The problem is that the groups and individuals paid to muddy the public understanding of the climate problem (like Marc Morano and Steven J. Milloy) have succeeded, succeeded wildly in fact – and it has been relatively easy for them, because unlike even “cancer from smoking”, climate is an extremely complex thing, there is a lot of variability in the system anyway, and the results of all that we do may not even be seen in our lifetimes (depending on how old you are). So it is very easy for them to claim that “everything that is happening is natural” or “humans can’t affect this system” – even though that is really not what the working science has concluded.
Additionally, because a large problem tends to demand large action in response, they can play into the modern paranoia about “government” and conspiracies, to convince people that the science is all an excuse to add taxes and run people’s lives (somehow ignoring the fact that the scientists involved all have to live under the same governments and pay the same taxes, for a start).
But with the public confused about what climate change is and means and how it works, then the powers on the top of the heap in the current status quo, who obviously are the ones who profit from the status quo, can keep people from agitating against the status quo. And THIS is even easier because the status quo is for the most part a comfortable consumer lifestyle that no-one WANTS to change.
It is only at the point that people realize that the status quo carries its own costs and impacts on quality of life – like insane food costs and rising insurance costs and increasing economic disruption from storm damage, for example – that people might be able to relate the problem to something they genuinely need to take action on.
Unfortunately, at that point it’s a little like a smoker quitting after the emphysema has developed.
Apr 12, 2017