Monbiot on Climate Catastrophe - Climate Deniers Outraged

by: Heather on 03/18/2009
Posted in: Climate Change

In a recent Guardian article, George Monbiot (one of the planet's most well-known and influential advocates for climate change solutions) ratcheted up the climate stakes again. His main point is that politicians and policymakers are finding themselves behind the curve as they rely on data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which, as the environmental juggernaut of global warming gathers speed, is out of date before it's even published due to the rigorousness of IPCC fact-checking (and more to the point, the time that said fact-checking takes).

For example:

Partly because the estimates by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) took no account of meltwater from Greenland's glaciers, the rise in sea levels this century could be twice or three times as great as it forecast, with grave implications for coastal cities, farmland and freshwater reserves.

There's other zingers in the article - enough that Monbiot boldly suggests that climate change is a misnomer, and one that should be replaced with the term "climate breakdown", which comes closer to describing the devastating implications of what is arguably "the biggest potential catastrophe humankind has ever encountered".

Alarming? Definitely. But what's *really* alarming is the avalanche of outraged comments from readers in reaction to the article.

From the perhaps-not-so-aptly-named Prodigy:

How about "climate improvement"? I'm all for better summers and milder winters.

Although perhaps Erdington gets to the root of all the skepticism:

Who cares about global warming when they have been made redundant and their house foreclosed?

Whatever the reason, the comment thread on this story is a sad sign of the times.

Further down nickweb sadly reflects:

Let's face it, the number of people who take the threat this seriously is too small to make a difference. The majority may accept that human action does affect climate, but I'd guess that those for whom it's a top priority is minuscule. For everybody else, it just seems distant, obscure, and something they have no control over, in contrast to their everyday struggles.

Meanwhile politicians, who want to be seen to be taking responsible action, while being aware that their populations won't support the necessary radical change, are paying lip service to the issue with insufficient targets which they then fail to achieve (fiddling while the planet burns.)

For ideas about some positive responses to climate change, or as Monbiot calls it, climate breakdown, check out some of our great "Peak Oil" titles:

Thoughts on climate change and the "climate deniers"? Have your say in the comments below!

Depletion and Abundance       The Long Descent
Plan C       The Power of Community

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