Sunday, July 8, 2012

Climate change

I'm getting around to watching Up w/Chris Hayes, which was aired early this morning. The big topic for today's show was climate change. They touch on why they call it climate change instead of the more familiar "global warming". Global warming is causing climate change. But now that Republicans are crazy and have denied global warming and try to attach negative connotations to the term, everyone who isn't crazy is trying to use climate change because it's a more encompassing term.

Basically, Republicans can't deny climate change just because it snows during the winter. Well, they can. But they can't easily do it with semantics when we use climate change instead of global warming. Scientifically, it's the difference between climate and weather. The warming of the planet doesn't mean it will always be hot. It means that the temperatures will be consistently higher that they usually are. For example, in the summer, it will be 104 instead of 100. In the winter, it will be 34 instead of 31.

Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, makes a good point in talking about the people behind Republican opposition to climate change. The fossil fuel industry and it's ties to the Republican party is a big reason actual voters deny climate change. There will probably always be some conservatives that don't trust science. But I have a hard time believing that there would be such a wide disbelief in climate change if it weren't for the efforts of business interests and conservative media. I'm not sure how Bill thinks we can stop the business interests from spending money to distort the facts.

And that makes me skeptical that we will be able to change many conservative voters' minds through messaging and debate. Sadly, I think we will have to wait until some extreme situation arises that shocks them into believing. That or we Republican leaders and politicians need to have their mind's changed and then tell their voters that action is needed. Again, I'm just not sure how you get them to do that. And that's beyond the usual depressing state of Republicans. It's scary.

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