Dr. Michael Mann, a renowned climate scientist, spoke at a recent event by the Pima County Democratic Party focusing on climate change. Dr. Mann showed us how fossil fuel companies have waged a thirty-year campaign to deflect blame and responsibility and delay action on climate change. We heard his battle plan for how we can save the planet.
Sandra Kennedy of the Arizona Corporation Commission, spoke about her agency’s actions to fight climate change. In May, the commissioners voted to advance and amend Arizona’s energy rules that will move the state to 100% carbon-free energy by 2070. Learn more at www.arizonaenergyrules.com.
Dr. Mann, a distinguished professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State University, reveals that fossil fuel companies, right-wing partisans, and oil-funded governments have used “an array of powerful Ds: disinformation, deceit, divisiveness, deflection, delay, despair-mongering, and doomism.”
Meanwhile, “A clean energy revolution and climate stabilization are achievable with current technology,” Mann says. “All we require are policies to incentivize the needed shift.”
Mann proposed four steps for climate activists to take.
Disregard the Doomsayers: The misguided belief that “it’s too late” to act has been co-opted by fossil fuel interests and those advocating for them, Mann argues. We must reject the overt doom and gloom that we increasingly encounter in today’s climate discourse.
A Child Shall Lead Them: Youths are fighting to save their planet, and there is a moral authority and clarity in their message that only the most jaded can disregard. Young people are the game-changers climate advocates have been waiting for, and their actions, methods, and idealism are models for all.
Educate, Educate, Educate: Most hard-core climate-change deniers are unmovable, with an ideology impervious to facts. Don’t waste time and effort trying to convince them. Instead, work with and help inform victims of climate change disinformation campaigns so they can join efforts to combat the climate challenge.
Changing the System Requires Systemic Change: Those responsible for fossil fuel disinformation engage in either-or arguments rather than address more significant systemic issues and consider incentives. Policies need to incentivize shifts away from fossil fuel burning toward a clean, green global economy, and those policies warrant the support of elected leaders.
“We need to elect politicians who are willing to do something about the climate crisis, and we need to vote out those who won’t. The fact is that we can’t as individuals impose a price on carbon or subsidies for renewables or blocking new fossil fuel infrastructure. These are things that only our elected policymakers can do, and we need to hold them accountable,” he says.