Arguments used to dismiss action on climate change

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A poster on Slashdot [1] suggested that there is need to provide detailed refutation to most common attempts to dismiss the climate change hypothesis with proper references, facts checked and stuff.

  • We only have temperature records for the last few hundred years. [2]
  • The sun is getting hotter. [3]
  • Climate change == global warming - great! It's too cold where I am!
  • Climate change is pseudo-science
  • Climate change is just a theory - we should wait until it's proven before taking action
  • Climate scientists deliberately falsify and/or manufacture fake data to support the theory, because otherwise they wouldn't get grants for further research.
  • Climate science is skewed by unconcious assumptions that climate change is anthropogenic
  • Climate change is a conspiracy by the UN or the French or Europeans or Chinese to hurt the USA
  • Volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans (several variants on this one - eg more than all humans ever, this year, etc)
  • For every scientist who predicts global warming doom and gloom, you will find as many who say that it isn't happening, or that human activity isn't a significant factor. [4]
  • we are barely 10,000 years out of our last one, and may still be warming FROM it? 10,000 years are mere seconds in geologic time.
  • the Earth has sustained worse temperature fluxations. (variants: in human history / last 10,000 years / lifetime of the planet) [5]
  • Cows produce methane
  • Climate change is a logical fallacy - post hoc ergo prompter hoc - ???
  • we don't know enough about the climate to accurately predict the week's weather, let alone next century -
  • "Al Gore gave a speech about the dangers of global warming on the coldest day on record in New York. " - confuses weather/climate
  • Global warming and cooling has been happening for millions of years. [6] (same as above)
  • We honestly don't have the data to say that human activity is causing more trouble than dinosaurs passing gas. [7]
  • "Anyone who wants to do climate prediction should be instantly suspect as some tree hugging radical whose agenda is to push some bullshit greenpeace agenda."
  • "...the claim that all Climate Scientists agree with the Global Warming ideas is just not so. There are a lot who think otherwise" [8]
  • "...remember the "Acid Rain" threat a few years ago that has disappeared from discussion." (also conflating climate change with CFC Ozone hole issue)
  • "If the ice on the continent's melts off won't those land masses lift up do to the loss of all of that weight? It is my understanding that they "float" on the surface anyway, thus the whole pan-Gaea(ps?) thing."
  • "This research has some serious flaws. It is essentially based on information for a single summer,.."
  • "Speaking as a (doctor/programmer/lawyer/...) I know that..." (false authority syndrome)
  • "the long term climatological charts [...] show ... long periods of warm alternated by long periods of ice age, where long is measured in thousands of years. We're actually at the end of a typical warm peak."
  • "The US led the world in creating true, workable, enforceable environmental legislation and regulation at every governmental level. Ya think someone would ask us how to figure out what is doable and what isn't?"
  • "The Kyoto accords don't account for every man made emission. Without that, it doesn't allow for a clear count of total emissions dumped into the atmosphere. For example, what about cooking/heating fires widely used throughout the world? As pointed out elsewhere in this thread what about sloppy mining practices that cause fires? What about garbage plants? etc."
  • Manmade carbon dioxide is responsible for about 0.08% of the greenhouse effect (by effect rather than by volume, and including water vapour in the equation). Will the reduction of this by 1/3 as required by Kyoto make any appreciable difference to anything?
  • "I read somewhere that the last time we had global warming the ancient civilizations were formed - Egypt, Babylonia, etc... These civilizations formed in what should've been the hottest places on the planet. Which means one of two things: Either we humans live best in 120-150 degree whether (doubtful) or global warming will increase rainfall and fertility in those regions (likely)."
  • "a CO2 sink that most global warming papers I've read tend to neglect; Plankton."
  • "800 years ago they were growing grapes for wine in northern England. So it used to be hotter than this before the heavy industrial pollutants."
  • addressing climate change will lead to American job losses

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