Cannavo Contributes Op-ed to Syracuse Post-Standard

Assistant Professor of Government Peter Cannavo contributed an op-ed, "Ignorance a Weapon in Climate Debate," to the Syracuse Post-Standard (6/21/09). Cannavo writes "Conservatives have long professed skepticism about the idea of anthropogenic climate change, despite decades of research and reams of studies and warnings from the world's leading climatologists. Such skepticism becomes even less credible when those articulating it lack even a grade-school understanding of the science."

The op-ed continues, "This spigot of untruths, phony science and recycled Internet canards is fueled by an ideological aversion to any scientific findings that might indicate the need for more environment regulation. With perverse logic, political beliefs are used to interpret scientific findings. The danger is not only that our nation will act on the basis of ignorance, but that democratic self-governance itself will suffer."

Cannavo observes, "Being informed does not guarantee any particular policy outcome. An informed public might conceivably reject cap-and-trade legislation or any action to slow global warming. However, voters would have at least rudimentary knowledge of the most reliable, authoritative science and of the basic policy options on the table. Only then could they provide informed, effective guidance to elected officials," he writes.
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