Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Global Warming Denial Rears Its Ugly Head Around the World, in English

As people’s understanding of climate science grows, among both experts  and non-experts alike, we become more accepting of the fact that humans are the driving force behind global warming.  That’s because the evidence supporting human-caused global warming is overwhelming ; hence rejection of that reality is usually based on an incomplete understanding of the scientific evidence.

U.S. Sen. James Inhofe  (Credit: smatterofopinion.blogspot.com) Click to enlarge.
There is a pattern among these examples of politicians rejecting the full body of available scientific evidence and the consensus among climate experts – each is in an English-speaking country.  The UK-based market research firm Ipsos MORI recently conducted an international survey asking respondents if they agreed with the statement, “The climate change we are currently seeing is largely the result of human activity.”

Rejection of human-caused global warming was most prevalent in the USA, UK, and Australia, with Canada not far behind in 7th.
International survey results on human-caused global warming. (Credit: Ipsos MORI) Click to enlarge.

These four countries also share the commonality of highly influential fossil fuel industries, and the wide reach of the Murdoch media empire, known for its global warming denial.

The rejection of inconvenient scientific evidence also originates from conservative political parties in each country.  That needn’t be the case; as Barry Bickmore recently wrote, real conservatives are conservationists who value evidence.

Meanwhile, these countries are also being battered more frequently by extreme weather. Australia and the western North America have been hit by heat waves and harsh droughts, while cold winter temperatures have chilled the UK and central and eastern USA, and Canada has joined those regions in being flooded by intense deluges.

A new study has found that “blocking patterns,” where hot or wet weather remains stuck over a region for weeks causing heat waves or floods, are becoming more frequent, potentially as a result of human-caused global warming.  Recent research has also found that global warming will intensify droughts.

Global warming denial remains a tenable position for politicians in English-speaking countries because voters in those regions don’t yet view the issue as urgent or a high priority, in large part due to the false balance in media coverage of the subject.  However, as people continue to directly experience more intense and frequent extreme weather events, this will inevitably change.

Global Warming Denial Rears Its Ugly Head Around the World, in English

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