Minireviews: Mill on Liberty, Lawson on global warming

John Stuart Mill – On Liberty (1858)

The only legitimate reason for restricting a person’s liberty is to prevent direct harm to someone else. Or if they belong to a backwards or barbaric society. Or if the state perceives itself in peril. Or they’ve offended against decency. But apart from that, I mean.

Recommended: Of course. You could drive a T-72 tank through the loopholes here, but this book presents some of the clearest arguments ever made for individual freedom, (although promising more than reality could deliver). I last read it 15 years ago, and was surprised to recognize ideas that I didn’t consciously pick up then, but have arrived at later.

Nigel Lawson – An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming (2009)

The climate change scenarios for the year 2100 do not justify drastic action on our part. The future will be richer than we are, so why make a large investment just to improve the already high GDP of our super-rich grandchildren? The other negative effects of global warming will be slow in coming, and can be compensated for in the same way humans have always responded to negative change: By adaptation. Besides, there’s really nothing we can do without India and China, and it is absurd to expect them to take on this expense.

Recommended: Yes. Lawson’s mild skepticism of AGW is superficial, but “it’s too expensive, plus futile” is a pretty strong argument against abandoning fossil fuels. Stronger than “we’re taking a risk with a downside of unknown size”? I don’t know.

3 Responses to Minireviews: Mill on Liberty, Lawson on global warming

  1. Rasmus Rasmussen says:

    Gode gamle Stuart Mill.
    Bjørn. Har du set omtalen af International Civil Liberties Alliance på de største danske politiske blogge, og hvordan du og andre norske bloggere under “Ja vi elsker” er taget som gidsel for organisationen? EDL, Vlaams Belang og alt det stuff med den danske enfant terrible og forhenværende ? trotskist Lars Hedegaard som galionsfigur. De forsøger at dække sig ind under liberalisme.

    http://www.libertiesalliance.org/countries/norge/

    Mvh.

  2. Ha ha, den linken må være gammel, eller fra noen som ikke har fått med seg all kranglingen min med kontrajihadistene. Og at de har med AntiJihad Norge må vel være fordi de ikke har oppdaget at den er nedlagt – det ble litt vanskelig for dem å forklare hvorfor de hadde oppfordret leserne sine til å (vurdere å) drepe politifolk, etter 22/7 i fjor.

    Men da passer det jo fint at de linker til meg, så kan de lese denne kopien av de siste innleggene hos AntiJihad: http://max256.bearstrong.net/antijihadnorge/

  3. Rasmus Rasmussen says:

    Det kan de ja. Sagen er bare langt mere speget.

    http://www.uriasposten.net/archives/38429#comments

    På arnestedet sappho.dk har man fejt lukket for kommentarer, og på snaphanen.dk er stilheden rungende.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s