It’s Fine to Change Your Mind About Climate Change

I am a climate change professional. Joan and I have worked on fixing climate impacts for over 25 years. So today, I share a personal reflection on how I got here, and offer hope that we can convince others with hard data, patience and persistence. 

I spent most of my career working on environmental problems.  That was my goal from the beginning, and the reason I became an engineer.

I fell in love with science as a kid, and I wanted to do something useful, and hopefully make a living along the way.

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Additional Sleazy Climate Tactics - 2-Sided Black and White Arguments

Further Sleazy Climate Tactics – 2-Sided Black and White Arguments

Today, one of my pet peeves, the sleazy black and white climate argument.

I see this all the time, in political discussion, on social media, or simply dealing with folks every day. It is so common, we just often blind to it, and so fall into its trap. 

In academic circles we call this the “false dilemma” or “False dichotomy”. But, these are just fancy ways of saying that the argument incorrectly demands that we accept there are only two sides to any issue. If you accept one, you reject the other. Most times, this is simply false.

As the heat builds up in the climate dialogue, I see this more and more often, even from very knowledgeable and otherwise trustworthy folks. 

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Yet 1 More Sneaky Climate Tactic - Cherry Picking

Yet 1 More Sneaky Climate Tactic – Cherry Picking

Cherry picking data is a sneaky climate tactic, that we often see during a period of normal weather that seems to go against the trend. Often, powerful folks use this technique like politicians, media pundits, or influencers on our social networks.

It usually spawns a barrage of memes and re-posts across social media. Folks jump on the bandwagon. There is a ton of noise.

I find this climate tactic more frustrating than most of the others. It misrepresents Global Warming entirely.  It is wrong on so many levels that climate change specialists are left speechless because we don’t even know where to begin. So, often, it goes unchallenged.

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Abusing the Person - The Number 1 Lazy Climate Change Tactic

Abusing the Person – The Number 1 Lazy Climate Change Tactic

Today I start my series on bad climate arguments with the number 1 lazy climate change tactic, the personal attack, also known as the ad hominem argument.

In the world of applied science, we use the word “argument” to mean a logical reasoning process, based on evidence that leads to a conclusion.

This differs from the emotional conflict of a quarrel. Emotions have very little to do it. We are looking for evidence to support a conclusion, and based on that conclusion, an action plan founded on concrete data and rigorous science.

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About the Author

It's Fine to Change Your Mind About Climate Change 4

Joel Nodelman

President & CEO

Joel is an engineer and risk management specialist with over forty years of professional practice. He is committed to helping his clients achieve climate resiliency and sustainability.

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