Is the continued sluggishness of the world's advanced economies a result of the financial crisis or is it a crisis in innovation? Has the financial crisis exposed a deeper malaise in advanced economies in that they are no longer making technological breakthroughs? Since the Industrial Revolution, economic growth has been spurred on by large technological breakthroughs - think steam, railways, the telegraph, electricity, the combustion engine, flight, chemical engineering, the computer, and the Internet. But have we run out of innovation with the result that economic growth will stagnate? Click here to read an op-ed piece by Kenneth Rogoff on this issue (hat tip: Graham Brownlow). Rogoff argues that the malaise is due to the financial crisis not an innovation crisis.
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.