I fully believe we’re eventually going to look back upon this time in our history with disdain and amazement that tens of millions of people doubted overwhelmingly accepted science on climate change. All because a political party that’s largely backed by big oil somehow managed to convince them that the majority of the world’s scientists are “liberally biased.”
It’s absolutely absurd.
I’ve often equated climate change denial to the propaganda pushed by big tobacco decades ago. Back then big tobacco paid for “scientific studies” to be done to disprove the notion that smoking was hazardous to a person’s health. Heck, once upon a time, there were even doctor recommended cigarettes. Nowadays if someone tried to claim smoking wasn’t dangerous most people would look at that person like they were crazy. Except, not that long ago, there was actually a heated debate in this country over whether or not smoking was, in fact, dangerous.
In my opinion, that’s exactly the type of situation we’re seeing today as it relates to climate change. Between lobbyists and “scientific studies” (mostly paid for by oil companies) trying to discredit climate science, we’re in the midst of reality battling possibly the most powerful industry on the planet – big oil.
Q: When you first entered the world of meteorology, did you ever imagine the climate control catastrophe unfolding today?
A: No. I’m a bewildered spectator most days, just predicting the weather. But by the late ’90s, early 2000s, something had changed. Weather was always a symphony, beautiful and predictable to some degree, a natural ebb and flow. By the late ’90s the weather was more like a second-grade orchestra, a very talent-free orchestra. I just started connecting the dots, and that led me to climate change. I didn’t wake up and have an epiphany. It had nothing to do with Al Gore. I was tracking Minnesota’s increasingly bizarre weather when I said, “Something’s up.”
Q: Can you generally tell if a meteorologist is Republican or Democrat based on whether they believe humans have caused the warming of the planet?
A: I think there’s definitely a correlation. Conservatives, because they fear that tackling climate change will automatically lead to bigger government, it’s easier to push back and deny the science. Or be skeptical about the science. (Source)
He then talked about a book he’s writing with a conservative minister in an effort to reach out to Republicans who continue to deny climate change.
Douglas specified that believing in and understanding climate change doesn’t make you a liberal – it just means you’re literate:
We are writing a book geared to conservatives and evangelical Christians, helping them connect the dots and telling them why they should pay attention to, why they should not dismiss this. As I tell people, acknowledging the science, the data, acknowledging that climate change is real doesn’t make you liberal, it makes you literate. It means you’re scientifically literate. You respond to data and facts and not conspiracy theories and fairy tales. He heads up the Evangelical Environmental Network. They do a lot of lobbying. They helped to get the whole mercury rollover, cleaning power plants. His thrust is that it’s affecting kids’ health today. The poorest are first to [suffer the impact]. The 1 percent can move. This really is the global civil rights movement of the 21st century. (Source)
I think it’s important to point out that Douglas isn’t just some random weatherman who stood in front of a green screen, spouting off whatever computers told him to say. He’s a respected climate scientist who’s dedicated decades of his life to understanding weather and climate, and has been a pioneer in developing new technology to assist others as well.
But just imagine how much better off this country would be if conservatives did respond to data and facts instead of conspiracy theories and fairy tales. I think that sums up the problem with the Republican party in general. Far too many of them believe in asinine conspiracy theories pushed by people like Rush Limbaugh as opposed to proven scientific data supported by scientists like Neil deGrasse Tyson.
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