Deniers are not about the science

April 17, 2011

Global warming deniers are a dime a dozen in comments posted on the web.

From the ignorant to the willfully misleading, these deniers rarely manage to dent the confidence of someone with a good grasp of how the greenhouse effect works. But then, climate activists and scientists aren't their target.

Global warming deniers scream about the supposed lack of scientific facts and “proof”, but evidence continues to mount for global warming and its effects.

The most foolish seem to think that “proof”, like a logical mathematical equation, can be found for complex ecological and biological sciences.

We have a mountain of evidence for human caused climate change and it’s stupid to ignore evidence. But some do because they are only interested in logical “proof”.

I find very few global warming deniers ever make much scientific sense of the greenhouse effect itself. Most just talk about slightly-related or unrelated things like the effect of solar activity on the climate.

But which part of the greenhouse effect and its impacts do they actually disagree with? Try to get a sensible (or consistent) answer on that from this motley crew, with their feel-good eyewash.

Do they disagree that there is a greenhouse effect? That gases such as CO2 contribute to it?

Do they simply disagree with scientists over the amount of extra warming that a given increase in atmospheric CO2 will cause (known as the "forcing effect")?

Do they even know how much warming is caused (without taking other influences into account) by the current or projected increases in atmospheric CO2 over pre-industrial levels?

Do they even understand the chemistry of burning a tonne of coal or oil and how that transfers inert, sequestered carbon into a greenhouse gas?

The greenhouse effect deniers are, as the popular book by Naomi Oreskes puts it, “Merchants of Doubt”.

The tactic is to throw doubt into the discussion and hope you will dissuade a few people from trying to understand or face up to global warming.

It doesn't matter if you chuck in any old lie or barely relevant weather trend or meaningless anecdotes, as long as you sow the seeds of doubt widely.

It’s a political ruse that supports the fossil fuel industries’ needs. In the final analysis, it has nothing to do with the science.

It’s about going back to business as usual — promoting a consumer lifestyle as if nothing is going to happen and believing that big business always acts in our best interests.


Prove C02 is a cause and not a result.
Given that an overwhelming majority of weather/climate scientists believe that CO2 from human (fossil fuel) sources is the main cause of current climate change, the onus of proof is on the deniers. So you go and prove it to me. The correlation between burning millions of tonnes of coal and oil and increasing atmospheric CO2 is well established. Where do you think all that carbon goes when you burn the stuff? Prior to industrialisation, atmospheric CO2 levels were around 280 parts per million. Now they have just hit 390 parts per million. It is the height of anthropocentric (or just plain egocentric) arrogance to assume we can change such a major variable in the Earth's climate without serious effect. Ben Courtice

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