Despite the facts, evidence, and the already occurring effects of climate change, there are still plenty of climate change deniers (skeptics), and many of them being influential figures and holding key positions in the policy making spheres in many countries.
Debating Climate Change Deniers is no easy task. Because they, most of the times, know they are wrong or that they are the minority, and still keep with the same position, which means that they know how to defend their position. Additionally, debating people with such strong views are often pointless since there is little chance you can change their minds, unless you are in an open debate with others watching or because you think it will be fun (and often is, and sad).
There are many people who are unsure on the topic of climate change and do not fully know the truth. Thus having such debates often teach them about the topic and learn why it is vital to do something, that is why it is important to know how to debate such people. If you ever find yourself in the position to debate a climate change denier, here is what you need to know:
To debate a climate change denier, you have to know who they are and why they hold their opinion, which often are:
Individuals who are sponsored by hydrocarbon companies (being
either oil, gas, coal and etc);
People who have strong religious beliefs, as many claim it conflicts
with scripture in some form or another;
Individuals who are against environment-friendly policies, as it
may hurt their profit or are comfortable with the current policies;
- People that deny climate change because is the policy of their party and choose not to go against their own party lines.
Climate change deniers know what to say and argument your points and be the ones that will be on the offensive, therefore do not be on the defensive, because if you keep defending your positions, he/she will keep stating their points and make you and those watching feel as if you are "loosing" the debate.
Climate Change deniers know how to defend and argument for their position, and often rely on climate change myths and challenge scientific evidence. Here is a table with some of the most used myths and arguments they can give and how to rebut them.
Additionally, keep in
mind that climate change deniers often
disregard facts and scientific evidence, therefore only stating scientific facts at them do not
always work, and you have to use other forms to debate. For example, use something
along this lines:
“Putting aside for the
moment the issue of the reality of climate change, will you acknowledge that a recent survey of 10,000 active climate scientists found
that 98% affirmed the existence of anthropogenic climate change?”
“Will you acknowledge
the existence of a recently released report of the International Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC), an agency with 195 member countries, which concludes with
95% confidence that the climate is changing, due to human activity.”
- “How, then, do you deal with these acknowledged facts?”