Climate Science has been under siege for more than two decades now. But what is the source of this relentless claim that scientists, primarily climatologists, are wrong about the climate crisis? Claims are made daily that many other scientists dispute that the climate has gotten warmer. They promote the views of contrarian “science” researched, produced and promoted by anti-environmentalist groups. Most of these think tanks, organizations and scientists are funded by profiting industries determined to not have to regulate destructive emissions, most notably of CO2.
For many years now, the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change, the Union of Concerned Scientists, most national academies of science, the UN, the WMO, (World Meteorology Organization, NASA, the CDC, and many other thousands of factually data based groups have reached consensus that less destructive impact on the planet is advised. In other words, CO2 emissions if not cut, will continue to produce catastrophic ocean warming, ice melt, rising seas, severe storms, droughts, habitat destruction, extinctions, ocean acidification, starvation, epidemics and more.
No one yet has been able to show credible evidence that atmospheric levels of CO2, carbon, have not increased. On the contrary, more CO2 increase, and resulting warming, is being measured consistently with record temperatures being reached world wide. When deniers do concede climate change exists, they bring up non credible culprits such as sun spots, earth rotation and even volcanoes. None of these are relevant to whether burning fossil fuels, and ending human addiction to oil and consumption, is sustainable or wise.
There are still a number of Climate Change contrarians who try to convince the public that there is “debate” upon whether Anthropogenic Global Warming, AGW, (man made) warming is real. There are five key players that confuse and obfuscate the facts. The first is the profiting industries that earn billions by keeping people uncertain. The second is well funded conservative think tanks. The third is hired contrarian scientists. The fourth player is well funded politicians who repay political favors. The fifth and final, defense of destructive climate change, is the conservative media. This can be seen daily on outlets and radio shows such as Fox news. The strategy is to claim that environmentalists wish to restrict free enterprise, shut down the economy, cut jobs and restrict private property rights.
Yet, the deniers are faced with a much more powerful adversary recently. The public, having experienced droughts, fires, and storms such as Hurricane Sandy are now in the majority in their concerned belief that humans affect climate. They believe their own experience over the ever bellowing critics of Climate Change facts. They are willing to follow the money to see where the denial claims originate, and it invariably turns out to be moneyed interests, not credible scientists.
The claim that environmentalists are against prosperity and progress is also being exposed as false. Since engineers, entrepreneurs, innovative technology leaders and patriotic citizens all agree that creating green jobs, clean energy, smart grids, innovative and sustainable industries are all for the good, the charge that climate science is out to destroy jobs and free enterprise is not credible to most people any longer. Many now realize that non response to climate change would cost a great deal more to jobs, economy, and life itself, than facing the Climate Crisis with all combined efforts to fight it.
Yet, still there is little change in consumptive and dangerous oil addiction, deforestation and more. Psychologists are not surprised by this. The first response to any crisis is almost always denial. Then Scapegoats are sought. The decision to step up and realize empowerment is fraught with anxiety and confusion. People often mistake taking responsibility as taking blame. In this case, however, having some influence in averting the continuing crisis is much better than being swallowed up by global destruction.