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How are the poor impacted by climate change?

What the science says...

Those who contribute the least greenhouse gases will be most impacted by climate change.

Climate Myth...

CO2 limits will hurt the poor

"Legally mandated measures for reducing greenhouse gas emissions are likely to have significant adverse impacts on GDP growth of developing countries, including India." (Pradipto Ghosh, as quoted by Associated Press)

The central question of climate change is, How will it affect humanity? This question can be examined by estimating which regions are most vulnerable to future climate change (Samson et al 2011). The researchers then compared the global map of climate vulnerability to a global map of carbon dioxide emissions. The disturbing finding was that the countries that have contributed the least to carbon dioxide emissions are the same regions that will be most affected by the impacts of climate change.

To estimate the impact of climate change on people, James Samson and his co-authors developed a new metric called Climate Demography Vulnerability Index (CDVI). This takes into account how regional climate will change as well as how much local population is expected to grow. They incorporated this index into a global map and found highly vulnerable regions included central South America, the Middle East and both eastern and southern Africa. Less vulnerable regions were largely in the northern part of the Northern Hemisphere.

Figure 1: Global Climate Demography Vulnerability Index. Red corresponds to more vulnerable regions, blue to less vulnerable regions. White areas corresponds to regions with little or no population (Samson et al 2011).

Next, they created a map of national carbon dioxide emissions per capita. They found the countries most severely impacted by climate change contributed the least to greenhouse gas emissions. It is quite striking that blue, less-polluting regions in the CO2 emissions map correspond to the red, highly vulnerable areas in the vulnerability map.

Figure 2: National average per capita CO2 emissions based on OECD/IEA 2006 national CO2 emissions (OECD/IEA, 2008)  and UNPD 2006 national population size (UNPD, 2007).

The study didn't delve into the question of which countries are least able to adapt to the impacts of climate change. But it doesn't take a great leap of the imagination to surmise that the poor, developing countries that emit the least pollution are also those with the least amount of infrastructure to deal with climate impacts. So we are left with a double irony - the countries that contribute least to global warming are both the most impacted and the least able to adapt.

This research put into perspective those who try to delay climate action, arguing that "CO2 limits will hurt the poor". This argument is usually code for "rich, developed countries should be able to pollute as much as they like". This presents us with a moral hazard. If those who are emitting the most greenhouse gas are the least affected by direct global warming impacts, how shall we motivate them to change?

Basic rebuttal written by John Cook

Update August 2015:

Here is a related lecture-video from Denial101x - Making Sense of Climate Science Denial


Last updated on 5 August 2015 by MichaelK. View Archives

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Comments 51 to 75 out of 84:

  1. Grizwald57 - what you are saying only applies to rich countries. The poor in rich countries may not be suffering but that doesnt apply in Third World - where there are real poor. A farmer in Bangladesh keeps investing in planting his crops because he doesnt have other choices. Well, yes, when starvation is imminant because land is lost, then you must leave, but the result is probably the same for most. The poor on the whole dont have choices. 

    All the actual studies show that mitigation is cheaper, but the costs are in future and/or inflicted on those who are not responsible. If you having to pay now the costs of climate change, then transition from FF would be happening rather quickly. 

  2. Grizwald wrote "I will not state my position."

    this is more or less an admission of trolling.  In a rational discussion intended to establish the truth it ought to be a given that the participants will be willing to state their position on request (indeed they ought to be keen to state it up front).  However in discussions on climate this tends not to be the case as people don't want to give hostages to fortune and be required to justify their position later.  Shame on you.

    As to the other issues, your main error is to concentrate on the number of people in poverty in a given country.  However the climate is utterly oblivious to national boundaries, and a countries ability to deal with climate change depends on the proportion of the population in poverty, not the number.  Those in poverty do not have the resources to reliably meet their immediate needs, so it is absurd to expect them to provide the resources required for adaption, the resources have to be provided for everybody in that nation by the part of the population that can actually afford it.  China has a lot of people earning under $2 (18.6%) but their GDP per capita is $11,868, which suggests there is a good deal of wealth in the 81.4% that are not in poverty who can look after those that are.  Nigeria on the other hand has a GDP per capita of less than half that and 82.2% living on less than $2 a day.  China has a much larger number of people in poverty than Nigeria, but the reason it has some resources to adapt is that it has an even larger number that are not in poverty.  The same is not true for Nigeria.

    "The people of Bangladesh would then have to address this constant flooding issue by either running from the tidal wave (the natural human reaction) or somehow economically prevent the flooding (perhaps by somesortof off-shore engineering).  To assume there will not be a market response in the face of an ecological disaster is just a weak position to hold. "

    This is just silly.  Bangladesh has the fifth highest population density of any country and the worlds eighth most populous.  There isn't anywhere for them to run to that is agriculturally viable.  The only place they could go would be mass migration to othe countries.  If you think that wouldn't cause huge political, social and economic problems, then you are on another planet.  The idea that some sort of offshore engineering is going to solve the problem is really daft and shows huge igorance of its geography.  Bangladesh is basically one big river delta, you have huge amounts of water arriving from inland as well and coming in from rising tides.  As for market response, 76.54% of the Bangladeshi population live below the poverty line ($2 a day).  They don't have the funds to spend in the market on anything other than their essential daily needs.  The GDP per capita of Bangladesh is ranked 144 out of 187 nations by the IMF, so expecting a market response is, to say the least, highly optimistic!

    My recommendation is DNFTT, Grizwald is clearly just trolling, as the reticence to state his position and ridiculous arguments clearly demonstrate.

  3. A troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community with the [i]deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion[/i].

    A person who is not good at expressing their views is not a troll. A person who gish gallops is not a troll. A person who dodges questions is not a troll. They might be irritating for you deal with, they might be ideologues, they might even be idiots, but I see DNFTT far too often on this site. It's a dismissive line. It's dismissive of people who don't necessarily agree with you or argue in a 'scientific' manner (that is, calmly making falsifiable statements with citations).

    Grizwald is attempting to discuss the subject. He just isn't doing so in the way people here prefer to discuss a topic. Climate communication, any communication, requires patience. Superciliousness is not going to further the conversation.

  4. Grizwald57 - Unfortunately, some government action will have to be employed due to fossil fuel externalities not being carried by the emitters, but rather paid in a diffuse and unattributed fashion by the population as a whole - the Tragedy of the Commons. It's less expensive to be a polluter if you can just dump the pollutants into a stream or a landfill, and we have long established regulations to prevent common waters from becoming sewers. The same needs to be applied to fossil fuels, accounting for external impacts such as health, agriculture, oh, and climate change. 

    If these costs are accounted for then renewables are the most economical source of energy right now. But that will take some regulations and very likely something like a carbon tax so that the actual costs of using fossil fuels are tied to their use, rather than being dumped on everyone else. 

    As to the poor, and your original comments: the poor, the Third World countries, will have disproportionate impacts from climate change, far out of balance from their contribution to it (as they use less fossil fuel per capita). Yes, anyone can adapt to some extent. But the costs to the disadvantaged will be much higher in both relative and absolute terms, and that is a harm. Which becomes not just an economic issue, but a social and moral one - is it right to profit from short term fossil fuel monies while the costs of those profits fall upon others? 

    Overcoming individual profit and yes greed requires social structures and strictures such as regulations. The unlimited free market just doesn't do those. 

  5. Tristran - I agree with you as to definition of troll, but I also think there are discussions that are not worth having on this site. Sks exists to explain what peer reviewed science has to say about global warming. There are plenty of other sites in which to have unscientific arguments.

    The primary problem is that there is no point having a discussion about the science with someone who chooses to be informed by an ideological position rather than data. The old saying that "you can't reason a person out of position that they werent reasoned into in the first place".

    It is the nature of the human condition to try and warp reality to fit our cherished preconceptions and noone is immune. What science training should do is imbue the discipline of letting data change our mind. And that t'aint easy. A scientific discussion necessarily is informed by data and citation is a tool for referencing both data and evaluating it. That is why it is preferred here.

    The commonest kind of "pseudo-skeptic" we get here is someone who for ideological or group identity reasons is repelled by suggested solutions to AGW.  Instead of suggesting alternative solutions that are compatible with their world view, they instead pursue one or all the canon "It's not happening; It's not us; It's not bad". Understandable but illogical. If no data will cause them to change their mind, then a discussion is not worth happening.

    For better or worse, Grizwald57 comes across as someone wedded to an extreme form of free market ideology who I suspect would might even take issue with Milton Friedman on market failures and externalities. I'm also inclined to agree with Dikran that his responses are laughable but whether that is delibrate provation (which would be trolling) or ideological blindness is less clear.

  6. Grizwald @47:

    1)  In the case of the Irish Potato Famine, while corn laws were a government intervention that did not help, the fact is that Irish rents were sufficiently high that those suffering in the famine would have been unable to pay for grain at any price.  The rents were set by private market mechanisms and hence the Irish Potato Famine constitutes a market failure.  A similar point can be made in Ethiopia in which the government intervention determined that the starvation would occur in the country rather than the cities, but no whether or not starvation would occur.


    "The best interest is in fact a "percieved" best interest. However this is still in the best interest of the individual no matter how much they don't know. What they don't know is irrelevent since they don't know it, and thus they will not be able to adjust their decision."

    I need to frame that in all its absurdity as an example of just how silly market fundamentalism is.

    With similar illogic we can argue that all car accidents are in the "best interests" of their victims who do not percieve themselves as driving too fast, or too tired, or too drunk - else they would not choose to drive.  We could likewise argue that there is no such thing as economic fraud, for anybody buying the Brooklyn Bridge (to use the classic example) is acting in their best percieved interest at the time, and hence, by your argument, in their best interest.  And if they act in their best interest, they cannot have been harmed.

    The fact is, people can act in their own worst interests.  They can do so both from not recognizing where their own best interest lies (ie, doing something that they achieve and then regret that they achieved it), or by not recognizing the costs of their acts (ie, doing something and achieving their end, but regret the circumstances in which it is achieved), or by doing something and failing to achieve that which made it worth doing.

    3) Why do I think economic growth could reverse with sufficient warming?  Well, first, given 10 to 15 C warming, the Earth becomes literally uninhabitable for large mammals (including humans) except at the extreme poles.  That is not consistent with economic growth.  Ergo, for sufficient warming economic growth must reverse.  The question is only how much warming is necessary for that.  High end temperature projections for the end of this century approach +7 C so they are in the range of potential, but not certain, reversal of economic growth.

    Your claim of uninterupted economic growth is certainly untrue of civilization wide measures.  A variety of civilizations have had sustained periods of negative economic growth, in some cases ending the existence of the civilizations.  With a truly global civilization developed for the first time in the twentieth century, we now have the possibility of a global reversal in economic growth (if we accept you unsupported claim that it has never occurred before).


    "To assume there will not be a market response in the face of an ecological disaster is just a weak position to hold."

    On the contrary, I assume that there will be a market response to impacts of global warming.  That market response will be, as you yourself say, to leave the poor to their tragedy; to assume that the poor can just migrate to solve the problem while all nations of the world have enacted legislation to prevent that migration (including, most importantly for Bangladesh, India, its only land neighbour), and to assume that, due to market fundamentalism, the poor will not be worse of because they can choose the best option in their worsening condition (as if a person with gangrene in the leg will not be worse of because they can always choose an amputation).


    "When I stated that "they offer the wrong solutions" at the end I was referring to interfeering with the natural market."

    There are no natural markets.  Never have been, and never will be.  Currently national markets are (universally SKAIK) distorted by laws permiting limited liability, preferred creditors, the existence of non-natural entities able to own property (corporations), and a legislated annual devaluation of wages and savings (mandatory inflation regulated by central banks).  These all work in favour of the rich at the expense of the poor and are government interferences with the market.  We also have government provided roads using mandatory acquisition of land to do so, along with various other mandatory "rights" of providers of communication services that allow the providors of those services to gain the necessary right of ways at below market value.  We further have courts to enforce legal rights where the prospect of success is a direct function of fees paid to lawyers (which establishes them to be systematically unjust, and unjust in a way that favours the wealthy).

    International markets are further distorted by laws that place no limit on the movement of capital, but strictly constrain the movement of people (thereby giving the possessors of capital far more flexibility than those who make a living by selling their labour, to the benefit of the former).

    Finally, the fundamental notion of markets (property rights) are socially defined constructs, and in most of the world, socially defined constructs that freeze as legitimate prior acquisitions by naked force (as, for example, all land held other than by indigenous people in North America, or Australia).

    I am disinclined to take market fundamentalists seriously until the spend as much time attacking the above listed distortions of the market as they do attacking any that serve to ensure the net gains of the economy are fairly distributed.  Until they do, they merely demonstrate that their "market fundamentalism" is an inconsistently applied, and self serving ideology.  It is a gambit to improve their position, not a serious belief.

  7. I agree with's comment ( that the article itself does not answer the argument of how the poor would be affect by CO2 limit. The article does not address how the laws which limit the usage of CO2 will affect the poor; it only tells us about the effect that climate change would cause to the specific parts of the world.

  8. I skimmed Samson et al 2011 and found it bizzarely obsessed with population density. Perhaps I am not understanding the paper, but it seems to be saying "high population density is good, rural living is bad, and climate change is projected to increase conditions correlated with rural living, especially in poor countries, so that's bad." Surely this is an overly narrow and simplistic perspective. Have I misunderstood? In the "Notes" below these comments there are more sources; Patt et al. (2010)'s focus on extreme weather made more sense.

    I learned the most by reading the IPCC report (AR5 WG2 Chapter 11 pages 721-732):

    • Most of the poor people in the world live near the equator where the weather is hot. Global warming means higher average temperature, and worse heat waves. Heat waves kill many people every year. High body temperature can decrease physical abilities and mental function, and is uncomfortable. Example: in Australia, the number of “dangerously hot” days (when core body temperatures may increase by ≥2°C and outdoor activity is hazardous) is projected to rise from 4-6 days per year to 33-45 days per year by 2070.
    • During extreme heat, danger to health is higher for manual laborers, including farmers. Poor people usually do not have enough money for air conditioning.
    • Climate change is a threat to crop productivity in areas that are already food-insecure. Climate change will reduce food availability, and will cause undernutrition in children.
    • Floods are the most common natural disaster. It is expected that more people will be exposed to floods in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America. Increases in intense tropical cyclones are likely in the late 21st century.
    • Climate change is likely to increase the risk of malaria, and perhaps Dengue fever.
    • Higher temperatures are associated with more diarrhea. Bacterial pathogens are more likely to grow on produce crops (e.g., lettuce) in simulations of warmer conditions. This hurts poor people, who have less access to health care, more.
    • Human conflict is increased by soil degradation, freshwater scarcity, and other forces related to climate. So climate change can make armed conflicts worse.

    Also, fossil fuels cause air pollution. Usually, poor countries have lower standards against pollution, so poor people breathe much more air pollution for each unit of "unclean" energy produced nearby.

  9. I want to point out one obvious thing.  No 3rd world govts or organizations, have joined this discussion at all, saying "please don't do anything about global warming because it would kill our people". 

    Only entities other than those representing the worlds poor, have definitely become aware of this discussion and have commented.  I could only speculate why. 

  10. I could use some help I got a sanctimonious belligerent trollish climate change denier [snipped] scolding me for not caring about the poor in first world countries. They won't even tell me what country they are from.

    They go on and on about bicycle lanes not being used and how the working class has to pay for them. That lashing rain, what in the world is lashing rain anyways, makes it too difficult to bicycle to work?

    Then, they go on and on about the expense of electric cars and solar panels. I've found the electric car and solar panel argument to be very common.

    Crank uncle: Electric cars and solar panels are too expensive for the poor!

    Thank you in advance. :)


    [BL] Please keep the inflammatory labels down a bit.

  11. PM @60... Sounds like your climate denier needs to pick a lane (pun intended) and stick to it rather than Gish galloping through all the topics they don't understand. 

  12. I apologize that the inflammatory labels were too much, sorry you had to edit. Thanks for letting me know to keep the inflammatory labels down a bit. Still new here, I want to respect the rules, but gonna stumble some at first.

    Rob Honeycutt @61

    Thanks for the quick response. I want to focus on solar panels. That seems to be what the proverbial crankyuncles that I run into seem to be mentioning the most. I will put in fact, myth, fallacy, fact format a debunking. Though right now i don't have the scholarly peer reviewed articles to back up my conclusions.

    Fact: Solar panels are a cheaper energy source than fossil fuels.

    Myth:  CO2 limits in the form of Solar panels will hurt the poor of the first world.

    Fallacy: Cherry picking by using old data and omitting fossil fuel subsidies that can be used on clean energy. Hidden costs like healthcare and future generations having to clean up costs of pollution select evidence is used to come to the faulty conclusion.

    Fact: Solar energy is cheaper than coal.

    Analogy: Pretending that solar panels are still expensive is the same as imagining that all cell phones are still huge bricks.

    Sources: NPR, Nature, and popularscience.

    Solar cheaper than Coal NPR 2020

     Popular science solar panels got cheap, 2021.

    Nature 5.9 trillon fossil fuel subsidies.

    Let me know if there is anyway to improve this debunking, and of course I would appreciate a fact check.  The skeptic looks bad when the person who is denying climate science can prove them incorrect. Hopefully this is the correct thread to post this comment, seems the best to me, but I could be wrong. Thanks in advance. :)

  13. PollutionMonster @60,

    The 'car' issue could be directly addressed.

    Start with: AGREE with the person you are dealing with - Needing to own and use a vehicle is a very expensive requirement. It is a very "high cost of living" item faced by the poor.

    Then address effective solutions to that problem: Reducing the need for a personal vehicle. Bike lanes can be part of the solution. And improved and lower cost public transit is also helpful. (Note that making harmful fossil fuel cheaper by not requiring the effort and cost of making it 'harmless' to be paid is not a solution - It is the origin of the problem. Fossil fuels always should have been much more expensive)

    AGREE that a lack of use of Bike Lanes may indicate other systemic problems that need to be addressed to make it easier for poor people to live 'without a car' and with the freedom they can have by biking when the weather is not horrendous (when public transit would be the better option).

    AGREE that helping the poor should not be "Paid for by the poor".

    Some of those points or ways of presenting the case may apply to the Solar issue.

  14. To add to OPOF @63... The first task for yourself is accepting you will never change that person's mind. Once someone has taken a firm position, as they seem to have done, it is virtually impossible to alter their base conclusions. In fact, they will become more intransigent over time.

    If you're engaging with them one-on-one, the exchange will be a rather pointless task, other than what you may learn, yourself, through debunking myths. If you're engaging in a public forum, try to remember the other people who may be reading. There you might find minds that can be changed and people interested in the science.

  15. As Rob says @64,

    In many cases a person may not admit to changing their opinion n an on-line back and forth, or a personal discussion. However, they may ultimately alter their thinking based on the interaction. But, in some cases, they will just alter onto a different inexcusable unjustified attempt to excuse or justify their developed liking for benefit from fossil fuel use.

    It may help to share something like the following article from CPA Canada (Chartered Professional Accountants Canada). It lays out the cost facts about car ownership:

    First-time car buyer? Here’s what you should be budgeting for.

    That indicates that owning a small basic car costs about $1000 per month in Canada. And the type of vehicle (electric vs fossil fuel) would not make much of a differnce. Higher up front cost of an electric is offset by lower maintenance and lower fuel costs.

    Bottom line - Car Ownership will always be a crippling expense for middle income and poorer people.

  16. Re my comment @65,

    I should have included the following reference:

    RateHub "What is the total cost of ownership for a car?"

    The RateHub evaluation includes costs excluded from CPA Canada link I provided @65 (which is largely based on, and refers to, the CAA's Driving Cost Calculator).

    The RateHub evaluation includes consideration of things like parking costs and seasonal tire change-over.

    And there are other costs to consider like new tires every 5 or 6 years. And a big cost that is not in the evaluations is unexpected repair costs (not part of the planned regular maintenance).

  17. Rob Honeycutt @64

    Yes, I agree with what you are saying. Even real life friends it seems that the one versus one conversation seems pointless. The chances of changing their mind is maybe 1%.

    As for others being interested in the science. I do know depends upon the forums. Some places it just seems like who can do the best job of a gish gallop of ad hominems, strawmans, and false accusations win. Do I defend myself or just stick to the science?

  18. PollutionMonster @67

    One on one discussions with friends and family members can make sense but are obviously not easy. If you want to tackle them, please check this blog post about a neat communications flyer with tips on countering conspiracy theories and misinformation.

  19. PollutionMonster and Others,

    The post that BaerbelW @68 linked to is an excellent and comprehensive reference guide.

    I would add that it is important to understand that many difficult interactions are essentially “Conflicts of Interest”. And they can only be resolved if there is an agreement regarding the objective.

    As an engineer I learned that there are a diversity of acceptable ways to achieve an objective. The key is alignment regarding the objective. And the most essential objective is ‘minimizing harm done and minimizing risk of harm’ while developing improvements for the benefit of Others. If you are unable to establish alignment that the objective is the evidence-based pursuit of that objective there will be no ‘alignment on the acceptability of desired actions’.

    For engineered structures there are a diversity of materials and types of structures that will be acceptably safe. The problematic conflict of interest is not the choice between comparably safe solutions. The problem is a desire for an alternative that would not be as harmless or safe. Cheaper, quicker, easier, and more profitable alternatives are often more harmful or less safe. So pursuit of any of those ‘objectives’ can create a harmful conflict of interest.

    A final point. When the person you are dealing with tries to change the topic, because their original desired thoughts are not consistent with an evidence-based understanding of how to limit harm done and help others, try to remain focused on the original issue rather than be distracted by ‘the new alternative thoughts’.

  20. BaerbelW @68

    I am checking out the link you posted. Specifically the one page Flyer.

    One page flier

    I find the part about the part about ask for the sources of their information to lead my friends to either avoid the subject or clam up. I've found my friends to either talk way too much and not give me a chance to talk or avoid the subject entirely. Feast or famine neither feels like a real conversation.

    Right now I am more concerned about stopping myself from spreading misinformation. For example I recently got called out online for spreading misinformation and labeled a liar and a science denier when I said there was five million people dying a year from climate change. I get confused by the scientific jaragon that the lancet used the word association.

    This sometimes spills over into other areas like how many people die from covid-19, or smoking and comorbidities. Seems the theme is to say yes, climate change exists, smoking causes cancer, covid-19 kills, but the damage is minimal and we should sit on our hands and do nothing.

    Followed by a verbose speech about freedom and analogies to totalitarian regimes. Anyways, seems the fastest way to lose your audience and interlocutor is to accidentally spread climate change misinformation.



  21. PollutionMonster @70 ,

    Please do not go down into the "snake pit".  There is no point arguing in areas where you are not clearly the victor.   Whether it is 5 million per year dying of heatwaves versus 2 million dying of cold ~ or vice versa . . . really does not matter, because Deniers will dispute you with all sorts of rubbery figures (faux or real) and their own rubbery definitions of what's what.   You cannot clearly win, in the eyes of onlookers (and they will see you as argumentative & unconvincing . . . and losing credibility).

    The people who spout "freedom / totalitarian control" and suchlike ~ they are a lost cause.   They cannot (and do not wish to) think logically.   They are into Conspiracies ~ the Mr Soros; the Rothschilds (and their space lasers) ; other Billionaire Communists; the Deep State; the "Q" ; the Lizard people ; etcetera.

    Keep it simple.  Point to AGW leading to ice-melting and sea-level rise with consequent migrations of millions of refugees.   And gradual worsening & lengthening of heat waves in India and the Middle East and Central Africa.   More refugees, more poverty, and still more refugees.

    Then the real question for discussion becomes : what should we actually do to reduce & prevent those future problems?  Sit on our hands for the next 20 years?  Or advance gradually (or quickly) toward nett zero carbon emissions (maybe by 2050 or 2060 or 2070?).   Argue for the big picture, not the small stuff.

    It is the same with friends who are "un-engaged"  ~ just make an occasional brief reference to what we actually need to do.   (You don't want them to think of you as That Guy  who is a boring one-trick pony.)

  22. Eclectic @70

    I read your entire post, thank you for the response. :) I feel like I can have a conversation with you on how to best prebunk and debunk climate change deniers. One problem I have is that some websites are so full of snark and dog piling that I am afraid to have a conversation with other climate change activists. That people are trying to look cool and who can get the best insult off, rather than attempt to become better prebunkers.

    According to Greta Thunberg politics have become very very toxic. 

    GretaThungberg NPR

    One dilemma I have with such a strategy is the person practicing denial lures me into the <i>"snake pit."</i> For example if I say the ocean is acidifying, they insist the statement is vague and therefore useless, demanding I say exactly how fast, how much, and what damage.  Ditto, with iceberg shrinking, sea level rise, and refugees.

    Next, if I commit to exact numbers, we enter the snake pit. The cranky uncle comes up with different numbers and shows the flaws of my numbers they call me a compulsive liar and are usually able to swing the audience. I'm suprised how often the onlookers side with denial.

    I am not the most scientifically literate, nor the most intelligent. I often have to admit humility that the denier is simply smarter and more knowledgeable. That they can pull the conversation to the battleground they are most effective at.

    For example when I linked to the Kulp Strauss 2019 article they just dismissed as irrelevant that the sea levels will rise slowly and people will migrate as they always do. Thank you again for the informative civil conversation. :)

  23. PollutionMonster @72 ,

    Regarding Kulp & Strauss (2019)  the figure "per satellite measurement" indicated that 230 million people would need to move, i.e. would lose their land, as the sea level rose 1 meter.  Yes, that might well take around 100 years (and the figure might well have grown to more than 230 million by then).   The main point is that the land loss will include a great amount of fertile farming land, including the particularly productive river delta regions.  But I am sure your Denier friend has no concern about loss of food production in a world of increasing population.   Nor will he admit to concern about impoverished refugees coming to a location near him ~ or concern about their wellbeing.

    Yes, in the big picture, it all happens slowly.  I must admit to a certain liking for your Denier friend.  He seems a man without compassion.  The world needs more of that sort of person !

  24. Eclectic @73

    Thanks that helps a lot. I sometimes have doubts when a lot of deniers yell at me at the same time. I think its best for me to pick my battles and choose a different community to talk to.

    I am finding very very little common ground. They refuse to use sources, which makes it difficult to understand where they are coming from. Of course there is endless accusations of me being a idelogue.

    Other uninvited deniers join in and call me a troll for using sources and accuse me of gish gallop when I link to skepticalscience. Of the group their two favorite sources tend to be Daily Telegraph and dailymail. Though the group consensus is generally sources are bad.

  25. Good luck with that, PollutionMonster, if you wish to be a David fighting a Goliath of website denizens there.  The Daily Mail , eh  [insert supercilious emoji here] .   Endless hours of free entertainment for you, in battling a bunch of bigots.   Though I hope you won't cross swords with them more than a few times per week (you do not wish to justify any label of troll . . . even where they deserve being trolled).   And after all, you have a life to live in less toxic circumstances ~ and you may be able to do more good elsewhere.

    "CO2 limits will hurt the poor"  is just one of the grossly hypocritical  excuses put forward by climate deniers.   What is behind all these Denier arguments?    Near as I can tell, the underlying personality flaws boil down to Selfishness 75% plus Anger 25% . . . or maybe closer to 50 / 50 .

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