A special issue of the Journal of Financial Stability, edited by George Selgin, has been published which examines past and present alternatives to the Federal Reserve system. Notable contributions to the the special issue include Matthew Jaremski (on clearinghouses as credit regulators), Hugh Rockoff (on Sprague and the founding of the Fed), Lawrence H. White (on returning to a commodity standard), Scott Sumner (on Nominal GDP futures targeting) and Gerald Dwyer (on Bitcoin).
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.