Never debate a forum poster… but you can do some good

Tips for engaging (or not) in online forum debates

One of the most frustrating, and in my estimation pointless, exercises is debating climate change sceptics in online forums. I have yet to see anyone actually say “You have a point – you’ve changed my opinion on the matter, thank you!”

Once a climate change news story is posted, a swarm of climate-change sceptics will descend within minutes to make the following claims:

  • CO2 does not effect the climate
  • It’s a left wing conspiracy
  • A flood of links to sceptic blogs and YouTube videos
  • Attacks on the Rudd government, climate scientists and other “elites”
  • Claims that climate change is a religion
  • Al Gore is lie, fraud or crook

Its pointless engaging these individuals. They are entrenched in their views, and will only get nasty if you attempt to engage them.

However if you do venture into this public forums there is some good you can do.

Post links to the actual science and ignore the angry swarm.

By doing so you’re inserting real information into the debate. Hopefully those sitting on the fence, or looking for actual clarification on the issue will go to legitimate sources of information.

You may not win over committed sceptics, but there is a chance you can educate others on the actual science.

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