T. Boone Pickens: Still More from the ‘Man of System’

By -- May 18, 2015 5 Comments

“The man of system … is apt to be very wise in his own conceit, and is often so enamored with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it…. [H]e seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board.”

– Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759).

A recent video is circulating where T. Boone Pickens ranted “I am the expert, not you” to land his point that falling demand, not increasing supply, is primarily behind the oil-price collapse. This outburst reminds me of the quote from the early 20th century humorist Peter Finley Dunne: “It’s not so much what he doesn’t know that worries me, as what he does know that isn’t so.”…

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Carbon Taxation: Remembering When Ken Green (AEI) Went from Aye to Nay

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- May 13, 2015 6 Comments

“Even in flush economic times, carbon taxes would be bad policy. When economies are already laboring under too much spending and are at diminishing-return levels of taxation, implementing a carbon tax would be a mistake.”

– Kenneth Green, Dissecting the Carbon Tax, The American, July 13, 2012.

Open-mindedness is a mark of scholarship. And some great lights of classical-liberal social thought in the 20th century changed their minds for theoretical/empirical reasons from a utilitarian perspective.

F. A. Hayek began as a democratic socialist. Milton Friedman started as a FDR New Dealer and Keynesian. [1] Friedman later in life even moved away from his (naive) view of a fixed-monetary rule where, as he once put it, a computer program could manage the money supply. [2] Turns out that ‘money supply’ is not a fixed, known quantity; turns out that money is a government monopoly subject to politics.…

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Enron: Robert Kennedy Jr.’s Corporate Climate Champion?

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- October 3, 2014 1 Comment

“I do, however, believe that corporations which deliberately, purposefully, maliciously and systematically sponsor climate lies should be given the death penalty.”

“The Cato Institute, The Heritage Foundation, the Cooler Heads Coalition, the Global Climate Coalition, The American Enterprise Institute (ALEC), Americans for Prosperity, Heartland Institute, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), George C. Marshall Institute, the State Policy Network, The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).… these front groups are snake pits for sociopaths.”

“Koch Industries and ExxonMobil have particularly distinguished themselves as candidates for corporate death.”

– Robert Kennedy Jr., “What States’ Attorneys General Can Do About Climate Deniers,” Huffington Post, October 1, 2014.

Robert Kennedy Jr.’s screed against great American corporations is an elitist indictment against consumer preferences for affordable, reliable energy. Kennedy’s hate speech is also a confirmation about how badly the climate fanatics are losing in the court of public opinion.

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Kenneth P. Green: 20 Years in the Energy/Environmental Movement (Part II)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- March 7, 2014 1 Comment

[Editor note: Part I yesterday described Ken Green’s current responsibilities at the Fraser Institute and Canadian energy/environmental issues. Today’s post covers Green’s early interest, education,  and career in environmentalism.]

MR: When did you first become interested in environmental science?

KG: I was always interested in nature as a kid. I remember catching frogs at a nearby golf course when I was 5, and I grew up in California camping in the various state parks, where I was always interested in catching critters and playing with them. Lizards, horned toads, snakes, small rodents, whatever I could catch. I also loved science, and remember the name of my 6th grade science teacher, Mr. Jahn, who made studying science fun.

I used to go out to the Mojave Desert a lot with my mother, who was a real character.

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Kenneth P. Green: 20 Years in the Energy/Environmental Movement (Part I)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- March 6, 2014 2 Comments Continue Reading

The Mighty Bakken (Resourceship in action: II)

By Fred Lawrence -- June 14, 2013 3 Comments Continue Reading

Pickens Plan III: More Retreat but Still Errant (SPR oil for nat gas)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- May 14, 2013 3 Comments Continue Reading

Kenneth Green (AEI) on the Carbon Tax: From 'For' to 'Against'

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- July 19, 2012 9 Comments Continue Reading

Capitalist Reality and Creative Destruction (Part II: Enron's Political Capitalism Play)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- January 3, 2012 2 Comments Continue Reading

Overplaying Heat, Underplaying Adaptation (Part II)

By Chip Knappenberger -- July 12, 2011 5 Comments Continue Reading