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You and your opinions

While reading a mildly interesting opinion on global warming at Nicholas Kristof’s blog, I went down the reader comments and realized something, I really don’t care what most people think about global warming. About 30-40% of  reader contributions on global warming just are inane, (example: ad hominem attacks on Al Gore, mention of something a  crackpot scientist said in his book proving that global warming is a hoax).  The rest are (like my own opinion) mildly informed, but lacking in-depth knowledge.

The only comments I wish to read are by economists/urban planners/innovators/scientists and occasionally a  layman like Al Gore. The rest of the opinions out there are just background noise. That’s why, by the way, choosing a good blog can often mean the difference in understanding an issue in depth. A generic interest blog or newspaper is going to fail in the signal-to-noise-ratio, while a special interest blog is likely to attract people who share a certain set of assumptions or are prepared to offer evidence or at least unique contributions. My problem perhaps is that well-trafficked newspapers  just aren’t small enough. Once an article has 50 or more comments, chances are that reading all the comments will be a waste of your time.

Two blogs I recommend for climate change: Prometheus (more on science policy than science) and Real Climate (heavy science).

Here’s R. Pielke Jr. on gasoline taxes and whether they would really have an impact.  From his blog, here’s a readable analysis of global warming by Prins and Rayner called the Wrong Trousers. (47 page pdf).  Here’s a reaction on a nature.com blog

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Frank Carver 11/25/2007, 2:50 pm

    After such a dismissive introduction, I feel compelled to add my own inane comment 🙂

    I found the article on gas taxes pretty interesting. Particularly where the author mentions the comparative fuel prices in the USA and the UK. When I fill up my car, it costs a little above GBP 1 per litre. A few minutes of calculation gives that as around USD 8 per US gallon.

    Even at that price (which I guess seems very high to US residents), people here grumble but don’t stop buying it.

    The main effect seems to be to increase the significance of fuel economy as a factor in new car purchases. Used cars still seem to sell more on price, features and local availability, though.

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