There is little doubt that the worlds of science and politics are miles apart, especially with respect to how they make their decisions. Politicians are driven by public opinion or, in rare cases, a sense of activism. Either way, they occupy a space of arguments. Scientists, on the other hand, operate using theories and hypotheses, taking data and then using it to make conclusions. When it comes to something like climate change, the two worlds couldn’t be further apart.
No serious scientist would deny that the planet is undergoing a warming trend, especially given the visible-to-the-naked-eye melting of polar ice. Thus, politicians would argue that what is still up for debate is that global warming is man-made. According to a report by The Guardian, a survey of recent climate studies find that there is a consensus of around 97 percent that human industrialization is responsible for it.
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According to The Huffington Post, a new study from the Climate Accountability Institute has identified “90 companies [that] are responsible for almost two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions since the start of the Industrial Revolution.” Of those 90 companies, 83 are gas, oil, or coal producers. Also the study determined that the past 25 years has seen the amount of greenhouse gases double.
Still, others think the study unfairly paints energy companies as the villains, such as Andy Revkin of The New York Times, comparing it to blaming gun deaths on gun manufacturers absolving the individuals who pulled the trigger. “I do not mean that gun manufacturers, or fossil fuel companies, have no responsibility in such matters,” he writes, but suggests “discussions of accountability have to go much farther down the chain.” Climate Change advocates suggest that this is a clear indicator that the world should embrace the “carbon budget” idea which means reducing energy production and consumption before global temperature rise higher than two degrees—the international acceptable standard.