Read Robert Manne’s recent article in the monthly? The man has it right and it’s about time we admitted it. The climate change denialists have won the fight, haven’t they? Their simple and endless assertions of doubt have won out over the consensus of fact-based scientific opinion. Often without even having to cite a single fact, or without even admitting that they were fighting, they have won their battle to leave things as they are.
The victory is silent and smug. Most passive denialists wouldn’t even want to admit that they had won, because then they’d have to admit they’d been taking a position about something in the first place. But they have won.
And they will continue to win. If people have not been convinced by now, it is clear that they will not listen to mainstream scientific opinion on the issue. So, I say the only thing that is ever going to count as ‘valid proof’ for them is when, in about 2025, those first big waves start washing up above the high tide line in their town, and never go back down again. Then, some of them might slowly begin to accept that the science many of us has accepted since 1990 has been right all along.
Until then it is basically hopeless. You can’t argue with blank denial, because it will not even admit that it is arguing. It just ignores the evidence, or finds any reason it can to dismiss it.
Not for the sake of the planet, but just for the sake of justice between the generations, I hope that when the waves do come, some of these people are still alive, to look out on the swelling sea where there used to be land, and finally see the prize they have won, by fighting to leave things as they are.
And I hope that at least some of them have the guts to admit that in their denial, or even in their passive and uneducated doubt and uncertainty, they were fighting to keep things the way they are.
And that means they are responsible.
But I doubt that any of them will ever have the guts to admit that.