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The basic reasons why climate change is real
#1
Some reasons why climate change is likely

1) CO2 is a greenhouse gas
Nobody (that I know of) disputes this

2) CO2 levels in the atmosphere
The level of CO2 in the air has risen pretty dramatically since the industrial revolution, that is, since we're starting to burn fossil fuels on a large scale

3) Measurement wiggle room
Whilst 1&2 are not in dispute, if you though greenhouse gasses in the air on an industrial scale that gets the CO2 levels up, alterning the composition of our atmosphere, it's not idiotic to expect this will alter climate
However, there is some wiggle room when we actually try to measure these effects as:
  • Measuring 'global' temperature consistently over a large period of time isn't entirely straightforward
  • Climates are complex adaptive systems that behave in non-linear and unexpected ways
That wiggle room can (and is) exploited 

4) Alternative explanations
Basically all alternative explanations for recent climate change come up short (see here

5) Scientists
However, the large majority of the specialists in the field see little wiggle room and argue it's highly likely most of it is due to our activities rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere

6) Credibility
Why wouldn't we trust the scientists? 
  • We do so on most other fields of life, and at our great benefit (when we're ill, we're going to a doctor, etc.)
  • If there is a vast conspiracy of climate scientist with some type of political agenda, it really is a first. Can anybody name any other conspiracy of a whole scientific community, let alone one on this scale?
7) Science versus industry
Large scale conspiracies to obfuscate the truth or even alter it altogether by a scientific community are unprecedented. However, to exaggerate the benefits and downplay the harms is routine business in industry (which is why we have the FDA to assess claims about medicine, the SEC regulating stock markets, Accountacy firms checking accounts etc. etc.)

So if there is a conspiracy to obfuscate the truth I think the latter one is orders of magnitude more likely. Cigarette companies still argued 20 years after they knew better that smoking wasn't harmful, that lead in gasoline wasn't harmful, etc. etc. 
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#2
8) Conspiracy theories compared

Many climate skeptics want us to believe that there is a giant conspiracy involving most of the world's climate scientists and governments, explaining away the near consensus in the scientific community.

It's all about the funding, you see. Those climate scientists want to keep their funding, so they raise alarm, paint a bleak picture. Just follow the money, most of them are funded by public money.

But ask yourself this, how likely is such giant conspiracy, involving most of the worlds governments and the vast majority of climate scientists? 

Can one reproduce anything anywhere remotely similar in terms of scientific conspiracy? No.

The reasons for government are even more curious. After all, trying to reduce greenhouse gases involves policies that are hard, expensive and with uncertain and long-term payoffs. 

This is exactly the opposite what gets most governments into action, policies that are cheap and have direct and certain effects. 

So these conspiracy theorists argue that all these governments which signed up to the Paris treaty (and other treaties) do something which goes deep against the natural instinct of government. 

Why would they?

So this kind of conspiracy is non-nonsensical. There is not even a remote precedent for such a vast scientific conspiracy, and it involves most governments going against their natural instincts.

The conspiracy is also on such a vast scale that it would be impossible to keep a secret, with so many people involved, leaks would come out sooner rather than later.

Alternative conspiracy
And the funny thing is, if you follow the money, an alternative conspiracy will emerge as much more plausible. 

Most of the climate skeptics are working in private think tanks and organizations, financed by dark money, but what we know is that much of that is coming from the fossil fuel industry.

That industry has a direct interest in keeping policies at bay, it climate change policies (carbon tax, subsidies for alternative energy, regulations etc.) is a direct threat to their business model.

What we do no is that companies spend vast sums of money to lobby regulators and politicians and influence public opinion as a routine part of doing business

What we also know is that they often say one thing in public, and another one in private, that too is almost routine. 

We know that Exxon was one of the first to figure out the dangers of man induced climate change, but again it looks like they are speaking with a forked tongue

Companies do this all the time. They overstate the benefits of their products and services and downplay the dangers and side effects

There are two industries dedicated to this practice, they're called advertisement and lobbying. Then there is the campaign money contributions to politicians who toe the line. 

Conclusion
In the end, what's more likely? A giant conspiracy involving most climate scientists and governments, for which there is no evidence and no precedent, and despite the vast amount of people supposedly involved, no leak?

Or business whose business model and bottom lines are directly involved financing climate skeptics, as this kind of defense, downplaying the dangers and side effects of their products is a routine part of business. 

There is no evidence of the first, it doesn't make sense. There is plenty of evidence of the second and these practices are routine..
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#3
Useful reminder in an article on Vox about scientific hoaxes:

“There’s been no global warming since 1998”
When you look at this chart of Earth’s average surface temperature over time, what do you see?
[Image: Screen_Shot_2016_12_21_at_5.23.19_PM.png](NOAA)
Why, it looks like the Earth is getting steadily warmer, with average temperatures in 2015 roughly 0.89 degrees Celsius warmer than the 20th-century average. This is global warming, and there’s overwhelming scientific evidence that it’s caused by human activity.

But notice that it isn’t a smooth increase — there are fluctuations over time. One reason for that: As we burn fossil fuels, we trap more heat on the Earth’s surface. But about 90 percent of that extra heat is absorbed by the oceans. So subtle interactions between the oceans and atmosphere can cause natural variation year to year. During years where there’s a strong El Niño event in the Pacific Ocean, more of that excess heat gets transferred to the surface. During La Niña years, more of that heat goes back into the ocean. Hence the bumpiness, even though the broader trend is clear.

For many years, climate deniers seized on that bumpiness to try to pretend that global warming doesn’t exist. One hugely popular denier line was to cherry-pick the graph above and say that there’s been no global warming since 1998 (which was, at the time, a record hot year thanks in part to an especially strong El Niño).

For a while, they could sort of get away with this. Here’s the trend between 1998 and 2013:
[Image: Screen_Shot_2016_12_21_at_5.38.18_PM.png](NOAA)
Unfortunately for those climate deniers, the effects of all that extra CO2 in the atmosphere are overwhelming that natural variability. 2014 was a record hot year even without an El Niño. And then when El Niño came back, 2015 set a new temperature record. And it’s looking like 2016 will shatter records once again.

So even though the “no global warming since 1998” line was always misleading, it’s now just flatly false, as this chart with the years 2014 and 2015 added in shows:
[Image: Screen_Shot_2016_12_21_at_5.40.27_PM.png]
Anyone who wants to pretend global warming doesn’t exist is going to have to find some new chicanery. One possibility: With last year’s El Niño fading, it’s likely that 2017 will be slightly cooler than 2016 — though still very, very warm in the broad scheme of things. So some House Republicans are already switching to “there’s been no global warming since 2016.”
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#4
Debunking the rightwing arguments, by a rightwinger. 

Quote:Just before the Rio Earth summit 25 years ago, John Major, in whose cabinet I then served as environment secretary, made a bold prediction: reducing Britain’s carbon emissions in line with recommendations of climate science would not, he said, harm our economy: “Our initial measures ... will bring a worthwhile economic payoff to the country, to business and to ordinary people.”

This was a controversial statement at a time when solar energy, for example, was a costly technology better suited to spacecraft than British rooftops. And indeed the argument can still be heard that reducing greenhouse gas emissions will ruin our economies – even that it will return us to a pre-industrial living standard.

A quarter of a century later, the approach that we took has been richly vindicated. As research published on Monday by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit demonstrates, in that period the average Briton has grown richer faster than citizens of any other G7 nation; at the same time, his or her carbon footprint has fallen faster than in any other G7 nation. While it would be stretching reality to argue that Britain’s economic success has been driven by its climate change policies, no one can seriously argue any more that our climate policies have generated economic harm.
Climate change action is good for the economy – and Britain is the proof | Michael Howard | Opinion | The Guardian
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#5
We know, we know, so many other reasons for this..

[Image: co2_10k.png]
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#6
Amazing stuff. This guy is the Energy Secretary..

Quote:After a week full of misleading and inaccurate statements, Energy Secretary Rick Perry remained incredulous and defiant when confronted with climate science-related facts in a budget hearing Thursday. Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) informed Perry that scientists have concluded that “humans are entirely the cause” of recent warming, to which Perry responded, “I don’t believe it” and “I don’t buy it.”

And when Franken reminded him this was the conclusion of a team of climate science skeptics funded by conservative petrochemical billionaires Charles and David Koch, Perry raised his voice and said: “To stand up and say that 100 percent of global warming is because of human activity, I think on its face, is just indefensible.”
Rick Perry loses his cool when confronted by Sen. Franken on climate science
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