How to counter the 97% argument
The most popular argument that we hear today about climate change is that 97% of scientists agree it is real. They use this to win the debate and to accuse you of being a denier or stupid for having an uunpopular stance. They will also belittle you by saying “who are you to challenge The scientific community?”
Immediately, you should respond by saying that you are a free and independent thinker who follows logic and facts, rather than polls.
Below are a few other quick things you can do to stop them cold in their tracks.
- Ask a few simple questions
What exactly do these scientists agree on? How did they prove it? Where did they get their polling information from?
These four basic questions seem simple and fair but they continue to be unanswered by the left. Challenge your opponent in a debate to see if they can answer these. If they can, continue to the second point.
- Explain why it is an unscientific stance to take
When looking at the 97% argument from a scientific standpoint, it seems to be counter productive. Science is meant to encourage skeptical, unpopular, and even crazy views to difficult questions that we may disagree with. This is how we make new and life changing improvements.
Second, science is not based on a consensus. Many of the most extraordinary discoveries countered popular beliefs at the time.
Pythagoras first proposed the idea of a spherical earth, around 500 B.C, and later Aristotle proved this prediction to be true. Let’s also not forget about Galileo when he challenged the geocentric belief that the earth was the center of the solar system. This was a very unpopular stance to take and he was even put under house arrest till his dying days. Galileo, as we now know, was later proven to be right.
- Give them something to think about
Most people who use the 97% argument are unaware of an alternative view. Chances are high that they were only taught one side of the argument in school and never dug deeper into the issue.
It is true that the climate is changing but we must also realize that it has always changed when looking back in history. The earth has been through high and low climates (the middle age period and the ice age). To say that human activity is the primary cause is a significant claim to make.
The science is not settled when it comes to human activity, CO2, and its effects on the environment. Some climate factors include: the sun, volcanoes, tilt of the earths axis, water vapor, methane and natural gas, clouds, ocean cycles, plate tectonics, atmospheric dust, cosmic rays, particulate matter and many more. It is impossible to know for a fact what would happen if we increase or decrease a single factor. Climate change is governed by hundreds of factors and variables, not just CO2.