"Flawed Science for Obama?"

John Tierney has done a great job pointing out the problems with Obama's science advisor, John P. Holdren. This is one of the guys who famously bet Julian Simon during the "energy crisis" in the 1980s. Tierney notes:

In 1980 Dr. Holdren helped select five metals — chrome, copper, nickel, tin and tungsten — and joined Dr. Ehrlich and Dr. Harte in betting $1,000 that those metals would be more expensive ten years later. They turned out to be wrong on all five metals, and had to pay up when the bet came due in 1990.

Tierney also goes after Holdren for his attacks on Bjorn Lomborg.

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Blogger John A said...

The more things change...

I was in High School in the early Sixties. The climate debate then was about whether increasing industrial pollution would darken the skies and lead to cooling, or increased Solar activity would lead to warming.

Now, manufacturing "waste" CO2 is blamed for warming while some worry that decreased SOlar output will freeze us.

Personally, I think whichever way things go there are far better things we can do than pay All Gory to plant a tree in Bolivia so we do not feel bad about driving to the grocery. Things which will help whichever way "climate" goes.

I also do think increasing CO2 is not a good thing, even plants have a limit of utilization and animals have definite trouble with large increases. But then I look at the proposed "solutions" and find fear rising. Not long ago (a decade?) enviro groups acclaimed wood-burning stoves because wood is "renewable" and "sustainable" - but when people actually used them there was a near-immediate rush to ban these grossly polluting items. Other measures from the enviro front have followed similar-but-different paths: try to find a location in Massachusetts that will refund the "deposit" on metal and glass drink containers - even the machines that used to be outside major supermarkets have disappeared, and last time I tried to look up a location (searching State web sites and Yellow Pages) I found only one within forty miles of Boston.

2/08/2009 4:48 PM  
OpenID forthesakeofscience said...

Actually, the science is very good and you are only calling it flawed because you have an ulterior agenda.

At any rate, you seem to be saying (or agreeing, as it were), that because Holdren was wrong about the market for certain metals, that his science is flawed. That's amazing. By your logic, basically every scientist who has ever made an incorrect prediction or bet has flawed science - Hawking, Einstein, Gould, Dawkins, Sagan, Darwin, Newton. They all have flawed science!

2/10/2009 12:24 AM  

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