Let’s face it, there are so many claims and counterclaims about global warming that ordinary folk like us don’t know what to believe any more. On the one hand we have legions of scientists presenting long-winded explanations about how human activity is accelerating the planet towards a ghastly thermageddon, and on the other hand we have dissenters gleefully exposing weakness in methodology and statistical methods, or suspicious emails to show that it’s all a giant con and that everybody’s going to be fine. Both sides have their rabid supporters amongst the common rabble (that’s you and me) who take one side or the other and misquote our chosen leaders with half-remembered figures from some webpage or newspaper article, and both sides have people willing to bend the facts in support of their claims (refer Climategate, anything Jeremy Clarkson says about the environment)
The problem (as with most complex topics, like the state of the economy, or foreign policy) is that if we’re honest with ourselves, none of us have the faintest idea what we’re talking about. We’re swayed by rhetoric, emotional arguments, or clever put-downs. The guy with the most scathingly funny argument wins, leaving the scientist with his “Facts” and “Education” spluttering furiously into his labcoat.
I suspect that this is why NASA have put up this new webpage on Climate Science. Here you can find simple explanations of all the evidence which supports Anthropogenic Global Warming, and hopefully we can learn something. Who knows, with a bit of education, maybe we can stop treating this as a religious issue and start being a little critical in our thinking. You know, like scientists are trained to do.