Gorge on climate change denial, just make sure you know it's poison

As the IPCC readies their report on global warming, the deniers are out in force

Share
Related Topics

I had what some practised dieters call a ‘cheat day’ the other evening. I binged, I gorged, I guzzled. After years of trying to restrain myself and not read stories that deny or poke fun at climate change, I browsed a ton of them. It was pretty decadent. I learnt that the ice-caps aren’t melting. I learnt that the climate isn’t actually heating at all. I learnt that a cadre of scientists (sorry, ‘boffins’) were falsifying consensus and pushing governments to invest in ludicrous green schemes that only hurt people like me in the long run. Then I looked outside. A cool, dusky breeze brushed across the pavement. For a moment, everything felt so right. I could join them. Be the junior J. Clarkson.

Given time the high wore off. And as of this morning, with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change about to convene (Lord, how boring just to type that), I’m feeling a little more like my old self. Back to the grind. Back to expressing support for the scientists working on a problem that neither seems all that present (it’s a lovely Autumnal Monday) nor all that simple. I looked at the leaked briefings for the IPCC report, which comes out on Friday. It will say that the chances of man being the main cause of global warming since the 1950s have upped from 90 per cent to 95 per cent. So nothing new.

Communicating this unchanged picture isn’t easy, as the message is so often hi-jacked by deniers. The report will also address the fact that the rate of warming has slowed since 1998. It will point out that climate scientists have long viewed warming in cycles of 30 years, and that ‘pauses’ like this were expected all along. It may add that, if you look at ocean temperatures, not surface ones, the heating continues unabated. But who wants to report that complex line when, as The Mail on Sunday recently showed, you can run with an entirely bogus (and quickly discredited) article headlined “Now it’s Global COOLING” instead?

Because here’s the thing about climate-change denial: it’s seductive, and makes for thrilling copy, but is absolutely and entirely corrupt. The petrochemical billionaire Koch brothers have funded institutes to oppose scientists and the case for climate change for decades, to the tune of $25m between just 2005 and 2008. And still, against a scientific consensus on the issue of 97 per cent,  parts of the media regurgitate their rot.

Take Rupert Murdoch. He tweeted lately asking Al Gore to explain “the record increase” in Arctic Ice - and some of his papers have pursued the same line. The answer’s actually quite simple. There’s more ice than last year’s record low, but the cycle’s in steep decline – and there’s far, far, far less ice than there was twenty years ago, or should be, or will be if we continue to let nonsensical objections and pseudoscience drown out the boring, dangerous truth.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Deputy Editor: i’s Review of the Year

Andrew Webster
RIP Voicemail?  

Voicemail has got me out of some tight corners, so let's not abandon it

Simon Kelner
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all