Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 3 Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

How to Talk to a Climate Change Denier

By       Message Ernest Partridge       (Page 1 of 5 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   4 comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 2   Valuable 2   Supported 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H4 3/9/14

Author 23
Become a Fan
  (5 fans)
From http://www.flickr.com/photos/111354113@N07/13045169025/
(Image by laville.pierre@ymail.com)   Permission   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -


The contest is joined. On one side there is the near-unanimous conclusion of thousands of active climate scientists throughout the world: the global climate is changing and human technology is the primary cause. From the other side we are told that "climate change" is at worst a "hoax" or at least a normal and natural phenomenon not significantly affected by human activity. This position is endorsed by right-wing media, almost all congressional Republicans, and a few bought-off "scientists" ("biostitutes") lavishly funded by fossil fuel industries.

So how do you deal with a "denier" willing to engage you in a debate?

If the "denier" tells you that "God would not allow the climate to change" or that "Jesus will fix all that when he comes back in the next few years," and then quotes the Bible as "evidence," save your breath and his time. His is a hopeless case.

- Advertisement -

But if your adversaries are citing what they believe is "scientific fact" or otherwise exhibit some indication of a capacity to yield in the face of scientific evidence, they just might listen to reason and consider evidence -- but don't count on it.

You might proceed by citing scientific studies, to which your opponent will likely respond with anecdotes, out-of context quotes, and citations of dissenting "biostitutes" (Cf. "The Tobacco Institute"). But this promises to be an endless harangue. As one wit put it, "for every Ph.D there is an equal and opposite Ph.D." Except, of course, in this case, with regard to the weight of empirical evidence, the "experts" in question, while "opposite," are not equal.

 

- Advertisement -

Three Questions for the Denier:

Instead of citing an endless list of scientific studies, I propose a different approach. Pose just three questions.

  • "How, then, do you deal with these acknowledged facts?"

  • Now he might reply that the press has lied: that there never was such a survey, and that there is no such thing as the IPCC. But such a reply will only confirm that your adversary is a certified citizen of Fantasyland, and that it is time for a polite but prompt exit.

    - Advertisement -

    But if your opponent answers the first two questions affirmatively, it seems that there are only four conceivable responses to these compelling facts:
     

    1. "Global climate change" is a hoax, perpetrated by a world-wide conspiracy of thousands of scientists.

    2. Those scientists have been "bought off" by funding agencies -- primarily governments -- who have a secret agenda (variously described).

    Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5

     

    - Advertisement -

    Well Said 2   Valuable 2   Supported 1  
    View Ratings | Rate It

    opednews.com

    Dr. Ernest Partridge is a consultant, writer and lecturer in the field of Environmental Ethics and Public Policy. Partridge has taught philosophy at the University of California, and in Utah, Colorado and Wisconsin. He publishes the website, "The (more...)
     

    Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

    The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

    Writers Guidelines

    Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles

    Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

    Debate Creationism vs. Evolution? Why Bother?

    Bungling Toward Oblivion -- A Letter to My Friends in Russia

    The Fix Is In -- Again!

    Can the GOP Steal The Election Again? You Betcha!

    "Country First?" – The Question of Loyalty

    Let's End the New Cold War Before it Heats Up