Convenient Bias Theories

The movie An Inconvenient Truth contains a bias theory in its title:

There are good people who are in politics who hold this at arm’s length because they acknowledge it and recognize it as a moral imperative to make big changes.

Later the movie offers another bias theory:

If a frog jumps into a pot of boiling water, it jumps right out again, because it senses the danger. But the very same frog if it jumps into a pot of luke warm water that is slowly brought to a boil, will just sit there and it won’t move. It will just sit there even as the temperature continues to go up and up. It will stay there until.. until.. it is rescued. It is important to rescue the frog. The point is this: Our collective nervous system is like that frog’s nervous system. It takes a sudden jolt sometimes before we become aware of a danger.

Notice:  Each side in a controversy feels a need to offer bias theories to explain why the other side disagrees.  Without such bias theories, observers will wonder why they should side with one side against the other, if both sides have reasonable people with good reasons for their positions. 

The problem is that we are not critical enough about these bias theories.   What concrete evidence is there that people refuse to acknowledge facts that morally imply action?  Are jurors biased against believing the accused is guilty, because that might imply sending the accused to prison?   Similarly, would real humans boil to death in water whose temperature rose slowly?   Did people trapped in Katrina flood waters drown because the water rose too slowly for they, or their government, to realize there was a problem?  I’m not saying we have no biases, just that we should not accept bias accusations uncritically.

Added: Apparently, even real frogs will jump out of slowly heated water.   Now the whole point of the movie is that it shows a talk Gore supposedly gave over and over and over.   What are the odds no one ever told him or his staff the frog story was wrong?  What does that tell you about how well the rest of the movie was fact-checked?

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