Thursday, May 17, 2007

A climate science resource for the confused

If you find yourself a bit confused about the science surrounding the issue of climate change (understandable, given the amount of propaganda and disinformation that is being put out by the manufacturers of uncertainty) then NewScientist magazine's "Climate Change: A guide for the perplexed" might be of some assistance. From the intro:

Our planet's climate is anything but simple. All kinds of factors influence it, from massive events on the Sun to the growth of microscopic creatures in the oceans, and there are subtle interactions between many of these factors.

Yet despite all the complexities, a firm and ever-growing body of evidence points to a clear picture: the world is warming, this warming is due to human activity increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and if emissions continue unabated the warming will too, with increasingly serious consequences.

Yes, there are still big uncertainties in some predictions, but these swing both ways. For example, the response of clouds could slow the warming or speed it up.
With so much at stake, it is right that climate science is subjected to the most intense scrutiny. What does not help is for the real issues to be muddied by discredited arguments or wild theories.

So for those who are not sure what to believe, here is our round-up of the 26 most common climate myths and misconceptions.

There is also a guide to assessing the evidence. In the articles we've included lots of links to primary research and major reports for those who want to follow through to the original sources.


Sheldon said...

Thanks for that resource Hume's Ghost! I have been looking to find some decent article written for a popular audience. Also, you should be aware that the Skeptical Inquirer has an issue out this month on climate change.

Hume's Ghost said...

This is also a good resource. It's about the history of global warming and how we arrived at our current understanding of climate science. Very informative.

Argh! Thanks for reminding me how much I miss my subscriptions to Free Inquiry and Skeptical Inquirer. I gotta re-subscribe to those ...

Charles said...

It's a worthy effort, but, having gone 15 rounds with several of the diehards on the subject, there is no evidence that will shake these people; 100 websites laying out the evidence will not outweigh the single book they have placed their faith in; and those who have no respect for science or the truth can make up new crap faster than 100 people can debunk it.

The irreducible few who still deny totally the anthropomorphic global warming hypothesis are impervious to facts or logic.

Hume's Ghost said...

What I find interesting is that it's not fundamentalists which are the most significant global warming deniers.

What we're seeing is the emergence of almost a new religion ... a kind of evangelical capitalism ... "market" fundamentalists which refuse to believe global warming because they believe its a socialist attack on American capitalism in order to grab more power for a one world gov't.

This kind of ties into how I think the conservative movement is dangerously close to metastasizing into a political religion. What's holding it back is that it's such a large umbrella movement that there is still enough diversity of opinion to keep it from cementing into hard orthodoxy on such matters. But its getting there.