From Understanding and Assessing Climate Change, Implications for Nebraska, a UNL report from the Department of Natural Resources and Agriculture. Page numbers in parentheses.
1. Really?! Are You Just Trying To Get A Rise Out of Me?
Rural Nebraskans are knowledgeable about and sensitive to climate issues. The Nebraska Rural Poll (2013) tells us:
• At least two-thirds of rural Nebraskans have experienced: loss of wildlife and wildlife habitat (75%), voluntary decrease in water usage (73%), decreased farm production (69%), and wildfires (69%).
• Most rural Nebraskans think climate change is happening, and 69% feel they understand global climate change issues. (Charles P. Schroeder, Founding Director, Rural Futures Institute University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 57)
2. Almost ALL of the EXPERTS Agree
In the context of climate change, the consensus is that, based on the available evidence, 97% of climate scientists conclude that the earth’s temperature is warming and that this increase is in part caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gases.
The heat-trapping properties of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases – the backbone of climate change theory – are not in dispute. These were demonstrated in the mid-19th century and are extremely unlikely to change. Rather, as new data and analysis techniques become available, our understanding of the extent, magnitude, and impacts of climate change will increase and any relevant theories will be modified.
3. And They Are Smart Enough to Factor in the Earth’s Orbit, Solar Variability and Volcanic Activity
[O]rbital, solar, and volcanic [factors] contribute to the natural variability observed in the earth’s climate system, but cannot account for the observed trend in global atmospheric temperature since the middle of the nineteenth century. (19)
4. Any Scientist That Denied Human Impacts, Isn’t An Expert in this Area
It is true that a number of Ph.D.-level scientists have spoken out very publically and vocally against human impacts on climate. It is important to realize that in virtually every one of these cases, the Ph.D. is in a field of study not related to climate science. Although they may be very distinguished in their own field, they have no expertise in climate and climate change. Therefore, they are just stating their own personal opinion. When genuine climate scientists discuss these issues, however, they are giving you their informed professional judgment based on their scientific expertise. (19)
5. Man Made Global Warming Does Not Rely on You To Believe For It To Happen
The fact that climate change has become a highly politicized issue has no bearing whatsoever on the reality of human-induced climate changes. Politics—or personal beliefs—are not part of the evidence-based scientific process, and we cannot simply legislate away the reality of human impacts on the climate system. However, we can develop policies that mitigate the magnitude of human-induced climate change and help society adapt to the impacts that are inevitable.