The Worrisome Stuff

I’m not actually interested in changing the minds of climate skeptics.

If they’re stubborn enough that the work of NASA, 32 national academies of science, the IPCC, the World Meterological Society, and every other professional scientific organization on the planet can’t change their minds, the chance of a mere student like me having any influence on them isn’t really worth the time.

What I’m worried about is the average person.

The average person, reading the newspaper, who sees dozens of editorials every year that claim climate change is nonexistent/natural/a hoax. Editorials written by scientists who, in the extreme minority, have a hard time publishing anything peer-reviewed, so they spend their time with the media instead. Scientists who seem credible until you read up a little on their background.

I worry that the average person will get the impression that the existence of anthropogenic climate change is still under scientific debate. I worry that they’ll think the two sides are equal. I worry that, having little to no background in climate science, they’ll buy claims like “temperature drives carbon dioxide, not the other way around” or “the data is skewed by the urban heat island effect” or “global warming is caused by the sun”.

I worry that this discrepancy in the media will begin to change the public opinion. I worry that, eventually, the majority of people will begin to disregard climate change. I worry that this majority will use their voting power to suppress any climate change legislation. I worry that we’ll never be able to act against this problem because most people don’t think it’s a problem at all.

And the consequences of not acting against this problem are so dire that I can’t even let myself worry about them.

I’m not jumping on any kind of green bandwagon. I’m not trying to control people with government taxes and regulation. As far as I know, I’m not part of a global scientific conspiracy.

I’m just worried about my future, and the future of the people I love.

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4 thoughts on “The Worrisome Stuff

  1. A very nice post. Well done. It is honest, sincere, and appeals to both logic and love for those we all care dearly for. Thank you. Hopefully a bright future filled with opportunity is still possible.

  2. What worries me is far more simple! Billions of dollars is being spent each year on arguing about AGW, a meeting of the IPCC must cost at least 50 million…?

    Why is that money not being spent on sustainable development??? To all believers and non believers..

    Our energy source is dug out of the ground, practically every thing we use on a day to day basis is sourced from stuff dug out of the ground…

    IT WILL RUN OUT!

    • Hi Robert, thanks for dropping in.

      I agree with your point. Even if we put aside the issue of climate change altogether, fossil fuels will still run out – I’m young enough that it will probably happen within my lifetime. Wouldn’t it be much easier for our lifestyles, especially for the economy, if we moved to alternative energies while we still had time, instead of being forced to switch all at once? Additionally, if we didn’t emit so much carbon, studying the issue would be much less pressing.

      Hope you’ll keep coming back.

    • It will run out. The problem is that it will not runout soon enough. And we are not building clean energy quickly enough to address the problem.

      I don’t regard spending on the science or on the IPCC assesment as wasted money. It is money well spent. But if we don’t act in a timely manner than much will be wasted.

      Pat

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