NEW YORK -- As Neil Armstrong pointed out, “people love conspiracy theories”, with a section of the citizenry of the United States (arguably) more susceptible than most to such notions – witness Sandy Hook, the Boston bombings, 9/11 and Benghazi. However, one GOP politician has backed a prominent online theory that suggests the science of climate change is simply a product of nefarious plotting by unseen hands.
On Monday, Louisiana state representative Lenar Whitney said that global warming was "the greatest deception in the history of mankind", suggesting the near-universal agreement between the globe’s scientific community was nothing more than the work of a shadowy cabal bent on empowering the US executive branch and increasing taxes. Said Whitney in a campaign video: “A specter is haunting America… It is perhaps the greatest deception in the history of mankind.”
Referencing Al Gore’s 2006 Academy Award–winning climate change documentary An Inconvenient Truth, the politician argued that the planet "has done nothing but get colder each year since the film’s release,” adding: “Quite inconveniently for Al Gore, and for the rest of the politicians who continue to advance this delusion, any 10-year-old can invalidate their thesis with one of the simplest scientific devices known to man: a thermometer.”
Unfortunately for Whitney, as numerous scientists have pointed out, seasonal temperatures and climate change over decades are two completely different things, with the notion that a cold winter means climate change is false having been roundly debunked.
Yet despite Whitney's conspiratorial outburst, the climate change debate does appear to be shifting in the US, with some Republicans, including George Bush’s treasury secretary Hank Paulson, arguing in recent months that climate change was not only happening but required immediate national and international action.
Below are nine political cartoon on climate change from around the world...