Scientific American has an excellent article debunking seven of the main climate change denial talking points promoted by people like James Inhofe: Seven Answers to Climate Contrarian Nonsense.
The introduction to the article draws the distinction between honest skeptics and deniers, a topic that’s frequently raised in our threads about climate change:
On November 18, with the United Nations Global Warming Conference in Copenhagen fast approaching, U.S. Sen. James R. Inhofe (R–Okla.) took the floor of the Senate and proclaimed 2009 to be “The Year of the Skeptic.” Had the senator’s speech marked a new commitment to dispassionate, rational inquiry, a respect for scientific thought and a well-grounded doubt in ghosts, astrology, creationism and homeopathy, it might have been cause for cheer. But Inhofe had a more narrow definition of skeptic in mind: he meant “standing up and exposing the science, the costs and the hysteria behind global warming alarmism.”
Within the community of scientists and others concerned about anthropogenic climate change, those whom Inhofe calls skeptics are more commonly termed contrarians, naysayers and denialists. Not everyone who questions climate change science fits that description, of course—some people are genuinely unaware of the facts or honestly disagree about their interpretation. What distinguishes the true naysayers is an unwavering dedication to denying the need for action on the problem, often with weak and long-disproved arguments about supposed weaknesses in the science behind global warming.
What follows is only a partial list of the contrarians’ bad arguments and some brief rebuttals of them.
Read the whole thing. There’s a lot of good information about the role of CO2 as a greenhouse gas, the “hockey stick” graph, the influence of the sun on global warming, and the false claim that global warming “stopped a decade ago.”
(The comments for the article are overflowing with deniers and contrarians, spouting the very talking points the article debunks, of course.)