Get a cup of coffee, sit down, take a look, because this is a big deal coming from the mainstream media, and from CNN no less, about whom I wrote in June 2012, “Leave it to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria to interview Bjørn Lomborg on his “Fareed Zakaria GPS” Sunday to address climate change, rather than an actual climate scientist – in other words, somebody who knows what they’re talking about.” Lomborg, with a PhD in political science, was listed as a climate expert by the Washington Post in 2009.
Compare this to the Wall Street Journal last year, which ran with an article titled “No need to panic about global warming.”
In other words, anthropogenic global warming is not a liberal plot.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though and start dancing in the streets. You won’t see this on Fox News, of course. In the wake of Colorado’s wildfires, Rolling Stone spoke in July of “global warming’s terrifying new math,” but even those wildfires and the subsequent flooding in Colorado incites more denial than acceptance of facts among conservatives.
There are various reasons for this. As RMuse reported here last week,
In Colorado, the Koch brothers and ALEC played a pivotal role in recalling two state senators because they voted for renewable energy standards, and it informs they will go to any lengths to kill efforts to address global climate change regardless the cost in lives or economic damage from droughts, wildfires, and flooding taxpayers will end up paying for; even Coloradans willing to secede to protect the Koch brothers.
And it was just last month that a Republican congressman Jeff Miller of Florida explained climate change by saying “God did it.” It was also last month that Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) who just happens to be vice-chair of the House Science Committee, said that “global warming is a total fraud.”
There is a 97 percent consensus on climate change according to NASA, not just that the climate is changing but that, “climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities.” CNN, citing a UN report, reports 95 percent, revealing that “Nearly 1,000 researchers from around the world work on the document, which then undergoes review by about as many scientists… Friday’s report is the culmination of work by over 250 authors from 39 countries and was subject to an extensive review process involving more than 1,000 experts. “‘
In other words, this is a global consensus.
Yet Congressman Jeff Miller says, “I will tell you this. I will defund the E.P.A.”
Republicans do not accept the idea of consensus (I know, news flash, right?). Southern Baptist pastor Mark Harris, who plans to run for Senate in North Carolina, is typical. Speaking of his belief that people are not born but choose to be gay, he said, “it’s kind of like if you get down to the issue of the evidence of global warming, you’ve got scientists on both sides, you have the medical community on both sides.”
Of course, Harris is lying, something that has become almost synonymous with Republican these days. We do not have scientists on both sides, not when 97 percent are on one side, and the medical community is likewise not divided in saying people are born gay.
But Harris knows his listeners will not fact-check. Their preconceptions will be validated by Harris’ words. Miller also knows this. And being from Florida, Miller will likely be up to his neck in rising sea levels and still insisting its God’s doing.
Rolling Stone pointed to some sobering statistics back in July:
June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.
But Republicans only care about the 3 percent who don’t agree on the man-made origins of global warming and Republicans only care about the infinitesimal chance that the Colorado wildfires were a statistical anomaly. There is too much money to be made for their corporate masters and too much chance that God will get angry if they put love of planet above love to deity.
Caring about the earth is Paganism, they say. And we know how God feels about that.
Even CNN of course, could not avoid mentioning the skeptics and their counter-arguments. We won’t get away from their voices any time soon. They are far too well-funded and their job far too easy. They don’t have to convince; they have only to engender doubt and uncertainty.
But getting the argument on the front page is a step in the right direction. “Let’s talk about this” is a far more constructive approach than “don’t panic, it’s all a hoax.”
The summary of the report is available here. The full 2,500 page report will be put online on Monday. You can statements on climate change from 18 scientific organizations on NASA.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.
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