global climate change and the US

Global climate change is an interesting issue. I find no doubt whatsoever that there are anthropogenic ties to changes in climate, and that the anthropogenic impact is stronger over time. It’s a topic I get frustrated about because in my estimation we can only benefit by finding a different way of doing things. For one, less reliance on fossil fuels is something we’d like to do for security reasons, not just environmental reasons. Rethinking what materials we use will only help reduce the amount of toxic substances we’re exposed to, which might help reduce incidences of all kinds of infuriating illnesses.

The benefits are more than one-dimensional, so it’s infuriating when one angle is used to dismantle any ability to actually move.

Thankfully, yesterday when I wrote about the report that was presented at the hearing on climate change I got a comment from Simon Donner, pointing out some good places to look for more information. I’m not crazy, and there are other people out there looking at information critically, and still noting that it’s worth change anyway, regardless of flaws in statistical analysis.

Also, the news on this looks a little better despite the negativity that accompanied the initial report from the hearing.

Meanwhile, today I was looking at Nobel Intent’s comment on the same hearing, which I appreciated. The really interesting aspect was the comment string because it hits on something we talked about this past semester in class, which is the role of belief in the human mind, and how many people have taken science as the new religion, as the new priest-seers for society even though that’s against science’s better judgment. This touches on a whole other host of issues that I’m not going to comment on yet, but I will come back to.

One of the commenters on the thread actually puts it very well when responding to another comment:

“We all run on a faith-based reality, be it faith in God or science.”

I don’t think the phrase “faith in science” makes any sense at all. Science is the antithesis of faith. Faith is about believing things without evidence. Science is the opposite of that.

To say that you have “faith in science” means that you believe in what science tells you, even when the evidence is to the contrary. But if the evidence is to the contrary, then science wouldn’t be telling you that. Science sides with evidence. Faith is orthogonal to evidence.

The science community has done an amazing job of working on what they agree on, and this is most poignantly done through the IPCC, and the idea that the US still tosses this idea around as well as what to do about it is infuriating. It’s most infuriating because the great majority of the US will be inconvenienced but not put-out by climate change. The most credible information I’ve seen on climate change projections is that people in the poorest most disadvantaged regions of the world are going to be the most hard hit, and since they don’t have nice home insurance policies etc., people are not even necessarily going to account for the tragedy as it begins to unfold.

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