The frigid weather bearing down on much of the eastern United States this last week has re-ignited the debate over global warming/climate change. President Trump, naturally not letting an opportunity to deride his critics pass, mocked the global warming activists by suggesting, via tweet (what else?) that the eastern U. S. could use a little global warming right now.
Global warming/climate change hasn’t been talked about much of late. I’m not sure why, except that the Trump administration has created so much fodder for the news cycle, for good or ill or both, depending on your perspective, that it’s almost impossible to keep up. It’s no secret that many Americans remain skeptical of global warming, and many others who accept that the Earth is warming remain skeptical of the predicted calamitous impact of it all. Why is that?
Not beholden to the extremes of one side or the other, I have some thoughts on why global warming activists have been remain unsuccessful in convincing much of the American public to get on board with the global warming agenda. Here is my list of reasons. I’m sure some could add to it.
- A pattern of bold predictions about the impact of global warming that have, frankly, proved wrong. Activists have been so eager to convince the public of the severity of global warming, and of the need to take action quickly to counter the trend, that they’ve made a series of spectacularly bold predictions that have proved spectacularly wrong. Needless to say, this cuts deep into the credibility of the cause.
- An insistence on adopting costly solutions that are unrealistic or unproven. Forego fossil fuels? Everyone go vegetarian? Get real! That’s not going to happen, and it’s fantasyland to even propose it, which also cuts into the credibility of the cause. The world economy runs on fossil fuels and that economy has improved the lives of billions on Earth. We’re not going back, and for good reason. No one is going to be interested in investing in solutions that cost billions of dollars and demand serious checks on the global economy on the theory that it might offset global warming slightly. According to Mark T. Anderson, director of the U. S. Geological Survey’s South Dakota Water Science Center, if we stopped carbon emissions entirely right now, it would take two centuries to get carbon levels back to pre-industrial levels. So, how realistic are efforts like the Paris Agreement, anyway?
- Adopting a strategy of insult, ridicule, and even threats. Global warming activists have, unfortunately, chosen a strategy of addressing their critics by means of insults and threats. Those who question that global warming is happening or that it is largely due to human activity are called “science deniers,” even if many scientists are among their number.
- Relying on discredited spokesmen. The climate change activists need fresh faces that possess credibility in the minds of the public. Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio are viewed as hypocrites. Bill Nye is not a scientist, never was one, and is roundly ridiculed since his “Bill Nye Saves the World” Netflix fiasco. Plus, he just doesn’t do well in debates against actual scientists on the subject of climate change. Neil DeGrasse Tyson seems to have his own problems with the truth, and a lot of people just don’t believe him.
Polls suggest that Americans are coming around to recognizing climate change as a problem that ought to be addressed. If climate change activists are serious about convincing more Americans about the real threat of climate change and about real solutions for either offsetting it or adapting to it, then they need to give the boot to the above strategies and find fresh ways of talking to and educating the public.
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.