So a guy writes in to our local paper saying climate change is a big scam, nobody ever shows the actual data, blah blah blah.
I usually ignore these things like I ignore the moon landing deniers and the flat earthers, but this time I had a second in the morning and so I sent him a few things I keep on my desk like a soldier keeps weapons nearby: Naomi Oreskes Science article from 2004 (2004!) that shows that there are NO peer reviewed scientific papers that say anything other than that the climate is warming and it’s human caused; the latest NASA global temperature data going back to the 1800s; and a publication on the disproportionate warming in the United States by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization. And I mail it to the dude. Took me five minutes. Advancing the cause of information vs. myth.
Then guy calls me back, leaves a message. First, he’s alarmed that I found his address, as if I were going to come over and lecture him on climate science (If you’re paranoid, maybe not a great idea to write to the local paper … too much exposure). Then, in his message, he says, very nicely: “Thanks for the information. You’re not going to change my mind though. There are tons of studies that show this isn’t happening.”
But brother: I sent you information from the most respected scientific journal saying that there isn’t such information out there!
What is wrong with people? I know this discussion is pointless–it’s like trying to convince someone to change their religion. But I like to engage in the fight every once in a while as a sort of bloodsport, a fight club. It gets the blood flowing, like a good workout at the gym or a big cup of coffee.
Arm yourself with Grist’s “How to talk to a climate skeptic.”