Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Obscure Dr. Carlin

Economists have a hard time agreeing with each other. So why is the story that an obscure economist disagrees with climate scientists such a big deal?
Alan Carlin has toiled in obscurity for years as an analyst in the EPA's National Center for Environmental Economics. Even though his work focuses on cost-benefit analysis and market incentives, Carlin hurriedly prepared lengthy, and admittedly sloppy comments refuting the scientific consensus on global warming. (Perhaps he thought his own science wasn't dismal enough.) Not being a climate scientist, Carlin presented no new scientific findings. Not surprisingly, EPA officials did not see fit to include his comments, which included no new science, in the agency's findings.
The New York Times reports that the uproar among conservatives who have claimed that Carlin's findings were suppressed are not supported by the facts of the situation:
Dr. Carlin remains on the job and free to talk to the news media, and since the furor his comments on the finding have been posted on the E.P.A.’s Web site.
Carlin's website includes this shot of him explaining his views to Glenn Beck, whose credentials includes neither economics or climate science:
Nevertheless, climate skeptics are pushing his story as evidence that global warming is a hoax that persists only because proponents are suppressing dissenting views.

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