The OP is absolutely correct. There are very powerful, moneyed interests that wish to prevent anything that threatens their monopoly on energy.
Anything. Even the possibility that carbon emissions might
be causing global warming must be nipped in the bud to prevent negative impact on
profits further down the line. This is why they have funded spurious research to try to prove that global warming simply is not happening. Since the
overwhelming trend in the objective data is that the overall global temperature has been rising for the past two hundred years, they have used their
own studies to claim that these findings are "controversial." They are not.
Having failed to refute the data, they then needed to attack the interpretation. They are on sounder footing here. There are indeed long term global
climate variations, the exact causes of which are not fully understood. The more dramatic glaciations can be explained by the
but short term variations are still somewhat mysterious. Fluctuations
in solar output, increased cloud cover due to galactic cosmic radiation, varying amounts of volcanic dust in the atmosphere and other possible causes
have all been suggested. One thing that is certain, however, is that the "Greenhouse Effect" is real, and is largely responsible for Earth being as
comfortable as it is. Carbon dioxide (and, by the way, methane) is a "Greenhouse Gas." Higher amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere makes the
Earth warmer. There is no controversy, this is a fact.
Because there is some amount of uncertainty as to what contribution various factors make to global warming, and to what degree humanity's
contribution to that warming might be, the powered interests have labeled that uncertainty a "controversy." It is not.
In the United States, the far right is an unholy alliance of plutocrats and religious fundamentalists. The religious right has discovered a tactic
that is now being used by corporate interests with great irony. In order to justify and further their religious agenda, the fundamentalists have made
an all out attack on science, claiming that evolutionary theory is "only a theory" and therefore "controversial." They insist that schools "teach
the controversy," setting "creation science" and evolution side by side in the classroom. Evolution is an accepted scientific principle, it is not
controversial. "Creation Science," AKA "Intelligent Design," is not a science, it is religious dogma.
Corporate interests have sought to portray the inevitable uncertainties in climatology as a "controversy." There is no controversy among climate
scientists. The hard data indicates that the mean temperature of the Earth's atmosphere has been increasing. The "Greenhouse Effect" is very real.
The only issue is the exact
contribution of anthropogenic gases to the effect.
By creating an artificial political controversy, the moneyed interests have distracted the public from examining the more important issues raised by
the observed fact
of global warming. Humanity has achieved a truly global civilization. People all over the planet are in instantaneous
communication with one another, and each region of the planet is reliant on every other for important goods and services. A drought in Brazil can lead
to famine in China. Famine in China can lead to a scarcity in manufactured items in the United States. All of this interconnectivity comes courtesy of
copious amounts of energy, and at current rates of consumption, it cannot be sustained.
As the climate changes, the physical landscape changes as well, irrespective of the causes of climate change. Low lying coastal areas will flood
without extensive sea walls, endangering cities like New Orleans. Once viable farmland will suffer droughts. Conversely, a sudden cooling could have
equally disastrous consequences, causing inland waterways to become un-navigable. One way or the other, these changes are inevitable. The question
that needs to be debated is: who is going to pay for it all? Who will pay for the sea walls needed to save the Earth's ports? Who will take
responsibility for maintaining the farmland necessary to feed the Earth's population? Who will keep the waterways navigable? And most importantly,
how are we going to keep civilization running when we run out of gas?