More on climate

I just read the first opinion piece published in the New York Times by Bret Stephens, who previously worked for the Wall Street Journal, where he won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary.

Where to start…how about with the use of public opinion polls? That only 36 percent of Americans care about climate change after 30 years of alarm-raising is utterly irrelevant to evaluating soundness of the science or the need for policy action.  All it indicates is the limits of public education ABOUT the science (which Bret apparently accepts), and the power of the denialist propaganda machine.  A third of US adults believe that human beings have not changed since they were “created.” And this in spite of the reality that humans actually arose through an evolutionary process–a reality so well supported by evidence that it merits the name “fact” and the adjective “certain.” Another standoff between well-supported science and a well-orchestrated propaganda machine (this one rooted in religious tradition). It defies reason to suggest that people who completely DENY the reality of climate change or evolution do so because of considered doubt about the overweening confidence of scientists who urge proactive policy changes. The denialism is maintained instead by the antiscientific PR of those who would be inconvenienced by an acceptance of reality.


About ethologist

Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at Michigan State University
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