The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change, published this year in America, is an engrossing read. It is not a real guide, but it is politically inspired and largely incorrect. The book was written by Marc Morano, who served as the director of communications for Republican senator Jim Inhofe, the one who infamously tossed a snowball in the US Senate to ‘prove’ that climate change is a hoax. Under the same premise, Morano’s opus is devoted to demonstrating that any effort to rein in greenhouse gas emissions is an expensive joke, almost likely groundless, put together by a lunatic fringe of scientists and paranoid environmentalists. It is political because it endorses the latest White House vision on the role of science. In Morano’s opinion, just to give an idea, the Obama administration ‘ruthlessly politicised science.’
Now, it would be tedious (and beyond this column’s alloted word count) to report and disprove his many findings. What’s more instructing though, is to read the book’s reviews on Amazon, where so many readers applaud its rebuttal of climatic science while awarding it five stars. ‘The Earth isn’t boiling as the religion of warming would have us believe,’ writes one. ‘An extensive, well-written review of the global warming scam, later called climate change,’ says another. Or: ‘We are covered with fake science.’
The trouble with fake-fake news is that it is too often indistinguishable from any verifiable truth. Or, at least, it gets the same importance as more authoritative voices. If a few cases of malpractice have occurred within the climatology community, this doesn’t change the physical properties of certain gas molecules that we know (since the 19th century) to be trapping Earth’s infrared radiation.
What Morano and his fans just don’t get is the temporal lapse between today’s CO2 emissions and their carry-over effect in the distant future. The book openly mocks those who, every year in the last two decades – from the Prince of Wales to Al Gore – have claimed ‘it’s the last chance to save Earth’ while the world is still there. Yet it is true that many ‘last chances’ have passed by, for those Cassandras were not worried about an impending cataclysm but rather about a planet doomed to be inhabitable within a century or two.
This was published in the September 2018 edition of Geographical magazine
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