Right Hooks

Earth Day's Coming, So Climate Rhetoric's Heating Up

Jordan Candler · Apr. 20, 2015

In Saturday’s weekly address, Barack Obama devoted his lecture to Earth Day, which is Wednesday, and he doubled down on global warming so we can “protect this precious planet we call home.” He claimed, “[T]oday, there’s no greater threat to our planet than climate change. … [T]he fact that the climate is changing has very serious implications for the way we live now. Stronger storms. Deeper droughts. Longer wildfire seasons. The world’s top climate scientists are warning us that a changing climate already affects the air our kids breathe.” (Earlier this month he wrongly blamed global warming for his daughter’s asthma despite his old smoking habit.) To commemorate Earth Day, Obama will visit the Florida Everglades, which he called “one of the most special places in our country.” He added, “But it’s also one of the most fragile. Rising sea levels are putting a national treasure — and an economic engine for the South Florida tourism industry — at risk. So climate change can no longer be denied — or ignored.” After all, there’s still government power to gain.

Meanwhile, scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson told progressive crusade group Think Progress the climate debate still rages partly because the media allots too much time to climate skeptics: “I think journalists are abandoning what would be their sensibility of following the emergent truths and in some cases painting a debate as though there’s a scientific debate when in fact there isn’t one — and that makes for headlines and more clicks.” Quite the contrary. It’s a miracle the debate is largely contested by the public given the vast majority of skeptics are censored. And if there’s no scientific debate, why aren’t Americans falling for it? Tyson added, “[T]he moment the politicians start saying they are in denial of what the scientists are telling them, of what the consensus of scientific experiments demonstrates, that is the beginning of the end of an informed democracy.” Any scientist working in good faith would cherish an informative debate. Those with alternative motives want to be masters of disinformation.

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