Talking about climate change
I travel quite a bit for SkyDay and whenever I find myself in a new place I make time to talk to locals about climate change. I’m curious about what people have heard and what their concerns are. Over years of conversations in coffee shops and in bars I’ve noticed several misconceptions repeated, often with extraordinary confidence. Perhaps you have too? Below are some of the most common I encounter and the responses I give.
Misconception #1. Climate change is a hoax.
No it isn’t, plain and simple. Credible scientists worldwide are in complete agreement about this. Climate change is real, happening already and if our greenhouse gas emissions continue unchecked our changing climate is going to cause extraordinary problems for EVERYONE, no matter were you live. This is because everything on planet earth is connected.
Misconception #2. Scientists disagree.
No they don’t. Not credible scientists anyway. Among such scientists there is unanimous agreement, not just in one place but worldwide, that climate change is real, happening right now and that it is our greenhouse gas emissions that are the greatest cause of it. There is no confusion about that.
Doing real science is hard. It requires painstaking work. Often it takes many years to complete a study and the studies are carefully designed to ensure personal biasses do not interfere with the work in any way or impact conclusions drawn. We are very fortunate at SkyDay to have several such scientists on our team like Don Wuebbles, Anna Nesbitt and Daniel Horton and I am deeply impressed by the difficulty of the work they do, their commitment to accuracy and truth and by the care they take to make sure they are accurate and precise in their communications.
Note: You should know that there is another kind of psuedo science or ideologically based science out there that is motivated to confuse people about what is really happening. Unlike real science that seeks only to answer unknown questions accurately, these two phony sciences begin with a conclusion they want to convince of and then seek out phony ‘evidence’ to support their position. Often such efforts are funded by those who seek to gain from the ‘conclusions’
We seek to build a global community
We want to encourage people to view themselves as members of a larger global community that must unite with a common will to protect our sky for the benefit of all.
What we mean by the term ‘sky’
At SkyDay the ‘sky’ is the thin envelope of gas that extends from Earth’s solid surface to the edge of outer space. If you can see it when you look up, that's what we are interested in. Our sky is is over, around and within us. We fly through it, breathe it, and drink it. It is the place where clouds hang out, lightning strikes and eclipses amaze us. It is the medium by which hot and cold air warm and cool us. We can see it, hear it, taste it, smell it and touch it.
Our sky is the ultimate shared resource.
The shared nature of our sky presents great challenges since what we do to the sky in London or Beijing directly impacts the sky across the globe.
We are a nonpartisan educational platform
We work on behalf of everyone. We don’t endorse political parties and are not affiliated with any political group, organization, or lobbyist. We will decline funding from any individual or group interested in exerting political influence over our programs or content.
Ideas central to the design of our engagements:
We want to inspire originality of thought and individuality of reflection so projects should encourage participants to be creative, to challenge ideas and to think for themselves.
Initiatives should promote an understanding of how the sky functions and what its vulnerabilities are. All factual information offered by our projects must be guided by credible science and as that science evolves so will our projects.
We seek opportunities for participants to engage with their global peers. This can be done in a number of ways, for example via web-based art projects, science projects, social media, letter writing and so on.
Carpe diem! We want to encourage the next generation to see the challenges of forging a healthier relationship to the sky as opportunities for new leadership, entrepreneurship and innovation, and we want them to seize those opportunities.