ScienceAlert: Here Are Five of The Main Reasons People Continue to Deny Climate Change


Temperature differences from normal around the globe averaged over the last five years. (NASA)

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.

Read more at …

IPCC: Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C (SR15) [Wikipedia]

The following was copied verbatim from the Wikipedia article on the IPCC on 2020-01-31 for the purpose of giving us something up-to-date, brief and reliable to read based almost directly (Wikipedia) from the experts at the IPCC. The most cogent parts have been emphasized. All the links are working for those of you interested in reading further.

Main article: Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C (published 8 October 2018)

When the Paris Agreement was adopted, the UNFCCC invited the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to write a special report on “How can humanity prevent the global temperature rise more than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial level”.[100] The completed report, Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C (SR15), was released on 8 October 2018. Its full title is “Global Warming of 1.5 °C, an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty”.[100]

The finished report summarizes the findings of scientists, showing that maintaining a temperature rise to below 1.5 °C remains possible, but only through “rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure…, and industrial systems”.[100][101] Meeting the Paris target of 1.5 °C (2.7 °F) is possible but would require “deep emissions reductions”, “rapid”,[101] “far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”.[102] In order to achieve the 1.5 °C target, CO2 emissions must decline by 45% (relative to 2010 levels) by 2030, reaching net zero by around 2050. Deep reductions in non-CO2 emissions (such as nitrous oxide and methane) will also be required to limit warming to 1.5 °C. Under the pledges of the countries entering the Paris Accord, a sharp rise of 3.1 to 3.7 °C is still expected to occur by 2100. Holding this rise to 1.5 °C avoids the worst effects of a rise by even 2 °C. However, a warming of even 1.5 degrees will still result in large-scale drought, famine, heat stress, species die-off, loss of entire ecosystems, and loss of habitable land, throwing more than 100 Million into poverty. Effects will be most drastic in arid regions including the Middle East and the Sahel in Africa, where fresh water will remain in some areas following a 1.5 °C rise in temperatures but are expected to dry up completely if the rise reaches 2 °C.[103][104][105]

Special Report on climate change and land (SRCCL)

Main article: Special Report on Climate Change and Land

The final draft of the “Special Report on climate change and land” (SRCCL)—with the full title, “Special Report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems” was published online on 7 August 2019.[106] The SRCCL consists of seven chapters, Chapter 1: Framing and Context, Chapter 2: Land-Climate Interactions, Chapter 3: Desertification, Chapter 4: Land Degradation, Chapter 5: Food Security, Chapter 5 Supplementary Material, Chapter 6: Interlinkages between desertification, land degradation, food security and GHG fluxes: Synergies, trade-offs and Integrated Response Options, and Chapter 7: Risk management and decision making in relation to sustainable development.[107][108]

Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC)

Main article: Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate

The “Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate” (SROCC) was approved on 25 September 2019 in Monaco.[109] Among other findings, the report concluded that sea level rises could be up to two feet higher by the year 2100, even if efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to limit global warming are successful; coastal cities across the world could see so-called “storm[s] of the century” at least once a year.[110]

Consumerism Harms Our Planet

With “Black Friday” rapidly approaching, merchants are clamouring for us to buybuybuy. It’s time we all said ENOUGH.

Rampant consumerism is a big contributor to our climate crisis. Everything we buy has a carbon footprint. Our planet has finite resources and the more we buy, the more these resources are used up.

We are constantly being encouraged, even when we aren’t aware of it, to buy things. Advertisers seduce us with the notion that our lives will be happier or dramatically improved if we buy their product. Every occasion we might want to celebrate is fodder for commerce; we are made to feel inadequate if we don’t buy gifts for our loved ones. We are constantly bombarded with sexy poses and bright colours and jingles and enticements to buy now!

We must learn how to recognise when we are being lured by capitalism. We must understand what is a need and what is merely a want. Why are we buying? Is it the item we want, or the thrill of acquisition? Are we using “retail therapy” in place of things that might bring us actual happiness?

The following suggestions may not work for everyone. For example, people with food allergies may not be able to purchase food items in bulk, as the risk of cross contamination is too great.

The first thing we can do as consumers is to simply buy less. Some of the things we buy are necessities, such as food. While buying less may not be possible when it comes to things we need, there are things we can do to reduce our footprint:

  • only buy as much as you can reasonably use before it goes bad
  • buy local when possible (shipping carries a hefty carbon impact)
  • purchase items with less packaging
  • buy in bulk where available
  • bring your own containers and bags when you shop
  • tell your grocery store manager that you want products with less packaging

When an item is worn and you are planning to replace it, first take a good look at it and see if it can be repaired. If you don’t know how to mend something:

  • take a class or workshop (KW Library of Things has offered a drop-in mend it day)
  • ask someone who is good at repairing things to teach you
  • trade favours with someone who can fix it
  • borrow a book about mending things from the library
  • look for tutorials on the internet (YouTube)

When you are considering buying something new, take a couple of days to think about whether this item is going to be something you really want. Sometimes the idea of having a new thing is very seductive, but the reality of owning it is less appealing. Maybe you think the newest thingmajig will make your life easier. Before buying:

  • borrow or rent one to give it a test drive (friends, family, Library of Things, rental shops are possible resources)
  • look into buying used (freecycle, thrift shops, kijiji)

For items you might use only occasionally, consider borrowing or renting rather than owning.

Once you’ve decided to make a purchase, buy the best quality you can afford. “Fast fashion” clothing items that are knocked out quickly and cheaply won’t last and will soon end up in landfill, wasting resources. This applies to everything we buy; cheap, poorly made products are wasteful in the long run.

The reality is that we have become accustomed to living with certain creature comforts and we can’t easily live without buying things. But we can reduce our carbon footprints by becoming conscious consumers and learning to live with less.

While you are here, please consider signing the petition for the Right to Repair, which will force manufacturers to make manuals and parts available to consumers so that we may mend their products.

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