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

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

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Retail Buyer / Ecommerce Buyer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - CAD Software Solutions Sales

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...

Ashdown Group: Client Accountant Team Manager - Reading

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Education Editor: This shocking abuse of teachers should be taken seriously

Richard Garner
Brand loyalty: businessmen Stuart Rose (pictured with David Cameron at the Conservative conference in 2010) was among the signatories  

So, the people who always support the Tories... are supporting the Tories? Has the world gone mad?

Mark Steel
War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?