Settled Science, with links

March 1, 2015

This is the version of the Guest Editorial in the Virginian Pilot today with hypertext links included.


It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are, it doesn’t matter who said it. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.”- Richard P. Feynman

It was settled science.

The consensus was nearly total, and those who questioned the consensus were shunned in academic institutions and even arrested and compelled to recant. To state that the Earth was not the center of the universe was heresy.

The consensus was wrong, and the evidence of its error had been known for over one thousand years when Galileo was Read the rest of this entry »

A Libertarian Remembers Earth Day

April 22, 2010
Earth Day Poster

Earth Day Promotion 1970, Nicholls University

One of the difficulties for a Libertarian is resolving our distrust of regulations and regulatory agencies with good stewardship of our environment. That doesn’t mean we don’t care about the environment just like everyone else, we do. The photograph to the right is a promotional display for the very first Earth Day Teach In at Nicholls University in Thibodaux, LA, forty years ago today. I was the organizer, and I glued the cans on that display. We thought the world was on the brink of destruction then too. Then it was the Population Explosion and Chlorinated Hydrocarbon pesticides.  It was the year after the Cuyahoga River caught on fire. For those who are young, and only know the last 20 years, it is hard to imagine how bad it was then or to see how much progress has been made. Yet we are told the sky is still falling and only government can save us.

In general, Libertarians believe that voluntary transactions between individuals are best managed by the marketplace acting in accordance with the basic laws of economics. But when dealing with issues of the environment, there are two areas where market  economics fail to adequately address problems. These are the economic paradoxes of External Costs and the ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ but we must find ways to resolve these issues without destroying our Liberty. Read the rest of this entry »

Climategate in Plain Language

December 10, 2009

It has been nearly a month since we learned of a number of Emails between important contributors to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which reveal a conspiracy to defraud governments and the people on the nature, certainty and importance of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW,) that is human influence on the climate.

What little media coverage has been had has been superficial and inadequate in explaining what all this means, possibly because it is so arcane and complex that most people in the media are unable to grasp the significance.  So, I will attempt to bring some clarity and perspective to the issue here.

Read the rest of this entry »

Beating Trees into Hockey Sticks

November 29, 2009

Not that you would know it from the mainstream press, but the largest economic fraud in history, greatly dwarfing the housing bubble, has just been revealed.  The press on this side of the Atlantic is carefully avoiding it, but in Britain, where there is still a free press, Climategate is big news.  Thousands of Emails between prominent UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change partisans were hacked from a university computer and posted online. They reveal a pervasive system of fraud, cover-ups, obstruction and conspiracy to conceal, and even destroy, contrary data, which has been held in secret for a decade.

Why would scientists do such a thing? Scientists have always enjoyed the trust of the public, but prior to the 1990’s, most people had only a vague idea of what a Climatologist was. They were the bottom of the academic totem pole, the guys who got wedgies from the Art History faculty.  Read the rest of this entry »