50 Updated Rebuttals and Counting

The climate myth rebuttal published this week was the 50th in a long list of updated rebuttals.

Besides that, there are more than 25 in the queue for publication and newly-drafted rebuttals are accumulating at a rate of 1-2 per week as we churn our way through the long list of science-denial's talking points. So it's time for a short reflective post.

The Rebuttal Updates Factory

Graphic: jg

On the Assembly-line

Because many of these rebuttals are of a pre-2010 vintage, it's sad to have to record that many have needed a total rewrite. Not because they are 'bad' or anything like that. At the time of their original publication, they were highly accurate snapshots of the situation. It's just that more than 14 years have passed, far too little has been done to address the climate crisis and emissions (plus CO2 levels) have continued to track dramatically upwards. Also, there's a lot of new science to read, digest and explain. This all takes time.

Out-datedness cuts both ways, though. Many of the quotes from science-deniers - the myths presented in the beige-coloured box above each rebuttal - are of a similar vintage. Often, they involved confidently-made predictions, such as "we have entered a long-term cooling period".

Fast forward to now and it's obvious that many such confident predictions were one hundred percent wrong. Whether the deniers were aware of that at the time is an interesting philosophical question. Did they know they would be proven wrong but simply didn't care - or were they so convinced they were right that physics simply caught up with them in the end? Or a mixture? Discuss!

An evolving situation

New climate myths still appear from time to time. For example, summer 2023 saw efforts to conflate surface temperature with surface air temperature. The clear motive was to downplay the extreme heat that affected Europe at times last summer and a rebuttal, taking the form of a blog-post (for now) was quickly assembled and published.

Other myths will likely emerge over the coming years and we ask the readers here if they could do us a favour. If you spot any new myth doing the rounds, please let us know via our contact form, providing a link to where you saw the new myth within the message. Thanks in advance!

As many readers will be well aware, climate science-denial talking-points come in all shapes and sizes, from the pseudo-technical to the purely rhetorical. Some are much easier to deal with than others. Within this latest batch, the silly myth that with regard to the greenhouse effect, CO2 is 'saturated', took up the most time. That's because it involves the detailed nitty-gritty of the greenhouse effect with regard to the electromagnetic spectrum.

When a key aim of these rebuttals is accessibility, topics like this can be problematic. We want the reader NOT to feel as if they have been parachuted into a physics-class. Suffice it to say, we got there in the end, drawing upon the academic and presentation talent within our team. Nevertheless, once again we note that it is much easier to cast doubt on science than to explain it, hence Brandolini's Law:

"The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is [at least] an order of magnitude bigger than that needed to produce it."

List of all 50 rebuttals updated thus far

Myths with link to rebuttal Short URLs
Ice age predicted in the 1970s sks.to/1970s
It hasn't warmed since 1998 sks.to/1998
Antarctica is gaining ice sks.to/antarctica
CRU emails suggest conspiracy sks.to/climategate
What evidence is there for the hockey stick sks.to/hockey
CO2 lags temperature sks.to/lag
Climate's changed before sks.to/past
It's the sun sks.to/sun
Temperature records are unreliable sks.to/temp
The greenhouse effect and the 2nd law of thermodynamics sks.to/thermo
We're heading into an ice age sks.to/iceage
Positives and negatives of global warming sks.to/impacts
The 97% consensus on global warming sks.to/consensus
Global cooling - Is global warming still happening? sks.to/cooling
How reliable are climate models? sks.to/model
Can animals and plants adapt to global warming? sks.to/species
What's the link between cosmic rays and climate change? sks.to/cosmic
Is Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth accurate? sks.to/gore
Are glaciers growing or retreating? sks.to/glacier
Ocean acidification: global warming's evil twin sks.to/acid
The human fingerprint in global warming sks.to/agw
Empirical evidence that humans are causing global warming sks.to/evidence
How do we know more CO2 is causing warming? sks.to/greenhouse
Explaining how the water vapor greenhouse effect works sks.to/vapor
The tricks employed by the flawed OISM Petition Project to cast doubt on the scientific consensus on climate change sks.to/OISM
Is extreme weather caused by global warming? sks.to/extreme
How substances in trace amounts can cause large effects sks.to/trace
How much is sea level rising? sks.to/sealevel
Is CO2 a pollutant? sks.to/pollutant
Does cold weather disprove global warming? sks.to/cold
Do volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans? sks.to/volcano
How do human CO2 emissions compare to natural CO2 emissions? sks.to/co2
Climate scientists could make more money in other careers sks.to/money
How reliable are CO2 measurements? sks.to/co2data
Do high levels of CO2 in the past contradict the warming effect of CO2? sks.to/pastco2
What is the net feedback of clouds? sks.to/cloud
Global warming vs climate change sks.to/name
Is Mars warming? sks.to/mars
How the IPCC is more likely to underestimate the climate response sks.to/underestimat
How sensitive is our climate? sks.to/sensitivity
Evidence for global warming sks.to/warming
Has the greenhouse effect been falsified? sks.to/falsify
Does breathing contribute to CO2 buildup in the atmosphere? sks.to/breath
What is causing the increase in atmospheric CO2? sks.to/CO2increase
What is methane's contribution to global warming? sks.to/methane
Plants cannot live on CO2 alone sks.to/plant
Is the CO2 effect saturated? sks.to/saturate
Greenhouse warming 100 times greater than waste heat sks.to/waste
How will global warming affect polar bears? sks.to/bear
The runaway greenhouse effect on Venus sks.to/venus


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Posted by John Mason on Wednesday, 31 January, 2024

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