Sorry for the epic delay and happy 2014! Go with these three:
These are the best of the best. There are a ton of rabbit holes to get lost in on the above sites, so I advise taking a gentle-but-steady approach - focus on reading one report per month rather than click click clicking your way around…
Keep in touch and let me know how it goes over the next year…
Thanks for your nice note.
I love good arguments. I went to law school and am trained to argue “both sides,” which can be really fun. In fake court, I once successfully defended Exxon Mobil against impoverished indigenous Alaskans who’s island is sinking due to sea level rise. They’ve since made a movie about Kivalina v Exxon.
The point is you have to understand the other side - empathy is key.
There are a lot of arguments against climate change. Most are terrible. The common thread, though, is very strong and really difficult to argue against - that new regulations will cost families’ money.
You have to be empathetic to this point. Their argument is really about stopping the cost of electricity and gasoline from going up.
Look, we enviros can dream and be idealistic about raising the price of a barrel of oil. But in reality, higher prices are terrible, terrible options for families, especially the 47%.
Challenge a fellow enviro how they square raising the price of electricity via free markets with government subsidies for education, PBS, and Planned Parenthood, etc. Why is it OK to raise energy costs, but not OK to take away services? It’s idealism vs reality, and many activists (in my experience) don’t understand this.
Energy is expensive, and families (the 47% who already depend on gvt assistance) really do suffer if the price of energy goes up even a little bit. Navigating this in school is exhilarating, but it utterly falls apart in the real world. So, yeah. It’s an up hill battle if you’re stuck discussing solutions with your friend.
Besides hurting families, some of the best arguments I’ve heard deal with: the history of the planet, sun spots, something called ‘oscillations’, and the tried and true big winter snow storm.
"The planet’s climate is cyclical! We’ve had ice ages and heat waves many times before!" is a powerful argument and trips up most environmentalists. After all, if this current trend is a “cycle” then why regulate fuel at all? Clever stuff.
This is the bottom line: your friend has only one task - prove that carbon atoms do not trap heat. That’s it. That’s the only thing s/he has to prove. All of the other arguments fundamentally depend on this premise being false.
Get your opponent to stay on point. Get them to argue hard facts and stay out of the trap of debating bleeding-heart fantasies.
They absolutely must prove carbon does not trap heat in order for every other argument against climate change to be true. To do so, make sure they agree first that earth is warming (they will). Where you’ll disagree is why it’s warming - earth cycles or humans. Again, if it’s cycles, then there’s no need to regulate energy. If it’s humans, then there is a need to regulate energy, but then you run up against the families argument…
If your friend can prove that carbon does not trap heat, not only will they win a Nobel, they can then go on to blame it on cycles, sun spots, earth’s rotation, the Myans, god’s jealous vengeance, etc. So, get your friend to research what carbon atoms do, and try to have fun with it.
OK, OK, on to your question. The best resource for these types of short-term bursts is Skeptical Science’s “Arguments from Global Warming Skeptics" page. They’ve been cataloging skeptic/denier arguments for several years now, and their database of arguments is the best I’ve ever come across. I’m sure that several arguments from their pages will look very, very familiar to you. In fact, I’d bet that your friend has repeated a good handful of them!
I also put together a store of 100% climate change books. I update it often to help everyone from beginners to advanced researchers.
Hope that helps!