Blog highlights

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At the start of a new year, let me mention some of my favorite posts of this blog. 

Who to believe? (2009)

In this post I discussed the million dollar question for the lay public in this internet-age: How to gauge conflicting information on complex topics such as health or climate? Who do you trust? Some things to consider: Context, expertise, conspiracy theories, timescales, spatial scales, logic, likelihood, risk, motive, consistency, coherence, etc. (Also a Dutch version)

Climate “skeptics” out of touch with reality (2008)

This post was in reply to a newspaper article about Fred Singer, where he made a host of untrue claims. The Dutch version was published as a column in a newsletter for environmental professionals.

Singers unfounded opinion about CO2 is not relevant for the discussion about energy options. About policy options, for example concerning energy, there will always be different opinions. And different opinions should be heard. But please leave out scientifically proven untruths.

And some more recent ones:

The public role of scientists

To what extent should scientists differentiate in their role as ‘pure’ scientists and their role as public educator, advocate, activist, or whatever other public role they may want to assume? With a medical analogy to illustrate the dynamics.

Of the random walk saga:

- Could climate randomly change very much without being forced to? No, as it would violate conservation of energy.

- Just as my weight cannot change randomly very much without me changing my eating or exercise habits.

And this series of four addressing the interlinking issues of long timescales, big inertia and long term sustainability:

- The risk of postponing corrective action to a gradually deteriorating situation

- What does population have to do with climate change? (with global maps scaled to different quantities)

- Where are we going? (idem, for future GDP)

- The problem is that it’s not our problem (but rather that of future generations)

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2 Responses to “Blog highlights”

  1. Jeff Id Says:

    I know you are convinced of the end of the world but I still haven’t heard of a solution. What do you propose?

  2. Paul Kelly Says:

    Nice year.

    I reread What does population have to do with climate change? It referenced the Tobis article about impact per unit wealth. He wrote “A given economic growth rate can be sustainable only if the average impact per unit wealth declines at an equal or greater rate.”

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