1637 Anatomy of Dissent: Ethnographic Insights into Sources of Climate Change Skepticism

Monday, February 22, 2010: 9:45 AM
Room 11A (San Diego Convention Center)
Myanna Lahsen , National Institute for Space Research, San Jose dos Campos, Brazil
Myanna Lahsen – Anatomy of Dissent:  Ethnographic Insights into Sources of Climate Change Skepticism

Based on ethnographic research with the high-profile “contrarian” scientists in the USA as well as lower-profile and less vocal sympathizers working in mainstream US research institutions, this presentation will describe a range of factors that help account for why some scientists adopt skeptical stances toward anthropogenic global warming (AGW).   In addition to a few key personal characteristics, important factors include disciplinary training, involvement in disciplinary sub-groups, and historical experiences.   Drawing on similar research in Brazil, North American contrarians will be compared to their Brazilian counterparts to identify the extent to which the dynamics and underpinnings of AGW skepticism are similar in these two nations characterized by distinctly different cultures and widely different engagements and responsibilities in climate negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

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