Bad Astronomy

When arguing with ‘bots, use a ‘bot

I see a lot of the same, tired, and totally wrong arguments about global warming over and over again whenever I write about it. “The other planets are warming!”, “In the 70s scientists said the Earth was cooling!”, “The climate scientists were caught faking their data!”

Wrong, wrong, and wrong. It’s almost as if the people making so much noise against the idea of global warming are robots, just repeating their arguments in the hope – sadly, probably correctly – that people will be swayed by repetition.

Software developer Nigel Leck feels the same way, so he created a ‘bot for Twitter that scans for key words used by climate change denialists and tweets automatic rebuttals to the most common “arguments”. It’s pretty awesome: it posts a short, pithy debunking with a link to sites for more detail. The ‘bot is called AI_AGW and you can follow it on Twitter (note: it tweets a lot).

Pretty sweet idea! Now we just need one for homeopaths, anti-vaxxers, 2012ers, creationists, chiropractors, UFOers…

Tip o’ the thermometer to Jennifer Lynn Hachigian and many others.