Frankly, if you deny climate change, you’re behind the times. Like waaaaaaay behind the times. Even climate change “deniers” don’t deny that the climate is changing anymore. Seriously. Do you live under a rock?
Let me take you back a few years to the day climate change denial died. I peg it at sometime around December 2012. The results of a scientific study called the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project had passed peer review and were entered into scientific literature. The goal of the project was to finally put the arguments to rest and determine whether climate change was really happening or not.
Robert Muller, lead scientist on the BEST project, was all over the news. “We are bringing the spirit of science back to a subject that has become too argumentative and too contentious,” Muller says, over a cup of tea. “We are an independent, non-political, non-partisan group. We will gather the data, do the analysis, present the results and make all of it available. There will be no spin, whatever we find.”
An independent, non-political, non-partisan group. Putting an end to the misplaced, non-scientific contention behind climate science. Putting an end to the biased analysis that appears in paper after paper from the climate science community.
The catch here is that this non-political, non-partisan group was being funded in large part by the Charles G. Koch Foundation. Yes, Charles Koch of the Koch brothers and Koch Industries fame. Perhaps the most, shall I say, endowed of all the climate deniers that ever lived, credited with supplying more than $65 million for the anti-climate-change cause.
To be fair, the study was also funded by Lawrence Berkeley National Labs and the Fund for Innovative Climate and Energy Research (aka Bill Gates’ checking account). But all it took was the Koch name to give this study the headlines. Because this meant vindication for climate deniers. The truth would finally be heard! The wrongs would be righted! The liberal-biased climate science community would be outed!
And the results were SHOCKING! OUTRAGEOUS! EARTH-SHATTERING! For everyone but climate scientists. You see, the BEST study, with full endorsement from climate change deniers the world over, who swore up and down before the study was released that this would be the study they could finally trust, found that climate change is happening. It’s not a result of cherry-picked data. It’s not a byproduct of bias from the urban heat island effect. It’s not even an effect of poor data quality.
No matter how you spin it, the earth is warming up. That’s it. The science is undeniable.
Interestingly, soon after the results were released, the climate change denial community separated themselves from the BEST project. Surely, there must be something wrong with it. I mean, science can’t compete with gut instinct, right? And the deniers just know that climate change is a hoax.
Gradually, climate change deniers have stepped down from their denial soapbox and admitted that the temperature of the Earth is rising. Of course, they can’t hang up their hats that easily, so they found a new soapbox: denying anthropogenic climate change, that the rapid climate change we’ve experienced in the last century is a consequence of human intervention. And so the cycle continues.
It was astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson who said:
“The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”
He couldn’t be more right. I don’t believe in climate change. Climate change is a fact. It’s not something that you or I can will into (or out of) existence by a change in our personal beliefs. We can pretend it doesn’t exist all we want, but that doesn’t make it go away. It’s science.