Science in action, a confused and often nasty debate that produces real progress

Summary:  The events following publication of a new paper about our climate illustrates how science works in our society.  It shows the warts -- and its self-correcting nature.  The result should please everyone, both scientists and laypeople. Science is and has always been a social process, and hence usually confused and often nasty.  Now its a mainstream … Continue reading Science in action, a confused and often nasty debate that produces real progress

A puzzle – can you find a solution?

Pro-AGW comments on the FM site often strike me as bizarre.  Investigation often -- not always -- shows them actually  to be bizarre (esp notable examples are here and here).  The extraordinary aspect of this lies in the people making these bizarre comments, as they often have long records of knowledgeable and insightful comments on this site. Does adopting … Continue reading A puzzle – can you find a solution?

High school science facts prove global warming! Skeptical scientists humiliated by this revelation!

One astonishing thing about laymen's debates about climate science is the bizarre pro-AGW arguments from educated and intelligent people (AGW = anthropogenic global warming).  This is one of the things that gives me the "debating folks distributing religious tracts at the airport" feeling. For example, here is a comment by Oldskeptic, one of the most consistently sharp commenters on … Continue reading High school science facts prove global warming! Skeptical scientists humiliated by this revelation!

A sad picture of America, but important for us to understand

Looking in the mirror is the first step to growth and reform for an individual and a nation.  Look at this graph.  Compared to other nations we have both a high degree of income inequality AND low social mobility (fathers' and sons' incomes are highly correlated).  This has many consequences, none of them good.  Esp … Continue reading A sad picture of America, but important for us to understand

Higher food prices, riots, shortages – what is going on?

Summary:  Many factors are driving up food prices, but the elephant in the room is global inflation. This explains why prices are rising throughout the entire commodity complex (energy, industrial materials, precious metals, agriculture).  Plus brief discussions of biofuels, long cycles of food prices, the role of government policy, and the likelihood of resource wars. "Global Market Brief: Food … Continue reading Higher food prices, riots, shortages – what is going on?