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Climate science facts vs denial and conspiracy theories


The world is heating up very quickly. Much too quickly. Life on earth will change a lot over coming decades, and not just human life. We need to act to limit the damage. We need to work hard to make sure there will be enough food, liveable land, resources and biodiversity to sustain humanity in the longer term.

HotWhopper is dedicated to exposing deceptions, disinformation and other chicanery from climate science deniers and replacing it with science. Most activity is on the HotWhopper blog, with articles about developments in climate science and about the latest nonsense being put out by climate conspiracy theorists.

Click on the hamburger icon in the top right to open the website menu. If you're looking for something in particular, you can use the search bar below. It's customised to only search HotWhopper websites (blog, this site etc.)




Learning about climate science


Climate science covers a huge array of disciplines. If you're wondering where to start, jump in anywhere.

On this website you'll find graphs showing the rise in global temperature, sea level and other obvious signs of climate change, as well as links to various data sources. The Wiki has links to more information about climate.

At HotWhopper blog there are lots of articles about climate science and related topics.

Let me know if you find a dead link, or if you can suggest other sources to add to the collection.

Visualising climate change

Hotwhopper charts illustrate how much the world is warming: rising surface temperature, higher seas, disappearing sea ice and other signs.

2017 global temperature map
Global temperature anomaly 2017
1880 global temperature map
Global temperature anomaly 1880

Drag the arrow on the map above to the right to see how much colder the world was in 1880.

Climate science denial

If there is one thing you'll discover about climate science denial it is that that's all it is. There is no "alternative" climate science. Deniers have not collected or analysed evidence that suggests "alternative" theories.

Climate science denial is not based on science, facts or knowledge. It is empty wailing that "it isn't happening or if it is it isn't that bad". Deniers are united in only one thing - they want to stop any and all advances that protect us from unfettered global warming. In every other aspect they are disparate individuals with a multitude of different wacky and contradictory notions, or no notions at all.

Click for more thoughts on climate science denial

What can we do?

The science is in. Work will continue to figure out more precisely which impacts of climate change will happen when and where. The world is not waiting until the last t is crossed and the last i dotted. People, local communities, businesses and governments see what is happening and are taking action.

Will these actions be enough? Will they come soon enough? What can we, as individuals, do?

Don't wait - act now! Every small act helps. I've penned some more thoughts on this subject.



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Thoughts on climate science denial

Some decades ago, anti-social movements and vested interests realised that climate change was such a huge problem it needed a societal solution. That was when villians energised - not to do scientific research, not to figure out ways to mitigate global warming, but to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt with the aim of stopping or at least slowing progress.

Climate science disinformers have it easy. Unlike dedicated scientists, they don't have to spend years collecting and analysing data or going to dangerous places to observe what is happening. All they have to do is make up stuff to amplify the fears of the already fearful. Deniers are not interested in science or knowledge. All their efforts go into denying the hard irrefutable evidence that human activity is causing global warming.

A few years ago I'd scarcely have believed there are people whose job is persuading everyone to destroy this precious planet. Then I discovered there is a ready audience: what used to be a scattered underworld of isolated wacky people who believe all sorts of weird and woeful conspiracy theories. The Internet is wonderful but has a dark side. It has allowed the nutters who used to live in isolation on the fringes of society to find each other and take delight they are not alone. The world has always housed a small percentage of strange folk. These poor souls are fodder for evildoers who make a living out of telling lies.

Attributing motives is difficult at the best of times and of questionable value at the individual level. (Is Donald Trump a sociopath, a narcissist or a pathological liar? Does it matter?) Nevertheless, after observing climate science denial for a few years now, it seems to me there are not all that many forces driving the scoundrels who prey on the deluded. It's generally one or a combination of money, power, misplaced ideology, fame or pure mischief.

  • Money: There are people who will lie for money. It's their job as paid lackeys in dubious "think tanks" or sensationalist gutter press, or they eke out an existence as freelance writers and bloggers after all their other endeavours have failed.
  • Power: Some people lie for political or ideological purposes - they think the short term benefits to them from their lies outweigh the short and long term damage to humanity as a whole.
  • Misplaced ideology: Others believe their god will step in at some stage and protect them from the worst impacts of climate change, so they might as well deny it's happening.
  • Fame: Some people found fame of a sort being a fish in the small pond of climate science denial; so now they are stuck, gasping for attention and vying with other deniers to see who can promote the most ridiculous ideas.
  • Pure mischief: Some people are just wicked for the sake of it and take perverse delight in twisting facts.

Climate disinformers, whatever drives them, have a core audience of willing dupes. There exist people who, no matter how much evidence they see (or deliberately avoid seeing) maintain a state of wilful ignorance. They have been commenting on climate conspiracy blogs for years so they have no excuse. I'm not referring to people who've never bothered to investigate, so remain ignorant. I'm talking about people who have had to work extremely hard to build up an immunity to facts. These people are like the hard-core evolution deniers, anti-vaxxers, and flat-earthers who refuse to accept what's right in front of them. They excel in seeking out comforting lies and avoiding reality. I've blogged about this in an article: Marginalised, alienated and put upon: climate science deniers are not innocent.

As with any affliction, the first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem. It's also the hardest step, which explains why the wilfully ignorant remain so.


Don't wait - act now

There is no quick fix. No magic wand. Just small steps, big steps and giant leaps.

There is a lot to do. The ultimate goal is to stop the world from heating up. The safest way to do this is, arguably, to get to the stage where we put no more CO2 into the air than is removed by natural processes. That means cutting current emissions by 70% or 80% or maybe more, depending on how badly deforestation continues. If we fail, our descendants (and maybe some of you) will be faced with the prospect of using geoengineering, with all the associated unfathomable risks.plane

As individuals we can take steps to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emissions for which we are responsible. Some of us can install solar panels or wind turbines. We can use fossil-fueled transport more sparingly. Maybe there are times we can use public transport instead of the car, the train instead of the plane, video-chat instead of travel. We can replace equipment, appliances and lights at home and at work with more energy efficient options. If you're wealthy maybe you can be an early adopter of new, clean technology, helping to bring down the price more quickly so everyone can afford it. In your job you can influence decisions and directions, prompting your organisation to see that it is in its best interest to be a clean green business or government agency. Then keep pushing for more.

As individuals we can support businesses and political aspirants who are working to mitigate global warming. We can write to newspapers, comment under media articles, write and call politicians, local councils and others to urge more decisive action to stop global warming. A government minister I knew maintained that a single letter represented a thousand voters. Let people know what you think.

We can also join with other people to take action, whether it's taking part in a march, attending a rally, going to a talk, joining an action group or investing in R&D for solutions.

Governments are often the slowest to act. In government, decisions are made by committee after consulting with multitudes of stakeholder groups, all of which takes time. If enough people who want to stop global warming come together, the government will view them as a "stakeholder" group that demands attention and, eventually, will see they represent the majority. Few politicians are prepared to look beyond the three or four year election cycle and too many have no interest except self-interest. They need prompting. (There used to be more statespersons who had vision and were able to lead rather than follow the hoi polloi. Now people are putting populist charlatans in positions of power. History repeats, despite advances in education.)

Many businesses get impatient with government flip-flopping from one policy direction to another. They recognise the necessity of a future that rids itself of the chains to self-destruction - aka fossil fuels. Electricity providers are investing more in solar and wind power. Computer companies are promoting themselves as using clean energy - either by using renewable electricity or offsetting dirty energy by planting trees or some other action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In the end it will be a change in societal behaviour that matters. A change in attitude leads to behaviour change. A change in behaviour leads to attitude change. Social norms shift over time. Driving petrol-fueled cars will, in a few short years, be widely regarded as being much more despicably anti-social than smoking tobacco. People who spew fossil fuel will be viewed as pariahs, held in the same contempt with which climate science deniers are held today.

So what to do? Well, it's up to each of us to decide what we can do, and do it. Then try a bit harder and aim a bit higher. Not all of us can aim for the stars. In any case, I like it here on Planet Earth :).