Report: Climate Change Skeptics Could Reach Catastrophic Levels By 2020

Top Headlines

Science & Technology

Timeline Of Mass Extinction

Scientists predict that human activity has put the world on the brink of the sixth mass extinction in earth’s history, an event characterized by the elimination of a large number of species within a very short period of time. Here is a timeline of extinction events over the planet’s history

Study: Floating Heap Of Trash Now Ocean’s Apex Predator

SANTA BARBARA, CA—Noting that no marine species posed a threat and the total domination of its habitat, a study released Wednesday by researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara revealed that the floating mass of trash known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is now the ocean’s apex predator.

Dementia Study Reveals Fond Memories First To Go

BALTIMORE—Researchers at Johns Hopkins University published a new study this week on the cognitive effects of Alzheimer’s disease and other deteriorative brain disorders, finding conclusive evidence that dementia sufferers’ fondest memories are nearly always the first to go.

FDA Approves Female-Libido-Enhancing Man

WASHINGTON—In an effort to address the needs of women suffering from a lack of sexual desire, the FDA announced Tuesday that it had approved a new female-libido-enhancing man, which is expected to be made available to the general public by year’s end.

New Report Finds Humanity 10 Years Away From Something Called Ash Age

TUCSON, AZ—Explaining that the large-scale shift in geologic conditions and social organization would require a new taxonomic classification, researchers at the University of Arizona released a report Tuesday revealing that humanity is approximately 10 years away from something that will be called the Ash Age.

NASA Announces Bold Plan To Still Exist By 2045

WASHINGTON—In what is being described as the most ambitious mission ever undertaken in the space agency’s history, NASA officials announced at a press conference Tuesday their bold new plan to still exist by 2045.

YouTube Turns 10

On April 23, 2005, three former PayPal employees started a video-sharing site called YouTube, which has since grown into an influential media platform with over 1 billion users.

Pros And Cons Of Screen Time For Kids

As technology becomes more of a staple in everyday family life, parents are making choices about how much screen time to allow their children—and asking questions about how computers, phones, and TVs might help or hinder a child’s development.

Geologists Unearth Fully Intact Rock

FORT COLLINS, CO—Describing the discovery as the most flawless specimen ever unearthed, a team of geologists working in northern Colorado announced Friday they had excavated a fully intact rock.

Rehabilitated Otter Released Back Into Food Chain

SAUSALITO, CA—Following nine months of surgeries and physical therapy to heal the aquatic animal’s debilitating injuries, officials from the Marine Mammal Center released a fully rehabilitated sea otter back into the food chain Tuesday.

Conservationists Attempting To Get Head Start On Mars

WASHINGTON—Fearing that any further delay might prevent their movement from having any meaningful impact, a consortium of leading conservationists confirmed Wednesday it is attempting to get a head start on preserving the planet Mars. The newly form...

Apple MacBook vs. Google Chromebook Pixel

Shortly after Apple debuted its new ultra-thin MacBook this week, Google announced its new Chromebook Pixel 2, which similarly boasts the new Type-C USB port and high-tech trackpad.

How Cable Companies Plan To Fight Cord Cutting

More consumers than ever are “cord cutting,” or getting rid of their cable service in favor of watching shows online, challenging the cable industry to launch new initiatives in order to keep customers.

Features Of The Apple Car

After dominating sales of smartphones, tablets, and other electronics, Apple is reportedly secretly designing its first car, code-named Titan.

2015 Tech Trends

Showcasing everything from wearable devices to self-driving cars and personal drones, this year’s Consumer Electronics Show revealed the latest in new technology.

Doctors Recommend Getting 8 Centuries Of Cryosleep

STANFORD, CA—Claiming that the practice is essential for effectively recharging the body and waking fully rested and alert, doctors at Stanford University issued a report Monday emphasizing the importance of getting at least eight centuries of atomi...

Scientists Receive $10 Million Grant To Melt Stuff

COLLEGE PARK, MD—Saying the money would help further researchers’ understanding of the awesome scientific phenomenon, representatives for the American Institute of Physics announced Tuesday that they had received a $10 million grant to melt st...

Pfizer Releases Vintage Cask-Aged Robitussin

GROTON, CT—Touting the new offering’s full-bodied flavor and bold, fruit-forward bouquet, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer unveiled a vintage cask-aged variety of its popular cold medicine Robitussin on Friday. Labeled as Robitussin Reserve, the hi...

Apple Releases Brief, Fleeting Moment Of Excitement

CUPERTINO, CA—Ending weeks of anticipation and intense speculation, tech giant Apple unveiled a short and fleeting moment of excitement to the general public Tuesday during a media event at its corporate headquarters.

Startup Very Casual About Dress Code, Benefits

AUSTIN, TX—Touting the business’s laid-back, nontraditional corporate culture, Go-Go Maps founder and CEO Mike Hannasch explained to reporters Thursday that his company is pretty casual when it comes to employees’ dress code and benefits...

Hospital Comforts Patients With New Therapy Oyster Program

CHICAGO—As part of an effort to provide comfort and serenity to patients, officials at Mount Sinai Hospital have launched a new therapy oyster program that brings hundreds of the bivalve mollusks to the bedsides of those most in need of cheering up.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Small Business

Good Times

Report: Climate Change Skeptics Could Reach Catastrophic Levels By 2020

Scientists say it may be too late to effectively combat climate change deniers and that humanity may simply have to learn to live with their negative effects.
Scientists say it may be too late to effectively combat climate change deniers and that humanity may simply have to learn to live with their negative effects.

WASHINGTON—In a worrying development that could have dire implications for the health of the planet, a report published Wednesday by the Environmental Protection Agency suggests that the number of climate change skeptics could reach catastrophic levels by the year 2020.

According to the agency’s findings, the rising quantity and concentration of individuals who willfully deny or downplay the ruinous impact of the ongoing climate crisis will no longer be manageable by the end of the decade, leading to disastrous consequences for global ecosystems that may well prove irreversible.

“In recent decades, we have observed an alarming increase in people who refuse to acknowledge the reality of global warming, which has exceeded even our worst-case projections,” said EPA administrator Gina McCarthy, confirming a worldwide spike in the number of deniers who are actively seeking to discredit the scientific consensus that human activity is responsible for climate change. “If this trend continues at its current rate, we will pass a critical threshold of unfounded skepticism within the next six years that will have devastating repercussions on every continent and in every ocean, threatening the entire global population.”

“For the continued survival of Earth’s plant, animal, and, indeed, human life, that kind of runaway ignorance is a frightening prospect and one that we can no longer afford to discount,” she continued. “If we don’t contain climate change skeptics soon, we’re putting the very planet at risk.”

Since the latter half of the 20th century, the EPA noted that more and more regions, biomes, and even human commercial and industrial activities have suffered the harmful effects of individuals who refuse to accept that the ongoing rise in global surface temperatures is due to greenhouse gas emissions. Specifically, the report revealed an alarming upsurge in the number of authors of discredited scientific studies questioning the reality of climate change, adversarial cable news show guests who scoff at the notion that humans can affect Earth’s weather patterns, and politicians whose opinions are controlled by fossil fuel company lobbying groups, all of whose increased presence in the world jeopardizes the planet’s vulnerable biosphere.

Additionally, the report noted a shocking jump in the number of uninformed citizens among the public at large, whose widespread dissemination of misleading data, half-truths, and outright lies regarding climate trends has already facilitated the destruction of numerous natural resources and hundreds of species, while putting still others at imminent risk.

“The fact that the very existence of global warming somehow remains a topic of contention demonstrates that the density of these skeptics has spiraled out of control,” McCarthy said, citing data from the report showing that the concentration of the most ardent deniers recently reached a previously unheard-of 1,500 people per million. “While the U.S. remains the planet’s largest producer of climate change skeptics, countries halfway around the world are suffering environmental destruction from the actions of these people who refuse to acknowledge the threat of extreme weather conditions and rising sea levels. The effects of these outspoken deniers are truly global in scope.”

While the EPA report recognized that past efforts to reverse the proliferation of climate change deniers failed to stem the spread of their erroneous beliefs, it suggested that renewed education initiatives and well-informed public debate could at least limit the emergence of the most destructive and stubborn individuals who continue to dispute a conclusion supported by 97 percent of scientists.

However, with the rise of such individuals having only accelerated over time, the report’s authors conceded that it may no longer be possible to eliminate this devastating man-made phenomenon.

“The profusion of these skeptics was something that we as a nation should have made a better effort to get a handle on in the past,” said report co-author Gena Orlofsky, noting that the increase in private sector groups actively seeking to cast doubt on the reality of declining biodiversity and the melting of the polar ice caps was observable as early as the 1990s. “At this point, so much pseudoscience and misinformation have been released into the world that we simply have to accept that those who refuse to ‘believe’ in objective scientific fact aren’t going away. All we can do is attempt to minimize their impact on our planet.”

“It’s a terrible shame. There was a time when I hoped we would be able to reverse this trend and return our understanding of the consequences of our actions to normal levels,” she continued. “But frankly, it appears to be far too late now.”

Next Story