Thursday, March 22, 2012

2011 Ruffin Gregory Awards for the Worst Treatment of Climate Change in an Economics Textbook.

Apparently, the 2011 Ruffin-Gregory Award for the Worst Treatment of Climate Change in an Economics Textbook are out. Roy Ruffin and I (who did not know this award existed until recently) congratulate this year’s co-winners (or are they losers?): Miller and Gwartney, Stroup, Sobel, and MacPhearson, who received the vaunted grade of F. Among the losers (with the best treatment of climate change) are Mankiw and Krugman and Wells, who were awarded coveted A’s.

We look forward with bated breathe for the announcement of the 2012 awards.


    These are phenomena whose dangers have been alleged. They have not been supported
    by any solid evidence, but have not yet been conclusively disproven:
    1900s - 1990s: Global warming.
    ? to 1990s: Ozone layer. …
    1992: "Big Drop in Sperm Count Since '38." …
    1992: Chlorinated water causing birth defects. …
    1992: "Study Suggests Electric Razor Use May Raise Risk of Getting Cancer…]”

    Two points:
    1) While awards are won or lost, the real loser of resources devoted to a faith depends what that faith delivers.

    Last year, some faithful people expecting the end, did not go heaven; due to an apparently math/calendar error by the leader of the faith. But, the faithful lost what they donated in anticipation, including material wealth, etc.

    2)Markets rule. a) If oil is cheaper because the faithful do not buy anymore, others buy and sell you processed products at the same price, but lower cost (to themselves). b)If all resources are owned by the few, but markets are not (global market for oil), then the opportunity cost of a barrel of oil is the same for everyone---every barrel of oil will be applied to the use that gives the highest rewards. 3) The climate change faithful (those believing that have the beautiful environment in their arm) are at the mercy of their Chinese, Indian, ...,etc, that by responding to the market forces pick as many flowers as market dictates.

    "We must shed the illusion that we can deliberately 'create the future of mankind."
    Friedrich August von Hayek (1979), The Political Order of a Free People (Vol. 3).