Have the Climate Deniers Won?
— Kajsa Li Paludan (@KajsaPaludan) March 17, 2014
Have the climate deniers won? Nick Cohen at The Guardian thinks so.
The climate change deniers have won
Scientists continue to warn us about global warming, but most of us have a vested interest in not wanting to think about it
The American Association for the Advancement of Science came as close as such a respectable institution can to screaming an alarm last week. “As scientists, it is not our role to tell people what they should do,” it said as it began one of those sentences that you know will build to a “but”. “But human-caused climate risks abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes.”
In other words, the most distinguished scientists from the country with the world’s pre-eminent educational institutions were trying to shake humanity out of its complacency. Why weren’t their warnings leading the news?
If global warming is not new, it is urgent: a subject that should never be far from our thoughts. Yet within 24 hours of the American association’s warning the British government’s budget confirmed that it no longer wanted to fight it.
Sarcastically, sci-fi writer Scott Westerfeld proposed this
“Plot idea: 97% of the world’s scientists contrive an environmental crisis, but are exposed by a plucky band of billionaires & oil companies.”
To which denier Hadrian’s head tweeted: “science isn’t done by a show of hands. It isn’t a democracy. Only a fool takes someone else’s word for it.”
@Hadrians_Head So if 97% of the world's engineers said a plane would crash, you'd fly it? Gee, it's been fun having you in the gene pool!
— Scott Westerfeld (@ScottWesterfeld) March 22, 2014
Yet still no action.
The American historians of science Naomi Oreskes and Eril M Conway quoted a researcher, who was asked in the 1970s what his country’s leaders said when he warned them that C02 levels would double in 50 years. “They tell me to come back in 49 years,” he replied.
David Atkins damns the deniers, Damnatio Memoriae. I do, too.