Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« Will Conrad Black get a pardon from Bush? | Main | Two for one special »

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ron Paul interviewed in the New York Times

Ron_paul_profile_2 The folks at the New York Times are pretty smart. Like us, they know how to milk Ron Paul traffic (if you're wondering, it's not that difficult. You simply mention Ron Paul and streams of liberty-lovers flood your website).

That's why Stephen Dubner, co-author of the bestselling pop economics book Freakonomics, solicited questions for an interview of Ron Paul two weeks ago at his Times blog of the same name. That's also why he waited one week before releasing the first part of the interview, and another week before releasing part two today.

The entire interview (both parts) is worth reading and full of interesting questions and answers, but my favourite was Paul's balanced and sensible answer about global warming:

Q: Do you deny global warming? Is Obama right to invest money in green technology? If you don’t deny it, and don’t think Obama is right, what is your solution?

A: I try to look at global warming the same way I look at all other serious issues: as objectively and open-minded as possible. There is clear evidence that the temperatures in some parts of the globe are rising, but temperatures are cooling in other parts. The average surface temperature had risen for several decades, but it fell back substantially in the past few years.

Clearly there is something afoot. The question is: Is the upward fluctuation in temperature man-made or part of a natural phenomenon. Geological records indicate that in the 12th century, Earth experienced a warming period during which Greenland was literally green and served as rich farmland for Nordic peoples. There was then a mini ice age, the polar ice caps grew, and the once-thriving population of Greenland was virtually wiped out.

It is clear that the earth experiences natural cycles in temperature. However, science shows that human activity probably does play a role in stimulating the current fluctuations.

The question is: how much? Rather than taking a “sky is falling” approach, I think there are common-sense steps we can take to cut emissions and preserve our environment. I am, after all, a conservative and seek to conserve not just American traditions and our Constitution, but our natural resources as well.

We should start by ending subsidies for oil companies. And we should never, ever go to war to protect our perceived oil interests. If oil were allowed to rise to its natural price, there would be tremendous market incentives to find alternate sources of energy. At the same time, I can’t support government “investment” in alternative sources either, for this is not investment at all.

Government cannot invest, it can only redistribute resources. Just look at the mess government created with ethanol. Congress decided that we needed more biofuels, and the best choice was ethanol from corn. So we subsidized corn farmers at the expense of others, and investment in other types of renewables was crowded out.

Now it turns out that corn ethanol is inefficient, and it actually takes more energy to produce the fuel than you get when you burn it. The most efficient ethanol may come from hemp, but hemp production is illegal and there has been little progress on hemp ethanol. And on top of that, corn is now going into our gas tanks instead of onto our tables or feeding our livestock or dairy cows; so food prices have been driven up. This is what happens when we allow government to make choices instead of the market; I hope we avoid those mistakes moving forward.

Read the rest.

Posted by Kalim Kassam on November 20, 2008 in U.S. politics | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Ron Paul interviewed in the New York Times :


Corn ethanol costs more to produce and is more inefficient than gasoline? Sounds like the catalytic converters forced on us in the 70's which were supposed to decrease pollution but ended up increasing it instead. Way to go, Washington.

Posted by: Charles Martin Cosgriff | 2008-11-21 5:27:05 AM

At least he's not suggesting that pouring more fiat currency on the fire will put it out.

Posted by: JC | 2008-11-21 5:47:03 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.