Scared to death

What makes people ignore  overwhelming scientific evidence and insist the scientists have got it wrong? In the case of climate change, I’m slowly becoming aware that there’s a strong libertarian, anti-government, anti-Brussels or Washington element to the denial.

Basically, some people think they should be allowed to do whatever they want to do, without nasty governments stepping and, say, impeding their right to risk other people lives by  driving too fast or playing with guns a la Dick Cheney.

If they admit global warming is real, however, it means we do have a planetary crisis that demands planetary-wide action and thus planetary-wide governance. Therefore global warming can’t be happening. Logical?

In the light of this, consider these authors’ description of their book, Scared to Death:

 “Finally, most damaging of all, is the way again and again we have seen our political rulers, in Westminster and Brussels. reacting to these scares by dreaming up  ill-conceived new laws for which we all pay a colossal price – amounting to billions, even in some cases hundreds of billions of pounds. Nothing has better illustrated the thesis of our book than the one-sided manipulation of scientific evidence used to promote the belief in man-made global warming, accompanied by the absurdly unrealistic measures our gullible politicians are now proposing in response to it.” 

I’ve haven’t read it and I don’t need to know that it is utter idiocy. For instance, the other examples of “fraudulent science” it discusses include mad cow disease, lead in petrol and asbestos. Yup, nothing at all wrong with those. I have no doubt who the real frauds are here.

As ever, see www.newscientist.com/climatemyths or RealClimate.org for a dose of realism, if you can stomach it.

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