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joigus

America's Divorce from Science

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6 minutes ago, zapatos said:

I find that lay people often respond out of emotion instead of reason, and therefore find people of science to be arrogant. People generally do not like being told that they are wrong, sometimes spectacularly, and that they are often wrong because they were duped. That is tough on the ego. It is easier on the ego to get angry at the person correcting you, than to acknowledge that you were a fool. 

I hate it when my arrogant hair stylist and my elitist landscaper flaunt their special knowledge around me. It's not my fault I didn't study the best ways to artistically arrange and manage hair, or go to school for sprinkler system design. I can almost see them rolling their eyes at my ignorant questions, and I just know I'm being overcharged. Those smug, intellectual bastards think they're so smart!

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On 9/17/2020 at 5:30 AM, joigus said:

I saw a cartoon the other day suggesting that it's to do with science and scientists sounding arrogant in the ears of big swathes of the public. I'm not so sure about that, but there seems to be a communication gap.

People in positions of trust and responsibility in the US (and Australia where opinion like Trump's also runs deep through conservative politics, conservative commentary) got the same science based reports on climate as everyone else; they are not rejecting it because some scientists seemed arrogant or said things that were exaggerated or wrong, they are rejecting it because it is almost certainly true and they don't want it to be true - because being true demands an appropriate response. These are people in high places who mostly know better - who are expected and relied on to read the reports that governments asked and paid for and look past the arrogance of scientists who won't change the conclusions to suit the political leanings of the those in charge, who should be pleased at that obstinacy in refusing to alter "facts". But the lack of immediacy and of readily observable change puts election cycles and whole political careers between absence of appropriate action and bad climate outcomes. We are just getting some of those but even those are not necessarily clear and obvious within the variability of year to year weather. All making Doubt, Deny, Delay look like something that can be (and has been) done successfully.

I think the ordinary voter/citizen has been taking their lead from and being taken in by people they trust - but not so much of that is from direct communications by scientists. It is science as filtered and reported in mainstream media, with inexpert commentary overwhelming the kernel of content. Our leadership - political and business - has learned or perhaps always known that popular opinion about what is true and not true has more to do with persistent emotive messaging than science.

Large parts of the mainstream media that are the principle way people know about global warming are partisan political players in their own right as well as businesses that use energy and don't want to pay higher prices for low emissions alternatives, pay taxes and don't want to pay taxes no matter how essential to the nation they profess to love, who don't want regulation, just because. Commercial "news" media's business model is in influencing the choices people make for money, on behalf of other businesses mostly,  businesses that also don't like higher priced power or taxes or emissions regulation either, who may withdraw their business if the editorial policy appears to support things they don't like, like strong action on emissions.

The choices business operators make are not so much based on what the scientists say will happen over the long term as in how they think it will affect their bottom line in the short term - by the criteria they use it is not even an option to put what scientists say ahead of those; collectively they can use Lobbying, PR, Advertising, Strategic Donating, Post Political Payoffs, Tactical Lawfare, Tankthink to influence public opinion and government policy. Conservative, pro-business politicians who don't pay attention to what captains of industry and business groups say they want get replaced.

Edited by Ken Fabian

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12 hours ago, swansont said:

The last dinner part I went to was with a bunch of physicists, so YMMV

Yeah, no physicists ever invite me over for dinner parties.
Come to think of it, the only other person with a Physics degree that ever invites me over ( actually I just show up ) is my older brother, MigF.

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Wealth attainment is the over arching motivation for a lot of people in American society. Many view attending University as just a platform to a good paying job, deify business owners because they provide jobs, and many even project positive traits upon those who merely inherited their wealth. The fixation on money supersede all else. In U.S. politics Environmental discussions are nearly always boxed into economic discussions centered around jobs and costs. If even one Billionaire might get their wings clipped by a policy, no matter what the science says, it is a hard stop politically. Likewise for Healthcare, nutrition, public safety, etc. Economic concerns take precedence and it often isn't even close.

Of course its short sighted. Long term economic outlooks would be improved by following science. Not just that but money is worthless if humans extinct ourselves. However when it comes to money real time generally satiates ones passions greater than future potentials. I think if given the choice most people would take a millions dollars today over $2 million ten years from now. That is where I see the real battle existing. People already see the jobs related to Oil & Gas. Already understand the economic benefit. To accept the science the damage burning Oil is doing to the environment there needs to be an equal economic impetus people can see in real time. America isn't divorced from science America can't divorce science from money.

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On 9/17/2020 at 3:00 PM, Phi for All said:

I hate it when my arrogant hair stylist and my elitist landscaper flaunt their special knowledge around me. It's not my fault I didn't study the best ways to artistically arrange and manage hair, or go to school for sprinkler system design. I can almost see them rolling their eyes at my ignorant questions, and I just know I'm being overcharged. Those smug, intellectual bastards think they're so smart!

The worst are the monks. They think they're the most humble people in the World. They don't actually come out and say it...but you can tell they're thinking it.

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