For some, however, doubting the science of global warming has taken on an almost religious zeal. Those blessed with “knowledge” shake their heads sadly at people who are concerned about a warming planet and are trying to do something about it. They pontificate about how the public has been misled by a few (usually European) academics who rely on “faulty” computer models, socialist biases, or both.
Talking to these people is hard because they come armed with obscure-sounding references about things like the “medieval warm period,” “solar flares” and “hockey-stick” graphs. They seem so sure of themselves that the media still routinely feature these so-called global warming skeptics in opinion articles, television interviews and especially on talk radio.
Media outlets love these guys (yes, they are mostly men and they tend to be the same, often paid, “experts” over and over again) because it stirs things up. These guys specialize in arguing and confusing people, the same way tobacco industry lobbyists did and still do. Having people argue on talk radio is that medium’s bread and butter. And what better way to get people riled up than to have a self-proclaimed “expert” tell everyone that global warming is a myth?
The problem is that some people believe it. Or, more often, it creates just enough doubt for people – including politicians – to ignore the issue. And that’s dangerous.
Suzuki directs people to this series by the New Scientist, which debunks all the usual counters.
Interesting, that Suzuki calls the doubters "religious" in their zeal, because that is another one of the denier criticisms. I've expressed the same frustration as Suzuki, not as eloquently, that we don't have time to debate with these people, and the media does a disservice in fueling what are marginal opinions.
How many times have we seen a blog post on climate change, only to met with a wayward SDA reader, armed with some rogue study to challenge the entire concept. The denier crowd seize on every fringe opinion, all the while ignoring the fact that for every one example to question, you can provide a thousand to support. It is a fruitless and tiring debate, because there is a stubborn mentality that only needs tertiary support to give comfort. In other words, why bother, let's move on.
However, as Suzuki points out, the problem is that the issue is so complex, people that are otherwise occupied, can be influenced by conflicting messages. That doesn't translate into censor, because there are still unknowns, but it really is irresponsible to search the globe for every dissenter, in a fashion that suggests more weight than the true reality. Arguing degree is one thing, arguing the existence seems like old news.