Don't Lose Sight of Those Biases

By Keith Kloor | December 20, 2011 10:03 pm

I dip in and out of the comment threads at Judith Curry’s blog. The nesting style annoys me, so I rarely follow an actual conversation all the way through. But there are some commenters, such as Joshua, Martha, and Louise, and a few others on the skeptical side, who I find quite engaging. They usually make the time worthwhile.

This comment from Joshua just caught my eye. He’s responding to someone who asked how he would feel if global warming didn’t play out as expected:

That is a good and important question, and it is one that I have given quite a bit of thought to.

In all honesty, I can’t deny that at some partisan level, I will feel vindicated if AGW is definitively proven (I don’t feel it has been just yet).

When my better self thinks about the implications of that, I realize just how easy it is to let partisan interest, motivated reasoning, socio-centric bias, etc., distort my more rational thinking processes.

And not viewing myself as particularly better or worse then your average Joe or Jane climate combatant, that is why I am astounded that so many combatants, on both sides of the debate, seem so oblivious to influences that bias their thinking as well.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: climate change, climate politics
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Collide-a-Scape

Collide-a-Scape is an archived Discover blog. Keep up with Keith's current work at http://www.keithkloor.com/

About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets.From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine.In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest.He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.

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