‪Fighting the denial of well constrained truths: excellent. Treating skeptics of artificially specific application of poorly constrained truths as deniers, not so much.

Denying the earth is warming is the game of the ignorant or the propagandist. Claiming as fact that CO2 is the primary driver of the past half century’s warming is a dangerous game. This is an awful spot to be in as the science of the question is advancing, but not at the pace we need to settle it in time if the worst assumptions of climate response are nearest the truth (if I understand correctly, one could say that if *the worst* case scenarios are true, it is already too late). On the other hand, drastic decarbonization without reasonably mature carbon free or roughly neutral energy sources significantly hinders development in the world’s many young economies. Act quickly with immature green energy and we face unexpected and potentially significant environmental impacts from young green tech along with the sacrificing of lives in young/developing economies, but we might prevent a catastrophic warming of the planet. Take a more measured response and in the short term technology grows, scientific confidence grows, global economies rise, global mortality and birth rates fall, global quality of life increases, but to what end if worst case estimates are closest to reality, a global ecological catastrophe and the collapse of civilization? More likely neither extreme is accurate, and the answer is in the middle… but we don’t know yet. Empirical studies seem to indicate a lower threat while some modeling suggests otherwise. Both extremes suck.

What is my point in all this? I saw under Obama voices who stood on sound science to question or rebut extreme climate claims that were in vogue be demonized and/or put in their place. Now under a Trump I see anti-intellectuals and charlatans being lauded for denying a changing climate! As scientists and citizens we must avoid both giving voice to those that use a false claim to skepticism to their own ignorant, corrupt, and/or destructive ends, while at the same time giving an ear to those who have a rational argument for a better or worse climate response than we personally hold. We need to advance the science, not acrimony, for in giving in to philosophical entrenchment rather than the pursuit of reality, we guarantee that we all lose.‬

‪Inspired by https://theconversation.com/climate-science-no-place-for-fundamentalists-476 but any errors mine.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s