A breakthrough in videos teaching sound climate science

There has been a breakthrough in videos that systematically teach a skeptical view of climate science at the high school level. Two new videos are now available, free on YouTube. So far as I know these are the first of their kind (and we need a lot more). Both are excellent.

Although each video can be used alone, they form a sequence. The first is titled simply “A Better Understanding” and the second “A Better Understanding…The Physics.” Of course the understanding in question is of the climate system. But it is also of climate science, because the thrust of each video is that the climate models are wrong and we need to understand why. Not to give away the story, but the short answer is that they are too focused on radiative forcing, especially from CO2. The basic message is that climate science has gone running off in the wrong direction, as it certainly has.

Each video is just over 20 minutes long, which fits nicely into the classroom period. They are both very well done. The basic format is voice over slides, with the narration providing most of the information, especially in the first video. In the Physics one there is necessarily some use of graphics to explain the science, but this is kept to a minimum in the first video.

The Physics video is almost entirely about the complex interplay of heat, energy and radiation in the atmosphere. It does a good job of covering this technical ground while staying within the limits of high school understanding. A nice touch is that it begins with the IPCC itself making the point that the climate models are not working.

The simpler Better Understanding video is mostly about climate modeling, but it goes beyond the science at the end to address some broader societal issues. The first of these is the idea of adaptation and that we can do this regardless of why climate changes. The second is that we need to stop scaring children with doomsday prophesies. How this message is presented is a surprise and a treat in itself.

This Better Understanding video is well suited for the segment of an Earth Sciences course that deals with climate models. This assumes that the societal issues are also touched on which is likely in most schools. In fact a look at climate modeling is required in the new high school level Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) that now cover about a third of all the public school students in America. As I have written before, it is important that modeling not be used to promote alarmism and this video does the job of countering alarmism very well.

The Physics video might be used in a Physics course, but here it faces a possible obstacle in that climate science is typically not required in Physics under most state standards, including the NGSS. (Would that it were.) If so then the teacher needs to go beyond the standards, because the physics of climate is very important. It can also be used in Earth Sciences courses which unfortunately tend to be light on physics.

An intriguing feature is that these videos basically come out of nowhere. They are written, produced and even narrated by one Payne Edwards, but that is just a stage name. They are not produced by a well known skeptical group. This anonymity deprives the alarmists of their favorite argument — the ad hominem attack. Instead, they will have to deal with these videos on their considerable merits.

I hope these free YouTube science videos will be a model for a great many more. There are a lot of bogus alarmist scientific claims that need to be refuted at the middle and high school levels, because that is where they are being taught. While we are at it, let’s stop scaring the children.

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About the Author: David Wojick, Ph.D.

David Wojick is a journalist and policy analyst. He holds a doctorate in epistemology, specializing in the field of Mathematical Logic and Conceptual Analysis.

  • Immortal600

    Two very good videos! Thank you Dr. Wojick for this article.