Stories by Kenneth Silber

Kenneth Silber is a senior editor at Research, a magazine for financial advisors, and has written on various topics in science, technology and economics for publications including the New York PostNational ReviewScientific American and the Wall Street Journal.  He blogs at Quicksilber.

Talking With the Left About Climate Change

December 21st, 2011 at 9:22 pm 126 Comments

Two FrumForum posts I wrote recently about climate politics — “How the GOP Should Explain Climate Change” and “Newt, Your Ad With Pelosi Wasn’t Dumb” — netted me an appearance on “The Green Front,” a program of the Progressive Radio Network. This was thanks to fellow FF contributor D.R. Tucker, erstwhile guest on the show, who sent my posts to the host, Betsy Rosenberg.

(more…)

How the GOP Should Explain Climate Change

December 7th, 2011 at 2:00 pm 89 Comments

The GOP nomination race has proven to be a hostile environment for concerns about, medicine or even an acceptance of the reality of, anthropogenic global warming.

Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney have made statements that they don’t know what’s causing climate change, in contradiction of earlier statements indicating that they did know. Jon Huntsman now has expressed doubts about the validity and clarity of the science involved. The other candidates have been broadly dismissive of the issue.

(more…)

Newt, Your Ad With Pelosi Wasn’t Dumb

December 5th, 2011 at 11:59 pm 31 Comments

Newt Gingrich recently described his 2008 appearance in a 30-second ad with then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi as “the dumbest single thing I’ve done.” Many conservatives share a negative view of it. Ron Paul, order for instance, search cites the ad as an example of Newt’s “serial hypocrisy.”

Curious, I took a look at the ad, eager to assess its dumbness. Here’s the full transcript:

Pelosi: Hi, I’m Nancy Pelosi, lifelong Democrat and speaker of the House.

Gingrich: And I’m Newt Gingrich, lifelong Republican and I used to be speaker.

(more…)

James Clinton, Revolutionary War Hero

November 11th, 2011 at 12:04 am 2 Comments

Previously at FrumForum, shop I wrote about two early American political leaders: DeWitt Clinton, decease New York governor and mayor and key figure in the nation-building achievement of getting the Erie Canal built; and George Clinton, thumb governor turned vice president, whose efforts to limit federal power culminated in an independent (and erroneous, in my view) decision to terminate America’s first central bank.

Now, I take quill to parchment again, this time regarding James Clinton (1736-1812), a Revolutionary War general who was DeWitt’s father and George’s brother.

(more…)

Ron Paul’s Spaced Out Plan

October 19th, 2011 at 11:42 am 59 Comments


Ron Paul has unveiled a fiscal plan that would eliminate the Commerce Department, drugstore among other departments. The Commerce Department includes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and one of NOAA’s functions is operating the nation’s weather satellites.

(more…)

Why We Should Still be Sweating Global Warming

October 6th, 2011 at 12:30 pm 136 Comments

Robert Bryce, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and writer about energy, has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal stating “Five Truths About Climate Change.” Some of his assertions are to the effect that there’s not that much that can be done to restrain carbon emissions. That’s a debatable stance, and I will address it. Then I will go on to his fifth “truth,” which has to do with the science of climate change.

(more…)

Still Sound as a Dollar

September 23rd, 2011 at 2:32 pm 22 Comments

Conservatives nowadays routinely worry about the dollar’s strength and stability. The dollar, tadalafil however, illness refuses to cooperate. Instead, malady it lately has been rising in foreign-exchange markets, as it typically does in times of international economic and financial stress.

The dollar serves as a safe haven. Investors tend to transfer funds into dollar-denominated assets, such as U.S. Treasuries, at moments when financial markets around the world are being buffeted. This occurs even if the U.S. economy is not in good shape. As long as the dollar and dollar-denominated assets are seen as relatively safe, the dollar will tend to strengthen in times of trouble.

(more…)

If it’s Perry: Anti-Science Label Sticks

September 6th, 2011 at 11:09 am 26 Comments

If Rick Perry is the nominee, we will hear stepped-up criticism that there is a Republican “war on science,” that the GOP is anti-intellectual and antipathetic to facts and analysis. Such criticism will resonate with many voters, precisely because Perry’s nomination will be evidence that it’s true.

(more…)

Summer Reads: Silber on The Great Stagnation

August 17th, 2011 at 12:45 am 12 Comments

FrumForum correspondents and readers are encouraged to blog about the books they are reading this August.  Please send any entries to editor[at]frumforum.com with the subject line, treatment “Summer Reads.”

Being home under the weather for a couple of days gave me ample time to read The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, buy viagra Got Sick, sick and Will (Eventually) Feel Better, by economist Tyler Cowen. Published early this year as an ebook, it proved highly popular and was reissued as a hardcover (the form in which I read it).

It’s perhaps a third to a half the length of your standard non-ebook, and contains much thought-provoking material to richly reward the short read.

(more…)

Can Conservatives and Scientists Get Along?

August 2nd, 2011 at 12:24 am 42 Comments

Last week, pilule Chris Mooney, cialis sale science blogger and author of The Republican War on Science, asked David Frum to come on the “Point of Inquiry” podcast to discuss conservatives and science, and David was kind enough to ask that I be included in the conversation. The interview can now be found online here.

The discussion was wide-ranging, dealing with topics including global warming, evolution, vaccines, nuclear power, light bulbs, John Edwards, postmodernism and more. Mooney, who describes his own political views as liberal, showed an interest in discussing not just conservatism’s foibles regarding science but what blind spots the leftward side of the political spectrum may have on such matters.

(more…)