Mar 10

Chronic doom peddler Paul Ehrlich now peddling doom for warmists: ‘Everyone is scared shitless, but they don’t know what to do’

By Editor global warming, Paul Ehrlich Comments Off on Chronic doom peddler Paul Ehrlich now peddling doom for warmists: ‘Everyone is scared shitless, but they don’t know what to do’

Paul Ehrlich has a well-earned reputation for predicting imminent doom from a variety of perceived man-made causes. It seems he’s now predicting doom for he and his fellow warmists:

The integrity of climate research has taken a very public battering in recent months. Scientists must now emphasize the science, while acknowledging that they are in a street fight.

Climate scientists are on the defensive, knocked off balance by a re-energized community of global-warming deniers who, by dominating the media agenda, are sowing doubts about the fundamental science. Most researchers find themselves completely out of their league in this kind of battle because it’s only superficially about the science. The real goal is to stoke the angry fires of talk radio, cable news, the blogosphere and the like, all of which feed off of contrarian story lines and seldom make the time to assess facts and weigh evidence. Civility, honesty, fact and perspective are irrelevant.

Worse, the onslaught seems to be working: some polls in the United States and abroad suggest that it is eroding public confidence in climate science at a time when the fundamental understanding of the climate system, although far from complete, is stronger than ever. Ecologist Paul Ehrlich at Stanford University in California says that his climate colleagues are at a loss about how to counter the attacks. “Everyone is scared shitless, but they don’t know what to do,” he says.

Hat tip: Marc Morano at Climate Depot

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Feb 19

Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren (Obama’s science adviser) vs. Julian Simon

By Editor John Holdren, Julian Simon, Paul Ehrlich Comments Off on Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren (Obama’s science adviser) vs. Julian Simon

George Will discusses the famous bet between economist Julian Simon and environmentalist Paul Ehrlich:

In 1980 Paul Ehrlich, a Stanford scientist and environmental Cassandra who predicted calamitous food shortages by 1990, accepted a bet with economist Julian Simon. When Ehrlich predicted the imminent exhaustion of many nonrenewable natural resources, Simon challenged him: Pick a “basket” of any five such commodities, and I will wager that in a decade the price of the basket will decline, indicating decreased scarcity. Ehrlich picked five metals — chrome, copper, nickel, tin and tungsten — that he predicted would become more expensive. Not only did the price of the basket decline, the price of all five declined (see chart above, all prices are in 2000 dollars, data from Global Financial Data).

An expert Ehrlich consulted in picking the five was John Holdren, who today is President Obama’s science adviser.

Hat tip: Mark Perry (Carpe Diem) who adds:

MP: Julian Simon wanted to enter into a second wager with Ehrlich, based on either the same commodities, or a different group of commodities, but the terms of a proposed second wager were never agreed upon. Simon died in February 1998.

Q: What if the original bet had been extended for another ten-year period, from 1990-2000? Simon would have won again (see chart above), since all of the metals declined in real price except for tungsten (which increased by 51.97%), and the average price decline of the 5-commodity group was -21.56%.

For Ehrlich (and Holdren) to enter into such a bet was foolish given the steep downward price trend of commodities (that is continuing today) for the past couple of thousand years. But, that didn’t stop them as Simon’s beliefs were totally counter-intuitive to Ehrlich’s and Holdren’s world view – and today Ehrlich, Holdren, Al Gore, James Hansen and the rest are still making the same mistakes, and using the same incorrect assumptions.

Here’s Julian Simon’s idea in a nutshell:

More people, and increased income, cause resources to become more scarce in the short run. Heightened scarcity causes prices to rise. The higher prices present opportunity, and prompt inventors and entrepreneurs to search for solutions. Many fail in the search, at cost to themselves. But in a free society, solutions are eventually found. And in the long run the new developments leave us better off than if the problems had not arisen. That is, prices eventually become lower than before the increased scarcity occurred.

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