What I'm Reading (Sept. 14)

Confessions of a Climate Scientist
Real or lab-grown, we’re talking diamonds now
Can we really know the intent of others?

Climate change is one of those polarizing issues. Science hopefully is devoid of political concerns, but as a human endeavor, that would be impossible.

“Brown argues that climate science suffers from a serious misallocation of incentives. He says that his paper should have looked at the influence of many factors — such as arson or forest management — in driving rapid wildfire growth. Yet it didn’t. Even though he says these factors can be “just as or more important” than climate change, he declined to study them because the professional incentives pointed against it. Doing so would have detracted from his paper’s “clean narrative” focused on climate catastrophism and made his paper less likely to “pass muster with Nature’s editors and reviewers.”

But after talking to him and reading his paper, a different story emerged. When Brown began his research, he did not actually know that, say, arson or forest management were as important as climate change in driving wildfire growth. What he did know is that it would be complicated — and labor-intensive — to pull out every factor that might influence a wildfire’s growth. So he chose to focus his first paper on what was likely to be the biggest signal: climate change.”

This is a confession from the frontlines of research: we need to sit up and pay attention. From HeatMap, An Interview With the Climate Scientist at the Center of a Scandal.


“Indeed, one of my favorite ironies is that self-proclaimed conservative and libertarian Americans who otherwise never miss an opportunity to resent government regulation happily participate in one of the most heavily regulated activities in America. … The post-pandemic surge in distrust of science and government mandates has not yet affected wildlife biology and fish-and-game associations.

It’s also ironic, of course, that many left-leaning Americans can be so ambivalent about some of the longest-running, most successful, and scientifically grounded government programs. The same well-meaning people with those signs in their yard that read in this house, we believe … that science is real often seem to be among those happy enough to throw the science aside when it comes to effectively managing wildlife…”

The author is writing about hunting and the contradictory thoughts and behaviors it inspires in our minds and politics. From The Atlantic, America Needs Hunting More Than It Knows


Purchasing diamonds can be quite expensive. But do you want that special gift to be all-natural or synthetic, lab-grown? Here are the economics.

“…the scale and speed of the pricing collapse of one of the diamond industry’s most important products has left the market reeling.

…De Beers has cut prices in the category by more than 40% in the past year…The impact on De Beers was clear…first half profits plunged more than 60% to just $347 million, with its average selling price falling from $213 per carat to $163 per carat.

The puzzle, however, is why has it taken so long?”

From Marginal Revolution, A Diamond Pricing Puzzle


I’ve often said, “Only the Shadow knows what lurks in the minds of men.” We can never know another’s intent.

“The laws are instead designed to attack the intent of the writers to create meanings that are not congruent with the governments’ official position. ‘Disinformation’ is defined in dictionaries as information that is intended to mislead and to cause harm. ‘Misinformation’ has no such intent and is just an error, but even then that means determining what is in the author’s mind. ‘Mal-information’ is considered to be something that is true, but that there is an intention to cause harm.

Determining a writer’s intent is extremely problematic because we cannot get into another person’s mind; we can only speculate on the basis of their behaviour.”

I rarely agree with the Brownstone Institute, but this article, The Global War on Thought Crime, is worth a few moments of your time.