Climate Change: is this a real threat, or just scaremongering?

by | 17 February 2023 | Environment, Sherwood

It’s hard to believe, but climate change deniers still exist. According to a recent study in the science journal PLOS, scepticism is more prevalent than we realise. The Rainforest Alliance has compiled six arguments commonly made by climate change deniers, along with science-backed responses to show that climate change is real, accelerating, and that we need to take bold action ASAP.

“This is the coldest winter we’ve had in years! So much for global warming.”

There’s a difference between climate and weather: Weather fluctuates day in, day out, whereas climate refers to long term trends – and the overall trend is clearly and indisputably a warming one. While the impacts of climate change have only just begun to hit the Global North, farmers in the tropics have been contending with impacts – from droughts to floods to a proliferation of crop-destroying pests – for years.

“Climate change is natural and normal; it’s happened at other points in history.”

It’s true that there have been periods of global warming and cooling during the Earth’s long history. This was due to spikes and lulls in greenhouse gases. Those historic increases in CO2 should be a warning: they led to serious environmental disruptions, including mass extinctions. Today, humans are emitting greenhouse gases at a far higher rate than any previous increase in history.

“There’s no consensus among scientists that climate change is real.”

There is nearly 100% agreement among scientists. Moreover, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that global warming is accelerating.

“Plants and animals can adapt.”

Human-caused climate change is happening so rapidly, species simply don’t have time to adapt. It is estimated that over 99.9% of all species that ever lived are now extinct. Of a total of 41,415 species of animals on the IUCN Red List, 16,306 of them are threatened with extinction. Currently there are 11,154 known bird species; 22% are vulnerable to extinction. Of the total insect population, 41% are due to become extinct over the next few decades.

“Climate change is good for us.”

It is not, when you think about the human cost of a warming planet. When crop failures, drought, floods, or fires wipe out livelihoods and homes, people migrate in the hopes of improving their lot – but can find themselves vulnerable to human trafficking and forced labour and other human rights abuses.

“OK, maybe climate change is real, but there’s nothing to be done – it’s too late.”

It’s not too late. If governments, business, and individuals begin taking drastic action now, we can keep warming within the 1.5c target set by the Paris Agreement.
Human-induced climate change is the largest, most pervasive threat to the natural environment and societies the world has ever experienced.
The more dire predictions of climate activists’ border on scaremongering, risking spreading ‘climate change fatigue’ among the public – a sense of hopelessness and resignation in the face of an unbeatable challenge.

The earth’s climate has seen many changes in its 4.55 billion years. For example, 18,000 years ago most of Britain was covered in ice and glaciers. It took thousands of years for that to change, but the rate of change has accelerated. Although changes to the Earth’s climate are natural, current changes are a result of increasing human populations and activities. The build-up of man-made gases in the atmosphere trap the sun’s heat, causing changes in weather patterns around the world.

10,000 years ago, there were no cars, planes, buses, trains or motorbikes. There was no electricity – no TVs, electric lights, fridges, microwaves, washing machines, central heating, factories, power stations etc.
Then came people.

For more information about Sherwood Forest Friends of the Earth, visit Sherwood Forest FoE on Facebook or email

Pauline Meechan, Sherwood Forest Friends of the Earth