Hats off to Jonathan Adler for his blogging of the Skeptics Conference. His fairly instant record of the event is exhaustive, accurate and (parenthetical comments excepted) evenhanded.
My favourite of his 13 posts is the one on Gregory Arnold’s presentation on market trading mechanisms. Here you have the libertarian Adler struggling to find relevant criticism of a free market fellow traveller. Arnold, after all, is trying to figure out how to make money on emission traditing – how to make a profit saving the world. But Adler notices that the market has an inevitable government component (as all well-regulated markets do) and he can’t stand the notion. He concludes: “…where it is impossible to create actual property rights in environmental resources (because you can’t let the market work where you don’t have property rights upon which the market is based) tradable credit systems may make sense. But for me, this approach is never more than a second-best solution.” He doesn’t propose a “first-best” solution.
Quibbles aside, gather up some grains of salt (for liberal sprinkling) and have a read through his contribution. It’s very well done.
Adler also point to conference blogging by A Concerned Scientist, The Truth about Everything (as we had noted before), and The Lippard Blog. And presenter Chris Mooney (The Republic War on Science) also weighs in on his blog. In the open-minded spirit of Skeptic Society founder Michael Shermer, all of these deserve to be read.