Friday, March 24, 2023

Climate change is a real, growing problem

| March 16, 2023 1:00 AM

As early as 1968, fossil fuel companies made a concerted effort to conceal the risks that their products posed to the environment. By the 1970s, Exxon's own research showed that the combustion of fossil fuels was contributing to global warming. The company's response was to launch a disinformation campaign designed to raise doubts about the detrimental effects of its products on the climate. Big Oil has paid millions of dollars to conservative think tanks to enlist them as accomplices in the cover-up. This is the same tactic the tobacco industry once used to downplay the adverse health effects of smoking. (Web search “The Climate Denial Machine”.)

The success of this propaganda campaign is evident from the various climate change conspiracy theories it has engendered. One such theory claims that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the United Nations (liberals, communists, etc.) to establish control over the populace and revoke basic freedoms. This despite the fact that every mainstream scientific organization in the world has concluded the occurrence of anthropogenic warming is beyond reasonable dispute. Unfortunately, this kind of conspiratorial thinking can not only lead to apathy in dealing with serious problems like climate change, but can also spawn tragic events such as the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. (Web search “The Conspiracy Theory Handbook”)

Cigarettes don't harm smokers. Global warming doesn't harm the environment. Most people recognize the first claim is untrue. Climate change deniers have not yet come to the realization that the second claim is equally fallacious.



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