Monday, June 28, 2010

A Question of Intellectual Integrity

The following has been printed in the Durango Telegraph letters section.

This winter I encountered yet another vocal global warming “skeptic” who approached me wanting to correct “my illusions” about Anthropogenic Global Warming. Yet, when I called him on his (rehashed and repeatedly proven false) arguments - rather than sending me further information and explaining the flaws in my counter explanations... he turned indignant, saying I was too beneath him for further discussion, then slammed the door in my face so to speak.

What does that say about intellectual integrity? Or about one’s personal desire to explore and learn from new information? My sadly recurring experiences with such public-speaking AGW “Skeptics” suggests that most simply do not want to learn anything new. Why is that? Why does it seem like the “skeptics” true concerns lie in protecting political, and ideological, turf? I ask this because I have yet to hear an AGW “skeptical” presentation that doesn’t mix political insulting, with a dose of fear mongering, topped by cherry-picking of the most grotesque order regarding the Earth observation data that is actually coming in!

In stark contrast, when listening to presentations by serious climate scientists about their particular areas of research and how those pieces fit into the greater puzzle. I have a very different experience. I spend the entire presentation focused on the topic at hand, often learning fascinating and valuable new understanding regarding how our planet operates. As simple as that, no polemics, insults or grand economic and political opining. To understand what I’m talking about you could view UCTV’s “Perspectives On Ocean Science” lecture series, or the recent “Abraham v Monckton.” ‘Just the facts’ ~ it’s a beautiful thing to witness. These speakers allow me, as a spectator, to think it through and build on the store of information I have already accumulated.

Why won’t “skeptics” come up with something like that, rather than their steady stream of infotainment style political theater? It makes me wonder, what has fostered such a self-serving negative attitude toward honestly learning about our Earth?

What are the AGW “skeptics” all about anyways? Substance or dominating some contrived ideological battlefield? Why are honest facts never respected? Why do AGW “skeptical” talking heads come across as though their only goal is to annihilation any opponents?

It might be a cute plot if this was a Hollywood movie, but we are talking real life, real planet, and for honest folk to continue believing the AGW denialist delusions... well that’s going to hurt us all. And the longer we ignore the facts, the worse that hurting is going to get. We are indeed running out of time. Dear citizen global warming skeptic: please, try to check your ideology at the door, allow yourself to be skeptical of your own notions, then start actually looking at and considering the real data coming in.

Very big, long lasting, tough changes actually are unfolding behind your turned backs. But, the truth is out there. You only need to be brave enough to look it straight in the face.

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