“There are no excuses left”:
Why climate science deniers are running out of rope
The Guardian, 10/17/2020
Audible in the background is the drumbeat of new science, data piling on data showing how close we are coming to disaster. In 2007, I watched the scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change emerge bleary-eyed from an all-night session in Paris where they faced down vested interests to warn emissions must peak by the early 2020s to avoid dangerous climate change. By 2013, in the fifth report in Stockholm, they predicted it would be 30 years before the 2C threshold would be breached. Last year, in the starkest warning yet, the IPCC gave us 12 years to reverse direction.
Our climate knowledge has increased vastly in 15 years. No one can now plausibly say there is not enough data, or that we lack the technology, or that saving the climate is too expensive. All of these pretexts have been exploded by patient scientific work. There are no excuses left and now it is up to journalists to ensure there are no more hiding places either, in the boardrooms, on the websites of fake news, behind the facade of populism. That is what the Guardian has committed to do, with a clear focus on the climate emergency. Even if that upsets some people in the corridors of power: there can be pride in being the worst, if that’s what it means.