Denialism vs Alarmism

When Discussing the Either/Or of human caused Climate Destabilization, I land on the anxious side. I have been labeled a hypervigilant, alarmist, Jeremiah, Cassandra and my favorite: a doomster. After following climate destabilization science and related issues for years, I noticed a recent change in language: time to drop "global warming" - scientists think that is too warm and fuzzy - better terms might be climate destabilization or disruption or instability. And don't forget the adjective 'anthropogenic' or human caused.

Alarmist speech should be like a loud bell, the fire alarm and the emergency broadcast. An alarm is a very clear call for action. And unlike classical communications, the receiver of the alarm may not be listening, care to listen or even know the sender. It is a communications channel aimed at anyone who hears the call. No discrimination. Not sure whether one can actually be a calm alarmist? But the anxiety and panic are certainly the wrong response. Scientists seem to be knowing and strident.

Because the science is all there. How should the alarmist message get delivered? Imaging your TV Climate/Weather Man coming on local news with a 5 decade forecast.

"Well Janet, look for partly messy Disruptions to continue for this decade, with Violent Change and sea level rises the next decade, and beyond that serious storms, but we have a hard time predicting that far ahead.- but stay tuned because we will update the forecast tonite at 11. Back to you Janet."

I once interviewed a climate scientist — actually he is my neighbor and he was just walking his dog. He's a retired professor of climate science at the University of Washington, and he summed up what his climate colleagues are saying, "We have done the science, we've told you what is coming, your turn, time for the world to mobilize"
Clearly meaning that there is no dispute - among scientists - about whether and how bad… the only discussions left are about new tipping points and when they will be uncovered.

Just what's holding up that unified effort? Confusion, doubt, and momentum. Most all of it is purposefully cultivated. Thousands of scientists and millions of citizens know this problem and can point to solutions. What's the big hold up? Cultivated doubt by denialists - whose early campaign was to cast doubt into whether global climate change was real. Now that change is becoming the huge elephant in the room, the recent shift is to denying that we can do anything about it.

So the latest denial skirmish is over the "human caused" climate instability. The carbon fuel industries nurture the false challenge that there is not a human cause. "We are just not sure" Until we know, we need to keep burning coal. "Well the science is not done, we don't know for sure" Those words come directly from the tobacco wars ""There is still doubt whether tobacco really causes cancer". And the same PR agency has moved to the carbon fuel industry message - to influence policy, plug up legislation, support PR, fund psuedo-science, pander to the media, etc.

I cannot avoid a horrible prognosis: an inevitable crucible of climate chaos will decimate our population. If there are any long term survivors it will be the ruthless and the clever. Among the abandoned and passed over will be the geographically unfortunate, the poor, ill, old, weak, the usual. Whether this is 100 or 200 years hence, this is happening today.

Recent Entries

Educating Children about Global Climate Change
A quick assemblage of resources for children and teens...News about teaching kids about global climate change... Posting in MotherJones.http://motherjones.com/environment/2012/03/teaching-kids-climate-change...Specific sites…
Sources and resources for investigating climate denialism
The links here can help one better understand climate denialism and science arguments. Recent postings at the blog of Anarchist6[zero]6…
Global warming messages for children of all ages
Preparing our children for their future is the most awesome responsibility we can bear.   As we discuss global warming,…
Government assuages existentialist climate anxiety
We certainly have seen it coming.   We have known about global warming for decades.  You can, and should find…
Google Timeline reveals triumph of denialism
You can see it with your own eyes - a quick history of global warming news stories. Google Search is…
The Precautionary Principle
Global Warming denialists have lost the ethical battle. It’s fascinating to see people newly awaken to the issue of…
Dangerous minimization of climate news events
We depend on news media to pass along important information about global warming.  Like the real news event of a…
Royalty shows how it is done
Britain’s Prince Charles knows how it is done:   Step forward, say what needs to be said, demonstrate leadership…
Prodding the Sacred Cow
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest philanthropy, has overlooked the biggest threat to human health and…
Gates Foundation email response
The following is the Gates Foundation response to questions about global warming. Rec'd Feb.16, 2009 =================================Subject: RE: Quick questions about…
Gates Foundation ignores global warming - 1/3
“The last temptation is the greatest treason, to do the right thing for the wrong reason”.          - T.S…
Why the Gates Foundation ignores global warming 2/3
Many scientists have given up trying to warn the world of global warming.  They think their work is done,…