An Interesting Response to Scientization

Andrew Dessler and Chris Reddy had an op-ed in the Newport Daily News March 16 (the text is in a blog entry by Andrew here) that took a very interesting approach to the scientization problem. It was in response to an op-ed that resurrected the hoary old “water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas therefore CO2 is irrelevant” canard. Rather than try to argue the scientific details (a scientist’s usual instinct in these cases), Dessler and Reddy explained the process by which the scientific community had arrived at and explained the scientific consensus.

Down in the comments, Andrew explains the reason behind their approach:

When confronted with an editorial like the offending one, you have the choice of either arguing the scientific facts or arguing the process. The problem with arguing facts is that most people tune out — it’s just too boring. And the fact have been argued before. We decided that an argument addressing process would be more effective. The simple fact that a massive conspiracy involving thousands of people is so much less likely than one guy with no knowledge being wrong needed to be pointed out.