~ PROLOGUE ~ HOW I MET THE CLIMATE ~ THE MEANING OF SCIENCE ~ THE STATE OF THE CLIMATE ~ BEGINNING
ONE CHANCE ~ TRIBES ~ SENTIENCE ~
~ AGONY ~ LETTER TO PRESIDENT REIF OF MIT
WHO IS AT FAULT ~ CRITIQUE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES ~
WORLD CLIMATE AUTHORITY ~ A BIT OF BIO ~ APOLLO 8 ~ EPILOGUE
3. Who Is At Fault?
1. The fossil fuel industry: government subsidized; full knowledge of consequences; will push until their resereves run out.
2. Governments: corrupt; owned by the fossel fuel interests; subsidize oil companies
3. Scientists: overly cautions in their projections; missing a loud, united, convincing voice. (see section 6 below)
4. Media: little expertise; do not comprehend the problem; treat the death of the earth like ordinary news.
They have known the whole story since 1959 but the continue to push fossil fuels. They have also purchased the support of the more conservative members of Congress. Science committe leaders, in several cases do not believe in science. That is like not believing in air or life.
In 1959, Edward Teller, one of the most famous physicists of the 20th century, addressed the 100th annivisary celebration of the petrolium industry. Here is part of what he said:
"Ladies and gentlemen, I am to talk to you about energy in the future. ... And this, strangely, is the question of contaminating the atmosphere. [....] Whenever you burn conventional fuel, you create carbon dioxide. [....] The carbon dioxide is invisible, it is transparent, you can’t smell it, it is not dangerous to health, so why should one worry about it?
"Carbon dioxide has a strange property. It transmits visible light but it absorbs the infrared radiation which is emitted from the earth. Its presence in the atmosphere causes a greenhouse effect [....] It has been calculated that a temperature rise corresponding to a 10 per cent increase in carbon dioxide will be sufficient to melt the icecap and submerge New York. All the coastal cities would be covered, and since a considerable percentage of the human race lives in coastal regions, I think that this chemical contamination is more serious than most people tend to believe."
And so, at its hundredth birthday party, American oil was warned of its civilization-destroying potential.
.In the image on the right James Hansen, one of the leading authorities on climate change is addressing congress in 1988. George H.W. Bush put together a program with the United Nations.
However despite many promises that he would ”put climate change at the center of his program," conservative organizations lobbied against it. The story is told in deail in this article: GOP AND CLIMATE CHANGE
The following is a quote from the article:
Hansen blames the elder Bush's chief of staff, John Sununu, for misleading the president on climate science.
“Sununu was more interested in those who rejected the emerging climate science, including a number of researchers who have continued to battle against consensus science today. Some of them, including Pat Michaels of the Cato Institute, continue to have influence in the Trump administration and have encouraged the rollback of climate protection.”
I began this website with lessons I learned at MIT. The way I explain it now is thagt “people believe what they want to believe.” What that means is that each of us has a stock of knowledge, opinions, friends with opinions, fears (such as fearing they will not understand the issues, or that their friends will ridicule them), and so they take the easiest path and go along, or find stories from those that deny the problem (there are always those around). The stories usually are one of two kinds. One groups all the people into a biased class (for example “they are misguided nature lovers and tree huggeers) which means nothing but is something you can grab onto if you want to. The other is a specific very narrow instance to which one attaches a great deal of signifigance. One I remember: “this is the latest day in July that the temperature has reached 95°” as evidence that the world was not warming. No comment necessary, but if you are looking for reasons and don’t think, it might work.