According to the “Climate Change in the American Mind” report, 33 percent of Americans said they believed there was widespread disagreement among scientists and four percent said that “most scientists think climate change is not happening.” Less than half (42 percent) of Americans knew that “most scientists think climate change is happening.”
The fossil fuel industry is waging a successful disinformation campaign. They took their strategy straight from Big Tobacco, who successfully bred doubt for many years that health experts were undecided on whether or not smoking cigarettes negatively impacted health. The idea seems laughable now, but we need to address the serious situation of the ailing health of our planet.
In fact, 97 percent of experts agree climate change is happening and it is human-caused. A new report was released this week from the world’s largest scientific society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The report entitled, “What We Know” doesn’t presume to tell Americans what to think about climate change. Instead it says in the introduction that, “we consider it to be our responsibility as professionals to ensure, to the best of our ability, that people understand what we know: human-caused climate change is happening, we face risks of abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes and responding now will lower the risk and cost of taking action.”
Honestly, the first step of admitting that climate change is happening and that humans are the cause is less about blame and more about recognizing that there is a problem before we can take the logical next step to solve it.
I hope we can see the misinformation about climate change for what it is and start making changes before things look like this Isaac Cordal sculpture depicting politicians discussing climate change.