How can Western governments reduce their debts without implementing austerity programmes? One obvious way is to run a mild inflationary policy (3 to 4%) for a decade This would substantially reduce the real value of the principal which has to be repaid. Another way to reduce the government's debt burden would be to monetise it i.e., have the central bank buy government bonds with newly-created money. At present, the Bank of England holds £375bn of UK government debt. The accumulated interest on this debt (approx. £30bn) has been reclaimed by the Treasury, which ultimately reduces the amount the government has to borrow. In other words, the government is effectively paying no interest on its debt! However, there is an even more radical way for the government debt burden to be reduced - the Bank of England could simply forgive the £375bn debt which it holds! What would stop it from doing so?
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.