How do you feel when I say global warming is real?
About 16% strongly agree but fumble over what to do next; 29% are concerned but less worried because it’s not in their back yard right now. And 25% think it may be real but the effects are overblown; 13% say it’s natural and not problem; 9% dismiss it. Just 8% believe it’s a complete hoax.
That’s according to research reported by Anthony Leiserowitz, a scientist and director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.
But the 8% who believe it’s a hoax are winning the debate.
If you finish reading this you may feel depressed, angry or confused, or will want to slap me through your computer. That’s OK. I will simply be tending to my garden, doing my best to live each day to the fullest which, by the way, is exactly what the fossil fuel companies and their lackeys want me to do – look the other way.
Here’s a disturbing fact: More than 97% of real climate scientists agree that Earth’s climate is warming and is mainly due to human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases. Through 2011, nine of the last 10 years have been the warmest recorded since 1880, the beginning of modern record keeping, according to NASA. It’s the continuation of a disturbing trend.
In 2012, The Arctic region continued to break records, among them the loss of summer sea ice, spring snow cover, and melting of the Greenland ice sheet, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in its latest Arctic Report Card. Sea levels are rising faster than predicted.
The consensus is we are headed to a 2 degree Celsius increase in global temperatures, with the potential of a 4 degree increase. At that point the scenarios get devastating. It would mean the inundation of coastal cities, increasing risks of food production, many dry regions becoming dryer, wet regions wetter, unprecedented heat waves and cyclones, water scarcity and irreversible loss of biodiversity, according to reports based on this massive study by the World Bank.
But if all of this is true, why is it that Americans remain skeptical. According to a Pew study, just 38% say the problem is “very serious.” In the last 2012 election cycle global warming was either ignored or ridiculed. Politicians run like cowards from this issue.
You can thank a small but highly vocal group of “think tanks” and pundits who’ve done a magnificent job of sowing seeds of doubt into the American public. Essentially they borrowed a tactic used by the tobacco industry, which is to attack the science. They spin the issue to create confusion in the mind of the public as to whether the science community agrees on the issue or not.
The science community does indeed agree that global warming is real and will become a serious problem if not enough is done. The naysayers have done what they can to shoot this down, but the climate scientists fought back. The problem is it may be too late.
Efforts to convince you that global warming is not a problem have been very creative. Back in 2006 the Competitive Enterprise Institute produced a video to tell us that the increasing amounts of carbon dioxide, CO 2, the main cause of global warming, is good for us. At the end it says, “Carbon dioxide. They call it pollution. We call it life.” Brilliant! Sit back and relax.
The Frontline TV series did an exceptional investigative report titled “Climate of Doubt: How the Skeptics Changed the Game on Climate Change,” which you can view here. The link includes a timeline on The Politics of Climate Change. Another show worth watching is a PBS special by Bill Moyers called “Ending the Silence On Climate Change,” where he spends the hour interviewing Anthony Leiserowitz, who I mention at the start of this article.
If you do a thorough review of the climate change naysayers, their resume and funding sources, you will find much of their funding comes from fossil fuel companies and other groups who simply do not have the best interest of the American public in mind.
An example comes from the “Oregon Petition,” which has been used to say that its collection of 31,072 signatures refute the claim of “settled science” and “overwhelming consensus” in regard to global warming. But that report has been thoroughly debunked.
To be honest, I have to be careful about attacking the naysayers because some of these groups are known for going after journalists and climate change scientists, as you will see here. But I have done enough research and reading on this topic that assures me my view is accurate. We are being duped by a small but effective group of people who are being paid to persuade you into thinking global warming is a hoax. Don’t believe it.
Good groups continue to do their best to advance the science of climate change. The Yale Project on Climate Change is working to improve climate change awareness, attitudes, risk perceptions, policy support, and behavior.
So then, what to do, what to do.
I said at the beginning I will tend to my garden. And though I don’t really want to encourage people to accept defeat, what I see is not encouraging.
I think global warming may already be past the point of no return. We might be able to slow things down, but it is already rearing an ugly head. The climate events worldwide, if you are paying close attention, attest to that. And I don’t see signs yet that politicians and governments have the guts to take on this beast. I maintain a big reason why people turn their head is based on fear. The thought of mass relocation of population, of starvation and disease that may result from global warming is extremely discomforting. I don’t want this to be true. I really want to believe we can fix this. The scientists have done all they can to debunk the climate change science, but they can’t find a silver bullet. I’m depressed simply writing this, but I figured it was my civic duty to speak out.
Having presented this point of view, those who know me well have heard me say that all I want is a tent and a squaw, some seeds, shovel, running water, a dog and chickens, and an Internet connection. I’ll take it from there.
Strength and honor,