Robert Reich: Here are 5 responses to the ludicrous arguments made by 'ignorant or complicit' climate change deniers
Have you ever found yourself in a conversation with someone who denies climate change? Here are 5 responses to climate change deniers:
1) The science is undeniable. Scientists have concluded that the Earth’s temperature has been steadily climbing since the late 19th century, just when humans started emitting large amounts of carbon pollution into the atmosphere. And it’s intensifying. 18 of the 19 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001.
And, no. Just because it snows doesn’t mean climate change isn’t occurring.
You can see the consequences of extreme weather all around us. Wildfires. hurricanes. droughts.
2) Tackling climate change is good for the economy. Clean energy creates more jobs than natural gas or coal, with3 times as many Americans already employed in clean energy as in fossil fuels. These jobs also tend to pay more. States like Californiathat have invested heavily in clean energy have grown their economies, while reducing carbon pollution.
3) Other countries are charging ahead with clean energy, leaving America in the coal dust. Germany plans to close its remaining coal plants by 2038. China is moving ahead with clean energy and has pledged to invest hundreds of billions more, far outpacing the United States. Even Saudi Arabia is now investing in renewable energy.
4) We can’t afford not to address climate change. The devastation brought on by climate change will cause the U.S. economy to shrink, according to scientific estimates. The losses are projected to be more than double those of the Great Recession.
5) Oil companies have known for decades that carbon pollution threatens the planet, but have sought to block action addressing the crisis. They have poured billions into political donationsand misinformation campaigns to protect their profits and block clean air laws.
At this point, anyone who denies climate change is either willfully ignorant or complicit in protecting fossil fuel profits over the safety and security of our children and grandchildren.