Naomi Oreskes has just published a fantastic op-ed in the LA Times. She draws an analogy with our jurisprudence system to show why “keeping an open mind” about climate change is the wrong approach. People tend to treat the community of climate scientists as the prosecuting attorney, but in fact, they are the jury.
In a similar vein, several months ago I tried to explain to Senator Orrin Hatch why his insistence on “keeping an open mind” was inappropriate in this case–i.e., he was just using it as an excuse for intellectual laziness.
Since the only reason anyone gets worked up about climate change is that we might need to do something about it, people who insist on “keeping an open mind”, no matter how much evidence they have to ignore, are in the same boat as those who outright deny the science. In both cases, the conclusion is that we shouldn’t do anything. How convenient.