How to convince a climate sceptic

How to convince a climate sceptic

Rural climate skeptics are costing us time and money. Do we keep indulging them?

One of the most visible ways the Earth’s climate is warming is from the emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels which have been found to be the main cause of temperature changes in the past.

However, over the past two decades there has been a trend for sceptics (and some governments and scientists) to question the role of CO2 in climate change.

There is a strong scientific argument for anthropogenic global warming (AGW); that is, climate change is human caused – and therefore we should be actively trying to reduce it.

But it’s not just the AGW community that is making the case for scepticism. There is also an online community of sceptics that are increasingly out there spreading the message. It’s not that you don’t believe in global warming, it’s that you question the mechanism.

Why is this important?

In 2013 I was interviewed on a global warming website, which was discussing the debate over how the climate is changing. The interviewer asked me if I believed in global warming – I said no, at that stage I was just interested in the debate. But the interviewer suggested that I should give more credence to global warming if the evidence didn’t support it – he was talking about sceptics.

I was a sceptic for a long time, but since starting to explore the sceptical movement, I have come to question how convincing the science really is to convince a sceptic. After all, it’s my duty as climate sceptic to find the evidence that supports the scientific consensus and explain why I think it doesn’t.

Climate scientists are all over the place on the science of climate change. They make mistakes, they don’t really understand the world, and they’re all over the place about how well their predictions fit the facts.

So, how do we get a sceptical stance on climate changing without being swayed?

The current climate sceptics seem to be divided into two main groups; the mainstream sceptics and the contrarians. The mainstream sceptics seem to believe that the science is good, and that there is no contradiction between the science and what’s happening now.

Contrarians, on the other hand, like me (or I like to imagine I do), look at the science through a sceptical

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