8 February 2016
It’s almost impossible for the average person with no science background to get good basic info about climate change (on TV or online). So, here’s some information that you can rely on. First dispelling a popular myth, and then a lecture by Dr. Michael Mann to Physics students at the Univ. of Virginia recently.
Regurgitated Climate Myth
Those who find the truth extremely inconvenient to their political worldview, love to post all kinds of misleading information, the latest being a return to the long discredited myth that the satellites are not showing warming. Promoting this disinformation was apparently the aim of U.S. Senate hearing (put on by Ted Cruz) recently, and Admiral David Titley (Who was kind enough to accept my invitation to speak at an AMS conference a few years ago) did a superb job of representing the 97.5% of experts, who agree that we are conducting a dangerous experiment with the planet’s thermostat.
The public probably has no idea that the satellite data set is the most uncertain of all the measurements of Earth’s temperature, and when 9 things say one thing, and the least reliable says not as much, you probably should look at that one thing with some real skepticism. The hearing ended up going very badly for the climate misinformation folks, and my friend Dr. Ben Santer, and another satellite data expert Carl Mears, have written a good summary of where the Cruz supporters went off the critical thinking rails.
Update: Peter Sinclair (at Yale Climate Connections) produced an excellent video that shows why scientists are taught that picking cherries and confirmation bias, are not good ways to exercise your critical thinking skills.
Dr. Michael Mann Lecture
There are a few equations in this talk, but if math scares you, do not worry, you will find it easy to follow the talk, and you just might find that while the subject is extremely important *and urgent), it is also very fascinating science. Dr. Mann also dispels some more myths. If someone tells you something at odds with what you hear in this lecture, I can almost guarantee you, they know little about science. This would be an excellent video to show to a high school physics class as well.
Click the image below to watch the lecture and follow along with a pdf of his power point.