University Dialogue 2011-12

Finding Common Ground: A University Dialogue on Solving Complex Problems 

I had agreed to be part of a small conversation between a noted climate change scientist and a pure skeptic from the corporate world because I thought the encounter offered the opportunity to "find the common ground." I had enjoyed some success in bringing climate change data and doubts to general audiences, but was still intrigued by many of the concerns expressed in the essays that are part of this year’s dialog about finding consensus. I had hoped to play a moderator’s role; helping each of the other two find points of agreement, and identify the basis for whatever disagreements remained. It didn’t work. The "true believer" and the "disbeliever" assumed adversarial roles and neither budged. Neither the unassailable measurements, nor the rationale for rejecting them, were examined. The conversation quickly became heated and defensive. I left before it was over. It was clear nothing positive would result.  Read more...