Because of the work I am doing on this BBC complaint thing I have had to gen up on climate science and jeez... I thought Al Gore was sorting it all out. How wrong I was. The mass media is continually trying to sell us this skeptic vs. proponent crap when there should be an entitrely different debate. What it should be , I'm not quite sure myself so I've been trying to catch up on climate science and realised that I am about three decades behind the scientists, as is everybody else except these brave souls who have produced some great videos to reccomend.
I should start with Annie Leonard's "Story of Stuff" for an overview of how society is misled by consumerism ; but we've all seen it right ? One of the latest thing's on the web is Professor John Abraham's stunning rebuttal of Lord Monckton's recent speaking tour in the U.S.A. It's well worth a look, but I realised that it was rebuttal to what we in the U.K. would call a load of codswallop , it is by definition firmly in the denialists ambit . So I decided to look further to try and sus out what the real issues are.
For the science I moved on to this excellent series of scientific videos on You Tube by Potholer54, starting with "Climate Change the Scientific Debate" it's both sober and informative from a pseudonymous science journalist in Australia working under the nom de plume Potholer54. His videos are too numerous to mention here but I've yet to see a better explanation of the scientific method than this one and "Climate Change - Meet the Scientists" is a superb empirical rebuttal to skeptics. A must see also from Potholer54 is "Climate Change anatomy of a Myth" an excellent retrospective on the science and how it's been misrepresented by the media from as far back as the 1970s. So whilst the science isn't settled because science is never settled, it's fair to say there is a mountain of scientific empirical knowledge on the subject of climate change that is at odds with what the media have been saying.
The reasons behind that I can only speculate on, for now . Then I looked at Naomi Oreskes lecture to the University of Rhode Island . It is subtitled 'How a handful of scientists obscure the truth about climate change.' One cannot go away from this dry lecture without realising that climate change is the most important and relevant issue facing humanity today in the second decade of the 21st century, and that anyone facing up to this problem is dealing with a multi-dimensional issue not just about science but one that strikes at economics ideology politics and even the very nature of humankind. To say it is powerful stuff would be to hugely underestimate Oreskes work. All I can say in response to it is watch it!
Naomi Oreskes (Ph.D., Stanford, 1990) is Professor of History and Science Studies at the University of California, San Diego. Her research focuses on the historical development of scientific knowledge, methods, and practices in the earth and environmental sciences, and on understanding scientific consensus and dissent.
Now for more sciencey stuff making the case for action now I turned to "How It All Ends" from the superb hard working You Tube vlogger wonderingmind42, a US High School physics teacher. Importantly this also makes the case from a sensible risk management point of view, a POV completely obscured by the myth or real debate favoured by the mass media. The Nature of Science is well worth a look - it introduced to me the concept of "confirmation bias" which could prove important .Other stuff from wonderingmind42 is the conservatively titled "The MOST Terrifying Video Youll Ever See" which even has plaudits from General Anthony Zinni of the USMC !
But I can't leave wonderingmind42's films (there are at present over 95 of them) without mentioning what he calls the most important video you'll ever see, In which Professor Al Bartlett of the University of Boulder Colorado gives his lecture titled 'Energy Population and Arithmetic' which demolishes Capitalist Growth dogma. It's divided into eight parts - here they are: part 1, part 2 ,part 3, part 4 ,part 5, part 6 ,part 7,and part 8 . Doctor Al says " You are important people , you can think. If there was ever a time the human race needs people who can think it's right now, it's our responsibility as citizens in a democracy to think." He also notes the observation by H.L. Mencken "It is in the nature of the human species to reject what is true but unpleasant and to embrace what is obviously false and comforting". Wise words , which I am finding sum up the public understanding of climate change today in 2010.
Here is a five minute cartoon from the PostCarbon institute that has to be mentioned in despatches.
So there you have it that's where I am right now. Does all this make me a climate geek? I hope so !