I have just finished watching Prof. Niall Ferguson's three-part television series on China. China's economic transformation over the past four decades has been remarkable. Ferguson explores the origins of this transformation as well as the prospects for the future. In terms of the future, Ferguson sees the overheated Chinese property market, an ageing population, and growing wealth inequality as threats to China's continued prosperity. You can watch the entire series here.
The Berkeley Earth Project , an independent study of global warming, has found that the earth has become a degree warmer over the past half century. However, the statistical uncertainty surrounding pre-1920 estimates makes it very hard to say much about long-term trends - click here for graph . This is one of my concerns with the global warming debate - we simply don't have trustworthy long-run data which looks at temperature changes over the last millennium (or two). My second concern with the global warming debate is that it is very hard to prove any sort of casual link between global warming and human activity. The scientists may be able to show correlation between global warming and our production of carbon dioxides etc., but correlation is not causation. My third concern with the debate is that those who are sceptical or agnostic are stereotyped as flat-earthers or intellectually-challenged crackpots. This only stifles debate and the progress of science itself.