Climate-change scepticism must be ‘treated’, says enviro-sociologist • The Register
Tuesday April 3, 2012 11:43 pm Leave a comment
this idiot is an example of the problem rather than solution. I happen to be a firm believer in climate change and the need for action myself. But the idea that you can bully the sceptics into conformity by charging them with irrationality is as scientifically and politically illiterate as most other authoritarian arguments.
The plain truth is that the entire edifice of science is constructed on intellectually strong but pathetically insecure foundations. Until we have an audited peer review system, there is no honest argument against rejection of almost any hypothesis purely on the basis that you are not satisfied that the evidence has been properly gathered, analysed and fairly summarised.
When we choose to believe a particular scientific theory at the moment, it remains an act of faith that the entire system has been conducted with appropriate integrity.
That being said, some such acts of faith are more rational than others. My own faith, for example, in the plausibility of the Theory of Evolution rests on the irrationality of the conspiracy theory required to cast doubt upon it. i.e. we would have to believe that several million scientists have collaborated, over a period of a hundred and fifty years, to fabricate the evidence and misrepresent the findings which flow from that evidence. It is, frankly, much easier to believe that the majority of relevant research has been entirely honest.
But that cannot be so glibly stated on either side of the Climate arguments. Personally, I tend to favour the credibility and motives of those who tell us that the Climate is warming and that we can and should do something about it. But I recognise that my preference, in the absence of an immutable audit trail, is no more than faith in the benign intentions of those researchers.