Who do you think knows more about science. NASA or these guys?
Climate change isn’t rocket science. Oh wait, it is.
Once upon a time a majority of Australians believed climate change posed a serious threat to our way of life.
Not anymore. Only 41 per cent of us thought that last year, a Lowy Institute poll found. A 27 per cent drop since 2006.
Times have changed. But the climate hasn’t stopped changing. And we’re close to reaching the point where dangerous climate change is as unavoidable as being labelled a “warmist” if you vocally express a belief in man-made climate change.
The former executive secretary of the UN’s effort to mitigate climate change said earlier this week that keeping global temperature increases to 2 degrees - what’s considered the safe climate threshold - is probably out of the world’s reach.
Leading climate scientists agree. No one’s optimistic that the biggest polluters will start to turn around their emissions rates before the decade ends, as they would need to avoid dangerous climate change.
Australia’s climate debate has gone beyond politicised in the years since Nopenhagen. It’s gone mental. The popular consensus that climate change is a pressing problem for Australia has shrunk dramatically.
The fundamental logic that greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide trap heat, that there are greater quantities of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere than at any point in all of human history, and that this is slowly warming the planet - is dismissed by sceptics with big megaphones.
And while the Earth’s climate is affected by a variety of factors including solar output, it’s human activities that are highly likely to be causing climate change, according to NASA. What would THEY know about science?!
If you don’t trust them, trust the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study. An independent study funded in part by climate sceptics, the project was meant to test whether the current authorities on temperature increases were wrong or not. It found a rate of warming similar to NASA’s figures.
All scientists are supposed to be sceptical. But when there’s compelling evidence like this, a theory is a fact. Like gravity.
Reason number 1 people stopped taking climate change seriously is because alarmist “predictions” like those depicted in The Day After Tomorrow didn’t eventuate. But reason number 2 is because not enough of us understand how science works.
If there really was a credible, scientific, sceptic case, then the scientific community would take the sceptics seriously. Their findings would be accepted after peer review.
Even if some scientists were perpetuating an “evil conspiracy” as those on the fringes suggest - credible climatologists would take such a case seriously.
The problem is that Australians are disengaged with science as whole. And the rot in our scientific understanding starts, and is getting worse, in high school. Only a little over 50 per cent of year 12 students took at least one science subject in 2010. The number of Year 12 students taking physics, chemistry and biology fell dramatically (31 per cent, 23 per cent and 32 per cent respectively) between 1992 and 2009.
You at least need a chance to get your Bunsen Burner licence to get what climate change is all about.
I mean, ask the operators of the Hindenburg if they’d wished they’d learnt in school that hydrogen blows up when lit on fire.
Oh wait. You can’t.