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  • Writer's pictureThe Climate Coach

Here's why climate change isn't a conspiracy theory...

You will have probably seen people commenting on social media posts or perhaps even in conversation that climate change is a conspiracy theory. The general consensus in such posts seems to be it's a way for governments/the elite to control people and/or that it's actually just a naturally occurring process.

There are 3 primary reasons why this isn't the case, and even if you do believe it's real already it's helpful to know these so you can have an informed conversation should you need to. This is also actually one of the most impactful thing you can to support climate change - educate others and hopefully inspire action.

1. Scientific consensus

The overwhelming majority of climate scientists agree that climate change is happening, and that it is caused by human activities such as burning fossil fuels, deforestation and industrial agriculture. A study published in Environmental Research Letters in 2019 found that 97% of climate scientists agree that humans are causing climate change. This scientific consensus is supported by numerous peer-reviewed studies and reports from organisations such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - and importantly not for profit organisations with no "sponsorship" such as Our World in Data.

"...humans are causing climate change."

The pure scale of this consensus strongly supports it being real. For it to be conspiracy - scientists from all walks of life, varying backgrounds and from all over the world would have to be in it together. The scale of that kind of collaboration is quite frankly impossible given the sheer volume of people involved. Most importantly, there is no common reason/belief/incentive for all of those people to effectively make it up - they have nothing to gain at all.

2. Observable effects

There are then the observable effects of climate change that are happening all around us. These include rising global temperatures, melting ice caps and glaciers, more frequent and severe weather events such as hurricanes, heatwaves or wildfires. These observations provide clear evidence that climate change is happening and having significant impacts. Just looking at global temperatures gives a somewhat simplistic demonstration of these observable effects.

3. Political and economic actions

Regardless of what anyone thinks about government and/or business, the fact that the vast majority of both are taking action to address climate change strongly supports that it is real. Although not enough action is being taken - action is being taken in some areas, and many governments have acknowledged the need to do more and indeed that climate change in caused by human activity. If climate change was indeed some kind of conspiracy theory - nearly every government and business, plus any advisers or contractors would need to be involved. This just isn't possible again due to the sheer volume of people involved.

Ok, so in summary:

If climate change was a conspiracy theory, it would require the involvement and cooperation of an implausibly large number of people, including scientists, policymakers, charities and industry leaders from around the world.

The scientific evidence for climate change is supported by data and research from a diverse range of sources and institutions, and the impacts of climate change are being observed globally. It would require an enormous effort to fabricate and maintain a conspiracy of this scale, involving countless individuals and organisations with differing motivations and interests. The idea that so many people from different countries, cultures, and backgrounds could coordinate such a massive conspiracy without any leaks or whistleblowers is highly improbable.

Hopefully this helped any lingering doubts you may have had, or perhaps may help you in future conversations about climate change! There are of course many more reasons not mentioned here - so feel free to message and let us know your favourites.

If you have any thoughts, feedback or ideas you wish to contribute on this or any other topic covered by The Climate Coach - please get in touch, we'd love to hear from you.

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