Thursday, January 3, 2008
Al Gore Will Never Live Up to Milton Friedman (external - login to view)
Posted by Devil's Advocate After browsing YouTube for several days, I found many videos about Milton Friedman. Eventually, after some time, one of those videos stuck out at me, but not for reasons you would think.
In this video, Milton Friedman was in Iceland discussing his economic theories as well as his political theories (he made a partial distinction between the two). What was most remarkable was that Milton Friedman’s economic theories were generally accepted by an overwhelming consensus of the economic community at that time. Yet, he was more than willing to have a three vs. one debate against him. He was that confident.
For a full hour, three Icelandic economists continually grilled Friedman regarding his theories and his politics. Friedman appeared to really enjoy himself. When the debate was over, two of the three still held their convictions, but one of the three appeared to have changed his opinion within that short hour. Keep in mind that Friedman’s economic theories were largely accepted in the free world.
Throughout the full hour, Friedman encouraged the attacks and fired back with data and even a willingness to accept the possibility that he could be wrong (we know now that he was right). But, what I took from the video was that this was science in its purest form. Friedman developed theories, and scientists questioned him vigorously. He accepted the criticism, and was almost expected to respond to that criticism. Now let us examine Al Gore.
As I said before, Al Gore had single-handedly destroyed the necessary facet of science: The zealous questioning of scientific hypotheses (external - login to view)
. Al Gore, and the minority of climatologists around the world, are convinced (although I often have doubts that Gore believes himself) that the Earth is doomed to Global Warming unless humans reduce their CO2 emissions.
Yet, Al Gore cites the IPCC report, a report which scientist had to sue to have their names removed as coauthors, in order to state by fiat that the debate is over. There is nothing in my lifetime that has harmed science more than that statement. What it has done is taken the area of science and shielded it from the people who demand answers to questions. They demand answers because, according to the hypotheses asserted, we all need to change our lives and stop prospering. The hypotheses attack capitalism at its core.
The reason why Al Gore refuses to respond to questions is because he knows for a fact that he would be embarrassed in front of the whole world if he ever accepted the challenge. This is also why he will never run for president. Could anyone imagine Al Gore in a room of three climatologists throwing questions at him? The debate certainly would be over.
By the way, because of Al Gore, Congress and the President have just banned the Thomas Edison light bulb by 2012. Don’t you wish we had that debate?