Climate Change: Science, Politics, And The Media

Kerry Emanuel, professor of meteorology at MIT, recognized by Time magazine one of the world’s 100 most influential people, writes about the complex challenge of addressing global warming.

Especially in the United States, the political debate about global climate change became polarized along the conservative–liberal axis some decades ago...The United States is renowned for its technological innovation and should be at an advantage in making money from any global sea change in energy-producing technology: consider the prospect of selling new means of powering vehicles and electrical generation to China's rapidly expanding economy. But none of this has happened...Paradoxes abound on the political left as well...Senator Kennedy, by most measures our most liberal senator, is strongly opposed to a project to develop wind energy near his home in Hyannis, and environmentalists have only just begun to rethink their visceral opposition to nuclear power...thus the environmentalists must accept a large measure of responsibility for today's most critical environmental problem.

There are other obstacles to taking a sensible approach to the climate problem. We have preciously few representatives in Congress with a background or interest in science, and some of them display an active contempt for the subject. As long as we continue to elect scientific illiterates like James Inhofe, who believes global warming to be a hoax, we will lack the ability to engage in intelligent debate. Scientists are most effective when they provide sound, impartial advice, but their reputation for impartiality is severely compromised by the shocking lack of political diversity among American academics, who suffer from the kind of group-think that develops in cloistered cultures. Until this profound and well documented intellectual homogeneity changes, scientists will be suspected of constituting a leftist think tank."

Thanks to Real Climate

Full Story: Phaeton’s Reins: The human hand in climate change

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