A Statistically-Relevant Debate on Climate Change

Illustration for article titled A Statistically-Relevant Debate on Climate Change

Dear John Oliver: Did you really just hold a climate change debate with the number of scientists vs. deniers in accurate proportions? I think I love you, and your new show.

Since cool, rational discussion has utterly failed to produce meaningful policy action on addressing climate change, I am all for blatantly mocking the absurdity of framing climate change as a debatable topic. But, to be truly fair, I wish each side had been given proportional time within the debate structure. After the introduction, they get about a minute for the debate, so that's just under 2 seconds for the deniers to make their point, and 58 seconds for the scientists.

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Here's my take on the recent IPCC climate change report and the US National Assessment. For a more lighthearted approach, did you know that Stargate: Atlantis used real atmospheric science in their climate change episode?

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DISCUSSION

It's fairly easy to be a contrarian so contrarians also have massive disagreements amongst themselves. So any 'fair' argument of climate science would feature 97 scientists generally agreeing with one another, 1 scientist who thinks that global warming isn't happening, 1 scientist who thinks that global warming is happening but it's a good thing, and 1 scientist who thinks that global warming is completely natural. Not giving each of these three people their own platform is providing far too much unity to the variety of ways in which people can be contrarian.