Because we are Earth System Scientists and familiar with the global warming debate we might think we are prepared to argue with climate change skeptics. Even if we know the major driving mechanisms and the details of the climate system we might run into difficulties when arguing. Usually the believes on “the other side” are strong. Your arguments are simply overheard, countered by pseudo-facts or drawn to another level, leaving a scientific debate.
For that reason, the workshop was a nice opportunity to either slip into the mind of a skeptic or to defend scientific consensus and to get an idea of what many scientist awaits if they go public. In several one-to-one debates each of the thirteen participants has the chance to debate vis-a-vis about common climate skeptics arguments.
The public mock debate in the afternoon was then a test for our learned skills. In front of about 50 guests we have had a panel discussion with six workshop participants three of them representing either a believer or denier. Here it was not so much about convincing the other side but the audience. The debate was intense, last but not least fun, and it had a surprising progress.
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