In a recent speech, Noam Chomsky addressed the “controversy” about global warming.
There is indeed a controversy: on one side, the overwhelming majority of scientists, all of the world’s major National Academies of Science, the professional science journals, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) : all agree that global warming is taking place, that there is a substantial human component, and that the situation is serious and perhaps dire, and that very soon, maybe within decades, the world might reach a tipping point where the process will escalate sharply and will be irreversible, with very severe effects on the possibility of decent human survival.
It is rare to find such consensus on complex scientific issues.
A couple of weeks ago, a reader of this blog sent me an “info graphic” she had discovered that illustrates the matter. It’s well worth clicking through and viewing.
The question, of course, is: why is there so much resistance to settled science? I understand opposition by the self-interested, the industries dependent upon fossil fuels. But the anti-science cohort is far larger than the special interest groups, and it extends well beyond denial of global warming. It’s larger than the religious fundamentalists who are still arguing about evolution.
There are some kinds of ignorance–willful or not–that are harmless. Rejection of a reality that can literally destroy us is not one of them.