In a few centuries, this nonsensical debating of whether climate change exists or not will be high on the list of most embarrassing things that humans once argued over – second only to thinking the world was flat.
While most of the world agrees that climate change is happening and is making changes accordingly, a small contingent of “Deniers” are shamelessly gaining recognition simply for disrupting that change, causing an ecological ruckus unseen since Darwin and Wallace told everyone that we evolved from monkeys.
Anyone from British aristocrats to radio hosts thinks it’s hip to play Devil’s Advocate, frustrating their audience with aggressive irrationality. If they succeed at anything, it is only to send a rational listener into a state of mental agitation – contrary to what most arguers think, this is NOT the same as winning the argument.
Climate scientists have even received both general and death threats, which is just an outrageously antiquarian attempt to hinder free speech by those who feel threatened by climate change.
Climate scientists (and other types too) are desperately trying to educate everyone about the truths of climate change (check out the CSIRO’s new raw data website). Yet still there are legions of fame-seeking white ants out there, trying to undermine their progress.
Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg wrote a wonderful piece on The Conversation explaining how the peer-review process works, how it can affect a “scientist’s” credibility, and why the scientists that are presenting evidence of climate change should be listened to. Hoegh-Guldberg is a renowned coral biologist and climate scientist and anyone who knows him or his background generally appreciates his work. (His blog Climate Shifts is here).
Unfortunately, his piece was attacked (and I don’t use that word lightly) in the comments section by blatantly nasty essays full of jumbled insults at Ove himself and condemnation of climate change and climate scientists in general. It was one of the most disturbing “conversations” I’ve read in a long time – I had to check my calendar and make sure I was still living in 2011.
And there’s also the ridiculous carry-on that is heard most days on radio stations like 2GB.
It all just makes me wonder why? If we take “Is climate change real or not?” out of the equation for a moment, we are left with the simple concept of changing our lifestyle. Do we maintain our high-cost, high-production, high-consumption, high-pollution, dependent lifestyle, despite the demise of certain necessary resources, the increasing waste disposal problem, a volatile global economy and rising costs of living?
Or do we reap the personal benefits of a simpler lifestyle which promotes energy self-sufficiency, less waste, less processed food, more exercise and less technology? (It’s really not that hard to live like this by the way…we’ve done it before.)
Climate change or no climate change, the onus is on us to change our lifestyle.
© Manu Saunders 2011