It can be baffling, trying to determine who is ahead in the battle for public opinion in regards to climate change. It would seem to be all over, on the one hand. Nobody can doubt that it is happening. But then you continue to hear people claiming that a locally cold winter means the theory is busted.
The theory is all about global average temperatures, which are going up. One town’s winter is only one factor in that equation. It is no longer a question of people not receiving this message. This ignorance is willful.
If an entire television channel were devoted to the 24 hour repeating message that only global average temperatures matter in regards to global climate change, we would still have people, in the majesty of their millions, squawking about how cold it was locally last winter and asking whatever happened to global warming.
One of the Republican Party’s intellectual lights, or light-weights, James Inhofe, is often derided as “Senator Snowball” for bringing a ball of Washington DC snow onto the Senate floor and demanding to know why it is cold outside if we have global warming. Sen. Inhofe remains a veritable Einstein compared to Rep. Joe Barton (R – TX) who said that wind turbines would slow down the wind.
One of the best and most convincing speakers on the issue of climate change has a Youtube channel, with the memorable name of Potholer54. He has numerous segments on the issue, with an emphasis on being comprehensible to the non-technical person. He gets a little exasperated at times with the deniers, and their reliance on specious arguments that collapse at the first skeptical probe, only to be hastily replaced with other specious arguments. He gets a little snarky at times. But what counts are the arguments, not personalities. And Potholer54 has the arguments down cold. I don’t see how anyone can answer some of these videos, and I don’t think very many are even trying.
Most damning may be this one, which shows that climate change deniers virtually never publish scientific papers for peer review to defend their position. Most climate change deniers rely on talk shows and non-science media to spread their message. They have no scientific background in the vast majority of cases, and they can be very deceptive about concealing that fact.
Here is another powerful Potholer54 program.
A bit more technical, but also compelling, is this one.
Maybe the most tedious argument you will hear from deniers is that the whole thing is based on greedy scientists trying to wrangle a little grant money. These scientists are on the take. All of them. But think it over. If the vast numbers of climate scientists who back this theory are doing it for grant money – well, that’s slicing the grant pie a little thin, isn’t it? In the first place, grant money is not a gold mine by any means. Secondly, it’s damned hard to come by, requiring a lot of paperwork and waiting time. Competition is fierce for any science grants, but if you are going up against virtually every scientist in the field, fuhgetaboutit! And fuhget about the brain dead theory that climate scientists are all liars, swarming around the tiny pittance of grant money.
The money in this field would go to scientists who denied global warming! The fossil fuel industry would open their cash register for a credentialed scientist who would go out and publicly deny this theory. As it is they have to rely on people with inflated, or sham scientific credentials, who never engage in peer review in science journals.
But, deniers can take heart in having at least one leader of the American intelligentsia on their side. As he thundered in a tweet on the chilly day of January 25, 2014 –