Misinformation and lies are regularly used to undermine the science of climate change – here's how to see through the fog.
The science of climate change is more than 150 years old and it is probably the most tested area of modern science. However the energy industry, political lobbyists and others have spent the last 30 years sowing doubt about the science where none really exists. The latest estimate is that the world’s five largest publicly-owned oil and gas companies spend about US$200m each year on lobbying to control, delay or block binding climate-motivated policy.
This organised and orchestrated climate change science denial has contributed to the lack of progress in reducing global green house gas (GHG) emissions - to the point that we are facing a global climate emergency. And when climate change deniers use certain myths – at best fake news and at worse straight lies – to undermine the science of climate change, ordinary people can find it hard to see through the fog. Here are five commonly used myths and the real science that debunks them.
1. Climate change is just part of the natural cycle
The climate of the Earth has always changed, but the study of palaeoclimatology or “past climates” shows us that the changes in the last 150 years – since the start of the industrial revolution – have been exceptional and cannot be natural. Modelling results suggest that future predicted warming could be unprecedented compared to the previous 5m years.