Talking to a Climate Skeptic

The Most Common Skeptical Arguments About Climate Change (from the Grist articles: How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic)


1. Temperature

  • There is no evidence
  • The temperature record is simply unreliable
  • One hundred years is not enough
  • Current global warming is just part of a natural cycle
  • It’s cold today in Wagga Wagga
  • What’s wrong with warmer weather?
  • Warming is due to the Urban Heat Island effect
  • The satellites show cooling
  • Global warming stopped in 1998
  • They predicted global cooling in the 1970s
  • Some sites show cooling
  • One record year is not global warming


2. Cryosphere & Oceans Temperature

  • Glaciers have always grown and receded
  • But the glaciers are not melting
  • Antarctic sea ice is increasing
  • Antarctic ice is growing
  • Greenland used to be green
  • Sea level in the Arctic is falling


3. Modeling

  • Kyoto is a big effort for almost nothing
  • Why should the U.S. join Kyoto when China and India haven’t?
  • Climate change mitigation would lead to disaster
  • Hansen has been wrong before
  • We can’t even predict the weather next week
  • Chaotic systems are not predictable
  • We cannot trust unproven computer models
  • The models don’t have clouds


4. Climate Forcings

  • Mars and Pluto are warming too
  • It’s the sun, stupid
  • Climate scientists dodge the subject of water vapor
  • Water vapor accounts for almost all of the greenhouse effect
  • There is no proof that CO2 is causing global warming
  • CO2 doesn’t lead, it lags
  • CO2 in the air comes mostly from volcanoes
  • What about mid-century cooling?
  • Geological history does not support CO2’s importance
  • Natural emissions dwarf human emissions
  • Mauna Loa is a volcano
  • The CO2 rise is natural
  • The US is a net CO2 sink
  • Observations show climate sensitivity is not very high
  • If aerosols are blocking the sun, the south should warm faster


5. Paleo Climate

  • It was warmer during the Holocene Climatic Optimum
  • The medieval warm period was just as warm as today
  • The hockey stick is broken
  • Vineland was full of grapes
  • We are just recovering from the LIA
  • Global warming is nothing new!
  • Climate is always changing
  • Historically, CO2 never caused temperature change
  • If we can’t understand the past, how can we understand the present?


6. Scientific Process

  • Global warming is a hoax
  • There is no consensus
  • The null hypothesis says global warming is natural
  • Position statements hide debate
  • The scientists aren’t even sure
  • Consensus is collusion
  • Peiser refuted Oreskes