We know about the majority of scientists who have stated that 1) the Earth has been warming since post-industrial times, 2) the driving force is human activity, 3) it’s going to have major consequences for human civilization, and 4) action is necessary as soon as possible to fix it.
We also know about the minority group that gets a disproportional amount of air time and, at least in part, appear to be actively trying to disprove every conclusion the scientists come to. This minority group has been able to publish little to no peer-reviewed science supporting their theories. Their ideas have not been accepted in the scientific community, so they spend their time in the media instead.
But there are also some people, with more noble motives, who simply know “climate change is a problem and we need to fix it” and don’t really know much about the science behind it. That much is fine. But then they go around telling people oversimplified or totally wrong pieces of data that they make up on the spot. That CO2 levels are now around 600 ppm. That the warming will lead us into another ice age. That the world will end.
Or then there’s the Al Gore phenomenon, where their scientific explanation, even if largely correct, is so grossly oversimplified that they are shot down by the first critic and the observers go back to disregarding the problem. (Keep your eyes open for a post all about the Al Gore phenomenon – I’m just waiting until I can find a copy of An Inconvenient Truth.)
I admire the cause of these lobbyists. But, as they are calling for action just like the scientific community is, the weakness of their scientific arguements ends up hurting their cause.
We can’t afford any more confusion on this topic. We can’t afford public distrust towards the organizations at the top of the credibility spectrum.
Leave the science to the scientists. As citizens and voters, let’s use our efforts to look at action and risk management instead, which you don’t need a PhD to understand.