Some continue to trot out their tired old arguments long after they have been proven to be wrong. These so called ‘deniers’ firstly say the science is wrong. Then they say it can’t be us. Then they sat the problem’s too big. Then they say we can’t do anything about it. They use doubt as an excuse for inaction.
As well as trying to find fault in the climate change science (while offering no peer reviewed alternative science), these deniers have thrown up the idea that the climate change scientists have invented all of this to prop up their funding. The deniers offer no argument – they keep saying: ‘its just common sense’.
If you were seeking more funding wouldn’t you say you weren’t sure and needed more funding to get to the truth? By saying you’re as sure as you can be won’t that shift funding to solutions, not more research for climate scientists?
If you had no opinion one way or another, but 92% of the world’s scientists said that drinking a potion was dangerous and you might get killed, and 8% said it wasn’t, which advice would you listen to?
There is a history of industry denying the problems of their products. First it was the asbestos industry. Despite the first recorded death from asbestosis in 1924, the use of asbestos in Australia was not banned until 2003. Why did it take almost 80 years for the ban?
In 1892 doctors first wrote about ‘the destructive effects of cigarette smoking’. The American Surgeon General finally declared smoking a cancer causing health hazard in 1964. At that time (largely due to false advertising), only 44% of the population thought that it might be bad for you. A decade later, 78% understood the risks thanks to the Surgeon Generals warnings on packets.
Tobacco advertising was finally banned in Australia in 1992. Why did it take 100 years to slow down the killing from smoking related disease?
Human activity contributing to climate change has been understood in the scientific community since 1896. By the mid 1950s it was clear that the problem was human created greenhouse gases. Why are we still unable to control these emissions?
There are great forces at work as these three huge industries of asbestos mining, tobacco smoking and green house gas pollution make enormous amounts of money for those who produce them. This includes government who becomes addicted to the income. Industry has a habit of ignoring the impacts on our natural capital – our skies, water, forests, oceans, land and our own health.
Our current challenges are not new. The biggest challenge is that we may not have many decades to curb the green house gas pollution. The current science tells us that we have until 2020 to turn it around. The later we leave it the harder and more expensive it will be.
See video: ‘The Sky is Pink’ An emergency short film from Josh Fox, the Oscar-nominated director of GASLAND addressing the urgent crisis of drilling and fracking in New York state.