One of America's Dumbest Scientific Debates, Summed Up in a Single Comic

One of America's Dumbest Scientific Debates, Summed Up in a Single Comic


This has become absurd. Out of 9,136 geologists, chemists, physicists and biologists, exactly 9,135 agree that global warming is real and is rooted in human factors. Yet, the number of Americans who deny climate change is not only substantial, but increasing.

Worse still, while three out of four of the theories above were denied for decades before being "proven," a single rejection of these core arguments is likely to result in the reduction of our Earthly landscape to a pollution-filled, disease ridden hellscape. You guessed it: climate change.

Scientific consensus: Among scientists, consensus regarding global warming — and its human roots — is rising rapidly. In a review of nearly 14,000 scientific articles published between 1991 and November 2012, National Physical Science Consortium's James Powell identified 24 researchers who denied that climate change is real and caused by humans. In another review of more than 9,000 science articles run between November 2012 and December 2013, however, Powell found just one dissenter of human-caused global warming. 


Image Credit: James Powell

Unfortunately, the idea of a slowly warming climate, followed by rising seas and shifting crop seasons, is indeed hard to grasp for many. In the midst of this winter's polar vortex, business magnate Donald Trump tweeted that global warming couldn't be real because it was so cold outside.


Image Credit: Bloomberg

As it turns out, Trump is hardly alone in his tendency to relate global warming to current temperature trends. When the weather changes, so do many people's opinions of global warming. On warmer days, people are more likely to see climate change as a real problem than they are on colder days, as shown in a recent Nature study by Columbia University psychology graduate student Lisa Zaval.

In case you assumed our powerful political leaders were smart enough avoid this sort of climate change flip-flopping, Senator Jim Inhofe is here to prove you wrong. In late July, the Oklahoma Republican blocked a Senate resolution that simply acknowledged that global warming is real.

Here's the reality: Over the past century, Earth's average temperature has risen by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit. That change is not natural. On the contrary, it is primarily the result of human activities, such as burning 35.6 billion metric tons of fossil fuels each year.


Image Credit: NASA

It's high time we learned to differentiate between a balmy summer and a gradually warming planet.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Erin Brodwin

Erin is a science and health writer whose work has appeared in Newsweek, Popular Science, Scientific American and Psychology Today.

MORE FROM

The six words that will make you sound smarter than all your friends when watching the eclipse

What is an umbra? How does the Saros cycle work? The total solar eclipse, explained.

Do you have little freckles in your eyes? This might be why.

Remember to protect your eyes.

The US desperately needs computer science majors, so keep coding

There are more than 500,000 computing jobs open in the US right now.

The 2017 solar eclipse will help scientists figure out just how much energy we get from the sun

Reflections are tricky things — as we'll learn when August's total solar eclipse hits.

No, Mars didn’t grow 12 more moons — here’s what’s happening in this stunning picture

Mars and the mysteriously multiplying moon.

Scooby-Doo’s real name isn’t Scoobert Doobert

It's time to call Scooby by his real name.

The six words that will make you sound smarter than all your friends when watching the eclipse

What is an umbra? How does the Saros cycle work? The total solar eclipse, explained.

Do you have little freckles in your eyes? This might be why.

Remember to protect your eyes.

The US desperately needs computer science majors, so keep coding

There are more than 500,000 computing jobs open in the US right now.

The 2017 solar eclipse will help scientists figure out just how much energy we get from the sun

Reflections are tricky things — as we'll learn when August's total solar eclipse hits.

No, Mars didn’t grow 12 more moons — here’s what’s happening in this stunning picture

Mars and the mysteriously multiplying moon.

Scooby-Doo’s real name isn’t Scoobert Doobert

It's time to call Scooby by his real name.