Refuting the climate skeptics?
January 23, 2010 4:26 PM   Subscribe

What single site (preferably), or sites, should I go to for a concise explanation on climate change, and specifically, refuting the arguments made by "climate change skeptics".

I'm not after rhetoric (though clear presentation helps), I'd like the science to speak for itself.
posted by Mwongozi to Science & Nature (9 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer:
posted by JackFlash at 4:34 PM on January 23, 2010 [4 favorites]

Best answer: How to talk to a climate change skeptic.
posted by hydrophonic at 4:34 PM on January 23, 2010 [4 favorites] is the first place I'd go. After that I generally point to good quality universities who have a research group in the area.
Oxford is one case. Even if they mispell temperature in one place. That sort of thing happens, but naturally doesn't impact the science.
posted by edd at 5:27 PM on January 23, 2010

Skeptical Science. Similar to Coby Beck's "How to talk to a climate change skeptic".

Please note that the "Start here" page of RealClimate has these and a lot more resources to choose from.
posted by Bangaioh at 6:28 PM on January 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

For a historical perspective on the science The Discovery of Global Warming can't be beat.
posted by plastic_animals at 7:36 PM on January 23, 2010

Why bother with blogs? Go directly to the IPCC Assessment Report. It has a great structure, and moves fluidly between summaries for officials and more detailed discussion of the published work.

And if you're willing, you may also want to read the blogs by these guys, who are considered skeptics:
Roger Pielke Sr at Climate Science
Roger Pielke Jr at
Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit

These are the published authors that get regularly discussed and argued against at Real Climate (and in the published CRU emails). They're smart and contribute to the field. You'll see that the actual disputes are mostly nitpicks and allegations of overstating the case. It will give you a feel of where the disputable margins lie -- which are essentially the IPCC statements, rather than most of the denial nonsense. If these guys only disagree with small portions of the IPCC reports, than there's a lot in there that is indisputable.
posted by FuManchu at 12:15 PM on January 24, 2010

For refuting the day-by-day antiscience propaganda pellets, is a good entry into the science-aligned climate blogosphere.

(and another vote for, for the old "it's the sun", "stopped in 1998"-type standbys)
posted by ahaynes at 1:46 PM on January 25, 2010

For briefly laying out the science, climatologist Richard Alley's talks are great - either his 12/2009 AGU lecture (synopsis), or his NSF public outreach one. ("It's simple physics...")

Also, 2 suggestions for your doubting acquaintances -
1. A general caveat : "if you’re just learning from deviant views without understanding what the literature says, you’re probably going to be misled."
2. You might recommend Greg Craven's risk management approach, via his youtube vids, mp3s, or book. (In short: better safe than sorry, esp. since the experts' money is on the probability that business as usual would lead to *very* sorry)
posted by ahaynes at 2:05 PM on January 25, 2010

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