Public talk: Global Warming - The Full Picture
Posted on 27 January 2012 by John Cook
Since Skeptical Science won the Australian Museum Eureka Prize, I've noticed two tangible changes. Firstly, the level of criticism and scrutiny that Skeptical Science receives from those that reject anthropogenic global warming has increased an order of magnitude. Almost without exception, the criticisms neatly avoid the science presented at SkS and instead focus on big issues like the buttons in our margin, comment moderation and the fact that our header graphic is photoshopped (an exception being a science-based critique by Lucia from Blackboard which led to an update of an SkS post). The other change is an increase in the invitations I've received to give public talks. Some of these talks are starting to make their way online so I thought I might start posting them on SkS (perhaps the invitations will drop off once people actually see my attempts at public speaking).
In November last year, I was invited to give a talk by TweedCAN, a group in the Tweed Shire just south of the Queensland/New South Wales border, that aim to reduce carbon emissions through local action (they're a dynamo of a group, having initiated a number of exciting local projects involving renewable energy). They asked me to talk about the science of climate change so I gave a presentation "Climate Change: The Full Picture". In all the public talks I'd given up until then, surprisingly I'd never once had a contrarian stand up in the audience and confront me with a climate myth. Finally, that disappointing streak ended at Tweed with a number of challenging questions (and it was all captured on video):
Now I did the best I could in answering the questions from the audience. Those of you who've read The Debunking Handbook (and if you haven't, why not?) might point out that some of my answers are not quite as lean and mean as I recommend in the Overkill Backfire Effect. Well, I do tend to ramble when in front of an audience :-) Comments on the talk and slideshow are very welcome.
Many thanks to Yasir and the folk at TweedCAN for inviting me to speak.