~ PROLOGUE ~ HOW I MET THE CLIMATE ~ THE MEANING OF SCIENCE ~ THE STATE OF THE CLIMATE ~ BEGINNING
ONE CHANCE ~ TRIBES ~ SENTIENCE ~
~ AGONY ~ LETTER TO PRESIDENT REIF OF MIT
WHO IS AT FAULT ~ CRITIQUE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES ~
WORLD CLIMATE AUTHORITY ~ A BIT OF BIO ~ APOLLO 8 ~ EPILOGUE
IF ANYTHING IS A DANGER TO SOCIETY it is to decide first and then find justification for the decision. It is something that rings many bells about my thinking decades ago, especially my experience with conservative, evangelical and fundamentialist religion.
It is a puzzle that would take a long time to explore, but it brings to mind a joking criticism of behavior with the slogan "ready, fire, aim." To varying degrees we "choose" points of view without analysis, which can be difficult especially in an area like global warming. I have experienced MIT PhDs, in the middle of a light snow comment "It's snowing. What's all this about global warming?"
REASONS THAT COME TO MIND ARE MANY. Among them would be:
1. Someone else thought of it first, which makes me feel dumb.
2. This is too complicated for me to understand.
3. My friends tell me it's all a conspiracy (without explanation).
4. If I change my find (i.e. go against the crowd) I will have egg on my face.
5. Everyone I know who believes in climate change is a liberal.
6. I don't want a disruption in my life.
7. It violates common sense. The wheather here is perfect. We got lots of snow last winter.
8. I will do my part: turn the thermostat up or down; buy a car with good gas mileage and let others deal with the rest.
9. God promised to take care of us, so he will fix this.
10. If it's true it would hurt my business, plus nobody really knows.
11. You can feel like you "belong" to a group by either going along with the crowd or being a maverick, especially if you can find one other maverick to join you. Being alone is difficult.
12. Repeat something often enough and it can become accepted, even by yourself knowing that it is wrong. As the saying goes: "he has started to believe his own bullshit."
13. Uncover hidden animosities. Trump is really good at this. One of the amazing things is you can contridict youself to another group but if some group thinks you are a champion of their values despite the obviousness of the lie, they will continue to support you. Studies have been done that in a hour or so of conditioning, it is possible to convince someone that white is black and visa versa.
14. Present your perspective in a logical sounding but meaningless way. Just sound like a scientist and your audience will think you are one. There are examples in studies with scientists addressing scientists and getting away with presenting bullshit.
15. Sound like a preacher and you can turn almost anything into gospel.