Phillip W. Magness

U.S. Economic & Political History

On New Dealer Climate Policy

| September 12, 2016

Let’s consider a thought experiment. Suppose a second Great Depression happened, and the evidence of its harm was overwhelming. Unemployment shot up to 24% and GDP dropped by almost 30%. By every sense of the imagination, the economic collapse was catastrophic. Now suppose you are confronted with the following argument: “People are suffering, so we simply have […]

The ‘Climate Science’ MONIAC Machine

| February 25, 2016

The internet has been abuzz for the past few days with a new climate forecasting study by Terence Mills, a well-known statistician at Loughborough University in the UK. The report is highly technical and reads as something of a mathematics textbook on how to design Box-Jenkins type ARIMA forecasting models for climate data, so statistical novice readers be […]

A Global Warming Thought Experiment

| January 6, 2016

I generally accept that the planet is getting warmer, albeit at a more gradual pace than the politicized models of global warming alarmists suggest. Far from a cry to action though, acceptance of this fact warrants little more than a “so what?” If you doubt me, here’s a little historical thought experiment to consider: The first […]

Is “Climate Denialism” even a problem?

| December 1, 2015

In light of the recent Paris climate change summit, a number of representatives of the political class have set their sights upon what they deem “climate denialism.” The term is frequently used as a pejorative to dismiss persons who are skeptical of the many proposed political responses to global warming, but in its most narrow […]

Climate change may be real, but where are all of its “victims”?

| November 8, 2015

Persons who peddle what they incorrectly label as “free market” arguments for climate change intervention almost invariably justify their prescription upon the claim that global warming causes “harm.” If such “harm” exists, then it follows that some sort of remediation (e.g. regulation, or the oft-favored carbon tax) is a legitimate corrective to the “harm” committed upon a person […]

A few thoughts on Global Warming and “climate justice”

| March 16, 2015

My positions on global warming, in brief: Is it happening? Probably. At what rate is it happening? Very gradually, due in large part to the earth’s resilient absorption capacity. What about the climate change models? All the alarmist ones have failed to pan out, and quite a few of the alarmist ones are politicized beyond […]