the cherished myths of climate change deniers

Es­ti­mated reading time is 2 min­utes.

PROP­ERLY, A MYTH is a “tra­di­tional story of os­ten­sibly his­tor­ical events that serves to un­fold part of the world view of a people or ex­plain a prac­tice, be­lief, or nat­ural phe­nom­enon” (Merriam-Webster). But we rarely use that de­f­i­n­i­tion today. Most of us use myth with its sec­ondary de­f­i­n­i­tion: “an un­founded or false no­tion.” And that is how it is used in an ar­ticle in the Sep­tember 18, 2019, edi­tion of Teen Vogue.

Teen Vogue was a US print mag­a­zine launched in 2003 as a sister pub­li­ca­tion to Vogue. It was tar­geted at teenage girls and in­cluded sto­ries about fashion and celebri­ties and even­tu­ally ex­panded its focus to in­clude pol­i­tics and cur­rent af­fairs. With the De­cember 5, 2017, issue, Teen Vogue ceased its print edi­tion and con­tinued as an online-only pub­li­ca­tion. (Edited lib­er­ally from Wikipedia.)

Ti­tled “5 Cli­mate Change Myths De­bunked,” au­thor Mark Maslin states that the warming we’re wit­nessing around the planet is not part of a nat­ural cycle:

“The sci­ence of cli­mate change is more than 150 years old and it is prob­ably the most-tested area of modern sci­ence. How­ever, the en­ergy in­dustry, po­lit­ical lob­by­ists, and others have spent the last 30 years sowing doubt about the sci­ence where none re­ally ex­ists. The latest es­ti­mate is that the world’s five largest pub­licly owned oil and gas com­pa­nies spend about $200 mil­lion each year on lob­bying to con­trol, delay, or block binding, climate-motivated policy.

This or­ga­nized and or­ches­trated cli­mate change sci­ence de­nial has con­tributed to the lack of progress in re­ducing global green­house gas emis­sions to the point that we are facing a global cli­mate emer­gency. And when cli­mate change de­niers use cer­tain myths—at best fake news and at worse straight lies—to un­der­mine the sci­ence of cli­mate change, or­di­nary people can find it hard to see through the fog. Here are five com­monly used myths and the real sci­ence that de­bunks them.”

Here are the five myths the au­thor addresses:

1. Cli­mate change is just part of the nat­ural cycle.

2. Changes are due to sunspots/galactic cosmic rays.

3. CO2 is a small part of the at­mos­phere — it can’t have a large heating effect.

4. Sci­en­tists ma­nip­u­late all data sets to show a warming trend.

5. Cli­mate models are un­re­li­able and too sen­si­tive to CO2.

I have heard each of these in con­ver­sa­tion with oth­er­wise in­tel­li­gent people. No matter how many ar­ti­cles are written and how many facts are amassed to dis­prove these myths, I think they are with us until the end of the world.

To read the ar­ticle in its en­tirety, click HERE.

The five largest publicly-owned oil and gas com­pa­nies spend about $200 mil­lion each year lob­bying to con­trol, delay, or block binding, climate-motivated policy. Click To Tweet


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