That leaves 33% in the dark, however. While climate change deniers may be a minority in the overall population, one look at TV news shows that at least a couple have prominent positions in the media and therefore can exercise their freedom of speech just a little louder than the rest of us. Here are their ten worst arguments:
1. Cold Winters
This is the oldest, tiredest argument out there. It’s actually probably worse because of climate change, since it has weakened the jet stream, which used to keep colder winds from the US. Although, it is understandable how this argument would appeal to people who like to think of the world in simple terms.
2. There is More Arctic Sea Ice
This is a great example of getting a short-term trend mixed up with a long-term trend. For instance, in 2013, arctic sea ice did increase – but only in comparison to 2012. Overall, arctic sea ice has reduced drastically since 1974.
3. Polar Bears are Happy
The emotional image of polar bears struggling on increasingly small pieces of ice is a climate change classic, and yet their numbers do seem to be increasing. However, scientists believe this may be because there are now more scientists studying them, and that it’s possible more of them are simply seen now than before. It also could be the effect of a European seal hide ban, which increased the bears’ food source.
4. The Global Temperature Isn’t Rising
This argument is a favorite of famous climate change denier Rush Limbaugh, and it is just simply false. There is clear evidence that over the past seventeen years, the global temperature has risen by 0.09°F.
5. There’s Hardly Any Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere
The people that like this argument don’t understand chemistry. Since carbon dioxide is extremely efficient at trapping heat, even a small addition to the atmosphere is enough to raise global temperatures.
6. This is a Natural Cycle
The Earth does go through natural warming and cooling cycles, but the key here is relative speed. Since the Industrial Revolution, the atmosphere has heated more quickly than at any other point in history.
7. Scientists Predicted an Ice Age in the ’70s
Again, this is just wrong. Yes, some scientists did see a cooling pattern at the time, but they were in the minority. Climate modeling was only just becoming possible, though, and it had a long way to go before achieving what it is capable of now.
8. Climate Scientists Made up the Data
Climate change deniers had a field day when emails between climate researchers were leaked, with one using the phrase “data-massaging”. They claimed this meant the data was fake. However, an independent investigation found that the researchers had done nothing wrong, but should have explained what mathematical method they meant by “data-massaging”.
9. Climate Change is Not Responsible for Droughts
When Obama blamed climate change for the California drought, deniers pointed out there was no evidence for this. In the case of California, researchers do not believe it is directly related to global warming. However, that is one of the potential future symptoms of climate change.
10. Climate Change is Still “Just a Theory”
2011 Presidential candidate Rick Perry used this line of reasoning during his campaign, arguing that the nation shouldn’t jeopardize economic health for something that is not “settled science”. Scientific theories, however, have a lot of evidence behind them and are considered fact. In this case, 97.1% of academic papers supported climate change while only 1.9% could be used as evidence against it.