Time was that climate scientists would ignore people who denied the existence of global warming, hoping they would just go away.
It seems that times have changed. Penn State University’s Center for Sustainability and its Science, Technology, and Society Program are sponsoring a symposium on confronting and exposing, not avoiding, climate change deniers. From an e-mail announcement we received tonight:
Climate change is real. It is affecting the lives of people across the globe and it presents all of us – especially the most educated among us – with an incredible dilemma. That dilemma is made much worse by industry-funded denialism campaigns.
On April 30th at 7 pm in room 101 Thomas Building at Penn State’s University Park, a group of Penn State faculty and one graduate student/lecturer will confront the climate change denial machine. Over the last few years, we have been discouraged by the successful of “the merchants of doubt,” a well-organized and well-funded climate change disinformation campaign. The five presenters of “Changing the Moral Climate on Climate Change” believe that they have a responsibility to both inform the public about the many aspects of climate change – from social to environmental – and call for better action from universities in democratic society.
They will call on the University to educate civil society about the disinformation campaign and fulfill its educational role in a democratic society. They will explain the so-called “skeptics” campaign and who is behind it, distinguishing between deceitful disinformation and responsible skepticism. We will explore the problems colleges and universities face in a democratic society whose economy runs on fossil fuels. We will also explore relevant psychology findings around climate change. We will explore a college class that has confronted climate denial directly and learn about the backlash the professor received. Finally, we will hear from Dr. Michael Mann who has been at the epicenter of the international assault on mainstream science.
If you live near State College PA, consider taking a trip in to listen to what they’ve got to say. See more details here.