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[Editors Pick] Skeptical Science: Getting Skeptical about Global Warming Skepticism

skeptical science -- left penguin only

An indispensible resource.  Hands down the most comprehensive -- and user friendly -- site for rebutting deniers.  Creator John Cook has identified the 165 (and counting!) most common denier arguments, and solicited  definitive rebuttals from climate scientists.

Click on an argument, and you can choose from an easy (one line), medium or advanced rebuttal.  The rebuttals are meticulously researched, vetted and sourced with links to primary scientific literature. 

SkS has an I-phone app, so when your brother-in-law starts spouting denial nonsense at the family barbeque, with a few clicks you've got just the retort to puncture his argument.   They even feature Twitter widget that trolls Twitterdom for climate skeptic phrases and automatically sends a brief rebuttal!

Cook is careful to distinguish skepticism from denial.   Honest skepticism is healthy and essential to scientific inquiry.  But climate deniers are not engaged in a critical search for truth; they attack "any evidence that supports man-made global warming and yet uncritically embrace any argument, op-ed piece, blog or study that refutes global warming." 

SkS turns the table by getting "skeptical about global warming skepticism."  Do their arguments have any scientific basis?  What does the peer reviewed scientific literature say?"   Never polemical or ad hominem in his critiques, Cook lets the science speak for itself, clearly and calmly.

Cook's and co-author Haydn Washington's book, Climate Change Denial:  Heads in the Sand (2011), ties together many threads from SkS and probes deeper into the psychological and political roots of climate denial. 

Two shorter works are free downloads:

In November 2011, Cook also co-authored with psychology Prof. Steve Lewandowsky The Debunking Handbook, an excellent 6-page guide on how to avoid the "backfire effect" when rebutting climate myths.    It's carefully researched and grounding in research findings in cognitive psychology.    A must read for climate communicators.   We summarized the top 10 take-away points in a blog post.

Their earlier Guide to Global Warming Skepticism is an excellent, short, clearly-illustrated primer on the "human fingerprints" of global warming and how deniers mislead by "cherry-picking" the data.


John Cook

Source URL: Skeptical Science
Located in: Rebuttals
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