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  •  You are demonstrating scientific illiteracy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Helena Handbag, Doc Sarvis, psfinla

    And you seem unable to comprehend what I just wrote.
    Public consensus is not the same as scientific consensus, although even scientific consensus can be influenced by the general public consensus.
    The IPCC doesn't itself conduct research, but the scientists that make up the IPCC do that work. The IPCC is a clearing house where ALL the credible studies are gathered and considered. These are highly conservative scientists who don't by habit or tradition arrive at alarming forecasts. That's why the IPCC has consistently under-estimated the effects of global warming. Their governments by far would prefer they would report that global warming is not happening, so to think they have been corrupted to say it is and is caused by humans doesn't fit the tendencies of governments. Can you think of reasons why Exxon, for example, would want to make people believe that there is no such thing as global warming? Now can you imagine Exxon's dedication to the scientific process compared to selling oil? Now can you imagine the funding spent by Exxon to make the case publicly that global warming is not happening? There is no counter-balance to that level of spending, except that enough of the public is educated in the scientific method to recognize when good science is being presented. However, enough of the public is not educated in the scientific method that they are easily manipulated to believe that global warming is a hoax. The key is a healthy skepticism, to demand evidence and peer-reviewed conclusions, combined with an appreciation of the overall weight of the evidence. Sorry to sound preachy, but it's completely crazy to be saying the vast consensus of the entire scientific community could be in on some giant hoax. That's not how it works.
    So we're stuck. As individuals we all have the right to distrust others' motives, react against novel social values like environmentalism, and to be skeptical of any scientifically tested assessment of what we're doing to the foundations of life (clean air and water, livable temperatures, productive oceans, etc). We don't have to go along with changes in our behavior that are needed to protect and restore those foundations for the foreseeable future. The dominant social value for the past few hundred years of Western civilization has been individual freedom.

    Unfortunately, however, the call for individual freedom is amplified in much of mainstream media today by emphasizing distrust of society, especially when new ideas call for changes in our behavior beyond our comfort zone. The resulting negativity overwhelms our overall ability to respond in an organized, coordinated way to the physical realities of climate and habitat degradation that increasingly damage our biological processes, i.e., our ability to continue to live.

    If a solid core of individuals insist, as a group (in a form of groupthink), on distrusting the scientific results that call for behavioral adaptations, and choose to doubt the motives of other individuals who are in positions to organize the needed adaptations, then as a society we can't act in a coordinated way to make those adaptations, and we will suffer the forecasted calamaties of habitat destruction and global warming that result from doing business as usual.

    In our society you are not required to help solve environmental issues or to even understand the situation, and you are free to agree with the major industrial and regressive organizations that are actively manipulating public opinion to doubt the scientific conclusions and the motivations of public officials.

    We all have the freedom to refuse to help, but unfortunately for all of us those misinformation campaigns are effectively preventing an adaptive response on a scale that addresses the enormity of current trends on the ground and in the oceans.

    Ironically our individuality is not lost when we see the need to support efforts to restore natural productivity, even when we need to reduce our industrial productivity and consumption to do so. In fact taking care of our own habitat is a good way to express and develop our individuality. It's an excellent way to to think, articulate, and live our own life. Think of it as singing revolving solos in a band while keeping with the beat and enjoying everyone else's voices too. It's a way to bring beauty and harmony into the world.

    "Grandiosity is just another way we lie to ourselves." -Kunstler

    by howardfromUSA on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 04:48:09 PM PDT

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