Last night I attended my first West Rand Astronomy Club meeting. http://www.wrac.org.za/. Gary Els gave an interesting talk on the historical global scientific exercise to measure the distance between the Earth to the Sun using the transit of Venus. This was back in the 17th and 18th centuries. Gary was knowledgeable on the subject, spoke well and entertained. Well worth going to see him if he happens to be at an astronomy club near you.
Thereafter they setup telescopes in the garden and there were nice views of Saturn.
While standing around the telescopes Gary started explaining his climate change skepticism to the eager listeners, concepts like “the world is not warming” and “it’s a conspiracy theory to drive up the price of oil”.
My evening had become much more entertaining.
I called him on his nonsense, the discussion increased in volume as he defended his position and I pointed out his logical fallacies. It ended when he departed agreeing to disagree.
My perception on the effect this had on the rest is that they felt uncomfortable with the challenge of their guest speaker. Most were repelled and moved closer to the telescopes. Some defended Gary’s position, some were conciliatory suggesting that both theories have equal standing. None defended my position. I probably “lost” the impromptu debate. ;D