History plays a very important role in society. It connects us to our ancestors and where we have come from. History also plays a very important role in helping us navigate the present and future. History helps us understand economics, national politics, and geopolitics. Political and business leaders need a thorough and rounded education in history. But it appears that they are not getting it. Niall Ferguson in the provocative video below explains why this is the case. In effect, he claims that university history departments are in the process of making themselves irrelevant because political, social and economic history are being squeezed out of the curriculum by anachronistic and politically correct history courses.
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.