Remember when your parents sat you down to have a little chat about how you should behave?
It may be time for us to have one of those chats with a small fraction of our readers, just to point out this site's requests, customs, and no-nos.
Here's our compilation of things that will see your comments on Green Car Reports countered by respectful but vigorous rebuttals from our most informed and passionate readers.
DON'T MISS: Why Green Car Reports Writes About Full-Size Pickup Trucks (Dec 2013)
We've also included things that will get your comments flagged or moderated.
Geothermal Power Plant in Iceland
(1) Denounce climate science as a hoax or gigantic conspiracy.
This site accepts the scientific consensus of climate change, as we have often said. The phenomenon of climate-science denial is a fascinating one, both psychologically and politically, but it has little place here.
Links to climate-science debates are acceptable, but only if they are submitted respectfully and debated similarly.
Regrettably, the anger and vitriol in many such comments--reflecting the tenor of much current political debate--means this site must spend time and effort deleting entire angry, insulting discussions, and warning the commenters who post them.
Until proven otherwise, we accept the views that the earth is round, the planet revolves around the sun, and recent human actions have increased atmospheric carbon dioxide and altered the global climate.
If you don't, please stay away. It will save unpleasantness for all of us.
Green Car Reports comments using new Disqus system
(2) Insult other commenters, authors, or sources.
This one's strictly forbidden. We ask readers to flag any comments containing insults--whether directly against other commenters or broader generalizations about the intelligence, capability, education, or habits of any large group of people.
That applies to any group, pro or con: electric-car buyers, Republicans, women, gay people, and more.
ALSO SEE: Why We Moderate Comments On Green Car Reports (Mar 2014)
Such insults add nothing to the strength of the argument, and they repel many readers seeking serious, robust debates on the issues.
We will moderate such comments to eliminate those insults. If users continue to insult others, we will ban and blacklist them and report their identities to Disqus, which maintains our commenting system.
2016 Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell car, Newport Beach, CA, Nov 2014
(3) Couch your point about any specific technology, powertrain, or buyer group in blanket, absolutist statements.
- "No one will ever buy electric cars because they'll be stranded at the side of the road."
- "Hydrogen fuel cells are just a plot funded by oil companies."
- "No one needs a pickup truck."
Better ways to phrase those thoughts:
- "Some consumers aren't ready to take the leap of buying limited-range electric cars."
- "Most hydrogen is now made from natural gas, so oil and gas producers may view it more favorably than plug-in cars that can be recharged from home solar installations."
- "Many pickup drivers could make do with a more efficient vehicle."
BMW DesignworksUSA solar carport concept
(4) Insist that the only green cars are those with no emissions that run on renewable energy.
It's a lovely fantasy that within the decade, the entire world's transportation system can switch over to using entirely renewable energy. As they say, not gonna happen--at least not that fast.
Meanwhile, this site would lose most of its readers if it wrote solely about zero-emission vehicles.
MORE: Why Green Car Reports Writes About Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Cars (Aug 2014)
Our mission is to provide information that lets consumers make informed choices about ways to reduce their fuel consumption and lower the impact of their vehicles.
We should probably have called it Greener Car Reports, frankly, but that's water over the dam by now.
Used car salesman
(5) Be a jerk.
We really just ask commenters to be polite. And respect nuance. And think about the effect of their words. And read what they've written before they post it.
In other words: Be an adult.
Remember the Golden Rule: Comment unto others as you would have them comment to you.
Thank you all for helping us keep the tenor of Green Car Reports civil, respectful, and informative.