In my introductory post I referred an event about four months ago, one that had a profound effect on me, and one that inspired this blog that you are reading.
I was listening to a program on NPR (exactly which one I am unsure of), in which Dan Kahan, who holds the impressive sounding title of Elizabeth K. Dollard professor of law AND professor of psychology at Yale Law School, was being interviewed on the topic of the public perception of Global Climate Change. Mr. Kahan made the claim that skeptics of Global Climate Change were not only as scientifically literate as believers in Global Climate Change, but in fact were generally MORE literate!
Ok, that took me completely by surprise. As a long time proponent of the theory of Global Climate Change, I was part of a large group that believed that all we had to do to sway people away from their skepticism was to educate them more. And now Dan Kahan was telling me that I couldn’t be more wrong!
Let’s just say that I spent a lot of time thinking about this. (to be continued)
But more on that later.
It always seems appropriate to begin a new blog with “Why the heck am I doing this?” and, perhaps more importantly, “Why should anyone care about what I have to say?”
I hope answering the first question in this initial post will somewhat answer the second. I plan on addressing the second question in subsequent posts, and hope that the reader will see something early on that will make them keep coming back – at least periodically.
As to the reasons why I created this blog, they really fall into two categories.
The first is that after being out of the science game for nearly a decade (and particularly the topic of Global Climate Change), I am trying to get back in – probably not doing research, more likely in advocacy, lobbying and certainly communications. This blog is intended to help me get back in the swing of things, help me focus my thoughts on the state-of-the-art in Global Climate Change.
Second, I hope to help change the “climate” of the discussion, to lessen the antipathy between the proponents and opponents, the believers and the skeptics. My impetus for this is alluded to in the title of this first post – again, more on that later.
To that end, I welcome any well-reasoned believer OR skeptic to this discussion. I don’t think there is room for the denier, some one who is so sure of their position that no evidence or argument will cause them doubt. Just as there is no room for the fanatic, some one who won’t question or research if a good argument or piece of data doesn’t fit their worldview.