Thursday, October 22, 2009

Impure Thinking leads to Treason

Interesting view of the "democratic process" regarding climate change / global warming policies. The author questions whether scientists can claim a moral high ground. Questioning global warming policy is, in some quarters, 'treason to the Earth' and her associated advocates. Pleasantly, a change from physical sciences to economics. A topic more scientists should be familiar with (beyond grant proposals).

"Less well-known pundits make similar points, suggesting that people with “incorrect” views on global warming should face Nuremburg-style trials or be tried for crimes against humanity. There is clearly a trend. The climate threat is so great – and democracies are doing so little about it – that people conclude that maybe democracy is part of the problem, and that perhaps people ought not to be allowed to express heterodox opinions on such an important topic.

... argue that if the science of climate change concludes that CO2 emissions are harmful, it follows that we should stop those harmful emissions ... since science tells us that speeding cars kill many people, we should cut speed limits to almost nothing."



ccyager said...

Yeah, but change moves at a glacial pace whenever human beings need to do something together, i.e. all countries work together on this. Too bad global warming couldn't melt THAT particular glacier and speed up the change to complete cooperation.

Gopher MPH said...

It's not just the glacial speed. I find the identification of The Opposition as Traitors to be intriguing. Horrible, but intriguing. A friend, who is an epidemiologist working with large animal diseases, when last I heard, was not convinced about what "everyone else accepted" as the causative agent of mad cow disease / BSE / etc. It can be challenging to stand against the scientific flow, especially when you are a respected scientist. I met someone at a lecture last year who doesn't believe in global warming. This was a professor who is a scientist, who is probably 70-80, and highly respected. He walked out of the lecture, according to him, a little more persuaded, but definitely not convinced. It was educational for the students, I think, to see in action respect combined with utter disagreement.

It also should - one would hope - drive home the fact that just because everyone else believes it doesn't mean you have to. However, if you don't, you ought to have a scientifically sound reason not to.