by Don Fausel
Usually I don’t have any problem falling to sleep at night. But the one thing that keeps me awake is after I’ve spent time researching about climate change deniers. When I do get to sleep I usually have nightmares more scary than the 1984 movie Nightmare on Elm Street. When I wake up I’m a little more reasonable and realize that climate change can be solved. It’s a matter of “facts” and “claims”. Facts are unarguable and proven; “claims” are arguable but contain evidence as well, but are not proven.
As a matter of fact climate change it’s not just a “claim” as the deniers would have us believe. Rather, it’s an established scientific fact. Don’t take my words for it! What I want to do in this blog is to give some of the scientific facts, which most scientists agree with, as opposed to the “claims” that most deniers rely on.
Let’s begin with a piece from the New York Times titled, Liberal Biases, Too, May Block Progress on Climate Change, by Eduardo Porter on April 19, 2016. I chose this article because it demonstrates how the diverse positions between the left and right, can impair factual information about climate change. As the article suggests, the people on the right, are identified as individualistic and couscous of big government, and in their view, the scientific consensus takes an opposite position. According to the article, “The people on the right like private businesses, which they see as productive job creators. They mistrust government. It’s not surprising they will play down climate change…” The people on the left tend to mistrust big corporations, and see them as dishonest and harmful. “When science is aligned with big corporations the left immediately perceives the technology as not benefiting the greater good, but only the benefiting the corporations.”
Basically, the authors are suggesting “…those attitudes about climate change have little to do with education and people’s understandings of science.” We don’t need better science, but that somehow “…scientific facts from deeply rooted preferences about the world we want to live in, on both sides of ideology divide.”
It’s not new information that Exxon Mobil and the Koch brothers “…and their scientists are being investigated by the attorneys generals for whether they committed fraud for denying the role of fossil fuels in climate change, even though while its own scientists were aware of the connection.” If you want to know more about how the tobacco companies and the deniers of climate change, read the book by Naomi Oreskes and Eric Conway, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco to Global Warming. You might be surprised of how many of the same attorneys that represented the tobacco companies were the same attorneys who were hired by Exxon Mobil when they had to be defended for keeping information about the damage the coal and oil companies kept for 20 years. As Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) reminded us “In America, it is unlawful for companies to lie to their stakeholders.” Shame on them! And if you can get the book Scientific Proof that Exxon and Kochs Distorted the Public’s Understanding of Climate Change, you’ll get more recent information.
Here’s an article from Live Science by Tia Ghose titled 9 Real Ways the Earth Could End. All though it was written in 2013 the content is up to date. Note this article is from scientists not from someone running around the street shouting “The end is nigh!”
The first ways that the scientists believe is a threat to planet earth is Global Warming. The other eight ways that could end the earth are available in the article above.
It’s interesting that Global Warming is at the top of the list that it is identified as “The mother of all apocalyptic fears, climate change is the biggest threat facing the planet, many scientists say.” As we know from positions of those who go by facts vs. claims above, not everyone agrees with the scientific fact. To back that up, here is information from NASA’s website titled: Scientific Consensus:Earth Climate is Warming Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97% or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities. In addition, most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position.” The article is followed by statements from 18 scientific associations, along with links to their published statement and a selection of related resource.
If you looking for the congressional deniers from your state who think climate change is a hoax, here is a brief video by Bill Moyers: When Congress Deny Climate Change and Evolution He takes on radical-right congress men and women for denying the science behind evolution and climate change. The video clip shows “Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) chairman of the investigation for Science, Space and Technology Committee of the US House of Representatives, who says “…evolution is a lie straight from the pit of hell and climate change is a hoax.”
And if that isn’t enough, Here Are the 56 Percent of Congressional Republicans Who Deny Climate Change. You can see where your congressperson stands on climate change.
Climate Change and Denial: Heads in the Sand, by Haydn Washington and John Cook. With a Foreword by Professor Naomi Oreskes, author of Merchants of Doubt. The good news from Washington and Cook’s book is that it gives you a sense that climate change can be solved, when we cease to deny that it exists. It also gives you a good perspective of the denial industry that is fighting and funding for the fossil fuel companies. We’re saying “keep the coal in the ground” and their saying “more coal for jobs”. It seems that they are not aware that the solar industry is reaching record growth. See: California Solar Industry Job Growth Reaches Record Level
Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know by Joseph Romm. The book cover reads: “This book offers the most up-to-date examination of climate change’s foundational science, implications for the future, and cleans energy solutions that can mitigate its effects. It offers authorative answers to the topic’s most vexing questions.” The author Dr. Joseph Romm is one of the country’s most influential communicators on climate science and solutions.