Posts Tagged ‘Global Warming’

SuperFreakonomics: A Review

October 23, 2009

One of the advantages of living in the US, and having an Amazon Prime account, is the ability to get books delivered as soon as they are publicly released. So I was quite excited to receive my copy of SuperFreakonomics the other day. I found the first one enjoyable (although not as brilliant as some did – I was speaking to someone yesterday who told me their decision to study econ was based on the book) and this one looked even better. So, having finished the book, what do I think?

All I can really say is “meh”. Yes, it’s interesting, yes, it’s a good book, but I can’t say I found it something that will change my life, or quite lives up to what I expected.  Overall, I was rather underwhelmed.

Perhaps part of this is that I’ve read a few a few ‘pop-econ’ books this last month (Discover your inner economist (overrated), the undercover economist (brilliant), the wisdom of crowds (defiantly worth reading) etc), and so have become somewhat saturated with this kind of thing to the extent that it doesn’t have the effect on me it should. I certainly think someone who has no real knowledge of economics would get more out of it. And some of the points really were quite interesting. But they remained that – interesting, not life-changing. I certainly don’t subscribe to the viewpoint that it’s a subversive attempt to demonstrate the ills of the market, but it does point out a few peculiarities that do occur.

The one chapter that has received significant controversy was that on global warming. The fundamental premise of this chapter I found rather obvious: yes, the globe is warming, yes, humans may be to blame, but ultimately technology will be able to work out a way to solve it through geoengineering and we don’t need to revert to the stone age as some advocate. This is quite logical to me, but has received rather sustained attacks from the Acolytes of the Religion of Green. Their smears have been thoroughly discredited and debunked, but it’s still an interesting case-study of how the left works: smear, lie, and obscure facts. You can read a brief summary of the underlying facts underpinning the chapter here.

So, overall, good book, worth reading, and would make a great present.

PS: I realise this ‘review’ is rather devoid of content, primarily because I can’t really think of what to write, so let me know if you have any specific questions that might be able to help me shape my answers a bit better

PPS: One of the chapters to me seemed like every main idea was inspired by Malcolm Gladwell in The Tipping Point & Blink – if anyone has read the books, let me know if you agree…

A Genuine Question to all Environmentalists

February 20, 2009

A simple hypothetical question that I’m genuinely really interested to hear the response to.

Let us say an angel comes down from On High and reveals climate change isn’t happening. Just assume this for a minute. Al Gore, the IPCC etc all put out a statement saying “oops”. There is 100% consensus AGW is false. Now just entertain this concept for the sake of this hypothetical.

My question is: would this make a difference to the policies you advocate governments adopt?

Inauguration Carbon Footprint

January 14, 2009

I’ve been privileged to  view a pre-release copy of a study by the Institute for Liberty which analyzes data from federal agencies, environmentalist organizations and news accounts to extrapolate the estimated environmental impact for the 2009 Inauguration. On the basis of this data, IFL estimates that the total carbon footprint for the Inauguration will likely exceed 570 million POUNDS of CO2 – the equivalent of 57,698 YEARS of carbon produced by a standard household.

This estimate doesn’t even include additional emissions from security, the energy required from large screen TV’s, people watching it on TV or the hot air emitted by politicians.

Like IFL, I make no criticism of these emissions, merely note the hypocrisy of the left using the coercive power of the state to punish business and hurt working American families while themselves acting outside the standards they want to force upon others.

I’ll post the link as soon as the study goes live.