The world is full of idiots, and someone needs to point it out to them or they will never know.

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's Time to Stop Pretending Climate Change Doesn't Exist

Let's not beat around the bush here: climate change is real, and it's caused by humans. I am sick to death of people either telling me that climate change isn't real, or that it is real, but there's no way it's being caused by humans. This is pure, unadulterated bullshit. In fact, since 2007, no scientific body of national or international standing rejects the findings of human-induced effects on climate change. So why do people insist on claiming that climate change is a hoax? How could anyone reject such an idea, when the scientific community claims its real, and we are in danger?

Well, dear reader, once again we turn to The Dark Side of the Blog's old friend, Media Watch. Recently, they've done two articles criticising the media's handling of the climate change "debate" (I use the term loosely, because its like arguing that the sky isn't blue). The first is interesting, as it highlights how even a tiny uncertainty to commit to carbon reductions by a business can suddenly mean they no longer believe in it. The second is a bit more disturbing: the slightest bit of anti-climate change "research" is page one material.

The third, though, is far more alarming. Basically, AM talk-balk hosts such as Alan Jones, Jason Morrison and Howard Sattler seem to think it is their mission in life to disprove climate change. They bring onto the show so-called "scientists" who dispute climate change, but who ARE these nut jobs they dig up? Do they work for CSIRO (the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation)? No? How about The Australian Academy of Science? No? Well, surely they must at least work for the The Bureau of Meteorology? Oh, really? Well, what about NASA? The National Atmospheric Administration? Afraid not. No, what makes these "scientists" reputable is (a) they have "doctor" or "professor" in front of their names, and (b) some of them have written a book saying they're against climate change.

Wow. Now there's fair and unbiased coverage. People believe the opinions of men and women who stand to benefit, financially, if there's doubt about climate change? To put this into perspective, this would be like asking a priest whether you should attend church, or a car salesman whether you should buy a new car. To borrow a phrase Tony Abbot is fond of, it's like putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank. In fact, the best comparison in history is when advertisements like this were all over the place:

Blow in her face and she'll follow you anywhere - am I right fellas?

Yes, that's right, smoking. For those of you unaware, when scientists first suggested smoking might be bad for you, the cigarette companies immediately found other "scientists" to dispute these claims, because they stood to go bankrupt if everyone stopped smoking.

But this begs the question: why are Alan Jones, Jason Morrison, Howard Sattler and countless others sticking their heads in the sands and refusing to acknowledge the reality of climate change? They work in radio, not in coal mining. It's unlikely they will lose their jobs if there's any drastic changes to energy usage. The answer is as obvious as it is alarming: they (and their listeners) are afraid of change. Changing from dirty fossil fuels to clean, green energy will not be cheap, or easy - and it could require some sacrifices. But it is my personal opinion (and that of the scientific community, for that matter), that it is well worth the effort. A great man once wrote, "there is no darkness but ignorance", meaning that nobody is afraid of the dark, but many are afraid of the unknown.

Alan Jones, Jason Morrison and Howard Sattler need to stop acting like colossal pricks and grow up. Considering the audiences these men have, they shouldn't be spreading lies just because they're afraid of paying an extra $4.99 for electricity per quarter. It doesn't matter that these exploits drive up their ratings, they have a responsibility to report the truth, not what they think their listeners want to hear.

Climate change is real, and it's caused by humans. It's time to stop the spread of misinformation, and start moving forward. We have a responsibility as a developed nation to do the right thing. Australia has led the world on many then-controversial issues, such as giving women the vote and restricting the sales of guns - and we did these things not because they were easy, but because it was the right thing to do. Australia can lead the world again - we need only to stop listening to the fear mongers.

© 2011 by The Free Man

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