In current news on climate change, there were some pretty cool pieces on progress on climate action throughout the world. One of these was the signing of the Paris Agreement by the Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte, for example. Of course, there was a balance between optimistic articles and then the slightly less optimistic ones about how a potential science advisor for Donald Trump thinks ‘climate change is great for the environment’.

We also read this week about Shell’s 1991 video documentary warning us about catastrophic climate change- a story that was featured everywhere from The Guardian, Wired, Huffington Post and many many others. While Shell may have produced this documentary, it still went on to lobby against climate action and also engaged in some seriously non climate friendly activities- but hey, what else is new right?

Something else caught my eye though- a claim by Micheal Makabenta Alunan that ‘Climate Change is real, but dont blame humans’. When I read the title, I thought it would be one of those tongue in cheek articles, because no one could still be talking about this in 2017 right?

Wrong. The ‘Business Mirror’, a publication based in the Philippines published the article on the 28th of February. Less than a few days ago. I’m going to go ahead and hope that this article was meant to create viewership through shock value, because no one could seriously believe any of the claims made in the article anymore.

The article goes on to deny that man made CO2 leads to global warming- and I quote ‘ Prof. Philip Stott of University of London noted that when humans were not yet producing CO2, we had little ice ages and warm periods.’ Prof Stott has never published a single scientific paper on the subject- but this is still one of the better references in the article. The rest include the ‘Global Warming Swindle Documentary’, ‘voluminous literature on the internet’, and my personal favourite- ‘In the 14th century, Europe was in a Little Ice Age, as shown by illustrations of ice fairs and people skating on the Thames River. In the medieval period, England had a warm climate, as manifested in the writings of English poet Chaucer and the memories to this day of historic sites in England like vineyards, Vine Hill, Vine Street, Vinery, etc’.

To be honest, I am not really sure where to start putting the facts out to correct all the inaccuracies in the article- and perhaps I don’t need to. For anyone really interested in learning about climate change, there is a lot more scientific, peer reviewed data available on climate change than there is about climate skepticism, or misleading articles such as this. Some of the other articles in the news this month, backed up by proper research and references include this startling one about the Antarctic sea ice being the smallest its ever been. This is particularly relevant because climate deniers favourite hobby horse is claiming that sea ice is increasing- and this provides evidence that thats not true. Or maybe this one providing clear evidence that coral reefs are being bleached or obliterated because of climate change.

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The article does acknowledge that climate change is real- but denies that humans have anything to do with it. Acknowledging that climate change is happening but denying what caused it, is dangerous. If we deny that CO2 has anything to do with it, and focus only on adapting to the changes we see, then we’re stuck, putting pots and pans under a leaking roof. Just how we were when Shell released that documentary.

Anam Zeb

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