Conventional wisdom pegs 2007 as the long awaited tipping point in waking the American public up to the urgency of global warming. Yet as I review in my latest "Science and the Media" column at Skeptical Inquirer Online, such optimism runs up against the reality of public opinion.
Despite Gore's breakthrough success with Inconvenient Truth, American opinion today is little different from when the film premiered in May 2006. Gore has done a very good job of intensifying the beliefs of audiences who were already concerned about climate change, but a deep perceptual divide between partisans remains.
Still, the past twelve months were not without several overlooked developments that present both opportunities and challenges. They include:
a) The emergence of a new paradigm in climate change communications.
b) The rise of an "invisible middle" of climate perspectives.
c) And a powerful new public health definition of the problem.
In the column, I highlight these developments with many links to past posts or comments at Framing Science or other sources such as Andrew Revkin's new climate blog hosted by The NY Times.
Oh woe is us. They still don't get it. Stupid people. When, oh when, dear Earth, will the masses wake up and fly right?
We are doomed I tell you. DOOMED!
Of all the ways in which we are destroying our environment, the slight increase in temperature is relatively minor. Al Gore is a straw man, a known exaggerator (to put it gently), and is stealing the focus of environmentally conscious folks away from more important issues, like the anthropogenic extinction event on par with the one that killed the dinosaurs.
Gore's most hysterical projections have a few of our major cities underwater in a few years, which nobody would care about a few hundred years later, while we're causing the extinctions of thousands and potentially millions of species, which will be missed forever.
Well, we already knew what the innumerate thought, so you two are wasting your troll powers. Meanwhile, billy goats gruff population is rapidly swelling out of control!