Friday, August 11, 2017

The Three Forces Of Climate Science Denial

Paul Krugman, like most scientists, is concerned about the compelling evidence which worries him about the future of civilization as we know it today.  The concentration of greenhouse gases produced by human behavior is responsible for many of the extreme weather events we observe today, and it will be responsible for the changes in our planet that will make life more difficult for our grand children.  Governments across the globe, have banded together, to make very difficult decisions about how to respond to the warnings provided by climate scientists.  The Trump administration has taken steps that will make it more difficult to respond to the warnings from climate scientists. Paul Krugman argues that there are three pillars of support for climate science denial in the US:

* The most obvious source of denial comes from the energy industry.  The Koch brothers have led the efforts by the energy industry to pour money into the climate science denial industry.  Most of the money that funds the denial industry comes from the energy industry.  It also comes from politicians who happen to live in energy producing states.

* Outside of the energy industry, there are a lot of libertarians who have a strong distaste for any form of government intervention into the economy.  Market forces should fix all of our problems.  Free  market economists accept the idea the consumption of fossil fuels produces externalities that should be paid for by putting a price on energy consumption or production.  Libertarians, however, are not willing to pay for the largest externality in human history.  That is, the weather catastrophe that awaits us.

* There are always questions about any scientific idea.  The function of science is to continuously reject one idea for a better idea in response to evidence.  Some skeptics about the impact of green house gases are scientists.  A small fringe of these skeptics take great pleasure, and in some cases financial rewards, from rejecting the conclusions by 97% of the climate science community.  There will always be odd ball skeptics about any idea.  Ordinarily, the scientific community responds to the force of compelling evidence.  The climate science skeptics reject the available evidence.

* In the US, the Republican Party has become the center of climate science denial.  Under Trump, it goes even further than global warming denial.  Science itself is the enemy of Trump and many Republicans.  Ignorance is bliss in Trump's base.  They reject climate science and the basic of idea of science which insists upon the need for supporting evidence to win any form of argument.  The truth is whatever Trump claims, except when he changes his mind.  Faith in Trump, or other forms of faith, have replaced the fundamental concept of science and its role in society.

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