Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Laying it on the line regarding climate denial and science

I've read tweets indicating that the POTUS said some straight-up things about climate change, and climate change denial, in the SOTU tonight.  I'll probably check those out later.  But today I read one of the straightest-shooting Op-Eds about what climate denial means for science in the Washington Post.  And one of the things this column does is put the futile fight over climate in a bigger context regarding the trust (or lack thereof) the populace has in science.

So here it is, by Catherine Rampell:

Dangerously in denial on climate change

I'll provide a couple of early quotes, and the entire final paragraph, because the entire final paragraph is HOLY freakin' wow.

"Climate change has slipped into the same contentious curricular role that evolution once occupied, and some sort of Scopes penguin trial or a debate over “intelligent warming” seems inevitable."

"To some extent, of course, economic self-interest discourages a belief in man-made climate change, particularly if you’re from a state heavily dependent on fossil fuel production."

(I added the emphases in the next excerpt.)

"Survey data show that conservatives — who, back in 1974, were the political group that expressed the highest amount of trust in science — are now the most distrusting of the scientific community. Decades of anti-elite, anti-intellectual rhetoric, combined with the Internet’s uncanny ability to connect like-minded conspiracy theorists, have sowed a great distrust not only of climate change research specifically but of scientific researchers in general."

And here's that remarkable final two-sentence paragraph:

"Conservative climate-change denialism is indeed dangerous, and not just because it threatens coral reefs and polar bears tomorrow. It’s also dangerous because it’s a symptom of a much greater anti-intellectual, anti-science epidemic, one that prioritizes populist punch lines over smart policy and threatens our ability to compete in the global economy today."

This is one opinion piece that is dead-on target.

No comments: