climate changeI was going to do a post on the claim of Dan Bloom that a NY Times article using the term “Cli-Fi” that he coined a few years ago means that the word is now officially mainstream—Dan likes to invent words that he hopes will become widely-used.  Years ago, he tried to promote the word “screening,” the act of reading on a computer or reader screen, as being sufficiently different than reading to be its own thing.  Didn’t work.  I suppose cli-fi (fiction stories about climate) could catch on.  But really… whatever.  /comment

Instead, I’d much rather mention an IO9 post that explains their manifesto, and expounds on the idea that science is political.  One comments thread claimed that science is about truth, and politics is about deception; to which I argued, politics is about choice, but suffers from politicians that influence choice with deception.

Then someone decided that politicians were protecting us from deceptive scientists, namely, the ones who support and warn everyone about global warming.

I just want to replay the discussion here.

xyzzy12345
Science at the core of it is truth.
Politics at the core of it is deception.
I don’t know if science and politics can peacefully co-exist. Science needs to file for divorce.

Me (Futurisk)
Not at all. Politics at its core is choice. But, much like science and truth, choice can be corrupted with deception… and we must always strive to unmask such deception, in science and politics, to know the truth.

espyverite
But when we unmask the deception, such as the climatologists suppressing conflicting data or erasing dissenters’ papers and studies, did that lead to change? Or just more deception and political agendas?

Me
Well, since climate deniers were even busier doing the same thing to supporting and corroborating data in support of their own denial and political agendas, it’s come out so obfuscated that even intelligent people can’t see the truth right in front of them. Unfortunate, since the longer we delay, the worse off we, and the planet, will all be.

espyverite
I don’t mean this as a personal affront but the term “climate deniers” is really silly. I don’t think anyone on either side denies there is climate! And as for the “longer we delay” you have to remember, many of the dire predictions of 10, 20, 30, and more years ago regarding man caused global cooling or global warming have not really materialized. Those claiming the end of the world are really sounding like the boy who cried wolf too many times. I think there is a certain level of fatigue to the whole thing. Whenever a side over exaggerates their point it usually means there is a certain level of insecurity to their position thus they need to inflate it’s consequences to try to convince themselves and others to take them seriously. And that statement cuts both ways.

Me
“Climate deniers” refers to those who deny that man’s activities are adversely impacting the climate… that’s all.

I suppose fatigue has set in, since no one claimed that the world would upend itself in a week (though maybe if it had, people would take the issue more seriously). This problem is creeping up on us, but it IS happening, and it IS becoming harder to eventually deal with through our continued inaction.

This isn’t a case of the boy who cried wolf, because look, there IS a wolf. That wolf’s been right there, we’ve known it since the 1960s. We are impacting the climate right now: The few meager degrees of average warming we’ve experienced has already added energy to weather patterns like hurricanes and floods, begun the process of sea-level rise, thinned the ozone layer, begun the die-off of carbon-sequestering species in the oceans and accelerated the extinction of every type of species across the globe.

And that’s what’s being denied by “Climate deniers,” who need to get their heads out of the sand, turn off Fox News and Man Up for the sake of the planet their children will have to grow up on. /rant

An article in the Telegraph highlights the contention of pioneering scientist James Lovelock that schools’ fear of allowing children to carry on actual experiments (and risk hurting themselves) can only steer them away from an interest in science.

I fear the damage is already done: Fueled by parents who are ready to throw lawyers at every little incident, media filled with pundits that wouldn’t know science from a hole in their talking-heads, and entertainment that wows them to space battles, English-speaking aliens and superheroes instead of space exploration and knowledge of their own planet, our children are losing touch with science, and why it is so vitally important to the seven-plus-billion people (and millions of other species) living upon it.

Certainly, we are still breeding scientists.  But day by day, they find themselves butting heads with more and more people who ignore them, label them as liars and troublemakers, and lock them up in under-funded, under-utilized basement labs, or mute them under pointless paperwork and ignorant regulations.

And this is the environment in which we find ourselves still debating the damage humanity is doing to the climate and the planet.  At this point, even a Roland Emmerich-level Day After Tomorrow disaster would only result in a sizeable portion of the population blaming it on Godzilla, Lord Voldemort or a James Bond villain.  And believing it.

I’ve been fond of telling people that, thanks to the rapid advancement of modern medicine, I believe I have a very good chance of living to 140 and seeing the opening of the 22nd century.  But thanks to the runaway ruination of the planet by the growing population of professional Luddites, I’m less and less sure that I want to be around much longer than another few decades; or, to put it another way, I suspect there’s a real good chance the planet will go belly-up before I do.