Piers Morgan has declared he is “with the science” on the issue of climate change.
The journalist and broadcaster’s response to a question posed by this blog on Twitter seemed unambiguous.
But it wasn’t long before some people opted to interpret his answer to match their own skewed views.
It seems that while Piers is able to accept the science, many others would rather trust their own bizarre prejudices, or the propaganda of the organisations that make vast profits and wield huge power through the control and sale of fossil fuels.
Despite human-caused global warming being “the ruling paradigm of climate science” (see here for more on this), there are still countless bar-room experts, contrarians and conspiracy theorists who refuse to accept that it is happening.
Many of these individuals base their denial on the belief that a so-called 'green blob' has some sort of sinister agenda and therefore must be making the whole thing up for their own mysterious ends.
What these ends could possibly be isn’t clear. What is glaringly obvious though is that any accusations about the propagation of agenda-driven pseudo-science should surely be leveled at those who are really pedaling misinformation about climate change.
As Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders pointed out on an edition of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher last November (2014): “The truth of the matter is that the oil companies and the coal companies have spent tens of millions of dollars on a disinformation campaign.”
And the top climate scientist James Hansen told the BBC: “The deniers want the public to be confused.”
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Why is it that so many people believe that reasonable, rational guys like these are wrong at best – or liars at worst – when they should be aiming their scepticism at the obvious target: the multi-billion dollar fossil fuel industry that has so much to lose from a major switchover to clean, renewable energy sources.
This issue is really a no-brainer. Even if you disregard the science, it surely stands to reason that we should be looking towards a future that minimises waste and pollution; a future in which we develop and use clean energy and fuels that don’t have damaging by-products.
There is another well-worn point to raise here. If those who are campaigning for drastic action to halt climate change prove somehow to be wrong in the future, what exactly will we have lost by switching to renewable energy sources and creating new green industries? Nothing. We’ll have built a sustainable future for our children, created new jobs, protected biodiversity, and emasculated regimes whose appalling human rights records are wilfully ignored by Western nations desperate for their oil supplies.
On the other hand, if the deniers are wrong and climate change accelerates, as predicted by James Hansen and many others, where will we be then? We’ll be living on a planet that becomes increasingly uninhabitable. Ocean levels will rise, severe weather will become the norm, flooding and famines will devastate vulnerable communities, governments and economies will buckle under the strain.
Why would any sensible person take a gamble on those outcomes? They wouldn’t. So, like Piers Morgan, I’m with the science.
You should be too.