Tuesday, April 24, 2007

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Ta-ta and au revoir

I'm off to Europe for an intensive week-long series of meetings to think about the transatlantic relationship. Blogging will hereby be intermittent for a few days.

Talk amongs yourselves. Topics:

1) Barack Obama gave a foreign policy speech. What do you think of it?

2) Daryl Press and Eugene Gholz argue in this Cato briefing that concerns about peak oil, resource-grabbing by China, and poltical instability affecting U.S. energy imports are overblown. Compare and contrast with Thomas F. Homer-Dixon's essay about environment-inducing wars in the New York Times. Can both visions of the future be correct?

3) Books that you're reading. I'm taking with me the proofs version of Brink Lindsey's Age of Abundance and John Lukacs' George Kennan.

posted by Dan on 04.24.07 at 02:26 PM


Ted Turner and Sam Nunn must be happy.

posted by: Jaideep Dargan on 04.24.07 at 02:26 PM [permalink]

Ted Turner and Sam Nunn must be happy.

posted by: Jaideep Dargan on 04.24.07 at 02:26 PM [permalink]

Essentially every piece of environmental alarmism pedalled during my lifetime has turned out to be false. Templeton said the four most dangerous words in investing are "This time it's different." So question 2 is pretty easy.

posted by: y81 on 04.24.07 at 02:26 PM [permalink]

I think Dan means "war-inducing environmental changes." Anyway, the two articles he links to are not really comparable. One gives Cato's characteristic "don't worry, be happy" spin to the subject of world energy markets as they relate to us; the other dwells on climate-influenced shortages of resources -- most of them not energy resources -- as they relate to other people, whose quarrels may indirectly affect us.

Both could be right, or both could be wrong. With reservations, I tend toward the former view. I do think that having established in Darfur the precedent that resource-related unrest can proceed to genocide without Western interference, it will be difficult for the civilized countries to find the ways and means to prevent similar disasters in the future, in places less remote and more heavily populated than the western Sudan. On the other hand, the nervousness of the petroleum-importing countries about the disposition of countries with oil to sell it probably is unjustified more often than not -- cartels or no, political instability or no. Having said that, the potential for economically damaging oil price spikes in a world with rapidly rising demand for petroleum demands prophylactic measures. The most effective of these would involve raising the price Americans pay for petroleum prices now, through taxation, rather than anything we could do in the security field.

posted by: Zathras on 04.24.07 at 02:26 PM [permalink]

Nice job taking Brink Lindsey's book. His overture to the Democratic Party went over really well with the Democrats culminating in a TNR piece rebuffing libertarians. He really knows his politics, which is why people that hold absolute libertarian views make up at best 1 or 2%. He conflates repeatedly libertarianism with social liberalism and fails to differentiate between a country club Republican (Rockefeller) and a conservative libertarian (Goldwater). There are many libertarians who are pro-life and anti-stem cell research including at his own institute. Yet he seems to equate libertarianism with being pro-choice and pro-federal funding of stem cell research with the latter seeming to conflict with limited government. Democrats are against libertarian positions on the vast majority of issues including: guns, humanitarian interventions, the role of government in regulating business, campaign finance reform, affirmative action, judges, and socialized healthcare, amongst others.

Dan, you should really start reading Stuart Rothenberg, Larry Sabato, and the Cook Report where you might actually learn something about politics. The last book on politics you promoted, Ryan Sager's, who also conflates libertarianism with social liberalism, was also a dud.

For a political science professor, you are increasingly becoming a ivory tower professional.

posted by: disgruntled Republican reader of this blog on 04.24.07 at 02:26 PM [permalink]

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