Friday, December 18, 2009

On the climate change discussion

The AP recently published an interview with Frank Euredi of Kent University. In it, Euredi basically lamented the state of the climate debate; various groups "knowledgeable or oblivious" shouting back and forth, in his view, with the Internet playing an enabling role. Then he makes this irksome observation:
Democracy in action? That’s one way of seeing it. But is something deeper afoot? As the amplification of human opinion becomes more democratic, is the suspicion of the expert and the intellectual — a long-held trope in American society — going globally viral?
A long-held trope? Oh, my. Oh, the condescension.  Where to start?

To take the current debate and generalize on the American character is to show a lack of understanding of both.  Whereas Euredi's characterization of the latter is more of a cheap shot, I shall instead address the former.

The current debate is mostly about wealth transfer between the haves and the have-nots at the expense of the public purse.  That fact alone, not to mention the numerous questions raised about the underlying data and climate models, makes this debate everyman's concern.

I can understand how Euredi would like the discussion be limited to the science community and the rest of us to just shut up and sit down.  And, the rest of us would most likely do just that if this whole climate discussion was limited to science.  But, the climate discussion is not now, if it ever was, about pure science and Euredi needs to accept the involvement of those other affected groups as legitimate.

3 comments:

WomanHonorThyself said...

hey Howard SWEETEST HOLIDAYS to u my friend..big NY hugss!!! xoxoxox

hbl said...

Thanks!

Rosemary said...

Merry Christmas!