Ethics, Science Both Inconvenient for Climate Deniers

High stakes demand high seriousness, not 'cynical careerism': Krugman
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 4, 2011 12:51 PM CDT
In this photo provided by Mary Sage, a polar bear watches a whaling crew photographing the animal near Barrow, Alaska, Monday, May 22, 2006.   (AP Photo/Courtesy of Mary Sage, Joseph Napaaqtuq Sage)

(Newser) – Climate change deniers aren’t just flouting scientific evidence—they’re flouting morals, writes Paul Krugman in the New York Times. Case in point: Last week, Republicans invited a pair of scientists to testify at a Congressional hearing on climate science. When Berkeley’s Richard Muller, a climate change skeptic, “went off script,” saying his findings supported the global warming hypothesis, the climate-denialist establishment threw him under the bus.

One climate denier had said he was “prepared to accept” Muller’s work “even if it proves my premise wrong.” But when he found out about Muller's about-face, he called it “post normal science political theater.” But the stakes are too high for political games, says Krugman: If you’re claiming scientists are wrong, “you have a moral responsibility to approach the topic with high seriousness and an open mind,” because if they’re right, “you’ll be doing a great deal of damage." Willful ignorance is “cynical careerism,” and it’s “probably ensured that we won’t do anything about climate change until catastrophe is already upon us.”

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