[LINK] The Limitations of Literacy

David Boxall david.boxall at hunterlink.net.au
Sat Feb 25 19:53:21 AEDT 2012

Now that the Linkstorm over Global Warming seems to have died down, I'm 
examining its entrails to see what lessons can be drawn (my generation 
learn lessons, we don't have learnings).

We saw, of course, Tom K's repeated cherry-picking and gross 
misinterpretation of data, coupled with a (probably paranoid* and 
definitely delusional) conspiracy theory. Then we had BRD's 
misrepresentation of the climate models and demands for certainty, where 
there can be no certainty.

The first can be explained as mundane denialist tactics.  The second, 
though deceptively couched, I interpret as /Selfish Old Fart Syndrome/; 
attempts to rationalise doing nothing now, so the costs and 
responsibility fall on later generations. Unfortunately, previous 
generations had the same idea and we seem to have hit a wall on its 
practicality. Delaying for even one more generation risks damaging the 
planet, such that it might not recover to a state that will support 
anything we would recognise as life.

It seems, no matter how scientifically literate we may be, our fears, 
hopes and beliefs will tend to lead us astray.

*Paranoia springs, in part, from faulty perception and interpretation. 
Fits nicely, I reckon.

David Boxall                    |  Dogs look up to us
                                |  And cats look down on us
http://david.boxall.id.au       |  But pigs treat us as equals
                                                    --Winston Churchill

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