Monday, March 26, 2007

Climate Change Skeptics Explained?

In the Huffington Post, blogger Chris Moon tries to get away from scorched-earth debates about Climate Change and offers a plausible explanation for skepticism on climate change, which has been most pronounced in the US Government amid members of the GOP. He argues that it goes deeper than a dislike for prominent climate change activist Al Gore.
I'd like to suggest that we consider some other factors:
1. The broad and longstanding conservative distrust of academia and "leftwing" campus intellectuals, including scientists. This allows many Republicans to dismiss large bodies of scientific research as essentially politicized and therefore safe to ignore.
2. The growth of ideological think tanks which provide alternative "facts" and alternative "knowledge" tailor-made for conservatives. It's not just that many Republicans reject mainline "science"; they actually have their own.
3. The growth of a rightwing media that quotes the think-tank "experts" and puts them on the air regularly--so that the sealed off alternative knowledge environment becomes complete and very hard for mainstream science to penetrate (especially when scientists themselves do not speak in a language designed to appeal to political conservatives).

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