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with the ship and listen to rich old men trying to squeeze every last dollar, euro and yen from their investments in outdated industries.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government a bunch of self-centred old men and financiers trying to squeeze every last dollar from their investments in outdated industries who then went to Copenhagen and committed New Zealand to fuck all.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.