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Tags: evidence

You have to watch many waves before you can see the tide.

When you first arrive at the beach can you tell whether the tide is going in or out? No, not quickly: it would perhaps take you fifteen minutes of wave-watching before you could say for certain. And who's to say that a sudden big wave wasn't caused by a passing ship? It takes time to see the trend.

Now let's adopt the scientist's method for determining the tide. This time bring a group of friends to the beach and position them 50 metres apart. When a wave lands, each person notes whether it reached further than the previous waves. If it does, that person shouts out , "a record!". So at first everyone is shouting out 'a record' very frequently—because the sample is so small. However, after 30 seconds or so the frequency will drop. Then after a few minutes the frequency of shouts will either noticeably decrease until they stop altogether (the tide is going out), or they will settle into a steady rhythm (the tide is coming in). Note that the more friends you take with you, the faster you'll arrive at an answer.

When in doubt, ask... your insurance company!

“The prospect of extreme climate change and its potentially devastating economic and social consequences are of great concern to the insurance industry.” — Kyoto Statement of The Geneva Association, 29th May, 2009

Category:Who to Believe?
What do climate change and rubber bands have in common?

Many Earth systems behave like rubber bands, by not reversing smoothly down the same path that they were stretched along. This means that many changes brought about by global warming, such as sea-level rise and drought, will persist for some time even if we manage to reduce atmospheric CO2.


Weather you see from your window, climate you see from a satellite

‘Weather is what you see outside your window, climate is what you see from a satellite.’ – Scott Mandia, Professor of Physical Sciences at Suffolk County Community College, New York.

Weather is your mood and climate is your personality

"Weather is your mood and climate is your personality." — Dr. Marshall Shepherd, President of the American Meteorological Society

We're seeing today what John Tyndall predicted in 1859.

The basic science of climate change is more than 150 years old. Back in 1859, Irish physicist John Tyndall predicted that winters would warm faster than summers, and nights faster than days. Now we see it borne out.

We must manage the unavoidable & avoid what is manageable

'Scientists say, when it comes to climate change, we need to manage what is unavoidable and avoid what is unmanageable.' — Thomas Friedman, NY Times columnist

We have met the enemy and it is Shell

"This is, at the bottom, a moral issue; we have met the enemy and they is Shell." - Bill McKibben

Category:Human Causality
Volcanoes? That’s like blaming climate change on Santa Claus

“It’s a bit like asking us to believe in Santa Claus after we have seen our parents putting the presents under the tree.” – Naomi Oreskes, Professor of Science History at the University of Califormia (San Diego)

Uncertainty? In science, 95% certainty is the gold standard

“In science, 95 percent certainty is often considered the gold standard for certainty.” - Seth Borenstein Associate Press science writer

Tundra melt:  Would you believe a 4,000-year-old tomahawk?

Senator John McCain saw direct evidence of climate change when a Yukon elder presented him with a 4,000-year tomahawk freshly melted from the permafrost.

The greenhouse effect isn’t rocket science

‘The science behind the greenhouse effect was simple enough to have been widely understood by the mid 19th century, when the light bulb and the telephone and the automobile where being invented – and not the atomic bomb or the iPhone or the space shuttle. The greenhouse effect isn’t rock science.’ – Nate Silver, author of The Signal and the Noise, page 376.

The 'Copernicus' of Global Warming

Joseph Fourier (1768 — 1830), the 'Copernicus' of global warming.

Science: not a democracy, its a dictator of the strongest evidence

"Science is not a democracy. It is a dictatorship. It is the evidence that does the dictating." - author John Reisman

Reject climate change? That harms your beach house & your kids

'If you dismiss all climate science as a hoax, I can’t help you. That’s between you & your beach house — and your kids, whose future you’re imperiling.' —Thomas Friedman, NY Times columnist.

Reject a newspaper article because of a typo?

Just as silly: 'hyping real or imagined errors that make no difference to any significant scientific conclusion.' - Dr. Michael E. Mann

Only poets can approach explaining this present danger

“Only poets can approach this task (describing the threat of climate change) until we come up with the right metaphor.” — Donald A. Brown, Associate Professor, Environmental Ethics, Science, and Law, Penn State University.