Monday, December 17, 2007

Holly Fretwell and The Sky's Not Falling!

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Professor Holly Fretwell. Professor Fretwell teaches economic principles, microeconomics, and natural resource and environmental economics at Montana State University. That interview will appear at American Chronicle later this week. But as a mother of two children, I asked Professor Fretwell to discuss how what we are hearing about global warming impacts our young people. Here is part of what she had to say:

"Like so many other people I was confused about the information I was hearing about global warming. The popular press says it's human caused, there is far less concensus in the scientific journals where a multitude of factors that influence climate are examined. That confusion followed by the costly policy recommendations encouraged me to look further...Some of the most disappointing material I found was propaganda to scare our children into making uninformed choices. There is so much information available today, via internet, TV, radio, etc., that I think it vitally important to teach our children how to think critically and be able to decipher fact from fiction. That is why I wrote "The Sky's Not Falling", and that is why I wrote it in simple enough terms for children, parents, and all adults to read."

Professor Fretwell provided this example of the type of misleading information our young people are being exposed to, which leads back to why she decided to write "The Sky's Not Falling!: Why It's OK to Chill about Global Warming."

"Many students are being asked to watch Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth." This has been a real inconvenience because, as the High British Court has stated, they are many non-truths and misleading statements in the movie. One of the most brazen examples is demonstrated with the graph that shows atmospheric CO2 levels and temperature change. The two variables are correlated; they move together. Gore and one of his producers Laurie David who just wrote a children's book on global warming, both assert that increases in CO2 levels cause temperature to increase. They have missed something really important here, one correlation does not mean causation, and two the data show that on average temperature changes 800 years before CO2 levels. Yes, read that again, temperature changes lead the changes in CO2 over the last 650,000 years."

I will post the link to my full interview with Professor Fretwell on December 18th. You can purchase a copy of "The Sky's Not Falling!: Why It's OK to Chill about Global Warming" from by clicking on the title of this blog entry.

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