The Denial of Global Warming

There is currently a proven global threat changing the world, one that could end humanity as we know it yet our president denies it. The problem is global warming, an increasing of carbon dioxide emissions resulting in the greenhouse effect and an increase of the Earth's atmospheric temperature due to human interaction with the planet. 

Global warming is something that has been scientifically researched since the late 1800’s and and has always been a topic of skepticism. Over time, we've noticed the heating of our planet with unusual weather patterns and destruction all around the world . We’ve often tried weak attempts at lowering emissions by setting laws in place to help our planet but they’ve always seemed to fall through or be inefficient. We were on the right track with president Barack Obama who set multiple policies like raising fuel efficiency standards and opening up sanctuaries all across the ocean, helping to sustain marine life. However, with the 2016 presidential election of Donald Trump, a lot of things have changed. The Trump team and their voters were very anti-Obama and it definitely showed. Tons of policies once in place like the air pollution review panel and the nullification of coal power plants were rolled back causing dramatic changes. Trump elected new administrators like Andrew Wheeler now head of The Environmental Protection Agency, former coal-industry lobbyist. He is an individual who doesn't believe humans are active in the heating of the planet . Wheeler used to work with Jim Inhofe, arguably one of the biggest climate change deniers famously calling it “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the american people” and is still a close companion with him. Betsy DeVos was also elected by Trump, our current secretary of state, an advocate of abolishing the separation of church and state. Donald Trump has taken out lots of Obama-picked secretaries and put unqualified leaders in place. He’s done things that have partly tarnished the reputation of this country and our stance on environmental issues like the pulling out of the Paris Agreement. We have unqualified leaders of office who have concerning stances on environmental issues and a president who is a denier of climate change, once saying how cold it was in the east and that “we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming”. According to a study done by Nasa, “ 97% of actively publishing climate scientists agree Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities.” This idea is especially important because it says something about deniers. When there is this much evidence for something and you still side with the opposed, you really have your head buried in the sand. It's not necessarily that you don't believe you just don't want to face the fact. The scary thing about climate change deniers is that all the power is held at the top and is everything is influenced by politics and money. There are organizations with billions of dollars all connected through conservative think groups who skew the media through false climate research, causing confusion in society. It's not that these people like Donald Trump don't believe in climate change, it’s that they won't admit it, it would compromise business profits. These big banker, oil, and energy companies have huge ties, working together through lobbying to control environmental policies like carbon dioxide regulations and standards. The United States is said to be ‘the best country in the world’ but we have a lot of corruption going on. Money runs everything like it always has and we as educated people need to do something about it. We need to continue to refute these false claims by properly educating, going out and voting, looking at sources when reading certain research, and never staying passive in the discussion, the change starts with us. Climate change is such a researched and irrefutable idea that it is mind boggling and disappointing there are so many deniers. To continue to deny this theory is not just idiotic but dangerous to humanity as global warming is a plague to this world.

People may ask, how can such a researched topic as global warming be doubted, there is so much research behind it that it is basically a theory. Global Warming is a very dangerous concept because if we accept it is true, we must partially change the way we live. People, especially Americans like to be very comfortable and when you have something that is devastating and extreme, people will be skeptical. When the government wants to do things like impose a carbon tax or a tax on oil or coal, there’s a lot of money at stake and when money is at risk, lots of people become involved. If there's one thing about the United States, its the land of the free, and money controls everything. We do indeed have a mixed market economy but capitalist is at the forefront, its what moves, controls, and suppresses our country. Environmental laws and regulations directly affect lots of big oil and energy companies which are some of the most powerful machines on Earth. These corporations have lots of lobbyist working for them and can determine a lot of how our country is run. For instance, say there is a big fossil fuel company and they are being forced to cut back on their emissions due to the rise in carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. If they do this, they will lose profit so they fund a think tank group who starts to conduct bias research, research that is not properly conducted. When these ‘scientists’ are done they come to a conclusion that humans are not responsible for an increase in carbon dioxide and that our plant is doing just fine. If our planet is healthy then there is no need for regulations and that fossil fuel company can continue their business. The Koch Brothers are probably the best example of this in the United States. The Koch Brothers are huge entrepreneurs who back these think tank organizations to put out false claims of climate change. The Greenpeace Update, arguably the biggest environmental organization in the world, recently uncovered documents and tax forms proving that “in 2009, the oil billionaires gave an additional $6.4 million to front groups and think tanks that spread inaccurate information about climate science and clean energy policies.” and also found “ that Koch foundations have given a total of $54.9 million to climate denial organizations since 1997, including $31.3 million between the years of 2005 - 2009” (Greenpeace Update).

The idea is to create confusion in the media. When there is confusion people begin to take sides and arguments begin to uproar. Simply by causing confusion you have taken the focus away from trying to stop the problem to questioning if the problem is even real. The scary thing is, these methods seem to work. Based on research by the Yale Project on climate communication it was found that in 2016 only about two thirds of people in the United States understood that climate change was real. On top of that only half of our population believes that we as humans have caused it (Blanding 2). People like the Koch Brothers have used this “research” to “prove” that global warming is nothing but a hoax, this is corruption at its best. The fact that these two have had so much power over media and the thoughts of people's ideas is just crazy and it's all because of their power and wealth. When you have people like this at the top, controlling a lot of what we see, it is incredibly dangerous. The Koch brothers are intertwined and back many companies and corporations especially Fox news. They have strong ties to anchors on many shows and often hold fundraising events at which these people attend (Taibi 1) . In this way they spread their false ideas and beliefs. Places like Fox News and Breitbart use these improper studies conducted by think groups as a way of spreading these false beliefs of global warming. This is something that is very disappointing because our environment is the most important thing we have but these men have a lot of money at stake and this is what is most important.

Global Warming is something that is a global threat, it is very dangerous and will result in catastrophic losses. We don't have much time to stop it and with continued denial the future does not look bright. Continuing to roll back EPA standards and laws will create an even bigger problem. All these laws were put in place to protect our environment, yes they might partially disrupt certain businesses but our planet is worth more than all the money in the world. When an environmental law is rolled back, a few jobs are created but most money will still end up going to and supporting the one percent. The continued temperature rise of our planet will lead to events like the mass extinction of plants and animals, coastal cities being washed away, glacial melt and the decrease in freshwater across the planet. All of these pose a huge threat to the human race and there is a good chance it could lead to the end of humanity. At the rate we are going the world doesn't have much longer until completely irreversible damage is done.

The true impact and future of global warming really hasn't been integrated into the mind of people yet. If all of society really knew the dangers and consequences of global warming a lot would change. Most people however do not care at all until they are directly affected by something. Most of America looks at global warming as something that doesn't really affect them, they see pictures of polar bears and ice caps melting thinking it's just in the poles and shrug it off. Yes it’s sad to see but how does it affect me? Why should I care what's happening in Antarctica? Until clear signs of global warming happen to individuals they will go on denying or not caring about it and this is just sad. A unfortunate but good example of this was the event of Hurricane Sandy. In October 2012 Hurricane Sandy hit the northeast coast resulting in the deaths of over 250 people and the loss of 65 billion dollars. Global warming is causing sea levels to rise dramatically, which will eventually lead to the submerging of a lot of cities along the coast as well as the increase in surges of storms. More powerful and frequent storms will begin hitting our coast line continuing to cost more and more money as well as taking the lives of civilians.

Actions need to be taken now against global warming. We need to start by addressing the miss information and lack of representation in the media. Although it seems like new things are coming out everyday about climate change, it is very under represented on major news channels most people watch. The idea that only two thirds of Americans believe in climate change may stem from the fact that according to a study done by Media Matters for America, an accredited non profit organizations committed to uncovering bias in news, found that in 2017, the major stations of ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox only talked about climate change a total 50 minutes over the last year on their Sunday and evening shows in 2016 (Blanding 1). As crazy as this sounds it's true, the topic is rarely talked about on major news stations and when it is, it’s often brought up as a debate, a political argument opposed to a fact and a threat. The solution also comes in talking with deniers, not in patronizing way but in a way that leads to a positive discussion. The solution to this problem starts by understanding the other side. These people are confused and easily believe information put in front of them. Trying to reach out and talking to these individuals could help change their minds. Try speaking to them with their morals. For example, many deniers are very conservative god fearing people. By bringing up the fact that this Earth was god's greatest creation and we are ruining it by doing things like dumping trash in the oceans and burning down forests could change a disbelievers mind. On a bigger scale, humans as a whole need to actively get involved. Get out and vote when you can, vote on environmental laws and on people you know will support environmental protection. There will always be deniers and at a certain point there's only so much you can do. Having the mindset that what you do will affect nothing is the completely wrong way to go about it. A little change is better than none and just like anything, to change a problem you must start with the people. We as millenials are very much more liberal and it already shows, in these last midterm elections we came out to vote and flipped the house. Your vote will always count as you can see now. Voting democrats into the house makes it a lot easier to pass environmental bills. I personally believe that as cliche as it is, each person can make a change in this world. Taking lots of little steps can lead to a big progression.

Conclusion

To deny the idea of global warming is a very dangerous game and one that will at this rate lead to the demise of the human race. We continue to rollback epa standards and disrespect environmental leaders all around the world. The United States has pulled out of the Paris Agreement and hired people like Andrew Wheeler as the head of the EPA, a known global warming denier. Global Warming is something that has been heavily research and speculated by a multitude of scientist. It is a very real problem but just like anything with that much of an impact it has lots of deniers. There are many reasons the public denies but the biggest one is the misrepresentation of media. Lots of false claims and evidence has come out calling global warming a hoax. Big oil and Energy corporations have been documented and exposed for backing conservative think tanks who often put out research papers on the basis that climate change is natural and humans have nothing to do with it. The Koch Brothers are at the forefront of this and have been documented giving millions of dollars to these corporations in order for them not to lose money. The more I researched this topic the more I've realized the corruption that plagues this country. People don't understand that beyond all the money and status in society is a planet. There is a planet that has birthed us and given us the gift of life and instead of thanking it we've destroyed and completely disrespected it. We cannot continue to go down this route for we do not have very much more time before completely irreversible damage is done. We need to start treating our planet like the sanctuary it is and it starts with us. Through better representation of environmental facts and proper education, we can make the Earth a better place.