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April 25, 2018

The Cool Earth Guide to Debunking Climate Myths

You could be in the checkout queue. In the lunchroom at work. Or lurking in the comments section of a friend’s Facebook post. Wherever you are you’ll know it as soon as you see it. The climate change myth. The fallacy shared as fact.

Instead of rolling your eyes and moving on, follow the guide below and help change hearts and minds.

The Cool Earth Guide to Debunking Climate Myths
Top five climate myths:
What they say:

What they say: "There is no empirical evidence that humans are causing global warming"

What you want to say: “If your brains were dynamite, there wouldn’t be enough to blow your hat off”1

What to say instead:

Climate change is an unavoidable, inconvenient reality. 97% of climate scientist endorse the position that humans are causing global warming. The other 3% probably work for oil companies.  Earth’s average surface temperature has risen 1.1℃ since the late 18th Century2Millions of people, pounds and producers are working tirelessly to adapt to climate change, as the consensus is that it is going to continue if we don’t intervene.

What they say: 

What they say: "Some countries aren’t doing their bit, therefore we shouldn’t bother."

What you want to say: “You are a sad, strange little man, and you have my pity.”3

What to say instead:

Climate change doesn’t have borders. It’s will affect us all unequally. The western world is responsible for the vast proportion of climate-altering emissions polluting the planet. Those least able to adapt will feel the consequences of climate change more quickly as they have less capacity to withstand severe weather events and rising sea levels. The global threat is bigger than politics, and the solutions are as well.

What they say:

What they say: "The Earth’s climate changing is natural. It’s not humans fault."

What you want to say: “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not so sure about the former.”4

What to say instead:

You’re not wrong there, the Earth’s climate does change many times over periods of millions of years. However, current levels of CO2 and subsequent temperature rises are unprecedented. They cannot be explained by a natural Earth cycle. This sharp rise in CO2 levels begins at the same time as the industrial revolution and continues to rocket. The correlation is impossible to refute.

What they say: 

What they say: "Don’t plants eat carbon? Isn’t more CO2 good for the rainforest?"

What you want to say: “You know, you are a classic example of the inverse ratio between the size of the mouth and the size of the brain.”5

What to say instead:

Although plants photosynthesize by taking in carbon and releasing oxygen, it’s a very delicate balance. Too much carbon in the atmosphere means plant productivity fails and the carbon-storing properties of rainforest are lost. It’s a vicious cycle: forest fires and El Nino weather events are causing the rainforest to dry out, in turn releasing even more CO2.

What they say: This is all depressing. What’s the point in trying to do anything against it?

What they say: This is all depressing. What’s the point in trying to do anything against it?

What you want to say: “Freaking Idiot”6

What to say instead:

Glad you asked. There’s still plenty of room for optimism. The tide is turning when it comes to renewables. Industry is (slowly) cleaning up its act. And helping to protect the carbon sinks that are the world’s rainforest is something you can do right now.

Cool Earth works alongside people who have been living in the forest for generations. They have more to lose than any of us if it is destroyed. Cool Earth offers an alternative to selling out to palm oil companies, cash offers from illegal loggers and pressures from mining gangs.

By developing sustainable livelihoods, Cool Earth’s partners can keep that incredible army of trees standing to fight climate change for all of us.

And if none of that works, you can always say this:

If we work hard to make the world a better place – if we preserve wildlife habitat, support rainforest communities and stop corals bleaching – and it turns out we were wrong about climate change, then we can live with that.

But none of us can live with the alternative.

Make the world a better place

The Cool Earth Guide to Debunking Climate Myths

  1. Kurt Vonnegut

  2. NASA: Climate

  3. Buzz Lightyear

  4. Einstein

  5. Dr Who

  6. Napoleon Dynamite


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