Rebut a Climate Change Denier With These Simple Responses

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photo: Matt Brown/Creative Commons

You can never have too many tip of the tongue answers when common questions about climate change come up, whether from outright climate deniers or from people who aren't up on the science and have genuine questions about common climate skeptic claims. NRDC recently released a FAQ on this, and now Climate Progress is highlighting a more extensive and excellent list of arguments, one line answers, and more complex ones. They all come from Skeptical Science, which just released an excellent primer on the human fingerprints on modern climate change as well, with the paragraph-length responses from Climate Progress.

Here are a sampling of them:

8. "Ice age predicted in the 70s"
One line response: The vast majority of climate papers in the 1970s predicted warming. One paragraph: "1970s ice age predictions were predominantly media based. The majority of peer reviewed research at the time predicted warming due to increased CO2."

15. "It's freaking cold!"
One line response: A local cold day has nothing to do with the long-term trend of increasing global temperatures. One paragraph: "Since the mid 1970s, global temperatures have been warming at around 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade. However, weather imposes its own dramatic ups and downs over the long term trend. We expect to see record cold temperatures even during global warming. Nevertheless over the last decade, daily record high temperatures occurred twice as often as record lows. This tendency towards hotter days is expected to increase as global warming continues into the 21st century."

26. "Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas."
One line response: Rising CO2 increases atmospheric water vapor, which makes global warming much worse. One paragraph: "Water vapor is the most dominant greenhouse gas. Water vapor is also the dominant positive feedback in our climate system and amplifies any warming caused by changes in atmospheric CO2. This positive feedback is why climate is so sensitive to CO2 warming."

37. "IPCC is alarmist."
One line response: The IPCC summarizes the recent research by leading scientific experts. One paragraph: "The IPCC lead authors are experts in their field, instructed to fairly represent the full range of the up-to-date, peer-reviewed literature. Consequently, the IPCC reports tend to be cautious in their conclusions. Comparisons to the most recent data consistently finds that climate change is occurring more rapidly and intensely that indicated by IPCC predictions."

The questions and answers just go on and on, covering all the familiar topics: Will limits on CO2 harm the economy (no), is ocean acidification serious (yes! with exclamation points!), glaciers aren't actually melting (some are growing, because of local conditions, but most are in retreat), human activity is too insignificant to affect the global climate (not hardly...).

Read all 136 (!!!) of them at Climate Progress, it's good stuff: Simple rebuttals to denier talking points - with links to the full climate science
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More on Global Climate Change:
Just Because It's Snowing Out Doesn't Mean Global Warming is Fake, Say It With Me People
Melting Arctic Sea Ice May Actually Cause Colder Northern Winters
Answer Your Climate Skeptic Relatives PDQ With NRDC's Holding Global Warming FAQ

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