Why do I say there is no such thing as a climate denier? Because the fact is that climate change cannot be denied. The climate is, objectively, changing. It is observable, measurable, and a fact. We have the data.
What are we able to measure?
- The amount of greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere—and is rising.
- Acidity levels in oceans and lakes around the world—and rising, resulting in lakes once lush with life becoming barren wastelands.
- The temperature of the ocean—and is rising.
- Biodiversity and we can see the destruction of wildlife. Entire species facing endangerment and extinction.
- Increasing number and severity of life-threatening weather phenomena. There are measurably more and stronger hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons, floods, droughts, and wildfires, which are devastating communities around the world.
These events are occurring. Not only can we measure them; we can see them with our own eyes, and feel them with our own bodies. These changes are impacting us, either directly or indirectly. It is happening all around us. The evidence that the climate is changing is undeniable.
So, what is the source of the climate change debate?
When people argue about whether climate change is “real”, what they are truly debating is the cause of these changes. A climate change “denier” usually denies not climate change itself, but whether it is caused by human activity. They argue that these changes are occurring naturally. And yes, it is possible that some of the measurable environmental changes we are witnessing can be attributed to the kind of long-term weather patterns that have occurred throughout our planet’s history, the same weather patterns that contributed to the Ice Ages of our prehistoric past.
But we can also measure the amount of CO2 and CO2 equivalents— the six types of greenhouse gasses that cause global warming (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride)—in our atmosphere, and it has been rising exponentially over the past two centuries. We can also measure the greenhouse gasses that are produced by human activity. These emissions have increased exponentially since the Industrial Revolution when we started bringing fossil fuels out of the earth on a massive scale and burning them for energy. Given this data, there is no question that human activity is releasing greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.
Climate change itself is undeniable.
In truth, the debate around the cause of climate change is beside the point. Climate change itself is undeniable. It is not a religion nor does it require belief. It is scientific fact based on the data we have. We are able to measure and observe it. Climate change is happening, and we have to act to stop it—now. And the only way to do that is to control what we have the ability to control: our greenhouse gas emissions.
Learn more about what’s possible with a consumer-centric, competitive advantage-based solution to the climate crisis in my book, Decarbonize the World.