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Tom Friedman to Climate Change Deniers

Edith Wilson's picture

I asked New York Times op-ed columnist Tom Friedman to come see our "100 ideas to save the planet" at last week's DM2009 competition.  His response was he was on his way to the Amazon, where climate change is accelerating the despoiling of that vast ecosystem and driving its indigenous communities into more povery.  A number of DM200 finalist projects from Latin American would attack those ravages.

In his column today, Friedman says bluntly: "My argument is simple: I think climate change is real. You don’t? That’s your business. But there are two other huge trends barreling down on us with energy implications that you simply can’t deny."

For more, here's the column.


Submitted by Christine Zarzicki on
This concept of climate change denial is very interesting. After reading your article, the column by Tom Friedman and a few dozen comments that were written in response to Mr.Friendman, my head was left spinning. It is truly unbelievable how many people do not regard climate change as an imminent threat to our existence. While many climate change skeptics seem to be bothered by the overdramatic nature of the environmental activists and green movements, there does not seem to be another alternative to this type of broadcasting that would elicit a serious response. The fact remains, there are many people in this world who simply believe that climate change is not an issue and thus refuse to take action. I have seen the non-believers first hand. As a student of International Relations, this topic is very relevant to our studies. I frequently will bring it up at work or in social situations to see what type of response I get. The reactions are astonishing. Many people think it’s a conspiracy theory put forth by the government and green companies so that our businesses will boom and our economy will grow. Some think it’s a way for Hollywood to make money, capitalizing on society's fear of mass destruction and the end of the world. And some believe it’s simply just something for our government and our media to talk about; it is something for the public to focus on between military interventions. Whatever the theory, however, the fact remains the same, many people are still not buying into it. So when I read columns like Tom Friedman’s, which are over zealous about electric cars and American being a leader in the green revolution, I am not surprised. We need this enthusiasm, this vigor, and this blatant honesty. We need more people writing columns and fighting the corporate opposition to carbon taxes. We need to get through to people. Whether it simply a matter of "ignorance is bliss", a true addiction to a certain lifestyle, or sheer disbelief, the challenge to creating a sustainable ecofriendly lifestyle are alive and well.

Submitted by Christine Zarzicki on
Somewhat relevant statistics from the Blog "There goes the [global] neighbourhood" Alex Evans on the Global Dashboard website "Less than half the population believes that human activity is to blame for global warming, according to an exclusive poll for The Times. Only 41 per cent accept as an established scientific fact that global warming is taking place and is largely man-made. Almost a third (32 per cent) believe that the link is not yet proved; 8 per cent say that it is environmentalist propaganda to blame man and 15 per cent say that the world is not warming. Tory voters are more likely to doubt the scientific evidence that man is to blame. Only 38 per cent accept it, compared with 45 per cent of Labour supporters and 47 per cent of Liberal Democrat voters"

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