Draft The debate on global warming is a false one. The real debate is on climate change. Sides were taken in 1968 with the publication of this pivotal article in Science from which this excerpt is taken:

“We can make little progress in working toward optimum population size until we explicitly exorcise the spirit of Adam Smith in the field of practical demography. In economic affairs, The Wealth of Nations (1776) popularized the “invisible hand,” the idea that an individual who “intends only his own gain,” is, as it were, “led by an invisible hand to promote…the public interest (Smith 1937:423).” [5] Adam Smith did not assert that this was invariably true, and perhaps neither did any of his followers. But he contributed to a dominant tendency of thought that has ever since interfered with positive action based on rational analysis, namely, the tendency to assume that decisions reached individually will, in fact, be the best decisions for an entire society. If this assumption is correct it justifies the continuance of our present policy of laissez faire in reproduction. If it is correct we can assume that men will control their individual fecundity so as to produce the optimum population. If the assumption is not correct, we need to reexamine our individual freedoms to see which ones are defensible (Hardin 1968).”

Selected webliography

Hardin, Garrett.1968. “The Tragedy of the Commons.” Science. 162 :1243-1248.

Smith, Adam. 1776 [1937] The Wealth of Nations . New York: Modern Library.

Whitehead, Alfred N. 1925 [1948]. Science and the Modern World. New York: Mentor. 1948: 17.

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