Why do Climate Change Deniers Deny The Obvious?

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  1. My Esoteric profile image83
    My Esotericposted 4 years ago

    Since the 1980s (I remember them well) environmental scientists have been predicting global devastation if the world does nothing to prevent the rise in global temperature.  Why then? Because enough time had elapsed since the beginning of the industrial revolution for the damage it began causing to the atmosphere to accumulate so that a trend can be determined in the resulting data.

    The problem is, they were wrong on when it will happen.  Then, they thought we will hit the point of no return sometime in the 22nd Century - wrong!!  Over the intervening 40 years (it is almost 2020, after all), weather modelling has become orders of magnitude better and data has become much more precise and accurate as well.

    As a result, people who know what they are talking about, now think the point of no return could be 20 to 30 years from now, i.e., 2040 - 2050.  The reason is that the most current modelling show temperatures increasing non-linearly as opposed to a linear growth of previous models.

    But even assuming linear growth, the most comprehensive look to-date, the 2007 IPCC-4 report says that only on the best possible scenario (B1) can temperature rise be kept below the critical 2 degree C point by 2090 - 2099; and that best estimate is 1.8 degrees.  This assumes the world works together to solve this problem.

    If you assume the Trump scenario where each nation does its own thing (B2 with a rosy environmental picture), the expected rise by 2090-2099 is 2.4 degrees C.

    The worst scenario (A1F1) where use of fossil fuels is emphasized, the best estimate is a 4 degree rise!!

    That was in 2007.  In 2017, the picture is much worse.

    Why is 2 degrees a magic number?  Because after that point, what use to be CO2 sinks (the ocean, the forests, etc) reverse course and become CO2 PUMPS; meaning putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere rather than take it out.

    SO, with those facts, can anyone tell me why most conservatives deny the earth is getting hotter because of man?

    1. Castlepaloma profile image74
      Castlepalomaposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      I think his fan just follow Trump because he promised better economic. Being a mafiaman he can keep scamming them for so long until they start coughing up tar.

      I will continue with my eco villages regardless.
      People are not abused enough or not way pass their snytheic comfort numb stage, yet.

    2. Dean Traylor profile image95
      Dean Traylorposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      I can't say for certain why so many conservatives deny climate change (caused by humans), but I know that corporations such as Exxon have been pushing disinformation on this matter for decades. Also, Considering that many ways to combat climate change calls for more regulations and possibly a faze out of certain manufactured chemicals and fuels, many corporate officials believes that they will be forced to change or lose their ability to make money. In other cases they feel that regulations will destroy their ability to earn wealth. Most conservative (not all), favor privatization and reject government interference. Many will take sides with the corporation, form cognitive dissonance and blindly deny climate change because it doesn't fit within their ideological views.

      1. My Esoteric profile image83
        My Esotericposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        Yep, about corporations that is.  I am nevertheless surprised because with climate change, the consequences are so enormous and long lasting that most of these companies will go out of business - and they will have only themselves to blame.

        FACTOID: I read awhile ago studying climate change.  Nebraska, by 2050, will be well on its way to returning to the desert it once was.

    3. peterstreep profile image80
      peterstreepposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      I think it has to do with education and religion.
      The religion part shows us that God created the world for us. The world is made for us, and in this respect, we can do whatever we want.
      Christianity and Islam sets the human being besides nature. We are special and above all other creations.
      And as such, there is no philosophy or education that teaches us that we are part of nature. We are not above animals or trees, but a part of the Gaia ecosystem. Even in the 90's Lovelock's Gaia theory was laughed upon by scientists. Only hippies would believe in the world as one eco system.
      Christianity and Islam don't believe in Darwinism, so let alone in a world wide eco system.
      I think this is one of the culprits in conservative thinking. Climate change is a hoax because God did not create a world that could go wrong. That's why there is still a strong disbelieve in climate change. Let alone that we, human beings are to blame!! Heavens No.

      1. My Esoteric profile image83
        My Esotericposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        You got that right, Peter!

      2. Jean Bakula profile image95
        Jean Bakulaposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        I agree with this. The country is being pushed more and more in an Evangelical Christian direction, although the Constitution clearly states we are a secular country. Also, big energy companies make large amounts of money to pollute the Earth, so Trump took ecological regulations off of them. They are often big contributors to Republican campaigns.

  2. Jessie L Watson profile image67
    Jessie L Watsonposted 4 years ago

    Yes, it's becoming quite a noticeable concern. For the last 5 years, eastern Washington has suffered wildland fires at an exponential rate. There's no escape from the consequences either. My first instinct during fire season is to move to Wyoming. But, they have relentless winters and an increasing number of tornadoes in the summertime. There have always been geographical and meteorological trade-offs wherever one goes but its getting worse all over. Anyone with any sense can see that.

    Having said all that, there's definitely something to be said about the earth's resiliency. If we are to accept that these changes in climate are anthropogenic, then that means we can actually do something about it. (You mentioned something about the point of no return which I have no idea which criteria that is based. I don't have much faith in predictions as a rule anyway). I guess my point here is that we shouldn't frown bitterly upon the human race or regard the earth as something that would be "better off" without us - whatever that means. (not saying you said that, but its a common attitude among these discussions)

    Lot's of other things are getting better in the world. This can certainly be one of them. If it doesn't get better for any reason, I still wouldn't lay the problem directly at the feet of climate deniers. They don't have to be involved. We can address this issue locally with our communities. Have discussions with your neighborhood or city council about what can be done at that level. Everyone can start being more mindful of emissions. My town just got the first electric bus with a wireless charging station. My community prides itself on public transportation and regular exercise. Anyway, something to think about.

    1. My Esoteric profile image83
      My Esotericposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      I wish you were right, Jessie, but I fear you are not.  To answer one question you have, the point of no return is when the earths average temperature rises more than 2 degrees Celsius from a pre-industrial baseline (a period in the 1800s).  This baseline is when global temperatures and carbon emissions started rising at a faster rates.

      The goal of the Paris Climate accord is to do things that prevent temperature rising more than 1.5 degrees.  Today, we are about to pass 1 degree.

      Consider this:

      - Global temperatures have been steadily rising over the past 20 years, and in each of the last three years averages have topped the 1C threshold.
      - Each year enters the list of top ten hottest years on record.

      As to climate deniers not being the problem.  That would be true if some of them weren't in a position of power capable of stopping efforts to limit greenhouse gas.  Right now they occupy two of the most influential positions in America, the president and the head of the EPA (both former and present).

      I am tracking US carbon emissions and am now seeing US carbon emissions starting to increase.  Now that may be an anomaly, but I don't think so.

      1. Jessie L Watson profile image67
        Jessie L Watsonposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        Fair enough. Sounds like you've done much more research on the matter than I have.

        I remain ambivalent about what it would require to reverse the whole process.

        Thanks, My Esoteric

    2. peterstreep profile image80
      peterstreepposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Of course you can do a lot about the environment yourself. Like stop using plastic bags, or stop eating meat.
      The problem still remains as climate change is a world problem. And it can only be solved as nations work together. It is a large scale problem and should be dealt with on a large scale.
      The problem as I see it is that human beings are not used to think in large scale problems. The problem is almost to big to handle.
      Where do you begin as an iceberg the size of a country breaks off and changes the water current. saving plastic bags won't help a damn bit.
      Climate change is already in motion and we have to think big if we want to influence it. This thinking on a large scale though is not the best thing politicians are good at. Trump and Pence both are climate change deniers, something that's world threatening.
      Nevertheless you are right in saying that we should not wait for politicians to act but start acting ourselves in living a life with more conscience for the environment. If more people show that the environment and climate change are a hot issue (pun not intended), politicians will notice. As their seats are on the line in the end.

      1. Jessie L Watson profile image67
        Jessie L Watsonposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        You raise a good point. Collaboration is key but good luck forcing it. That's why I always default to "what can I do?"

  3. stephenteacher profile image68
    stephenteacherposted 4 years ago

    We are not climate change deniers. We are against worshiping scientists. 45 years ago, they said we were on the verge of the next ice age. 150 years ago...my grandfather was alive... and scientists thought germs were fantasy. They laughed at pasteur. They thought rats came from spontaneous generation. Before that, medical science was a farce. Blood letting was all the rage... Every week, a new study comes out debunking the last one. Scientists today claim we just got out of an ice age about 15,000 years ago. Before that, and this is the kicker, they claim the north pole was a tropical paradise. Yup! The same scientists talking about how bad global warming is...also say that polar bears did not exist there. There were sea turtles, palm trees, etc. And the biggest farce of them all...is rising sea levels. These same scientists (and now I use that term loosely) claim that the entire continent of north america was.....under an ocean!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not that long ago!!!!!!!!! So what is normal? I do not choose to run my life on what men of science tell me I should believe. Millions of people are still alive who were there when the ninth planet was discovered: Pluto. Um....psych! Just kidding....no planet there! We only have 8 official, real planets....as declared by the current science gods. we are NOT climate deniers. Just the opposite. We agree with science that climate has been changing forever....long before man came to be. Or so they say. Or not.

    1. lovetherain profile image80
      lovetherainposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      good post

  4. Dean Traylor profile image95
    Dean Traylorposted 4 years ago

    Stephenteacher :
    You packed a lot of info in that  post and much of it is too general to really give a good rebuttal  (and a bit of an irony considering this type of post  reflects the theme of the article i just published a few hours ago).
    In addition, I'll ignore the worship comment. Thats a dig at people who you disagree with and it has no real substance.
      Anyway one area that got my attention is near the top. The reference was  that 45 years ago "they" said we were on the verge of an ice age. This is based on a misinterpretation of data....by non scientists. Climatologist knew the world was heating up back then.The ice age story came from reporters at Time and Newsweek. They looked at the data and mis read it or jumped to a conclusion.
    Later the reporters and publications realized they made a mistake,  and retracted the stories. Unfortunately, the damage was done. 
    Also, the idea that the climate was changing has been around since the early 1800s. The science behind it emerged within the 20th century. 
    Science is a process of observation, discovering, interpreting and applying. It will change as they and we gain better understanding. And what theyre starting realize about climate change is not pretty.

    1. RJ Schwartz profile image87
      RJ Schwartzposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Dean, I'm not posting this to cause a fight, only to share some thoughts.  I personally am the further thing from being a Christian or believer in any sort of organized religion (just wanted to get that established)

      Here are some reasons why people I know are skeptical of climate science in general.  I realize that you'll dissect this and show me that "I'm wrong" but here goes.
      1. Global temperature measurements are not consistent or are there measuring devices all over the planet - some measurement points are in urban areas, on asphalt, etc. while parts of the oceans are estimated due to lack or equipment.
      2.  There is a constant debate on where the measurement point should be - is it atmospheric? sea-level?  Where?
      3.  The NOAA has been repeatedly called out for "adjusting" data points in the past. Data tampering, even if by one individual, taints any study
      4.  As a race of people, human beings have only been measuring temperature data for a very short time - some of the historical data is based on climate models, which are constantly being debated as to their accuracy and their inability to factor in regional effects
      5.  Historical data is often pulled from fossil records such as tree rings or other methodology - blanket decisions are made based on minimal observations (ones which could be inaccurate due to regionality)
      6. Two of the high visibility topics surrounding climate science are Hurricanes and the Ice Caps, yet neither can accurately be predicted by climate models - when either is used in any narrative it's perceived as a scare tactic rather than an accurate representation of reality
      7.  The 99% statement made in recent years was in fact not true - people who are outside the field interpret this as a "spin job" (just like a political statement)
      8.  CO2 is part of nature (which has been thriving for millions of years) and now we're being told that it's actually hurtful?  Plus when most of it comes from rain forests and volcanic eruptions, it's difficult to convince people that man is the problem.
      9.  More than anything, I think the hypocrisy of the advocates for climate (Al Gore as an example or other Hollywood elites) live lifestyles that consume massive amounts of carbon - they expect the common man to line up and follow a doctrine that they themselves abuse
      10.  The "hard sell" to force people into alternatives such as new lightbulbs was seen as a transfer of wealth and power from the fossil fuel crowd to a new crowd

      Call me a skeptic, call me crazy, but I'm just sharing ideas counter to what you've shown.

      1. Readmikenow profile image94
        Readmikenowposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        Ralph, I believe you have made a very accurate argument.  Excellent job.

      2. Dean Traylor profile image95
        Dean Traylorposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        Ironies of all ironies: yesterday I posted a story about the fallacious rhetorical device known as the Gish Gallop (I also referenced it in my original response to Stephenteacher).

        Simply stated, the Gallop happens when someone says or posts a ton of brief information (whether true or not--but always vague) in hopes that the opponent will be overwhelmed and not be able to answer all the questions in a timely manner. In many cases, the written version appears as a list. What I see here is just that: a Gish Gallop.

        While you're right -- I can debunk much of the information you wrote, I don't plan to spend any precious time debunking  them.I've done that in several hubs already.

        What I can say, is that most, if not all the information, came from disreputable or questionable sites that's I've stumbled upon when doing my research on climate change.

        I've written four articles directly pertaining to how disinformation was used to mar the climate change debate. I've written articles debunking conspiracy theories or the paranormal. You're more than welcome to read them, considering that some the things you wrote were answered in those hubs.

        Simply put, I put in several days, weeks and months investigating stuff that's spread on the internet as "truths."  Call it a habit from a former journalist. I usually check and recheck my sources and doing my best to avoid going down rabbit holes.

        This may sound off topic, but bare with  me on this: I'm blessed I have the type of father I have. When shows like "In Search of"came on, espousing the belief in Bigfoot, the Loc Ness Monster, and others, he was the first to utter "bullsh**" at the screen before turning it off (no Remote..this was the 70s)  In other words, he never took anything at face value and often looked hard and deep into something before judging it. That's the way I am as well. Of course, I choose to do it one task at time, after all it's easy to print lies; it's hard to show the truth.

        On this matter, I'll take a page from Albert Einstein who commented about a book called "100 Authors Against Einstein" (in which some folks had issue with his Theory of Relativity). He stated: "If I was wrong, then one would be enough!"

        1. My Esoteric profile image83
          My Esotericposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          Dean, you are quite correct.  R.J., who is not a climate scientist but a repeater of debunk arguments, flies in the face of 99% of REAL climate scientists who say R.J. is just make stuff up.

        2. My Esoteric profile image83
          My Esotericposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          It just occurred to me that climate deniers are like that old metaphor about the blind man and an elephant.  The blind man bumps into the elephants leg and says the elephant is like a tree.  A sighted person who is standing 20 feet way will give a proper description.  Climate deniers is the blind man and climatologists is the sighted person standing 20 feet away. (the sighted person isn't part of the metaphor, btw).

          Since I do have a little time this morning, I will once again debunk some of R.J.'s questions, fulling knowing he won't believe them (but others might).

          1.  Remember R.J., the goal is to get an Average temperature of the globe.  An average, of course, is the sum of many disparate points must include overly hot and overly cold points around the globe.  So long as enough points are chosen that reflect most or all of the different environments of the globe.  Since I review those points for my articles, they do.

          2.  This continues the answer to #1 and you also have to understand how statistics work to buy into this.  1) it makes no difference (to a point) where you measure temperature from, so long as you do it consistently.  So it can be "- is it atmospheric? sea-level?  "  so long as it is from this perspective each time (and it is).  While it is true they give different readings, it is not the temperature that is important, it is the change  from a baseline using that particular method. 2) it is not single or a few data points that tell a story, but a series of data points from the same methodology over a sufficiently long period of time.  One my articles on this clearly show why the time perspective is important.

          3.  Bull!  You have taken one incident of a scientist altering data to fit his conclusion and automatically think ALL scientists and scientific organizations do the same thing.  It's like me catching you speeding and assuming that you AND all your friends speed as well.  Is data adjusted? Of course it is.  Why? More, better data comes in or they find an error and fix it are the normal reasons.

          4.  First, the people who develop these models are much smarter than you or I and want an accurate model, not one that gives a predetermined results. And those models are validated and validated again (which is one good outcome of all of the deniers denying) including the very rigorous peer-review.  I have found that where the models are weak, that is documented and the impact explained.  (I have two models I developed for the Air Force still being used, one was reviewed by the GAO and the other by DoD).

          5. See the previous answers

          6. The ice caps are following predictions.  But to your point, the models keep understating the speed of the melt.  As to hurricanes, while individual ones can't be predicted before they happen, the number and intensity can and is to a reasonable degree accurate

          7.  OK, it may 98% but the point is still the same.  Also, only one nation in the world doesn't believe in human caused global warming and that is Trump's America.  We are the only one being so stupid.

          8.  False about Rain Forests, they are a CO2 sink, meaning they absorb CO2 and emit O2.  True about volcanoes.  Both are taken into account in the models.  Ironically, when the earth passes the 2 degree C increase from the pre-industrial age, the rain forests will become what you wrongly think they are, CO2 producers.

          I'll leave 9 and 10 alone since they are personal spin.

        3. My Esoteric profile image83
          My Esotericposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          The Einstein comment is ridiculous on its face.  What Einstein proposed was ground-breaking and only a few people understood it.  I suspect you would probably reject it if you were alive then.

          On the other hand, climate science is well understood with tons of data to support climatologists' conclusions.  Not like Einstein at all is it.

          Since you brought up Einstein, I learned something new today - in of all places on CNN's Fareed Zikaria GPS show.  He had a guest on talking about how variable time is.

          The author said that, if you are standing up, time travels faster at your head than at your feet.  Why? Because time slows down as it gets closer to massive objects like the Earth

      3. peterstreep profile image80
        peterstreepposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        RJ why do you write "Here are some reasons why people I know are skeptical of climate science in general. "
        Can't you say:  "Here are some reasons why  I am skeptical of climate science in general. "
        To me it looks as if you are trolling with a ready copy and paste list.
        I will give your copy and paste list 1 minute to answer.

        1. Do you know what a satellite is?
        2. That's what scientists do, measure everywhere and talk about it. Not talking half measures.
        3. Data tempering by one person would make a huge difference? Get Real, thousands of scientists work on this, if one scientist is wrong the other 999 will tell him so. mistake corrected.
        4. The human race is indeed measuring data for a short time, but it is measuring temperatures and climate change of a millions of years. Or are you a dinosaur denier too?
        5 crap. measurements are taken all over the world with different techniques by different countries. that's not minimal observations. That's tons of data.
        6. climate change does not predict a local hurricane. It predicts large scale events.
        7 wrong, there is no 99% consensus on climate change. There is a 97% consensus on climate change. get your facts together.
        8 The world population today is 7.6 billion. Of course so many people, who all have to eat rice and beef don't have any impact on the environment at all!!!
        9 there are more "common men"  who advocate climate change and have an ordinary life then there are celebrities doing so.
        10. Lightbulbs.. Have you seen the light yet?

        1. RJ Schwartz profile image87
          RJ Schwartzposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          Does anyone here actually have a degree in anything related to climate study, or work in a job that directly deals with climate study?

          Seems everyone is willing to attack me for sharing other thoughts, but isn't that what you also are doing?

          Peter, your sarcasm does make me laugh.  I'm not a big fan of your personal attacks, it's sad that so many people are unable to frame a simple response that doesn't attempt to ridicule who they are speaking to. I'm not about to engage in a tit for tat debate though, so I'll forgive you in advance for trying to paint me as something I'm not.

          Hope you all enjoy this debate!  Have a great day.

          1. JAKE Earthshine profile image71
            JAKE Earthshineposted 4 years agoin reply to this

            RJ, the debate about climate change ended long ago, with the debate about the earth being flat and the moon being the moon etc:

            Roughly 97% of scientists or at least the overwhelming majority say we are experiencing man made heating of this planet which will lead to our doom in a relatively short period of time unless we take action and the only retards left who still deny this fact are the orange kind polluting our oval office who will be soon removed kicking and screaming from said premises:

          2. Dean Traylor profile image95
            Dean Traylorposted 4 years agoin reply to this

            Teach science. In the past, I did science beats for the college newspaper as well as taking a ton of science courses. Also, my father builds solar, steam, and wind-powered vehicles and appliances. That includes windmills, solar ovens, steam-powered RC cars and boats, sail cars, recumbent bicycles, portable solar water heater (don't separate him from his coffee). You have to have workable knowledge on how the environment works to be able to do these things.

          3. peterstreep profile image80
            peterstreepposted 4 years agoin reply to this

            RJ I apology if I was a bit harsh on your comment. I guess that's the function of such cut and paste texts. They try to create a simplistic reality.
            The fact that I ridiculed your list was probably because, as Jake said. The discussion about if climate change is real is long gone. Climate Change is a fact. And to me anybody who is trying to convince me that there is no such thing as climate change is in the same category as people who try to convince that the world is flat. It's beyond me.
            I didn't want to attack you personally, if I did, my excuses. I did want to attack the simplicity of the list though.
            I understand that in the US many people struggle with the fact that climate change is real. But this is mainly because the discussion is seen in the political light of supporting Republicans or Democrats. But science is above politics or religion. You can not change 1+1, it always equals 2 no matter what kind of religion or political party you prefer.
            In Europe the financial newspapers and tv do not deny climate change. They talk about how climate change effects business in negative and positive ways and international treaties. The climate change denial is a local US problem. Which is effecting the world sadly enough.

          4. My Esoteric profile image83
            My Esotericposted 4 years agoin reply to this

            No, but I do training and education to understand the scientific reports on climate change and to know they are credible and make sense.  I am also trained to read and understand graphs on CO2 and temperature and to see the clear correlation between the coming of the industrial revolution and a historically (were talking over a million years) sharp rise in both greenhouse gases and temperature.

            What are your bona fides?


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