Cato Institute Should Declare Intellectual Bankruptcy

Last week, the Cato Institute took out full-page ads in papers like the LA Times and New York Times with a doozy of global warming denialism: "Surface temperature changes over the past century have been episodic and modest and there has been no net global warming for over a decade now." As the ever-vigilant Politifact.com truth-checking website quotes NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt:

"What if I said that there had been no global warming for an hour? You would rightly tell me that this was too short a period for it to be meaningful," Schmidt said. "The same is true for a 'decade'. But even so, it is false."

Schmidt directed us to a graph showing the 10-year climate trends using the four main temperature indices. The line bounces up and down like a lie detector graph, but the overall lines all trend upward .


The Cato Institute has an important job as the voice of the libertarian opposition in this country. While real human liberty is threatened by a fragile world and an increasingly interconnected and interdependent humanity, Cato chooses to fiddle around with nonsense.

Cato, you should be figuring out how to apply the principles you believe in to solve the real problems of the world. Cato, where were you when organizations like the Environmental Defense Fund were coming up with real, market-based solutions to our environmental problems like Catch Shares, which give fishermen a stake in the future by giving them tradeable ownership in it? Your website mentions nothing.

Cato, we need you to be the conscientious voice of reason in this age. Don't do anti-intellectual hatchet jobs like this. Be true to the Enlightenment principles you claim to serve.

And stop being idiots.

2 comments:

Zack Morris said...

you should be figuring out how to apply the principles you believe in to solve the real problems of the world

This is based on the assumption that the libertarian opposition can articulate any principles other than "government bad, must go read Fountainhead".

jk said...

And apparently the fundamentalist bible, too. Great blog post showing that the Cato signatories intersect with Discovery Institute signatories on similar ad tactic.

Sigh.

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/04/cato_copies_the_discovery_inst.php