Friday, July 24, 2015

How Global Warming Denialism Works

I've talked about this before.  Science advances by presenting evidence and publishing results.  At some point the evidence becomes overwhelming and the scientific conclusions are accepted, for example, that the earth goes around the sun rather than the reverse which Aristotle convinced people to believe without evidence.

The evidence for the effects of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere on our climate is similarly overwhelming and is accepted by scientists.  Moreover, the implications are dire for the future of our planet.

So why is there so much confusion about this?  Something similar happened when Copernicus' article about the heliocentric solar system was published.  For another hundred years people with a religious agenda traveled throughout the world preaching against it.  Today it's people with a political and economic agenda.  But significantly they operate as if science is behind them, but it is a curtain of obfuscation to hide their real purpose.  The people engaged in this activity are never what they claim to be, and never publish their views in peer reviewed literature where their ideas would have to stand up to scientific scrutiny.  Instead many of them publish their ideas in books outside of scientific scrutiny.

How this happens is ably described in a podcast described here.  Personally, I'm not much a fan of podcasts.  I prefer to read rather than listen or watch.  I can read a lot faster than I can listen, a lot faster.  But I found this podcast very interesting and engaging.  It really gets across the point. 

It will be a great tragedy for the human race if these people succeed in spreading their ignorance.  It wouldn't have been so bad if people continued believing the sun went around the earth, but global warming is a far more important issue with consequences to our existence.