≡ Menu

Some Links

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, David Barker debunks the Federal Reserve’s climate ‘science.’ A slice:

Examples of climate activism abound. This year the Fed is forcing big banks to produce complex reports on their climate vulnerability in a “pilot project” that is sure to expand and might lead to lending restrictions. A query of the Fed’s listing of recent publications returns hundreds of research papers, press releases and policy statements related to climate change. The San Francisco Fed hosted a conference on climate change in May, in which 27 Fed economists participated.

With all this effort, one might hope the Fed would produce high-quality research on climate change. But I took a close look at two Fed studies on the subject and found shockingly poor analysis. These studies on the effect of temperature on U.S. and world economic growth are cited without a hint of skepticism and widely lavished with media attention. I’ve managed to debunk both.

In the September issue of Econ Journal Watch, I discredited a paper from the Richmond Fed claiming that warming reduces economic growth in the U.S. I showed that the paper had serious problems with its statistical reasoning and robustness. My analysis concluded that the data used in the paper showed no meaningful relationship between temperatures and growth.

GMU Econ alum Dominic Pino reports on the Biden administration’s detachment from reality regarding electric vehicles. Here’s his conclusion:

The rush to EVs combined with a rush to renewable energy, on the scale the Biden administration wants, is so extreme that even the government’s own numbers don’t support it. Betting everything on an enormous increase in solar capacity while mandating ever-more EVs is a risk that most elected officials probably wouldn’t take — but insulated from democratic accountability, administrative agencies are doing it anyway.

Richard Fulmer busts some myths about the profit motive.

Arnold Kling ponders varieties of human motivation.

Chelsea Follett talks with GMU law professor Todd Zywicki about the dangers of ESG investing.

David Henderson and Charley Hooper had lunch with Jay Bhattacharya.

Vinay Prasad reports on ‘debunkers’ returning to the ‘soft targets.’ Two slices:

In retrospect, what happened is simple. Most scientists who spend time debunking pseudoscience or writing for wikipedia are not the best scientists out there. The best scientists are working on publishing their own original scholarship— pushing new ideas that never existed in the history of the world.


People who are not the best scientists— who spend most of their time attacking soft-targets— and who pledge their allegiance to the political left— ironically did tremendous damage to science by creating a caustic environment where real debate could not occur. Worse, they encouraged delusional regulators (Peter Marks) into believing their decisions were correct, and others into thinking that the real enemy were scientists who disagreed. The grand irony then is that these people who see their life in service of a good— combating anti-science ideas— fueled anti-science in the time of crisis.

These days, COVID-19 debates are mostly in the rearview mirror, and the debunkers have returned to soft targets. I see them writing about de-toxification and supplements— topics that are well within their skills. But sadly, in a time of great uncertainty and unprecedented decisions, they thought they could help.

Prof. Peter C Gøtzsche tweets: (HT Jay Bhattacharya)

Sweden did the right thing by avoiding lockdowns and face masks. Excess mortality was among the lowest in the world (see my tweet from 24 March). This was confirmed in the best such study, just published two days ago.