A Bad Example of Trying to Explain Climate Change to Deniers

This video titled “Tucker Carlson DESTROYS Liberal Cal State Professor 1/4/17” popped up in my suggested videos on YouTube and because I wanted to procrastinate some more, I clicked on it. I was thinking the person who titled the video probably had a strong conservative bias, but maybe the liberal actually did look really bad. I wanted to see it for myself. While I wouldn’t see he got “destroyed” I do think he lost the argument and looked pretty bad.

The video starts out with Carlson asking professor Joseph Palermo what he meant by saying Trump shouldn’t be able to use the internet if he denies climate change. I was happy to see Carlson admit that Palermo was just making a joke and isn’t advocating censorship. So far so good. But then professor Palermo said that 98% of scientists agree on climate change and Carlson asked him where he got that number. Palermo never answered the question.

Instead, the professor just kept saying that most scientists agree that climate change is real. And (rather arrogantly in my opinion) stated how this is just the science. Yes, of course the professor is right, but this is a very ineffective way of convincing anyone. You can’t just yell “SCIENCE” at them and hope it sticks. You first have to make the information the least identity threatening as possible, but then you have to actually answer the question.

Carlson never got the answer of where the 98% came from. The sad thing was, the professor was correct. There are many studies showing that about 97% of scientists agree that climate change is real and a concern. But he never said there were several peer-reviewed surveys that produced that figure. And this is sad because many climate deniers can watch this video and clearly see him dodge that question. He might not have known what the exact survey it was, but if you are going on national news to talk about climate change, it is something you should know. I appreciate him going on there and trying, but I do think there is certainly room for improvement.

[Featured image from Fox News screengrab]

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