Monday, 8 June 2009

Brilliant denial/acceptance post on "Climate Progress"

I've used the "5 stages of grief" by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross a few times, and fellow PED author Marc Roberts' has done some great cartoons on the subject too.

So it was with great interest that I read Joe Romm's latest blog post -

Anti-science conservatives are stuck in denial, but for climate science activists the reverse is true.

The first three quarters of the post are about the various words you can use to describe so-called "skeptics", most of whose minds are made up, and are impervious to any reasoned or factual discussion. It's good stuff. But that on its own wouldn't have me urging you (yes, you, one single follower) to read the whole piece. No, it's when Romm continues that the fun starts -


And now let me end with what I promised — the five stages of grief in reverse.

Climate science activists begin with accepting the science. What else can one do? Science is the reason so many of us survived childbirth and childhood, science has fed the world, science is the reason computers and the blogosphere exist at all. And yes, science gave us our fossil-fueled wealth. I’m a scientist by training, but I just don’t see anyone can pick and choose what science you’re going to believe and what not. The scientific method may not be always be perfect in single studies — since it is used by imperfect humans — but it is the best thing we have for objectively determining what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen. It is testable and self-correcting, unlike all other approaches.

Really, you should read the whole thing, which ends with this-

Finally, you end up in a kind of denial. It just becomes impossible to believe that the human race is going to be so stupid. Indeed, my rational side finds it hard to believe that we’re going to avoid catastrophic global warming, as any regular CP reader knows. But my heart, in denial, is certain that we will — see “How the world can (and will) stabilize at 350 to 450 ppm: The full global warming solution (updated).” The great New Yorker write Elizabeth Kolbert perhaps best summed up this form of denial. Her three-part series, “The Climate of Man,” which became the terrific book, Field Notes from a Catastrophe, famously ends:

It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself, but that is what we are now in the process of doing.

It is impossible to believe. I myself can’t believe it.