In any contentious science/policy issue it's easy to find people on both sides who resort to ad homs and poor arguments. Using that as a metric to judge any one sides' credibility is a fallacy.in response to Ted Nordhaus:
In the face of scientific complexities that are difficult to parse, one easy heuristic as to where credibility lies is to what degree partisans resort to ad hominem, misrepresentation of opponents arguments, and sweeping, unqualified assertions.People often want some simple heuristic to know who to trust, which side is right, in cases where they can't be bothered, or aren't capable, of working out the truth for themselves. To be more accurate, people often search around for a simple heuristic that allows them to choose the side they already know they want to choose, and ignore the inconvenient opinions and facts from the other side.
This is covered in Scott Adams is a tosser.
* SPLICING THE MAIN BRACE WITH JOSH, DILBERT & WATTS
* Its cold and Scott Adams gets whacked by Dogbert - me, 2005
* Dilbert: on removing CO2.
There is. In case it exists accepting the scientific mainstream is a pretty good shortcut for those who do not have the time or expertise to go in depth themselves. Nothing is infallible. Also studying a topic yourself, isn't. But it is a very good heuristic rule.
I like Feynman's heuristic: form your opinion and then subject it to rigorous skepticism.
Inside the Washington Beltway, heuristics are intelligently applied to forming the opinions of tossers
If it exists, then finding and following the scientific consensus is a good heuristic. In the case of GW it exists, and I think can be plausibly argued that any reasonably intelligent and not-too-biased person ought to be able to find it, and identify it as the consensus (IPCC and NIPCC can be easily distinguished).
CIP: "subject it to rigorous skepticism" would be great, but people are very bad at that.
Russel: congratualtions on your appearance in Nature.
Finding and following the economic consensus is a good heuristic.
Agreed: minimum wage bad, tariffs and protectionism bad, carbon tax good. Or were you thinking of some other economic consensus ;-?
Thanks, William but, which one? This my shortest to date.
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