In a perfect world, people would rely on facts to uncover the truth. I don’t want climate change to be real, but I’m not going to ignore all of the statistics that tell me that it is. However, the problem that many people face is how to change not only their beliefs, but their entire life just by accepting these facts. As Upton Sinclair pointed out nearly a century ago, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
In his New York Times opinion article, The Truth, Still Inconvenient, Krugman writes about five “expert witnesses” Republicans called for last week’s Congressional hearing on climate science.
But what we had, instead of high seriousness, was a farce: a supposedly crucial hearing stacked with people who had no business being there and instant ostracism for a climate skeptic who was actually willing to change his mind in the face of evidence.
Krugman goes on to say “it’s terrifying to realize that this kind of cynical careerism — for that’s what it is — has probably ensured that we won’t do anything about climate change until catastrophe is already upon us.” I prefer to look at the bright side and point out that one scientist with strong climate-skeptic credentials not only changed his views based on his own research, but had the courage to present it to a Congressional hearing that was eager to hear something else.