Thursday, March 15, 2007

David Friedman on global warming

David Friedman has put up a few thoughtful posts about global warming on his own blog, as well as engaged in some discussions in the comments at another blog. He summarizes his own position as:
global warming is probably real, is probably but not certainly anthropogenic, is probably not going to have large effects on size and frequency of hurricanes and is probably not going to have large effects on sea level. It is a real problem but not, on current evidence, an impending catastrophe.
The posts at his own blog are:
  1. "Global Warming, Nanotech, and Who to Believe"
  2. "Global Warming, Carbon Taxes, and Public Choice"
  3. "Physics, Economics, Hurricanes, and Mistakes"
and the two discussions in comments on the Backseat Driving blog are:
  1. "Responding to the 'no big deal' denialists"
  2. "The Duke lacrosse controversy and attitudes to global warming"
Brian at Backseat Driving says on the first post that "Friedman responds in the comments to this post. The people replying to him in the follow-up comments do a far better job of it than I would." In my opinion, Friedman completely wipes the floor with those who replied to him.

On a related subject, Chris Mooney gives his take on William Broad's article in the New York Times about criticism of Al Gore's movie:
Let me be clear: I have seen An Inconvenient Truth, and I found it almost entirely accurate. Gore has done a tremendous job of drawing attention to this issue and he gets the science right by and large. But my question as a point of strategy has always been: Why include the 1 to 5 percent of more questionable stuff, and so leave onself open to this kind of attack? Given how incredibly smart and talented Al Gore is, didn't he see this coming?
He points out some specific areas where Gore got it wrong (which Chris also pointed out to me in conversation at last summer's Skeptics Society conference--this is no change of position for him).

John Horgan picks up on the same Broad story, and notes that:
What fascinates me about Broad’s stories is that they seemed to at least implicitly contradict the view of global warming purveyed by his Times colleague Andrew Revkin, who spoke about global warming at Stevens in December 2005. Blogging on Broad’s article last fall, I wondered, “Is there dissension at the New York Times on the issue of global warming”? I’m still wondering. Maybe I should try to get Broad and Revkin to visit Stevens again and hash this out. Brian would love that.
And goes on in a subsequent post to quote from and refer to Chris Mooney's blog post.

1 comment:

bernarda said...

Recently I saw a documentary on television about research into the Gulf Stream. One possibility is that Global warming will halt the circulation of the Stream, shutting it down and causing a much colder climate in Europe.

This effect is caused by the melting of the ice cap which introduces massive amounts of fresh water into the northern Atlantic. I have not seen any comment about this in the usual places.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/climatechange/story/0,12374,1083419,00.html

http://www.whoi.edu/institutes/occi/viewArticle.do?id=9986

It is easy to find more, but it just doesn't seem to be mentioned much in climate commentaries.