I’m really getting into my YouTube subscriptions and the occasionally decent recommendations it’s generating from my viewing behaviour. It doesn’t take much to ruin that algorithm though, just a peek at some silly video on a website or a curious click of the wrong thumbnail can infiltrate rubbish for days, but last night this classic from John Oliver popped up.
It brilliantly lampoons the apparent one in four Americans that are solidly skeptical about climate change, by appropriately focusing on the fact that it’s no longer a matter of opinion. Like asking which number is bigger, 5 or 15. Or questioning ‘do owls exist?’ Or ‘are there hats?’
The clear crux of the spot becomes a focus on the result of a survey of over one thousand scientific papers which concluded that “97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.”. That’s just 2.9% that say it is not, which is basically as close as you can get a grown up consensus. But, the TV coverage of the matter always pits one expert on either side of the argument, suggesting the matter is a 50/50 issue. Which it’s not. See above.
Oliver takes this to an almost Randall Munroe level of illustration by having 97 experts for the facts, and 3 against, on stage. Look at that number of people that represents the huge number of scientists from across the globe, with extensive educational and research achievements, from a variety of backgrounds. Then look at the power that the three people seem to have over the masses. How is this still happening?! How can this be helped?