Opinion: Challenge climate change deniers

PUBLISHED: 08:30 29 June 2019

East London Humanist Paul Kaufman believes the scientists about climate change.

East London Humanist Paul Kaufman believes the scientists about climate change.


Belief in man-made climate change is no different from religion. So said Lance Forman, newly elected Brexit Party MEP for London, writing for this column in 2015.

His scepticism is widely shared by other members of the Brexit Party, including new MEP's Ann Widecombe and Nigel Farage. Climate change is potentially a life or death issue which dwarfs even Brexit. Their new won power makes it more important than ever to scrutinise their dismissal of the evidence.

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Like Trump, they argue in effect that for 30 odd years we have been the victims of a vast hoax. Those out to hoodwink us include top scientists and politicians around the globe. Just one apparent trickster is the US space agency NASA, perhaps best known for sending men to the moon, unless of course you believe this was a studio-filmed scam (another conspiracy theory!).

NASA's website points out that the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide has been known since the mid-19th century. Using their tried and tested expertise they have taken extensive measurements and evaluated them together with over 100 years' worth of data. Their conclusion is that man-made CO2 pumped out since the industrial revolution has adversely affected the climate. An estimated 97 per cent of climate scientists reach the same conclusion. Strong evidence that this puts planetary life at imminent risk persuaded every country in the world to sign up to the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015. It's hard to think of any other international agreement which has met such universal support

Contrary to Lance's assertion, belief based on measuring and evaluating evidence is not religion. It's science. Of course there is, as on other issues, a handful of contrarians who don't accept evidence even when it becomes overwhelming. The Flat Earth Society is still going strong and even has its own website.

The stakes are too high not to act on scientists' warnings, even if the risk turns out to be less than estimated. Trump's US is so far the only country aiming to pull out of the Paris agreement. Any of our politicians inclined to follow suit must be challenged.

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