Ask the AI on Climate Denial

March 1, 2023

Above, early Jack Kirby illustration for Journey into Mystery number 81, June, 1962.

A friend (who I hope won’t mind me taking liberties) writes:

Just for laughs and giggles I asked ChatGPT ( to weigh in about chronic climate skepticism, and the best strategies to deploy to accelerate acceptance and action. The AI bot’s answer was intriguing:

Me: If the goal is to get skeptics to change their minds and acknowledge climate change, what is the best strategy?

ChatGPT: Changing someone’s mind about climate change can be a difficult task, particularly if they have deeply held beliefs and opinions on the topic. However, there are several strategies that may be effective in convincing skeptics to acknowledge climate change:

  1. Focus on shared values: Find common ground with the skeptic and frame climate change as an issue that affects everyone’s well-being, such as public health, national security, or economic prosperity.
  2. Use trusted messengers: Research shows that people are more likely to trust and be persuaded by individuals or groups they perceive as having similar backgrounds, beliefs, or identities. Therefore, it may be more effective to use trusted messengers, such as community leaders, religious figures, or fellow conservatives, to communicate the importance of acknowledging climate change.
  3. Present evidence in a clear and concise manner: Avoid using technical jargon or overwhelming the skeptic with a lot of data. Instead, present the evidence for climate change in a simple, straightforward manner that they can easily understand and relate to.
  4. Appeal to emotions: Climate change is often seen as a distant and abstract threat. Therefore, it may be more effective to use emotional appeals, such as personal stories or images of the impacts of climate change, to make it feel more tangible and urgent.
  5. Avoid politicizing the issue: Climate change has become a highly polarized and politicized issue in some circles. Therefore, it may be more effective to avoid framing the issue in political terms and instead focus on the scientific evidence and the practical solutions that can be taken to address it.

In summary, the best strategy for convincing skeptics to acknowledge climate change is to focus on shared values, use trusted messengers, present evidence clearly, appeal to emotions, and avoid politicizing the issue. It may also require patience, persistence, and empathy to build trust and engage in constructive dialogue.

A helpful recap, but I was struck by the “fellow conservative” quip under #2. Where did that come from? That’s quite a political assumption, one that no longer rings true personally, after the fossil-fuel antics of the previous administration, and climate denial and foot-dragging by the GOP over many decades. That has been maddening to watch.

ChatGPT: “It may require patience”. No kidding! Understatement of the 21st century.

Which inspired another friend to try the opposite, producing an amusing, and maybe hopeful, result.

Marvel Comics Journey into Mystery #81:

They attempted to corrupt me by linking these tubes to my power plant! But they were fools! The qualities of greed, deceit, and lust for power can never affect R.O.E.! For I am incapable of any wrongdoing! It is only man who can be evil! And I am inferior to man, for I am only… a mere machine…

R.O.E. (Ruler of the Earth)
First appeared in 1962


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: