Climate Change Denial Arguments Debunked No.2 – It’s Not Our Fault!

Climate change is a problem, and its our fault. Global warming isn’t just happening, its being denied by those with vested interests.  So we thought we would address the common poor arguments against ‘Man-Made’ climate change. We will also give you an evidence based answer, and explain the fallacy. Today it’s ‘culpability’;

‘Climate change has happened before, it’s natural and not our fault’

Climate Change Happens, But We Are Making It Worse

So, climate change is indeed a part of nature and happens constantly. We can test it by comparing CO2 and other markers trapped in arctic ice and find indirect evidence for it. We can’t deny that it exists. But in the same breath we can state that it is accelerating, and up to 90% due to humans. Climate change in nature is a slow process, primarily driven by greenhouse gases, water vapour and solar events. It is maintained by feedback loops, where an increase in one thing can further worsen issues and lead to further increase (a positive feedback loop.) This oversimplifies it, but oscillations in temperature of small amounts happen over hundreds of thousands of years. But we are seeing a relatively large increase in global temperature over a tiny time frame. Nature doesn’t change this fast. We do.

The link between the known accelerants of climate change and human activity are well documented. The production of greenhouse gases, which reflect sunlight back onto the planet, is proportional to ambient temperature. And as our use of fuels that release this gas has increased, as has ambient temperature in an undeniably linked way. Climate change is natural, but the acceleration and worsening of it is down to us. We burn the fuel, we increase greenhouse gas levels, the world gets warmer.

Why The Skeptics Are Wrong

This type of fallacy is non-sequitur and fails on poor association and a circular argument. The following premise and conclusion is suggested;

  1. Climate change happens throughout history, therefore a rise in temperature is natural.
  2. We have burned fossil fuels and used CFCs, but we know temperature rises regardless.
  3. This isn’t our fault, its natural.

When actually although climate does change, it is the rate of  change and the clear association between human activity and this rate that makes us to blame. Further, the idea that ‘its natural’ meaning ‘its natural and not our fault’ ignores our role in it, placing the blame outside of our hands. This is simply untrue. A better relationship would be;

  1. Climate change happens throughout history as a result in changes in air particulates and greenhouse gases. Therefore a rise in temperature can be explained by this.
  2. We have contributed markedly to the increase in greenhouse gases, and this is seen in the acceleration of average global temperatures since the industrial revolution and proportional to the  rate of use. It is clear that the rate of climate change has increased since human use of fossil fuels.
  3. Natural climate change isn’t all our fault, but we have accelerated it beyond what is natural.

So next time somebody claims that ‘climate change is natural’ you can say this;

‘Climate change is natural and we know why it happens. We have directly increased the rate of change by burning fossil fuels and increasing greenhouse gases beyond natural levels. The results are clear and well evidenced.’

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