Utne Blogs > Environment

How to Change Minds About Climate Change

by Staff

Tags: climate change, global warming, deniers, skeptics, convince, sway, myths, facts,

Taking aim at those climate change deniers still out there, Thomas Wheatley of the Atlanta alternative weekly Creative Loafing offers these five sites to help you sway them: 

1. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the home page of the United Nations-sponsored, Nobel Prize-winning group. More specifically, I recommend checking out this slideshow presentation (pdf) on the site, which explains in very approachable terms the climate change report the panel released in November.

2. Q&A for Climate Skeptics from the University of Oregon’s Institute for a Sustainable Environment. Don’t be daunted by the report’s beefy 56 pages. While the approach is systematic—and exceedingly ambitious—the Q&A format makes it a fun read, even if you’re just skimming. I found some of the last few pages especially interesting, because they address the defeatist position I’ve heard some of my “progressive” friends take: They believe climate change is real, but are cynical about working toward solutions to it, voicing objections like, “Won’t the effects just be minor?” and “Wouldn’t working to stop it crash the global markets?” I’ll give you a hint. The short answer to both questions is no.

3. Global Warming Myths and Facts. OK, so you are daunted by the 56-page report. Fair enough. Think of this as the Cliffs Notes version, courtesy of the Environmental Defense Fund. Ten common myths about global warming and why they’re wrong. Here’s proof that brevity doesn’t necessarily mean treating you like you’re a third-grader.

4. Climate Change 101. Well, “101” is generous. Reading this might feel like summer school for most folks.

5. Architecture 2030. This organization uses cool, detailed 3-D Google maps to show what more than 80 coastal American cities will look like if waters rise as expected.  Beautiful maps illustrate a chilling scenario. Some of my favorites include New York City, San Francisco, and New Orleans.

While I like Wheatley’s list, it still leans towards arming already-convinced people to talk to skeptics. If there are any sites to which you like to send skeptical friends to learn for themselves, please let us know in the comments field below.

Jason Ericson