Climate change and expertise

20 Dec 2018

National and international policies aimed at mitigating and adapting to anthropogenic climate change are highly controversial. This is unsurprising, given that climate change raises a “perfect moral storm” of ethical and political issues (Gardiner 2012). However, public climate debates involve disagreements over basic factual questions as well as normative issues. For example, in a 2012 UK poll only 26% of respondents agreed that it had been shown that climate change is anthropogenic (BBC, 2012). A summary of research in the USA, the world’s second largest producer of greenhouse gases, suggests that even those who believe that climate change is occurring typically believe “that climate change poses no significant threat within one's own lifetime and that the causes of climate change remain scientifically controversial” (Torcello 2016: 25).