One of the contributors to my book workshop this week was Richard Grossman, who spoke about this forthcoming book entitled "WRONG: Nine Economic Policy Disasters and What We Can Learn from Them". In this book, Richard looks at policy mistakes made by governments because they were blinded by ideology rather than clearly seeing the economic problem at hand. For example, he looks at how the British government's policy during the Great Famine was wrong and how Britain's return to the gold standard in 1925 was wrong. He also looks at wrong economic policy in the run-up to the subprime and Euro crises. His book is due out soon and can be pre-ordered at Amazon by clicking 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.