Miracle in your pocket
Finally. I’ve found it: My newest favourite iPhone application (next to UrbanSpoon and Tetris that is). It’s called “Skeptical Science” and it’s the pocket-sized-miracle that you always wish you had during a climate change conversation gone awry.
The application was developed by Shine Technologies based on the work of John Cook, developer of SkepticalScience.com. The concept of both the website and this new phone app is that “scientific skepticism is healthy” but goes on to note that often, in the climate change discourse, skepticism takes a whole other form and is often taken to the levels of op-eds or blogs that are misinformed. The goal, then? To set the record straight, and to put the record right at your fingertips.
Here’s how it works:
You select the argument you’re hearing from either a list of the Top 10 Arguments, (including “It’s the sun”, “Climate’s changed before”, and “There is no consensus”) or from a main category (“It’s not happening”, “It’s not us”. “It’s not bad”).
From there, you’re given a drop-down menu of all the possible arguments. The skeptic argument comes up in red, while the majority-science view comes up in green. If you want more detail, a full explanation with peer-reviewed science is below in black, with images, links, etc.
Another amazing feature is that you can report a new argument that you’ve heard, like – the most interesting I’ve heard to date – “Sea level rise is caused by all those ships and oil rigs in the ocean displacing the water, not by climate change.” I’ll let you guess the answer to that one.
But in all due seriousness, and with all due respect to any one who has ever asked a question, put forward an argument, or engaged in a discussion on climate change, the issue is a very complex one and it’s no surprise that it is massively difficult to wrap ones head around. Until next time, may this application help a new group of people gain access to important scientific answers – which, though imperfect, are very well established – in the palms of their hands.