All hands needed on the SS Mother Earth

Dear climate skeptic:

All hands needed on the SS Mother Earth

Dear climate skeptic:

What makes you tick? I really would like to understand exactly what you believe about our changing climate, and more importantly, why you believe it.

You may wonder why it matters to me. A reasonable question since I don’t care if some people believe the world is only 6,000 years old, that the moon landings were faked, dinosaurs never walked the earth, or the world is flat. None of those beliefs can affect me or my grandchildren in a negative way; however, your belief that human caused climate change is not happening, that it is a Chinese hoax or is caused by sun spots causes me grave concern.

It really is not a question of the science anymore as it may have been 15 or 20 years ago. There was historic uncertainty around many things that are no longer questioned by informed people. Seat belts and vaccinations save lives, alcohol can harm unborn children, and smoking has multiple negative health impacts; these are all science based beliefs and considered factual by the vast majority. The level of science, research, data and physical evidence for human caused climate change is now providing a similar level of certainty.

So why do you to seek out the tiny fringe of people and organizations that continue to fan the flames of doubt? If you want to do the research, you can find the facts on all of these “merchants of doubt” and their funders in the research database at “desmogblog”. It may surprise you to discover that most of them are speaking outside of their areas of expertise, are well past their “best before” date, and/or are heavily funded by fossil fuel interests.

NASA has some excellent information and statistics on climate change if you want some current facts. Every National Academy of Science and most legitimate scientific or professional organizations have published positions acknowledging the probability of human caused climate change. The scientists continue to do the science and add to the knowledge base, but for some reason they can’t penetrate your skeptic armour. Many of those scientists that point out and raise the alarm about the global havoc we are causing, believe we have time to reduce some of the potential fires, floods, hurricanes and extinctions that we, or rather our children and grandchildren will be facing. But that opportunity will not last long.

Many of you carry considerable influence in the community. Some are in fact elected members of municipal, regional and even senior government. Those of you who are not decision makers are still responsible for electing the deniers and perpetuating the myths. Every time you speak out against a climate change or sustainability initiative, be it public transit, carbon tax, burning restrictions, bike paths or defending our watersheds, you drill another hole in our collective boat. The boat is sinking by the way. Nine out of 10 sailors are confident about this. So, while some are bailing, patching holes and paddling towards shore, many others are sitting idly and speculating about why their legs are getting wet, and others are still doggedly drilling more holes in the boat.

Can you really believe that some “God” wants us to destroy much of this beautiful natural world? Does the fact that climate has changed in the past somehow render human caused climate change impossible? Is there something that makes ignoring the science worth the risk to your children, their future and the future of so many other amazing species with whom we share this beautiful world?

While I share the hopes that the scientists and their gravest predictions are wrong, and that if they are right, some technological or other miracle will save our collective butts; it seems remiss to the point of negligent to put all our future eggs in that rather old and failing basket.

If you choose to maintain your position of denial in spite of all the science and evidence, I would be really curious to know; if dying cedars and bleached coral reefs, melting ice caps and rising sea levels, record floods, fires and hurricanes plus overwhelming scientific consensus are not enough to convince you, what will it take? Will you deny at all costs and in spite of all risks? Or if you are convinced, will you sit back and hope that other people are doing enough to ensure a sustainable future for you?

There is no shame in changing your position on climate change, (I changed mine several years ago). On the contrary the opportunity to redeem yourself in the eyes of your descendants is still available for a brief time. There are buckets and paddles for everyone, we need all hands on deck and your help would be greatly appreciated by current and future passengers on the SS Mother Earth.

David Slade

Well driller and grandfather

Cobble Hill