Socialists advocate public ownership of the means of production, whereas capitalism is simply where capitalists own the means of production. But who controls the means of production in a capitalist economy? I am currently working on a project with co-authors which looks at corporate ownership and control, and we are trying to answer the following question: are firms controlled by their owners or by managers? According to a recent post by Mark Roe, the United States is more a managerial economy than a capitalist one. A small cadre of managers and CEOs controls the means of production rather than capitalists. This gives these managers lots of influence on the economy and one has to ask whether they control the means of production in the interests of the capitalists (the owners of the means of production), never mind wider society. Increasingly, there is doubt as to whether they do either.
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.