Tag Climate change

Mother Gaia

Mother Gaia, cartoon

The science of why we don’t believe science

Chris Mooney explains why facts and evid­ence rarely change the minds of people who have already formed a strong opin­ion: The Sci­ence of Why We Don’t Believe Sci­ence.

Fas­cin­at­ing and depress­ing. It doesn’t bode well for cli­mate change. It seems the only reli­able way to make pro­gress is to wait for those stand­ing in the way to die off. Which poses its own question.

If humans even­tu­ally elim­in­ate age­ing (highly likely) then this aspect of human psy­cho­logy—motiv­ated reas­on­ing—will turn out to be our Achilles’ heel. If we’re unable to rely on new gen­er­a­tions to pro­gress good ideas, drop bad ones and fix prob­lems then what will we rely on?

Biblical armageddon must be taught alongside global warming

Chris­tian Groups: Bib­lical Armaged­don Must Be Taught Along­side Global Warming

Poll reveals: people are easily confused

Sharp decline in public’s belief in cli­mate threat, Brit­ish poll reveals:

The pro­por­tion of adults who believe cli­mate change is “def­in­itely” a real­ity dropped by 30% over the last year, from 44% to 31%, in the latest sur­vey by Ipsos Mori.

What I don’t under­stand is that we’ve been here so often before. Why do people listen to the pro­pa­ganda of oil com­pan­ies and the like over sci­entific evid­ence? How many times do you have to have the wool pulled over your eyes by pro­pa­gand­ists deny­ing that smoking causes can­cer, deny­ing that CFCs lead to ozone deple­tion, deny­ing that cer­tain pol­lut­ants cause acid rain or deny­ing that cli­mate change is man­made (or, ori­gin­ally, that it even existed)?

This is a great time to be born, a great time to be alive. This gen­er­a­tion gets to com­pletely change the world we live in. We have a chance here to reima­gine every single thing we do. But, no, per­haps we’d rather go down with the ship and listen to rich old men try­ing to squeeze every last dol­lar, euro and yen from their invest­ments in out­dated industries.

Weather is not the same as climate

George Mon­biot attempts to mop up the mess made by some of the idi­ots claim­ing the cold snap we’re hav­ing some­how dis­cred­its global warm­ing and cli­mate change.

Congratulations New Zealand

You can rest assured that when your grand­chil­dren ask you what you did when you were warned of man-made cli­mate change you voted into gov­ern­ment a bunch of self-centred old men and fin­an­ci­ers try­ing to squeeze every last dol­lar from their invest­ments in out­dated indus­tries who then went to Copen­ha­gen and com­mit­ted New Zea­l­and to fuck all.

Climate change and intergenerational warfare

Alex Stef­fen of World­chan­ging puts his fin­ger on one of the more damning aspects of the polit­ics of cli­mate change, the vast chasm of per­spect­ive between the gen­er­a­tions, Copen­ha­gen and the War for the Future:

To be young and aware is to know you’re being lied to; to know that a bright green future is pos­sible; to know that we can reima­gine the world, rebuild our cit­ies, redesign our lives, retool our factor­ies, dis­trib­ute innov­a­tion and cre­ativ­ity and all live in a world that is not only bet­ter than the altern­at­ive, but much bet­ter than the world we have now.

To be young and aware is to sus­pect that, in the end, the debate about cli­mate action isn’t about sub­stance, but about rich old men try­ing to squeeze every last dol­lar, euro, and yen from their invest­ments in out­dated indus­tries. It is to agree with the envir­on­ment­al­ist Paul Hawken that we have an eco­nomy that steals the future, sells it in the present, and calls it GDP. It is to begin to see your eld­ers as can­ni­bals with golf clubs.

Oil lobby behind climate change denial

Cli­mate change deni­al­ism fas­cin­ates me. How does one become a deni­al­ist in the face of sci­entific con­sensus? Hav­ing talked to people who exhibit vari­ous levels of denial and scep­ti­cism my hunch is that it’s an inherit psy­cho­lo­gical defect of humans. People can’t bring them­selves to accept that they might be partly respons­ible for a crime of such enorm­ity, so they deny. A clas­sic psy­cho­lo­gical response.

But while this might explain why so many are ready and will­ing to be duped into think­ing man-made cli­mate change is a con­spir­acy, it doesn’t seem to explain why so many are duped. Turns out there’s an explan­a­tion for that:

Think envir­on­ment­al­ists are stooges? You’re the unwit­ting recruit of a hugely power­ful oil lobby – I’ve got the proof.

I have placed on the Guardian’s web­site four case stud­ies; each of which provides a shock­ing example of how the denial industry works.

Remem­ber this the next time you hear people claim­ing that cli­mate sci­ent­ists are only in it for the money, or that envir­on­ment­al­ists are try­ing to cre­ate a com­mun­ist world gov­ern­ment: these ideas were devised and broad­cast by energy com­pan­ies. The people who inform me, appar­ently without irony, that “your art­icle is an ad hom­inem attack, you four-eyed, big-nosed, com­mie sack of shit”, or “you scare­mon­gers will des­troy the entire world eco­nomy and take us back to the Stone Age”, are the unwit­ting recruits of cam­paigns they have never heard of.

Offset your international flight with the life of one African

James Love­lock, amongst oth­ers, is pro­mot­ing a plan to cut CO2 emis­sions by pay­ing for fam­ily plan­ning in the devel­op­ing world:

Cal­cu­la­tions based on the trust’s fig­ures show the 10 tonnes emit­ted by a return flight from Lon­don to Sydney would be off­set by enabling the avoid­ance of one unwanted birth in a coun­try such as Kenya.

So one African’s life is worth the car­bon emis­sions of one flight from Lon­don to Sydney? Some­thing tells me the African is not the prob­lem in this equation.

Provid­ing the means for women to avoid an unwanted birth is an admiral pur­suit but, really, off­set­ting the over con­sump­tion of people in rich coun­tries to fund it?

U.S. militarism, oil and global warming

A friend just for­war­ded this art­icle from 2007 on mil­it­ar­ism and global warm­ing. Con­sider this:

US mil­it­ar­ism has to be con­sidered under three head­ings: First, the US mil­it­ary is the largest single con­sumer of fossil fuel in the world. Second, the US eco­nomy, the largest national con­sumer of fossil fuel in the world, has shown that its primary mode of main­tain­ing a sup­ply of fossil fuel for itself is through mil­it­ary action (assault, inter­ven­tion, occu­pa­tion of other oil pro­du­cing nations). Third, the US mil­it­ary oper­ates in the interest of a cor­por­ate eco­nomy of which it (the mil­it­ary) is the fore­most sec­tor in the US.