By Andreas Tiedtke
This article first appeared at the Ludwig von Mises Institut, Deutschland. It has been translated with permission from the original German into English, by Andy Duncan. Here is the original article. The detailed references in the article below link directly to the glossary attached to the original piece.
On the 17th of November in Bonn, the 23rd UN Climate Change Conference (COP 23) finally concluded, with 20,000 participants from all over the world, accompanied by a substantial contingent of journalists.  This conference continued the process of the Paris climate agreement, one of the largest state control projects in human history. From 2020 onwards, ‘industrial countries’ are expected to provide an annual sum of $100 billion U.S. dollars to restructure the world’s energy supply. This money will also be used to ‘eliminate any damage caused by climate change’. Much of this cash is expected to flow into private sector investment within developing countries, with only a relatively small proportion going to the public sector for the ‘already necessary remedy of climate-related damage’. 
Of course, the politicians of these nominated ‘industrialised countries’ will hardly expect to pay all of this cash out of their own pockets, but will instead mandate their taxpayers to pick up the tab. As far as this ‘private investment’ is concerned, there would be no need for any agreement if these projects were actually profitable within a genuine free market. Instead, the relevant financial incentives are created through regulation and subsidy, which then restricts freedom of choice for private producers and also blunts the free choices of taxpayers. In addition, the International Monetary Fund is calling for a carbon tax , even though net taxpayers have already been heavily burdened by energy taxes, vehicle taxes, and other such charges and regulations within the housing construction business.
However, if citizens decide that politicians are unable to provide substantiated evidence to back up a massive encroachment upon assets and freedoms, this could prove catastrophic for politicians, as well as for entire industrial segments that no longer rely upon the freely chosen demands of customers, but instead rely upon taxpayer subsidy and government regulation. These industries range from the manufacture of wind turbines and electric cars through to that of electric lamps and polystyrene thermal insulation panels. And let’s not forget the climate conference industry itself.
Bottom up versus top down
By Neil Lock
Today, I’m going to look at two diametrically opposed ways of thinking, and at the practitioners of those two ways. One way, I call bottom up; the other, top down.
Bottom up thinking is like the way we build a house. Starting from the ground, we work upwards, using what we’ve done already as support for what we’re working on at the moment. Top down thinking, on the other hand, starts out from an idea that is a given. It then works downwards, seeking evidence for the idea, or to add detail to it, or to put it into practice.
These two opposed methods bear on far more than just the way we think. The idea of bottom up versus top down can be applied to many dimensions of our lives. It can be applied to our overall world view, and to our views on religion. To how we seek knowledge. To our ethical and political views. To our conception of government and law. To our opinions on economics and environment. To how we communicate with others. To our views on education and media; and many more. Bottom up versus top down isn’t a single scale of (say) 0 to 100, but a multi-dimensional space, in which each individual’s position is represented on many different axes.
By Andy Duncan
I noticed something very subtle, today, while reading a recent article in the Guardian. If you can bear to read it yourself, here’s the link.
I may be imagining it, but I think there has been an almost imperceptible shift in the usual recent Gramscian and culturally Marxist language of mind control.
Let’s avoid worrying too much about the actual subject of the article, which is the British government’s proposed ban on the internal combustion engine in 2040, within the expected lifetime of certain newly-built cars.
Yes, this has almost single-handedly wrecked the retail vehicle market in this country. Yes, it is simply value signalling of the worst kind. Yes, we all know that our esteemed democratic ‘leaders’ and their string-pulling fonctionnaires need to live off our taxes.
Open letter on behalf of the worldwide Catholic and Orthodox lay faithful in response to Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew on climate change
by Lord Monckton
A FALSE BALANCE is abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight (Prov. XI:1).
Your Holinesses’ recent admonition to your flocks about climate and the environment, though it was at one level a practical attempt at rapprochement between two faiths whose religious beliefs are in essence identical, demonstrated a naïve, unbalanced, scientifically ill-informed, disfiguringly totalitarian and, therefore, environmentally destructive political partisanship that it was and remains Your Holinesses’ bounden duty to eschew. Read more
By Neil Lock
(Author’s Note. This is an updated and re-written version of my earlier paper “Diesel Fumes” on the same subject).
Back in April the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, introduced from the coming October a £10 a day “toxicity charge” for pre 2006 cars, both petrol and diesel, entering the current London congestion charge zone. He also set out plans for a London “Ultra Low Emissions Zone” (ULEZ) . From April 2019 (brought forward from September 2020), it will cost £12.50 per day to drive in this zone a diesel car first registered before September 2015, or a petrol car built before 2006. Furthermore, he plans to extend this zone to the area inside the North and South Circular roads by 2021.
I’ve been critical of Donald Trump in the past. But just recently, he made the best decision he has yet made. Not just for Americans, but for all of us human beings.
I refer, of course, to his decision that the USA will exit the Paris climate “agreement.”
Anyone, who has looked at and understood the facts, knows that the “human emissions of carbon dioxide will cause catastrophic global warming” scare is, and always has been, a scam.
Donald Trump has got this issue right. Probably, he has done so for domestic US political reasons. But his decision has already started to echo around the world. And why? Because, all but uniquely for a politician in the last half century, he has supported truth against lies.
Well done, Donald. And all of us should follow his example.
This is a brief addendum to my earlier essays on Conviviality and Good Governance.
In writing my recent paper about diesel cars, I found myself using the idea of “social cost.” The Business Dictionary defines this as “the expense to an entire society resulting from a news event, an activity or a change in policy.” Wikipedia calls it “the private cost plus externalities.” An externality from something is a cost or benefit that affects a party, who did not choose to incur that cost or benefit.
This set me thinking about how a convivial order, which includes a minimal system of good governance, would deal with such costs. (I’m assuming that an unintended benefit to others, or positive externality, wouldn’t require any action by anyone – except that the doer might choose to stop doing it.) The most obvious example of such a cost is the cost to others of pollution, such as air pollution, water pollution and noise pollution. But it can also be applied to other activities, such as the cost to innocent individuals of bad, politicized regulations and taxes. In this paper, however, for simplicity I’ll use the word “polluter” for the party causing such a cost.