NASA is very busy. Its scientists are trying to shore up our future here on Earth while unravelling the greatest mysteries out in space - oh and they’re also trying to piece together clues left behind by our ancient ancestors thousands of years ago.
But you know what NASA isn’t too busy for? Owning climate change deniers on Facebook who cite NASA’s own data as ‘evidence’ of a massive conspiracy that 97 percent of the world’s climate scientists are inexplicably in on.
How did all this start? Well, Bill Nye recently posted on his Facebook page that climate change denier Marc Morano refused to go in on a US$20,000 bet that the planet will keep getting hotter.
He offered Morano two bets: that 2016 would be one of the 10 hottest years on record, and that the current decade would be the hottest on record. Morano turned down both bets, calling it "silly" and "obvious" that the official records would show more global warming.
"Climate denier (extreme doubter) won't take the bets 'cause he knows what's up re: global temperatures," Nye posted.
Climate change deniers were not amused, and took to the comments section to debate Nye’s assertion that human emissions are causing Earth’s temperatures to rise.
That’s not so unusual, and we get the same kinds of comments on our Facebook page every time we publish an article about climate science, but when you invoke NASA as support for your denial, you’d better be prepared to take on the big guys themselves:
As Doug Bolton explains over at The Independent, Fer Morales seems to be referring to a NASA study published last year that aerosols released by burning fossil fuels can actually have a cooling effect on the planet, because they reflect some of the Sun’s radiation away before they dispersing into the atmosphere.
But the effect is temporary, and localised, and the carbon dioxide that’s also released from burning fossil fuels contributes to far more global warming than the aerosols could ever hope to mitigate.
Okay sure, but we all know that NASA "fudges" its data to propagate the myth of human-caused climate change, right? Lolno, you just don’t know how science works:
While it’s incredibly satisfying to watch scientists shut down people who are hilariously uninformed about the things they’re waging an intellectual war over, it’s also pretty frustrating and sad to see that they still have to.
A few high-profile comments might force individual climate change deniers to rethink their stance, but they won't stamp out an entire conspiracy theory on their own.
That's where education comes in, and we need to make sure that teachers are educating children properly so kids stop growing up uninformed about the science that will have a real and potentially devastating effect on their future.
That said, we just want to say thank you, NASA. You really did make our day.