Science Writer John Rennie: Have Tongue, Will Babble

Politics, culture, and global warming

Credit: woodleywonderworks, via Flickr (CC-BY)

Credit: woodleywonderworks, via Flickr (CC-BY)

The tangled knot of politics, culture, and perceptions of the science behind climate change has been the topic of a series of my recent posts at The Gleaming Retort. A thoughtful but in my opinion wrong post by one of my fellow PLOS BLOGgers pushed me over into writing something I’d been thinking about for some time, and the result was “The inevitable politics of climate change (part 1)” and “The inevitable politics of climate change (part 2),” in which I tried to make the case that however much some scientists might like to try to stay out of the ugly politics around this issue when discussion climate science, there was no hope of doing so and little point in trying.

A misstatement in the first of those pieces then led me to set the record straight in a followup post, “A correction on Lomborg and Schneider’s quotation,” in which I noted that Bjorn Lomborg didn’t… you know, maybe you should just read it.

Commentary on those stories then led me to summarize several other things that have been on my mind in “The cultural challenge to climate science writing,” which concerns the powerful filter that our cultural loyalties exerts on our understanding of this subject, and the unsatisfying choices involved in trying to overcome them.

Read them for more.

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