While people are inclined to say they trust scientists, their actions don’t always support those words. In addition to the climate change debate (or so-called debate), there is the recent vaccine-autism controversy. With his book “Denialism,” author Michael Specter makes the case that for centuries, science was generally viewed as a neutral provider of information, whereas now it can be viewed as political and negative. Why?
”He should have trusted the other scientists and the peer review process which had produced the data that he was questioning. Two years ago, you had 98% of the climate scientists in the world saying they accepted human-caused global warming. There was no reason to question that data, and it was a little offensive of Muller to simply say, ‘Well I don’t believe this until I do it myself.”
Of course humans can affect the climate. The basic equation of climate change is a very simple and logical one, as we’ve described in this space before. In addition, this video by Bill Nye the Science Guy features a simple experiment (at the 48 second mark) that shows just how good CO2 is at heating things up.
As physicist John Cook’s website Skeptical Science points out, it’s true the climate changed before, but not because of a natural cycle. It changes because something has forced it to change: a brighter sun here, a volcanic eruption there, or a plethora of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions can all get the job done.
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Interview: Katie Kline, Communications Officer at Ecological Society of America interviewed me via Skype for the ESA’s Ecotone blog. Read and hear it here.