Several philosophers have recently remarked that it’s hard to do philosophy in the face of the apocalypse. Philosophy is sometimes seen as a special treat for the fattest of times, and an utterly impractical hobby in the leanest. Not only is this idea false, it’s also self-defeating.
How do we change the minds of climate deniers? Could learning about the science of global warming ever persuade a skeptic? Or are humans just too irrational to be persuaded by facts and evidence? These are some of the questions we’re asking in this week’s show.
Research shows both that increasing people’s knowledge of climate science does not increase acceptance of human-caused climate change, but teaching the mechanisms of how global warming works does strengthen acceptance. Is there a way to reconcile these seemingly conflicting results?
Why do people deny climate change? A common view is that such people reject science. But in most cases, it’s not all science they reject. After all, most climate deniers believe in electricity and that the earth goes around the sun. So what is going on? As I see it, there are at least five types of climate denier.