You can’t turn off the comments, Mr Krugman!
Published 19th October 2009 - 3 comments - 704 views -
Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times blogger Paul Krugman adopts a curious approach to freedom of expression in his Saturday global warming post by saying, "I'm going to block comments here, because I know it will be overwhelmed."
Krugman is writing about the new Freakonomics book — "SuperFreakonomics" — which has some rather inconvenient things to say about climate change: "The chapter [on global warming] opens with the 'global cooling' story — the claim that 30 years ago there was a scientific consensus that the planet was cooling, comparable to the current consensus that it's warming.
Um, no.... What you had in the 70s was a few scientists advancing the cooling hypothesis, and a few popular media stories hyping their suggestions...."
In other words, Krugman is accusing the authors — Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner — of misrepresenting the facts and, later in his post, the economics of climate change. On the face of it, then, one would think that this would be an ideal opportunity for both sides of the debate to voice their opinions, but because the global warming "consensus" is all about telling us to accept the expertise, there is room for debate, no need for comments. In fact, there's a suffocating insistence that we accept the current scientific consensus.
Shut up! He explained.
But in the dynamic, anarchic world of new media, you can't turn off the comments.
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