Climate change is starting to send a chill through our spines and the epicentre of its ascension has been the flaw of human cognizance.
For humans to act upon danger requires a rollback to the reasons why we do anything. Historically, biologically we act upon a response determined by the amygdala motivated by a ‘fight or flight’ reaction. For the engine of the amygdala to launch into life, it requires a physical or visual cue, mostly prompted by a threat.
Because of this, it is no surprise that calls to action to combat the destructive patterns of climate change fall on deaf ears. We see it, but can’t believe it. It is not part of our consecutive daily routines and for those who do understand it; it is not close enough to jettison a brood of action.
There are other quarrels threatening to throw the case for climate defence into the ‘don’t know’ pile including disingenuous arguments from sceptical speakers, whose “science” relies heavily on anecdotal musings rather than data. Their demonstrations of so-called ‘knowledge’ fall heavily on reliance to draw in a specific crowd (essentially preaching to the converted), filming Q&As and then publishing it to ‘YouTube’ complete with false applause in order to garner clout both on and offline. But we know how reliable concise streams of video are when you’re discussing a topic requiring more than 5-10 minutes on screen, let alone a lack of counter-narrative present within each clip.
It is undeniable that climate change is happening and it is proceeding with a general consensus among the scientific community. Media scepticism correlates with a poor understanding of not only data but also click bait articles which could have disturbing consequences for the future. Although the BBC now propagates stories in line with the consensus on climate breakdown, they have, in the past, published articles refuting it, serving to embolden sceptics through the misinterpretation of data and a refusal to vet science their past writers have published.
Some misinterpreted findings include the argument that the Sun is warming up more, thus causing the Earth to warm too. The Sun and the Earth’s global temperatures are actually going in two different directions. The Sun is producing fewer sunspots, batting away any scepticism that the Earth is warming as a consequence of our star. Climate models have successfully predicted events stimulated by the climate crisis for years, rendering any sceptical analysis equivalent to a horoscope.
Excuses are lacking. The way is no longer unmapped for those looking to know more. Seeking to populate a sceptical narrative only serves to prop up a collapsing ecosystem, a global refugee crisis and threats to all life. Climate sceptics only argue for the case that Santa is real and the danger in this means we must be more vocal and active than we were yesterday.
The choices we make are no longer options. It might be too late to stop the world from warming beyond 1.5 Celsius, but we can stop it from getting any hotter. Alarmism is the only beacon of warning. It is better than not carrying a canary on a planet filled with fossil fuels, plastic pollutants and bad attitudes on the economy. We must move and be quick to demonstrate a passion to decarbonise swiftly and to prevent catastrophic changes. We can no longer simply report on what is happening hoping someone else will do something about it. Because no one else is. Unless we put pressure on the government and who we choose to give our money to.