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The Inquisition of Climate Science$
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James Powell

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231157193

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231157193.001.0001

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Earning Trust

Earning Trust

(p.188) 17 Earning Trust
The Inquisition of Climate Science

James Lawrence Powell

Columbia University Press

This chapter reflects on the American public's continued trust in scientists, despite the calls of global warming deniers for the public to trust them instead of scientists. A poll by the Pew Research Center in July 2009 found that 84 percent of respondents believed that science has had a positive effect on society. As reported in the National Science Foundation's Science and Engineering Indicators 2010, the public has more confidence in the science community than in either the military or medical communities. On the question of who should have the most influence in decisions about global warming, environmental scientists came in at 85 percent, compared with 50 percent for elected officials and only 32 percent for business leaders. There is no shred of evidence that scientists have lied about global warming. To distrust science and scientists now, for no good reason and at the very moment they warn of the greatest threat ever to face humanity, is to abandon reason and our uniquely human ability to imagine the future.

Keywords:   climate change, global warming, public trust, science, scientists

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