Are you a climate change devotee or denier?
Extinction Rebellion are protesting in London and bringing our capital city to a standstill. They feel justified in doing so due to the urgency of the situation. Do you endorse their point of view or do you see them as alarmist and unscientific?
According to Wikipedia, “Extinction Rebellion (abbreviated as XR) is a socio-political movement which intends to utilise nonviolent resistance to avert climate breakdown, halt biodiversity loss, and minimise the risk of human extinction and ecological collapse.”
Their website says they’re an a-political organisation that welcomes people of all political persuasions or none. I hope that’s true because my experience (see below) of the environmental lobby is that it is most definitely left wing.
The Science Bit
Even to suggest that climate change is exaggerated or that the data is inaccurate is to invite scorn and an uncomfortable amount of attention from those who will not tolerate any dissent.
If you’re an academic, scientist, or anyone else who might understand the data more than the average person in the street, your reputation can be trashed and you may lose your job. You’ll be swimming against a very strong tide.
And let’s face it, if David Attenborough says it’s true then no one is going to argue with the man who has taught two generations of viewers to appreciate and love the wonders of the life on Earth.
As far as the BBC is concerned, it’s a done deal. Everything is about Climate Change and measures to combat Climate Change.
I don’t know how much of the CO2 that’s causing it comes from human activity but no one can argue that we cannot continue cutting down rain forests, polluting the atmosphere, or dumping waste into the oceans.
Patrick Moore (Twitter @EcoSenseNow) is one of the founders of Greenpeace. He’s not too impressed by what this organisation has become, particularly since they have denied any knowledge of his former role, but he’s proved it to be true. There’s even a cached copy of the Greenpeace website from 2007 showing him as a founder member.
Why would they do that? Why would Greenpeace deny that this man had a role in starting what has become this global environmental pressure group that has the ear of politicians and celebrities? That is established in the popular mind as the Rainbow Warriors, fighting the good fight?
1970s – Greenpeace, The Ecology Party
When I sent my first cheque to Greenpeace in the 1970s it was during the early years of the environmental movement that continues to this day.
One summer I hitch-hiked to the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth, Wales, just to see what was going on on what the future might hold. Sure enough, wind and solar power are now mainstream and account for a growing percentage of energy supplies.
There were plenty of marches and demonstrations to attend too; Save The Whale, CND, Nuclear Power – No Thanks, Anti-Nazi League, Rock Against Racism (1980s) etc, but the one thing you could be sure of during any of these events was the presence of the Socialist Workers Party and the Communist Party seizing the opportunity to recruit new members.
A strong far-left theme seemed to be the de facto norm.
The Ecology Party was formed and it later changed its name to the Green Party. Meanwhile, the Thatcher years began and the Left found itself in opposition for over a decade.
Trust me – I’m a scientist
If a steady stream of scientists appear in the media agreeing on viewpoint it’s inevitable that the majority of people are going to accept that their conclusions. They’ll accept they are as real and accurate as they can be, within the limits of current technology.
The only person who could realistically challenge this viewpoint is another scientist, and you would think that scientists would have the maturity and mutual respect to debate the issue and to listen without prejudice.
But it seems that when it comes to Climate Change the rules are different. If you’re not on board then you’re tossed over the side to let the waves wash you away. There’s an almost cultish adherence to the ‘science’ of Climate Change.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m as convinced as you are that the Earth’s climate is warming. What I don’t understand is how we know it’s all anthropomorphic i.e. caused by the actions of the human race. How much CO2 is released by volcanic activity, for example?
As a layman I have absolutely now idea who’s right or wrong, which predictions are accurate or alarmist, and which data is skewed or spot-on, but I’ll add my vote to those who want to remove plastics from the oceans, reduce pollution, replant the forests, save as many animals as possible, and switch us from fossil fuels to sustainable energy.
However, just as Facebook and the rest of social media has been used to manipulate people into thinking a certain way during the Brexit debate, so too has it been used to enforce a doctrine, relying on the mob mentality to silence any dissent, and that’s never a good thing.
Scientists, even if they’re a small minority, should be allowed to question the data without fear of being ostracised by the scientific community.