So, I’m a climate sceptic now?

For the purposes of this explainer, yes.

There are times when I regret being a figment of your imagination.

Hush. So, you’ve heard about this climate change thing but don’t know who to believe. The media tells you there’s a debate-

Wait, there’s no debate? I’m sure I’ve heard people debating this.

That’s because the media often gives just as much airtime to people who doubt climate change as to scientists who actually study climate. False balance is a thing.

But why would my television lie to me? She’s given me so much…

Well, the fossil industry has poured millions of dollars into funding climate denial. Companies like Exxon – who’ve known climate change is real since the 60s – deliberately created a narrative to ‘emphasize the uncertainty’.

But… what if… there is uncertainty? Don’t look at me with that tone of voice.

There is uncertainty, but mostly about how much change we’re seeing, and how it’s changing. Pretty much every major science organisation in the world agrees with the basics: it’s real, and we’re causing it.

Isn’t there a massive petition by climate scientists who disagree with this? Like, 30 000 of them?

Yes, and it’s pure bunkum. You don’t have to demonstrate any accreditation to sign, it’s full of fake names, and even if it were accurate only .1% of signatories are climatologists. It’s been disproved again and again and again.

Alright, point taken. But I heard it’s the sun that causes warming-

Have you been watching Fox news while I’m asleep again?

Hey, you literally – well, figuratively – made me wear this sceptic hat, I’m just along for the ride.

Fair point. This is one of those ideas that won’t die about climate; this article about climate myths from the Guardian is a good place to start debunking that rubbish. If that’s not enough for you, Skeptical Science has a good one too.

Woah. I’m all linked out for now.

Alright, last thing: do your own research. I could be lying through my teeth about all this, so you’ve got to find your own way. Look at the balance of research – not just the articles people shove in your face – and always check the sources. Otherwise… fake news.

Hey, didn’t Donald Trump invent that-

You can take off the hat now.