I’ve recently seen a bunch of chatter on Facebook and on the blogosphere about how climate change is just a hoax, a massive conspiracy within the scientific community. There is a variety of evidence out there that proponents of this idea use, but the specifics on that are irrelevant to the inevitable conclusion that I reach: so what?
Regular readers know that I’m not a fan of conspiracy theories, because usually all you need is a third grade reading level and common sense to poke holes in them. In this case, I’d have to ask what the motivation is? Is it for prestige? I doubt it, since the majority of the scientific community seems to be on the same page, and I’m sure that the average person couldn’t name one climate scientist. Well then it must be money! Money is the root of all evil, after all, right? Surely, this hoax is for financial gain. Well, I don’t really know how scientists would profit from climate change. Maybe they get more money for their research, but that’s not exactly going to buy them an island in the Caribbean.
Surely, then, it must be those evil renewable energy and green companies! They’re feeding the flames of misinformation and funding this all in order to drive fossil fuels out of business so that we must all rely upon them! To which I say, good. I like renewable energy. Relying upon fossil fuels is stupid for a variety of reasons. For one, it’s really stupid to base our entire economy and our way of living on a finite resource. I’m sure there are conflicting reports about exactly how much oil is left and how long it will take us to use it all, but there’s one common thread: it will eventually run out. Who cares if it’s 50 years from now or 500? Sooner or later it will be gone, and without alternative and renewable sources of energy, we’re screwed. And very short sighted people will continually refuse to innovate and invest for that event because they’re slaves to a market that tells them it’s cheaper not to presently.
Not to mention the environmental impact. And no, I’m not just talking about CO2. Although I’ve never really been sure why people believe that it’s no big deal to pump millions of metric tons of a substance our body actively tries to get rid of into the air…for us to breathe all over again. I’m sick of oil spill disasters. I’m sick of polluting and destroying the water table with fracking. I’m sick of destroying pristine places with drilling. Just look at what happened to West Virginia’s water supply thanks to the coal industry.
Every single one of those problems can be avoided with alternative and renewable energy. Solar power won’t kill the ocean. Wind turbines won’t pollute the water supply or destroy the water table. Hydrogen won’t spew CO2 into the air for all of us to breathe. We aren’t going to run out of sunlight or wind for billions of years. The same goes for geothermal power. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe.
Inevitably I have to ask who cares if climate change is a hoax? What’s the worst case scenario? We stop destroying the environment? We develop sustainable forms of energy for the indefinite future that are much safer? We, heaven forbid, develop something cheaper or more efficient? The oil companies disappear?? Are any of those things really bad or evil? Would any of those things negatively impact your quality of life? Of course not. Hoax or not, the changes that climate change begs are beneficial to mankind. All of the changes suggested by climate change are positive ones, not negative ones. So I ask again: who cares whether or not it’s a hoax, if it’s man-made, or even if it’s real?