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The Truth Behind Climate Change

While there are critics who still doubt climate change and its impact on the future of human generations on the earth, the shifts that are occurring in the environment are hard to ignore. Most of the informed public that pays attention to global issues understand the seriousness of the issue as well as the need to resolve it urgently; however, its scale is often misunderstood. The little things that are often being advertised as solutions, such as changing light bulbs or removing plastic from daily use, do not add up as real solutions that could be effective. The real solution could be to decarbonize the global energy system that is 80% fossil fuel, but it is significant in scale and is inconvenient for governments and large corporations.

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When looking for ways to limit global warming to 1.5°C, which is the recommended benchmark, the public usually finds large volumes of advice on how to change their behaviors and benefit the planet. For example, taking public transport, choosing the train over flying, eating less meat, buying reusable cups, or turning the lights off when leaving a room (Byskov, 2019). The public is being tricked into thinking that they are the ones who could solve the climate change problem, which is very convenient for corporations and the government. Blaming regular consumers is more cost-effective than implementing real changes that could save the environment. According to Byskov (2019), just “100 companies are responsible for producing 71% of global emissions since 1988” (para. 4). Furthermore, only 25 corporations and governmental entities are responsible for more than 50% of worldwide emissions from the industrial sector in the same period. However, governments and corporations continue the narrative of blaming the public for climate change and making the problem worse than it is.

The financial connections that exist between governments and large corporations facilitate misinformation about climate change and the role of the public. Despite the fact that the own scientists of corporations and states warn about the continued extraction of fossil fuel as causing catastrophic consequences, oil companies invest billions of dollars into limiting government action to avoid being penalized (Monbiot, 2019). Corporations also sponsor politicians in Congress to restrict international attempts to curtail the emissions of greenhouse gases. As mentioned by Monbiot (2019) for the Guardian, oil companies have funded “think tanks and paid retired scientists and fake grassroots organizations to pour doubt and scorn on climate science” (para. 3). For example, Al Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth, which explored the impact of the human activity on the environment, failed to acknowledge the economic potential of broadening the use of alternative methods of sourcing energy (Marshall, D’Cruz, & McDonald, 2018). No matter how well the documentary articulated the information, it did little to show people that global corporations and government should be challenged consistently to address the implications of climate change.

The problems of the decreased environmental quality and climate change are currently being addressed from the perspective of creating an infrastructure concerning political, economic, and physical affairs that creates an illusion that the public has a choice. This leads to further consumerism, which allows skilled marketers and advertisers to sell new ‘eco-friendly’ lifestyles to the general public while oil corporations continue their harmful practices. Instead of addressing the real reasons behind climate change, governments and large corporations push the convenient narrative of shifting consumer choices, which, in reality, have little to no influence on improving the environment.

References

  1. Marshall, D., D’Cruz, G., & McDonald, S. (2018). “Un geste suffit”? Unpacking the inconvenient truths about Al Gore’s celebrity activism. Persona Studies, 4(2), 66-82.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "The Truth Behind Climate Change." June 12, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-truth-behind-climate-change/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'The Truth Behind Climate Change'. 12 June.

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