12 Graphics that Contain Everything You Need to Know about Climate Change

(David Biello, Scientific American, 2014-01-31)


When talking with pseudo scientists about climate change, ask them if they know anything about science, the scientific method, the scientific community, or scientific peer review.

Ask them for answers to the following questions:

  1. What is the difference between climate and weather?
  2. What is the greenhouse effect as it applies to: an actual greenhouse; the Earth’s atmosphere?
    1. What is blackbody radiation; what does a blackbody radiation spectrum look like?
    2. What blackbody radiation temperature spectrum is a good representation of:
      1. The radiation spectrum of the sun: hint ~5,778 K?
      2. The radiation spectrum of the earth: hint ~279 K?
      3. The radiation spectrum inside an actual greenhouse: hint ~293 K?
    3. How can the blackbody radiation spectrum be used to explain the greenhouse effect responsible for: greenhouse warming; global warming?
  3. What is entropy; what are the laws of thermodynamics?
    1. How does entropy and the application of the laws of thermodynamics contribute to a better empirical understanding of Earth’s biosphere, ecology, environment – land, water, air – and our interaction with it?

Then ask them, using the 12 graphs in the referenced PDF document, to explain why their opinion has any value at all. Ask them if they have published their findings in a peer reviewed and respected scientific journal. If their answers to any of these questions are not forthcoming, then their opinion is absolutely worthless.

You might want to ask the pseudo scientists if they will use the same logic and procedures to select their brain surgeon when that need arises as it most certainly will.

After all that the scientific community has done for humanity, that community deserves much more respect than our business, educational, entertainment, financial, industrial, media, political, spiritual – ethical… leaders are giving them. Instead of following an uninformed and special interests agenda devoid of reality, they should be asking the scientists what is the current best understanding of the effect of atmospheric pollution on climate using at least 3 scenarios, best to worst case, and what do we need to do for each of them. And then do what the scientific community recommends based on their best estimate of what is the most likely scenario, and how cautious and flexible we need to be.

Also ask the scientists about the benefits to our health of the reduction of atmospheric pollution that will result from their recommended response to climate change.

And finally, and even more importantly, we should ask our scientific community what we should do about the profligate and uncontrolled pollution of our soil, water, air, ecosystem. And quit letting the polluters, distract us with their mindless opinions about the reality of climate change, just one of the many symptoms of that pollution.