I’ve got better things to do than write about climate science deniers.
I could schedule a proctological exam. Or listen to Barry Manilow’s Greatest Hits enough times to memorize the words to “Can’t Smile Without You.” Or ask a teenage girl to explain why The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part Two will be the most awesome film made since Au revoir les enfants.
Yet, if you care about energy and the environment, it’s impossible to avoid the handiwork of climate science deniers online. I try not to get into it. But sometimes people who just know that climate change is a hoax are so persistent that I can’t ignore them. There comes a point when I’ve heard enough lies artfully stated often enough that I feel obliged to fight back.
Now it’s time to fight back.
And not just against all the trolls who get paid ten cents a post to fill the comment fields of blogs across the web with climate science-denier talking points.
The real culprits are the fake experts who provide these trolls with their ammo. These guys operate under the radar so they can avoid scrutiny. With the Earth frying before our eyes, it’s past time to start holding these shady characters responsible for the disinformation they spread with such self-assurance.
Piers, plowman of confusion
So, I offer for your consideration the case of British weather predictor Piers Corbyn. I’d never heard of him until a reader of Transition Voice, claiming that CO2 wasn’t making the climate warmer, posted a link to Corbyn’s Climate Realists website, which bills itself as “The Realists [sic] Take on Climate Change.”
Just to be clear, not being an actual climatologist, Corbyn cannot claim to be among the very few qualified climate scientists — the usual figure is one or two percent — who have expressed doubts about the scientific consensus that global warming is real, that it’s caused by humans releasing greenhouse gases and that it’s a grave danger to life on Earth.
Instead, though Corbyn affects a disheveled look that makes him appear to be some kind of college professor, this self-styled “astrophysicist” who may or may not have a PhD is actually a climate-science amateur with no academic qualification as a climatologist.
But along with a multitude of weathercasters, physicists, engineers, attorneys and regular Joes, Corbyn presents himself as an expert qualified to critique the work of real climatologists who serve on peer-reviewed scientific bodies ranging from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to the academies of science of every industrialized nation on Earth.
For many in today’s idiocratic media world, where anybody’s opinion is as valid as anybody else’s, Corbyn is as much of an expert as you need. It’s clear why Corbyn’s fake expertise is valued by village explainers, thinktankers, oil company shills and politicians alike who want to repeal climate science, when you see what he says about global warming, as quoted on Sourcewatch:
It’s nothing to do with mankind and those who say that are just trying to make money out of carbon trading and the like.
These things are dictated by solar activity and the moon.
It’s nothing to do with CO2. Those who say that have no evidence for it, there’s only evidence against. They are on a gravy train.
Ice is starting to increase again in the Arctic and it has been increasing for a long time in the Antarctic.
It’s ironic that Corbyn began his career as an activist for student representation on campus and housing rights and is also the brother of ultra-left Labor Party MP Jeremy Corbyn, who supported nuclear disarmament and opposed the Iraq War. You’d think Piers Corbyn would be just the kind of guy who would join up with UK climate activists against coal plants and new airport runways.
But perhaps by running Weather Action, a business that sells predictions of weather made months in advance based on meteorological records and solar activity, Corbyn came to join the ranks of weathermen who thought they knew better than the international scientific community about climate. Corbyn went on to appear in Martin Durkin’s 2007 documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle and has continued to pose as an expert on climate to spread doubt through his own YouTube videos as well as occasional media appearances.
Piers Corbyn predicts a new ice age?
Corbyn’s supporters claim that his weather predictions are surprisingly accurate — for example, that Corbyn outguessed the British government’s Met Office that weather during the London Olympics would be rainy rather than sunny. But Corbyn enjoys less enthusiasm for his attempts to predict earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Entitled to his own facts
After living through the ten hottest years on record only to reach a summer of historic drought across much of the world, rapid glacier melt in Greenland, and the Mississippi River drying up in the US, you have to wonder how Corbyn can bear to look at himself in the mirror.
I was not able to immediately discover whether Corbyn receives any funding from fossil fuel companies, as many climate science deniers do. But not knowing his motives doesn’t excuse Corbyn’s lies.
Given the enormity of the climate crisis — top climatologists say the Earth has already reached dangerous tipping points that have locked in frightening levels of icecap melting, sea-level rise, storms and even oxygen shortages — perhaps it’s time for those of us who care not only about future generations but about saving our own skin, to fight back against the lying liars like Corbyn who continue to confuse the public and give politicians an excuse to delay any meaningful action to cut greenhouse pollution.
Corbyn has been known to place bets on his weather predictions. And while it might be safe to go with his forecast for rain next Tuesday, it would be foolish to gamble that Corbyn and his ilk are right that the world can just go on burning all the coal and oil we want with abandon for decades to come. Future generations stand to lose a lot more than their shirts at that cosmic crap table.
Fortunately, at least in the US, public belief in climate change may finally be on the uptick after years of decline. Exposing the work of the fake experts who peddle doubt may help enough people to see the truth before it’s too late.
– Erik Curren, Transition Voice