Modern Climate Change Denial: A Beginner’s Guide

THE BASIC SET

Worried about modern climate change, and don’t know how to deny it effectively these days? That old ‘scaremongering’ argument not really working for you any more? Have no fear! This handy guide will teach you the ins and outs of climate change denial in the modern era. Just follow our 5 easy steps and you’ll be denying like a pro in no time at all!

1 – We live in a democratic society and all our opinions are equal on all subjects! This means that your opinion on climate change is just as valid as the Chief Scientist at UNESCO, or the Head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This is true even if you are a plumber or a politician and have never actually studied any climate science at all! The beauty of this rule is that it applies to other fields as well – for example, medicine. Your opinion on medicine is just as valid as a doctor or a surgeon! So, next time you need a major operation, you can do it yourself!

2 – All information on climate change is equally valid. This means that the 300 word irate letter to the Daily Telegraph denying climate change, which you read in the hairdresser the other day, is just as true as the thousands of pages of detailed scientific reports that have been published over the last thirty-five years, which you haven’t read. Once again, this holds true for all fields of human endeavor – for example, if you passed grade 5 chemistry, you can easily build a nuclear reactor. Try it today!

3 – More evidence on climate change is required. The great thing about this rule is that it is always true regardless of how much information has been provided, or, if you have actually looked at any of it. The scientific community will happily provide you with another round of detailed scientific reports which of course, you will not read or accept in any way. Because actually looking at the evidence is not the point. The point is that more evidence is required! Master this simple step and you can easily deny climate change for the rest of your life!

4 – There is still debate on the subject. Like rule 3, the logic to this one is self-replicating. So long as there are people who aren’t convinced by all the information they haven’t read (i.e., you), there is still ‘debate’ in the community. So, your own ignorance equals debate. The good thing here is that if everyone keeps waiting for everyone else to agree, nothing will ever happen, and the whole awful problem will just go away. Find out as little as possible to further this end.

4a – There is still scientific debate on the subject. This one has been getting more and more difficult to argue in the last twenty years, but in fact, there are also still 3% of ‘scientists’ who do still hold some doubts, so you can always learn the name of one of those and mention it during conversation. Try for example Lord Monckton (conservative politician, peer, newspaper editor and mathematician), or Lord Lawson (conservative politician, peer and journalist), just to name a wide representative selection of public figures who deny climate change.

(Note: if you can find the name of an actual climate change scientist who denies the theory, by all means use that!)

5 – Climate change theory is a massive conspiracy against the oil companies. Like all good conspiracy theories, this argument cannot be either proved or disproved, and fits in very well with rules 3 and 4. The basic trick is to behave as though vital information about climate change is being hidden from you by governments and allied scientific organizations. They are hiding the truth from us! They don’t want us to know what is really happening! That’s why they never give us any information!

Note: when people ask you why there would be an massive international conspiracy from which no one seems to benefit, it’s proof that they are part of the conspiracy!

Note 2: when people point out the considerable evidence for a conspiratorial activity by the oil companies – i.e. the large amounts paid by Exxon Mobil and other companies to fund small scientific groups that deny climate change – it’s probably time to move on to the advanced set.

THE ADVANCED SET

Climate Change Passive Acceptance: Rules for Advanced Players

Are you starting to be a bit concerned that climate change science might actually be true? Scared of looking like you’ve been an idiot for the last twenty years and now no one will respect you? Once again, there is no need to fear! With these 5 simple rules you can move to an acceptance of climate change, without losing any face, while at the same time making it look like someone else’s problem!

Follow these five simple rules and you should be able to skate through most difficult encounters you might have from now until the time you die.

1 – Act like you knew and everyone else didn’t.  This basically means lying. “I’ve been saying that for years” is your stock phrase here. Try it on people you have only just met. The good thing here is that you an use all those arguments that people have been using on you for the last twenty years, but this time, you get to be right!

2 – Pretend that everyone else denied it as well. With people who know you a bit better and who won’t be fooled by # 1, try acting as though we were all innocent and misinformed and helpless together. Start with the following phrases: “I suppose it just took us all a long time to accept the truth,” or “We should have had more information about the subject, earlier!” If anyone tries to counter this by pointing out that they did actually accept the truth in the eighties or nineties, you can say: “well why didn’t you do more about it then!” Blame avoided! You can move straight on to rule #4.

3 – Say it doesn’t matter, because it is still a few decades away. This is an excellent move because while it makes tacitly clear that you now accept the truth of climate change, it still makes it look as though the other person is making a big fuss about nothing – which, after all, is what you wanted all along. “It won’t happen overnight,” and “Don’t worry, it will all be fine” are your stock phrases. If you get really stuck you can say what you have actually thought the whole time: It doesn’t matter to me, because I’ll be dead.” This puts an end to most such conversations.

4 – Blame the scientific community and other people who knew the truth. Try these phrases: “Why didn’t someone do something about this years ago!” and “Why didn’t the bloody greenies stop their whining and actually do something!” If for some reason people still argue with you, pick on their credibility by saying that if they have ever so much as driven a car, they have contributed to the problem as well, so they have no right to complain either. “Well what are YOU doing about it?” is your stock phrase for this argument. When they say: “I voted Green and supported progressive environmental policies”, scoff at this and move onto 5b as fast as possible. Can’t hit a moving target, right?

5 – Behave as though your denial didn’t matter: This means denying that your position on climate change for the last few decades didn’t actually contribute to a global catastrophe – even though it’s really starting to look a lot like it did! There are two ways to go here:

The first option (5a) is to point out that your habit of voting for conservative political parties with regressive environmental agendas made no difference because you are just one person and they probably would have won anyway.

The other option (5b) is to pretend that politics makes no difference and that the political parties are just as powerless as you and me. Make a few vague, c’est la vie remarks about the power of China and the multinationals, and then change the subject.

Either way, you’re off the hook!

Remember, these five rules are all part of the general process by which you shift from denying climate change to denying any responsibility for it, without ever admitting you were wrong. Your own credibility and integrity as a person are totally irrelevant in this process; you had no opinions that mattered, and you said and did nothing that you can ever be held accountable for. What’s important is that no one asks anything of you now.

Because let’s face it: the effects of climate change are going to be bloody awful, and you shouldn’t have to deal with something like that, should you? That’s other people’s problem.

Happy New Year.

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2 thoughts on “Modern Climate Change Denial: A Beginner’s Guide

  1. Mary says:

    And you can always explain to people that there is a marked difference between climate and weather – and we have all been arguing about two quite different sets of phenomena!

  2. You’re getting the hang of it!

    Other good obfuscation tactics include:

    The sun is heating up!
    If there’s global warming how come I was chilly at the chemist yesterday?
    It’s the Russians making a comeback!
    Panda Bears are cute!

    Basically, just say anything to avoid admitting you have been totally wrong for twenty years.

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