Data + Analysis = Informed Insight

by Rick Blackwell Email

It is awfully easy to get lost in the contentious debate about sustainability and climate change. In this blog-like section I have included selected links and a little discussion regarding the actual science behind the debate, hoping to do my part to improve the general quality of the discussion.

I have intentionally drawn from publicly available resources such as Scientific American, The Economist, and Wikipedia to ensure that the resources are accessible to all. When appropriate, if the math/science is challenging I have inserted a warning. Please do not let this stop you. By skimming for ideas, just like the taught us in High School, you can master the key arguments of any of these resources.

Finally, I encourage suggestions, debate, and discussion. This is my own idiosyncratic selection and I’m perfectly happy to expand or adjust it. Please post - it's the whole point.

Climate Modeling -how do climate scientists do their science?

You hear it all the time - “scientists” are convinced that climate change is real, and that we need to change our habits. But how can they know this? These huge processes unfold over tens of thousands of years, and there are at least some scientists who are not convinced. Well, the ones that are convinced are gathering all sorts of current data that show change, and over the last 20 years they have built an entire science around mathematical simulations that help them test their theories. Have a look at just a small selection of what has been published before you make up your mind one way or the other.

Cleaner Energy Resources - Solar, Nuclear, Hydrogen, et al

Assuming that you buy the link between human activities and climate change, or even if you just want to reduce US dependance on foreign oil, then the inevitable next question is what can we do that doesn’t involve a radical change in our lifestyle? Here are some useful links that go beyond what you see on TV and read in the papers.

The Economics of Sustainability

OK, now how do we choose among these alternatives? Well, probably by considering what we can feasibly afford. WARNING - goofy statistics and poor analyses abound! Here are some resources that IMHO appear to be competent and relatively unbiased.

The Politics of Sustainability

And finally, assuming that we know what to do, how should we do it? Here are some current ideas. Prepare to be a little bit depressed.