This report was spurred by a recent conversation in which I was accused of being in denial of “human caused climate change.” The question is this: Am I in denial?
It was a friendly accusation and a perfect example of how two people can agree on many things, but not everything. I take no offense. This is good, is it not? It’s perfectly normal, even healthy, for two thinking people to reach a point of disagreement and then reason together to hash out their differences of opinion.
The results can be one of three things:
Discussion devolves into an emotional mess, rational thinking gets tossed out the window, and the two part ways on unpleasant terms.
Discussion heats us, but both parties maintain composure and mutual respect, and neither is persuaded by the arguments of the other.
Discussion is tense but intentional, relevant information is thoroughly vetted and thoughtfully considered, and both perspectives emerge more well-rounded.
It should be obvious which outcome is most preferable, as well as which is most common.
That said, having debated the climate crisis almost ad nauseam, I want to share with the audience a workable strategy to overcoming the emotional reactions that typically come up—on both sides of this debate. In order to win hearts and minds, we must avoid the emotional mess at all costs. It’s easier said than done, but it is essential.
“I’m not in denial, YOU are in denial!” screams the ego, as the heart starts pounding to deliver a massive dose of adrenaline to prepare the body for fight or flight, while blood rapidly recedes from the prefrontal cortex, shutting down the logical mind.
Welcome to survival mode.
We cannot effectively debate in survival mode. That is a physiological fact that affects us all, regardless of the conflict. Arguing with a spouse, a child, a friend, or even a perfect stranger, will always evoke this response—but with adequate awareness and mental discipline, we can override this natural response and maintain a clear mind.
In all fairness, to do so takes practice and techniques that go beyond the scope of this report. The purpose today is to destroy the climate narrative without immediately pushing the buttons that kill the conversation before it even starts. Doing so is tricky, especially when debating climate change or religion.
But why is that? Why are these two topics so highly contentious?
If you think about it, the reason is fairly obvious: they both relate directly to survival.
Because of this, challenging someone’s beliefs about climate change or God immediately poses an existential threat, which then triggers survival mode and the emotional mess that ensues. If one denies that humans are causing climate change, they become an immediate threat to civilization. If one denies that Christianity is the only path to God, they become an immediate threat to salvation.
Right, wrong, or indifferent, we all encounter these reactions nearly every day. The trick is to avoid the trip wires and establish a positive premise.
Here’s what that looks like.
Am I in denial?
More specifically, am I in denial of human caused climate change?
Hmmm… how do I answer that? The words are loaded with assumption, are they not? Denial is a particularly strong word. Nobody wants to be in denial. Being in denial means being wrong, and nobody wants to be wrong, right?
So right off the bat I’d offer to reframe question: Do I disagree with the premise that humans are causing climate change? And before I’d answer that question, I’d offer the opportunity for mutual exploration: Are humans causing climate change?
Now, I realize that asking that question may make some people’s heads explode, but to the rational mind this question should not be a threat. It’s okay to be curious and ask the question, right? If it’s not, then something’s off. Why can’t we ask the question?
The question is: are humans causing climate change? Fair question.
Those who believe that humans are causing climate change might mock me for asking such a silly question, so let me qualify it just a little. To those who believe, the answers are always obvious. This question is on par with something like, “Are we all born sinners because Eve was deceived by a magical talking snake?” Beware the triggers.
Curiosity is our friend. It keeps us humble and open to learn. We should never be afraid to ask questions. Questions cannot hurt us, though they may sting our egos.
“If anyone lacks wisdom, let them ask God.” —James 1:5
Are humans causing climate change? There is only one honest answer:
It depends on who you ask!
To deny that reality is to deny reality itself. Would you deny that different scientists have different opinions on this contentious topic? Would you deny that there are many impressive credentials on both sides of the debate?
I don’t think any rational person would try to deny these obvious realities, so I proceed with the assumption everyone can agree that the answer to whether humans are causing climate change depends on who you ask. Is that fair? Is that accurate?
NOW THEN, before I get to the meat of the matter, there is another issue of semantics that must be dealt with. Are humans causing climate change?
The issue is up for debate, but I want to point out that these are loaded words. The public has been heavily conditioned to associate those words with a particular emotional response. There are a few ways we might tease some truth out of this:
Are humans impacting the planet? Yes, absolutely! This is an undeniable and irrefutable truth—but it is not the same thing as climate change.
Is the climate changing on planet Earth? Yes, absolutely! This is another undeniable fact—but it’s not the same thing as man-made climate change.
What impact are humans having on the planet, and is this impact directly affecting and causing the planetary climate to change? Hmmm…
If the answer to that last question seems obvious to you, I’d ask you to remain curious and resist the urge to jump to previously held conclusions. The climate is always changing, is it not? The planet has endured innumerable cycles that were both much warmer and much colder than we are experiencing today, has it not? Modern instruments to measure and track these changes are relatively new, are they not?
Also, statistical modeling based on “data” is notoriously flawed, is it not?
That’s a big one.
The illusion of scientific consensus is a major threat to us all. By establishing the premise that the planet’s climate is constantly changing, that measuring these changes is a relatively new capacity, and that the data gathered and fed into statistical models can and often does produce erroneous results, we find the rational basis for the ongoing scientific debate about the human impact on climate change.
Before we proceed, let me ask: has anything I said been wrong or inaccurate?
I don’t believe so, but if you disagree, let me know in the comments below!
Now let’s turn our attention to the debate itself.
Are humans causing climate change?
I’m just an ignorant peasant, so allow me to defer the details of this debate to several esteemed scientists who would answer that question in the negative. Remember, the only honest answer is that it depends on who you ask.
The scientists at NASA tell us that the climate is always changing, thanks to the Milankovitch Cycles, transitioning between tropical eras to ice ages and back again. This is due to the Earth’s wobble, elliptical orbit around the Sun, as well as interactions with other planets like Jupiter and Saturn. To the social issue of “climate change”—which was formally referred to as “global warming”—I want to highlight the following passage:
“The greater Earth’s axial tilt angle, the more extreme our seasons are, as each hemisphere receives more solar radiation during its summer, when the hemisphere is tilted toward the Sun, and less during winter, when it is tilted away. Larger tilt angles favor periods of deglaciation (the melting and retreat of glaciers and ice sheets). …
As [the Earth’s tilt] decreases, it gradually helps make our seasons milder, resulting in increasingly warmer winters, and cooler summers that gradually, over time, allow snow and ice at high latitudes to build up into large ice sheets. As ice cover increases, it reflects more of the Sun’s energy back into space, promoting even further cooling.”
The Milankovitch Cycles make it very clear that ice ages and the subsequent deglaciation are driven by several factors that have absolutely nothing to do with human impact. When the Earth tilts, glaciers either form or melt, sea levels change, and the entire planet’s climate changes in a corresponding manner. Again, these are facts that I believe everyone can agree on. It’s logical and it makes perfect sense.
It is here that the proponents of the climate change narrative—those who believe that humanity is causing an accelerated change in the Earth’s climate that is driving a catastrophic climate crisis—will typically turn the debate to our collective carbon footprint. The argument is that human activities are creating so much CO2, the main culprit of so-called “greenhouse gases,” and that’s causing catastrophic climate change. I’m sure we’ve all heard the arguments many times before.
But have we questioned these argument? Are we allowed to question these arguments?
The reason I ask is because there are many notable scientists who do question the premise that humans are producing so much CO2 that we’re destroying the planet. In other words, despite popular opinion, the science on this is actually far from settled.
Don’t believe me?
Ask William Happer, Professor of Physics at Princeton University, and Richard Lindzen, Professor of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Science at MIT. These esteemed scientists recently sounded the alarm about the “disastrous” climate agenda, penning a 47-page letter to the Environmental Protection Agency that systematically dismantles the entire narrative. You should read it.
To sum it up and drive home the point, I offer this brief excerpt:
“The Scientific Method Proves There Is No Risk That Fossil Fuels and Carbon Dioxide Will Cause Catastrophic Warming and Extreme Weather.
• All of the models that predict catastrophic global warming fail the key test of the scientific method: they grossly over predict the warming versus actual data.
• 600 million years of data prove that today’s CO2 level of 420 parts per million (ppm) is very low, not high.
• 600 million years of data show that higher levels of CO2 do not cause or even correlate with higher temperatures.
• Even at today’s relatively low levels, atmospheric CO2 is now “heavily saturated,” in physics terms, meaning that additional increases in atmospheric CO2 can have little warming effect.
In science, omitting contradictory data is such an egregious violation of the scientific method that it is deemed “falsification.” It is illustrated by what can be called the “world is flat analysis,” which involves cherry-picking a limited set of favorable data and then failing to consider contradictory evidence. Under this method, the theory that the world is flat is true if one uses only eyesight data and does not consider the voluminous other evidence that it is round.”
These highly educated, respected, and esteemed Ivy League professors cite 600 million years of evidence to utterly eviscerate the narrative that CO2 from human activity is destroying the planet. If you were to read their full report, you would learn that the reality is quite the opposite—and they are certainly not alone in saying so.
Nobel Physics prize winner Dr. John Clauser recently launched his own “excoriating attack” on the climate crisis narrative, calling it a “dangerous corruption of science” that threatens the well-being of billions of people. He, along with over 1,000 other scientific leaders from around the world, has declared emphatically:
“There is no climate emergency.”
Thousands of distinguished and prestigious scientists spell it out rather bluntly:
“Climate science has degenerated into a discussion based on beliefs, not on sound self-critical science. Should not we free ourselves from the naive belief in immature climate models?”
Should not we free ourselves from the naive belief that human beings are destroying the planet by spewing unsustainable amounts of carbon into the atmosphere?
Should not we free ourselves from the naive belief that human activity is having a greater impact on the climate than planetary forces playing out over millions of years?
Am I in denial of human caused climate change? Absolutely not, the government has been intentionally and clandestinely changing the climate for decades.
Am I in denial of man-made global warming? No, I am denying the narrative and the lies that suggest humanity is destroying the planet—and on that note, I am clearly in good company. Attempting to deny that would be the epitome of denial itself!