Some skeptics view climate science as a house of cards. You pull one card from the bottom and the whole thing collapses. But science is more like a jigsaw puzzle, assembled piece by piece over decades of research. Gradually, the overall picture emerges, until it's unmistakable. Remaining gaps or...
"Skepticism is invaluable to the scientific method. But an honest skeptic can be persuaded by facts. These deniers are largely impervious to facts — at least facts that contradict their worldview."
"When I was six years old, there were conflicting theories about how babies were born. Somebody said a stork brought them. Another guy said your parents bought them at the hospital. Another said girls had some kind of flap between their legs that babies came out of, and something about penises. ...
Would you trust Joe Camel to teach science to your children? Even lifelong smokers don't want Joe near their kids. The tobacco industry pioneered modern disinformation to discredit medical research. Now some "skeptics" use the same tactics to discredit climate science.
If you can find a way to scientifically debunk climate change, you can be rich and famous. Just beware that many scientists before you have tried. . . and failed.
If you want to find the truth, hire a detective (or scientist). If you just want to win, hire a lawyer (or PR firm).
Suppose you saw a dead body in a crime scene. Would you believe a police detective who says, 'A ghost did it!' when there's evidence everywhere that a particular person committed the crime?
"Mother Nature is just chemistry, biology and physics. That's all she is. You cannot sweet-talk her. You cannot spin her. You cannot tell her that the oil companies say climate change is a hoax. No, Mother Nature is going to do whatever chemistry, biology and physics dictate" "Mother Nature alwa...
Blaming Exxon "is like blaming a raccoon for going through your trash. They’re simply responding to available opportunities." Their "multi-billion dollar investment" in Arctic seabed exploration "is predicated on Exxon’s belief that the planet is warming. . . is one of the most powerful admissions...
"Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced." -- James Baldwin
"Science is so powerful that it drags us kicking and screaming towards the truth, despite our best efforts to avoid it."
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
Partial evidence can be very misleading. Remember the "blind men feeling an elephant" allegory? One feels a leg and says it's a tree. Another the trunk; i'ts a snake! Another pats the body and calls it a wall. The only way to figure out what's really going on is to look all the evidence together...
Who amongst us hasn't delayed opening a bill or bank statement, because we want to postpone reading the unpleasant news?
"When it comes to climate change, true skepticism is two-sided. One-sided skepticism is no skepticism at all." —Michael Mann. "I will call people who deny the science 'deniers.' I won't be deterred by the fact that they don't like the use of that term and no doubt that just...
"We desperately want to believe that big problems are overblown or nonexistent. Whenever a group of people 'desperately wants to believe' something, there will always be someone willing to tell them what they want to hear, whether the opportunists are charlatans or simply nutjobs."
"If ten people told you your house was on fire, you would call the fire department. You wouldn’t really care whether some of them thought that the place would be incinerated in an hour and some of them thought it would take a whole day."—Elizabeth Kolbert.
"Ok, but its going to get expensive real quick," responds my friend, Scott, a car mechanic. The science of climate change is very similar...
It's hard to change habits, especially when the most harmful consequences lie in the distant future. Try convincing a teenager to stop smoking because he might get lung cancer... in 20 years!
All scientists are skeptics. The motto of UK's 350-year-old Royal Society is 'Nullius in verba,' Latin for "On the words of no one" or "take nobody's word for it." It is "an expression of its enduring commitment to empirical evidence as the basis of knowledge about the natural world."
When your only tool is a hammer, all problems look like nails. A corollary: Show me a problem that is obviously not "a nail" and I'll tell you why that problem is . . . a hoax! Since my only tool is a hammer.... "screws" cannot be real!
Question: "What is the single most important piece of evidence supporting global warming theory?" Answer: "What is the single strand that is most important in holding a rope together? Finding one single strand that can be cut to break the rope is very unlikely." — Dr. Richard Alley
"The evidence for climate change is not a house of cards, where you take one piece out and the whole theory falls apart. It's more like a mountain. Scrape a handful of pebbles off the top, but the mountain is still there."
97 of 100 doctors recommend quick action to correct your child's serious abnormalities revealed by tests. One doctor says the child seems healthy, it could be a natural, so 'wait and see.'
"Now, suppose you're the parent. What would you do?"
"Now, suppose you're the parent. What would you do?"
Debate is a contest of orators; Science is a contest of evidence.
"It may not be common sense, but if common sense were good enough, we wouldn't need science."
Skepticism = looking at all the evidence before drawing a conclusion. Denial = rejecting any evidence that does not support your preferred, predetermined conclusion.
"It is the nature of the human species to reject what is true but unpleasant, and to embrace what is obviously false but comforting."
'First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.'
Imagine your radiologist pointing to a spot on your lung x-ray, which several top oncologists have agreed shows cancer.. Would you say, 'I don't believe in surgery. So that can't possibly be a tumor'? Variation: '...so that tumor must be a hoax!"
Keystone XL pipeline is not the most destructive. The worst pipeline runs from Wall St. to Capitol Hill, via K St. It gushes money, not oil.
100 years ago, Titanic's Captain Smith steamed ahead full speed, despite iceberg warnings. By time the fatal 'berg was visible, it was too late to turn the big ship. Today, the looming hazard is global warming. Will we heed the warnings in time to change course?
When you've built a great wall of evidence it takes more than a brick coming loose to bring the whole lot down.
"Carbon offsets...are like pushing your food around your plate to give the impression you've eaten it."
It is easier to argue for the existence of Santa Claus than argue against all the evidence of climate change.— a scientist at Washington University.
Science denial and politicization occurs whenever some influential group sees a new discovery as threatening to their worldview, values, status or income. Not unique to climate science, this has been going on for centuries.
"I really, really deplore the politicisation and polarisation of this issue" [global warming]. "There are these increasingly unprincipled attempts to polarise the science when the science is fact—like the sky is blue, the grass is green and the temperature of our planet is increasing." —Katharine Ha...
Climate change is like one of those Hollywood disaster movies that pit obstructionists against ordinary people who become heroes. Those movies often end with a kiss. We don't know how the climate change story will end—will our grandchildren enjoy some end-of-movie kisses?
There is no such thing as a free lunch. If there is, you might get food poisoning.
'You can't wake a person who is pretending to sleep'—Oromo saying, Ethiopia
"When looking for a hat rack to hang your science upon, avoid those that have upside-down hooks." — Scott Mandia, tweeting about climate contrarian Joe Bastardi
“You can’t change (climate science) facts by ignoring them. This is like trying to lose 20 pounds by smashing your bathroom scale.” — Mike Breen, Executive Director of the Truman National Security Project, and leader of the clean energy campaign, Operation Free.
"The one thing we know in science and life in general is that we can't just throw out the data we don't like just because we don't like it." – Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, climate scientist at Texas Tech University.
‘If someone has a certain worldview that does not allow them to see the facts of climate change, then they just won’t see it.’ – George Lakoff, Professor of Linguistics, UC Berkeley.