Climate Change Polarization

Do you believe in catastrophic man-caused climate change or are you a “denier”? What if you land somewhere in between? There are a lot of different, rational positions people can hold on the issue. And most of them do not fit neatly into the false narrative of believing in catastrophe or being a so-called “denier.”

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Climate change is a polarizing subject… and THAT could be a bigger problem than climate change itself. The conflict-driven news media have successfully framed the debate as a one or the other proposition. You either believe in catastrophic man-caused global warming or you are a climate change denier. That’s a load of bull squirt and the people promoting this ridiculous “Us vs. Them”  dichotomy are dangerously dividing the country.

There are a lot of different, rational positions people can hold on the issue. And most of them do not fit neatly into the false narrative of believing in catastrophe or being a so-called denier. By the way, can we please stop tolerating the use of this term “denier”? The obvious Holocaust reference is disgusting, and no rational person is disputing that the climate naturally changes over long time spans.

 

Here are the relevant questions when it comes to assessing your climate change position: Are humans having an impact? If so, is that impact a problem? Are we confident about climate data and model predictions? Would policy changes make a difference? And, could those policy changes cause more and worse problems.

Based on my many years of study and analysis I believe man’s activities are probably having some impact, but our activity is not the driving force behind observed climate changes. Climate models are unreliable and have consistently predicted more warming than we have observed. Policy changes would not help and in fact would cause much bigger problems by denying people energy, making everything more expensive, increasing unemployment, inhibiting innovation while also damaging the environment.

That’s an educated, nuanced opinion based on a lot of research. But that doesn’t fit the priorities of the news media, politicians and activist groups that have a strong, vested interest in a two-sided brawl. 

Here’s a handy graph put together by climatologist Roy Spencer. The graph shows how much warming people believe may occur if atmospheric carbon dioxide is doubled. Some people think it’s going to get a little cooler and others think average temperatures will get warmer… on the extreme end by as much as six degrees Celsius. Interestingly, there is some overlap in the middle and the tops of the bell curves are about 2.5 degrees apart. That’s a sizable difference, but not radically different and completely separate as the debate has been framed in the press.

This is big stuff because the loudest voices are telling us we need to spend countless trillions of dollars right now to prevent an imminent catastrophe. These loud voices have a strong financial and ideological stake in scaring the life out of you. To be fair, there are also voices that have a strong financial and ideological stake in telling you it’s not a big deal and throwing away trillions of dollars is a crime against humanity.

The important take away here is that there are many more than just two positions in this debate. Let’s all recognize that the news media’s drive for conflict and politicians scaremongering for votes aren’t serving our interests. They are serving their own and splitting us apart in the process.

For the Clear Energy Alliance, I’m Mark Mathis. Power On.      

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