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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

How Can People Be Skeptical About Facts?

Author: Reilly Capps/Monday, July 28, 2014/Categories: climate change

Let me ask you about our planet. Think about the whole planet, now, from Boulder to Bangladesh, not just your little corner of it. 

- Are there more bees now than there were 20 years ago? 

- Are deciduous forests expanding or contracting? 

- How many cities in China have over 10 million people? 

No idea? Ok, let's do a simpler question: 

- How many people are there? 

Before you answer, let's talk about how we can know what we know. 

There are two ways to answer all these questions. The first and most logical way to answer them would be to go on Wikipedia or Nexis, do research, and find what appears to be the most credible answer. 

If all sources say the world has about 7 billion people, if source after source says the world has 7 billion people, you would probably answer "7 billion."

You would have no way to know 100 percent. How could you? You didn't count the people. You can't count that high. No one can. 

Still, you'd have to answer "7 billion." What else could you answer? It would be insane to "doubt" or "be skeptical about" the claim that the world has 7 billion people. 

And no one does. There aren't "population skeptics" or "Chinese cities skeptics." (Ok, the Internet being what it is, there probably are.)

But global warming skeptics are doing precisely the same thing. They are saying, essentially, "Yes, I know that all authorities say there are 7 billion people, and some rough counts have been done of the number of people in the world by government censuses throughout the world, and yet -- I just have my doubts. Some guy on the Internet told me that population is actually declining." 

It's just so crazy. 

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