Climate sceptics are recycled critics of controls on tobacco and acid rain
changes in Earth’s climate
and that the science itself is severely flawed. The Intergovernmental Panel on
science, has been accused of bias.
there is a climate crisis, why should governments spend billions of dollars to
attacks â€” are deploying tactics that they have honed for more than 25 years. During
their long campaign, they have greatly exaggerated scientific disagreements in
order to stop action on climate change, with special interests like Exxon Mobil
footing the bill.
be an authoritative account of their misbehaviour. The authors show that the same
group of mischief-makers, given a platform by the free-market ideologues of
insights are helping to save the world from unintended environmental harm.
that sided with the tobacco industry to discredit the science linking smoking
and lung cancer.
power plants were causing “acid rain.” Then, when it was discovered that certain
chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were causing the depletion of ozone
in the atmosphere, the same groups launched a nasty campaign to discredit that
smoke causes cancer and other diseases. And then, starting mainly in the 1980s,
this same group took on the battle against climate change.
30 years, they still sow doubts about established facts. The truth is that there is big money backing the climate-change deniers, whether
it is companies that don’t want to pay the extra costs of regulation, or free-market
ideologues opposed to any government controls.
a tiny fraction of the overwhelming scientific evidence that points to the reality
and urgency of man-made climate change.
There are, no doubt, errors in those pages. But errors in the midst of a vast
and complex report by the IPCC point to the inevitability of human shortcomings,
not to any fundamental flaws in climate science.
The Wall Street Journal launched a vicious campaign describing climate science
as a hoax and a conspiracy. They claimed that scientists were fabricating evidence
in order to obtain government research grants â€” a ludicrous accusation, I thought
at the time, given that the scientists under attack have devoted their lives to
finding the truth, and have certainly not become rich relative to their peers
in finance and business.
to drum up “business” for science â€” was almost identical to that used by The Wall
Street Journal and others in the past, when they fought controls on tobacco, acid
rain, ozone depletion, second-hand smoke, and other dangerous pollutants. In other
words, their arguments were systematic and contrived, not at all original to the
and publications to discredit the scientific process. Their arguments have been
repeatedly disproved for 30 years â€” time after time â€” but their aggressive methods
of public propaganda succeed in causing delay and confusion.
minds have learned over the course of many decades to “read” the Earth’s history,
in order to understand how the climate system works. They have deployed brilliant
physics, biology, and instrumentation (such as satellites reading detailed features
of the Earth’s systems) in order to advance our understanding.
the biology and chemistry of the planet. We are fuelling dangerous changes in
Earth’s climate and ocean chemistry, giving rise to extreme storms, droughts,
and other hazards that will damage the food supply and the quality of life of
urgently to transform our energy, transport, food, industrial, and construction
systems to reduce the dangerous human impact on the climate. It is our responsibility
to listen, to understand the message, and then to act.