ratified by the U.S. Senate – so legally meaningless) holds that the United States must cut its C02 emissions now – whereas China only has to cut its C02 emissions in the far future. Even though China produces more C02 than the United States does.

    Such a deal is demented – it is just hatred of the United States turned into print.

    As for the Germans – if they really believed in the Global Warming caused by C02 emissions theory, they would be on a crash building program for nuclear power stations – actually the Germans are CLOSING DOWN their nuclear power stations (and anyone who thinks the German economy is going to be powered by windmills and solar cells is deluded).

    The hypocrisy of the Germans and the Chinese regime is vile – and the false reporting by the “mainstream” media is sickening.

  • That is an excellent article. So many quotable paragraphs.

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement has led to a most agreeable outpouring of pearl-clutching from the usual quarters. It is at moments like this that I develop warm feelings to the orange-faced one. Now, let’s see if he can raise the bar further and take the US out of the United Nations and get the UN to move out of NYC to somewhere more in tune with its ethics, such as North Korea, or a distant planet.

  • staghounds

    President Trump should do something like this every single day. I promise you I could find 365 bits of swamp draining executive branch action in a week.

    His enemies will hate him and manufacture issues no matter what he does. Nothing would please them.

    His supporters elected him to change things. May as well be hated for actually doing what you promised, and were chosen to, DO.

    Drain the swamp.

  • Greg

    Staghounds, here’s a suggestion for your list of 365 bits of swamp draining: identify small bits of each Cabinet agencies’ org chart, say the lowest box in such charts. Likely representing 2-20 people (that’s a WAG). And every day, eliminate one such bit of the org by Exec Order. Obviously, don’t take out a group responsible for air traffic control or critical parts of military operations, but perhaps there’s something over at Commerce or Education that we can do without?

    Then announce this policy, namely, that every day, a new org will be announced as no longer existing.

    This would have the salutary effect of putting the fear of God into every bureaucrat in DC.

  • Sam Duncan

    “Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement has led to a most agreeable outpouring of pearl-clutching from the usual quarters.”

    I heard a reporter on Sky News last night say he’s never seen “world leaders” (ugh) so quick to condemn anything in his whole career. They’re royally pissed off by this.


    Now we can see where their priorities lie. Men are blowing themselves up and shooting innocent citizens in their cities all over the world almost every day, and they’re calling 11pm press conferences to denounce heresy against the climate gods. No doubt the useful idiots will lap this up as usual, but people are beginning to see that the emperors have no clothes.

    “Drain the swamp.”

    Yep. There’s plenty I don’t like about Trump, but if he keeps doing stuff like this we’ll come out ahead of the game.

  • Watchman

    It must be devastating for those involved in the hard work to produce a treaty such as this having all their work taken down by the act of a single man. I am full of sympathy for them… It must be awful to have what you thought was your historical legacy (and maybe Nobel Prize) undermined.

    And the Chinese will be irritated that the US is not just rolling over and letting all heavy industry die. As it happens, technological advances and a desire not to live next to actual industry will probably kill it anyway, but lets not make the Chinese leadership all happy by telling them.

  • Watchman


    I think bobby is correct – the final paragraph (the one after the quote you are discussing) is a bit of a give away:

    Trump and his ilk abroad, backed by voting masses with pitchforks and torches – and not a managed transition from fossil fuels to clean energy – are their creation.

    I’m pretty certain that this is not a reference to a liberal free-market government anywhere, and the angry mob imagery is not a positive view of popularism.

    To back this up, the author’s profile:

    Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Content for the Foundation for Economic Education. He is also Chief Liberty Officer and founder of Liberty.me, Distinguished Honorary Member of Mises Brazil, research fellow at the Acton Institute, policy adviser of the Heartland Institute, founder of the CryptoCurrency Conference, member of the editorial board of the Molinari Review, an advisor to the blockchain application builder Factom, and author of five books. He has written 150 introductions to books and many thousands of articles appearing in the scholarly and popular press.

    On a casual scan, this looks more like the profile of a free-market internationalist rather than a true conservative or popularist. And the focus on economic freedom (which tends to equate with free trade), liberty and technology there is unlikely to equate to actual support of Trump’s popularism. All of which should somewhat endear him to most readers here – for all his tendency to destroy ‘liberal’ icons, Trump is hardly an icon of individual freedom himself.

  • Laird

    Watchman, you (and bobby) might be correct, but I don’t think so. And in any event I still agree with the section I quoted. “Voting masses with pitchforks and torches” is not a recipe for stable, rational governance or the selection of leaders who are over-much concerned with such niceties as individual rights or personal freedom. And as far as its not being a “positive” view, to me angry mob imagery is synonymous with populism (I am not a fan; to me, a populist is someone with no core principles). Incidentally, I note that the summary bio of Tucker you posted is strongly libertarian in character, and also that he is #27 on Newsmax’s list of the 100 Most Influential Libertarians. (Somehow I didn’t make the cut, although I take solace in the fact that neither did Perry deH.) So I’m giving Tucker the benefit of the doubt here.

  • Julie near Chicago

    The general Party Line at von Mises Inst. and (for quite awhile now anyway) FEE is anti-populist* (fine by me, but — caveat — that doesn’t mean that the aggregated sense of members of the general public is always wrong) and, especially at LvMI, a bit too inclined to be overbearing.

    * In the sense of “the popular opinion” or “the popular will” as the proper determinant of What Is to Be Done. By the way, sometime after 9/11, Bill O’Reilly told us all that he was a populist.

    Of course, whether Mr. Tucker follows the General Party Line, and if so to what extent, is another question altogether. It seems to me he’s generally on board, but I haven’t paid a lot of attention to his stuff.

    . . .

    There are two conceptions of “globalism,” as far as I can see.

    1. “Globalism” means that we are all part of the Global Village, and certainly de facto and hopefully de jure as well, we should have a one-world, i.e. Global, government. The “right” ( = ~ non-Left, non-Librul) are violently allergic to this idea. Me too.

    2. “Globalism” means world-wide, international trade, relatively unfettered by laws — for some value of “unfettered.” The Left & libruls come down with migraines and other more unpleasant physical symptoms at the very thought. ‘What, no “governmental oversight” to set fair trade rules [i.e., Laws]? What, are you nuts?’

  • Julie near Chicago


    ‘“Voting masses with pitchforks and torches” is not a recipe for stable, rational governance or the selection of leaders who are over-much concerned with such niceties as individual rights or personal freedom.’


    Overbearing, supercilious name-calling, “labelling” in the worst sense. Maybe he thinks the country is still rife with anti-Catholic prejudice.

    (Although, taking just this part of the sentence strictly at face value and ignoring context altogether — certainly ignoring the opening of the sentence — it’s true enough. But context: The problem is in categorizing Trump voters or supporters as part of said “Voting masses”; whether implicitly or openly. In this case, it begins, “Trump and his ilk abroad, backed by voting masses with pitchforks and torches – and not a managed transition from fossil fuels to clean energy – are their creation.) My boldface of course.

    . . .

    Another problem with the Tucker quote:

    “Trump and his ilk … [don’t favor] a managed transition from fossil fuels to clean energy….”

    Just for starters, “a managed transition” is a phrase that gets my antennae to vibrating intensely. But never mind that, maybe J.T. is just a cliché-bound writer.

    The point is, What “clean energy”? To me, the last part of the quote directly above is an implicit denigration of all our genuine anti-pollution efforts. Besides, TANSTAAFL, and that goes for energy as well. The world is not a perpetual motion machine, everything has a downside™, and there’s no such thing in the long run as “clean energy” (cf. “moving the goalposts”), which if it could be gathered and used 100% efficiently would indeed be that Free Lunch.

    But as I understand it, American coal (for instance) is nowadays burnt pretty cleanly. There is coal gasification too, though I don’t know how energy-efficient it is to produce, and I believe it’s not used much here. See also the photos of “smokestacks belching foul smoke” that have lately been shown in certain lighting so as to imply nonexistent dirtiness of coal- or petroleum-burning plants, whereas they are actually stacks emitting steam. (Heatland.org has some of these I think; anyway, there are one or two famous offenders debunked online). And I daresay I’ve seen them wattsupwiththat.com, also.


    One of the outspoken defenders of the use of fossil fuels is Alex Epstein, who among other things has been a Fellow of the Ayn Rand Institute. As the Foot of All Knowledge informs us at

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_Epstein_(American_writer) :

    “In 2011, Epstein founded the Center for Industrial Progress (CIP), an advocacy group/think tank whose mission is, “to bring about a new industrial revolution.”[12] The CIP has taken positions on numerous policies and legislation regarding energy, notably having supported the Keystone XL Pipeline in 2014.[13]”

    There’s a listing of some of his articles and videos at https://www.masterresource.org/?s=Alex+Epstein . Among other things, his debate with the odious Bill McKibben is wondrous to behold — not because at that point anyway (in 2012) Mr. Epstein was such a polished debater, though he did a pretty good job, but because Mr. McKibben is such an absolute tosser. (However, Anthony Watts said awhile back that in person, McKibben is actually a congenial enough, rather nice person. Ah, theatre!)

    The About Page for that website is at https://www.masterresource.org/about/ . It begins, “MasterResource is a blog dedicated to analysis and commentary about energy markets and public policy.”

    And just for the record, I wish people who are trying to stop the anti-CO2 nuttiness would quit talking about “curbing emissions” and how we’ve already cut our (CO2) emissions by 5090% or whatever it is, as if this were something to be proud of instead of something perverse. I don’t want to cut CO2 emissions, because I’m persuaded that yes, plants generally flourish at a higher ppm of atmospheric CO2, and therefore [pages of Deep Discussion omitted] so do creatures that eat plants, and therefore so do creatures that eat creatures that eat plants, and since we humans are in both those categories, we do better when plants do better. (Unless they are walking rutabags, for instance Triffids.)

  • Cal Ford

    The term ‘populism’ is too vague to be useful – bin it.

  • bobby b

    ” . . . imposed strategies such as the Paris Agreement will only further feed the populist revolt that could end in the worst possible policy combinations of strong-man nationalism, nativism, protectionism, closed borders, and backwards thinking in general.”

    So, strong-man nationalism, nativism, and closed borders – ideas that form the center of Trump’s “movement” (such as it is) – are backwards thinking.

    And, when he states that imposed strategies will “further” feed these evils, the implication is that we’re already there. To “further” feed those evils, we need to be feeding them first.

    I have no doubt that Tucker is a true libertarian and conservative. But I also have no doubt that he despises Trump, those low-class Trump voters, and most every impulse that brought Trump to office.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Heh… “Backward ran thinking till reeled the mind.”


    [Homage to Wolcott Gibbs.]

  • bobby b

    Here’s a quote from a George Will article entitled “Conservatism is soiled by scowling primitives“:

    “Today, conservatism is soiled by scowling primitives whose irritable gestures lack mental ingredients. America needs a reminder of conservatism before vulgarians hijacked it, and a hint of how it became susceptible to hijacking.”

    Sounds just like Tucker.

    Will voted for Hillary, just as, according to him, all good conservatives did. Had Will and Tucker prevailed, we’d have a new Supreme Court Justice who is to the left of Merrick Garland in place today.

    A good trade, I suppose – our Constitution in exchange for keeping government in the hands of the right sort of civilized dinner-party-acceptable D.C. people.

  • Thailover

    Bobby B, yeah, George Will, the ass that blamed the Columbine massacre on trench coats.

  • Thailover

    If the efforts of man are contributing in some way to “global warming”, then us ceasing and desisting those efforts will result in the planet ceasing to warm, or could lead to it becoming cooler.

    ALL “climate change” hokum is based on the above FORMAL FALLACY known as Denying the Antecedent.
    If P then Q,
    Not P, therefore not Q

    Even the rife stupidity of Bill Nye, the “I pretend to be a scientist on TV” guy can’t get past that this is a formal logical fallacy that cannot be deductive an any way, any how.