I’m a little bit depressed. While reading up on climate change, I disappeared down one of those rabbit holes that occasionally open up beneath you when browsing the web. What I found at the bottom was a bunch of mad hatters, gleefully tea-partying while the world burns.
It all started with a few conversations with climate sceptics. Not the rabid trolls that inhabit internet forums, but real sensible people who have been swayed by contrarians in the media. Such is the liberal media’s desire for balance, and the rest’s desire for conspiracy theories, that what seems to me and 99% of the world’s scientists to be the clear truth about our changing climate has been obscured.
The result is that even the rational are confused. Unless they have taken a determined interest in climate science, most people in the UK seem to have been convinced that there is genuine doubt as to the veracity of the man made global warming hypothesis.
I say hypothesis because we can’t objectively and conclusively prove that the current changing climate is down to man’s activities – as always with science we are reliant on the available evidence fitting the best theory we have. There is always doubt.
As a marketer and an atheist, I know the sad truth that it is much easier to sell certainty than doubt – even if that doubt is just a tenth of a percent, versus an overwhelming percentage of positive evidence.
So I have to rely on the sensible out there to apply a little thought to understanding the issues and the evidence before coming to a conclusion. And I have to ask that they make the time for this enquiry, because it is important, and because it seems unlikely that the media is going to do the job for them any time soon. They are either too interested in balance to say what they believe (respectable) or too heavily indebted to other interests to report honestly the balance of evidence (not so respectable).
I’m no enviro-angel: like most people I am trying to make small changes in my lifestyle while still having a lifestyle that I and my family can appreciate and enjoy. I’m not asking everyone to give up their cars, cows and consumables tomorrow. But if governments and businesses are going to start making the changes we need in order to minimise the climate crisis, they need to know that the weight of educated public opinion is with them. And today, that simply isn’t the case.
If you don’t have the will or the time for your own enquiry, then I ask you this one simple question: do you really want to side with those who claim that tens of thousands of scientists have concocted a 150 year conspiracy in order to boost their own research funding and support some marginal increases in fuel duty?
If you’re going to be sceptical about anything to do with the climate, that’s the theory I’d start with.