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Am I the only one who finds this economist geoengineering debate absurd? Ryan Avent (not a climatologist or even a scientist) is sure that geoengineering would be really hard to pull off, while Levitt and Dubner (not scientists) think it's a great idea. Isn't it clear that, at this point, the factual questions of the relative merits of geoengineering and other methods of climate control are unsettled and even experts shouldn't claim to know the answers with certainty? And yet people like Avent and Yglesias are explaining to us why one side or the other is right. And coincidentally, the correct answers to these questions just happen to agree with the pre-exisitng views of these same commentators. Isn't this entire debate just transparently motivated by personal biases?


Yes to everything you asked.

The environmentalists who oppose it, I should say.

Craig Newmark's article is interesting. What about a future where lobbyist groups were associated with a permanent online profile, including a vote-based "confidence rating?" Then when you read a news article that mentions the comments of a lobbyist group, next to each organization name (or lobbyist or spokesman name) you could see a number like: "(67% trustworthy)". Sort of like Ebay.

Of course determining trustworthiness is a difficult question and vote-based methods are vulnerable to "petitions" from activist networks. But, one could imagine filters for that, e.g. if many people always vote the same, downweight their votes.

It is of course easier to determine whether A will agree with B ("people who thought this lobbyist was trustworthy also liked...") than whether A or B is closer to "the truth." But finding who agrees with whom could also be useful.

Finland makes broadband a "right"... unless of course, you live too far from a city center and it would be too expensive to provide it to you.

Is this an inaccuracy in translation, or are concepts of "rights" really that watered down in Finland?

The Jung excerpts, for those on the margin, are pictures of his calligraphy and artwork, rather than excerpts of the thoughts.

Almost all his reasons for why geo-engineering would be hard apply to adopting any meaningful carbon limits. His optimism aside, all the Midwestern Democrats (including Feingold) are against the current bill. China and India and others aren't going to cut their emissions, they've repeatedly announced. Adopting our own regulations would give China and India even less incentive to cut, as even more industry would go there.

Geo-engineering suffers from all sorts of co-ordination problems, but the solutions proposed would all be cheaper than cutting carbon, so it has a better chance. (The US does provide several global services, like GPS for free or hurricane and asteroid monitoring, despite free-riding.)

Every time a progressive discovers public choice, a choir angel gets her voice!

The most interesting thing about the Finland story isn't the legal rights aspect. It's that they fully expect 100 MB broadband to be not merely available, but universal, in 2015.

That would have major implications for piracy of movies, telepresence, MMORPGs and virtual worlds, ...

The FTC didn't clear any of these because the DOJ has jurisdiction over galaxies....

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