Archive for October 31st, 2010
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This is a duty, telling the truth. It is the first duty we owe to the truth itself and to every neighbor we meet who is trapped in a lie. Facts matter.
But do not always expect facts to convince. Someone who has arrived at their current stance due to something other than facts will not likely be persuaded to budge from it due to the facts. Some small percentage, some few, are honestly misinformed, and for them facts and information will be persuasive and liberating. They will be grateful for the link. But for most the problem is not simply one of a lack of accurate information. For them, finding their way back to the truth will require retracing the steps that led them away from it — a path that had little to do with information or facts.
Regarding the facts of climate change — and also any other similarly oft-rejected set of facts that cannot reasonably be denied — the denialists can be grouped into three broad categories: 1. The honestly uninformed or misinformed; 2. The liars; and, 3. The deluded.
The facts presented on that NASA site will be persuasive to those who fall into the first category. For them, a clear presentation of accurate facts will be necessary and sufficient.
For those who fall in the latter two categories, a clear presentation of accurate facts will be necessary, but it will not be sufficient.