Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Warming Wednesdays: Two approaches to why some people are climate change skeptics

climate-change-scientists-and-oil-companies.jpg
Graphic by way of Grist.
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Though I don't think he'd deny the message of the graphic, science journalist Chris Mooney is about to publish a new book, The Republican Brain, that challenges the liberal assumption that it suffices to fight nonsense with facts, or at least entirely with facts. He is exploring the scientific research on persuasion and bias. We need to get to work understanding what the advertising industry knows so well :

A more scientific understanding of persuasion, then, should not be seen as threatening. It’s actually an opportunity to do better—to be more effective and politically successful.

Indeed, if we believe in evidence then we should also welcome the evidence showing its limited power to persuade--especially in politicized areas where deep emotions are involved. Before you start off your next argument with a fact, then, first think about what the facts say about that strategy. If you’re a liberal who is emotionally wedded to the idea that rationality wins the day—well, then, it’s high time to listen to reason.

Go read the whole thing.

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