It’s crazy that action on ACC is dependent on anyone’s belief, given that it is empirical (and an awful lot of statistical/probabilistic) evidence of global warming that has led to the international consensus. Unfortunately, in a country so dominated by religious zealots and television, belief is king and proof one of many princes.
People have been conditioned to think that science and the logical processes that it instils in one are no more than another creed rather than an alternative or complementary behaviour, which encourages individualism and cognitive free-thinking (rather than emotional or volitional [both of which are often led by the will of others]).
The mass of droll television programmes, many of which convince people that science helps prove things, have a lot to answer for given that they have led people to (wrongly) believe that science functions as a judge or arbiter of truth – a role that many believe once was (or still is) the domain of (their) God alone.
Personally, I have struggled with and now largely reject tv shows that portray scientists, because as far as I have seen they do not talk in probabilities or weight of evidence, but in absolutes, which are for the most part absent from science.
Like many scientists (I have a Masters, though at present I do not work in a scientific field), were I to be presented with clear and convincing evidence of the existence of a supreme being (or even aliens, UFO’s, Bigfoot or anything else where belief or faith are essential for their propagation) or clear and overwhelming evidence that the current warming of the climate was entirely natural and beyond our control, I would happily proclaim it to the rooftops. Some scientists are religious, but even then they are aware of the distinction between their faith or belief system and their science. For them the two are not mutually exclusive. It’s a shame that so many others cannot appreciate this.
As 2012 begins, a growing number of Americans believe global warming is occurring. This is one of the key findings from the latest National Survey of American Public Opinion on Climate Change (NSAPOCC).
- More Americans than ever are pointing to experiences with warmer temperatures as the main reason they believe global warming is occurring.
- For Americans who believe that climate change is occurring, factors beyond weather (such as: declining polar species) appear to be having the greatest effect on convincing an individual that the planet is warming.
- Nearly 80% of Democrats believe in global warming, while Republicans are almost evenly split with 47% seeing evidence of increasing global temperatures.Download paper here