Chances are you have encountered a climate change skeptic. These are the people at parties and in the workplace who comment on the beautiful weather and say, “climate change, bring it on.”
It would be helpful if you were armed with a few climate change facts to push back on this.
“It’s the coldest winter ever! So much for climate change!”
This comment is one you might hear in your friendship group, at a party, or in your workplace. The sentiment goes a long way to establishing the general ambiguities around climate change since most people take their data from the day-to-day weather conditions in particular seasons.
However, there is a difference between “weather” and “climate change.” The weather fluctuates on a daily basis, but climate change refers to long-term trends. Naturally, the two overlap - a warming climate impacts weather conditions - but it is simplistic to conflate the two dynamics.
“Climate change is natural; it’s been happening forever!” It’s true that earth is a dynamic and changing planet in the solar system, and that has been the case long before plants, animals, and humans began to evolve. When we look at the history of the planet, it’s clear that there have been periods of extreme warming and cooling over time.
The trouble is that periods of warming coincide with increased greenhouse gas emissions - these are measured with ice core samples and atmospheric research. The planet can sustain life due to CO2 absorption, but humans are releasing harmful gases back into the atmosphere.
“Even scientists can’t agree if climate change is real!”
For a long time, there was not a complete consensus in the scientific community on the progress of climate change. A few climate change skeptics attributed the planet’s warming to changes in the temperature of the sun or natural fluctuations in the planet’s core temperature.
Today, with an already 1.2-degree temperature increase above pre-industrial levels, there is complete consensus amongst the scientific community that climate change is a real threat. Looking at the current data and trends, it’s clear to everyone human activity is to blame.
“Plants, people, and animals can simply adapt and evolve.”
Plants, people, and animals are adaptable organisms, but that doesn’t mean they can adapt to a rapidly changing climate - especially not frogs. Frogs are used as a bio-indicator for climate change as their delicate skin and reliance on external factors make them sensitive to changes.
Sadly, frog numbers are in rapid decline as global temperatures rise and their habitats dry up. Sure, humans might be able to build domes to live in or migrate to another part of the world, but it’s not the case for everyone or the majority of life on earth that relies on optimal conditions.
“Climate change is beneficial to people and the planet.” There are some skeptics that even say climate change is good for us! Climate change reduces winter deaths, energy bills and makes winters more pleasant. Of course, the other side of this is the mass migrations, animal extinctions, and deaths. On balance, a hotter planet is detrimental.
Here’s a collection of some of our articles which have been in our newsletters or published elsewhere.