The Two Central Dogmas of the Climate Change Debate

The two sides of the climate change or global warming debate are:

  1. Man-made Global warming theory (MMGWT) Proponents (MPs)
  2. MMGWT Denialists (MDs)

Each side is backed up by a “central dogma”. The central dogma is a claim that if debunked discredits the entire movement.

The central dogma of MPs is “that there are greenhouse gases that act to retain heat, which in turn can change climate over time”.

The central dogma of MDs is “that man cannot change climate, no matter what he does”.

Ironically, the MPs’ “central dogma” is NOT a dogma at all, since it can be tested via experiment on actual samples of gases said to be “greenhouse”, which can be peer reviewed and is reproducible by others.

By contrast, the MDs’ central dogma really is a dogma, since there is no way to debunk it. No matter what records you present to show an increase of greenhouse gases like CO2 since the 1950s, no matter what temperature records over the past century or so you present, no matter what records of solar activity you present, MDs will always come up with excuses for rejecting the case of the MPs, including arguing that the records must have been faked. So the position of the MDs is unscientific because it is non-falsifiable.

Well, you cannot fake experimental data. If the “central dogma” of the MPs were indeed false, it would have been debunked many decades ago. Instead, it is so well supported that this “central dogma” is considered as much a fact as anything else in science could be.

So MDs avoid the MPs’ “central dogma” and instead constantly argue around it. They confuse uncertainty about global warming models and projections with reasons to deny them completely. They also note the many natural causes of climate change as if that alone supports their central dogma. Both of these are logical fallacies called  non-sequiturs. They harp about the few remaining scientists who are MDs as if their credentials alone make them credible. But they don’t, because even scientists with PhDs and tenures at universities can be profoundly wrong, especially if they have ideological or financial reasons to corrupt their science.

MPs do not have to attack the central dogma of MDs because, as I showed above, it is unscientific. They just have to point out that it really is a dogma, nothing more.

Challenge to Global Warming Denialists

You want evidence for global warming?  How about these:

First, there is the known heat retaining properties of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. This results from the gases being transparent to visible light but opaque to infrared radiation (a.k.a. heat). If you think that is a falsehood, do your own experiments with samples of CO2 to prove it does not retain heat. The scientists who established the greenhouse effect and later connected it to the concept of global warming were Joseph Fourier in 1824, John Tyndall in 1858, and Svante Arrhenius in 1896. Now, if you think you can debunk all the work those three did so long ago, knock yourself out.

Second, there is the confirmation of the greenhouse effect going to extremes on a planetary scale, with the Soviet Venera probes sent to the planet Venus in the 1960s. If you think all that data the probes sent us was faked, prove it!

Then there is the recorded increase in CO2 levels since the 1950s. Can you prove that such an increase never happened?

Then there is the solar output over that same period.

Then there are the temperature measurments around the globe over the same period. They fit the increasing CO2 levels better than they fit the solar output levels.

Or maybe you think that burning fossil fuels somehow does not produce CO2. OK, take samples of coal, oil, gasoline, and natural gas and burn them and see how much, if any, CO2 they produce.

Or maybe you think that the Industrial Revolution of the 19th Century and/or the population growth of the past few centuries never happened and that we humans were somehow created thousands of years ago (or maybe even less than a century ago) at our present level of six billion and with all our fossil fuel burning industrial, transportative, and energy generative processes all intact and running. My G_d, even the Young Earth Creationists, wedded to Biblical dogmas, are not that insane! BTW, charts depicting the world’s population growth resemble…….A HOCKEY STICK!!!!

The Industrial Revolution, the growth of the world’s population, AND the known properties of CO2 AND the known effects of burning fossil fuels in turn support the hockey stick graphs of global temperatures you so revile as fraudulant, just because Stephen McIntyre says so and dozens of his allies in the media repeat his claims all over the place.  What, is he some prophet or even a demigod whose sacred word may not be questioned lest ye be charged with blasphemy?

So, yes, there is clear and overwhelming evidence for the man-made global warming hypothesis!

Hockey stick graphs, again!

Global warming denialists assert that the hockey stick graphs made in reference to global temperatures are highly questionable, if not faked outright. But I wonder if such claims could be justified about world population, which is certainly a factor in global warming. Check these out:









Compare those with the hockey stick graphs made in reference to past global temperatures:


One must wonder, if denialists are so eagar to prove the hockey stick graphs of global average temperatures wrong, why they do not also attack population graphs in the same way.

EVERYONE should be vaccinated!

Many people are opposed to vaccinating children, fearing that they might be prone to autism as a result. But there is no clear scientific evidence that autism is a cause of vaccinations. People merely ASSUME that because their children’s autism starts soon after their vaccines are administered, but most children who are vaccinated do NOT get autism. If vaccinations caused autism, then nearly all children vaccinated would be autistic, and we would probably have discovered the agent in vaccinations that cause autism by now. Coincidences often happen, but unless the scientific method confirms the existence of an actual cause for something like autism, a coincidence is all it is. Assuming that a coincidence and the hypothesis resulting from it must be the same as a FACT without confirmation is actually magical thinking that is anti-scientific.

While the cause of autism may be questionable, the danger of viral diseases spreading because of children being left unvaccinated is not. Viruses can only reproduce when they have hosts that they can attack. And every time viruses reproduce, they have a chance of mutation. And when they mutate, they are likely to become more deadly, eventually making the vaccinations obsolete. That will never happen if all children are vaccinated, but it might happen eventually if only some are. Of course, once vaccinations become ineffective because of viral mutations, anti-vaccination nuts will claim they were proven right. Thus, their insane claims are irrefutable.

Even if vaccinations DID cause autism in a few cases, it is better for a child to be autistic than to be DEAD! If people like Jenny McCarthy think otherwise, then as far as I am concerned they can rot in hell!

Carbon dioxide and its greenhouse effect

Global warming denialists claim that carbon dioxide (CO2) is nothing more than a beneficial trace gas that plants need to make food, and thus the increase in it over the past few decades is nothing to worry about. Let’s look at all the relevant facts:

  1. CO2 makes up about 380 ppm (parts per million) in the atmosphere.
  2. CO2 is essential for plants to do photosynthesis.
  3. CO2 is opaque to infrared radiation, thus making it a greenhouse gas.
  4. CO2 makes up most of the atmosphere of Venus, which has the worst greenhouse effect.
  5. CO2 is 1.5 times heavier than air in general, thus it would tend to be lower in the atmosphere than the nitrogen and oxygen that makes up most of it.
  6. In one cubic meter of Earth’s atmosphere at ground level the number of molecules is about ten to the 23rd power. (That’s 1 followed by 23 zero’s !!!)

Let’s do some basic math. Ten to the 23rd power divided by a million (ten to the 6th power) is ten to the 17th power. So if CO2 is indeed 380 ppm, that means there are 38 times ten to the 18th power molecules of CO2 in one cubic meter of air, or 38,000,000,000,000,000,000.

The troposphere, the lowest layer of the atmosphere where most of its weather occures, has an average depth of about 17 km (10 miles) in the middle latitudes. A kilometer is 1000 meters. So when we multiply (38 times ten to the 18th power) by (17 times ten to the 3rd power), we get about 65 times ten to the 22nd power. Obviously, the actual amount of CO2 in a column of air 17 km tall, one meter wide and one meter long would be less, due to CO2 concentrating more in the lower levels as noted before, but this is enough to show that CO2’s designation as a “trace gas” means in no way that it cannot have a profound influence on climate. It can because the actual number of CO2 molecules is so great. Only the inability of some people to grasp huge numbers makes them think that any gas that has less than 1% of the atmosphere is therefore insignificant.  So it stands to reason that ANY increase in CO2 also leads to an increase in atmospheric temperatures.

Another thing to consider is how serious the greenhouse effect of Earth’s atmosphere really is. Without it, Earth’s average temperature would be about -18 degrees C, which is about 32 degrees C different from Earth’s actual average temperature (14 degrees C). Again, people who are not scientifically trained have difficulty grasping this, since they think of temperatures below “room temperture” (18 to 24 degrees C) as being cold. But in fact, it is quite warm compared to most of the universe. The cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation, a leftover remnant of the Big Bang, is about 2.7 degrees above absolute zero, which is itself about −273 degrees C. Thus an object recieving radiation from no other source would still have a temperature of -270.45 degrees C. The Earth recieves radiation from the Sun that by itself adds about 252 degrees C to its temperature. That’s a LOT of heat! The greenhouse effect adds only about 1/8th more heat to Earth. But that is still enough to make the difference between a frigid, lifeless planet and one with oceans filled with life.

Still another thing to consider is that it can take only one degree difference in average temperature over several decades to turn a glacier into iceless land or open water. When water ice reaches its melting point, it ALL turns into liquid, thus the loss of a glacier at a certain location would mean a profound difference there. Imagine what the melting and disappearance of an entire polar ice cap would be! It might take decades or even centuries for the polar ice caps to melt as a result of global warming, but unless it is reversed, the melting is inevitable!

ICECAP, a group of fake climate experts

This is a group of global warming denialists who happen to be meteorologists, but are obviously clueless when it comes to chemistry. First, please review my earlier blog entry:

Now, what do these “experts” say about the matter?  They list this on bold as a “myth”, not a fact, and attempt to refute it:    

CO2 is the most important greenhouse gas. 

Not even close. Most of the greenhouse effect is due to water vapor, which is about 100 times as abundant in the atmosphere as CO2 and thus has a much larger effect.  

Oh, really?

Suppose you have a planet with an atmosphere composed exactly like Earth’s, with water oceans and a yellow dwarf sun as well. Thus, its atmosphere would indeed have both CO2 and H2O, complete with clouds and typical weather patterns.

Suddenly, all the CO2 is removed from the atmosphere. Without the greenhouse effect it provides, the temperature drops quickly. The relative humidity skyrockets. In some areas, it exceeds 100%, and when that happens, clouds form, increasing the planet’s cloud cover. The clouds block and reflect the sunlight, further cooling the air below them as well as the surface. Precipitation results and the atmosphere loses most of its H2O as well. So the atmosphere becomes colder and drier, until finally the planet is locked in an ice age, which it can never recover from unless CO2 is added. Even the oceans will be frozen up.

Now, we add the CO2 back. With CO2 trapping heat once more, ice begins to melt. Then water begins to evaporate. As water evaporates, the H2O kicks in with its own greenhouse effect, resulting in more ice melting. Eventually, the oceans are restored, and the atmosphere returns to what it was.

H2O alone on Earth cannot keep the planet warm enough to sustain life, because at certain temperatures and concentrations in the atmosphere it forms clouds which act as cooling agents, and on land below a certain temperature it forms ice, which also reflects light. CO2 must be the trigger for the greenhouse effect of both substances to operate properly on Earth. Quite simply, those ICECAP “experts” are either lying or just idiots!

More angry than ever at denialists

Most global warming denialists I’m familiar with are old people who are set in their ways. Such people are most vulnerable to confirmation bias. Younger adults, on the other hand, are not so attracted or attached to dogma.

I, Dale Husband, along with many others, stand for my chosen causes because I beleive in doing what’s right, regardless of whether I get paid for it or not. And it’s not just global warming either. I have also fought for teaching evolution and to get rid of the Bush regime and anything like it from corrupting America more.

I oppose denialists because they appeal to ingrained prejudices based on what certain people WANT to believe, regardless of the actual facts. The big oil companies, including Exxon, certainly feel threatened by the facts about global warming. The idea that we humans are messing up the Earth with greenhouse gases which will lead to global disaster within a century or two is indeed offensive to people’s egos, because it means they and their descendants must make radical changes to their lifestyles to stop the damage THEY THEMSELVES WILL HAVE HELPED CAUSE. So instead, they LOOK for reasons to deny the truth about themselves and what is happening. People who claim to be experts will then put out fallacious claims all over the internet knowing desparate people are out there to grab it and spread it around. They play their victims like an instrument, really. That is the real scam, not what Al Gore and the IPCC do. Uncertainty about the facts is no excuse for denying them. And noting that the effects of global warming can have natural causes is no excuse for denying outright that man plays a role in that phenomenon. Those are logical fallacies and I will oppose, expose and depose them every time I see them, because I WANT THE HUMAN RACE TO SURVIVE INDEFINITLY! And being able to foresee the downfall of humanity (and global warming is but one cause for profound concern here) and not doing anything about it because you let yourself be misled by people that only live for this present reality is the worst form of nonsense I can imagine.

The “EXPELLED” of Global Warming Denialism

Last year, a documentary was made titled, “The Great Global Warming Swindle” which seemed to be a direct rebuttal to Al Gore’s film “An Inconvinient Truth”. I have just seen that documenary and quite simply, it is a load of CRAP!
There are several things blatantly wrong with it.

  1. The film asserts, without any actual evidence, that the Medieval Warm Period was indeed warmer than today. For the explanation of that assumption and its refutation, go here:
  2. The film nowhere mentions the planet Venus, yet it is there that the power of the greenhouse effect, which the film seems to deny, becomes most obvious. Venus, on both its day and night sides, is far hotter than the day side of Mercury, which is much closer to the Sun! Although the clouds of Venus shield the planet’s surface from most of the sunlight, the atmosphere, which is mostly carbon dioxide (CO2), traps the little heat that gets through.
  3. The film indicates that there was one obscure scientist that claimed that the greenhouse gases could cause global warming in the 1970s and that he was ridiculed by most scientists at the time. This is simply a lie! In fact, the relationship between carbon dioxide and global temperatures was understood by most scientists since the 1900s.  The scientist who discovered it was world famous, even winning the 1903 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.  His name was Svante Arrhenius.
  4. The film claims that “all the climate change models” predicted that the temperatures of the lower atmosphere would be less than the upper atmosphere and that the discovery that this was not the case falsified the models. But this is flatly contradicted by a statement in Al Gore’s book “An Inconvenient Truth”. He said, “Global warming heats the lower atmosphere but actually cools the stratosphere…”  This makes sense when you realize that CO2 is heavier than the nitrogen and oxygen that make up most of the Earth’s atmosphere, and therefore would tend to be lower in the atmosphere. An increase in the proportion of CO2 would only be felt closer to the ground, not farther from it.
  5. The film claims that water vapor is a far more important greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. But that is not true, because water vapor forms clouds that actually block sunlight and thus act to cool the Earth, providing a counter to the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide. By contrast, CO2 never forms clouds and thus can ONLY be a greenhouse gas.
  6. The film claims that the global warming movement was started by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as a way of promoting nuclear power at the expense of fossil fuels. This is nonsense, because while nuclear power may not release greenhouse gases, it causes other types of pollution and has its own grave risks, plus like fossil fuels it is nonrenewable.
  7. The film claims that efforts to wean poor countries in Africa off fossil fuels and onto solar energy is harmful to their well-being. Never mind the fact that depending on fossil fuels would require an unlimited number of monthly payments to the big energy companies. But using solar panels, however expensive they may be at first, would only require a one-time payment. Plus, efforts to mass produce solar panels would eventually drive their costs down, if only the big energy companies would permit it. And there is an entire vast region, the Sahara Desert, where millions of solar panels could be built and maintained to supply most of Africa with energy.

Need I go on?

Conspiracy theories, credible and incredible

For any conspiracy to succeed, there are several conditions that may be required:

  1. The participants must be as few as possible.
  2. The conspiracy must be of as short a duration as possible.
  3. The conspiracy must be extremely secretive.

Condition 3 relies on the first two, as indicated in the proverb, “Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead.”

Thus, the commonly held 9-11 conspiracy theory that many government officials under the Bush Administration were directly involved in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon is far less credible than the idea that a few dozen operatives of Al-Qaeda were responsible. Likewise, it is far more credible that Exxon and its operatives have been planting misleading claims about global warming in the popular press and various blogs over the past couple of decades than that thousands of scientists have been misleading people about global warming since 1896, when Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius first identified the heat retaining properties of carbon dioxide (called “carbonic acid” in Arrhenius’ paper referred to below).

People make up conspiracy theories to explain what could be responsible for something they happen to dislike. The “theory” could be more properly considered a hypothesis in science. The problem comes when these people do not take the next step in the scientific method, which is to test the idea via observation or experiment. Instead, they proclaim the conspiracy theory as DOGMA and proceed to interpret all evidence according to that dogma, despite never finding any direct evidence to confirm the theory. Then they abandon all willingness to allow the claim to be disproven.

You can’t do science that way! Just because a theory claims to explain something doesn’t mean it is true. You must ultimately rule out all other possibilities before stating something questionable to be FACT.

A fake expert vs real ones on global warming

A global warming denialist known as Judy Cross has been storming the web community Care2 for over a year, posting propaganda on her beliefs. Here’s an example of her rantings:

“This is a lucid, logical, well-researched 32-page doc, compiled by long time IPCC expert reviewer, Dr Vincent Gray, explaining why the current claims of man-made global warming are a “global scam”. ”

Oh, really? Well, I proceeded to dismantle the credibility of that paper.

Continue reading

How NOT to argue or do “research”

Note comment #163, which I wrote in reference to some earlier commenters.

(((Interesting comments, these three.

Let’s face it, no one who is not a dissident is going to read links to an HIV dissident site, especially when some of the papers are by Duesberg. People may read papers from mainstream scientists so long as they support their own arguments. Everyone here is interested in furthering their own arguments. Period.
Posted by: wayne | March 19, 2007 7:46 PM

“Not only have I read Duesberg’s articles but I have checked his claims with the ‘orthodox’ literature. It is only after this that I concluded that duesberg is full of crap.”
And therefore everyone reading this blog should take Chris Noble’s word for it. Just like everyone takes nature’s and Science’s “word for it” when they also say Duesberg is full of crap. My guess is that (unlike Chris Noble) 99% of people who take [fill in the blank]’s “word for it” have not actually taken time to examine the “dissident literature” (or even the “orthodox literature” which dissidents allegedly “cherry-pick” and “abuse”). My guess is, 99% of people who dismiss dissidents out of hand do so simply because “everyone else thinks so…”
And then everyone wonders why it’s NOT impossible for such a blunder to have happened…
Posted by: Jake | March 24, 2007 6:51 AM 

 DT said: “I dismiss dissidents because I have taken the trouble to look in detail at their claims, and found them wanting”.
DT, as with most of what you have to say, that statement of yours is not true at all!
DT dismisses the HIV dissidents because DT is a HIV drug rep to doctors for a pharmaceutical company! Doooohhhh!
Posted by: lincoln | April 1, 2007 12:06 AM

 This is an example of what happens when someone gets so fixated on an idea that they can’t stand to lose an argument over it.
Here’s a tip for the denialist fanatics: Just because a concept is acceptable to YOUR mind doesn’t mean it is actually true. You may be suffering from psychotic delusions.)))

Natural selection and the scientific peer review process

Natural selection describes the process by which variations in a population of organisms are edited over time to enhance the ability of the individual organisms to survive and reproduce in an environment. Even if over 90% of all mutations, being random, are harmful to the next generation, natural selection can still eliminate those and keep those others that are beneficial, thus countering the destructive effects of mutations in general.

It is the same with the scientific peer review process. Because science has made so much progress over the past few centuries, most people have the impression that scientists are unusually brilliant, nearly infallible, and totally objective in their views and methods. But in fact, that is simply not the case for most of them, at least as individuals. Scientists can be just as mistaken, corrupt, dogmatic, and failing in their efforts and assumptions as the rest of humanity. A few of them can even be downright stupid!

If that is true, how can science be trusted to produce reliable facts and theories? Because the scientists use peer review as their means to test any new ideas put on the table by one of their number. No scientist’s word need be taken at face value. In order for his idea to be accepted as anything beyond a speculation, he must show observational or experimental data, clearly defined, that supports it. Thus, it should always be possible for other scientists to duplicate the results of the first scientist making the claim. If attempts to duplicate the observations or experiments do not produce the same result, the idea is rejected.

Sometimes the peer review process goes too far in its skepticism, and a valid idea, such as continental drift, is rejected and even ridiculed by scientists even though it explains all the data collected and is contradicted by none of it. But that’s why repeated testing of that idea is required, as long as it is not outright falsified. Continental drift WAS accepted in the 1960s once an overwhelming amount of evidence was found to support it and those geologists who had been bigoted against it in the 1920s had died or retired, and a new generation had arisen that was more open-minded. Those who supported the continental drift theory were able to come up with a mechanism, plate tectonics, that explained it, and once they did opposition to it faded away rapidly.

Individual scientists may fall so deeply in love with their own ideas that they refuse to accept the peer review process when it rejects their ideas. Then they become cranks who no longer do science, but instead put out propaganda to appeal to the scientifically illiterate. This is especially true of Creationists and global warming denialists who happen to have science degrees. They even go so far as to attack the peer review process itself! But it must be noted that they can never produce anything that would produce superior results in terms of seeking objective data in the universe and explaining it.

Scientists who refuse to recognize that an idea of theirs is wrong are like a population of organisms that are too specialized in their lifestyle to adapt to any sudden change in their environment, resulting in their extinction. Fortunately, the progress of science continues even in spite of such incidents, just as life on Earth has continued despite the mass extinctions that have wiped out most species that evolved on Earth before.

Debunking the MWP Myth

2000 Year Temperature Comparison.png

The Medieval Warm Period (MWP) was a time of increased warmth that is recorded in the history of the North Atlantic region from about 800 AD to 1300 AD. During this period, the extent of the Arctic ice cap was considerably less than today. The purpose of this blog is not to deny the reality of the MWP nor to reject the historical facts associated with it. However, global warming denialists have claimed that because the ice sheets of the Arctic were less extensive than today, the MWP must have been warmer than today and thus there is no reason to think that the current warming period, thought to be caused by man-made greenhouse gases, is in any way unusual. Indeed, they even claim that the readings from scientists indicating that the temperatures of the MWP were lower than today were faked in an effort to deny or cover up the MWP. Thus, I feel it necessary to demonstrate the absurdity of such assumptions.

Let us do an experiment. We take two identical bowls filled with pure water and place them in a freezer. After the water is completely frozen in both bowls, they are removed from the freezer and one, labled “A”, is placed in a refrigerator, while the other, labled “B” is placed on the kitchen table. After about an hour, bowl B has ice that is PARTLY melted. We take a picture of the bowl and then discard it.

A week later, we remove bowl A from the refrigerator. By then, the ice of this bowl is COMPLETELY melted. We take a picture of this bowl and discard it also.

Finally, we present both pictures to someone who knows nothing about the experiment and ask him, “Which bowl would you say looks warmer to you?” He will certainly say, “A”, but he will be wrong, because bowl A was in near freezing temperature for a week before its picture was taken, while bowl B was in room temperature for an hour before its picture was taken.

The point of the experiment is that it is not merely temperature that is the factor in melting water, but TIME as well. The Medieval Warm Period was indeed a natural event, and thus its arrival was gradual and so was its ending. The ice sheets in the  Medieval Warm Period were less extensive because it lasted for several centuries, unlike the current warming period, which has lasted for only a few decades. Thus, the picture of bowl A could represent the Arctic ice cap at the height of the MWP, while the pic of bowl B could represent the Arctic ice cap today. Higher temperatures, but less time to melt the ice cap.

Thus, there is absolutely NO basis for the slanderous claims made against the scientists who have studied the progress of global warming in this present time. Indeed, if the MWP had been only three or four degrees F warmer than today’s average temperatures, we should have expected to see an almost total meltdown of both the Arctic and Antarctic ice caps, resulting in a massive rise in sea levels around the world. And history records NO such thing!

We don’t know enough?

I can’t stand anyone who employs a double standard to attack and deny an idea he hates. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the debate over global warming.

One of the arguments used by denialists on the issue is, “We don’t know enough about this issue to make changes to our economies that will affect the lives of millions.” There are two problems with that claim. First, the emissions of greenhouse gases we made in the past were done in total ignorance of how they would affect the global climate. Only in the past few decades have we gained enough knowledge to understand how the various factors work together over time to change the climate. Second, the denialists NEVER define when we WOULD have enough knowledge to conclude that man’s pollution must be curbed to stop global warming. Since they haven’t done this, how can their claim that we don’t know enough be justified?

Another claim made by the denialists is that “The movement to stop global warming is a scam to destroy capitalism.” Well, how can anyone know that, since there is no proof that anyone can read the minds of Al Gore and others on his side of the debate? Nor has there been any documentation produced to prove that claim.

Seriously, how can one claim that we don’t know enough about the science of climate change to conclude that humans are the main cause of the problem, yet at the same time claim dogmatically that the efforts to combat global warming are a scam? There is one word to describe such an attitude: HYPOCRISY!

Dogmatic “deniers”

The problem with many people (deniers) who have arguments on any issue is that they are not looking for facts to establish their own viewpoints. This becomes obvious when they, not content to say, “I strongly disagree with [idea] and believe [counter-idea],” but bluntly say, “[counter-idea]” and then proceed with that premise regardless of what anyone else says. Once that happens, those who reject the counter-idea find themselves becoming dogmatic in return to avoid appearing weak, thus degrading the general content of the discussion. The deniers rely on ingrained prejudices they know exist in many other people in order to build a following.

The opposition to evolution is entirely based on religious prejudices supported by semantic ploys, and nothing else. A lot of the “evidences” used to attack evolution are things that are exceptional in nature and when the Creationists see them, they say, “We do not know how these things could have happen, so we may safely assume that God did it.” That attitude totally denies scientific thinking. Evolution is scientific precisely because it is consistent with physical and chemical laws that were previously established via the scientific method. That Creationists do not note this obvious fact discredits them from the start.

As for the global warming issue, people have a natural tendency to deny facts that make them uncomfortable, because they know that then they will have to make great sacrifices to undo the damage that is being done and prevent more damage. The corporations and the politicians who support them play on this laziness to give excuses for not doing anything to change things. For example, the statement that increased solar output is a factor behind global warming only adds to the urgency that we keep the emissions of greenhouse gases at a low levels in the future; it does not negate our responsiblity to deal with the problem. That a few areas in the world are colder than normal is a result of warmer atmospheric conditions causing greater evaporation of water, resulting in greater cloud coverage and precipitation in areas that are prone to them, and of course this causes temperatures in those areas to fall. But the deniers forget one thing: The DESERT regions, which make nearly a third of the land area of Earth, are NOT affected by this trend and the temperatures there will remain high, resulting in great instabilities in the atmosphere, producing a greater frequency of storms.
Natural reality is complex, and science is supposed to measure that reality in all its forms. Those who attempt to reduce it to a simple formula via “logical” arguments are in fact the worst enemies of science.

Global warming deniers’ claims about a conspiracy driving the concern about global warming are a classic attempt to “turn reality upside down”. In fact, the real conspiracy is between the rich executives of the fossil fuel corporations and the conservative politicians whose servicies are paid for by the executives. Some scientists also side with the deniers, but that only indicates the extent of corruption that may exist in any profession, as well as the tendency of even people who should know better to decieve themselves.