Unit 8: Bad Science Behind Climate Change Deniers

School systems are challenged with administrations that either want to showcase climate deniers science as true, or don’t want to talk about climate deniers at all.  Climate change is real, it is caused by humans, and there is a gigantic amount of scientific research to back it up.  While the climate models are not perfect (and they will always be upgraded with new advances in science), they have been very accurate showing CO2 by humans is causing global temperatures to rise.  Students need to know how to calmly and scientifically discuss the climate change with those that disagree.  Student's scientific knowledge of climate change is crucial in educating others and creating an environment of positive change in our community.  Students also need to know how bad the science of climate deniers is.

I'm very much in agreement with the information in the article linked below.  Climate change proponents need to craft their arguments without using combat words such as fight, battle, and war to describe their work on moderating climate change.  These words put the deniers on the defensive instantly, and we do not want to fight with them, but instead we need to educate them.  You can read the full article on avoiding confrontation wording here: https://grist.org/climate/the-war-on-climate-the-climate-fight-are-we-approaching-the-problem-all-wrong/

Groups that claim that climate change isn’t happening have been likened to organizations and people that said smoking didn’t cause cancer.  The "science" of pro smoking groups was funded by the tobacco companies, and the science was manipulated or down right fraudulent.  The anti-climate change groups are being funded by Energy companies that make their money by selling carbon based fuels like gasoline and coal.  This relationship creates a biased based relationship.  When you look at the science of the anti-climate groups, they either cherry picking their data to fit their agenda or they are using time spans that are so small that they don’t show global warming or its effects.  To add to that, there are plenty of accusations that climate change is unproven, but they have no evidence to back up their claims.  Now, I know that no matter how much science we show anti-climate people, we won’t change many of their opinions, but it’s important to confirm that real climate science, produced by thousands of scientists across numerous countries, all agree that climate change is real and man-made, and they have the data to back it up.  There is no conspiracy.

Here is a list of the top 10 climate deniers and their bio’s.  https://www.beforetheflood.com/explore/the-deniers/top-10-climate-deniers/


The most popular groups that deny climate change are listed below.  Have students look up where the groups get their funding.  Some groups refuse to disclose their funding-  that’s not very transparent, is it?  What do they have to hide? 

  • -The Heartland Institute

  • -ExxonMobile

  • -Chevron

  • -Coal company Alpha Resources

  • -Energy & Environment Legal Institute

  • -Cooler Heads Coalition

  • -CEI Competitive Enterprise Institute

  • -Murry Energy Group, the largest coal producer in the U.S.

  • -Free Enterprise Action Fund

  • -Cato Institute

  • -Center for the study of science and conservatism.

    • CCC Copenhagen Consensus Center

    • Global Warming Policy Foundation

  • -Tea Party

  • -Science and Environmental Policy Project

  • -Peabody Energy Coal

  • -Cornwall Alliance

  • -Crossroads Energy and Climate Summit

  • -Website Global Warming 101

Video on Vimeo called “Overview” is about the Earth and how we are it’s stewards, and the reason we should pay attention and mitigate climate change. https://player.vimeo.com/video/55073825

History of Climate Denial from Climate Reality Project. https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/climate-denial-machine-how-fossil-fuel-industry-blocks-climate-action

How much energy companies spend denying climate change by The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/mar/22/top-oil-firms-spending-millions-lobbying-to-block-climate-change-policies-says-report

How much energy companies spend denying climate change by Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2019/03/25/oil-and-gas-giants-spend-millions-lobbying-to-block-climate-change-policies-infographic/#205f53717c4f


We are teachers’ website has a good view on ways teachers approach climate deniers- it’s a must read. https://www.weareteachers.com/climate-change-denial/

This is another must read, it’s not long, but hits on many points that deniers have to say from Science Alert. https://www.sciencealert.com/here-s-what-the-science-says-about-five-common-climate-change-myths

Washington Post Teaching climate change in an area where most parents are skeptics:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/how-to-teach-kids-about-climate-change-where-most-parents-are-skeptics/2017/06/03/1ad4b67a-47a0-11e7-98cd-af64b4fe2dfc_story.html?fbclid=IwAR2o6EnhvziKC_wjJDqLn-49ieuct9lp77Srt2G8qPVc3tzqs079EUBJ-q0

Revisit 24 steps to climate change by “It’s Ok To Be SMART” PBS. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffjIyms1BX4&t=210s

Why people don’t believe in Climate Science “It’s Ok To Be Smart” PBS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2euBvdP28c

I love hearing from scientists that refute the climate deniers.  Here is one video that does an excellent job and shows what “cherry picking” data is.  https://youtu.be/_Sf_UIQYc20 

This video on refuting climate deniers does a great job as well from Skepticl Science. https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

There are a lot of websites that help to refute the arguments made by anti-climate changers.  Grist is a site I like as it refutes individual arguments and then back up the truth with data.  https://grist.org/series/skeptics/

https://crankyuncle.com/game/ This web site is a lot of fun and is very informative.  There is a phone game to be released June 2020 that students can use “cartoons and gameplay to interactively explain the denial techniques used to cast doubt on climate science”.  The app is created “to explain the techniques of deniers, and increase students critical thinking skills, build public resilience against misinformation”.  They already have a book out entitled Uncle Cranky vs. Climate change.  Vice Canada film should have a documentary on the apps use by students soon, check the website for updates.