WASHINGTON—Evoking cataclysmic scenes of extreme weather and widespread drought and famine, the nation’s climate change deniers held a press conference Wednesday to describe exactly what the Earth must look like before they will begin to believe in human-induced global warming.
The group of skeptics, who said that the consensus among 97 percent of the scientific community and the documented environmental transformations already underway are simply not proof enough, laid out the precise sequence and magnitude of horrific events—including natural disasters, proliferation of infectious diseases, and resource wars—they would have to witness firsthand before they are swayed.
“For us to accept that the average surface temperature of the Earth has risen to critical levels due to mankind’s production of greenhouse gases, we’ll need to see some actual, visible evidence, including a global death toll of no less than 500 million people within a single calendar year,” said spokesperson William Davis, 46, of Jackson, NJ, who added that at least 70 percent of all islands on the planet would also have to become submerged under rising seas before he and his cohort would reconsider their beliefs. “To start, we’re going to have to see supercell tornadoes of category F4 or higher ripping through Oklahoma at least three times a day, leveling entire communities and causing hundreds of fatalities—and just to be perfectly clear, we’re talking year-round, not just during the spring tornado season.”
“I don’t think it’s too much to ask to see a super hurricane destroying the Southeast U.S. and another one at the same time decimating the Pacific Northwest before I make up my mind about this.”
“The reality is that we’re still experiencing cold, snowy winters, and the entire global population is not currently embarking on cross-continental migrations in search of arable land,” Davis continued. “Until that changes, we cannot be expected to believe climate change is occurring.”
Davis went on to say that certain events, such as massive, uncontrollable wildfires across the U.S—not just restricted to the American West, but in areas including Florida and New England—would render climate change deniers open to reevaluating the decades’ worth of data that show the planet is warming at a catastrophic rate. Additionally, Davis said that for the community to begin believing a single word of any scientific journal article corroborating climate change, every one of Earth’s glaciers would have to retreat at a rate exceeding 20 miles per year, and each of the skeptics, individually, would have to go a decade without seeing naturally occurring ice anywhere.
Furthermore, climate change deniers maintained that if the total number of plant and animal species on the planet remained higher than 200 in aggregate, they would not be dissuaded from their belief that Earth is simply experiencing one of its natural warming cycles that would eventually resolve itself on its own.
“I don’t think it’s too much to ask to see a super hurricane destroying the Southeast U.S. and another one at the same time decimating the Pacific Northwest before I make up my mind about this,” said global warming skeptic Michelle Wilkinson of Medina, MN, adding that she would be willing to recognize the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change if repeated and unpredictable storm surge flooding rendered every major East Coast city, including Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., wholly uninhabitable. “The fact of the matter is that if I walk outside at any time of day at any point in the year and it’s below 90 degrees, then there simply isn’t enough proof that we need to be cutting carbon emissions.”
After clarifying that the desertification of major population centers, and the global refugee crisis that would result, would be necessary but not sufficient evidence of climate change, the skeptics reportedly unveiled a vivid artist’s rendering of the vast expanse of parched, lifeless earth and dead trees that each of them must see through the windows of their homes before reversing their opposition to public schools teaching children about global warming.
“We keep hearing all this mumbo-jumbo about the sixth mass extinction we’re in the midst of,” said Mitch McConnell, a U.S. senator from Kentucky, at the conclusion of the press conference. “Well, if that’s the case, then tell me this: Why aren’t the streets littered with human bodies right now, with the ragged bands of the still-living siphoning the moisture from the corpses of the dead?”
“We’re not unreasonable; we just need the evidence to be convincing before we make a decision,” McConnell added.