The Science Of Liberty

I enjoyed the book, but then, Ferris is approximately the same kind of crackpot I am. There are flaws:

He disparages religion with a broad brush. Perhaps 100 billion people have lived, almost all of them with superstitions on a spectrum that has religion towards the more developed end. Many of those billions have been illiberal idiots, but by no means all of them. He might learn about the (mostly) fine folk comprising the American Scientific Affiliation - it is quite possible to be a productive scientist and religious. That isn't me, but then, few people are me.

When Ferris talks about global warming, he doesn't cite his sources, and gets some things wrong. He refers to 1 foot rising seas - not yet, and probably not by the end of the century. Tuvalu in the Western Pacific may eventually be threatened by global sea level rise; today it is threatened by the ENSO, El Niño Southern Oscillation, which piles up sea water due to wind and ocean currents. If wells are going brackish on Tuvalu, perhaps that is because there is only so much fresh fossil water - when you pump it out, sea water moves in. Ferris should cite the sources for some of his more dramatic claims, and perhaps read Lomborg and Pielke and others, not because those views are more correct, but they do expand the picture a little. We have some big problems to fix, and we will do great harm if we don't have a clear understanding of what the problems actually are and what our options are for fixing them.

Most especially, Ferris should read David Archer's "Global Warming - Understanding the Forecast". This is no "denier" book - it explains the science in analyzable detail. Archer helps us understand why the warming effects are logarithmic with CO₂ ; while we can burn enough carbon to make the Earth uncomfortable, we can't burn enough to make Earth into Venus in the near term; too much ocean to boil away first.

ScienceOfLiberty (last edited 2014-04-25 16:23:39 by KeithLofstrom)