Is the Climate Change Debate Undecided?
97% of the world’s scientists are in agreement that the global climate system is changing due to human activity. Given this fact, it is surprising that many climate change deniers and climate change skeptics have spoken out against this consensus, including members of the mainstream media, a small group of scientists, and prominent political leaders.
This conflicting messaging has left many confused about climate change and its scientific status. In a recent episode of Straight Talk MD, Dr. Frank Sweeny sat down with Dr. Michael E. Mann, an American climatologist, geophysicist, and prominent figure in the history of the climate change awareness. In this episode, Dr. Sweeny asks Dr. Mann for his thoughts on the public perception that climate change may still be an undecided issue within the scientific community.
“Some people who may not have read your book, the mad house effect, might still be confused and believe that there’s a climate change debate going on and that the science is undecided. What say you?”
Michael E. Mann:
“Well that’s one of the things that we tackle in the book, and of course many could be forgiven for believing that there is a debate about the reality of climate change, given that one of the two candidates for the president of the United States in this next election, Donald Trump, is a climate change denier.”
"The reason that folks like Donald Trump deny climate change is largely ideological. It isn't because they don't understand the science or accept the science."
“So are you saying that climate change is not a hoax created by the Chinese?”
“It isn’t. Nor is it any of the other things he said. I believe there were a half dozen different tweets where he variously rejects all of mainstream climate science. It’s unfortunate that, despite the fact that there is an overwhelming scientific consensus about the reality of climate change, and the fact that it’s caused by human activity, and the fact that it’s a threat that we need to deal with, there still remains this manufactured debate.
The reason that folks like Donald Trump deny climate change is largely ideological. It isn’t because they don’t understand the science or accept the science. It’s because there are powerful vested interests who fund their campaigns who have sought to create the notion that there is a debate about climate change because it impacts their bottom line which is the sale of fossil fuels.”