Your Word For the Day: Columny

I saw the word “columny”, presumably a portmanteau word composed of “column” and “calumny”, for the first time in this post by Matt Welch in response to Paul Krugman’s indictment of opponents of Waxman-Markey as denialist right-wing ideologues:

Allow me to re-edit the lede of Paul Krugman’s latest columny, an attempt to pre-emptively marginalize those who disagree with another sweeping federal proposal…

I don’t have a great deal to add to Matt’s post:

It’s telling that, as in the health care debate, Krugmanesque supporters of cap-and-trade–which, it’s worth mentioning, has never worked–are eager to place the burden of proof for a massive policy overhaul on the shoulders of a broadcast shock-jock. If he was interested in engaging the best arguments against Waxman-Markley, he might start with the archive of Reason Science Correspondent Ron Bailey, who (unhelpfully!) can’t be categorized under any of Krugman’s caricatures.

other than to point out this sentence:

The House has already passed a fairly strong cap-and-trade climate bill, the Waxman-Markey act, which if it becomes law would eventually lead to sharp reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

There’s a critical word in the sentence, “would”, that demands some consideration. Would Waxman-Markey, however enforced and implemented, definitively reduce greenhouse gas emissions? Or, if perfectly implemented and enforced, could it? There’s an enormous difference between those two.

3 comments… add one
  • You know, this touches upon something thats been bugging me of late. Liberal pundits love to complain about Beck or Limbaugh or Hannity, but what is stopping them from going to other sources for the “other side of the story”? Well, nothing. I never see such pundits look at conservative (or libertarian) thought from journals like City Journal or First Things (or Reason.) I dont know if this is becuase they are simply lazy, or because it is easier for them to think of conservatives as worthy of talk radio fodder and nothing more. Since he spends so much of his time railing against Beck or Limbaugh sound bites instead of the actual arguments, which are to be found elsewhere, the Krugman’s of the world come across as nothing but boobs to those of us who do take the ideas seriously.

    Oh, and for some reason the fact THEY cant be bothered to read more widely is taken as proof that all conservative are intellectual lightweights. It makes sense to them somehow.

  • Brett Link

    It could, provided that

    A)the government doesn’t simply distribute enough permits for free that the system is effectively meaningless, and

    B)the enforcement mechanism is good enough that it’s cheaper for companies and individuals to comply than to simply ignore the system (that tends to be a usual problem with environmental enforcement, if I recall correctly – a lot of times, it was cheaper for the company to simply wrack up and pay the fines than cease the behavior).

  • Brett Link

    To add-

    Point A is particularly important, since if the system really starts hitting down, you can bet there will be political pressure from various quarters to increase the absolute number of permits out there.

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