The noun rebuttal takes its meaning not from butte, or “rising ground,” as the noun butt does, but from the Anglo-Norman French rebuter, “to butt against.”
Gentle rebuttal to the top ten most-used climate myths has been on my mind lately. How do we talk about climate without losing our minds, our friends, and the chance to work together for a comfortable future?
Certainly not by believing the myths. The phenomenon of myth is in itself fascinating–how tales (sometimes tall) get embedded into the fabric of our culture. Usually acceptance of myth amounts to their being repeated. And repeated. And repeated.
In the case of climate science, the myths are veiling important facts we have to understand so we can work most effectively to mitigate, adapt to, and offset our changing climate. The best thing we can do right now, say the experts, is to break our silence on the reality of climate. I’ve put together a list of excellent sources for climate talk–you can download it here.
What are the top ten climate myths? The fabulous website Skeptical Science lists them as follows.
- Climate has changed before.
- The sun is to blame.
- Global warming isn’t so bad.
- There’s no scientific consensus.
- Climate’s actually cooling.
- The climate models are unreliable.
- Temperature records are unreliable.
- Animals and plants can adapt.
- The planet hasn’t warmed since 1998.
- Antarctica is gaining ice.
For fact-based rebuttals to the above remarkable claims, go to Skeptical Science. I am reading them this week, too, to hone my communication skills. Help yourself to my Cool Tip 2, Six Sites on Climate. Refer to them to keep a cool head while engaging in climate conversation. I’ll thank you. The planet will thank you. Kids the world over will thank you.