June 5, 2012

The Planet Wreckers, Climate-Change Deniers Are on the Ropes – But So Is the Planet

How climate-change deniers are finally losing their grip, but why they might take the rest of us down with them

At a moment when megafires are sweeping the southwest and heat records continue to be set across the country, climate-change deniers are finally having a few problems of their own.  As Bill McKibben begins his latest, typically timely piece for TomDispatch, “It’s been a tough few weeks for the forces of climate-change denial.”  And it all started when the Heartland Institute, that nerve-center of climate-change denial, put the Unabomber on a billboard to stigmatize the global warming crowd and experienced a little blowback of its own.

It’s a fascinating story and McKibben uses it to offer an anatomy of a denial job disastrously well done until now, despite the fact that the deniers have no serious scientists to back up their position.  He then vividly describes the hapless crew the climate-change deniers tend to cite as authorities — only to add: “If your urge is to laugh at this kind of clown show, the joke’s on you — because it’s worked.”

This is a story about how, with various right-wing billionaires and energy companies bankrolling them, the deniers have intimidated climate-changers and helped wreck our future planet.  McKibben offers an unnerving success story — and the first hints that this may be turning around.  He concludes:  “But damn, it’s a hard fight, up against a ton of money and a ton of inertia. Eventually, climate denial will ‘lose,’ because physics and chemistry are not intimidated… But timing is everything — … a crew of certified planet wreckers delay action past the point where it can do much good, they’ll be able to claim one of the epic victories in political history — one that will last for geological epochs.”

Another McKibben must-read!


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