Tom Clynes, Liz Galst, Shanti Menon

3 common climate lies, debunked in 30 seconds


People say the darndest things. If you’ve ever found yourself speechless when you hear one of these common climate lies, here’s how you can respond. 

An image of a mouth yelling with the text "Lie #1 the government is coming for my gas powered car!" on it

The truth: The government is not coming to take your gas-powered car, SUV or pickup truck. 

New federal car pollution standards, which may have prompted these lies, are actually designed to give buyers of NEW vehicles a wider array of cleaner, more efficient models to choose from.  

The standards apply only to new vehicles from model year 2027 onwards, not to those you already own or to any used cars you might buy in the future.   

Here’s another thing: car companies don’t have to eliminate any particular vehicle or technology to comply. They are free to meet the standards in whatever way they choose, whether by increasing the proportion of electric cars they produce, souping up their offering of hybrids, or by simply making gas-powered cars more efficient.  

By expanding clean car options, the latest standards are projected to prevent millions of asthma attacks and up to 2,500 premature deaths a year from conditions like heart disease and cancer.  

Even the most ardent fan of gas-power can’t argue with that.  

A graphic with a yelling mouth with "Lie #2 wind turbines kill whales and devastate bird wildlife" on it

The truth: Climate change poses a far greater threat to animal life than wind turbines.

Domestic cats and collisions with buildings kill significantly more birds each year than wind turbines. The National Audubon Society — an organization founded to protect birds — strongly supports wind projects. When properly sited to protect habitat and migration routes, says Audubon, wind turbines protect birds by reducing climate pollution, which is the single most significant threat to birds’ long-term survival. 

As for whales, warmer oceans — caused by climate change — reduce the availability of prey, making it harder for them to find food and reproduce. And while whales often die when they are trapped in fishing nets or hit by boats, studies by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found “no known links between the deaths of large whales and ongoing offshore wind activities.”    

In short, wildlife depends on a stable climate and a clean environment to survive. If you truly love birds and whales, you should LOVE the clean, renewable energy that helps protect them.   

A graphic with a yelling mouth and "Lie #3 renewable energy causes blackouts" on it

The truth: Renewable energy does not cause blackouts.

The number one cause of power failures is extreme weather.

Climate scientists the world over agree that burning fossil fuels for energy is driving more extreme weather. As these events become more frequent, we need more clean, renewable energy to keep the lights on.   

Take Texas, for example. In 2021, the state governor blamed renewable energy for massive power outages during Winter Storm Uri. But a federal report laid bare the truth: Most outages were caused by frozen equipment and fuel shortages at natural gas and coal plants. What’s more, new solar and battery power in Texas is helping prevent blackouts during heat waves, by boosting the availability of power when everyone cranks up their air conditioners.   

Similar story in California: A major heat wave in 2020 set off blackouts statewide, but by the time the next scorcher arrived in 2022, the grid was better prepared. Why? Because the state had more than doubled its deployment of batteries, powered by solar. Those batteries kicked in during peak hours, and Californians were able to keep their lights on. 

With extreme weather rising, the risk of blackouts remains. But new rules and investments under the Biden-Harris administration, including major new transmission projects, thousands of miles of line upgrades and incentives for batteries, are shoring up our electric grid to better face our stormy future.   

Hope for a warming planet

Get the latest Vital Signs stories delivered to your inbox

Want more great environmental stories?

Donate to Environmental Defense Fund and get Solutions, EDF's members-only magazine, delivered to your home.