From fingerprinting to criminal sentencing, from lawyer licensing to judicial selection, and from eminent domain to wealth transfers via class-action lawsuits, how do perverse incentives impact the law and what reforms would create a more just and efficient legal system?
Originally aired 11/23/09 on the BBC. Fred Singer, Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and author of Hot Talk, Cold Science, provides a skeptics perspective on global warming and discusses the controversial emails from University of East Anglias Climate Research Unit.
Many people have wondered how technological progress will affect political, economic, and civil freedoms. With the rise of encryption software, the National Security Agency's Echelon worldwide surveillance system, and the FBI's Carnivore e-mail snooping program, this subject is no longer the exclusive domain of speculative thinkers or futurists, it is the subject of intense public-policy debate. Will privacy-enhancing technology improve faster than privacy-threatening technology? Should the government mandate privacy standards? Should it enforce contracts in cyberspace, or would private law do a better job? Economist, physicist, and legal scholar David Friedman discussed these and related questions about technological change and the case for and against government involvement.
Is global warming real, imminent, and a threat to human life? Have such predictions been established scientifically? The proposed Global Climate Treaty calls for extensive government controls to reduce fossil fuel use. Yet, there is no scientific consensus to support global-warming pessimism. Would the proposed massive 'carbon' taxes and other controls put our society- especially those most disadvantaged- at great risk? Based on his widely acclaimed book, renowned astrophysicist Fred Singer will separate fact from fiction in this raging global warming debate.
S. Fred Singer
President, Science and Environmental Policy Project
First Director, U. S. Weather Satellite Service
Author, Hot Talk, Cold Science: Global Warming's Unfinished Debate.