Griffin riles the priests

It seems the head of NASA has riled a vocal community. “During an interview Wednesday with NPR, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin expressed doubts that global warming was an issue that humans could or should address.” (Andrea Thompson, LiveScience: NASA Chief’s Global Warming Remarks Called ‘Naïve’)

It is not that Griffin disputed the idea of human caused global warming. What he did was to question whether humans could do much about it. He also questioned the idea that some folks feel they can judge just what the climate should be. Griffin considered it rather arrogant for some to decide that the current climate is the right one. That point about arrogance was underscored by Gavin Schmidt calling Griffin naive for such views.

That is one of the behavioral indicators that anyone can use to qualify views expressed. When folks like Schmidt cast judgment on those with views they do not like, such as labeling the holder of those views naive, then one should be very concerned about the basis for Schmidt’s views. It is one thing to opine that the current climate is best because we have adapted to it and accommodating change would be expensive. It is another to opine that someone is naive because he doesn’t see it this way.

This is related to the heat and tenor of the debate. The vocal community is bound together by something other than a common consensus of thought. They are bound by something that does not tolerate any thoughts that might weaken its commonality. That is an indicator that the consensus is not a matter of intellect but rather belief. That is why there are many who feel that the climate warming issue has become religious rather than scientific.

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