Several controversies regarding climate change remain ferociously divided, despite the fact that various scientific communities agree it is happening. The debates between various cultural ideologies have devolved into rhetorical competitions, in which opposing sides aim to win by manipulating mistrust, intolerance, and distrust. The public’s view of climate change has shifted away from worries about the concentration of greenhouse gases in the environment, carbon dioxide, and climate modeling. In the modern worldview on climate change, these topics are diametrically opposed. As a result, it is important to investigate why people support or deny the scientific consensus on climate change. By combining data from psychology, sociology, and political science, there is the possibility of analyzing the opposing cultural trends through which scientific measures are interpreted. (Hoffman 42). It is also necessary to extracts lessons from a different cultural shift in the previous times to facilitate a better understanding of the problems regarding climate change and stimulate the public to take actions. The cultural influence shapes different debates on climate change thereby leading to the powerful cases of scientific literacy to the public, a more science-oriented community, and a thoughtful mode of the public perception.
The perception of climate change is diverse from different cultures; there are some people who understand it as a scientific consensus and call for the carbon prices. Others take is as the government attempts to adjust the markets and human population. ( Hoffman 54). There are some people who perceive it as the attempt to limit the human freedom, a challenge to the notion of God and restrains of free markets. These are the real issues that may be brought about by the idea of climate change. The solution can only be reached by the careful consideration of different cultural views and beliefs. The diversity in the cultural understanding of the idea of climate change is a scenario that can trigger fierce debate, a situation that can lead to better understanding of climate change. There are some countries that believe that climate change is a business idea used by the powerful countries to safeguard their interest; on the other hand, the scientific community strongly believes that it is a real issue that can endanger different species of animals and human if not put into control.
There are three central ideas and the cultural perception that are ideal for addressing the climate change. The public debate on climate change should focus on the central decision i.e. focusing on the middle. There some cultures that usually focus on the extreme suggestion on the climate change while others are neutral on the ideas being raised. There are also pessimists and optimists that are usually in constant antagonism to win the debates on the issues surrounding the climate change. Taking either the extreme ideas or reasoning cannot aid in the moderation of the debates. It is, therefore, essential to focus the attention on the central ideas to come up with better solutions. The extreme argumentative debates may involve supernatural beings that are beyond human understanding, a scenario that can divert the attention of the people. The debate on climate change should focus on the consensus-based ideas and should target those people that are open to discussions; much attention should not be given to the small minority groups that are in constant denial of the real issues surrounding the ideas of climate change. The debates should focus on the doubtful and disengaged segments of the society. The debates should not be perceived as the football or the boxing game that either side wants to achieve victory, but rather, the jury trial where consensus take the stage at the end of every debate. The die-hard skeptics should not be convinced, the focus should shift to convincing the jury on the mass public.
The communal debate relating to the climate change should entail the employment of the radical flank. The above technique is part of the political landscape that is consensus-oriented and can be used to moderate the debates on the conflict-oriented groups of people. The radical flank technique recognizes the ideas of cultural movements in different scientific and social movement. The extreme positions can make different organizations and ideas become more reasonable to the opposing groups thereby leading to the clear understanding of the climate change. (Christopherson 49). The middle positions on the other hand help in moderating the discussion through bringing different facts and ideas that can help in changing the nature of the debates. In the world of the diverse cultural beliefs and the environmental condition, there are people who feel comfortable in a different environment while others are uncomfortable with nature of the environment. In most cases, people lack the public awareness of the current and the future state of the environment. On the other hand, there are people who feel that the issues affecting the globe are just forms of theoretical thoughts put forward by a certain group of people to change the people’s thoughts. The above contradicting ideas help in shaping up the debates on climate change in different social groups.
One of the key argument on the climate change is that scientific consensus does not usually reflect the social consensus. The social consensus is what the larger part of the society perceived to be true. For instance, the agreement that cigarette pollutes the environment emerged long before the social consensus. Scientific knowledge on the climate change is never politically or socially inert and especially when it prompts changes in the individual’s actions and beliefs. Social and cultural consensus cannot be achieved in the presence of scientific evidence simply because people filter science ideas through the pre-existing which are usually influenced by the group values. The above scenario can be clearly observed in the case of climate change polling, which normally breakdown predominantly along the political divide.
The disbelief of climate change is aggravated by the distrust of typical specialists like the environmentalist, scientists, and democrats. (Christopherson 64). The procedures of scientific research that majority of the people do not understand also exacerbate the idea of climate change; it does not simplify the ideas and techniques that can be used to debate on the issue of climate change. On the other hand, when a scientific consensus is reached and the solutions cause a risk to the economic progress, the economist who are opposed to the scientific changes usually tend to discredit the research and creates doubtful situations in the minds of the undecided groups of people; in such cases, the fierce debate between the environmentalist, social and the scientific community can emerge thereby shaping the debate on the climate change.
Christopherson, Robert W., Prentice Hall, and Charles E. Thomsen. “Introduction to Physical Geography.” Montana (2012).
Hoffman, Andrew. How culture shapes the climate change debate. Stanford University Press, 2015.