Essay by Eric Worrall
Climate activists appear to be losing control of the narrative, as their followers reach the very logical conclusion that nobody is going to do anything substantial to avert their imaginary climate disaster.
Why is climate ‘doomism’ going viral – and who’s fighting it?
By Marco Silva
BBC climate disinformation specialist
Climate “doomers” believe the world has already lost the battle against global warming. That’s wrong – and while that view is spreading online, there are others who are fighting the viral tide.
As he walked down the street wearing a Jurassic Park cap, Charles McBryde raised his smartphone, stared at the camera, and hit the record button.
“Ok, TikTok, I need your help.”
Charles is 27 and lives in California. His quirky TikTok videos about news, history, and politics have earned him more than 150,000 followers.
In the video in question, recorded in October 2021, he decided it was time for a confession.
“I am a climate doomer,” he said. “Since about 2019, I have believed that there’s little to nothing that we can do to actually reverse climate change on a global scale.”
Why it’s not too late
Climate scientist Dr Friederike Otto, who has been working with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says: “I don’t think it’s helpful to pretend that climate change will lead to humanity’s extinction.”
“There is no denying that there are large changes across the globe, and that some of them are irreversible,” says Dr Otto, a senior lecturer in climate science at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment.
“It doesn’t mean the world is going to end – but we have to adapt, and we have to stop emitting.”
…Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-61495035
McBride’s videos are available here. If anyone can be bothered digging out the doomer video, please comment and I’ll post a link.
Even the newly elected Australian government isn’t going to do anything substantial about emissions – because green solutions just don’t work. They’ll make a few noises about closing down coal, maybe shut down a coal station or two, kill a few big companies, then panic when power prices spike, inward investment collapses and the tax money runs dry.
So the part about “but we have to adapt, and we have to stop emitting.” just isn’t going to happen. In the context of their limited understanding, the doomers are being rational, more rational than the activists.
The only question is, how many committed doomers will “catch the bus” early?
I hope I’m not being too obscure with the Jonestown reference at the top of the page – the mass murder / suicide at Jonestown stands as a grim lesson of what can happen when an apocalyptic death cult embraces the logical conclusion of their warped worldview. I believe the same thing could happen to the climate doomers, except on a much larger scale.
At any moment an insane but charismatic climate doomer could publish a final TikTok video, and trigger a wave of copycats. I doubt it will be Charles McBryde – he seems way too narcissistic to end his show early. But there are some sick people out there, and some of them have a following.
We already have unequivocal evidence that young people are acting on their climate pessimism, embracing self destructive life choices because they genuinely believe there is no hope.
Frankly I would rather climate doomers go back to embracing climate activism instead of continuing to embrace climate doomerism – at least climate activists have a mission, they have something to live for. People can learn by their mistakes, if they are still alive to do so.