If we are going to talk intelligently and honestly, we need to avoid taking sides. The debate, certainly online at least, is currently characterised by name-calling and sweeping statements. At the moment we have a battle between ‘scaremongerers’ and ‘alarmists’ on the one side, and ‘climate-deniers’ and ‘flat-earthers’ on the other. People who should know better, scientists and journalists, (including Monbiot for that matter) aren’t above this, and all it does is polarise the debate. It pushes us to extremes and makes it very difficult for those of us in the middle who may still have genuine questions to put to both sides.
Name-calling demonises the other side. When campaigners for action on climate change insult those who are still skeptical, they alienate them. We make them the ‘other’, the enemy. This is completely counter-productive. Why would anyone join the cause, on either side, after being insulted by them?
Because climate change affects us all, and needs participation from everybody, we really need to change the tone of the debate as a matter of urgency. We must respect differing opinions. We need more grace, more patience with each other.