Climate change denial is evolving
Views 49 | Time to read: 2 minutes | Uploaded: 10 - 25 - 2017 | By: Will Walker
Staff writer Mason Garell wrote in his article, “The left’s war on science,” that “the Right,” rather than denying climate change, is simply taking a hard look at the facts and deciding what the appropriate policy response should be. While it is true that few conservatives are still denying that climate change is happening, I argue that this is simply because of political necessity, and that denial continues in a new form.
The scientific consensus is so incontrovertible at this point that it has become impossible for a public figure to explicitly deny climate change without inviting ridicule. Therefore, many conservatives have resorted to tactics of indefinite delay, prolonging the “debate” about whether or not humans are to blame even when multiple authoritative scientific organizations have already spoken. One has only to look at President Trump’s appointees to see this trend.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry, in a recent interview with CNBC, dismissed the idea that human activity is the primary driver of climate change. He went on to say that “this idea that science is just absolutely settled [is] inappropriate.” The Department of Energy is now censoring the term “climate change” in its memos and briefs because it rightly fears upsetting the new administration.
Also on CNBC, Scott Pruitt (who now heads the EPA) said, “I would not agree that [human activity] is a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.” He added that we need to “continue the review and analysis” of the factors of climate change.
Garell stated that “the Right wants to examine the facts and make appropriate responses.” Meanwhile, the facts have been in for years (and Pruitt’s “analysis” completed and agreed upon by 97 percent of the climate science community), and any policy responses in this area continue to be prevented or attacked by members of the political Right. We don’t hear anybody explicitly denying climate change anymore, but that’s because the opposition has evolved, not because it disappeared.