by Chris Yarzab
In a Guardian comment piece last week, Vicky Pope, a senior Met Office scientist, articulated a view that is frequently expressed by scientists: that climate change is a matter of empirical evidence, not belief.
But a decade of social science research on public attitudes shows that in fact, scepticism about climate change is not primarily due to a misunderstanding of “the science”.
The words used are all wrong. This should not be about belief in something. In that case, my beliefs are just as important as your beliefs.
It should be about acknowledgement. Do people acknowledge that the Earth is warming? If not, why not? Virtually every bit of empirical data indicates that the Earth is warming. What data do they have that disproves this and how strong is it versus every other bit of data?
Because the empirical data indicating that the Earth is warming are as vast and strong as almost any produced by human endeavors.
This should not be about beliefs. Do they refuse to acknowledge what empirical facts demonstrate? Because we can not have any sort of conversation if we occupy two different realities – one based on acknowledging facts and one based on beliefs.