Climate change is a fact, not fiction unlike a lot of propaganda that is still being peddled. For the past 30 years, fossil fuel industry, political lobbyists, media moguls and individuals have been trying to deny the existence of climate change. Oil and gas giants like Shell, Total, ExxonMobil, BP and Chevron, spend about US$200 million a year lobbying to block, control or delay climate change policies.
However, more and more people are becoming aware of climate change. And this can be attributed to better media coverage of climate change, national governments declaring climate emergencies, and a noticeable increase of extreme weather events.
This also means that lobbying strategies have changed. Some people use more vicious approaches – like the mocking of Greta Thunberg, a 16-year old with Asperger’s, who is simply stating the scientific truth.
At such times, it is very important that we are able to identify the different types of denials that are employed to disprove climate change. Here are 5 climate change denials to watch out for.
Climate Change Denial # 1: Science denial
According to a lot of climate change deniers, climate change is part of the natural cycle. Or, climate models are way too sensitive to carbon dioxide, hence making them unreliable. Some even say that CO2 is just a small part of the atmosphere and that it hardly contributes to the large heating effect. Climate scientists were even accused of “fixing” data to show that the climate is indeed changing.
Of course, all these arguments are false. As a matter of fact, scientists have a clear consensus about the causes of climate change. The climate models that have been used to predict global temperature rises have remained more or less the same over the last 30 years. This implies that the climate models are near accurate, and are consistent.
Climate Change Denial # 2: Economic denial
Some deniers claim that climate change is too expensive to fix. But according to economists, climate change can be fixed, by just spending 1% of the world GDP. By 2050, the approximate cost of fixing climate change will be over 20% of world GDP, so it is better to act sooner rather than later.
In 2018, the world generated US$ 86,000,000,000,000 GDP. This World GDP grows by 3.5% every year. When you come to think of it, it will be fairly obvious that setting aside 1% GDP to deal with climate change is not just doable, but actually is very feasible. Especially taking into account the fact that the future of our planet is at stake.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), efficient fossil fuel pricing would lower global emissions by 28%. Not just that, fossil fuel pollution deaths will lower by 46% and government revenue will increase by 3.8% of the country’s GDP.
The claims of climate change being too expensive to fix, as you’ve just realised, is not true at all.
Climate Change Denial # 3: Humanitarian denial
A lot of climate change deniers say that climate change is good for us. According to them, longer and warmer summers mean more productive farming in the temperate zones. However, there are drier summers in other locations and more occurrences of heatwaves in those same areas. In 2010, the Moscow heatwave killed 11,000 people, ruined the Russian wheat harvest and increased food prices all over the world.
Deniers will also tell you that warmer winters are better because more people die as a result of cold weather. This is very misleading. Some vulnerable people who die of the cold die not because of cold weather but rather because they have poor housing and are not able to afford to heat their homes. So it’s an economic cause, rather than a climate one
More than 40% of the world’s population live in the Tropics – regions surrounding the equator. People who live in these areas don’t want summer temperature to rise. In fact, that can be devastating for them. But climate change doesn’t just affect them, it impacts everyone. So this whole claim of climate change being good for some parts of the world doesn’t really add up.
Climate Change Denial # 4: Political denial
Some deniers use the whole “it’s not our responsibility” line – they claim that other countries are not taking action, so why should we? Here’s the thing – not all countries are equally guilty of causing climate change. Data from the Global Carbon Project shows that the US is the top contributor to human-produced CO2 in the atmosphere. That country produces 25% of cumulative emissions. 22% is produced by the EU, followed by other big producers of carbon – namely China, Russia, Japan and India. The rest of the world altogether produces 26% carbon dioxide emission. So surely it’s not unfair for the major contributors to bear the major responsibility?
That said, all countries need to act. The world must go carbon zero by 2050, to minimise the effects of climate change. Letting the situation go on as is will be catastrophic for our planet, and will affect everyone.
Climate Change Denial # 5: Crisis denial
A lot of climate change deniers emphasise that we shouldn’t rush into changing things because climate change is not as bad as what the scientists predicted. They also say that we will be more equipped to deal with climate change in the future because we will be much richer and more technologically advanced by then.
These deniers exploit peoples’ apprehensions towards change, especially ones who don’t like change at all. They claim that we are living in the best of times – especially for people who richer or in authority.
Only because things might get better doesn’t mean we should sit on our hands and do nothing. Yes change can be uncomfortable, but when it comes to something as significant as climate change, we really do not have the luxury of time. The longer we wait to reverse the causes of climate change, the worse it will get. Letting it go on without changing our ways can end up to a point where we won’t have any way to fix the problems. So it is important to act now, rather than wait.
We don’t need scientists to tell us that the climate is changing, we know, and feel, that it is. So the question for everyone is, are you doing something about it?
The consequences of not doing something to reverse climate change can be catastrophic, so think about what you can do to help. Do your part.
As for the climate change denials mentioned above, what are your thoughts on them? Have you come across any? Do you have any tips to share for reducing the impact of climate change?
Share your thoughts, tips and ideas in the comments section below.
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