Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The Climate Change Conversation

The scientific debate over climate change is just that: scientific. It's a part of the debate that the overwhelming majority of us do not have a say in. Yet the debate over climate change doesn't end there, what we ought to do about it socially and politically are conversations where climate scientists and laypeople have just as much interest and say in how to go about it.

Should we work to limit the emissions of greenhouse gases? Put more investment into alternate energy sources? Should we even do anything at all? Should certain industries be maintained despite their causal relation because they're vital to a nation's survivability? Should the focus being on adjusting to the changes? What about protecting biodiversity?

Many of these questions have scientific components to them, the approaches should at least have some scientific plausibility to it. Virgin sacrifice or getting the world to repent for their sins in all likelihood are futile means of going about it.

But for most of that the decisions are beyond our control. Where we have power is in who we vote for, and how we react personally. We have the power to make changes in our own life, and to engage other individuals to do the same.

The worst thing to do would be to mistake the much needed conversation on climate change as a scientific conversation. There's just so much to discuss without pretending that we can be professional climate scientists.

1 comment:

EastwoodDC said...

This Chris Mooney article suggested discussing values first, and facts second.