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Type:metaphor

Your child has worrisome symptoms.   97 doctors say 'treat.'

97 of 100 doctors recommend quick action to correct your child's serious abnormalities revealed by tests. One doctor says the child seems ...

You pay a premium for express delivery

Just as rebuilding your house in a week would cost far more than rebuilding it slowly, so hasty remodeling of the global energy system would ...

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 min ...

Would you let space aliens damage our planet?

If aliens came and damaged our planet, would you declare them 'persons' and give them money, or would you mobilize to fight them?

Category:Human Causality
Would you eat a mushroom that 97% of experts say is poisonous?

If 97% of experts say a mushroom is poisonous but 3% say it is safe, would you feed it to your kids?

Category:Who to Believe?
Would you drive on a bridge 97% of engineers agree will collapse?

97% of engineers agree bridge ahead will collapse. 3% say not to worry. Would you keep driving?

Category:Who to Believe?
Would you argue with your doctor over a heart condition?

Some people say ‘When you are sure about climate change, then we will do something about it.’ Suppose your doctor says ‘Well, I am very ...

Category:Who to Believe?
Will this disaster movie end with a kiss?

Climate change is like one of those Hollywood disaster movies that pit obstructionists against ordinary people who become heroes. Those movi ...

Category:ALL BITES
Why Woolworth's?  Drinking coffee won't end racism!

Saying 'stopping the Keystone pipeline won't stop global warming,' is like a civil rights skeptic saying in 1960, 'Why Woolworth's lunch cou ...

Why urgent? There's no stop button.   There's no emergency brake.

There’s no “STOP” button. There’s no emergency brake. Think of our climate system as an enormous tanker with a world’s worth of momentum beh ...

What do a banana and a piece of coal have in common? Both are made of carbon and both provide us with energy. Coal stores carbon that was in ...

Which renewable?   'Mirror, mirror on the wall'

As renewable technologies jostle for position in the growing low carbon economy, commentators are asking 'Who is the fairest electricity gen ...

Category:Clean Energy
When Positive is Negative—it's a chain reaction.

Positive feedback increases change in whatever direction that change is heading—so it's self-reinforcing. While riding a motorbike, what st ...

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 ma ...

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 S ...

Weather vs. Climate:   'I lost 2 lbs last weekend..."'

Climate is about long term trends. Weather is short-term fluctuations.

Drawing conclusions about climate by looking at the we ...

Weather vs. climate...is like waves vs. tide.

Weather is short term and unpredictable, like ocean waves.

Climate is long-term and predictable, like the tides.

Weather is like CNN.  Climate is like the History Channel.

Weather is like CNN. Climate is like The History Channel.

Weather = like a coin flip.  Climate = 1000 flips

Weather is like flipping a coin once. It is unpredictable. Climate is the average weather, measured over decades. It's like flipping a c ...

We're not first.   Pond scum did it 2 billion years ago!

Human's aren't the first species to alter the atmosphere; that distinction belongs to cyanobacteria, (blue-green algae) which, some two bill ...

We are not the radicals.  Oil companies are the radical ones..

We are not the radicals. Oil companies are the radicals. They are willing to alter the chemical composition of the atmosphere to make more ...

Waste not, want not, with "Cradle to Cradle" design

With "Cradle to Cradle" design, every waste product is raw material for the next process.

Waking the "Sleeping Giants" of abrupt change

The longer global warming continues, the greater the risk of "waking the sleeping giants"—major feedbacks such as ice sheet collapse, methan ...

US:  The Saudi Arabia of wasted energy.   A vast untapped resource.

The U.S. is sitting on a vast, untapped reserve of cheap, clean energy: the energy lost every day to leakage, outdated infrastructure and ...

Turbochargers lag engine starts, but they make the car faster.

Does the pre-historic lag between temperature and CO2 rise mean CO2 can't affect temperature? No. An auto turbocharger kicks in only afte ...

To find truth, hire a detective.   To just win, hire a lawyer.

If you want to find the truth, hire a detective (or scientist). If you just want to win, hire a lawyer (or PR firm).

Category:Who to Believe?
Thermal expansion.  Like the red fluid in a  thermometer

Recent sea level rise is mostly due to thermal expansion, the same reason that mercury -- or alcohol with red dye -- climbs in a thermometer ...

The worst pipeline:   from Wall St to K St. to Capitol Hill.

Keystone XL pipeline is not the most destructive. The worst pipeline runs from Wall St. to Capitol Hill, via K St. It gushes money, no ...

The U-Turn Generation: turning things around

This is not Gen X, Y or Z. It is Gen U - the U-turn ­­generation whose task is to see global emissions slow, and over the next 30-40 years, ...

The canvas on which 21st Century history will be painted

Climate = the canvas on which 21st C history will be painted.

The 'Copernicus' of Global Warming

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

That iceberg looming just ahead...is global warming

100 years ago, Titanic's Captain Smith steamed ahead full speed, despite iceberg warnings. By time the fatal 'berg was visible, it ...

Temperature change is like walking the dog.

When CC walks his dog, he moves in a straight line, but his dog, TC, tugs on the leash and wanders right and left. TC is Temperature Chang ...

Tax carbon! Can restaurants throw their thrash into the street?

Fossil fuel industry is the only industry on earth throwing its waste out for free. If you run a restaurant, you have to pay someone to car ...

So 97 doctors told you that lump must be removed, but. .

97 doctors said you must have a tumor removed or it'll kill you. But you decided to follow the advice of 3 who said "Nah, it's just a shado ...

Category:Who to Believe?
Small Antarctic sea ice gain overlooks total sea ice loss

‘Looking at sea ice and not total ice is like your high school football team winning their game, but your NFL team loses the Super Bowl.’ — ...

Slowing emissions is like slowing credit card spending...

Slowing emissions of carbon dioxide is somewhat like slowing credit-card spending and expecting your debt to shrink.

Send your kids down the bunny slope?  Or a ♦ ♦ ♦  run?

Want your kids skiing down the bunny slope or the triple black diamond expert slope? This is our choice for reducing our global carbon emis ...

Send your grandkids on an unsafe airplane?

Would you put your grandkids on an airplane that 97 of the top 100 aerospace engineers declared unsafe, because you heard the 3 others say ' ...

Category:Who to Believe?
Scientist to write plain English?  Like asking cat to bark

"It should be possible to write about science in plain English, though asking a scientist to do that is like asking a cat to bark."— Dr. Ric ...

Scientific theories are like ropes with many strands

Question: "What is the single most important piece of evidence supporting global warming theory?" Answer: "What is the single strand th ...

Science drags us 'kicking and screaming' toward truth

"Science is so powerful that it drags us kicking and screaming towards the truth, despite our best efforts to avoid it."

Science denial occurs when a group feels threatened.

Science denial and politicization occurs whenever some influential group sees a new discovery as threatening to their worldview, values, st ...

Releasing ourselves from the dilemma of the 'Energy Hook'

In order to prevent climate change, the world has to switch from high-carbon, polluting, power generation; to new, low-carbon generating cap ...

Psst...Want to get super rich and famous?

If you can find a way to scientifically debunk climate change, you can be rich and famous. Just beware that many scientists before you have ...

Pricing risk:   The accelerant to clean energy shift?

Banks, insurers and big investors are beginning to price climate risk into their decisions. This will accelerate the shift to low carbon ene ...

Partial evidence:  Like blind men feeling an elephant.

Partial evidence can be very misleading. Remember the "blind men feeling an elephant" allegory? One feels a leg and says it's a tree. Anot ...

Oil subsidies:   Like paying your kids to pee on toilet  seat?

"Imagine if I was scolding my kids not to pee on the toilet seat while paying them per-dribble. I'm just saying."—David Roberts, Grist.

Noticed that a drink stays cold until the last ice melts?

The faster Arctic ice melts and the more open sea is revealed, the more heat that becomes available to melt the remaining ice and heat up th ...

Nothing short of a revolution

Climate solutions are not tweaks. They’re a revolution.

Not one "silver bullet"...instead, "silver buckshot"

There's no one "silver bullet" that can solve our energy and climate challenge in one shot. Instead, it's going to take a lot of little bu ...

North Pole melting: Santa Claus not jolly

By the 2040s, the entire North Pole will be open water in the summer, with no sea ice. This has terrible consequences for Santa Claus and h ...

My only tool is a hammer, so that screw must be. . .a hoax!

When your only tool is a hammer, all problems look like nails.

A corollary: Show me a problem that is obviously not "a nail" an ...

My doctor can't say how and when I'll die.   So mortality is not real?

No doctor can tell us exactly how and when we'll die. But that doesn't invalidate the reality of mortality. We can be quite certain tha ...

More intense precipitation means "When it rains, it pours"

What does "more intense precipitation" mean? It means that, in the immortal words of the Morton Salt Company, "When it rains it pours."

Category:Extreme Weather
More exciting than the best mystery plot

"To a patient scientist, the unfolding greenhouse mystery is far more exciting than the plot of the best mystery novel."—Dr. David Schindler

Models are unreliable?  You mean late for photo shoots?

Models are unreliable. I agree -- they are often late for photo shoots, and sometimes never show up at all!

Meatless Monday: Every journey starts with a single step

The task of reducing carbon emissions seems enormous, but every journey starts with a single step. You can reduce your carbon emissions by i ...

Like talking about lung cancer without mentioning smoking.

Wildfires dominate the headlines – but the media coverage focuses only on effects while ignoring a major cause. Talking about western wildfi ...

Category:Extreme Weather
Like Russian Roulette...with more and more bullets!

Climate change increases the odds for extreme weather. Like playing Russian Roulette, while adding more and more bullets to a revolver. Yo ...

Like quitting your job and playing the lottery to pay the bills.

"The odds that natural variability created these [recent weather] extremes are minuscule... To count on those odds would be like quitting yo ...

Category:Extreme Weather
Like pushing food around your plate...

"Carbon offsets...are like pushing your food around your plate to give the impression you've eaten it."

Like like blaming a raccoon for going thru your trash

Blaming Exxon "is like blaming a raccoon for going through your trash. They’re simply responding to available opportunities." Their "multi ...

Like blood-alcohol limit, go over 2C and we're busted.

To stay below the blood-alcohol limit, we should drink no more than six standard drinks. To keep world temperature increase below 2C we must ...

Like a train, change starts slowly but hard to stop

Climate change is like a train: it starts slowly, but it’s awfully hard to stop once it gains a bit of momentum.

Let’s build a civilization on dinosaur bones!

Using oil, coal, & natural gas for our energy is as if someone said, ‘let’s build a civilization on dinosaur bones.’ Somebody else says, ‘d ...

King Coal dethroned.  Off with his head!

The world is in the grip of a rush to renewables. Dirty old King Coal can be excused for being tired and grumpy at times.

Category:Clean Energy
Kindergarten lesson:   "Clean up your own mess"

"Clean up Your Own Mess" -- Robert Fulghum

"Cleaning up after ourselves generally is neither easy nor fun, and we usually don't l ...

Just one extra beer bottle, every day. . .

Every day, beer is delivered to a restaurant in crates, and the driver takes away the empty bottles from the previous day in the same crates ...

Category:Human Causality
Joe Camel thinks he’s a science expert

Would you trust Joe Camel to teach science to your children? Even lifelong smokers don't want Joe near their kids. The tobacco industry pi ...

Category:Who to Believe?
It's the sun?  That coffin has so many nails. . . "

“That’s a coffin with so many nails in it already that the hard part is finding a place to hammer in a new one.” — Geophysicist Ray Pierrehu ...

Category:Human Causality
It's stopped warming?   Waves vs. tides.

Have you ever stood on a beach and watched the tide coming in? The long-term trend (the water level steadily rising) is hidden behind sh ...

It's like a big tsunami, headed our way...

Climate change is like a big tsunami, far at sea but headed our way. To get our families "off the beach" and to safety, we need to act now. ...

It's like a "whodunit" mystery.  We know the suspects. . .

Think of it like a who-dun-it mystery. Scientists have identified all the "usual suspects" sun, aerosols, land over, volcanoes, etc. ...

Category:Human Causality
It's an emergency happening in slow-motion

Climate change is an emergency happening in slow-motion. (Variations: A slo-mo train wreck or catastrophe.)

Is the fox a "serious" protector of the henhouse?

Calling him [an oil lobbyist] a serious source on climate is like calling a fox a "serious" protector of the hen house.

Category:Who to Believe?
Ignoring symptoms is common..and can be fatal

Some people ignore a suspicious lump in their body, hoping it will go away. When they eventually go to the doctor -- because of night sweat ...

Ignore 97 out of 100 oncologists saying, 'Let's remove that mole!'

If 97 out of 100 oncologists advised you to remove a skin mole, would you listen to 3 oncologists saying the spot on your skin is benign? A ...

Category:Who to Believe?
If you haven't given birth you can't be pregnant!

To declare that the warming has not yet appeared and therefore the theory is wrong is like arguing that "a woman hasn't yet given birth and ...

If 10 people said your house is on fire, you'd act.

"If ten people told you your house was on fire, you would call the fire department. You wouldn’t really care whether some of them thought th ...

I can't tell you how old you'll be when you die, but . . .

I can't tell you when you'll die, but I can tell you the average age of death of people your age. That's how life insurance companies they ...

Hurricane Sandy: A criminal with help from an accomplice

"If (Hurricane Sandy) was a criminal case, detectives would be treating global warming as a likely accomplice in the crime. - writer Andrew ...

Category:Extreme Weather
Hungry Children?  Feed them Candy!

Electric utility CEOs say they must burn coal to meet our energy demands. Sure, hungry kids want candy not vegetables. Yet, burning coal o ...

How can a tiny trace gas change the climate?

"How can a minuscule amount of CO2 cause global warming?" shout the sceptics! "Easily", is the response. Can't a bite from a tiny ins ...

Hey USA!  Let's win the 'Clean Energy Race!'

It's the Olympics. USA has a chance to win gold in the Clean Energy Race event. Unfortunately, she is falling behind other countries.

Category:Clean Energy
Guns don't 'cause' violence, but they make it deadlier.

Extreme weather is not 'caused' by climate change, just like murder is not 'caused' by guns. But just as greater availability of firearms ma ...

Category:Extreme Weather
Greenhouse Gases wins Gold Medal in the Explanation Race

There are only a few plausible explanations for changing climate. To be accepted as a robust explanation for global warming, Greenhouse Gase ...

Category:ALL BITES
Gravity theory has uncertainties too.  So jump off a cliff?

"Science isn't "yes or no." Science is gradually reducing uncertainty. Consider gravity. We know gravity with a fairly high degree of und ...

Global Warming paused since 1998?  Paws are for puppies & kittens

‘People ask me: Is there a pause in global warming? My response: paws are for kittens & puppies. Global warming is still increasing.’ - Jos ...

Geoengineering:   Is heart surgery better than a good diet?

“Is heart surgery preferable to a good diet? Of course not. Let’s go for the good diet.”—Bill Gates, on geoengineering.

Free Beer!

That's about the only thing where you can get scientists to agree. Yet. . .The overwhelming majority of climate scientists accept that clim ...

Category:Who to Believe?
Fossil fuel subsidies are a brake on emissions reduction

In 2010, 37 governments spent $409bn on artificially lowering the price of fossil fuels, according to the International Energy Agency. This ...

Fly on a spaceship with an overheating air control system?

"The earth itself is a spaceship. We had better keep an eye its air control system." - Roger Revelle, Director of the Scripps Institute of ...

Extreme weather:  Think of the atmosphere as a sponge

"Think of the atmosphere as a sponge. The hotter the air, the bigger your sponge, so it can hold more water. And when you squeeze it out, yo ...

Category:Extreme Weather
Extreme weather cause?   Like heart attack risk factors

"An obese, middle-aged man is running to catch a bus. Suddenly, he clutches his chest, falls to the ground and dies of a massive heart attac ...

Category:Extreme Weather
Even with A Fever, I can still dance!

Sound silly? So is saying, 'Because it is snowing today there cannot be global warming.'

EV chargers: The future is here -- in Houston (again!)

What could be more futuristic than when the world listened with baited breath as astronauts talked to NASA control in Houston? Well, the fu ...

Category:Clean Energy
Energy democracy: Power in your hands.

Little House on the Prairie families were resourceful and self-reliant. Today's smart power grids and solar PV will democratise electricity ...

Category:Clean Energy
Earth's climate is an ornery beast...that overreacts

"The paleoclimate record shouts out to us that, far from being self-stabilising, the Earth's climate system is an ornery beast which overrea ...

Drought & Deluge:   What goes up, must come down.

As evaporation accelerates, dry areas get dryer and wet areas become wetter. Why? Because "what goes up must come down," but unfortunately ...

Category:Extreme Weather
Drive your car if 97% of mechanics agree your brakes are shot?

97% of mechanics agree your brakes are shot. 3% say your brakes are fine. You family is inside the car. Who do you listen to?

Category:Who to Believe?
Don't hang your science on upside-down hooks

"When looking for a hat rack to hang your science upon, avoid those that have upside-down hooks." — Scott Mandia, tweeting about climate con ...

Do you still believe in Santa Claus?

It is easier to argue for the existence of Santa Claus than argue against all the evidence of climate change.— a scientist at Washington Uni ...

Do you cheer for baseball players who always strike out?

Do you root for baseball players with lifetime .000 batting averages? This is like listening to the rare scientists who reject climate chan ...

Category:Who to Believe?
Distant danger:  Try warning a teenager to stop smoking!

It's hard to change habits, especially when the most harmful consequences lie in the distant future. Try convincing a teenager to stop smok ...

Diet & exercise is not an easy option—it's the only one!

We're like the overweight patient that goes to the doctor and learns his cholesterol is too high. He doesn't die immediately—but until he ch ...

Denial: we all do it!

Who amongst us has not delayed opening a bank or credit card statement because we don't want to be reminded of the unpleasant news it contai ...

Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.

"Denial ain't just a river in Egypt." -- Mark Twain

"Call Me Cleopatra, 'Cause I'm the Queen of Denial"
-- country-wes ...

Coral:   Don't worry; it's not cancer (it's coronary thrombosis)

Telling the inhabitants of a coral that island that they're safe because sea level won't rise, is like a doctor telling a smoker, "stop worr ...

Continue drinking to avoid a hangover?

Continuing to burn fossil fuels in order to maintain the growth economy is like keeping on drinking to avoid a hangover.

Cold winter?   He won 2 hands of poker and thinks. . .

Saying a cold winter disproves long-term global warming is like the guy who wins two hands of poker and thinks he's figured out how to 'bea ...

Cold winter in Europe.   Did you check Siberia?

Cold winter in Europe, but warm in Siberia. So this disproves AGW? That's like saying: 'My keys were in my jacket, now they're not. ...

Cold snap?   A dark night disproves lengthening days?

Does a winter cold snap disprove global warming? That's like saying in April, "Don't tell me the days are getting longer. Look how da ...

CO2 is plant food?   Yeah, like steroids. . .

Increasing CO2 for plants is like giving athletes anabolic steroids: it may produce short-term weight gain, but often with long-term, negati ...

CO2 is only a trace gas.   And arsenic is "only a trace" element.

Saying that CO2 is "only a trace gas" is like saying that arsenic is "only" a trace water contaminant.

CO2 is good for plants?   That's like telling a man on fire...

"CO2 causes more severe droughts and floods, which are very bad for plants. So saying that more CO2 will be good for plants is like t ...

CO2 is benign because we exhale it?   So tsunamis are OK...

"Let me address the argument that CO2 is benign because we exhale it. That's about as good an argument as saying a tsunami isn't dangerous ...

CO2 in atmosphere is like water in bathtub (Var. 2)

The concentration of carbon dioxide in the air is like the water level in a bathtub. If water pours in faster than it drains out, the level ...

Climate Russian Roulette:   But what's in the loaded chamber?

Continued release of greenhouse gases is like playing "Russian Roulette with the climate, hoping that the future will hold no unpleasant sur ...

Climate is the canvas and weather is what is painted on it

“Climate is the canvas and weather is what is painted on it. Humans have changed the climate so now all weather is affected by us.” – Scott ...

China pollutes more?   Therefore we should keep polluting too?

"This is like saying that if someone else drops more litter than you, then it's OK for you to drop litter."—Dr. Richard Milne

Buy insurance to protect against climate risk

Cutting greenhouse gas emissions is like buying an insurance policy: we incur a cost to reduce a risk.

Burning coal is like dumping garbage on your neighbor's lawn

Coal seems cheap only if you ignore the social costs.

Better to adapt than mitigate?   And keep smoking?

Better to adapt than mitigate? This is like saying 'It's better to smoke, get cancer, then spend years in chemo- and radiotherapy, than to ...

Are you still debating if smoking causes cancer?

"Giving scientists and climate change deniers equal time is like having tobacco executives debate doctors on the safety of cigarettes." — Se ...

Category:Who to Believe?
Applying the brakes on a foggy road is not alarmism

"I wouldn’t characterize wanting to use the brakes on a foggy road as hysteria. Humanity is simply driving too fast for the conditions ahea ...

An extra 2°C and you'd have a fever!

"When we look at the last 4 decades, we've seen 0.5°C global warming. Some people say, 'well that's not much!' Then I tell them to think o ...

Al Gore wastes energy, so global warming is a hoax?

One man's personal choices tell you nothing about the validity of the science. It's like saying, "Louis Pasteur sometimes neglected to wa ...

Airbags save lives, biofuel saves carbon emissions

A car with airbags costs more than a car without. Society decides how valuable those airbags are. Society can decide the value of renewable ...

Category:Clean Energy
AGW, like obesity, is an unexpected consequence of prosperity

Global warming, like obesity, is an unanticipated consequence of prosperity.

Category:Human Causality
A very dangerous threat, not a "cocktail hour curiosity"

Climate change is not a "cocktail hour curiosity." It is a very dangerous threat. Our climate system is an angry beast and we are poking i ...

A lump on lung: 'wait and see' or surgery?

Whether you choose 'wait and see' vs. accept the doctor's recommendation for urgent surgery is a value judgment. Ignoring or resolving clim ...

A few loose bricks don't bring the wall down!

When you've built a great wall of evidence it takes more than a brick coming loose to bring the whole lot down.

A cold winter proves the earth isn't warming?

Saying global warming isn't real because last winter was cold and snowy, is like saying that spring's not happening because Friday was coole ...

2012 drought natural? Blame the car engine for a speeding ticket?

"Blaming La Nina for the record drought is like blaming the car engine for the speeding ticket. See what happens when the driver steps on th ...

'Little old us? We're not important enough to alter the planet.'

Humans have overrun the planet to live in every ecosphere. We have had a dramatic impact on natural resources in every land we have colonise ...

'I hate surgery.  So I can't possibly have a tumor!

Imagine your radiologist pointing to a spot on your lung x-ray, which several top oncologists have agreed shows cancer.. Would you say, 'I ...

"If climate is the shark, water is the teeth."

“Much of the impact of climate change will be felt through changing patterns of water availability, with shrinking glaciers and changing pat ...

"Climate is always changing... !"

Sure, the climate always changes—just like asteroids have always hit the Earth. But does that mean that a big asteroid hitting the Earth tod ...

"America is addicted to oil"— Pres. G. W. Bush

George W. Bush famously declared in his 2006 State of the Union speech that "America is addicted to oil."

"...Like leaving the 'fridge door open."

As the Arctic warms, so the northern continents at higher latitudes experience cold winters with heavy snow falls. It's rather like the frid ...