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As important as this is, the consensus argument just won’t work to convince climate skeptic hold-outs. They’re convinced academia’s sold out – i.e. no grant $$$ available for anyone who hasn’t already swallowed the climate change kool-aid. They’ll always trot out a dentist who believes otherwise. As Americans, we love the scrappy underdog contrarian who goes against the consensus and is eventually proved correct – at least that’s how it always works out in the moves – and that’s what they rely on to maintain the ignorance.
I think climate scientists would be better served by describing the actual mechanism of greenhouse effect based on carbon dioxide and explain that this idea has been around since Aarhus back in the 1890s. This is nothing new. Not some scheme cooked up by a bunch of eggheads to make us all socialists.
Explain it to people – skeptic hold-outs included – instead of talking down to them with the implication that 97% of scientists have done your thinking for you – so you don’t have to. No one likes to blindly follow anyone anywhere – why would that be any different with climate change?
And no, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant – in fact without carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to raise and regulate atmospheric temperature, we probably wouldn’t be living on this planet. But like any good thing, too much of it can make it become a bad thing.
The fact is we really can’t do much without someone somewhere burning something on our behalf. We can’t feed ourselves without burning something. We can’t shelter ourselves without burning something. We can’t move ourselves without burning something. We can’t heat ourselves without burning something. We can’t cool ourselves without burning something. Etcetera. That something has overwhelmingly been something carbon-based. That needs to change.
Finally, yes, there was climate change/temperature increases way back when, way before human beings walked the earth. But I’m pretty sure those increases were also because of increases in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – only those increases took place over thousands or hundreds of thousands of years. We’re replicating those same increases in only hundreds of years. That’s got to stop too.
To be clear, I fully accept the reality of human-caused global climate change. But I got there only after I made it a point to understand the actual science behind it all.