I know many of you won't be familiar with the situation he's alluding to, but Arnold Kling is articulating my position far more clearly than I could in his discussion of the current "scientific consensus" on global warming:
Hat tip: Free Exchange (from The Economist)
My concern is with how "scientific consensus" is reached. In economics in the 1960's, there was a "scientific consensus," embedded in sophisticated macro-econometric models, that inflation reflected a competition over income shares, and that government policies to interfere with wage- and price-setting were the solution. Milton Friedman's contrary views were outside the "scientific consensus."
By 1985 or so, the "scientific consensus" had shifted, in part because policies based on that consensus were tried in the 1970's, leading to the worst macroeconomic performance of the post-war period.
By the 1990's, large macro-econometric models had pretty much disappeared from the economics literature. The problem with macro-econometrics is that the models continually broke down out of sample. That is, a model estimated through 1969 would work terribly in predicting the early 1970's. A model estimated through 1975 would work terribly in predicting the late 1970's, and so on.
Milton Friedman's dissenting views of 1967 are close to the consensus views today.I wish that climate-change models did not remind me so much of macro-econometric models. I wish that the contempt that the Left expresses for dissenting views in climate science did not remind me of the contempt that the Left expressed for Milton Friedman. And I wish that the debate over climate change were being waged over substance, rather than with [arguments about people's motivations] and on film. Movies are a propaganda medium, not an information medium.