John Cook’s Skeptical Science is perhaps one of the best tools combating the misinformation campaign by providing counters to the denial movement’s false claims about climate science.
For some time I’ve been musing on producing a similar resource that provides short, snappy responses to the denier’s non-scientific claims. Very much a small, modest compliment to the Skeptical Science communities wonderful work.
While the deniers may use arguments such as “the climate has always changed” and “it’s the sun”, more often than not what they rely upon are arguments such as “it’s a conspiracy” and “climate change is a religion”.
So far I’ve come up with a short list of these most commonly used arguments.
I’m writing short counter arguments to these – indeed I welcome feedback, contributions and suggestions.
The conspiracy arguments
- It’s a conspiracy or gigantic fraud
- Scientists are conspiring to silence sceptics/critics
- Its an attempt to introduce a “one world government”
- The “water melon” theory: socialists using climate change to impose left wing tyrannies
- Climate change is being used a means to forcibly reduce the worlds population
- Climate change is being used as a means to de-industrialise the “West”
- Scientists are hiding something by not releasing their data to the public
The financial and economic arguments
- Governments are using this as a ploy to tax/revenue raising
- The “follow the money” argument: scientists are making up climate change to receive “billions” in funding
- Scientists, politicians and others stand to personally gain from promoting climate change
- The “left” sees it as a chance to redistribute wealth
- Bankers and financial interests wish to profit from carbon trading
- Action on climate change will destroy the economy and way of life
The world view arguments
- Climate change is a religion
- The science of climate change is a product of left wing/socialist ideology
- The science of climate change is a product of left wing bias in universities and academia
- Climate change is being used to “scare” the population into submission (for many of the above purposes)
Arguments based on sociology, psychology etc.
- Climate change is just one more in a long list of “false alarms” (DDT, global cooling)
- Climate change is a form of popular delusion or group think among scientists
Most are variations on two simple arguments:
- It’s a conspiracy
- The conspiracy is perpetrated by those with an either ideological agendas or stand to personally gain
I’d like to ask readers to contribute any I’ve missed. I don’t have a title yet, so “sceptical politics” is the working one.
If anyone has any good ideas, feel free to suggest!
I don’t want to sully the good name of John’s Skeptical Science!
Cheers Mike @ WtD