Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

A Disaster Of Man-made Proportions

About 100 years ago, scientists noticed that the earth was getting warmer. Although some knew of greenhouse gasses, nobody knew whether the rise in temperature came from our pollution or a natural event.

After all, earth’s climate has changed in and out of ice ages for the past 650,000 years. Who could say for sure that global warming was our creation?

All people knew back then, was that more energy was going into our atmosphere than out.

So over the past century, scientists set out to discover where that excess energy was coming from.

Was it the sun? Changes in earth’s orbit? Volcanoes spitting out smoke? Deforestation? Changes in wind patterns and ocean currents? Or was it the shifting contents of our air?

Measurements done in the ‘50s showed that the level of CO2 (carbon dioxide) was climbing every year. And a mathematical formula suggested that a doubling of CO2 would increase earth’s temperature by one degree celsius.

A suspect was found.

But scientists still couldn’t rule out other explanations for the rising heat. So the search for collaborators continued.

Although it wasn’t so much a search as much as it was a game of patience. We already had a good idea of all the different factors that contributed to global warming. We just didn’t have the tools to measure them.

So when technology gave us the needed tools, we could finally continue our investigation.

One by one, we studied each of our globe heating suspects and wrote down the results.

Changes in earth’s orbit, solar activity, volcanic eruptions, and other natural events had almost no effect on global warming, even when we put them all together.

Which didn’t look good for team human. (Let’s hope we don’t find anything.)

So then we turned to man-made factors, such as: deforestation, ozone pollution, aerosol pollution, and greenhouse gasses.

Bingo.

Although several of our actions have influenced earth’s temperature, none have had as big of an impact as the CO2 we’ve been pumping into the sky since the 1860s. 

In fact, the concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere is the highest it’s been in the last 3 million years.

Far more threatening is the speed at which the earth is heating up. The rate of temperature change will likely be at least 10 times quicker than any climate shift in the past 65 million years.

But even with all this evidence, some people still deny our contribution to a hotter earth. And instead of pitching a compelling argument, they’re peddling doubt. 

Which is easy to find if your arguments don’t need empirical evidence.

So how do you deal with a denier?

You ask him if he’s willing to change his mind if he’s given the proper proof. 

Is the answer yes? Ask for their best single argument and disarm it with science. Is it no? Walk away or change the subject.

P.S. Here’s a list of common arguments from deniers and matching counterclaims.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach