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What are the best resources for examining the evidence for anthropogenic climate change?

by Matthew Barnett1 min read6th Aug 20198 comments


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A while back I was researching the evidence for evolution. It's not that I didn't initially believe in evolution or understand natural selection, but it's just that I didn't really understand the full breadth of the evidence and predictions that the theory makes. Before, I had a tendency to simply assert that "the evidence is overwhelming" in discussions without really going into detail.

When I began researching evidence, I had a few choices. I could just read basic surface arguments that I found on the internet, such as this article from Khan academy or the Wikipedia page. While these resources are valuable, they aren't very comprehensive, and don't appear like they'd convince a hard-nosed skeptic. There are popular books, such as Jerry A. Coyne's Why Evolution Is True and Richard Dawkins' The Greatest Show on Earth. The last two sources left me feeling like I still wasn't getting the full story, since they assumed a beginner background in philosophy and science, and weren't as nuanced as I wanted them to be (although I did not read both of them cover to cover).

Eventually I stumbled across 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution: The Scientific Case for Common Descent by Douglas Theobald, which exceeded my expectations, and satisfied my desire to understand the evidence for common descent. While this last work does not assume the reader is a professional biologist, it also doesn't shy away from presenting specific technical evidences and the context they play in modern biology.

I wonder whether there is a similar publication which can satisfy my desire to understand anthropogentic climate change. My prior is that climate change is real, and primarily caused by human activity. I believe this because I generally side with the scientific consensus, and most intelligent people I know believe it. However, I am a little embarrassed from the fact that I couldn't really convincingly argue with a skeptic. I imagine a highly educated climate change skeptic like Roy Spencer could argue circles around me, which is never a good sign.

In light of the previous discussion, what are the best resources for understanding the full breadth of evidence for anthropogenic climate change?

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I would say the best resources are the sceptic pages partly because I am one and partly because if you can understand the sceptic point of view you might be able to argue against it more competently. This one in particular has many interesting articles linked along with a daily dose; https://notrickszone.com/. Another personal favourite, among many, is https://www.thegwpf.com/

I recommend starting with the original greenhouse effect forecasts that were made over a century ago (by someone who expected global warming to be desirable). That model still looks pretty good, except that CO2 emission forecasts of that time weren't very good.

I could not find one a few years ago. I read the last couple of and the first IPCC report. Read sceptic books and blogs and looked for refutations. I took what looked like the 3 strongest sceptic arguments and studied them in detail (all proved fallacious). Though I did conclude that there had been early on an overconfidence about the accuracy of the projections.

Analogously I am looking for the best rebuttal to Richard Carrier's book questioning the existence of the historial Yeshua / Joshua / Jesus (in Greek). It is difficult because almost all biblical scholars are in a position where even entertaining the question might be a career threatening move, and all the texts basically simply assume his existence. I read Bart Ehrman's attempt (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Did_Jesus_Exist%3F_(Ehrman_book)&_%28Ehrman%29=) and found it an embarrassment (to him). I have looked at the Josephus and Tacitus texts and find them to be very weak evidence.