Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Cold Facts on Warming

Who would you trust--Galileo, Einstein, or Al Gore?
Do you think those who have reservations about whether man is creating global warming should lose their jobs and be denied the right to present their views?

Over the last few months, there has been a concerted effort to silence those who have doubts about global warming and man's effect on the climate. The Oregon State climatologist was fired for disagreeing with the "conventional wisdom." A meteorologist with the weather channel demanded that dissenting views not be broadcast. CNN, in particular, has treated skeptics with great disdain.

As an economist, I do not claim to know for certain who is right and who is wrong in this debate, but I do know that attempts to shut down debate are both wrong and dangerous. When I was a student, Keynesian economics was the "consensus," and those few who disagreed, like Milton Friedman and F.A. Hayek, were ridiculed by the economic establishment, and students in many universities were not even exposed to their views. By the late 1970s, it was apparent to those who cared to look at the data and the world around them that Keynesian economics had all been wrong and Friedman and Hayek had been right. Once Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and other government leaders adopted the Friedman/Hayek model, their economies and also the world economy, entered the longest and highest rate of growth ever. History is filled with those who dissented against the conventional wisdom but were proved correct, such as Copernicus, Galileo, Albert Einstein and many others.

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