Conservatives on Climate: Conversation with Chris Mooney

August 4, 2011

The recent posts by D.R. Tucker, here and here,  a conservative soul search on issues of climate, have been popular.

Now we have this discussion between Chris Mooney, and two more well connected observers with ties to the American right, David Frum and Kenneth Silber.  I’ve
excerpted a few minutes of this discussion, which it seems to me is an essential one that must take place for us to move out of the current dark place. The whole half hour is here.

Worth a listen, if you are interested in hearing the tectonic plates grind in the Conscience of American Conservatives.

When it comes to the U.S. political right, it often appears that the opposition to science-and reason in general-is everywhere. From climate change denial to anti-evolutionism; from debt ceiling denial to, that’s right, incandescent light bulb availability denial; conservatives today have plenty to answer for.

Fortunately, some conservatives know it. And given how much he has blasted the “Republican War on Science” in the past, on this show Chris Mooney wanted to hear their take.

So he invited on David Frum. Frum is the editor of the group blog Frum Forum, a former speechwriter for the George W. Bush White House, and a widely published author, most recently of Comeback: Conservatism that Can Win Again. In recent years, Frum has become a leading critic of today’s GOP and its allegiance with the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Fox News.

Joining Frum is Kenneth Silber, a frequent contributor to Frum Forum. Silber is a science writer based in New Jersey who contributes to Research MagazineScientific American, and other outlets. He calls himself a “center-right dissenter, a deviationist apostle of the Frumian Heresy” and these days, a RINO (Republican in Name Only).

4 Responses to “Conservatives on Climate: Conversation with Chris Mooney”

  1. fredeliot Says:

    I wish more people would learn the difference between “skeptic” and “denialist.”
    A true skeptic uses the tools of science to form an opinion and in this case a skeptic is a person who accepts that the scientific evidence supports the idea that global warming is a fact. It is denialists who misuse and distort science in this matter. Every true skeptic I know wishes someone could come up with a better term than skeptic to remove the public’s confusion.

  2. Republicans in general live a life of denial anyway. They deny everything and use scapegoats to blame others for this nations problems, or even their own shortcomings.

  3. @ fredeliot, I agree. Healthy skepticism is necessary to scientific success. Perhaps a better word for ‘denialist’ is simply ‘prejudiced’. If they’ve already made up their minds with no room for change or flexibility to even consider an alternative, it’ll take one heck of a hurt to bring about a changed mind or attitude.

    The public is not confused about real skepticism since they aren’t presented with real skeptics. I’d bet it’s not even on their radar. If journalists were doing their due diligence they’d introduce or clarify the position of their guests who flatly deny AGW vs. those who question the central premise, vs. those who debate the details but subscribe to the mainstream consensus.

    “Now, _____, you represent the minority position, is that correct?”

    One can only hope…

  4. […] Conservatives on Climate: Conversation with Chris Mooney […]

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