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SYFY WIRE Bad Astronomy

More debunking of the ex-NASA 49 climate change deniers

By Phil Plait

Remember that embarrassingly bad letter written by 49 ex-NASA employees saying that global warming is a fraud and that NASA shouldn't support it?

Over at Scholars and Rogues, Brian Angliss tears it apart for the sham that it is. It's a pretty good review that destroys the claims made in the letter and has plenty of links to back up the debunking.

I find a lot of the climate change deny-o-sphere pretty baffling. A lot of the claims are trivially wrong, a lot more are cherry-picked and can be seen to be wrong when presented in the correct context, and others are just spin and rhetoric ("carbon dioxide is plant food!") that is facile at best and outright nonsense at worst. Of course, many of them touted this letter by the ex-NASA 49 as more proof that climate change is wrong. Amazing.

So as usual, let me make this clear:

The Earth is warming up. The rate of warming has increased in the past century or so. This corresponds to the time of the Industrial Revolution, when we started dumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases warm the planet (hence the name) -- if they didn't we'd have an average temperature below the freezing point of water. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas which is dumped into the atmosphere by humans to the tune of 30 billion tons per year, 100 times the amount from volcanoes. And finally, approximately 97% of climatologists who actually study climate agree that global warming is real, and caused by humans.

Got it?

OK, I know reality-based folks do. But keep that paragraph handy when confronted by the deniers. It may not change their minds, but people are listening to them, and we need to keep making sure the facts -- the real, true, provable facts -- are out there.

Related Posts:

- Breath-taking climate denial nonsense, this time aimed at NASA
- New study clinches it: The Earth is warming up - 2011: The 9th hottest year on record
- While temperatures rise, denialists reach lower
- New independent climate study confirms global warming is real
- Case closed: "Climategate" was manufactured

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