I know a few of you are sick of my environmental rants, but today is Blog Action Day, so either suck it up or stop reading.
When I was in New York, I had an interesting conversation with Ben (one of many) about climate change. He brought up an interesting point – debating the science behind climate change brings on the wrath on many people (myself included) usually only reserved for holocaust deniers. Why is it so bad to want to question or debate the assumption that climate change is being caused by humans and threatens to cause severe damage to the planet? It’s not. The problem is the debate and research were done a long time ago. A consensus has been reached and now its time for action.
The only people who want to debate now are those who have something to lose if serious action on climate change is taken (oil, gas, and coal companies for the most part). Their goal is to spread misinformation, to cast doubt, and to slow down action. And why not? It worked so well 50 years ago.
50 years ago a scientific consensus was reached when evidence overwhelmingly showed that smoking caused cancer. So what did the tobacco industry do? It paid scientists and lobbyists to cast doubt, publish contradicting evidence, and claim that more research was necessary before any link could be made. “Doubt is our product,” stated a tobacco industry memo from 1969. For half a century, the tobacco industry tried to muddy the link between smoking and cancer… . Tobacco companies funded skeptics, started health reassurance campaigns, ran advertisements in medical journals and researched alternate explanations for lung cancer, such as pollution, asbestos and even the keeping of birds. Denying the case against tobacco was “closed,” they called for more research as a tactic to delay regulation. – Source
Sound familiar? Today we have mockumentaries like The Great Global Warming Swindle and editorials from the National Post attacking Al Gore – all designed to cast doubt and muddle the debate. As the situation in Canada worsens, we still don’t have any meaningful legislation to combat climate change. Why? Because enough doubt has been cast to allow politicians to hide and wait for “more research”.
The only thing left to debate is how to best go about getting results and reducing CO2 emissions. This is the debate we need to have because their are no easy answers.
And check out this video for a personal transportation system, which is being implemented at Heathrow airport.