A Rational Skepticism in Rational Science

The Anthropocene epoch should be included in the geological calendar as it marks a period where carbon dioxide levels have risen dramatically above the powers of nature to adapt.  The Industrial Era was when the Anthropocene should begin since that was when the use of coal, oil, and gas was accelerated and outpaced the adaptive forces of nature (Steffen p. 616).  This resulted in a large rise in the amount of carbon dioxide levels of our planet.  Indeed, there existed periods following where the amount of carbon dioxide being used was greatly increased or periods before the Industrial Era where human societies have affected carbon dioxide levels, but their impacts did not have the numbers, social and economic organization, or technologies needed to impact nature outside the local environment of their societies (p. 615).

People will disagree on the credibility of an expert depending on whether the views of the expert matches the dominant view of their cultural group (Kahan). Being factually correct about climate change science means little to individual members of public, instead sharing the same position as their cultural group is prioritized as it will affect how they are treated by their local communities.  In order to protect the integrity of information delivered to various cultural groups requires new strategies that keep in mind the fields of psychology, sociology, and political science (Kahan).  Dr. Cathy Whitlock addressed this problem by meeting with social groups directly, researching their interests, and notifying groups how climate change and climate research can impact them.  By doing this social groups realize that climate science is not science just for the environment but impacts their social group and playing a part becomes a moral obligation to their own social groups.

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