A climate change denier can sound a lot like someone blaming a stinky room on their dog.
It sounds ridiculous, but let me explain. A dog owner isn't going to mention their dog's farts until you complain about the fact that it smells like a fart. And at the end of the day, you're not asking why the room smells bad; it just does. What is needed is decisive, uncompromising action - by which I mean, please, for the love of God, Brandon, light a candle, the room smells like crap and I don't care why.
At this point, you're probably wondering how Princess's puny butt toots relate to climate change. They don't - at least, not on their own - and that's entirely the point. I'm not blaming Copper's sulfur blast for the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet; I'm not saying that Boomer's gas bomb is to blame for the Australian bush fires. The reason I bring up dog farts is because climate change deniers have shifted from saying that global warming just isn't real to the less ridiculous sounding "natural climate change" argument.
For those of you that have had the fortune of not hearing this ridiculous argument, it boils down to the idea that because the climate has been changing throughout Earth's history, that it is possible that our current climate crisis isn't entirely a result of decades of pumping our planet's air blanket full of greenhouse gases. And that point, taken at face value, can sound reasonable. Especially if you stuff your ears and stock portfolio full of oil company stocks. (Kids, you might not have heard of a stock portfolio, but they're basically little folders where rich people have stuffed the profits from your historically high rents and student loan interest).
But aside from the fact that this "argument" requires you to pretend that as long as it's not your fault, it's not your problem, it's blatantly false. We have known about the greenhouse effect for almost 200 years, when Joseph Fourier proposed that the only reason our planet isn't a frozen, lifeless rock hurtling through an equally cold outer space is that the Earth's atmosphere serves to preserve the Sun's heat close to the surface. Then, in the 1830's, John Tyndall measured the radiant heat-capturing capabilities of CO2.
There is no equivocation that we have CO2 to thank for the fact that rivers flow, the oceans circulate, or that any of us are alive. Likewise, there is no getting around the fact that adding a thicker blanket on top of something helps keep it warmer. Regardless of how this has occurred, the concentration of the gas in the atmosphere has increased by 50%, from 280 parts per million (ppm) in 1830 to an astounding 420 ppm in 2020. Our blanket has become 50% thicker, and likewise, our global temperatures have mirrored this climb.
Given that we know that burning fossil fuels produces CO2, however, the only way to say that human activity is not majorly responsible for our changing climate is to claim that the CO2 from this combustion is magically disappearing. It is akin to saying that a fire would keep burning anyway, so there is no reason to stop pouring gasoline on it.
Because it is no longer enough to wave a snow ball around to show that climate change is not occurring, climate change denial has changed from outright denial to blame shifting. People who profit from pumping CO2 into our atmosphere will claim that the true cause of climate change is not a scientific phenomenon that we have understood well for centuries. Rather, they claim, it is the result of minuscule changes in the earth's orbit, or changes in air currents, or that someone forgot to turn the oven off in Kazakhstan. This alone, for some reason, seems to be justification to ignore the effect our continual production of greenhouse gases is having on increasing global temperatures.
However, at the end of the day, the point is moot. Those natural cycles are out of our control. Just like we can't control Leo's lovable rump rumbles, we can't control the shape of our orbit around the sun - at least, not yet. What we can control, however, is not leaving a rotting pile of garbage in the same room; what we can control, is lighting a scented candle, or opening a window; and what we can control, is not burning fossil fuels at an unprecedented pace as our planet's climate systems break down, our cities flood, and our oceans starve.
So don't let a climate change denier shift the blame. We have turned the dial up on the oven, and we can at least stop adding more fuel to the fire.