Rural climate skeptics are costing us time and money. Do we keep indulging them?
The last time I published a post on my blog, which I called “Climate Change, a False Narrative”, was in 2014.
That post was all about the global consensus that climate change was the biggest threat to humanity, and that government action to combat climate change was the best way to save the planet. The main source for this consensus was the IPCC report, from 1990 to 2015, which I referred to as the “climate cult”. When the IPCC report first came out, there was a lot of scepticism in the scientific community (especially, not coincidentally, of the report itself). When things eventually calmed down and I went back into the archives, I was not very happy about the way the consensus was established. I thought it was a complete mistake to base a consensus on the IPCC.
On the other hand, I am also an environmentalist, and am in broad agreement with these sentiments: that climate change is a very real (although extremely challenging) threat, but that mitigation of that threat is the best way to reduce its severity in order to make it a non-hazard.
I know that the climate denial movement is largely funded by the fossil fuel industry, and that the funding of these people is probably the primary reason behind the persistence of their views in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence. So, my argument in that post was that if you believe that climate change is a real threat (as I do), and that the best way to reduce its impact is through mitigation, then you should try to reduce the funding of climate sceptics – and the costs of that effort would be far outweighed by the benefits.
However, as you will see from this post, if you believe that climate change is a real threat, and that it is a non-hazard to our planet – and you really believe that human activity is largely a problem that we can solve without drastic action – then you have a duty to fight climate sceptics. And that duty is not just to your wallet, but to your health and that of future generations.
If we continue to believe that the climate change consensus view is wrong, then we will keep making our money harder for ourselves. In the long