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Pam Faggert
Vice President and Chief Environmental Officer, Dominion

Pam Faggert

Pam Faggert is vice president and chief environmental officer for Richmond, Va.-based Dominion, one of the nation’s largest energy companies. She previously was director for Air Division of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. ALL POSTS

A passionate debate can bring benefits

Q: Given the furor surrounding the pirated e-mails coming out of the University of East Anglia, what's the real takeaway lesson? Does it say more about the way renowned climate scientists work, or how climate skeptics have operated in shaping the public debate over global warming?

Passion is a good thing when it drives people to work hard and overcome obstacles. Passion is a bad thing when it causes you to close your mind to other points of view, no matter how strongly you disagree with them.

There are plenty of both kinds of passion on each side of the climate debate. We just happen to be seeing one side's e-mails in this instance.

My hope is we never get to a point in a scientific debate where there isn't a place for the "other side." History is full of instances where we were absolutely sure of something only to find out the opposite was true.

Those who hold an opposing point of view may cause us puzzlement, anger and frustration. But, they also can inspire us, energize us and cause to us to keep asking questions. We just can't let our passion blind us to those benefits.

By Pam Faggert  |  November 24, 2009; 11:27 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg     Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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pam..."My hope is we never get to a point in a scientific debate where there isn't a place for the "other side." History is full of instances where we were absolutely sure of something only to find out the opposite was true."

this is such a good point, i want to scream it at the top of my lungs!

asking questions and being open to differing points of view is rarely the norm in acadamia, as you well know

it is highly political for researchers and professors to attain the holy grail of 'tenure', and some I fear, will do anything to push an agenda

science is heated debate, passion as you put it, to allow science to move forward, not name call (e.g. deniers)

does anyone know what the earths 'optimal' temperature is for ALL lifeforms?

we may need to adjust our lifestyles and move away from coastal areas (sorry rich folk), because mankind can control climate and the weather as much as mankind can control earthquakes or volcanoes

one last point...if CO2 is such an ominous pollutant, why aren't we GIVING clean technology to the developing world to help stem the rise of CO2 concentrations and reach stabilization decades earlier than would be achieved with just empty promises?

anyone?

Posted by: waterguruguy | November 24, 2009 6:00 PM
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