Saturday, April 21, 2012

Will Religious Fundamentalism Become the Last Bastion of Climate Change Denialism?

One by one, the doors are slowly closing shut on the climate change denialists.  They've had a good run.   They have perpetrated a highly-successful scam and have bought a great deal of time and profitability for the fossil fuelers but time was never on their side.

Time has seen the steady influx of actual climate change research, for the sake of argument let's call it "science", from the broadest spectrum of scientific disciplines including geology, hydrology, botany, biology and zoology, atmospherics and meteorology, epidemiology, physics, chemistry, even math - all corroborating the central thesis of anthropogenic global warming.   And all of this theoretical research is being borne out by actual climate change impacts taking place that are being measured, recorded, analyzed and chronicled.   And, on the other side, the denialists - nothing but a bunch of old crackpots with long discredited delusions.

For much too long the corporate sector was inclined to view the global warming issue as a "reputational" problem.   That favoured dealing with it more as a public relations matter rather than a serious threat to business itself.   There was an incredible inertia to overcome to change that approach.

Then the corporate sector began to shift albeit very slowly at first.  It seemed to begin within the global insurance industry.   These businesses had to pay out on physical losses due to climate change impacts.  They had to sit up and take notice.   And they did.  They began to factor climate change into their risk assessments and that narrowed the range of risks they were willing to cover.   For example, they stopped writing hurricane coverage - all the way north to New York state.   They stopped providing flood insurance coverage forcing the US government to institute its own flood insurance system to help save the asses of all those rednecks who go for their guns at the mention of "socialism."

Now, for good and for bad, the corporate sector is waking up to the enormous perils and potential opportunities that climate change creates.  It's said that Goldman Sachs' key investment desk is into food commodities.  Many accuse GS and other investment houses of exacerbating global food insecurity through market manipulation.  And multinationals are also moving to introduce a bit of disaster capitalism to the world water crisis.   Giants such as Vivendi and Nestle are moving aggressively into the water supply industry.   These companies have no interest in denying the reality of climate change.   They're riding on the massively profitable back of it.

But now the corporate sector is also coming to recognize its own vulnerability to the two-edged sword that is climate change.   The recent report of the global consulting giant, KPMG, identified climate change as the most prominent and pressing of 10, interconnected 'megaforces' that will challenge business globally over the next 20-years.   Buried in the report was a "change or die" warning.  It noted that the days of freedom to exploit natural resources and to foul the environment are nearly over and pointed out that, should business be handed the tab for its environmental and ecological excesses, it would consume 41-cents of every dollar of net earnings.

But if the denialism industry is losing its utility to the corporate sector, it's still in demand by its main client, the fossil fuelers.   In fact they probably need it more than ever.   And the denialists still have one important ally - the science-hating fundamentalist/political class.   So long as they can help maintain that bond between the funamentalist/political extremists and the fossil fuelers, the denialists will continue to earn their keep.  It's a rearguard fight, to be sure, but it's one that won't surrender.   It will have to be put down.


thwap said...

It might not seem directly connected to your post, but I think that all this only shows how poorly served our species is by the undemocratic and profit-driven nature of our political-economic system.

Deno said...

'Gaia' scientist James Lovelock: I was 'alarmist' about climate change

“The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books – mine included – because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn’t happened,” Lovelock said.


The only doors closing are the ones in the faces of the AGW religious occult crowd like you Mound.

When MSNBC has Climate Alarmist articles you know that the AGW scam is dying.


The Mound of Sound said...

Well Deno I'll wait until I get a chance to read his book. You obviously missed the points where he said, while he may have been alarmist, he isn't a denier and, while AGW continues to proceed, he just thinks it isn't happening as quickly as he predicted.

Meanwhile Deno you might pry open your brain for a bit and consider what I have written here so many times, that climate change is but one of several interconnected threats confronting mankind including desertification, deforestation, air/soil/water contamination and pollution, the spreading freshwater crisis, species extinction and migration and, in particular, collapsing global fisheries, resource depletion and exhaustion, disease and pest migration, overpopulation and population migration, sea level rise, severe storm events of increasing frequency and intensity, sustained and cyclical flood and droughts and the host of global security threats including arms races, nuclear proliferation, terrorism, food insecurity and destabilizing inequality.

Now Deno old chum here's something for you to think about. Most of these challenges are tangible, palpable, measurable and a number of them are even visible to the naked eye from space. They are both collective and cumulative and they're all interconnected.

You might also want to spend some time reading KPMG's recent report on the major challenges facing business worldwide in the next 20-years - although I expect you probably won't.

opit said...

Meh. Busying yourself with a 'Gotcha' "Heads I Win, Tails You Lose" framing of Scientific Method as Science Denial bought and paid by polluters falling to the virtuous wrath of globalist UN taxation ( which includes tax breaks for polluters ) proponents claiming to save us from a future which cannot be seen as to whether or not it actually will exist may get you your jollies. Don't bother telling me it has anything to do with saving us from the likes of Monsanto's poisoning the world with GM antifood which breeds weeds and slays farmers via bankruptcy .... or perhaps exposes the groundwater pollution of hydrofracking. What : you were too busy flogging Poisoning the Well Logical Fallacies to notice that you were ignoring those stories in your gloating over successfully perpetrating a folly ?
We are not yet Gods to certify we have seen the future and it is thus and so - not outside the cartoons anyway.