Friday, August 04, 2017

Does bad news harm the prospects for climate change mitigation strategies? ... by gimleteye

A month ago, we wrote about the gloomy NY Magazine report on the doomsday climate change scenario. Science News, "the magazine of the Society for Science & the Public", responded: "Does doom and gloom convince anyone about climate change?"

That the article is disappointing isn't a surprise. How could it be, when the over-arching issue of the public response to climate change is such a disappointment.

Earlier studies acknowledge that too much doom and gloom turns people off the subject, or, irrigates a sense of hopelessness; ie. nothing can be done, it's the weather.

The primary driver of the public response to climate change continues to be the profit principle. Those with the most to gain, like the fossil fuel supply chain and large centralized, leviathan electricity producers, continue to game out scenarios that allow them to continue to profit -- in some cases, guaranteed by public policies -- as long as possible. On the other hand, government policies, when in the hands of those who believe climate change mitigation is an essential goa, can incentivize economic behavior and energy production that is less damaging to the atmosphere compared to carbon and methane emissions.

Bluntly, the science of climate change is resolved: it is happening, and it is happening at a rate much faster than science anticipated only a decade ago. It is also well established that contrarians in the science community have ties to polluters and anti-science initiatives by corporate sponsors in the past, ie. tobacco and Big Sugar.

Eye On Miami takes the side that sounding the alarm bells continues to be the most clarifying position. We speak from experience in Florida, having spent nearly 30 years calling out similar messages on the fate of the Everglades and Florida Bay.

We know what needs to be done. We just haven't been able to summon the political will, the voters and leadership to protect our shared future. The result is muddy at best, but our conscience is clear.

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