Friday, September 6, 2013

Conservative and religious responses to climate change

Yes, there are such responses!
Kathryn Hayhoe and Tom Ackerman are both evangelical Christians.  Read their article for why the comedian is wrong to say that they don't exist.  I also happen to know both (not well, but email with Kathryn and Tom in person for a couple years when we were both at Penn State).

Boehlert, I think, said it best for the political side (forget about party) about a decade ago.  As I remember the quote, what he wanted from scientists was "Tell us what's happening, what's liable to happen, and what, if anything, we can do about it."  Actually deciding what to do, that's the job of politicians, such as himself.  As a scientist, I'm comfortable with that.  (Well, give or take my concerns about the political process; but we all have to live with that.)

There are quite a few more religious people and conservative politicians, and fans of free market economics, who also are willing to discuss what -- if anything -- to do in response to climate change.  See also my 2008 post Keep your vehicles how you choose for a couple of my thoughts.

Actually getting to the point of having that discussion publicly is ... different, somehow.  But a question I was asked recently points to a direction.  Q: "Have you talked to any of your neighbors about this?"  A: "Doh"  How to go from meeting a neighbor walking her dog to chatting about climate change ... I'm not sure how to do it non-awkwardly.  Then again, graceful has seldom been a hallmark of mine.  Maybe readers have an idea or two they'll share?

An encounter a while back gives me some hope that on the face to face level there might well be some hope.  I ran in to a former weather forecaster and modeller I've known for many years.  He commented about liking my blog (I didn't know he even knew it existed) even though we (probably) disagree politically.  We probably do disagree about what to do, as far as I've heard of his politics.  But, we could have the discussion about whats and hows and whethers.

My main line here is the science rather than politics of course, but ignoring politics entirely doesn't seem much more sensible than politics ignoring science.

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