On World "Improvers"

Professor James Lovelock, creator of the Gaia concept, says trying to save the planet is ‘a lot of nonsense.’

Lovelock, 90, was the first to describe the earth as a single organism. Now, he notices that the earth sciences profession has sold out – just like economists before them:

“Scientist have moved from investigating nature as a vocation to being caught up in a career path where it makes sense to ‘fudge the data.’

He’s talking about Al Gore’s scientists…and all the scientists with a dog in the “global climate change” fight. Instead of merely observing and trying to understand nature, they’ve decided to try to change the earth’s climate themselves…

Why? Because there’s money in it. Al Gore has reportedly made millions from his various investments in ‘green’ technology. Hundreds of millions more have been spent on subsidies for alternative energy projects, ethanol, solar energy and various other boondoggles – all of which gave scientists a way to make some money.

This was not exactly the same – but similar – to the way economists sold out in the ’20s and ’30s…and thereafter. Economists were observers too. They watched the way an economy worked and tried to understand it.

But then, they found that they could provide a service to governments – by first helping to predict changes in economic outcomes and second by offering to improve the outcomes before they came out. This was the bold offer made by the Keynesians in the ’30s…and repeated ever after ….that they could eliminate the most disagreeable features of capitalism, by controlling the down part of the business cycle.

Ever since, they have been working their way up the chain of power from mere advisors to powerful people…to becoming the most powerful figures in government themselves. In some cases, they made money – by offering their services to the large banks and consulting agencies. But they also gained power and prestige. It was no accident that Hillary Clinton stood beside Alan Greenspan at her husband’s inaugural. And it is no accident that Ben Bernanke gets his face on TIME magazine as the Man of the Year.

Economists now are movers and shakers, not just observers. While the earth scientists offer to improve the world’s climate….economists offer to improve its economy. Trouble is, there is no evidence whatever that any of their moving and shaking has ever done the world one bit of good. Instead, it merely distorts the delicate price information that guides investment, sales, and growth. Give them the wrong signals – such as a mistaken idea of how much demand is available or the cost of investment capital – and they make the wrong decisions.

That is when the economists really shine. After having made a mess of the world, they then offer to save it. This they do in the worst possible way – by sending out even more phony and misleading signals, distorting the markets further, and setting up the economy for more mistakes and more losses.

The Daily Reckoning