A special part of EDP is the beach walks. There’s nothing like a refreshing walk with stimulating conversations among friends. It was during one of these walks that a colleague convinced me that global warming is real.
In a comment, I asked her to tell more about that experience, and she was kind enough to respond here that
My coworker and I took the beach walk during a break, and I think the venue was important. It brought to mind the environment (perhaps we saw trash on the beach) in a way that sitting inside a building couldn’t. My coworker spoke about global warming, and I spoke about the garbage island that floats in the Pacific and is larger than the size of Texas and growing. I mentioned that I wasn’t sure if global warming was caused by humans or if it was a natural change phenomenon. I hadn’t seen evidence first-hand of global warming caused by people. He asked me if I’d seen the garbage island first hand. I said “no”. He then countered with “if you believe in the garbage island that you’ve never seen, why don’t you believe in manmade global warming?”
Not exactly a mathematical proof, but it was enough for me.
Implicitly, I had asked Karen how she came to accept a scientific reality that her mind would rather have denied, and she didn’t flinch. I think her open, honest introspection was very gracious. We’re playing for big stakes on this issue, and there’s no time for vanity.
I owe her some honest introspection. In my case, I’ve never felt the urge to deny the reality of global warming, so for the reasons here, I conclude that I must have some motives to want to believe it. I’ll think more about what they might be.