The vast majority of those who deny climate change are Americans... religious Americans.
Notably so in the Evangelical sects of the US.

The issue is how to deal with them, their careless treatment of the planet, it's resources, etc.

I've found the following logic to work on occasion.
I've summarised it into a "passage" for easier reading. It also makes more sense to the religious in this form... for some reason.

(I don't believe in god... but the only thing that makes sense to these people is god and what their imaginary friend may or may not want... so I had to use that angle.)

"Did god not make trees flammable?
The waters taintable?
Why then do you believe his largest and greatest creation of all was not created equally as fragile?
Your life is a test. And this planet, gods house and greatest creation, is a part of that test.

Hell itself cannot enforce the level of fury god will show you when he sees what YOU have willingly done to his house... while arrogantly claiming you've done nothing."

Of course, feel free to throw up a little upon reading the "god" parts... I threw up a little writing them... unfortunately, I can't effectively deliver the message to them with "Who doesn't exist" tacked on to every sentence.
... they tend to catch on to you being Atheist that way.

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It's going to happen sooner or later. There's only so much petroleum. I think it will really take getting to the point of exhaustion, but I also think people will see the reality of it and be prepared for a change in the infrastructure in time for when it does happen.
eh? check my blog for the book fundamentals of extremism.. xtian right etc..
It is very insteresting that most Christians do not believe this. It's not like it hurts any of there core beliefs? Right?? (Not like evolution can). So what's the deal?

Anyway, I deal with them like this:

United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

"The global increases in carbon dioxide concentration are due primarily to fossil fuel use and land-use change, while those of methane and nitrous exide are primarily due to agriculture." The report goes on to note that these findings come with a "very high confidence rate that the globally averaged net effect of human activities since 1750 has been one of warming." ange.shtml

American Geophysical Union

"Human activities are increasingly altering the Earth's climate. These effects add to natural influences that have been present over Earth's history. Scientific evidence strongly indicates that natural influences cannot explain the rapid increase in global near-surface temperatures observed during the second half of the 20th century.

Human impacts on the climate system include increasing concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases (e.g., carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons and their substitutes, methane, nitrous oxide, etc.), air pollution, increasing concentrations of airborne particles, and land alteration. A particular concern is that atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide may be rising faster than at any time in Earth's history, except possibly following rare events like impacts from large extraterrestrial objects.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have increased since the mid-1700s through fossil fuel burning and changes in land use, with more than 80% of this increase occurring since 1900. Moreover, research indicates that increased levels of carbon dioxide will remain in the atmosphere for hundreds to thousands of years. It is virtually certain that increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases will cause global surface climate to be warmer."

American Meteorological Society

"Climate has changed throughout geological history, for many natural reasons such as changes in the sun’s energy received by Earth arising from slow orbital changes, or changes in the sun’s energy reaching Earth’s surface due to volcanic eruptions. In recent decades, humans have increasingly affected local, regional, and global climate by altering the flows of radiative energy and water through the Earth system (resulting in changes in temperature, winds, rainfall, etc.), which comprises the atmosphere, land surface, vegetation, ocean, land ice, and sea ice. Indeed, strong observational evidence and results from modeling studies indicate that, at least over the last 50 years, human activities are a major contributor to climate change."

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

"So, the concern is not with the fact that we have a greenhouse effect, but whether human activities are leading to an enhancement of the greenhouse effect by the emission of greenhouse gases through fossil fuel combustion and deforestation...

Human activity has been increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (mostly carbon dioxide from combustion of coal, oil, and gas; plus a few other trace gases). There is no scientific debate on this point."

American Association for the Advancement of Science

"The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to society. Accumulating data from across the globe reveal a wide array of effects: rapidly melting glaciers, destabilization of major ice sheets, increases in extreme weather, rising sea level, shifts in species ranges, and more. The pace of change and the evidence of harm have increased markedly over the last five years. The time to control greenhouse gas emissions is now."

National Academy of Sciences

"Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth's atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise. Temperatures are, in fact, rising. The changes observed over the last several decades are likely mostly due to human activities, but we cannot rule out that some significant part of these changes is also a reflection of natural variability. Human-induced warming and associated sea level rises are expected to continue through the 21st century."
It is very insteresting that most Christians do not believe this. It's not like it hurts any of there core beliefs? Right?? (Not like evolution can). So what's the deal?

The only Theistic rationale I can see is that God made the Earth, therefore only God is powerful enough to destroy the Earth and even if we are as well, God wouldn't let that happen; it's not in our hands. On the other hand, in their own Creationism story God made humankind stewards of the Earth. Even if Xians don't believe humans can override God's power/will to keep the Earth healthy, you would think it would be a direct insult to be handed the task of taking care of the Earth then dismissing those duties.

In a very roundabout way, I can also see resistance because the science of Climate Change seeps (in their minds) into the science of Evolution, Geology, etc.

But still, from a purely religious perspective, green energy and hugging a few trees should logically go more in favor of their religion, not against it. Then again, so should welfare, universal health care, helping immigrants instead of detesting them.

So I see their rationale (or lack thereof) as purely political. Traditionally, Xians are also Conservatives. More specifically, they're anti-Liberal/Democrat. Conservatives/Republicans push a Theocratic agenda. Liberals/Democrats push for religious freedom and separation of church and state, which, in the Xian mind, is a threat to Christianity. That balloons into "Anything Liberals/Democrats are for, we are against."

Even when said issue is in their own best interest.

As to responding with the scientific and governmental studies that you do, they make perfect sense to us, but a True Christian(tm) would only see them as further evidence that government and science are in some global conspiracy together to hate Jesus.

(That, and accepting AGW means feeling a wee bit of guilt for living a life of greed and excess.)
This commentary was published in our area newspaper last January.

(John B. Hodges is a well-read layman, B.A. in Economics, who lives in Blacksburg.)

Global Warming Hypothesis Heavily Favored by Evidence

Lars Hagen's commentary Dec. 28 ("Climate Change is Just a Hypothesis")
raises the key question. Has the 220 billion tons of CO2 we have added to the atmosphere since the industrial revolution changed the climate at all? If we continue adding more, 8.2 billion tons (and growing) each year, will this have any effect at all? How can we know?

Earth's climate is a complex system with many variables and feedback loops. Weather varies chaotically by the year, decade, and century, and has been doing so for all of past time. There is a lot of noise in the data. CO2 levels are but one factor; how can we tell what effect it has, if any? And if it has no effect, why should we suffer the inconvenience of rebuilding our energy system to use solar, wind, and biomass?

We know that CO2 is a warming factor because it absorbs infrared; it would probably be possible for high-school students to assemble the equipment needed to confirm this, for a science-fair project.

How much effect does it have? The answer comes from statistical analysis. That's the sort of problem that mathematical statistics was developed for, that's what it does: separating out the different factors and estimating how much each factor affects the result. The CO2 we have added is (by basic physics) a warming factor, and the rising temperatures since 1970 cannot be explained without it. There is wide agreement on this point among those who study climate on a professional level.

With so many factors affecting the climate, nobody expects or claims that increasing CO2 will cause world temperatures to be a smooth rising curve, setting a new record every year; that would take a miracle. Global Warming will not abolish winter either, at least for awhile yet. But warm years will come more often, and cool years rarely. The "twenty-year moving average" will continue to rise.

For example, 1998 was a year with both a warm Southern Pacific Oscillation and a sunspot maximum; it was unusually hot, the warmest year on record. 2008 had a cool Southern Pacific Oscillation and a sunspot minimum, it was cooler, only the eleventh warmest on record. If you draw a straight line from one to the other, the line slopes down, it looks like Global Warming has stopped. But if you do a proper linear regression, using data from all the years 1998-2008, the trend line is still going up. 2001 through 2007 were all in the top ten warmest on record, and 2009 will be also.

Climate change is considered a crisis because changes in patterns of wind and rain and temperature have destroyed many civilizations in human history. All our civilizations depend on agriculture, and if the crops fail the cities fall. Climate history often shows sudden changes from one pattern to another, rarely smooth, gradual changes. The scientists fear that we will cross thresholds, trigger feedbacks, that will result in much more warming than we have seen for millions of years. I recommend a book, WITH SPEED AND VIOLENCE, by Fred Pierce.
Dannyisme - I knew the day would come: I totally agree with you. 100%.

It is incredibly cynical, but co-opting groups to support policies which hurt them is a time-honored practice in capitalism generally. It's depressing that people, religious or otherwise, are so easily duped into working against their own best interests.

I love the juxtaposition in the vid of accusing environmentalists of fearmongering while in the same breath warning of the dangers of letting people who give a shit about the environment control regulations that might affect it.
Revisiting this thread I created, in light of recent events regarding BP's failed valve in the Gulf Coast spewing an estimated 40,000 barrels of oil a day... it simply re-iterates the point once more.

We have a duty as the capable species on this planet to do what we can to ensure it's future.

And quite frankly, at the moment, we're doing the exact opposite.
If you consider yourself a skeptic, and open to the evidence, I strongly suggest you do some reading on this subject at the James Randi Educational Foundation forum. Here is the link to the science forum. You will find many scientists there engaged in debates on this topic and others.

After reading the debates there, I no longer doubt what the evidence points to. The amount of evidence in support of climate shift caused by human interference is too compelling to deny or remain on the fence about.
Really, check out the forum. Reading the various debates and articles for years is not the same thing as having the accumulation of all those debates presented by a sort of nexus of skeptical analysis. There is enough evidence now to no longer sit on the fence, and if you don't think there is, then you haven't heard or seen it all. If you really want to claim you have seen and heard all the evidence and still maintain there is not enough to know one way or the other, then I guess I can't say anything to that.

Global Warming aside, as a skeptic with interest in anything, you should be fairly delighted at the number of discussions and topics gathered there, so check it out.
I don't think you're a denier. I was skeptical myself, considering this concept could possibly be due to natural climate shift and we're making a mistake by viewing the situation through anthropomorphic tinted glasses. It's easy to see how it could be an issue of misplaced guilt over the irresponsible use of natural resources in the past 200 years, and the drastic effect our species has had on the other species of Earth. My generation, growing up in the 80s and 90s, was almost religiously indoctrinated into the idea of environmentalism, so a little cynicism towards it is to be expected.

I myself was skeptical, as I said, on the fence about it. I finally had the arguments and evidence laid out in a way that made things fairly clear to me, on the JREF forums, and just thought I'd share it with you, as a fellow fence sitter. It's a fantastic site, with lots and lots of interesting topics.
I'm not saying you're wrong, and here's a link to prove it. I just wanted to share with you this resource, as you seem to be a reasonable person.
I think nick's link just takes you to the top of the forums. I couldn't find what he was referring to either. As an alternative, you might try here or here for lists of skeptical arguments and why they don't wash.

The bottom line is that humans have been pumping enormous amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere for the last couple centuries, above what the planet can absorb. CO2 is an insulator. How could the planet fail to warm? I have yet to see skeptics propose a mechanism by which you can add insulation and not heat things up.



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