"It is baffling, I must say, that in our modern world we have such blind trust in science and technology that we all accept what science tells us about everything – until, that is, it comes to climate science.
"All of a sudden, and with a barrage of sheer intimidation, we are told by powerful groups of deniers that the scientists are wrong and we must abandon all our faith in so much overwhelming scientific evidence.
Denial isn't just a river in Egypt. On this week's programme of BBC Radio 4's Any Questions, the Daily Mail columnist and self-described monarchist Simon Heffer (photo) couldn't bring himself to show much support for the heir to the throne of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and myriad Commonwealth nations, saying that Prince Charles ought not to wade thus into political waters. So, monarchist until the monarch-in-waiting says something you don't like: akin to what the prince had described relative to science.
Heffer is an accomplished writer and intelligent man, and admirably admitted during his remarks that he had a poor understanding of the science of climate change. He nonetheless trundled on to declare that in his opinion--which he'd moments before deemed unlearned--the scientific experts who say that human activity has contributed to climate change are--drumroll, please--unconvincing.
In short: he's unconvinced by those who know a lot more about the topic than he does. It was a sort of "Off with my head!" moment, though no one on the Any Questions panel dared to note that Heffer's remarks put him among the headless ranks the prince described.
Despite various official assessments showing a very high probability that human activity has contributed and is contributing to the rapid climate changes we're now witnessing--including the assessement of the IPCC report in which "climate scientists say they are at least 95 percent certain that people are responsible for the warming oceans, rapidly melting ice and rising sea levels"--far too many like Simon Heffer find their own inexpert opinions more convincing than the informed opinons of experts and even not-ill-informed princes.
In the eyes of some there's perhaps consistency here, finding Heffer's thinking to be as medieval as monarchy, but when it comes to climate change and what to do about it, it's thinking that's certainly much less helpful than Prince Charles' efforts to bring attention to a matter that affects us all.