I personally hate talking about the issue of climate change. I think all the dialogue around it has become a joke- just a bunch of regurgitated political talking points and sound-bites. Look, I understand that there is no such thing as “certainty” in science. But what we have is a group of politically and financially motivated people (the oil and gas industry and the mostly conservative politicians in their pockets) who are using a tiny bit of uncertainty as an excuse to ignore a major problem.
That isn’t to absolve those who claim to be champions of the climate change debate either. Every year I hear liberal politicians (Obama included) making big promises about passing legislation to slow climate change, and every year I see those politicians forget about their promises once they’ve won their spot in Washington. While some of them may be genuinely concerned, it’s my (possibly pessimistic) opinion that most of them use global warming for the votes, just like some conservatives deny it for the votes.
I don’t claim to be a climate expert by any means- that’s a claim very few people in this world can make. But when we live in a global, interdependent society, we simply cannot survive without a certain level of trust and respect for the academics who are our experts.
Could 99% of climatologists be wrong about climate change? Sure. Could they all be part of some massive conspiracy to tax carbon-emissions? Also possible.
But if you took your child to 100 doctors, and 99 of them said the child had a fatal disease, would you believe the one doctor who said the child was fine? Because that’s what we’re doing with our planet right now.
Sure, believing that one doctor may help ease our pain in the short term, as it allows us to pretend like there’s nothing wrong with our child as well as saving us the cost of treatment. But when the child’s body begins to break down and we’re helpless to stop it, we will be stuck wondering why we didn’t listen to the other doctors and try to save our child when we had the chance…
Taking real action to battle climate change will cost lots of rich and influential people a lot of their riches and influence, and (in my humble opinion) that is the primary reason why they’re relentlessly trying to convince us to listen to that one dissenting doctor.