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Nov 18 2013

Science denial is deadly

Via WeatherUnderground: a view of part of Washington, Illinois from Mackenzie Street on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013 after a tornado tore through the area. (AP Photo/Alex Kareotes)

Creationism is annoying and depressing, but a typical middle-class voter can get through their entire lives availing themselves of the fruits of microbiology and science in general while yammering on against about evolution or geology. As Illinois residents dig out from another freak tornado epidemic and the death toll on the Phillippines in the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan rises, it’s appropriate to note climate change is a whole different story. The wind, water, and drought brought on by changing climate are killers. Ask any expert:

Michael Mann — Too often we let the confusionists in the climate change debate wrongly frame this connection so as to blur the connection between climate change and extreme weather. It’s time that we start calling the out the false framing. The answer is, yes—the record heat, drought, devastating wildfires, coastal flooding events, etc. that we are seeing is almost certainly a result of human-caused global warming and climate change. And it will get much worse if we don’t do something to curtail our ever-escalating burning of fossil fuels.

Science is ultimmately about reality. We ignore that reality at our own peril.

6 comments

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  1. 1
    billgascoyne

    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, does not go away.”
    Philip K. Dick

  2. 2
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Ask any expert:

    Yes – but make sure it is an actual expert not one of the deniers masquerading as one such “Lord Munckton”, Anthony “Whats Up” Watts or Ian Plimer.

    To everyone’s detriment the media and many in the public seem to struggle telling genuine experts from those employed to sow doubt and spread old climate canards that have been debunked a hundred thousand plus times already for the sake of vested interests.

  3. 3
    haitied

    I don’t think they struggle with distinguishing between credentialed and crackpot. Rather I think they don’t care for anything but ratings.

  4. 4
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @ ^ haitied : Perhaps that explains (& condemns as unethical & stupid) the media but there’s also the issue with the general public and their failure to realise the difference between say, Dr Michael Mann on one hand versus the likes Marc Morano (or for Aussies Andrew Bolt /Alan Jones*) on the other.

    I think for both media and general public ideology and the excessive polarising of political “sides”, plus a whole slew of psychological factors involving Human nature and especially our “if we want things to be X badly enough and tell ourselves they really *are* X often enough it’ll come true” fantasising have a lot to answer for.

    Pretty sure whole books have already been written “explaining” the Deniers attitudes and causes behind those.

    Problem is we seem to be really struggling to change minds at least enough of them in enough time to really help. The consequences of our inaction so far are already coming down the pipeline due to thermal inertia and a lot of people -probably myself-too – really don’t appreciate just how bad things will get as a result.

    I think it was H.G. Wells (?) who once said Humanity’s future was going to be a race between the forces of education and catastrophe caused by ignorance or something along those lines. I’m afraid Catastrophe Caused by Ignorance has well and truly caught up and we’re in awful trouble.

    But we cannot give up trying and all we can do to win or even draw the fight against Global Overheating we should do.

    Not soon. Now.

    Yesterday would’ve been preferable.

    Today will have to do.

    Tomorrow may be too late.

    This genuinely scares me.

  5. 5
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    I think it was H.G. Wells (?) who once said Humanity’s future was going to be a race between the forces of education and catastrophe caused by ignorance or something along those lines.

    Aha! Found it :

    “Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.”

    http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/h/h_g_wells.html#3Zq3Cwogq4If50rO.99

    And yes, ’twas HG Wells although more succinct than my sleepy memory. Some other good quotes there as well.

  6. 6
    w00dview

    This message cannot be repeated enough. If we listen to the deniers and keep doing business as usual, then disasters like this are going to get more common and more severe. The amount of misery, death and suffering could be enormous and it is the most vulnerable who are going to be hit hardest. Climate change denial, to me is easily the most dangerous form of woo out there and the amount of destruction caused by these assholes will make anti vaxxers look like rank amateurs.

    People like Watts and Morano are 100% pure evil scumbags for what they are doing. To continue fucking up the planet’s climate and as a consequence cause untold suffering upon millions of people just for a oil company cheque is fucking despicable.

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