Trust and Expertise

In a post to the Globalchange list, Fergus points to a remarkable discussion on a British weather geek list regarding the trustworthiness of climate science.

I think valid public perceptions of trustworthiness are absolutely crucial to a functioning democracy. I think that we climatologists get rather less than our due, but, more problematically, that economists get vastly more than theirs.

I don’t think credentials or tradition suffice. If they did, the Wall Street Journal editorial page (among others) would be genuinely conservative, rather than recklessly mad.

So while I have no objection to the topic, I am a little dubious about whether the prominent naysayer with the cute avatar is really motivated selflessly.

More to the point though, I’d like to see comparable attention paid to the validity and utility of advice from economists.

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