If you pay close attention to the way liberals talk about climate change, you will notice that the majority of the time they use just two persuasion techniques to get the rest of us to buy into their agenda: Emotion and scare tactics. Though such persuasion methods lack any real facts or evidence, they are often extremely effective because human beings naturally enjoy feeling good about themselves. When an environmentalist makes the wild claim that cute little polar bears are dying because of what humans are doing to the planet, many people are more than willing to make significant life changes to save them. Similarly, when radical leftist claim that America’s coastal cities will one day be underwater unless we decrease our carbon output, people are literally scared into action.
An example of this was seen during Barack Obama’s recent speech at the Global Food Innovation Summit in Milan, Italy. As reported by The Independent, in his speech, the former president claimed that climate change would cause a refugee crisis that is “unprecedented in human history,” and that the inability to grow crops due to rising temperatures was “leading to political instability.”
Barack Obama went on to say that the United States is experiencing “floods on sunny days,” increased wildfires, and coastal erosion and ice melts in Alaska. If the world fails to decrease the amount of carbon dioxide being thrown up into the atmosphere, Obama argued, we risk “not only real threats to food security, but also increases in conflict as a consequence of scarcity and greater refugee and migration patterns.” Additionally, he said that changes to rain patterns in the Indian subcontinent would result in a migration of refugees that “would be unprecedented in human history.”
So to sum up, according to Barack Obama, unless we all pitch in and adopt an environmentally friendly lifestyle, there will be more wildfires, more floods, fewer crops, more refugee migration and more international conflict. Sounds like the plotline of a cliché science fiction movie, doesn’t it?
Conservatives have an entirely different way of persuading people that their agenda is what’s best for the country. Instead of resorting to horror stories, threats and intimidation, most people on the right debate by using facts, statistics, and data. With respect to the debate over climate change, a conservative would most likely tell you that polar bear numbers have actually been increasing over the past decade, that the Antarctic sea ice is actually expanding rather than shrinking, and that there has been virtually no statistical global warming trends recorded for the past twenty years according to satellite data. These are indisputable facts, which as you probably have noticed, paints an entirely different picture than the doom-and-gloom rhetoric coming from the progressive left.
As it turns out, fact-based arguments for the idea that human beings are not contributing to the warming of the earth seem to be more effective than the emotion-based arguments of the left. According to a survey on “the politics of climate” released by Pew Research Center last year, the overwhelming majority of Americans don’t believe in the so-called “scientific consensus” that the earth is warming due to human activity. The survey found that only 27 percent of Americans agreed with the idea that “almost all” scientists say human behavior is related to climate change, and 35 percent say that “more than half” of scientists agree on this. Additionally, 35 percent of participants believe that “fewer than half” of climate scientists or almost none at all think that human activity is linked to rising temperatures.
The study also found that just one-third of Americans trust that climate scientists really understand whether or not climate change is happening.
Perhaps emotion and scare tactics from the left aren’t enough to win over the American people after all. At the very least, it’s encouraging to see a study that demonstrates some form of independent thinking is still taking place in our country.