A blog post penned by The Atlantic’s Clive Crook today highlights just how hard it is for some people to admit when they are wrong.
Maybe it’s a pride thing - the Chinese call it “saving face.” Maybe it’s something entirely different. After all, who knows what is running through anyone’s head?
Regardless of what it is called, Crook has it in spades on the issue of the infamous stolen emails from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at London’s East Anglia University. At the time of the controversy last November, Crook wrote column after column indicting climate scientists in the court of public opinion before any inquiry into the matter could take place.
But after three inquires into the so-called “climate gate” matter, one of them conducted by a bi-partisan UK government committee and two by academic boards, the overwhelming conclusion is that there was no wrong-doing.
Democracy is utterly dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed. In promoting climate change denial (and often denying their responsibility for doing so) industry has done more than endanger the environment. It has undermined democracy.
There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.