More Heat Than Light
Part 2. Climate and Energy Series This is the second in what I hope will be an interactive series on climate and energy, and I have already received interesting responses to the first. Please join in a conversation that could make a difference in our lives. Let me here set down some quick thoughts to get things going.
The issue of climate change – and its sidekick, energy production and consumption – has shifted from the realm of science to that of politics. Most of us believe what reinforces what we already believe – and disregard what doesn't. The result is not a conversation but a sermon. Noise drowns out knowledge. We generate plenty of heat and little light.
Politicians reflexively admit they aren’t scientists before weighing in on science. They are also quick to assert that scientists are politically partisan and / or monetarily motivated. The issues of scientific bias and funding are significant, and I look forward to discussing them – but I have worked a lot with scientists, many with strong political beliefs, and they are committed to the scientific method and seek answers that are driven by data. Ultimately, our response to climate change is a political and – let’s not forget – a moral matter, but it must rest on sound science.
Scientists overwhelmingly believe that global warming is real. Even the famous skeptic Bjorn Lomborg accepts both its reality and its dangers, although he thinks we are chasing the wrong solutions. Yet there is little evidence that we are pursuing policies that are making any significant difference. What gives?