27 March 2024

Because It Was the Output of a Bunch of Click Bait Lying Sacks of Sh%$

Over at The Economist, they are wondering, "Why “Freakonomics” failed to transform economics."

This has been another episode of simple answers to simple questions.

It's pretty simple:  There was no concern for the truth nor accuracy.  It was an exercise in mindless and dishonest contrarianism in the interest in selling books/clicks.

I noted this in 2009, when the folks at Freakonomics tried to argue that solar power would result in more heating than coal because they are black, and absorb heat.

To do this they had to:

  • Assume that coal power was far more thermally efficient than it actually is.  (You cannot burn coal in a turbine and use the exhaust to boil water for a steam turbine, which is the most efficient form of fossile fuel power.  It only works for liquid and gaseous fuels)
  • Assume that solar panels do not reflect or re-emit any heat (Black body radiation), and that their efficiencies are lower than were achievable then.
  • That the Earth is a perfectly reflective sphere.  (It's not it's albedo is 0.39, as any Vangelis fan could tell you)
  • Ignore that home solar panels are most often put on roofs, which are also black.
  • Ignores the greenhouse effect in its entirety, which dwarfs thermal emissions of all power generation on the planet earth.

Freakonomics did not transform economics because it was a humbug promulgated by snollygosters.


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