• Dr Jarrod Gilbert is a sociologist at the University of Canterbury and the lead researcher at Independent Research Solutions. He is an award-winning writer who specialises in research with practical applications.
There is no greater crime being perpetuated on future generations than that committed by those who deny climate change.
The scientific consensus is so overwhelming that to argue against it is to perpetuate a dangerous fraud.
Denial has become a yardstick by which intelligence can be tested.
The term climate sceptic is now interchangeable with the term mindless fool.
Since the 1960s it has been known that heat-trapping gasses were increasing in the earth’s atmosphere but no one knew to what effect.
In 1979 a study found ‘no reason to doubt that climate changes will result and no reason to believe that these changes will be negligible’.
Since then scientists have been seeking to prove it and the results are in.
Meta studies show that 97 per cent of published climate scientists agree that global warming is occurring and that it is caused by human activities.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science compared it to the consensus linking smoking to cancer.
The debate is over – yet doubt continues.
For decades arguments denying the harms caused by smoking were made.
A tobacco executive once said: ‘Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ that exists in the minds of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy’.
Such doubts can be highly effective -particularly if they allow people to support agendas that are politically or economically useful to them.