Michael Gillenwater of the GHG Management Institute recently wrote a great blog post about climate literacy and climate denial. At one point he really nails the issue when he points out that there is an opportunity costs to confronting denial too directly…
“Now, I won’t go as far as to argue that we stop trying to teach kids about climate science in schools. … But putting on my financial watchdog hat, I’d say that investments to teach and convince the broader public of the realities of climate science deserve close scrutiny. To us it seems far wiser to use those resources to help prepare with the skills necessary to address the problem the sub-population that is already interested and engaged. A strategy of focused deep skills development, rather than shallow and broad awareness.”
— Michael Gillenwater. ghginstitute.org
I might press the case further, personally. This focus on education took up the energy that might have been put into preparation for what was clear to come soon… a Sandy. In the preparation, the climate education would have taken care of itself, no?
David Roberts is quickly becoming my favorite writer on the challenges of the climate crisis. The piece below from Grist recently examines the surreal nature of listening to skeptics rant about “climate alarmists.” We really do have an alarming situation. Witness Australia.
There was recently another one of those (numbingly familiar) internet tizzies wherein someone trolls environmentalists for being “alarmist” and environmentalists get mad and the troll says “why are you being so defensive?” and everybody clicks, clicks, clicks.
I have no desire to dance that dismal do-si-do again. But it is worth noting that I find the notion of “alarmism” in regard to climate change almost surreal. I barely know what to make of it. So in the name of getting our bearings, let’s review a few things we know.
— David Roberts. “If you aren’t alarmed about climate, you aren’t paying attention” (grist.org)
Installation Art of Melting Ice at 142 Throckmorton for MountainFilm on Tour Mill Valley. December 2012. Installation and Timelapse by Carter Brooks. carterbrooks.com
Quote of the Day — 1 July 2011
Forbes, which regularly publishes biased, misleading, and distorted opinion pieces on climate issues, has just published a remarkable one by Patrick Michaels. Michaels is well known for his regular misleading statements about climate. And while his statements are mostly worth ignoring, this one contains a particularly remarkable combination of errors and falsehoods. He accuses a variety of other people (including Justin Gillis of the New York Times) of misrepresenting data on food production and climate risks while simultaneously doing exactly that.
In this case, his misstatements are easily checked (though not, apparently, by Forbes fact-checkers) by actually looking up the real data on world food production. Here are Michaels’ most grossly misleading or simply false statements:
Quote of the Day — 16 May 2011
Seizing on inevitable points of uncertainty in something as complex as climate science, and on misreported pseudo-scandals among a few scientists, Republican members of Congress, presidential candidates and other leaders pretend that the dangers of climate change are hypothetical and unproven and the causes uncertain.
Not so, says the National Research Council. “Although the scientific process is always open to new ideas and results, the fundamental causes and consequences of climate change have been established by many years of scientific research, are supported by many different lines of evidence, and have stood firm in the face of careful examination, repeated testing, and the rigorous evaluation of alternative theories and explanation.”
Climate-change deniers, in other words, are willfully ignorant, lost in wishful thinking, cynical or some combination of the three. And their recalcitrance is dangerous, the report makes clear, because the longer the nation waits to respond to climate change, the more catastrophic the planetary damage is likely to be — and the more drastic the needed response.
“Climate change denial becomes harder to justify“
Washtington Post Editorial Board
15 May 2011
Quote of the Day — 20 April 2011
” … I’m letting Dot Earth lie silent today to recall the lives of the 11 workers who died on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico one year ago. There is much to say about the full price of our existing energy menu, but also the steep price paid by the 2 billion or so people who live in parts of the world that lack any reasonable energy choices. There is much to say about mistakes of the past, culpability for the Deepwater calamity and energy imperatives for the future. But that can wait a bit…. “
Quote of the Day — 18 April 2011
… [Chevron CEO Joh] Watson says Americans can accomplish a great deal with “affordable conservation.” And “a wealthy economy,” he adds, “is better able to deal with the costs of greenhouse gas abatement than a poor economy.” Since “large numbers” of countries are “unlikely to take aggressive action on greenhouse gas emissions,” the “U.S. is going to have to decide, just as California is going to have to decide, if they want to go it alone. . . . Are they willing to place the burden on our economy and our consumers, at the expense of jobs?”
…”What I see are people who want affordable energy,” says Mr. Watson. “They want strong environmental standards—they want a lot of things—but first and foremost they want affordable energy. And if you want affordable energy, you want oil, gas and coal.”