The last time I visited Spain a few weeks ago, I needed to buy some drugs in the pharmacy. I was surprised and amused to see that, for the small amount of 10 euros, customers could recharge their 'bio-magnetic wristband' to protect them from multiple diseases, increase their well-being and general personal balance. And then I realized that the prospects of convincing the general population that we should reduce our carbon emissions because 'science tells us so' are really slim.
Human mind seems to be well adapted for its environment, but in the end it is pretty irrational. This is the reason why the scientific method was invented in the first place: to protect ourselves from our own follies. But let us face it. The general population has only a very shallow knowledge about the scientific method, peer review, controlled experiments, test of hypothesis...so shallow as that of the scientist themselves argues Anthony Gottlieb in The limits of science, an interesting piece that appeared a few months ago in Intelligent Life – probably an oxymoron.
How to drive our present towards a low-carbon economy ? I am increasingly convinced that the scientific discourse based solely on (scary) climate science is perceived only by those that were previously convinced that capitalism must be bad. IMHO 'soft' science by itself, with all its endless discussions and debates, cannot drive societies. Hard technology, like mobile phones, on the other hand, can. I keep my fingers crossed..