Originally published in The Sydney Morning Herald
Regardless of whether you believe it is soon enough, visionary enough or fast enough, it looks like Australia will now follow through with the attempt to reduce emissions and replace fossil fuels with renewable energy. But public acceptance of this process is fragile and, as we have repeatedly seen over the past decade, easily shattered.
Here’s something to pull you up short: the smarter you are, the more likely you are to be wrong in your most passionately held conclusions based on scientific evidence. All humans are susceptible to motivated reasoning, in which they cherry-pick data and information to reinforce a position that aligns with their existing beliefs. Smart and scientifically literate and numerate people are no less likely to do this than anybody else. Indeed, they’re better at it, meaning they can research themselves into being more wrong than your average person.
Read the full article here.