Climate change has been a debate that has polarised the world for a few years. The majority now believe, but not sufficiently to create the support needed to turn the belief into tangible climate change policies at a national level.
NASA scientist James Hansen, one of the first to recognise and announce the dangers of climate change, has just recently released a paper again supporting the theory that the irregular weather patterns experienced around the world over the last couple of years are linked to global warming.
His paper offers more evidence that global temperatures have clearly risen over the past 30 years, and that human actions have an impact on the trend.
The wealth of scientific evidence building up to support climate change is strong, but it is not translating into effective climate change policy, and this is because the conservatives have been very effective in belittling the evidence and pushing the debate into a matter of differences in culture or social beliefs.
Trying to communicate the climate change message is difficult. Focussing on scientific issues brings rational evidence to the argument, but it doesn’t excite public interest, it lacks the call to arms that is needed to generate substantial public support. So we could focus more on the moral issues, and the direct ways in which it can personally affect us, but this splits public opinion due to political parties and personal beliefs.
In order to battle climate change, advocates need public support, without broad public support the politicians have no incentive to do anything, and something must be done.
One answer could be to push the emphasis onto the economics of climate change. Make sure that the public believe that investing in clean energy will create jobs and support energy independence. Changing lifestyle to reduce the amount of energy used will also work to bring energy independence closer. Using public transport will reduce congestion, reduce commuting times, and improve local economies. People are more likely to relate to these economic benefits and support climate change.
Climate change would be much more popular if the deniers were restricted more effectively. According to CNN Money, “The right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is pushing legislation at the state level that would force schools to teach climate change denial in science classes. The bill recently passed the Tennessee legislature and has also passed in Louisiana, Texas, and South Dakota. Ironically, these states will suffer greatly from climate change.”
Climate change has been around for a few years now, but advocates still haven’t sorted the best way of encouraging wide scale public support. They had better find out how soon, because time is running out.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com