Global warming “deniers”: myth-conceptions abound
They’ve been compared to “flat earthers” and even “Holocaust deniers”. And, as the recent “Climategate” email scandal reveals, they have been blacklisted in certain professional circles. Scientists who disagree with the current consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) are dismissed by some colleagues and politicians as ignorant and irrelevant. Though there are certainly cranks out there who lend credence to this stereotype, not everyone who rejects the idea that global warming is a planetary crisis brought about by burning fossil fuels deserves to be vilified.
There are numerous myths surrounding those who are wrongly labeled “deniers”. Most of them can be distilled into six basic accusations:
1. “Deniers” believe the climate has not warmed.
No one questions that there has been a slight, but unmistakable increase in global temperature since the end of the “Little Ice Age” in the early nineteenth century. Global average surface temperature has risen approximately 0.9°C since 1850. But not all scientists attribute this change to the human addition of CO2 and other greenhouse gases to the air. Those who oppose the prevailing view on AGW point out that since temperatures began to increase well before CO2 levels were considered significant (c. 1940), a considerable part of this warming is due to natural variations in the climate. Such variations in the past have brought about abrupt climate changes with large swings in temperature.