You see when you listen very closely to politicians who claim the climate change denialism mantle there is one central place where they are coming from in their opposition to any notion that global warming comes from man made sources. And that place is evangelical Christianity. Well rather a perverted version of evangelical Christianity whereby humans can not possibly do anything to affect the fate of the earth because everything is in God's hands. Now most regular Christians do not see the world this way. Yes we believe that Jesus will return one day to bring us all to heaven and yes I understand that lots of people think that is crazy talk. But there isn't anything anywhere in the Bible about human beings not being able to hasten the second coming of Christ. So that is the first principle to know but its actually the death blow best held onto until the end of the argument with a right wing climate change denialist.
The best way to engage them initially however is to go on the attack right away. Don't get caught trying to defend accepted science as it doesn't need defending and any effort to do so will only serve to make you look defensive. What you want to do right away is establish the aforementioned "why" this particular politician doesn't believe in climate change. If they won't come out and say it right away then you should pointedly ask them if it has to do with their religious beliefs. That will put them on the defensive and they will absolutely feel the need to over play their own religious faith and pimp their Jesus cred and pretty much try to hang you with it. You should allow this without interruption and just allow them to ramble on for a bit and then continue with your deconstruction.
Once you have made them admit that their denialism is grounded in their faith and the belief that God is in control then its time to hit them with the killer hypotheticals. Now not all hypotheticals and analogies are equal and some are better for right wingers than others, so let me offer a few up for you to use.
There is a certain former governor of a certan northern state that just so happened to have been impacted by a major oil spill by Exxon. Well that was one of many oil spills but the one that made the most noise. And so the question when dealing with that person or another person who hails from a coastal state is this:
If you believe that human beings can not affect our environment because God is in control, then do you also believe that if there is an oil spill somewhere off the coast of your state that it should not be cleaned up? If the idea is that God will fix climate change or global warming then why not take the same tact when it comes to something like an oil spill?
If you happen to be dealing with a politician who lives in an area where there is a nuclear plant somewhere nearby then your question should be phrased thusly:
Are you willing to open up your area/county/city/state to nuclear waste dumping so we can expand our nuclear capabilities? If not, why not? Surely you can't be worried about the damage to the environment. Won't God take care of that just like climate change?
If the politician denying climate change hails from a state with a lot of hunting and or is a big NRA person then you can hit them this way:
How do you feel about hunting seasons? Why exactly should we have hunting seasons? Why can't Americans go and kill whatever animals they want to kill whenever they want to? Surely there won't be any impact to their numbers. I mean we aren't powerful enough to make a have a major effect on our environment are we?
This would also be a good time to ask them about endangered species, specifically one endangered species in particular:
As you know one of our great American symbols, the bald eagle, has been on and off the endangered species list in years past. Are you in favor of allowing people to go hunting for bald eagles? If not, why not? Why should sportsmen be deprived the opportunity to bag something as beautiful as a bald eagle? Surely it can't be because of their numbers. Remember, you said human beings aren't powerful enough to affect our environment, so according to you no matter how many bald eagles are killed won't God just create more of them?
I would almost pay someone to use that line of attack just to see the right wing politician damn near burst a blood vessel with anger. You know how much they love linking a bald eagle to FREEDOM!!! My advice would be to be careful though because some of them might want to fight you over this line of attack lol
Now, obviously those statements could still backfire at least initially because they will come off as condescending toward's their faith. I say WILL instead of MIGHT because the proper way to deliver those lines are as condescending as possible. You want to piss them off and challenge them on their faith and get the on the defensive. You ESPECIALLY want them to attack you and your faith once you go there with them. Because then its time to pull out the death blow.
When instead of addressing your hypothetical analogies, which most of them won't, they instead pound their chest about their faith and then wag their fingers at you to accuse you of not having any, then its time to calmly and respectfully ask them to quote anywhere in the Bible where it says man can not affect the environment. Then ask them to quote anywhere in the Bible where it says man can not hasten the end of the earth. Remember, calmly and patiently.
Once they are done fuming and yelling and screaming you just calmly state that there is no where in the Bible where you will find such passages. And that the politician's stance on climate change is blatantly at odds with whichever hypothetical analogy you used previously. Then you bring it home by saying something to the effect that "We all agree that when" (earlier hypothetical) "happens then we should" earlier hypothetical "to make sure that our impact doesn't have terrible consequences to our environment, well addressing climate change is no different. If it makes sense to clean up an oil spill/be careful with nuclear waste/impose hunting seasons/prohibit hunting of animals on the endangered species list then it should be obvious to all that we should also address our impact on climate change. Just like there have been permanent reprecussions from oil spills/chernobyl/eradication of whole species of animals because we waited too long to act to protect the environment from man made harm, the same will be the case if we continue to put off addressing the effects of climate change which are now staring us in the face"
Now you don't want to get too preachy about it, but you do want to make those points. And here is how you bring it home. You profess your own faith, and you say that as you see it there is nothing contradictory about being a good Christian and also believing in climate change. On the one hand you have seen (insert beautiful scenes in nature that you have personally experienced, the more the better) which are evidence of God's amazing abilities. But on the other hand seeing those things give you even more determination to make sure that we do not ruin what God has provided for us. It is your solemn duty to as a Christian and as an American that we do not squander our God given natural resources, one of them being our climate which makes our world liveable.
What you have just done, in an understated manner, is basically accuse your right wing opponent of not being a good Christian because they don't care about the environment, but hey let the audience figure that part out.
Well, that is my political advice for the end of the year. Hopefully someone will see it somewhere and put it to good use. Or not.
Merry Christmas everyone, hope you have a great holiday season!