I must open an article as deliberately provocative as this with a disclaimer, which I’m certain will be blinkered for those whom wish to shoot the messenger rather than critique the argument itself; this is not an article in favour of “the Left”. I do not find either side of the political see-saw a comfortable fit. Rather, my only political interest is a passion for democracy.
Democracy only exists where there is transparency, free access to information (hence my loathing if pay-walls in academia even though I have access myself) and the capacity of the general public to critically analyses the quality of information (why I so often post my critiques of misinformation, spam mail and open replies, so that I can provide an example of such).
All of this matters in regards to the following considerations. Why? The predominately Right-wing form of anthropogenic climate change denial is completely contrary to all of the above; ultimately it is contrary to democracy itself. This form of denial, made popular by extreme Right-wing individuals, such as Chris Monckton, claim in fact that democracy is at stake in this fake debate over the reality and potential severity of anthropogenic climate change and yet this is the first case of contrary claims made by such people. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
“Climate change (indeed environmentalism in general) is a socialist agenda to seek power.”
This form of “socialism”, as people like Monckton like to remind us within their paranoid fears of a global dictatorship run by the UN, is basically unelected heads having supreme power over the majority, for their own personal gain.
Yet, we are witnessing industry effectively buying senators to support industry exploits over what the public may or may not wish (if it was the vote of the people, why would such money be required at all?)
You might then claim that it is what the public want, but how well are the public informed in an age where industry sponsored think tanks are well funded to produce propaganda to manipulate what the pubic understand in such a way to favour industry exploits?
Industry heads are not elected. They are driven by self-interests. They are demonstrating the capacity of manipulate governing powers of their state to favour their self-interests. This is the real threat to democracy.
“Action on Climate change will send us back to the stone age”
This largely circulates around decarbonising our power supply and simplistically assumes that this in turn means depowering the globe. Naive to say the least.
In fact it is a call for innovation, development and progress (noting that the term “progressive” tends to have the same effect on extreme Right-wingers as water on the Wicked Witch of the West). The alternative is business as usual; do things how we did last year and the year before and the year before and the year before…
Listen to how these character whined about the loss of the nineteenth century light globes!
An obsession with old technology is the real threat to future prosperity. It is the real homage to the stone age.
“Climate change is against the rights of the individual”
Individualism! This conservative ideology is contrary to anywhere with a sizable population and fails to acknowledge the power of our species.
We all grew up watching and reading about heroes – these big men and occasionally women able to defend the world against all manner of beast. However, this is most often a delusion. Modern Homo sapiens never headed out alone and brought back something much larger than a small monkey for dinner. It was the team that brought home the goods.
Sure, one might take out apex predators today with a high powered weapon, however the development of that weapon and the means to carry the poor beast home were the result of many minds developing the tools over generations.
Even the militia mentality of the Patriots in the US, whom insist upon the rights of the individual, depend on communities rising together if their secular Armageddon (the government or UN starting a war against them) ever occurred.
The individual is weak where the community is strong.
Moreover, within this ideology, the individuals right stop where they infringe upon the rights of another. Packing the atmosphere with additional insulation is against the rights of people whom live in arid environments and on permafrost who will quickly find their chosen way of life increasingly unbearable due to the unfair actions of others in different communities.
Eventually it will even infringe upon the individual rights of even our grandchildren whom will have the difficulty of developing new agricultural methodologies simply because the hydrological cycle doesn’t follow the time tested patterns any longer.
Ignoring climate change is against the rights of the individual.
“Dissenting scientific evidence against climate change is being censored”
Really? Have these people never heard of the internet? It doesn’t matter what you have to say, the internet is your playground!
I would happily post the content of any serious science paper that could not get published in a science journal regardless of whether it is in favour of the reality of anthropogenic climate change or not. Of course, I’d like to know the details as to which journals it was submitted to and the corresponding feedback as to why the journals refused to publish it.
If there is a genuine conspiracy against publishing evidence against anthropogenic climate change, this story would be every journalist’s dream! It would be worth a lot to our species to have the lid of this story cracked right open. I’m certain awards would be granted to the investigator whom discovered the details to this secret underworld of science.
Unfortunately, I think I’ll be waiting my life time out for this story. Science is such that one cannot make a tower out of jelly (jello to my US readers). In other words, if your analysis has no substance, it won’t stand. What stands within science is therefore the only things that people cannot disprove with all the skills we have collective acquired to date.
On the other hand, the exaggerated claims, like the so called “Climategate” or meaningless attacks on the IPCC reports that fail to even acknowledge the actual science component of the reports (I’m looking at you, Donna Laframboise) are attempts to censor unfavourable science that one has no other capacity to genuinely challenge. Chris Monckton recently arguing that climate scientists need to locked in jail is also an example of this goody bag of censorship. The industry fuelled denial and inaction discussed above is equally dissenting human activity away from human understanding of that action.
Censorship is against the science of anthropogenic climate change, not the non-existent “evidence” to the contrary.
“Science isn’t done by consensus”
Indeed it isn’t. It only takes one individual to destroy an idea, provided that they understand something that others don’t and can demonstrate, within their peer group, the folly of the standing idea. That none of the standard climate change denial that we hear has anything to do with demonstrating erroneous conclusions or provided ground breaking to the contrary within the expert community and the expert community are forced into a consensus on the basic facts (ie. 1. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, 2. human activities are increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, and 3. we can observe the warming and energy imbalance within the respective infrared wavelengths through empirical observation which confirms an amplified greenhouse effect) is telling.
No, science is not done by consensus, nor is it done away from the expert community, on talk shows, stages and in combination with claims of UN take overs or the location of the birth of Obama. Science is done through hard work within a community of experts exchanging ideas. Consensus is a stepping stone to advancing ideas, nothing more.
From what I can tell, the reason that such arguments have been usurped, contrary to reality, is to render them useless. By accusing the supporters of science of all manner of outrageous claims, it is clear to see this is coupled with reality as derived through empirical observation, instantly placing such a position on the back foot.
Not only do we need to place certainty on evidence through scientific methodology, but also defend ourselves against the onslaught of nonsensical accusations. Of course, the reality shows that in truth the very opposite is occurring:
- Anthropogenic climate change denialism is the real alarmism [alarmism being defined as exaggerated propaganda of a real or imagined threat] as it includes bizarre claims of conspiracy, UN hysteria, unsubstantiated claims of fraud (regardless how often the IPCC or the information of climate scientists are investigated, such people insist the “truth” has yet to be discovered) and paranoia of a collapse of the first world.
- Anthropogenic climate change denial is the real censoring force in that people like Chris Monckton are utilised as expert “sceptics” in US senate hearings on the evidence regarding the science and that we have a loud minority attempting to drown out unfavourable science.
- Anthropogenic climate change denial is an attack on the individual in that it favours unfair profiteering by certain industries at the detriment of how people live today and how / where they will live in the future.
- Anthropogenic climate change denial is an open affront to democracy in that unelected and unfair profiteering industries are able to buy political powers at the expense of voters in free states. Such profiteers can do so with a level of obscurity also.
We ought to be concerned about justice and democracy in the face of anthropogenic climate change denialism.