The individuals I'm referring to are those who, out of purely ideological motivations or because they are whores for corporate interests, continue to spread the idea that global warming is a hoax perpetuated by rabid environmental wackos who hate our beautiful American way of life. What these folks typically do is find some fringe, right-leaning "scientist" who has "hard data" that proves either that global warming is not really happening at all or that it is not caused by human activity.
Of course, there's virtually unanimous agreement among serious scientists that global warming is real, that it is caused mainly by the spewing of carbon emissions into the atmosphere, and that the consequences, if we don't get a handle on this problem, are dire for our species and for the planet as a whole.
End of story.
There is no real debate about global warming. There's only the truth that we are screwing up the planet because of our selfish, short-sighted, materialistic human activities and there's the reality that, if we want future generations to inherit a planet that is not completely inhospitable to human life, we'd better act now, before it's too late. This means living far more sustainably, consuming much less, and radically reducing our global CO2 emissions.
But global-warming deniers will do all they can to prevent us from changing our lifestyles in any way that will cut into fat corporate profits. The more we consume and the more we use fossil fuels to heat our homes and drive our cars, the more profits there are for multinational corporations like Exxon and General Motors. And the way our economy is set up, just about the only thing that really matters is nice, bloated profits. The well-being of future generations is a luxury that a corporation can't afford to consider.
The global warming deniers, however, may finally have gone too far. Recently, the Heartland Institute, a right-wing think tank funded by - you guessed it - corporations interested in spreading doubts about the reality of global warming, created an ad campaign comparing those "who still believe in global warming" to some of the world's most notorious murderers, like Theodore J. Kaczynski (aka The Unibomber) and Charles Manson. According to the Institute, "what these murderers and and madmen have done differs very little from what spokespersons for the United Nations, journalists for the 'mainstream media' and liberal politicians say about global warming."
But just as this misinformation spread by the tobacco industry created a backlash against cigarette smoking, so too will global warming deniers, like those at the Heartland Institute, eventually go too far with their malicious lies. All right-wing ideologues, after all, share a similar contempt for the intelligence of the average person. That will ultimately prove to be their down-fall. The more extreme they get in spreading their propaganda, the more attention they draw to the issue of climate change, and the more they ultimately help those of us on the left to get the truth out.
In the meanwhile, feel free to let the Heartland Institute know exactly how you feel about their campaign of lies!