02 February 2008


As a high-school teacher of geography, I teach about global climate change (as the scientists label it). But, the way I see my role as an educator, as one who sees the need for intellectual honesty, propels me to continually revisit why I believe as I do, the bases for those beliefs, and on the other hand the arguments of opposing views. For these reasons, I read material about and by climate-change deniers. I remain unconvinced.

Here is one thought. As a non-scientist, I see no reason to disbelieve what the overwhelming majority of climate scientists believe to be true. If you argue that the sociology of scientific paradigms shows that through time scientific paradigms become ripe for eventual overthrow, as posited by Kuhn, you would be voicing the accepted view of science. But this does not mean EVERY paradigm is destined for the dustbin of history. True, science itself is always in flux--that’s the nature of science: continually testing evidence and forming testable hypotheses. All paradigms are modified through continuing scientific investigation. So, many of the specifics of current climate science will certainly become modified. But as of now, practically every bona fide climate scientist supports the view that some significant percentage of present climate change is anthropogenic.

That’s good enough for me. Yes, you can muster a few climate scientists who oppose the prevailing views, but would you agree with me that they are no more than a handful compared to hundreds and probably thousands on the other side? True, they could all be wrong and the dominant paradigm re global climate change could be erroneous. However, it seems prudent to me to base my beliefs, and some aspects of my life, on the prevailing views, and to support policy makers who are following the prevailing science, and not follow the so very few climate change naysayers.

Two summers back, while at Texas State, I picked up a climatology journal and read about a meta-analysis of climatology research that found that there was NOT A SINGLE study published by climatologists in peer-reviewed climatology journals that refuted that global warming/global climate change is occurring and that anthropogenic causes are not real.

It is my duty, I feel, to believe as almost all the experts do. That seems prudent and even essential.

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