For a while it appeared that addressing contrarians, denialists and skeptics, and their disinformation and disruption, was an important task for bloggers and writers on climate science and climate change. But the time has come to shift focus, at least to some extent. The message of the reality of human-induced climate change has been heard loud and clear, and the vast majority of the general public now supports action on climate change and believes it is necessary.
This is my interpretation of the report published for the BBC World Service this week, on public opinion in 21 countries on the the issues. Produced by Globescan and PIPA at UMa, a copy of the full survey results is available here.
As well as this, it appears that the global business community and the markets are equally aware of both the need for action and the opportunities this represents. This week, the HSBC is opening a tradeable market in Carbon-friendly investments, in response to rapidly increasing demand from investors, Chicago is opening an auction of carbon credits, (one presumes, then, that Carbon is to be a ‘commodity’, in trade terms), and the corporate leaders are both aware of the problems an willing to take action, as the latest CDP report indicates.
What should be evident from all of these, as well as the work done at the CGI, the UN and in advance of the ‘Bush Climate Summit’, the reports in almost all media, is that denialism is dead. However loudly these people shout, it seems that nobody is listening apart from themselves, and a number of us bloggers who have worked to counteract the disinformation and deception (I don’t really include myself here; that would be untrue as well as immodest).
The recent ‘blog storm’ on Oreskes/Schulte and the outpourings of groups such as the SPPI show that such material still has a ready audience, but this audience is clearly a small minority with very little influence on the tide of public and business opinion. In terms of influence, inasmuch as it ever had any, denialism is a busted flush, a dodo, a dinosaur. I expect that the money supporting such endeavours is going to vanish pretty soon, too, so the profiteers who have made a living from choosing to deceive rather than dealing with truth will have no further motive to peddle their rubbish.
The time has come to throw out the trash. There really isn’t any need to deal with the dinosaurs any longer; their drivel can be summarily dismissed as the ravings of fools and loons, and we can move forward to more constructive pastures.
What is the current matter at issue, then? Clearly, what needs to be addressed now is the procrastination which is holding back progress on climate and environmental action. In particular, pressure on the Bush administration to stop messing about and make a commitment is most urgent. Other matters are still of importance; helping developing nations, energy policies, international cooperation, deforestation and pollution are all critically important, too.
So, if you hear a ghostly howl in the night, or a little gremlin appears one day on your blog, don’t worry, it’s just the departing spirits of the denial dinosaurs bewailing their own demise.