Stages of Denial: ‘Historically, CO2 never caused temperature change’–Not so

Objection: In the geological record, it is clear that CO2 does not trigger climate changes. Why should it be any different now? Answer: Given the fact that human industrialization is unique in the history of planet earth, do we really need historical precedent for CO2-triggered climate change before we accept what we observe today? Surely … Continue reading

Stages of Denial: ‘Geological history does not support CO2′s importance’–Just not true

Objection: Over the last 600 million years, there hasn’t been much correlation between temperatures and CO2 levels. Clearly CO2 is not a climate driver. Answer: While there are poorly understood ancient climates and controversial climate changes in earth’s long geological history, there are no clear contradictions to greenhouse theory to be found. What we do … Continue reading

Stages of Denial: ‘What about mid-century cooling?’–No one said CO2 is the only climate influence

Objection: There was global cooling in the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s, even while human greenhouse-gas emissions were rising. Clearly, temperature is not being driven by CO2. Answer: None of the advocates of the theory of anthropogenic global warming claim that CO2 is the only factor controlling temperature in the ocean-atmosphere climate system. It is a … Continue reading

‘CO2 doesn’t lead, it lags’–Turns out CO2 rise is both a cause and an effect of warming

Objection: In glacial-interglacial cycles, CO2 concentration lags behind temperature by centuries. Clearly, CO2 does not cause temperatures to rise; temperatures cause CO2 to rise. Answer: When viewed coarsely, historical CO2 levels and temperature show a tight correlation. However, a closer examination of the CH4, CO2, and temperature fluctuations recorded in the Antarctic ice core records … Continue reading

Stages of Denial: There is no proof in science, but there are mountains of evidence

Objection: Correlation is not proof of causation. There is no proof that CO2 is the cause of current warming. Answer: There is no “proof” in science — that is a property of mathematics. In science, what matters is the balance of evidence, and theories that can explain that evidence. Where possible, scientists make predictions and … Continue reading

Stages of Denial: Water vapor is indeed a powerful greenhouse gas, but there is plenty of room for CO2 to play a role

Objection: H2O accounts for 95% of the greenhouse effect; CO2 is insignificant. Answer: According to the scientific literature and climate experts, CO2 contributes anywhere from 9% to 30% to the overall greenhouse effect. The 95% number does not appear to come from any scientific source, though it gets tossed around a lot. Please see this … Continue reading

Stages of Denial: ‘Climate scientists dodge the subject of water vapor’– No, they really don’t

Objection: Climate scientists never talk about water vapor — the strongest greenhouse gas — because it undermines their CO2 theory. Answer: Not a single climate model or climate textbook fails to discuss the role water vapor plays in the greenhouse effect. It is the strongest greenhouse gas, contributing 36% to 66% to the overall effect … Continue reading

Stages of Denial: ‘We are just recovering from the LIA’–Why should we expect this to happen?

Objection: Today’s warming is just a recovery from the Little Ice Age. Answer: This argument relies on an implicit assumption that there is a particular climatic baseline to which the earth inexorably returns — and thus that a period of globally lower temperatures will inevitably be followed by a rise in temperatures. What is the … Continue reading

Stages of Denial: ‘The CO2 rise is natural’–No skeptical argument has been more definitively disproven

Objection: It’s clear from ice cores and other geological history that CO2 fluctuates naturally. It is bogus to assume today’s rise is caused by humans. Answer: We emit billions of tons of CO2 into the air and, lo and behold, there is more CO2 in the air. Surely it is not so difficult to believe … Continue reading

Stages of Denial: ‘Natural emissions dwarf human emissions’–But emissions are only one side of the equation

Objection: According to the IPCC, 150 billion tonnes of carbon go into the atmosphere from natural processes every year. This is almost 30 times the amount of carbon humans emit. What difference can we make? Answer: It’s true that natural fluxes in the carbon cycle are much larger than anthropogenic emissions. But for roughly the … Continue reading


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