Infographic: global warming deniers are full of s***

Whenever I’m arguing with global warming skeptics, I disclaim that  I don’t claim to be an expert in any of the sciences that could prove or disprove global warming. I do, however, have enough common sense to realize that, quite frequently,  global warming deniers are or represent people or interests with potential ulterior motives (money), while global warming believers tend not to have ulterior motives (unless you but buy the Al Gore wants to create mass hysteria thesis, which I don’t) but do tend to have the support of most of the scientific community. So which side is more likely to be telling the truth? If you read what I just wrote, how was it for you? Was it as awkward for you to read as it was for me to write? I’m feeling kind of embarrassed and inadequate right now. You better just take a look at this infographic, posted by  Jess Zimmerman at Grist, which makes the point I’m trying to make.

If you’re capable of critical thought, your first response when you hear about green nonprofits and climate scientists engaging in a vast worldwide conspiracy is probably not “oh no!” but “why in the world would they bother?” (Hint: It’s not for the money.) Via Brooke Jarvis on Twitter, here’s a graphical representation of why the opposite hypothesis kinda makes a lot more sense.

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9 Comments

  1. Posted February 28, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    While I agree with this article whole-heartedly I would just like to point out, as someone in the scientific community, that money and self-interest are by no means below activists and science professionals and infact you should be doubly sceptical of these ‘boom’ organisations as economists and scientists realised early on that there is a hell of a lot of money to be made in the green revolution selling people short lengths of string and snake oil.

    In a less money-grubbing way it should also be noted that within the operating budgets of these charities/trusts/NGO’s/GO’s experts are often paid more than the average wage.

  2. Posted February 28, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Dear me.

    The argument ‘I have nothing to gain from this’ is not scientific. It is populism.

    When it comes to hard science, then it is likely that the people most likely to have reasoned arguments are those who work in a scientific field; the fact that they work or have worked or have studied with oil companies or similar does not invalidate their argument.

    I could quibble more (are you really suggesting that no one makes a living supporting climate change? get real).

    Just one point: do you distrust vaccines on the ground that Big Pharma promotes them?

    Or do you disagree with contraception (Women’s Health) because a lot of people make a very good living from it? Probably not.

  3. Posted February 28, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    This is more a fact check, but oil drilling and the burning/using of oil isn’t the primary cause of global warming (It’s a major one, yes, but not the biggest) The number one cause of global warming is the meat industry — one, they have to clear away forests in order to graze the cattle, so we no longer have trees absorbing the carbon dioxide and making oxygen; two, what cows emit is toxic — more methane than any other living creature — so it adds those nasty chemicals to the air. This, combined with the amount of beef that has to be farmed because of what America, alone, consumes daily… Well, you’d have more of an impact going vegetarian than scrapping your car and turning down your heat is all I’m saying.

    But, on the basis of the ‘Denial’ front, yes, this was a good article.

  4. Posted February 29, 2012 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    My astronomy teacher last semester explained to us how global warming is a hoax. Basically anything humans can do to this planet is nothing compared to what nature can do. Throughout millions of years there are warmer periods and cooler periods than the average. The suns activity and rotation of the Earth have millions of times more effect on temperature and natural disasters than anything man-made. We as humans being on top of the food chain like to think we are all that but we ain’t shit compared to mother nature. Our perceived effect is laughable.

    • Posted February 29, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      That human beings can do nothing to our planet compared to nature is a scientifically testable, and easily disprovable, assertion.

      Let’s just start with the very clear case of the hole in the Earth’s ozone layer over the South Pole. The release by humans of chlorofluorocarbons into the earth’s atmosphere caused a series of atmospheric chemical reactions, starting with the breakdown of those chlorofluorocarbons by ultraviolet radiation into chlorine ions, or “free radicals”. Those free radicals then acted as catalysts in the natural transformation of ozone into oxygen, considerably accelerating the natural rate of decay and unbalancing the levels of ozone in the atmosphere.

      This led to a very clear and well-documented “hole” in the ozone layer over Antarctica. After seeing this effect, and rightly fearing for what global ozone depletion would mean it terms of our protection from ultraviolet rays, we humans multilaterally agreed to phase out the use of chlorofluorocarbons from uses such as aerosol spray cans and automobile air conditioners, replacing them with other molecules that did not have an effect on the ozone layer, a process completed in the mid-90s.

      Consequently, global ozone layers have stopped their decline, and the hole over Antarctica is shrinking. That these effects are a direct and clear result of human activity is universally agreed upon and indeed the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded for the research claiming that CFCs were causing ozone decomposition.

      So, we have a clear, entirely unambiguous case of human activity affecting the planet’s atmosphere on a serious global scale, directly observed and within our lifetimes.

      I don’t know how your astronomy teacher could have been more obviously wrong.

      • Posted February 29, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        What about the record lows we have seen last winter throughout the world? I didn’t say humans can’t affect anything at all but our effect COMPARED to the sun’s activity, moon’s gravity, and rotation of the Earth is nothing. Sooner or later we will go into a cool period for years or decades and this global warming talk will stop. Then we will go into a warmer period and the talk will continue again. I’m sorry to say this but the global warming crowd reminds me of conspiracy nuts who believe the world is coming to an end, aliens are kidnapping people, the CIA is behind everything, and pretty much anything that talks of imminent disaster. I hear these paranoid people on Coast to Coast radio when I’m driving and they are funny as hell. I’m not surprised these people also believe in global warming.

        • Posted February 29, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

          Are you trying to change the subject? I don’t understand.

          Your astronomy teacher asserted that humanity’s effect on earth’s atmosphere compared to the natural conditions, mass of the earth, effect of the sun’s radiation, etc., could never cause a distinct global change in conditions.

          I pointed out an indisputable case, depletion of ozone, where human activity created a serious and directly visible global change in the state of the atmosphere, compared to the normal action of the entire mass of the atmosphere, the chlorine released from the oceans, the sun’s activity, etc., and where humanity deliberately taking action measurably and conclusively reversed that change.

          Do you agree that I disproved your astronomy teacher’s assertion or not?

          • Posted March 3, 2012 at 3:59 am | Permalink

            His astronomy teacher is an alien and works for the CIA.

  5. Posted March 11, 2012 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Two things: One, the scientific community’s preferred term is ‘Global Climate Change’, because they too have heard the argument ‘I can disprove global warming: It’s currently cold outside. Ha ha.’ It refers not just to warming of our planet, but how it’s climate is changing, completely, on a fundamental level.

    Two, go to climate.nasa.gov. Click under ‘Evidence’. And just remember: This is NASA. Our own space agency, charting global climate change, and with proof that it is human caused and upon us. Every other country in the world besides us knows this and is already feeling the effects. And if Nasa isn’t enough for you, check out the EPA and IPCC (Which won a Nobel prize). I think they know better than your astronomy teacher.

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