We’ve all been there. The eggnog gets spiked at the party and the climate denier questions start up. Here’s what you’re likely to hear – and how to shut them down.
How can there be global warming when there’s a polar vortex?
Climate change throws natural systems out of balance. What it does that mean? Previously uncommon events like extended periods of extreme warm or cold weather become more likely and frequent.
Wasn’t it this warm in medieval times?
Nope. Temperatures were cooler than today in the so-called “Medieval Warm Period.” Let it go.
Isn’t more carbon dioxide more plant food?
Ever heard the phrase “Too much of a good thing?” Try growing crops in a flood—because they’re coming more often as carbon pollution levels rise and the climate changes.
You know it’s freezing outside, right?
We still have seasons. Even though it’s freezing today, overall temperatures are on a rising trend and we’re experiencing many more hot weather records than cold. It’s the difference between weather and climate.
How do we know it’s us?
It’s called “the greenhouse effect.” More carbon dioxide traps more heat in the atmosphere. And ever since the Industrial Revolution, we’ve been releasing more carbon dioxide.
Aren’t those scientists really just trying to protect their jobs?
Sure. Just like those Big Oil executives are really just looking out for the poor and the planet.
But not even the scientists agree, right?
Wrong. Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree it’s happening and it’s us. If 97 percent of investors told you not to buy a stock and 3 percent told you to bet your life savings, what would you do?
Wasn’t Al Gore wrong about those Himalaya glaciers?
Scientists might have been wrong about how quickly the glaciers are melting, but they’re right about the fact they’re melting quickly. And that’s bad news.
What’s wrong with a few degrees anyways?
What’s the difference between 31 and 32 degrees? One degree can make a huge difference in the natural world and we’re on track to warm the planet 2–4 degrees Celsius by 2100, accelerating glacial melt, sea-level rise, and other changes.
But it hasn’t gotten warmer for, like, 15 years, right?
Nine of the 10 hottest years on record have come since 2000. And 2014 is on track to be the hottest yet.
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