Saturday, March 14, 2009

Reasons for Lying

Every time I hear about hard core climate change skeptics, these thoughts start haunting me...

Imagine that climate change is absolutely scientifically no question about it real and absolutely scientifically no question about it dangerous. And imagine you know these things. What could drive you to convince people that it isn't real or isn't dangerous? What might you stand to gain by deliberately misleading the whole world into denying climate change and forgoing mitigation, abatement, cultural change, geoengineering, etc?

Now imagine that climate change isn't real. It's absolutely scientifically no question about it either not happening or not dangerous. And imagine you know that. What could drive you to convince people that it is real or is dangerous? What might you stand to gain by deliberately misleading the whole world into believing in climate change, fearing climate change, and thus taking action to mitigate, abate, change cultures, geoengineer, etc?

It's a little bit painful for me to think this way, for I want to trust that people have totally legitimate and non big picture hurtful motives for doing what they do, but chances are, in this case, that someone's lying. Powerful ulterior motives are probably at play.

So I think we'd be smart to think about the incentives, think about what the reasons for lying might be. Might help us figure this conflict out.

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