Steve Sawyer: No Debate




More than 97% of  articles published in the peer reviewed literature supported the notion that human activity is causing climate change

The notion in the media (and hence, in public opinion) that there is a ‘scientific debate’ about whether or not human activity is changing the climate reminds me of an old campaign poster from Canada: “14% of Canadians think it’s a good idea to permit clear-cut logging in Clayoquot Sound; and 17% think that Elvis is still alive”.

A recent review of the scientific literature between 2001 and 2011 found that more than 97% of  articles published in the peer reviewed literature supported the notion that human activity is causing climate change. But to listen to the media, you’d think there was a debate. The fossil fuel industry is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to make it seem like there is a debate, as per the responses to Martin Wolf’s article earlier this week in the Financial Times. There is no debate about the fact of anthropogenic climate change, but huge debates about the best way to tackle it, its regional variations and timing. Those pretending otherwise are wittingly or unwittingly aiding and abetting the fossil fuel industry’s misinformation campaign on the subject, which I believe will be responsible for more deaths than all of the 20th century holocausts combined, and is a crime against humanity of unprecedented magnitude. I just hope I live long enough to see the trial.