MARK MASLIN, THE CONVERSATION 30 NOV 2019
The fossil fuel industry, political lobbyists, media moguls and individuals have spent the past 30 years sowing doubt about the reality of climate change – where none exists.
The latest estimate is that the world’s five largest publicly-owned oil and gas companies spend about US$200 million a year on lobbying to control, delay or block binding climate policy.
Their hold on the public seems to be waning. Two recent polls suggested over 75 percent of Americans think humans are causing climate change.
School climate strikes, Extinction Rebellion protests, national governments declaring a climate emergency, improved media coverage of climate change and an increasing number of extreme weather events have all contributed to this shift. There also seems to be a renewed optimism that we can deal with the crisis.
But this means lobbying has changed, now employing more subtle and more vicious approaches – what has been termed as “climate sadism“. It is used to mock young people going on climate protests and to ridicule Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old young woman with Asperger’s, who is simply telling the scientific truth.