Are Attitudes About Climate Change Changing?

I’m posting this hoping that it won’t get too political but… I’ll understand if the moderator makes it go away.

Is the recent spate of extreme and violent weather plus the relentless climb of atmospheric CO2 making a difference in public opinion about it?

I would say the Climate Change audience falls into 3 camps:

  • Deniers
  • Blind Followers
  • Evidence Seekers

I think most are in camp #3. My observation is that the camps for #1 and #2 are pretty equal in size and are the most vocal. We have had tremendous climate change periods throughout the history of the earth…long before humans got seriously involved. My opinion is that this is where the #3 camp falls…


I agree with the three camps and I too am in the evidence seekers.

I used to post a graph showing that the temperature here has changed over the eons. In fact, out weather here in Hawaii is altered every time our volcano spews lava.

There is now a report that the earths rotation is speeding up; so much that they may have to remove a leap second instead of dding one.

We take any news as fact even when scientists themselves are still gathering evidence.Even though some of the most dispensed drugs for anti-depression work, scientists have no idea why.

Heck, they could not even agree whether Pluto was a planet or not. They cannot agree on whether salt is killing us. We know that the earths magnetic core changes directions and compasses will flip the opposite direction, but why and when?

So I guess the answer is, yes the temperature of earth is changing (and has been) but why and what is causing it.

This chart looks ominous because it is short term.

When you expand out the timeline you notice that humans have not necessarily been the culprits.Since the temperature in the chart above changed abound 1910 you might attribute the change to either automobile exhaust OR a case could be made that the bubblegum pop band “The1910 Fruitgum Company” had something to do with it.

Note that the following timeline data is logarithmic so it cover eons not just the period that covers automobiles.


I’m firmly in the camp believing that science is credible that pins a good part of the weather trend on human/industrial influence, but perhaps not all. I think curbing fossil fuels would be a huge part in at least slowing the negative weather patterns, but it’s probably too late to stop or reverse them… that horse left the barn decades ago. But whether the changes are manmade or simply a cycle that’s happened before, it’s a big freakin’ problem.

The world must not lose sight of the fact, that it’s here, it’s real, whatever the cause and every nation had better be prepared to take drastic measures to at least protect and adapt every element that will come under attack from its ravishes. Moving the population to Mars is not an option, the future of civilization on this planet is threatened.


Hello I am a geophysicist. Yes, I agree the temperature of the planet and the CO2 content has fluctuated wildly over billions of years… however human beings have only evolved and developed advanced industries and civilization within a very narrow tolerance band of climate. If we went back to a “hot earth”, something that existed millions of years ago, our infrastructure, our agriculture, our entire way of life could not survive.

You only have to look as far as the southwestern United States running out of water, what is happening with the Colorado and Rio Grande Rivers, to wonder what the future looks like for Phoenix for Los Angeles for Las Vegas for Albuquerque… it doesn’t look good at all. And I’m not talking about some airy fairy future, I’m talking about the next 5 years the next 10 years.

You think gas prices are high now? Wait until the entire refinery belt on the Texas and Louisiana coasts is made useless by flooding, salt water at that. Salt water no good for electrical and mechanical devices. As you know, those places are barely above water as it is.

As always, it’s theoretically possible to move… but who is going to PAY to rebuild trillions of Dollars of industrial stuff and move the families?

Geophysicist signing out!


In the 80’s & 90’s I was a climate change denier. My conservative political beliefs and the political stripes of most it’s proponents would not allow me to accept that “Global Warming” was a real thing. I found lots of things to prove to myself it was BS. I did understand the ozone problem of that day and accepted the science behind that as a separate thing.

Then in the early 2000’s I started digging into the matter and decided that maybe there was something to it and settled on a “Lukewarming” scenario. Sort of a middle ground between believers and deniers. It felt comfortable at the time. Public awareness attempts like “An Inconvenient Truth” put me off, probably in large part because Al Gore was it’s promoter. I was torn between things like a carbon tax which I felt was too politically driven and the slow realization that this thing was bigger and more potentially devastating to life on earth than anything short of unlimited nuclear war.

Then around 2012 - 2014 I started paying attention to the science behind the amount of C02 in our atmosphere and how it acts to retain the heat we receive from the sun. It’s a pretty scary scenario when you consider the real exposures of runaway global heating.

The earth’s atmosphere becomes hotter, which in turn releases more carbon and methane into the atmosphere which causes more heating which in turn results in more release of carbon and methane, etc., etc., etc.

The sooner we can do something about it the better the chances our earth will continue to be able to support life as we know it. It’s THAT serious.

If you think there is border control problem today, wait till a couple of BILLION people get displaced by too much or not enough water, violent weather and unbearable heat.

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I always thought that people in the media and politics confused the questions with climate change, mainly because most of them don’t know, understand, or appreciate science.

Add to that, many in the public want a certain/definite-sounding answer, even if it’s not right. They will sooner believe a confident political or media person, versus a scientist who says that “as far as we know from the data…” Science is constantly evolving, so statements and predictions are given as probabilities, not certainties. The next set of data can alter a prediction!

There are basically a couple of fundamental questions with climate change:

  1. Is the climate warming?
  2. Is the cause man-made, natural, or some combination of the two?
  3. What can we do about it, regardless of the cause(s)

Years ago, I would hear people saying that man-made climate change wasn’t real. People listening would hear the first 2 questions combined – oh, climate change isn’t real, no way man caused it. A simple definite-sounding and incorrect answer to 2 different questions.

For question 1, there is evidence from many measurements that the overall average temperature has increased. Measurements of temperature, CO2 concentration, rainfall, glaciers melting…lots of measurements, observations, patterns, trends.

For question 2, there is a large consensus in science that human activities/fossil fuels have affected global temperature. One thing about good scientists – if there is bad data or bad conclusions out there, they will call it out. But unfortunately, certain people with political, economic, or personal agendas will spout out certainties that man-made climate change is not true, giving no evidence, and many in the public will believe them because they sound certain, and it matches their cognitive bias.
Are there other possible contributing factors to global warming? Sure. But few have been correlated as directly to measurements and observations as man-made causes has been. Solar cycles? Yes there are solar cycles. But that’s not what we’re seeing here!

For question 3: The reality is that climate is changing dramatically in many places on the planet. Regardless of the cause, there are things that people/governments need to do. Issues like water supply, flooding, natural disasters need to be planned for and mitigated. Hurricanes were always here, but now there will be more of them due to a warmer planet.

It’s a shame that people don’t like, trust, or believe science. They believe con artists who sound certain, provide no evidence, and take their money.

sorry it was a bit long-winded!

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No. There are no more hurricanes than before. There are substantially more tropical storms. There are stronger hurricanes over the open ocean but weaker hurricanes at landfall. Wilma to Harvey is the largest stretch between major hurricane US landfalls

There are far fewer tornadoes with global warming

I was a big proponent of climate change and using renewables. But then I realized many renewables require fossil fuels to function properly. Overtime, I have believed it, climate change, will be less catastrophic but my expectations for ecological destruction were high aka human extinction and have lessened overtime aka up to 20% of species going extinct by natural selection and humans simply needing to relocate but having more ecological abundance. I believe we have the adaptability and flexibility in a capitalistic system to not only survive but have an increased carrying capacity to between 20 and 50 billion people as a result of climate change. If we fail, it’ll be because we ration resources and have everything held in common but if we allow the free market to prevail, high prices for food inputs will increase supply and increased supply will meet the needed demand. Price controls starve people thus especially in natural disasters, we must avoid wage and price controls that create shortages from excessive demand and inadequate supply

I think the technological advancement we achieved thru fossil fuels is more beneficial than the detriment of all ice caps on Earth melting

I agree 100%

That’s what changed me from a climate alarmist

We can agree.

In good science, evidence will support or disprove a hypothesis. Bad science relies on groupthink

No that happens because of a lack of opportunity

Which also happens during natural cycles

Which for me stopped with an inconvenient truth

During my 40 year mfg career I was directly involved with attempts to control our “dirty air, air pollution, global warming, climate change, etc., etc.” Mfg plants generate a great of VOC’s, Volatile Organic Compounds, i.e. the nasty stuff.

Paints, primers, thinners, glues and adhesives, cleaners, caulks, and a host of other substances emit VOC’s, and therefore a literal candy store for the EPA and in my case, CARB. California Air Resource Board.

They barraged us with volumes or rules and regulations, adding to the overwhelming OSHA constraints so we had staff of people ensuring we were in compliant. Of course, what was permitted with one agency was banned by another.

We tested all kinds of carbon capture systems, room air filters the size of barn doors, exhaust stake burners and massive filtration / capture systems, and a laundry list of various methods over the years. We barreled some our sand residues and had them buried in Nevada. It was a monster, never ending, ever increasing effort to please every agency.

I believe in the science, but shudder when ignorant politicians make rules with no idea of the consequences of their knee jerk mandates addressing Climate Change.

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We can control Dirty Air Pollution ourselves.

To think we can control Climate unilaterally without the major offenders (India and china) on board is madness. We are destroying our economy while others move ahead.

So your position is: “My political beliefs prohibit me from accepting scientific proof that I am a party in the destruction of the life-supporting capability of the planet my progeny will attempt to live on.” … is that how you feel?

So what’s the solution?

Dirty air makes a few of us sick.

Multiplying the CO2 content of of our planet will ultimately kill all of the humans on the planet and make life on earth as we know it impossible.

The point is Climate is world wide… unlike air quality, it is not focused on one area.

Today. without a worldwide effort it is just a vehicle for Political Control… with little if any actual benefit.

If control doesn’t start here, just where do you expect it to start? We’re one of the biggest polluters, and also the de facto leader of the first world countries. It’s just possible that some of the features in the latest bill limping through the Senate might show the world that the U.S. is serious about this, that used to mean something, let’s hope it still does. Yes, I’m a Globalist.

While the US holds just 4.5% of the world’s people, it holds 30% of the world’s wealth.

China holds 18% of the world’s population and 18% of the world’s wealth.

That accumulation of wealth would have been impossible were it not for the act of pumping fossil fuels from the ground, burning them, and emitting CO2 into the atmosphere. We also rely on China to produce many of the products that give us a comfortable standard of living.

Don’t you think we in the US should be 30% responsible for cleaning up the global mess?

1.) CO2 in the atmosphere is currently the major cause of global warming.

2.) Added CO2 increases global temperatures, including the oceans, which causes the oceans to release more CO2. And when the 20-25% of land area where permafrost exists begins to thaw because of rising global temperatures, large amounts of previously trapped methane (CH4) and carbon (CO2) are released into the atmosphere. Those events are additive and amplify the initial effect of CO2 further warming the atmosphere. It’s a self-feeding cumulative effect, it is runaway global heating.

3.) The ideal amount of atmospheric CO2 would most likely be what it was at the beginning of the industrial age. Things seemed to have been OK for many thousands of years up to that point.

4.) You’ve got to be kidding!

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We’re in the situation of “Who is going to bell the cat?” Speaking as one who works in the fossil fuel industry, fossil fuels provide an amazing amount of energy per unit volume or unit mass. Handled correctly they are safely storable. They manufacture or help manufacture every product you can touch or see. They transport you around the planet in less than 24 hours. So to give that up comes with huge costs. But, putting my Geophysicist hat on, realistically, fossil fuels are harming the planet, and the American Geophysical Union has been saying so for years and years. So no one wants to be first, or some people don’t want to go at all. Surprise, surprise. Same problem with OPEC quotas. Everyone wants to cheat or sandbag their oil production quotas. The problem is not science… it’s always human behavior, isn’t it? I have no solutions. I actually think it’s going to go on probably for decades, until the health of the planet is much, much worse than today. We’re going to lose coastline, coastal cities, species, agricultural lands, critical infrastructure will be drowned (I live in Houston, and Hurricane Harvey in 2017 drowned the city) the oceans will acidify and ocean food chains will collapse, and our grandchildren will curse us. Nothing new. SNAFU.

The phrase comes from a fable (often and likely incorrectly attributed to Aesop) called “Belling the Cat,” in which a group of mice decide that one will harness a bell to a murderous cat so that its jingle will warn them of its presence, though none want to take on the dangerous role.

Sorta like discovering your one and only favorite cook is typhoid Mary. It ain’t gonna be easy to give up eating those delicious meals.

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