Scientific and public consensus over climate change a 'stumbling block'

In a blog post on Discover Magazine, writer Keith Kloor explores the science and media run-around that pains the current debate over climate change. His post is spurred by a recently published survey of 12,000 peer-reviewed climate science articles finding a 97 percent consensus saying humans are, indeed, causing climate change.

However, scientists have known this all along, but political parties and media corporations continue to debate it. 

Kloor writes: "Sometimes I think the climate debate remains stalled because those who are most concerned refuse to ask the pertinent questions. Instead, they keep refighting old battles that are no longer relevant to a constructive discourse."

In his own research, Kloor cites other reports that state most people aren't concerned with climate change because they don't see it affecting them in the near future. Kloor calls this a "stumbling block" to actually solving climate change. Kloor says debates, reconciliation and conversations on risks can overcome this short-term thinking. 

Kloor cites Daniel Sarewitz, a senior sustainability scientist in ASU's Global Institute of Sustainability and the co-director of ASU's Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes, when describing science's true role in the climate change debate.

Sarewitz said: "Science would provide better value to politics if it articulated the broadest set of plausible interpretations, options and perspectives, imagined by the best experts, rather than forcing convergence to an allegedly unified voice."