There are for the most part three types of people who don’t accept climate change: dishonest people, ignorant people, and dishonest ignorant people. In all of the times someone has argued with me against climate change, they’re almost always in one of these categories (usually the last one).
Did NASA “fudge” the numbers? Well no, they didn’t. Regardless, that wouldn’t explain why the rest of the pile of evidence from independent research from the UK, Japan, Denmark, and every other science-producing nation point in the same direction. Are they all part of this conspiracy to “fudge” numbers? I can think of few more absurd conspiracy theories.
So let us unpack this “fudge the numbers” claim. What actually happened was that Goddard (where NASA gets its temperature data) had drastically different temperature results than most other countries. Berkeley scientist Zeke Hausfather explained that this was because Goddard’s measuring stations were often in completely different locations between measurements, and these measurements were not even taken at the same time of day (Hausfather, 2014). Blunders like that done over eightyish years skewed the results. This wasn’t some conspiracy by liberals to deceive the public. The process was transparent and perfectly understandable, and it showed why multi-nation projects are important if one nation gets strange results.
Moving along, deniers of climate change like to ad hominem good scientists like Michael Mann (Mann, Bradley, & Hughes, 1998), Naomi Oreskes (Oreskes, 2004), and James Hansen (Hansen et al., 1988), thinking they can justify climate denial by inventing mole-hills to dismiss the mountains of evidence those scientists have produced. All the while, they are oblivious that they would actually have to dismiss thousands and thousands more scientists in order to really justify climate denial (e.g., A. Muller, Rohde, Jacobsen, Muller, & Wickham, 2013; Christy & Spencer, 2019; Marcott, Shakun, Clark, & Mix, 2013; Mears & Wentz, 2017; Met Office Hadley Centre, n.d.; Santer et al., 2017; Stenhouse et al., 2014; Tokyo Climate Center, 2019; Verheggen et al., 2014; Wahl & Ammann, 2007). In fact, there wouldn’t be many climate scientists left to accept if they dismissed all the ones whose research confirms AGW.
“But Al Gore!” Al Gore is not a scientist, and he has no peer-reviewed papers on climate change; anything he said is completely irrelevant to whether or not climate change is real and human-caused.
“Climate change won’t cause the apocalypse!” I never said it would. My position is that the average global temperature is increasing, fossil-fuel burning by humans is the primary driver of the last 200 years’ warming, and the economic and ecological costs of this warming warrants admitting it is true and taking reasonable steps towards its mitigation. Believing that you can justify tar and feathering this reasonable position by
pointing to people who say the world will end in 12 years because of climate
change is a terrible, dishonest, fallacious argument. People who don’t accept climate change aren’t “skeptics,” they are delusional. Skeptics are interested in evidence; denialists are just grasping at anything to allow them to justify their prior political worldview.
- A. Muller, R., Rohde, R., Jacobsen, R., Muller, E., & Wickham, C. (2013). A new estimate of the average Earth surface land temperature spanning 1753 to 2011. Geoinformatics & Geostatistics: An Overview, 1(1), 2–7. https://doi.org/10.4172/2327-4581.1000101
- Christy, J., & Spencer, R. (2019). Global temperature report: October2019. Retrieved from https://www.nsstc.uah.edu/climate/2019/october2019/GTR_201910Oct_1.pdf
- Hansen, J., Fung, I., Lacis, A., Rind, D., Lebedeff, S., Ruedy, R., … Stone, P. (1988). Global climate changes as forecast by Goddard Institute for Space Studies three-dimensional model. Journal of Geophysical Research, 93(D8), 9341. https://doi.org/10.1029/JD093iD08p09341
- Hausfather, Z. (2014). How not to calculate temperature. Retrieved from The Blackboard: Where Climate Talk Gets Hot! website: http://rankexploits.com/musings/2014/how-not-to-calculate-temperature/
- Mann, M. E., Bradley, R. S., & Hughes, M. K. (1998). Global-scale temperature patterns and climate forcing over the past six centuries. Nature, 392(6678), 779–787. https://doi.org/10.1038/33859
- Marcott, S. A., Shakun, J. D., Clark, P. U., & Mix, A. C. (2013). A reconstruction of regional and global temperature for the past 11,300 years. Science, 339(6124), 1198–1201. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1228026
- Mears, C. A., & Wentz, F. J. (2017). A satellite-derived lower-tropospheric atmospheric temperature dataset using an optimized adjustment for diurnal rffects. Journal of Climate, 30(19), 7695–7718. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0768.1
- Met Office Hadley Centre. (n.d.). Global average temperature series. Retrieved from https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/monitoring/index.html?fbclid=IwAR3QSgkrOcMNi_EMic06odyzzqit_TQQhQEGrztDEdfLI3g3YgNgdj1jjrU
- Oreskes, N. (2004). The scientific consensus on climate change. Science, 306(5702), 1686–1686. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1103618
- Santer, B. D., Fyfe, J. C., Pallotta, G., Flato, G. M., Meehl, G. A., England, M. H., … Zou, C.-Z. (2017). Causes of differences in model and satellite tropospheric warming rates. Nature Geoscience, 10(7), 478–485. https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo2973
- Stenhouse, N., Maibach, E., Cobb, S., Ban, R., Bleistein, A., Croft, P., … Leiserowitz, A. (2014). Meteorologists’ views about global warming: A survey of American Meteorological Society professional members. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 95(7), 1029–1040. https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-13-00091.1
- Tokyo Climate Center. (2019). Global Average Surface Temperature Anomalies. Retrieved from http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/tcc/tcc/products/gwp/temp/ann_wld.html?fbclid=IwAR2gjCIDu2nFvupf8d1mjj8Rg47wC0JW-YUFQUhXjHTm2jzl-hOXq2meJew
- Verheggen, B., Strengers, B., Cook, J., van Dorland, R., Vringer, K., Peters, J., … Meyer, L. (2014). Scientists’ views about attribution of global warming. Environmental Science & Technology, 48(16), 8963–8971. https://doi.org/10.1021/es501998e
- Wahl, E. R., & Ammann, C. M. (2007). Robustness of the Mann, Bradley, Hughes reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere surface temperatures: Examination of criticisms based on the nature and processing of proxy climate evidence. Climatic Change, 85(1–2), 33–69. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-006-9105-7