Response to a climate change denier

I was reading an article the other day and was struck by the ignorance of the deniers making comments.  I know most are deliberate shills paid to express an opinion or simply be obstreperous trolls, and that even when confronted with the mountains of evidence that underpins Climate Change, they refuse to accept it.

I started a comment in reply, but it grew out of all proportion, so I decided not to post.  I leave it here as a reference.  There is still a LOT I could add, and may do some time, but for now…  Here it is:

 

OK.  Let me get this straight, using a few examples.

  • A physicist from CERN announces that have finally discovered the Higgs Boson and the whole world is aghast – Amazing!  Do you even know what a Higgs Boson is?
  • How about when an astrophysicist claims they have measured gravity waves generated 1/10,0000th of a second after the Big Bang.  Awesome – science is so cool.
  • Your cell phone rings, it’s a video call from your friend on the other side of the world, calling to wish you a happy birthday.  Do you have even a basic inkling of how the phone works?  What about the hardware, the transmission infrastructure, the wireless spectrum, the phone’s operating system, the software streaming the video and enabling you to chat in real-time with someone half a world away?
  • What about when a doctor claims they re-engineered the DNA of a newborn baby to completely eradicate all traces of the HIV virus from every cell in it’s tiny body.  You are simply astounded at how rapidly our knowledge is growing, how mind-blowing our science is and how fortunate we are to live in an age of such profound scientific advancements.
  • Only this week an article was published about scientists implanting nanobots inside cockroaches.  Unbelievable.  If someone had you this story 15 years ago, you’d have laughed it off as science fiction but nowadays we accept our science is capable of doing phenomenal things that were fiction only a short few years ago.
  • Perhaps, you feel fatigued, so you see your GP who sends you for an MRI which identifies a faulty heart value that needs urgent treatment or you will die in the next few weeks if untreated.  The surgeon performs the critical surgery and implants a cutting-edge silent electronic heart pump, affording you another 50 years of life – all thanks to the collective knowledge gained though our science.

In all these cases, your personal knowledge on the subject is minimal to none.  Even if you do have a degree of knowledge you still listen to and are guided by the advice of these scientists because they are “experts” – people who have devoted years of their life to study a a specialised field of endeavour in the endeavour that is science.  They have worked so long and hard to achieve “expert” status, and in doing so we afford their opinions significantly greater weight than those of the untrained.  Imagine the result if we had listened to Uncle Jack

Yet, when it comes to Climate Science, it seems the opposite rule applies.  When the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) announces that CO2 in the atmosphere has reach levels unprecedented in 800,000 years, why is their expertise ridiculed, and called into question?  When NASA tells us solar radiation has been in decline for years, why do we question?  When the Bureau of Meteorology tells us 8 of the hottest days on record occurred in the past 10 years and that we broke 156 separate weather records in a single year, our Prime Minister calls it “crap” and quotes a poem about droughts and floods.   When major organisations like The Royal Society say our oceans are becoming so acidic we face a major threat to the entire marine food chain – yet our news services constantly indulge unqualified lunatics like Christopher Monckton who says CO2 is good for plants.

Why it is that Climate Scientists who have devoted decades of their life to intensive study are simply dismissed as Alarmists, Chicken Littles, attention seekers or those merely trying to get funding for their futile, money-wasting projects.  Yet all other branches of science are perfectly valid – even though we know far less about them and many present far less compelling weight of evidence than Climate Science does.

Do you know the really funny part about Climate Science?  It isn’t just one area of study.  It isn’t just looking at atmospheric CO2, it encompasses a vast range of other sciences including; physics, chemistry, meteorology, geology, palaeontology, botany, anthropology, climate sciences, earth sciences, medicine, biology, engineering, marine sciences and more.  It is the aggregated findings of research conducted in all these separate fields that forms the picture of Climate Change and it is the reason why the message should be so compelling, because it is fully supported by more diverse fields of scientific research than almost any other study.

Finally add to this the very foundation of science – the peer-review process.  Unlike journalism or social media, scientific research can’t just be thrown on the net and allowed to spread.  Each study must under a rigorous peer-review conducted by other experts in the field.  Their aim is not to rubber-stamp the findings or even to verify them.  Their job is to review and question the robustness of the methodologies employed by the scientists.  Only after a research paper has been through this whole process can it be published.  So, when you see statistics that say 13,950 peer-reviewed articles support climate change and only 24 do not, you know the findings have been rigorously tested and as true as our science can make them.

So, all those millions of scientists spanning most nations across the globe, working in multiple fields of endeavour all devoting many years of their life and considerable effort, using their acquired knowledge and expertise to build upon the wealth of our collective knowledge over many decades.

All those scientists (who clearly chose science as a career due to the extravagant lifestyle it affords; the money, the fame, the groupies, enormous houses, fast cars, etc.)

All these scientists somehow got together, concocted a fanciful disaster story of biblical proportions.  They then came to a collective agreement to commit the greatest fraud ever perpetrated upon humanity, risking their personal and professional reputations, their life’s work, their livelihoods, the security of their families, and the reputation of hundreds of major, independent scientific bodies, associations and organisations worldwide.  They did this just for a bit of a laugh or so they can destroy the worldwide economy and drive us all back into the dark ages.

Of course, I can fully understand how anyone could leap to that conclusion.  Most scientists would definitely fall into the category that makes them haters of technology and advancement.  Each of them I’m sure would love to work by see their job made much harder without the amazing technological advancements science has produced like; electricity, flight, computers, transportation, space exploration, television, internet, medical advances, etc.

What’s that you say?  The models they use are all wrong?  Duh.  If only those scientists were clever like you and devised thousands of new models every year, models they ran millions and millions of times, using the best available inputs to mimic the real-world observations and to tweak them to extrapolate multiple possible outcomes or to isolate the variables.  I can’t believe those scientists would be so stupid as to continuously use the same imprecise models over and over again.  You’d think experts would know better.

Still, based on that you still believe ALL those scientists and the respected organisations they represent are ALL WRONG and YOU are RIGHT.  Why?

Because it is easier for you to deny?

Or is it simply that the truth is too big and too scary to face?

Do you believe the problem is insurmountable, so why bother even trying?

Or maybe you think you’ll be dead before the worst effects occur, so why should you care?

Maybe you believe your god will take care of it or possibly that we brought it on ourselves through our sins?

How about blaming the foreigners and everyone else like the Chinese, the Indians or the Russians?

Perhaps it is simply a matter of laziness and expedience – that it is easier to abrogate one’s own responsibility than to acknowledge that our actions and our lifestyles have made us all complicit in this mess, and that they need to change, if we are to provide a better future for ourselves and our children.

Or is it simply that you don’t give a toss about anyone else outside your own sphere of ignorance?

Have you ever considered that there are people out there who profit from the status quo?  Who don’t want to see us change our lifestyle because it may affect their multi-billion dollar profit margin by a few percentage points?  People whose whole sociopathic existence revolves around acquiring as much power as possible or accumulating vast amounts of money for themselves, even if it comes at the expense of everyone else on the planet?

What you choose to believe is irrelevant – Climate Change is real and we are the major contributor.  It is therefore incumbent upon us to act, to mitigate the damage and to work to make amends.  If we don’t we condemn ourselves and future generations to a life worse then the one we currently enjoy.or not is irrelevant

Whether you care about future generations is not my concern.  However, by not helping or by arguing and being obstructionist, you are standing in the way of those of us who do care, who do want to act, who feel compelled to address this massive problem.

Therefore, get the hell out of the way and let the rest of us work toward fixing this mess.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s