Brian Merchant of TreeHugger thought he was just picking up one story when he wrote about a hard-core climate denier who turned into a climate realist recently. The “convert” acknowledged, despite once believing in the major climate science conspiracies, that once you look into the matter in depth, there’s no doubting the problem — “I was defeated by facts,” D.R. Tucker said. (Audio interview of Tucker below.)
However, after some feedback from readers, Merchant has decided to do a little series on climate change converts like Tucker. To start with, here’s a video of one actual climate scientist who describes how he changed from probably healthy skepticism to understanding that this is really the issue it is made out to be:
But this climate scientist, who actually changed his mind on the matter awhile back, is not the most notable skeptic to do so. A couple of major, widely-known climate deniers have done so in the past year or two, and if you haven’t heard about the change, these summaries (part of a list of 6 “global warming skeptics” who changed their minds) give you the gist of the information:
1. Bjorn Lomborg, Danish academic
Lomborg made waves with his 2001 book, The Skeptical Environmentalist, which argued that global warming was no big deal, and fighting it would be a waste of money. This month, he’s publishing Smart Solutions to Climate Change, which argues that a global carbon tax should be imposed to raise $150 billion a year to address global warming.
Before quote: “In 20 years’ time, we’ll look back and wonder why we worried so much.” (2002)
After quote: “We actually have only one option: we all need to start seriously focusing, right now, on the most effective ways to fix global warming.” (2010)
2. Dmitri Medvedev, Russian president
Russian leaders are famously skeptical of global warming, with then–President Vladimir Putin quipping in 2003 that a warmer Russia “wouldn’t be so bad” because “we could spend less on fur coats, and the grain harvest would go up.” Then Russia caught fire this summer, choking Moscow with deadly smoke, devastating agricultural production, and convincing Medvedev and other leaders that perhaps global warming is a threat, after all.
Before quote: Climate change is “some kind of tricky campaign made up by some commercial structures to promote their business projects.” (2009)
After quote: “Unfortunately, what is happening now in our central regions is evidence of this global climate change, because we have never in our history faced such weather conditions in the past.” (2010)
Yes, the world will come around, when they are finally hit with the effects of global warming or, hopefully, even sooner if they look into the details of climate science.
Here’s Merchant’s interview with D.R. Tucker, an example of how the latter can come about:
- 7 Ideas Why Climate Change Deniers Deny the Clear Science
- Science Under Attack [VIDEOS]
- Unprecedented Attack on Progressive Blogs, Bloggers, Democracy, Journalists, and Their Families
- The Irony of Global Warming Denial
- Fox News Boss Ordered Staff to Make Climate Change Seem Doubtful
Image on front page via Matt From London