06 September 2010

Continuing the Denial of Climate Change

It is getting harder to deny climate change, so here is a quick guide for the growing number of converts to the "there's no such thing as climate change" camp."

1. Dismiss the data as insignificant. "Oh, it's a raise of less than 1 degree! That's noise. The planet's temperature is changing all the time."
2. Dismiss the rise in temperature as part of natural cycles. Don't admit that there is any merit to the notion of green house gases. Instead, talk about larger changes in climate that scientists have tracked through centuries.
3. Dismiss the notion that this rise will be bad. "Crop yields will raise in Canada and Norway. What is wrong with that?"
4. Dismiss claims that a changing climate triggers more floods, droughts, and storms. Rather than accept that the models all seem to predict this, just wave your hand and say, "How could anyone know that?"
5. Dismiss the notion that it is a bad thing to lose coastal cities. "Mankind has migrated before. This is part of the normal pattern of history."
6. Die. Eventually, if you deny long enough, your life will be over and any complications from climate change will be a problem for a new generation to deal with.

Take heart as reports like this come in.

Floods, fires, melting ice and feverish heat: From smoke-choked Moscow to water-soaked Pakistan and the High Arctic, the planet seems to be having a midsummer breakdown. It's not just a portent of things to come, scientists say, but a sign of troubling climate change already under way.
The weather-related cataclysms of July and August fit patterns predicted by climate scientists, the Geneva-based World Meteorological Organization says — although those scientists always shy from tying individual disasters directly to global warming.

It was not until 1822 that the Catholic Church stopped banning literature that claimed we were orbiting the sun and even scientific peers took about a century to accept Copernicus's central premise. We've got at least another generation of denial before we have to let go of the old paradigm. Don't worry. You don't have to go through the painful steps of adjusting your worldview if you follow these simple steps.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My brother-in-law believes that climate change is myth perpetrated by liberals as part of a larger scheme to take away all of our cars and eventually control the world.

(When he comes over, we usually limit the conversation to sports.)