What the global warming pigeons actually say to the cheshire cat

global-warming.jpgIf you are still scratching your head after yesterday’s post about Freeman Dyson and the pitfalls of the global warming debate, it might help to actually find out more about what the global warming “cassandras” are, and have been, shouting about. Are they really as far off as Prof. Dyson seems to think? Are the models and projections so completely unreliable as to be useless for setting even broad policies to contain our impacts on our environment? After all, the models do come with error estimates. And even Prof. Dyson agrees that the current observed warming is largely anthropogenic (a crucial point, for those on the right who might seize upon Dyson as another skeptic in their ilk) – he just disagrees about the consequences, and thinks we can invent our way out of the problem with biotechnology (e.g., carbon-eating trees – never mind actual plant physiology!). If the cause is agreed upon, why shouldn’t we start addressing that in the first place, especially if we are unsure about outcomes? Whatever happened to the precautionary principle, Prof. Dyson?  

As it happens, the National Academy of Sciences is hosting, right now (Mar 30-31), a summit on America’s Climate Choices! What’s more, as you’ll see if you click on that link, they are also webcasting (and archiving) the entire summit for everyone in the world to see. How about that for transparency in science and policy discussions? Here’s the complete agenda, so you can pick and choose which session to watch – but it should all be worthwhile for any citizen interested in what policy options are available and how choices may be made.

I’ve also found a small number of useful publications articulating the global warming argument (i.e., the argument for doing something to arrest/reverse it) made available freely as PDFs in recent months. These documents (all well-considered, sobering pieces, rather different in tone from Al Gore’s lecture/documentary) should at least help the naysayers understand where the IPCC/Hansen et al are coming from. These should get you started, if you are unfamiliar with or still skeptical about the case for worrying about global warming:

These may not be enough to convince the cognitively dissonant genius of Freeman Dyson, but they should do to get the rest of us ordinary folks thinking about what we should, collectively, do about it. If you’ve got other freely available resources to add to this list, let me know.

2 thoughts on “What the global warming pigeons actually say to the cheshire cat

  1. Ruth

    it makes me cry seeing that we are causing the exinction of these beautiful polar bears. seeing that image made me feel ashamed for being a human. i may only be 15 but i understand what i happening in our environment very well.

  2. Madhu

    Ruth – at 15, I’m actually happy to know that you are aware and care about what’s happening in our environment! You give me hope, even in your despair, that your awareness may lead you to finding solutions. It is my generation, and a couple who came before me who should be thoroughly ashamed of ourselves for what we have done/have allowed to be done to your environment, leaving such a mess for your generation to clean up! Sorry…

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