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Rubber, meet Road: Climate change, the post-truth society, and going to jail

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Image result for climate change public domain clip art Three days ago:

Why does climate change “denial” matter in a “post-truth” society?

From Clare Foran at Atlantic: The entrenchment of climate-science denial is one of the ways the United States appears to be exceptional relative to the rest of the world. A comparative 2015 study of nine conservative political parties in countries such as Canada, Germany, and Spain concluded that “the U.S. Republican Party is an anomaly in denying anthropogenic climate change.” Meanwhile, Americans were least likely to agree that climate change is largely the result of human activity in a 2014 survey of 20 countries, including China, India, Australia, and Great Britain.

Clare Foran, meet Julie Shaw: A scientist on the benefits of a post-truth society: I’m a factual relativist. I abandoned the idea of facts and “the truth” some time last year. I wrote a whole science book, The Memory Illusion, almost never mentioning the terms fact and truth.

The comments focussed the issue of fact vs. post-fact and truth vs. post-truth. But we must also look at consequences:

From Seversky at 1:

It depends on whether AGW denial is based on reasonable doubts about the weight of evidence in favor of the claim or on an instinctive distrust of “elites” – of people who are not seen as “one of us”. Having doubts about Darwin’s original theory because he was not able to provide an adequate mechanism of inheritance was reasonable. Dismissing it as the self-serving fantasy of some “old Brit toff” is not.

From Barry Arrington at 3:

Sev,

“It depends on whether AGW denial is based on reasonable doubts about the weight of evidence . . .”

Evidence for what Sev? Facts? Truth? If facts and truth do not matter, why does evidence matter? They matter only if Shaw is wrong.

From News at 4:

Seversky at 1, Barry Arrington at 3: What Seversky does not understand is that Julie Shaw is attacking the very legitimacy of Clare Foran’s approach to science.

And the damage is done whether either Shaw or Foran (or Sev?) is intellectually capable of understanding the problem.

Can human beings be morally certain* that we have judged a set of available facts correctly? On Shaw’s showing (and on that of anyone who espouses a Darwinian view of the mind), even if we had such a certainty it would just be another illusion for survival and reproduction. But Foran writes as though we could have such a certainty and must act on it.

Why does Foran believe that? Is she not a Darwinian?More.

This is a critical matter because some, like Bill Nye, propose treating doubters of government-sponsored statistics on human-caused climate change as criminals.

In order to justly depriving others of liberty, one needs moral certainty. But if one lives in a post-truth world, one can never have moral certainty, only the desire for power.

And that post-moral desire is precisely what raises so much suspicion in North America about the climate zealots.

See also: Why does climate change “denial” matter in a “post-truth” society?: Clare Foran, meet post-truth, post-fact scientist Julie Shaw. (It’s probably old-fashioned of us to think that only one of you can be right…)

Bill Nye would criminalize dissent from human-caused global warming claims.

and

Green cronyism and pop science

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2 Replies to “Rubber, meet Road: Climate change, the post-truth society, and going to jail

  1. 1
    mahuna says:

    Well, this is all very silly. For most of civilized history (including 1,000 years of Christian Europe), “truth” was defined by the folks in charge without any particular reference to objective facts. And so Socrates was condemned to death for the crime of “corrupting the youth” for teaching that there is only 1 God and that Zeus and Hercules were fairy tales.

    Throughout the reign of Communist governments around the world (including present day Cuba), Truth remains whatever the people’s dictatorship says it is. People who argue about Truth in North Korea don’t live very long. And any number of non-Communist dictatorships around the world will have you shot before lunch tomorrow for attempting to debate proclamations using facts and logic.

    So the RARE case has always been a society where people could argue openly against some accepted facts and expect to survive. The Global Warming hoax is simply one of the many modern cases that condemn nonbelievers of of atheistic heresy. They have been talking openly for more than a year of sending heretics to prison, and more than a few of the fanatics have called for the execution (or assassination) of heretics.

  2. 2

    Excellent comment, mahuna. Love the phrase “atheistic heresy.” Brilliant.

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