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Climate Change: What We Know

The science Skeptics dispute almost every discovery by climate scientists, and the facts are often lost in the disputes. This is a guest article by Rachel Martin which summarizes nicely the AAAS report meant to separate what scientists know from the misinformation:

I’ve just found this great interview with Richard Alley, a glaciologist at Pennsylvania State University, and he is a delight to listen to. If I were making a movie about some impending catastrophic event which included a part for an honest and dedicated scientist whose role was to alert the human population, I would pick Richard Alley. He just really looks and acts the part which I realise is a dumb thing to say because he really is the part! I just think he does a great job.

The interview, which is less than 9 minutes, is a part of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)What We Know initiative which is to try to communicate to the public that human-caused climate change is happening, that it carries dangerous risks and that the sooner we act the lower the costs will be.

The “What we know” initiative has three key messages they want to communicate:

1. Climate scientists agree: climate change is happening here and now.

2. We are at risk of pushing our climate system toward abrupt, unpredictable, and potentially irreversible changes with highly damaging impacts.

3. The sooner we act, the lower the risk and cost. And there is much we can do. Waiting to take action will inevitably increase costs, escalate risk, and foreclose options to address the risk.

The AAAS has released a full report specifically aimed at a large audience to address the myth that the scientific community is divided on the issue of climate change. It explains how climate change is and will affect your life. It can be read here.



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  1. Rachel Says:

    Thanks for the reblog. One small typo: my surname is spelt Martin with an i.

    The AAAS report did get a bit of bad press from people who felt they did not communicate the urgency of the problem with enough passion. One article in Grist urged scientists to start using language like f*ck – Please, scientists: tell us how you really feel about climate change. The NY Times gave it a good review though, saying it was sharper, clearer and more accessible than perhaps anything the scientific community has put out to date.

    I thought it was good. I don’t think there’s any one perfect way to communicate the problem. It’s better, in my view, to communicate it frequently and in lots of different ways as this will appeal to as many people as possible.

  2. admin Says:

    Most people won’t support action on carbon emissions until they see that it is affecting them personally. That is why the Skeptics are fighting so hard against linking global warming with the severe weather events we are experiencing. It is possible that once that link is convincing, that public opinion will shift toward action to reduce our carbon emissions. We seem to be making baby steps at present – when giant strides are needed.

  3. Rachel Says:

    Ah, I see you fixed the typo already. Thanks.

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