Why accept climate science?

Why should we accept that the climate is changing and that the changes are caused by Mankind's activities?

(Climate change caused by humanity is called anthropogenic climate change: ACC)

First, there's the science:

  • About 99% of papers published in peer-reviewed climate science journals accept the fact of ACC;
  • The vast majority of climate scientists accept the reality of ACC;
  • I doubt there is any scientific organisation that has any interest in climate, anywhere in the world, which does not accept ACC; please inform me if I am wrong;
  • All mainstream popular science journals accept the reality of ACC;
  • All quality science books that mention climate change are accepting of ACC (not the pseudo-science books written specifically to deny ACC).
In addition:
  • Almost every national government (98% of them) in the world accepts the reality of ACC;
  • I doubt there is any respectable university anywhere in the world that teaches that ACC is not true; please inform me if I am wrong;
  • The world's reinsurance industry is factoring-in increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters due to ACC into the cost of insurance coverage;
  • The world's mainstream religions are pushing for serious action to slow climate change;
  • The world's public health leaders have called for an end to coal because of ACC and its more immediate health impacts (2015/02/16);
  • It is simple common sense that if we add billions of tonnes of greenhouse gasses to our atmosphere every year we are going to change the climate.
Finally, how believable is the contrary argument: that ACC is a massive conspiracy? That the great majority of climate scientists have agreed to join together in supporting a fallacy? Getting scientists to agree on anything has been likened to herding cats; they only agree when there is irrefutable evidence that forces them to agree.

Less seriously.

Written 2015/01/04, modified 2017/01/31 – ©
Contact: email daveclarkecb@yahoo.com
If a reader believes that any statements on this page are wrong I would appreciate an email providing evidence for that belief.

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This material was originally in another page on this site. I thought it worthy of a page of its own.

I considered writing a refutation of all the climate science denialist's arguments, but it seems to have already been done very competently: Skeptical Science and Grist.

48 prominent skeptics (real ones) have got together and called on the media to not call climate change deniers skeptics. To ignore overwhelming evidence is not skepticism.

Who accepts and who denies?

I have written much more on Climate Change elsewhere on this site; in the world context, in the Australian context.



Update, January 2017

2016 was hotter even than 2014 and 2015.
2014 was, globally, the hottest year ever. This was reported in January 2015 by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), NASA and NOAA. NASA and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) are both USA based. 2015 was even warmer globally than 2014, see National Climate Data Centre, USA.

JMA, NASA and NOAA are three of the world's four main agencies that report on global weather, the forth is the Hadley Centre (UK). It is expected that the Hadley Centre will release a similar finding within the next few weeks (written 2015/01/17).

Nine of the ten hottest years have occurred since 2000, the remaining one was 1998.

The number of days on which Australian mean temperatures were in the hottest 1% since records began up to and including 2013.
Top percentile temperatures
Graph credit: Bureau of Meteorology, State of the Climate 2014


More information

Rising cost of insurance

  • A quote from Canstar:
    "While the existence of climate change is even now being debated by some members of the public, the general insurance industry has been attempting to quantify the issue for well over a decade."
  • A document produced by Insurance Australia Group is revealing. It shows a steadily increasing number of natural disasters (Figure 6) and steeply increasing costs of natural disasters (Figure 8).

  • Euopa Re and Climate Change:
    "Climate change is expected to further increase the frequency and severity of hydro-meteorological natural disasters ..."
  • Society of Actuaries:
    "For property and casualty insurers, climate change represents an important challenge because the rising seas, the increased risk of drought, fire and floods, and the stronger storms that may occur will have a huge impact on the claims of the people insured."
  • A quote from the Australian Consumer's Association magazine, Choice, Feb. 2015:
    "North Queensland home insurance premiums through the roof"

    "The Australian Government Actuary has found insurers paid out $1.40 in claims for every $1 of premium collected in North Queensland. This was despite premiums in the region skyrocketing by about 80%, compared to 12% for Sydney and Melbourne over the eight years to July 2013."
    This would have been in response to greatly increased damage from severe storms in the region.

Religions and climate change

Statements from representatives of religions and denominations on the need for action on climate change...

The Abbott climate change argument

I am Australian. The Prime Minister of Australia (in June 2015), Tony Abbott, is single-mindedly opposed to renewable energy and in favour of any non-renewable energy form, particularly coal, but also oil, gas and nuclear. He has notoriously said "Coal is good for humanity" and has done his best to destroy the Australian wind power industry, successfully reducing investment in wind power by around 85%. (More on PM Abbott's personal dislike of wind power can be read on another page on this site.)

So, here is a man who has every reason to deny the reality of climate change (he did once, before becoming PM, say "climate change is crap", but has accepted climate change science since becoming PM). It would very much suit his love of coal and hatred of wind power to deny that the earth's climate is heating up and that the burning of coal and other fossil fuels is among the main causes of that heating up, but no, officially at least, he accepts the reality of what the great majority of climate scientists are telling us.

PM Tony Abbott has a very strong incentive to deny the reality of climate change, yet he does not.

So, is an argument based on the standing and statements of a Prime Minister who has every reason to deny the reality of climate change but does not, a strong argument in favour of that reality? Or is an argument based on the statements and opinions of a man who is apparently stupid or corrupt of very little value at all?