Superfreakonomics Flunks Climate Science

Now even friends break ranks with Levitt and Dubner over their new tome Superfreakonomics – a clear throw-back to the 1980s.

Is it time to ask for a reprint with all the errors corrected ?


http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=aVKXZg_Z.vMY

Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) — Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner are so good at tweaking conventional wisdom that their first book, “Freakonomics,” sold 4 million copies. So when Dubner, an old friend, told me their new book would take on climate change, I was rooting for a breakthrough idea.

No such luck. In “SuperFreakonomics,” their brave new climate thinking turns out to be the same pile of misinformation the skeptic crowd has been peddling for years.

“Obviously, provocation is not last on the list of things we’re trying to do,” Dubner told me the other day. This time, the urge to provoke has driven him and Levitt off the rails and into a contrarian ditch.

…Having downplayed the problem, they try to solve it with a set of silver-bullet technologies known as geoengineering. One would shoot millions of tons of sulfur dioxide 18 miles into the air to artificially cool the planet. This could work; it also could have dire unintended consequences.

Caldeira, who is researching the idea, argues that it can succeed only if we first reduce emissions. Otherwise, he says, geoengineering can’t begin to cope with the collateral damage, such as acidic oceans killing off shellfish.

Levitt and Dubner ignore his view and champion his work as a permanent substitute for emissions cuts. When I told Dubner that Caldeira doesn’t believe geoengineering can work without cutting emissions, he was baffled. “I don’t understand how that could be,” he said. In other words, the Freakonomics guys just flunked climate science.”


http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/10/superfreakonimics-climate-change-controversy.php

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/features/view/feature/SuperFreakonomics-on-Global-Warming-220

“It all started with climate activist Joe Romm accusing the authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner of global warming denial and misrepresenting the research of a key climate scientist. They pushed back, and fellow New York Times blogger and celebrated columnist Paul Krugman jumped in the fray…”

2 thoughts on “Superfreakonomics Flunks Climate Science”

  1. I reckon there is a simple way to cut through the crap, and to get these things financed, but it means giving up the idea that money created as debt by banks, and shares in companies are the only ways to finance things.

    Not easy, when the very word “private” is taken to mean “owned by an individual or a limited company”.

    Here’s how you do it, I reckon. It went down pretty well at the All Energy Show, anyway….

    http://www.slideshare.net/ChrisJCook/energy-pool-20-05-2009

    and Asia Times published this last week

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/KJ15Dj01.html

    Can’t make Claverton, regrettably.

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