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Daily Pickings is a blog on issues and events related to the work of the Critical Thinking project and invariably references videos, articles, books and academic papers. Accumulation of these materials adds to the "Critical Thinking reference library". Use the search facility to find articles on specific topics or you can browse the titles of every Dailly Pickings article since inception via the Site Map for which you need to be registered.
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Critical Thinking is a collaborative, educational project relying on contributions from diverse sources.

Biofuel folly

A couple of years ago Friends of the Earth issued a report damning biofuels - they emit more CO2 than the fossil fuels they replace. What came to light subsequently is, that prior to the EU mandating a minimum of 10% biofuel use, a 2008 paper revealed the excessive carbon emissions but lobbying by farmers and industry ensured the measure was passed in spite of the evidence against biofuels. It would appear, one individual was the main protagonist and agitator for the measure.

The Entrepreneur by Andrew Montford

Some of the comments and links therein make interesting reading.

Money, power and 9/11

As we approach the twelfth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, the fruits of this heinous crime continue to be harvested.

The dismantling of Syria as a nation state follows the decimation of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. These plans were laid well in advance of 9/11 and include Iran as the next target.

Meanwhile, in the UK,

Read more...

Science is not about consensus

In the absence of empirical evidence to support the theory that man-made CO2 emissions are causing catastrophic global warming, reference to authority and consensus is used to persuade people that this is a real, rather than fabricated problem. Daily Pickings has referred in the past to the illusion of consensus, ie. that it is also fabricated. We must not be seduced into thinking that scientific progress and understanding ever develops by consensus.

A question for Oreskes – But what do we mean by consensus? by Christopher Monckton

The time has come

William Thompson wrote An Inquiry into the Principles for the Distribution of Wealth Most Conducive to Human Happiness in 1824 in which he talked about the failure to connect the political economy to the study of theology, philosophy and science (Hat tip to John for this reference).

In 1879 Henry George wrote how the private appropriation of land led to misery and abject poverty within a thriving economy. A hundred years ago, Lloyd George and Winston Churchill were staunch advocates of taxing the full value of land but vested, land owning interests suppressed the initiative and Land Value Tax (LVT) was expunged from academic discourse.

More recently, interest in this fundamental economic issue has revived with the help of people like Fred Harrison who's written many books on the subject including The Traumatised Society. Taxing land is gaining traction as a political issue and is now treated seriously in the financial press.

The Coalition for Economic Justice has just released an excellent 30 minute video which explains why we need to tax the surplus value of land and remove taxes on employment and enterprise. Among the many benefits, It would eliminate tax avoidance, evasion and offshore tax havens.

The Taxing Question of Land (30 min video)
Hat tip to Peter, Anthony and John for this

Taxing the surplus value of land won't, of itself, cure all the problems we face but it will go a long way towards removing the distortions within the economic system and aligning the political economy with morality and logic. Abolition of interest on money and a citizens income for all would address the remaining fundamental flaws in the economic system. (See Economics to Save our Civilisation)