Climate change is an alarming topic that continues to worry scientists, who are trying to convince the society that it is crucial to take immediate action in order to avoid irreversible consequences. However, many people do not believe the phenomenon of global warming. Moreover, politicians, business leaders, and even social activists deny existence of climate change, which creates the feeling of pseudo-comfort in the contemporary society. Skeptics claim that there is not any scientific evidence to support the existence of the phenomenon throughout history since climate change has already taken place. Climate change is a natural phenomenon that the contemporary politicians and business leaders try to deny in order to confuse the society and disrupt its attempts to devise strategies to reduce global warming.
Climate Change as a Natural Phenomenon
The humanity has an ambivalent attitude to climate change, which results in the lack of consensus and understanding among people. The first signs of climate change were reported in the 1980s during research and investigations of a NASA scientist James Hansen (Considine, 2012). The scientist predicted climatic changes associated with the rising temperature, increasing gas emissions, and a rapid pace of the industrial revolution. While some people considered the findings of Hansen as a warning, others did not believe that human activity could become the reason of global climate changes. There is already ample evidence of climate changes: the sea level is rising, polar ice continues melting, and weather conditions are becoming extreme. Moreover, the frequency of hurricanes and abnormal weather conditions confirm correctness of the prediction about climate changes that was made by Hansen almost 30 years ago.
The contemporary society state a variety of facts from the environment that seem to justify their denial of climate changes. For example, many people blame volcanic activity, high temperature of the Earth’s center, and other natural phenomena for climate change. It is easier for people to find explanations of climate change in the nature rather than admit their responsibility and contribution to global disasters and abnormal temperature in different parts of the world. One of the main arguments suggesting the absence of climate changes is that it still snows in winter, which indicates that climate changes are not as dangerous as scientists claim. However, people do not understand that if it stops snowing in the coldest areas of the planet, it will be too late to make a change.
A popular term the ‘greenhouse effect’ is the main cause of climate changes that many people are trying to deny. In fact, NASA proved that 97% of reasons behind climate changes refer to human activity (Runciman, 2017). The greenhouse effect explains the negative influence of gas emissions from cars, plants, and other manufacturing giants that burden the environment, causing air pollution. Ocean acidification, rising temperature of waters, reduction of snow coverage, and melting of arctic ice are the main indicators that gas emissions contribute to the rising temperature of the atmosphere.
Business Context of Climate Change Denial
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) continues to raise social awareness on the existence of a well-designed disinformation campaign that companies use to assure politicians that climate changes are not as significant as scientists argue. The reason behind such irresponsible and selfish behavior lies in the potential loss of financial growth, which companies might face because of the need to reduce their manufacturing resources (Richardson, 2017). Global companies are spending colossal financial resources on lobbyists who work on disinformation of politicians in order to support the business sector and avoid laws prohibiting excessive gas emissions. Businesses are not interested in losing their profitability even under the negative influence of climate changes.
In addition, Donald Trump and the Republican Party of the USA deny existence of climate changes. One of Trump’s ideas is that China intentionally creates confusion about climate change across the globe in order to disrupt the U.S. economy and assume global leadership (Rosner, 2016). This idea sounds ridiculous for scientists and other people who believe climate changes. Nevertheless, Donald Trump denies existence of climate change, posting disapproving messages via personal profile in Twitter. For example, the U.S. President mockingly accepts cold weather in New York during winter season, claiming that global scientists are wrong (Rosner, 2016). All these facts contribute to the idea that Trump protects the U.S. market and economic sustainability at the expense of climate changes (Richardson, 2017). The President fears losing competitive advantages compared to China. However, the problem is that not only China but also other countries across the globe suffer from climate changes. The business sector and political forces aim to disrupt global awareness on climate changes in order to ensure profitability of companies that contribute to the national welfare and financial sustainability.
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Psychological Background of Climate Change Denial
Denial of climate change has a complex psychological background that prevents people from the most remote corners of the world to admit its existence. Globally, people deny the phenomenon of global warming, thus exerting pressure on the society creates with their arguments that oppose scientific evidence. From scientific perspective, it is easy to see the full picture of the problem even if there are missing facts or elements. From the psychological viewpoint, people find it difficult to believe climate changes as the process is slow in the context of routine human activity (Grossman, 2010). However, if people paid attention to the climatic conditions several decades ago, they could see the difference. The young generation started its existence in the world of technological and industrial development, which was already suffering from climate changes and global warming. As a result, it is difficult to convince young adults that disaster and natural abnormalities have a direct connection to abusive human activity.
The problem with psychological background of denying climate changes lies in the comfort that people experience sticking to beliefs which make them feel peaceful and calm. It is difficult to live in the world where natural disasters are a consequence of human activity. It is easier to believe that nature is the only reason to blame for the extreme weather conditions that humanity cannot fix or avoid. Rationalizing is the main problem behind inability of the contemporary generation to believe in the threats of global warming. For example, the news may report growth of artic ice in a two-year period. People start using this evidence to support their arguments that climate change is not real. Despite the lack of the opposing evidence that the growth of ice is insignificant, people prefer living in comfort rather than worrying about the future. This attitude has a self-protective context that prevents people from panic, fear, and continuous stress. In order to cure this psychological phenomenon, it is necessary to provide the society with more evidence and facts proving that climate change and its effects are real.
The Role of Skepticism
Skepticism has a positive influence on the process of establishing the truth since it raises arguments and rebuts the scientific viewpoint. Climate change is a popular topic that causes debates and presents new doubts that guide the society in the process of finding the reasons of natural disasters. For example, one of the most widespread skeptic arguments is that climate has already changed before. People claim that it is normal to observe climate changes throughout history, and current transformation of climatic conditions should not cause any worries. However, skeptics do not consider factors that contributed to climate changes before global warming. Nowadays, human factor is the main force leading to the rapid transformation of climate in different areas of the globe.
Another skeptic suggestion is that global warming has a positive effect on the surrounding world and allows saving energy since increased average temperature becomes a dominating consequence of climate changes across the world. However, the opposing argument emphasizing the negative aspect of climate change lies in the risks associated with health, agriculture, and environmental balance. The previous decade witnessed the highest temperature in the history of the humanity. In the future, the temperature can get higher and lead to imbalance of natural processes and destruction of the natural habitat of many species. The contemporary ignorance of the problem and excessive skepticism are likely to contribute to human and animal vulnerability to high temperatures. It will result in inability to use accommodation due to rapid climatic changes. The majority of scientists started predicting changes in climatic conditions in the middle of the 20th century (Considine, 2012). However, skepticism and ignorance prevented the society from taking immediate action. As a result, global warming continues to evolve and face disbelief from many skeptics.
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A brief overview of the problem associated with denial of climatic change helped to see the scope of social disbelief and ignorance of the global warming. Political and business forces intentionally confuse the society with fake information in order to avoid restrictions associated with manufacturing processes. However, scientific evidence shows that the human factor is the main contributor to climate changes. Excessive gas emissions in the atmosphere cause melting of arctic ice and an increase of water temperature. The contemporary skeptics should listen to scientists, who have started predicting global climate changes since the middle of the 20th century.