Friday 31st October 2014                 Change text size:

How to argue with ‘climate sceptics’



Photo: Jinx McCombs via Flickr

The climate sceptic is a strange breed of human: irrational, intolerant and inflexible – traits that make arguments against them frustratingly difficult and painfully repetitive. But lo! James Murray, editor of BusinessGreen, has the answers to this conundrum.

In a piece called How to argue with “climate sceptics”, Murray describes how the green and environmental sectors are having to engage more and more with the increasingly well-funded climate change sceptic camp – a group of people seemingly in the ascendency in public opinion.

He articulately lays out how to construct an argument against a climate sceptic – or, as he says he prefers to call them, ‘climate reckless’ or ‘pollutocrats’. (We offer ‘climate cretinous’,  ’climate dunces’ and ‘failed climatologists’).

When engaging with this puzzling breed – however you choose to label it – Murray offers three questions to ask – none of which, he says, he has ever heard a compelling answer to from a climate sceptic.

- What would it take to convince you that you are wrong?

- What happens if you are wrong?

- What makes you hate the future so much?

And with that, we urge you to read his excellent piece. Oh, and make sure you browse through some of the hilariously nonsensical comments at the bottom the page. And then, armed with an arsenal of killer questions, you’ll be ready to be unleashed into the wild – a climate warrior of sorts.

But please be careful of the lesser-spotted, extremely volatile and inherently nutty pollutocrat.

Further reading:

The English literature graduate who pretends to do science

Changing your mind about climate

The annoying perils of climate change scepticism

Photo credit: Jinx McCombs, Wallace Broeker and the California Academy of Sciences, SF


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