Here Monbiot of the Guardian dispairs that we can reach an action agenda on climate change because the science has been so downgraded.
The trouble with trusting complex science
There is no simple way to battle public hostility to climate research. As the psychologists show, facts barely sway us anyway
guardian.co.uk, Monday 8 March 2010
There is one question that no one who denies manmade climate change wants to answer: what would it take to persuade you? In most cases the answer seems to be nothing. No level of evidence can shake the growing belief that climate science is a giant conspiracy codded up by boffins and governments to tax and control us. The new study by the Met Office, which paints an even grimmer picture than theIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, will do nothing to change this view.
The attack on climate scientists is now widening to an all-out war on science. Writing recently for the Telegraph, the columnist Gerald Warnerdismissed scientists as "white-coated prima donnas and narcissists … pointy-heads in lab coats [who] have reassumed the role of mad cranks … The public is no longer in awe of scientists. Like squabbling evangelical churches in the 19th century, they can form as many schismatic sects as they like, nobody is listening to them any more."
Views like this can be explained partly as the revenge of the humanities students. There is scarcely an editor or executive in any major media company – and precious few journalists – with a science degree, yet everyone knows that the anoraks are taking over the world. But the problem is compounded by complexity. Arthur C Clarke remarked that "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic". (To the untrained eye JAL) more