Metroblog

A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

07 December 2009

We Shouldn't Use the Term "Skeptic" For Climate Change Denialists

When "moran" will do.

I've been at a loss to explain the lemming-like rush to claim that the famed CRU e-mails show that climate change is all some sort of sham. Often the claims dribble out of the mouths of the same people who claim that Obama doesn't have a birth certificate.

We have some thirty years' worth of stolen e-mails. From that thirty-year sample, a handful of idiots have repeatedly hammered away at two or three messages, none of which mean what the denialists claim they do.



We have some fifty years' worth of research on climate change. It's real, it's happening, and there are extremely good reasons to be concerned. The impacts go from health to terrorism, and none of them are good.

The morans are throwing sand into the cogs of machinery that wasn't spinning along smoothly to begin with and providing a distraction, with the willing silence of the Canadian Government, that will help water down any agreement that the more civilized bits of the world might make at Copenhagen.

Hell, Canada's not even an industrial nation. Almost all our heavy industry, along with its pollutants and labour costs, has been offshored long ago. Yet we have some of the highest per-capita emission levels on the planet. Part of that, admittedly, is that we live in big houses in a cold climate and drive farther than anyone else on this continent.

We only produce two percent of global emissions. But that's a lot for a country containing about half-a-percent of the global population. And we can do better with a few simple changes.

Deniers scream that change costs money. Yet we're all too willing to pay for the privelege of polluting, so it seems. Ten years ago, gas was between fifty and seventy-five cents per litre. Now it's over a buck with the possible exception of Alberta (where low transportation costs almost make up for the incredible environmental scarring and other effects of the Tar Sands, if you squint your eyes just shut).

I've come to the conclusion that deniers stand for one thing: The right to fight change. They don't want to sacrifice their two cars and opt for public transport. They don't want to trade incandescent bulbs for fluorescent or LED. They don't want to switch from coal-burning electricity to hydro or wind. They simply don't want to.

They don't stand for science: The science, CRU emails included, clearly demonstrates the validity of the data and the conclusions therefrom. But morans refuse to accept this and instead stamp about, fingers in their ears, screaming "It's all a CONSPIRACY!" and "NO! NO! NO! NO!"

Do you remember the last time "I don' WANNA!" worked as an argument for anything?

Meanwhile, Arctic Sea ice is melting at a record rate (which Canada's New Greeneriffic Harper Conservative Government of Canada(tm) love because now we have an excuse to scrap with the Russians again), our snow-capped mountains are no damned good for skiing, and the lakes by my house haven't frozen to significant levels in decades.

It's real, it's happening, we're watching it happen. And thanks to denialism and political fear, we're not even attempting to do anything useful about it yet.

I'd like to believe Copenhagen will bring forth a real agreement with targets (not "intensity targets") and penalties for failing to acheive measurable successes. I'd like to believe that the Stephen Harper New Conservative Greenistic Government of Conservative Canada (tm) might actually try and live up to such an agreement, instead of letting it rot and then saying, "Well the Lib'ruls did it with Kyoto!"

But I'm skeptical.

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