From CNSNews.com – Proponents of human-caused global warming claim that “cognitive” brain function prevents conservatives from accepting the science that says “climate change” is an imminent threat to planet Earth and its inhabitants.
George Lakoff, a professor of cognitive science and linguistics at the University of California-Berkeley and author of the book “The Political Mind: A Cognitive Scientist’s Guide to Your Brain and Its Politics,” says his scientific research shows that how one perceives the world depends on one’s bodily experience and how one functions in the everyday world. Reason is shaped by the body, he says.
Lakoff told CNSNews.com that “metaphors” shape a person’s understanding of the world, along with one’s values and political beliefs — including what they think about global warming.
“It relates directly (to global warming) because conservatives tend to feel that the free market should be unregulated and (that) environmental regulations are immoral and wrong,” Lakoff said.
“And what they try to do is show that the science is wrong and that the argument is wrong, based on the science. So when it comes back to science, they try to debunk the science,” Lakoff said.
On the other hand, he added, liberals’ cognitive process allows them to be “open-minded.”
“Liberals say, ‘Look seriously at the science and look at whether people are going to be harmed or not and whether the world is going to be harmed,’” Lakoff said.
In a Feb. 23 report on National Public Radio, reporter Christopher Joyce began his story by stating that recent polls show that fewer Americans believe humans are making the planet dangerously warmer, despite “a raft” of contradictory reports.
“This puzzles many climate scientists, but not social scientists, whose research suggests that facts may not be as important as one’s beliefs,” Joyce said.
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The explanations are getting desperate. I wonder then how Dr. Lakoff explains people like myself, who once accepted the scientific arguments presented on global warming, but who now reject most of the hype and urgency attached to it? Believe it or not, in the early 90’s I used to be a global warming activist. But that’s another story.