Climate change deniers keep trying to switch the narrative

I have a fascination with science, but I’m a graduate arts student. So, my beliefs in climate change could easily challenged by climate denying scientists such as Dr. Judith Curry. Dr. Judith Curry, a research scientist and professor at Georgia Tech for 30 years, once testified to the US Senate in January, 2014, saying “carbon dioxide is not the control knob that can fine tune climate.” Curry has become the darling of industrialists who are irritated with Greta Thunberg and the others they’ve labelled as climate alarmists. But Curry is alleged to have ties with the fossil fuel industry, leaving observers wondering if she might have a vested interest in denying climate change.

In an interview with Michael Lemonick for Scientific American in October 2010, Curry admitted she had received financial support from Big Oil. "I do receive some funding from the fossil fuel industry. My company...does hurricane forecasting...for an oil company, since 2007.” Meanwhile, somewhere between 90 per cent and 100 per cent of publishing climate scientists have concurred that humans are accountable for climate change. Authors of seven climate consensus studies, including Naomi Oreskes, Peter Doran, William Anderegg, Bart Verheggen, Ed Maibach, J. Stuart Carlton and John Cook, had co-authored a paper about a definable human link with climate change. Their findings proved the majority of the scientific world (97 per cent) believed human activity was responsible for climate change.

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Friends of Science – a group of climate skeptics based in Calgary – say the academics who believe in climate change are funded by green billionaires to push an agenda. Yet, if the majority of scientists in academia are being financed by wealthy environmentalists, these green billionaires must have deeper pockets than the worldwide fossil fuel industries.     

So, is climate change a hoax? Whenever there’s unseasonal winter storms in Saskatchewan during the fall with ice and snow, many of us wonder about the feasibility of an ever-warming planet. But this deduction on a frozen September day misinterprets the differences between the terms weather and climate. Weather refers to short-term changes in the atmosphere, whereas climate describes the weather over a longer period of time. Climate scientists are interested in studying weather data over periods of months and years. The majority of climate research has noted shifts in weather patterns and other changes, such as the gradual loss of ice in the Arctic and Antarctica.

A study conducted from 2018-2019 showed the surface of the ice sheet in Greenland had gained 169 billion tonnes of ice over a year. Although this seems like an impossible amount of ice, this is actually the seventh smallest accumulation of ice on record according to researchers.

There are complicated factors in play whenever the effects of climate change are studied. The oceans have a higher capacity to amass heat than the earth’s atmosphere. Relatively small exchanges of heat between the atmosphere and the oceans can create substantial variations in global surface temperatures. More than 90 per cent of the extra heat from global warming is accumulated inside the oceans. Oceanic oscillations such as El Niño and its cold-water counterpart, La Niña, have momentous effects on global weather patterns and temperatures for a year or more as heat is transferred between the oceans and the earth’s atmosphere.

According to data accumulated by NASA, climate change is undeniable. “Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities.” So, should humanity be frightened of a nihilistic future with absolutely no hope? Absolutely not. However, we have to stop denying climate change and be prepared to be proactive instead. 

    

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