We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Consensus on Consensus: Expertise Matters in Agreement Over Human-Caused Climate Change

Click here to access article by Allison Mills from Michigan Tech News. (A similar report was also published in The Guardian.)

This is a report of a major study published in Environmental Research Letters, a science publication of the IOP (Institute of Physics).
A research team confirms that 97 percent of climate scientists agree that climate change is caused by humans. The group includes Sarah Green, a chemistry professor at Michigan Technological University. "What's important is that this is not just one study--it's the consensus of multiple studies," Green says. This consistency across studies contrasts with the language used by climate change doubters. This perspective stems from, as the authors write, "conflating the opinions of non-experts with experts and assuming that lack of affirmation equals dissent."
This seems like belated news since most of the voices challenging man-made climate destabilization have already been quieted. I think that this was a result not of a scientific study, but of the increasing occurrence of very extreme weather events. I think that Hurricane Sandy that hit the center of the Empire in 2012 was the most important single weather event that caused the "denialists" to shut up and ordinary people to believe what scientists had been telling them for several decades. 

Thus, nowadays we don't hear so much about the denial of climate destabilization. Instead, what we hear from TV talking heads employed by capitalists, whose system is causing this crisis, are reassuring myths about how they have geoengineering fixes to prevent any serious problems; and besides, the worst effects won't happen for another century. So, why worry? We are taking care of it. Just go shopping.