ABC News: U.S. prestige falling as world has ‘pretty well given up’ on any American leadership facing climate change.
The legendary Peter Raven has a must-see ABC News interview. Bill Blakemore has a terrific piece on it, ”Global Warming Denialism ‘Just Foolishness,’ Scientist Peter Raven Says.”
Raven and biologist Paul R. Ehrlich co-invented “the bedrock concept of co-evolution,” in 1964. Raven tells ABC bluntly
“It’s not a matter of conjecture anymore,” he said. “Climate change is the most serious challenge probably that the human race has ever confronted.”
Raven quickly summarized the virtually unanimous understanding of the world’s climate scientists and other responsible experts about the great upheavals manmade global warming is now producing.
Blakemore has a great video interview of Raven “in the now world-famous, immense and exquisite gardens that .. he had turned into an expansive vision of what a peaceful and balanced world could look like — a sort of international botanical metaphor.”
Raven talks warming starting around 2:15:
Raven slams denialism, as Blakemore explains:
America’s Prestige Damaged by Its Climate Denialism; World Has ‘Given Up’ on Hoped-for U.S. Leadership
“Two years ago,” Raven added in his email, “the world was hoping for U.S. leadership on this question, global climate change, and now it has pretty well given up, with us as the only hold-out nation on the science.”
An extensive “disinformation campaign” in the United States about the scientific solidity and gravity of manmade global warming has been described in detail by a number of academic analyses and extensive professional journalistic enquiry.
For example, “Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues From Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming,” by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, details how ideological, political and fossil fuel industry interests have been able to confuse and intimidate many leaders in legislature and media.
Blakemore notes that other leading experts have made a similar warning of the risks posed to this country of allowing its science, climate, and energy policy to continue to be captured by the deniers:
Also dovetailing with this and Peter Raven’s assessment that “the world has pretty much given up” on American leadership in climate, Christiana Figueres, the head of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) used even stronger language, speaking of the “tragedy” of the U.S. position:
“The tragedy of the position that the U.S. is taking is that not only does it act here in a way that is not particularly ambitious, but the more tragic part about it is the U.S. is cutting off its possibilities to be a leader in this field, to be a leader in green technology (and thus) to create jobs,” Figueres said. “The U.S. is losing leadership to China.”
So we lose moral leadership — which will become an increasing threat to our so-called “soft power” as the full impact of climate change begins to kick in over the coming decades and the world sees our intransigence as a major reason for inaction.
And we lose the chance to be a leader in the single biggest job creating sector of this century — carbon-reducing technologies and strategies.
And we undermine science education, another key component of a successful 21st-century economy. As Former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman told ABC’s Jake Tapper back in August:
I think we ought to be straight up and rational and stick with the facts. And when we have a body of science, listen when — you know, if you had 98 out of 100 oncologists, cancer doctors, who basically said the following course of treatment is going to be good for prostate, breast or colon cancers, we would all salute and say finally we have a consensus among the scientific community.
We raise up our young people we tell them to get a good education and tell them to move forward and solve the great challenges of today, find a cure for cancer, make the world a better place. We then get the results are willing to jettison it and to shun it? I just think that’s the wrong direction.
The Daily Mail headline on the ABC interview of Raven is “Global warming denial in U.S. will help China overtake America, says top scientist.” When the Daily Mail criticizes you for denialism, you know you have gone way overboard.