Monday, June 07, 2010

A Mind Map of Climate Science

This is a great article - a solid attempt to frame the scientific thinking and the surrounding commentary on that scientific thinking. Worth a read. I'll summarise bits here...

This is where the science is:

Where the red dots represent the position of scientist's published work - peer reviewed papers. If you are towards the top then you think the climate is warming. If you are towards the bottom then you think it is cooling. If you are towards the right then you think humans are doing it, towards the left you think it is natural. As you can see the vast majority of scientists are in the top-right: the climate is warming and we are to blame.

Into this mix we add other institutions - not science but idological/econmic - the blue being media outlets/blogs etc and the yellow being corporations, NGOs etc. Here's how that looks:


Now you can see the population of the bottom-left (it's not warming and even if it is, humans are not to blame) is now much larger - but the science backing this view has not shifted - it's still weak. It's just now it is make to look a more active place by the ideological hangers-on.

In essence the noise they all make is there to hide the decline of evidence for their point of view.

3 comments:

said...

Good one, that's really useful. Wish they weren't using those very USAmerican 'liberal' v 'conservative' labels on the graphs, but. Is there anything more liberal than defending the right of an autonomous economic actor to smelt as much aluminum as the market demands?

Chainsaw said...

Good graphic.

re the comment - one thing that would be widely considered "more liberal" is requiring the economic actor to pay all the actual costs of their action, and not pass them off on a public that may not agree that the economy makes the best decisions (i.e. people who don't use, or want, the aluminum should not have to pay environmentally for the desire of some other wealthy people for it)

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