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Chris Morrison shares news of a study that finds that estimates by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the amount of measured global-temperature increase due to urban heat are far too low. (HT my intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy) A slice:

The U.S. meteorologist Anthony Watts has spent the last decade highlighting the numerous flaws built into global temperature datasets. Data are collected by Government bodies from a weather station network “that was never intended to detect a global warming signal”, he notes. His seminal work recently found that 96% of U.S. weather stations are “corrupted” by the localised effects of urbanisation. The American temperature data form an important part of the over-heating global record. In Watt’s view, there is only one weather station network accurate enough to detect a climate change signal. It was set up in 2005 by NOAA as a state-of-the art system using 114 stations across the States specifically located away from any non-climatic effects like urban heating.

Kate Wand talks with Alan Mendenhall about the fallacies that infect the case for ESG ‘investing.’

Here’s Phil Magness’s excellent letter in today’s Wall Street Journal in response to Trump’s laughably ignorant recent attempt to defend tariffs:

In his Aug. 31 letter, former President Donald Trump appeals to the tariff as the “primary source of government revenue through most of American history” to justify trade protectionism today (“Trump Says His Tariff Policies Were a Success”). His economic claims are profoundly confused.

While the U.S. did rely on tariffs before the modern income tax, a tariff-based revenue system requires taxable goods to cross borders to function. But in his comments Mr. Trump indicates that he wishes to use tariffs as a tool to restrict and reduce imports as part of his misguided quest to reverse America’s trade deficit. This purpose would undermine the purported goal of raising revenue from the tariff, which requires goods to cross borders to be taxed.

As 19th-century politicians discovered, the tariff is a quintessential Laffer curve mechanism. Raising tariff rates too high would kill off international trade, and Mr. Trump’s desired tax revenue would quickly dissipate.

Phillip W. Magness
American Institute for Economic Research
Great Barrington, Mass.

The Wall Street Journal‘s Editorial Board joins in the useful fun of exposing Trump’s complete ignorance of both the theory and facts of trade. Two slices:

If Mr. Trump’s goal was to nudge businesses to friendlier locales, a better U.S. policy was to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that excluded China. But Mr. Trump rejected that deal. The Pacific pact would have boosted trade among a dozen countries, including Vietnam, while offering companies an incentive to set up shop in those places. This approach would have avoided the collateral damage from Mr. Trump’s blunderbuss tariffs, and here we part ways with him again.

He says our editorial cited “debunked talking points from corporate-funded studies,” but the economic evidence is unambiguous that border taxes are passed on to consumers, and Mr. Trump’s tariffs have cost Americans tens of billions of dollars. Readers can look at the analyses and make up their own minds.

But that isn’t all: After other countries retaliated, Mr. Trump bailed out farmers with tens of billions from taxpayers. If a U.S. business found itself suddenly uncompetitive after tariffs raised prices on imported parts or materials, it had to beg a Commerce Department bureaucrat for an exclusion to stay alive.


Mr. Trump’s great mistake is his belief that trade is a zero-sum exercise. But countries and companies trade because they see a mutual advantage. When American consumers buy clothing and Scotch on a global market, while American producers sell soybeans and Boeing jets, the magic is that both sides benefit.

Geogre Leef – inspired in part by Mike Munger – argues that “we need a separation of investment and state every bit as much as we need a separation of church and state.”

David Henderson is rightly critical of Matt Stoller’s juvenile manner of intellectual engagement.

Emma Camp reports more distressing findings about the illiberal, intolerant attitudes of today’s college students.

Peter Minowitz has an excellent letter in the Chronicle of Higher Education. A slice:

The K-12 legislation proposed by the Heritage Foundation in 2021 does prohibit teaching that “individuals should be adversely or advantageously treated on the basis of their race, ethnicity, color, or national origin,” that any of these traits mark someone as “superior or inferior,” or that they convey “collective guilt.” [Steven] Brint, unfortunately, errs significantly when he complains that these clauses serve to protect white people “rather than” racial minorities and thus manifest a “novel treatment” of the 14th Amendment and the 1964 Civil Rights Act. First, the quoted passages (like the rest of the Heritage proposal) make no racial distinctions. Second, millions of nonwhite people could benefit from the protections regarding “national origin.” Third, the Equal Protection Clause and the Civil Rights Act are entirely color-blind in their proscriptions. Title VI of the latter, for example, requires that no one be discriminated against (under any “program or activity” receiving Federal aid) “on the ground of race, color, or national origin.” If these two mandates had authorized discrimination against whites, a decades-long string of Supreme Court cases – from Bakke (1978), Croson (1989), Adarand (1995), Gratz (2003), and Ricci (2009) to SFFA (2023) — would have been decided differently. Because defenders of slavery routinely invoked the “curse of Ham” in Genesis, finally, many African-Americans might welcome the Heritage clause about “collective guilt.”