Scientific American talks evidence, digging into seven arguments against the reality of climate change that, if not the most frequently-cited in general, are certainly the most frequently cited in BoingBoing comment threads. Personally, I've started trying to avoid the snarky, dismissive tone this piece veers a bit into...I just don't think it helps anything to make the honest skeptics feel mocked. (The oil lobbyists, the anti-semetic conspiracy nuts, etc. can be easily and freely mocked on an individual basis.) But that aside, the article is worth reading. Good answers given for:
- Anthropogenic CO2 can't be changing climate, because CO2 is only a trace gas in the atmosphere and the amount produced by humans is dwarfed by the amount from volcanoes and other natural sources.
- The alleged "hockey stick" graph of temperatures over the past 1,600 years has been disproved. It doesn't even acknowledge the existence of a "medieval warm period" around 1000 A.D. that was hotter than today is.
- Global warming stopped a decade ago; the earth has been cooling since then.
- The sun or cosmic rays are much more likely to be the real causes of global warming.
- Climatologists conspire to hide the truth about global warming by locking away their data. Their so-called "consensus" on global warming is scientifically irrelevant because science isn't settled by popularity.
- Climatologists have a vested interest in raising the alarm because it brings them money and prestige.
- Technological fixes, such as inventing energy sources that don't produce CO2 or geoengineering the climate, would be more affordable, prudent ways to address climate change than reducing our carbon footprint.
Scientific American: Seven Answers to Climate Contrarian Nonsense
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Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.