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.
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