How to speak to a Global Warming skeptic
by phil on Wednesday Apr 15, 2009 4:52 PM
One technique for making new converts is to make early and courageous concessions.
For example, the following concession to Global Warming skeptics would get me in hot water with my supposed liberal cohort: There is no consensus that Global Warming will be, on the balance, bad for the world. If anything, history has shown that increases in global temperature have been followed by global economic development. Russia must be excited by Global Warming because their entire Northern frozen lands will soon become viable agriculture. There's also a clamor for access to the trading routes opening over the thawing Arctic.
Having said that, there are varying qualities of consensus. And I believe that the consensus that Global Warming is caused by humans is too strong to shrug off:
With the July 2007 release of the revised statement by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, no remaining scientific body of national or international standing is known to reject the basic findings of human influence on recent climate. (Link)
I think what gets Global Warming skeptics anxious is the guilt implied by the theory. If you can appease that guilt, you can get them to accept the factual premise.
Rahul said on April 19, 2009 4:20 PM:
Phil: Here's an option for guilt-free acceptance of global warming - NASA blames the various different liberal governments' clean air acts.
See this: http://ok2passenge.blogspot.com/2009/04/blind-to-consequences.html
And this: http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/anya-kamenetz/green-day/what-clean-air-act-caused-half-global-warming-says-nasa
Roger von Oech said on April 21, 2009 6:16 PM:
Operating out of guilt is a piss-poor way to run one's life, to say nothing of a national public policy.