Geoscience Reference
In-Depth Information
that researchers benefit from a conspiracy, that they collude with those
in power and with each other for mutual benefit, flies in the face of reality.
It can hardly explain why scientists in so many different nations around
the world, in such a wide variety of disciplines, and with so many con-
trasting relationships to funding agencies agree on the basic claims. The
world of climate change science is far too large and complex for such a
conspiracy to work.
This refusal to accept the validity of the overwhelming majority of
scientific findings is not really motivated by skepticism but by a distort-
ing, self-latering tale about the lone wolf who deies he Man, who goes
up against The Establishment and beats it at its own game. It calls out to
the contrarian streak in all of us, our love of the tiny, heroic minority that
exposes the foolishness of the mindless drones in power. This sensational
scenario is splashed across the title pages of countless topics promising to
enlighten readers about the climate change conspiracy, the hysteria and
fraud of those supporting the consensus view, or the science “they” don't
want you to know. Although ninety-seven of the top one hundred scien-
tists accept the idea of human-caused climate change and only three sci-
entists raise doubts, “skeptics” clearly want us to believe that these three
lonely researchers— and only these three —are correct. Doing so may be
especially foolish, for it's not clear whether those three even agree with
each other or are assured that an alternative paradigm is necessarily cor-
rect. Their doubts about the dominant view may be motivated by hesita-
tion rather than defiance. Nevertheless, “skeptics” capitalize on that hesi-
tation, hoping that it can justify repudiating the reality of climate change
outright, as if the refusal to accept the consensus view is a sufficient
reason to commit to an alternative. It's clear that the position of heroic
opposition hardly qualifies as a cautious, deliberative, and truly skepti-
cal viewpoint: it is actually much more like a risky, defiant, and absolute
faith —a faith that simply knows that climate change cannot be real.
This idealization of the contrarian scientist collapses as soon as one
examines the science carefully. For one thing, researchers have been
examining climate change with special intensity for the last couple of
decades, and the ideas of the dissenters have of course received serious
atention during that time. he more carefully researchers look at dissent-
ers' objections and replicate earlier studies to correct for possible errors
Search WWH ::

Custom Search