Debunking Climate Change Denial Myths

Climate change denial is shifting from denying that it’s real, to saying why the fixes can’t work. Four common denial myths are debunked here.


I was reading an interesting article on the Discovery Magazine website about the almost non-existent snowpack in the Pacific Northwest this spring after a really warm winter.  I was surprised by the ignorance of the comments left there by readers who are supposedly drawn to a magazine website about science.

Among the steady stream of ridiculous rants, one caught my eye.  A gentleman there had managed to string together one false statement after another.  He seems pretty representative of a lot of comments you see these days coming from people who have a hard time accepting climate change. 

So I replied to counter his many false points.  He was not amused.

I always find it interesting that when you point out to someone that the facts don’t support their cherished beliefs, those folks tend to get upset and start slinging insults.  Which is why the majority of denier comments usually involve some sort of name calling.  They really have nothing else to fall back on, because the science does not support their beliefs.

To paraphrase the original comments of our climate change denying pal…

  • Volcanoes emit more carbon dioxide than humans
  • China and India won’t stop polluting, so why should we
  • Wind and solar are not economically efficient
  • Wind turbines and solar power kill more birds than fossil fuels

Pretty standard denier fare these days.  Deniers are having more and more trouble countering the overwhelming deluge of scientific facts, observations and models that support the ever worsening impacts of climate change, so they shift to attacking the proposed solutions.

Anyhow, I dug up a few choice bits of info to shed some light in the darkness…

 


Volcanoes emit more carbon dioxide than humans.

 Wrong!  Humans emit 90 to 446 times more CO2 than ALL volcanic eruptions combined each and every year!

The range accounts for the highest and lowest estimated volcanic contributions.  This info is from an older but nice little article by SkepticalScience.com.  The U.S. Geological Survey also weighs in on this one, stating that humans emit about 135 times as much carbon dioxide per year as all the Earth’s volcanoes combined.  (The USGS estimate is probably more accurate, but I like the spiffy skepticalscience.com cartoon!  Get’s the point across.)

volcanos versus puny humans!
Humans emit 90 to 446 times more CO2 than all volcanoes per year.

 


China and India won’t stop polluting, so why should we?

Wrong again.  China recently surpassed the U.S. in installed solar power, and is also set to phase out coal at a rapid pace.

China came out of nowhere in the past two years to become number one in installed solar.  To me this only makes sense because they are the world’s hub of solar panel manufacturing.  They are in large part responsible for driving down the prices of solar power.

And because they have some of the most polluted air in the world in their cities, they are reducing their use of coal power plants, among other measures.  It was either that, or have a popular revolt on their hands; and you know how much the ruling party in China dislikes popular revolts.  So they did the smart thing, for themselves, and the world.

As for India,  the Obama administration is putting pressure on them to commit to reducing their carbon emissions, but  it remains to be seen what steps they will take.  I have faith that India will announce significant measures before the Paris climate talks later this year.

From CleanTechnica.com… Another Big Blow For Big Coal: Solar PPAs Coming To China

 




 Wind and solar are not economically efficient.

That’s been wrong for a LONG time now.  Installation of alternative energy equipment is about 15 to 20 years ahead of predictions, while costs are plummeting.

There are some really great articles on the web about this.  Apparently, energy pundits got this one wrong in a major way, which is great news for all of us.  The price of installed solar power has dropped almost exponentially, while installation of solar seems to be growing exponentially.

The Solar Energy Industry is Red Hot – Will it Get Hotter?, from theEngergyCollective.com.

 


Wind turbines and solar power kill more birds than fossil fuels — “I thowt I taw a puddy tat!  I did, I did!!”

Waaaay more birds die every year from the effects of burning fossil fuels!

The US News and World Report put together a nice summary of all available bird death estimates. Their data showed that the highest estimates of bird death from solar and wind energy combined, killed far fewer birds than the lowest estimate from the oil and gas industry.  And WAY fewer birds than the effects of coal.

 

Bird Deaths
Annual number of birds killed by different power sources. Data from US News and World Report.

 


Well that was easy enough, wasn’t it?

Next post, why your allergies are already worse due to climate change.


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