How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic

You may have heard the rubbish: The earth is in a ‘cooling phase,’ lots of scientists disagree, look at all the snow we had this winter, and more.

dunceImage from Say Hey

It’s all garbage, and mostly recycled trash at that. Unfortunately, there are still many who believe it – perhaps because they read it in the National Post, or heard it on Fox News, or heard our Prime Minister or George Bush say it. There are many, many more who think there may be a little bit of truth, so there’s no rush to act.

When I was in my ‘climate sceptic’ phase I actually researched many of the claims and discovered them to be bogus, but not everyone has time to do that. Fortunately, others have taken the time to assemble lists of the common claims, and to show they are:

  • outdated
  • exaggerated
  • outright fabrications

For those who are interested, here are some excellent sites to send deniers to:

  1. http://www.cfrb.com/node/680864
  2. http://gristmill.grist.org/skeptics

#1 is entitled “Fibs, Frauds and Whoppers,” and was put together by Scott Adams of Dilbert fame. It starts with a brilliant comic and covers the essential arguments briefly and effectively.

#2 is far more detailed and is for the hardcore sceptic. It covers every conceivable argument in detail, with graphs and scientific references galore, yet is still easy to read. It is also nicely indexed by argument and degree of denial required to actually believe the claims.

A word of caution: In my travels, I have run across people who cannot and will not be convinced, at least at this point in their development, regardless of these things we call facts. As far as I can tell, this is because these people have an almost religious belief in ‘the market’ to solve all problems. As a result, they see climate change as some sort of ‘socialist’ attack on ‘the market,’ and respond with religious fervor and no sense whatsoever. Our Prime Minister and Environment Minister (and the U.S. president) fall into this category, and this fact alone should disqualify them from holding any high office.

Also, anyone who quotes an economist against the reality of climate change is automatically disqualified. Anyone who doesn’t understand the reason why economists are disqualified is also disqualified.

Ms. May (for non-Canadians, she is the leader of the Green Party of Canada) once took some heat for comparing Stephen Harper and the other fiddlers to Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler pre-World War II. If we don’t get moving on this climate crisis, Mr. Harper will be very lucky to be compared only to Chamberlain.

“Prime Minister Stephen Harper once called the Kyoto accord a “socialist scheme” designed to suck money out of rich countries….

“I’m talking about the ‘battle of Kyoto’ — our campaign to block the job-killing, economy-destroying Kyoto accord.”
http://www.cbc.ca/news/yourview/2007/01/harpers_letter_dismisses_kyoto.h

Why do I post this now?

  1. Mr. Baird has just introduced a waste-of-time and life bill that allows the tar sands to continue to pump pump out CO2 for years without regulation.
  2. The CBC is running ‘Green Rush,’ a special showcasing all the companies embracing green technology and doing quite well by it. There is simply no need for the tar sands; we have alternatives, we just need to use them. We never will, at least in any significant way, while Mr. Harper and Mr. Baird are in power.
  3. There is increasing evidence that we have a very short time to cut our emissions to zero (0). Nada, nil, zilch, zip. The climate change – crisis – is coming faster than expected, and if we don’t act now, we will be in such big trouble that we literally cannot imagine the consequences.
  4. The denialist fools have stepped up their efforts to confuse the issue. They’re on the run, and they know it. They are making a last-ditch effort to create fear (the economy!), uncertainty (the earth is cooling…really!), and doubt. FUD. It’s all they’ve got left; their conscience departed some time ago.

It’s up to us. Get out there and spread the word.

Cross-posted to my Green Party of Canada blog: http://www.greenparty.ca/en/node/4105. Though, let’s get real, one’s political party has nothing to do with the climate crisis.

Brian Gordon is a Canadian Green Party member and candidate trained by Al Gore to present An Inconvenient Truth.

If you want to keep up with Brian’s adventures in the Green Party, why not subcribe to our RSS feed? We’ll even give you a free album.

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