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Friday, June 16, 2017

Climate change is real. So why won’t the right admit it?

Climate change is real. So why won’t the right admit it?

Around 97% of climate scientists confirm the existence of manmade global warming, and public opinion is steadily catching up. In the UK, a recent poll suggested 84% of British people want Theresa May to “convince Trump not to quit” the Paris climate agreement. According to a survey spanning 40 nations, 78% of people support their country joining the global agreement.

Consensus on manmade global warming has never been stronger. Yet climate denial remains strong among a particular ideological group. Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement last week provides the strongest evidence yet that nationalists, gripped by an isolationist logic, are unable or unwilling to face the reality of global warming.

Yet American nationalists are not the only ones to resist action on climate change. Ukip’s general election manifesto pledges to pull the UK out of the Paris accord. More concerning, however, is that Eurosceptic Conservatives include prominent climate sceptics such as Lord Lawson.

Theresa May closed the Department for Energy and Climate Change within 24 hours of becoming prime minister. Having received £390,000 in donations from senior oil executives since she came to power, her manifesto now pledges to “build on the unprecedented support already provided to the oil and gas sector”. An entire Conservative election campaign is premised on the brand of “strong and stable”, while May keeps quiet about climate change – described by the UN as a threat to global stability “unprecedented in scale”.

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