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Sunday, June 04, 2017

The Real America Backs Paris

The governors of Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Vermont have joined the initial three states, California, New York, and Washington, as part of the Climate Alliance upholding the Paris Agreement from which the evil idiot Trump and his killer clowns have momentarily withdrawn us to the disgust and horror of the world. More than a quarter of the population of the country and over a third of the GNP of the country are represented by The Climate Alliance, even more so once the statements of Americas mayor's are taken into account. First formed just a few days ago, a dozen more states are thought to be considering joining the Alliance.


jimf said...

> The Real America Backs Paris

"We'll always have Paris." Well, let's hope so.

However, as far as The Real America is concerned. . .

There was a chastening article in the New York Times
a week ago:
Climate Science Meets a Stubborn Obstacle: Students
JUNE 4, 2017

WELLSTON, Ohio — To Gwen Beatty, a junior at the high school
in this proud, struggling, Trump-supporting town, the new
science teacher’s lessons on climate change seemed explicitly
designed to provoke her.

So she provoked him back.

When the teacher, James Sutter, ascribed the recent warming of
the Earth to heat-trapping gases released by burning fossil fuels
like the coal her father had once mined, she asserted that
it could be a result of other, natural causes.

When he described the flooding, droughts and fierce storms that
scientists predict within the century if such carbon emissions
are not sharply reduced, she challenged him to prove it.
“Scientists are wrong all the time,” she said with a shrug,
echoing those celebrating President Trump’s announcement last
week that the United States would withdraw from the Paris
climate accord.

When Mr. Sutter lamented that information about climate change had
been removed from the White House website after Mr. Trump’s
inauguration, she rolled her eyes.

“It’s his website,” she said.

For his part, Mr. Sutter occasionally fell short of his goal of
providing Gwen — the most vocal of a raft of student climate skeptics —
with calm, evidence-based responses. “Why would I lie to you?”
he demanded one morning. “It’s not like I’m making a lot of money here.”

She was, he knew, a straight-A student. She would have had no trouble
comprehending the evidence. . .

When she insisted that teachers “are supposed to be open to opinions,”
however, Mr. Sutter held his ground.

“It’s not about opinions,” he told her. “It’s about the evidence.”

“It’s like you can’t disagree with a scientist or you’re ‘denying science,”’
she sniffed to her friends.

Gwen, 17, could not put her finger on why she found Mr. Sutter,
whose biology class she had enjoyed, suddenly so insufferable.
Mr. Sutter, sensing that his facts and figures were not helping,
was at a loss. And the day she grew so agitated by a documentary
he was showing that she bolted out of the school left them
both shaken.

“I have a runner,” Mr. Sutter called down to the office, switching
off the video. . .

This illustration flies in the face of the (self-defeating) liberal
assumption that all you need to do to persuade somebody is to
show them the evidence.

There's far deeper psychology going on here, and it doesn't bode
well. The kind of tribalism the science teacher was facing here
is itself -- like calm reason, in other circumstances --
part of the survival kit that humans have inherited from their
ancestors. This is all one great big Darwinian experiment.
(So what else is new?)

Dale Carrico said...

Speaking as a rhetorician, however liberal, I for one have no illusions about the compelling self-evidence of logical arguments or expert consensus, sorry to say.