Friday, December 18, 2015

Analyze, Trust, or Buy-In?


Do I really have to question everything? So I'm waiting at a train depot and of course there is a sign that advertises how much greener it is to ride the train than to drive a car on a daily commute. I'm going over-analytically submit a usual "it depends" sort of answer.


What might it depend on? Well...how much energy and what sources of energy are consumed with daily operations of the rail system? What is the waste of maintaining and building tracks vs roads? What is the total waste of producing and maintaining trains vs autos? What distance are you travelling? What additional energy and waste do you consume in your commute?


If we really want to prove the statement, we would have to analyze the data. Or we can just trust that the train company did this. Or perhaps some trusted analysis entity can verify the facts for us. I guess if I want to verify it I would either have to find a trusted authority (who knows if they really did a proper analysis), find data and do my own analysis (can I trust the data?), or just buy in.

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