Team Consensus wins by the super-lopsided score of 97 to 3.
About a year ago, I programmed my Google News account to alert me to all articles about climate change, water scarcity and world hunger. Since then, I’ve probably been alerted to upwards of 10,000 articles. One of them was the scary article that I read on the Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch website yesterday (reviewed later in this post).
But first the consensus discussion. No, I haven’t read all ten thousand articles, but I frequently scan the titles, particularly making a mental note of the number of “believers” and “skeptics” when it comes to climate change. Surprisingly, there seem to be as many articles denying that climate change exists as there are legitimate articles aimed at raising the awareness and the resolve to take action.
One might naturally think that the equal number of articles from each camp suggests that the expert opinions on this crucial topic are about 50-50. This false assumption might lead the innocent, not-too-well-informed reader to just not worry about global warming—since even the experts can’t agree on its existence, its cause and what, if anything, we can do about it.
And that’s exactly what the vast number of conservatives in the climate change skeptic crowd wants—and that’s why they’re spending so much money challenging the FACT that 97% of the world’s climate scientists agree on the following consensus statement on the NASA website (See link below):
Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities, and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position.
So, what’s the problem? The problem is outlined beautifully in a July 9 article posted on the WSJ’s Market Watch website. The article by Paul Farrell is entitled: 4 reasons why conservatives love global warming, and why they won’t stop it. (See link below). He leads off the article:
All efforts to stop the deadly impact of global warming will ultimately fail. Yes, fail. Our leaders are destroying us from within…America’s leaders are failing us, will never act, till it’s too late to plan for an economic catastrophe. We have lost our soul. He lists the four reasons:
- Overwhelming opposition by the GOP, conservatives and capitalists
- Our blind failure to see our planet cannot feed the 10 billion people predicted by 2050.
- Our addiction to “more is never enough” consumption.
- The irrational, unscientific and ultimately self-destructive belief of capitalism in perpetual economic growth, on a planet of finite resources.
He elaborates on the first reason: Conservative opposition is everywhere, emanating from the economic fears of the energy industry, Big Oil, coal, gas, other polluters. They fear regulation and taxation of carbon emissions will have a major negative impact on their corporate earnings, shareholder dividends and will increase production costs, limit access to resources.
They spend hundreds of millions lobbying politicians and it works. California Gov. Jerry Brown says there’s “virtually no Republican” in Washington that accepts climate science and most GOP governors “openly deny climate science,” despite widespread scientific evidence.
Farrell sees no viable solution in sight. Even so, I recommend that you read the entire article. While depressing, it points out the need for a quantum leap when it comes to the required paradigm shift regarding the leading cause of climate change—and the easiest and quickest to address.
To me, the necessary solution is a “blinding flash of the obvious.” We simply need to change what we eat—and we need to do it quickly. I explain the solution succinctly in my 4th of July one-page recipe for saving our ecosystem.
While Farrell does mention the fact that we won’t be able to feed our ten billion residents by 2050, he never acknowledges the relatively simple process of changing what we eat.
If we all just replaced 75% of our animal-based calories with plant-based, we’d feed all the people, free up half the land devoted to agriculture, and reduce the #1 cause of global warming by 75%.
Farrell ends his piece by quoting Australian Ethics Professor Clive Hamilton:
After resisting the truth about climate change, the planet enters “a chaotic era lasting thousands of years,” a time when human beings may no longer be “a force on the planet, nor even survive,” but a “time when “one thing is certain: there will be far fewer of us.”
Sources and related blogs:
- From the NASA website; statement on Climate Change Consensus
- 7-9-14 on WSJ’s Market Watch. 4 reasons conservatives love global warming, won’t stop it – Paul B. Farrell
- My 6-20-14 blog about Al Gore’s Rolling Stone article: Al Gore. Guilty of misinforming—by virtue of omission.
- Hank Paulson’s 6-21-14 article in the New York Times re climate change.
- NOTHING is more important than SUSTAINABILITY!
- SUSTAINABILITY. Our generation’s responsibility.
- They say that Nero fiddled while Rome burned…
- Just ONE powerful leader and a few caring billionaires
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- An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell; the primary book that influenced Bill Clinton to adopt a whole food, plant-based diet.
- What have we done to our planet? Full Planet, Empty Plates by Lester Brown
- A horrifying wake-up call for leaders. TEN BILLION by Dr. Stephen Emmott
- Food choices are the primary cause of our environmental problems, yet our world leaders, scientists & experts are Comfortably Unaware, by Richard Oppenlander.
Why should we be eating mostly plants? The “big picture” in 4 minutes.
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2. Out-of-control population is the biggest driver of global warmingThe United Nations predicts global population will exceed 10 billion by 2050, adding three billion more human beings in one short generation, on a planet of rapidly dwindling resources. Plus science is already warning us we cannot feed everybody. In his new book, “The Countdown,” Alan Weisman, author of an earlier bestseller, “World Without Us,” asks the taboo question no politician can ask: “How many people can our planet hold?”Weisman’s answers are deadly: What if science confirms that a “sustainable population is even less than the 7 billion we already number … how do we design an economy for a shrinking, and then a stable one, meaning, an economy that can prosper without depending on constant growth?” Weisman also offers a solution: “Social objections aside, if the entire world adopted a one-child policy” then by 2100, we’d “be back to 1.6 billion, our population in 1900.” But politicians will be silent … till it’s too late.