Monday, October 14, 2013

The Debate is Not About Scientific Facts

Sean Carroll has a post about what a recent study shows is driving the Republican extremists -- mostly, they're afraid of change. especially when it involves minorities (who are, of course, starting to become the new majority).

Basically, they resent that this no longer the 1950s.

He writes, about the major points of the study:
The scariest part of the report is that last bullet point, that “climate is next.” The Republican civil war is already bringing the US to the brink of financial disaster. It could end up causing the entire planet immeasurable harm. Scientists need to realize that the climate change debate, like the creationism-in-schools debate from a while a back, is actually not about scientific facts. It’s about culture, and that’s a much more difficult problem to address.
So what then are those concerned about climate change supposed to do, if facts have little effect and more of them will have less?


Victor Venema said...

Most people in Europe expect the USA to find a solution for the budget problems. I must admit that after my experience with the climate ostriches the last few years, I am less optimistic.

What to do? I would say Europe presses ahead and develops the technologies needed. When the people who were young in the 50-ies die, the US can buy the technology in Europe.

To make it easier for Europe to press ahead, we need an international treaty that allows for levies on energy intensive imports from countries that do not put a price on carbon.

David Appell said...

Victor, I personally agree with the need for an international tax on carbon.

But the US won't agree to it. In our current political climate we couldn't even introduce a domestic carbon tax, let alone pass one. Any international tax would be immediately shouted down by the extreme right, who hate the UN or any such international bodies that might negotiate such a levy.