How climate scepticism turned into something more dangerous
Publisher: The Guardian
Date Written: 07/07/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21774
The motley array of candidates who ran for the Republican presidential nomination was divided on many things, but not on climate change. None of them was willing to take the issue seriously.
Climate science has become a red rag to the political right. The scientific consensus is clear: more than 95% of climate researchers agree that human activity is causing global warming, and that without action to combat it we are on a path to dangerous temperature rises from pre-industrial levels. But the mere existence of this consensus gets taken by its political opponents as a priori evidence of a stitch-up. Why else would scientists and left-leaning politicians be agreeing with each other all the time if they weren't scratching each others' backs? Knowledge is easily turned into "elite" knowledge, which is tantamount to privileged snobs telling ordinary people what to think. Trump's stance reflects the mutual intolerance that now exists between those promoting the scientific consensus and those for whom the consensus is just another political racket. Trump didn't create this division. He is simply exploiting it.