How science and reason have weaseled their way into the public discourse
Science has got to stop.
In the realm of public debate, there is perhaps no discussion more superfluous yet of paramount importance than that of climate change. The overwhelmingly obvious conclusion, that may as well just be accepted and unquestioned, is that climate change doesn’t exist. And thankfully, the American public is finally getting it right.
As of November 2013, 23 percent of Americans believe climate change is false, a number that is at an all-time high. That means about 20 million more Americans have swung toward disbelief, despite no sway in the scientific community. How do you explain that? Ignorance? Inaction? No, persistence.
You see, we have the government on our side. The government, despite being faced with droves of your so-called evidence, has refused to take any policy action! Doesn’t that speak for itself? The House Committee for Energy and Commerce voted down an amendment in January of this year that would have stated conclusively that climate change is occurring. Twenty-four U.S. Representatives, all Republicans, voted down the amendment. To these upstanding citizens, lending credence to climate change means accepting an incredibly leftist worldview, a challenge of profit as the centrality of our economy, and an undermining of the free market.
As a true American, it makes me proud to support them. Not just that, but we have our own evidence as well. The largest and most consistent source of money fueling our climate denial movement has come from concealed donations or “dark money,” according to a 2013 Drexel University study. We’ve come under fire because this money is untraceable and hidden, but that’s just the government trying to violate our privacy yet again. It’s difficult to be rich, powerful, and fighting for the truth.
And yes, while a survey and review of scientific literature revealed that about 97 percent of climate change scientists agree climate change exists, are we really surprised by that? It’s THEIR JOB to tell us that it exists. Frankly, it’s pandering. What’s more? Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement released just a few weeks ago regarding climate change that “Denial of the Science is malpractice.” But what does he know? He lost a presidential election, right? So did that Gore guy. I’m seeing a pattern here.
The climate-change truthers have their alarmist statistics to scare us, of course. According to NASA, 2010 was tied with 2005 as the hottest year measured since instruments were first used systematically in the 1880s. People who point to this seem to be forgetting that it was cold this year!!! Like, really cold. POLAR VORTEX, anyone?? Forget that the implications of the proposed “climate change” are far too complex to be disproven by a singular climate event, and that long-term climate data proves that the only reason we’re so astounded by the cold is that warming has made us forget what the cold is like. To be quite candid, all the science I need, I can see with my own two eyes. If this continues, scientists say, sea levels will rise and we will see urban floods and wildfires across North America. I say: bring it on! We Americans aren’t scared of anything, especially not the truth. We’ll see who’s right in due time. Roll the dice, America. What do we possibly have to lose?
We don’t need the facts. Frankly, we don’t really see them all that often. Our politicians seem to think we don’t need to know the technical jargon and science behind it, and we agree. All we need is this: climate change doesn’t exist. The reason so many people have thought that for so long is that it just makes sense. It doesn’t require change. It allows our businesses to keep going about their doings as usual, and it proves that economic profit and the free market will always rule above the concerns of a few minor scientists. It’s comfortable and comforting. It’s easy because it’s right.
That’s not to say that fighting for the truth on our side hasn’t been difficult. We’ve come under fire. Some say that climate-change denialists have created a debate where there is none, casting a minority voice into the public discourse through the medium of giants such as large, carbon-polluting multinational conglomerates and right-wing politicians. Some people will have you believe that the sooner we act, the less it will cost; that efforts to curb climate change have been stunted by a society that increasingly favors wealth over reason; that the question of climate change is, yes, as big to the future of our civilization as we know it to be.
But really, it’s a matter of intent. Look at those opposing climate change—motivated by business profit and the ever-terrifying slippery slope of government intervention on serious issues. And those promoting climate change? The health and well-being of our planet. Is it really any question who’s in the right here? Exactly—the right. At the end of the day, science will never be able to fight really strong opinions.
(Article previously appeared on April 21, 2014, in The Wake Student Magazine, reprinted with author’s permission.)