This is both my personal learning project and my contribution in the struggle to confront the ongoing Republican/ libertarian assault on rational science and constructive learning, as manifested in their malicious strategic Attacks on Science ~ A collection of articles, scientific resources, plus my own essays and indepth critique of various presentations from unidirectional-skeptics ~ Hopefully a resource for the busy, yet discerning, student who's concerned about the health of our Earth
Why do Global Warming "Skeptics" Reject Rational Debate?
I’ve been reflecting on my past few years worth of futile attempts to engage various “climate science skeptics” in a substantive debate. An exercise that began with Letters to the Editor and that has evolved into my modest blog that has visitors from around the world.
Besides learning a great deal more about the substance of the various lines of increasingly solid evidence, I’ve learned about the human ability to hide from the uncomfortable and scary.
I’ve also learned that the loudest deniers of anthropogenic global warming consistently turn out to be cowards who will bluster and insult and threaten, but in the end, they always run away from defending their various claims in an objective manner.
In a way that’s not surprising since there is no substance to their various claims. But, what’s shocked me is that rather than learning from their failures and mistakes, they erect ever weirder intellectual contortions and blind-spots while becoming increasingly hostile, some bordering on the vicious.
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I don’t pretend to be a learned intellectual, but it seems to me there are basically two kinds of debates:
The one would be your political debate, where winning your argument is the only thing that matters. This style of debate is a ‘no holds barred’ exercise where rhetorical fancy dancing, misrepresenting facts, and personal attacks to distract, are all considered fair-play towards the goal of winning for one’s personal agenda.
The other, I would call a constructive rational debate where each side remains focused on the facts, explaining those facts, the evidence, or lack thereof, along with their implications.
In this style of debate learning and arriving at a constructive consensus is more important than “winning,” since arriving at a solid realistic understanding is of paramount importance.
A constructive rational debate requires a certain level of respect for the known facts along with your opponent’s integrity - which is not to be confused with liking your opponent, or accepting what they are proposing.
Thing is, both sides agree that the weight of objective evidence must carry the day, even when that means admitting ones own assumptions were mistaken.
Unfortunately the neo-Republican/Libertarian’s desperation to protect their political and business status quo has obliterated their notions of personal intellectual integrity, respect and honestly -
which in turn has reduced our ‘global warming education dialogue’ to a dog fight where one side sticks to the rules of rational constructive engagement and the other side acts as though they were in an alley brawl.
Tragically it’s not the chorus of strident climate science deniers but our children who will be paying the price for our unforgivable failure.