Global warming is exaggerated and is just hyped by climate scientists. It's not a big deal. That is what you might think if you listen to the mainstream media and its misinformation, or if you believe in the denier's lies and their anti-science rhetoric about man-made climate change.
But that is so far from the truth that it's absurd as a recent poll among climate experts and scientists clearly show. The poll conducted by the Guardian during the scientific conference in Copenhagen earlier this year shows that 9 out of 10 climate experts donâ€™t believe we will be able to restrict climate change to 2C:
"Almost nine out of 10 climate scientists do not believe political efforts to restrict global warming to 2C will succeed, a Guardian poll reveals today. An average rise of 4-5C by the end of this century is more likely, they say, given soaring carbon emissions and political constraints.
Such a change would disrupt food and water supplies, exterminate thousands of species of plants and animals and trigger massive sea level rises that would swamp the homes of hundreds of millions of people.
The poll of those who follow global warming most closely exposes a widening gulf between political rhetoric and scientific opinions on climate change. While policymakers and campaigners focus on the 2C target, 86% of the experts told the survey they did not think it would be achieved. A continued focus on an unrealistic 2C rise, which the EU defines as dangerous, could even undermine essential efforts to adapt to inevitable higher temperature rises in the coming decades, they warned."
The poll shows that climate experts are not exaggerating the effects of global warming but that they are actually downplaying and toning down their research in an attempt to avoid despair and inaction among the public.
"It blows the lid on a very different sort of conspiracy: that climate scientists have actually been toning down their message lest the worst-case scenario becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
As one respondent put it, "Great things can only be achieved by everyone believing it can be done. How do you think the second world war was won? Churchill didn't stand around saying most people think we will lose the war. He said we will fight it on the beaches."
Far from over-playing their hand to swell their research coffers, scientists have been toning down their message in an attempt to avoid public despair and inaction."
And this is a bit tricky. I agree that if people begin to think that itâ€™s over and nothing can be done to halt man-made climate change inaction and hopelessness would most likely prevail. But toning down the science is not the way to go. Political leaders and people around the world needs to know the real size and dangers of the climate crisis. How else would we be able to gain public and political support for the actions that are needed to solve the crisis?
Just like James Randerson, the Guardianâ€™s environment website editor and top UK science journalist, says:
"Scientists must stop sanitising their message. World leaders and their people need to hear the warnings loud and clear and follow through with radical action that matches the scale of the crisis. Only if they do will future generations look back on what is looking decreasingly likely to be our "finest hour"."
George Monbiot , Europeâ€™s leading green commentator, said a few weeks ago that it was all over but argued we canâ€™t afford to abandon our efforts to cut emissions. Because then "our prophecy is bound to come true".
With todayâ€™s political inaction the climate experts are correct that itâ€™s over. But with real efforts to curb our emissions we can manage to stabilize the climate at a reasonable and safe level. As Climate Progress writes:
"No one who reads this blog regularly or follows U.S. politics could possibly believe there is a great chance that we will stabilize anywhere near 450 ppm, anywhere near 2Â°C warming.
But anyone who reads this blog also understand that it is not too late â€” not only could we stabilize at 450 ppm at a low total cost, one tenth of a penny on the dollar, we could stabilize at 350 ppm for probably no more than double the cost of stabilizing at 450 ppm."
What do you think? Is it right or wrong to downplay the climate science to avoid despair and inaction among the public?