There’s no denying (!) that the discussion over climate change remains extremely…um…heated. On one side are the climate experts and scientists, who maintain that the planet is indeed on a warming trend, fueled to a significant extent by human fossil fuel activities. On the other are the deniers, who claim it’s all a load of tosh, and the planet is doing perfectly fine thanks very much.
The scientific case is very strong, and with each succeeding year it’s easier to see some of the reality behind their scenarios come true, and while the deniers continue to argue, it’s clear that there is definitely something going on which could be harmful to humanity, even if the planet will continue on happily.
Step up Reality Drop, a new website which aims to take the the science and wrap it all up in a tool that anyone can use to explode myths and explain the facts on which the whole climate change argument is based. The really interesting thing is the developers of the site have created a kind of game, which awards points for those who do best at engaging in conversation with the deniers, and the whole system has been designed to let people get involved in an instant.
It’s rather like giving everyone a book of facts, all neatly packaged up, and ready to deploy where doubt and confusion exist. The denial camp are claiming it’s nothing more than ‘astroturfing‘ – because the site encourages people to enter into discussion in specific comments across the web – which misses the point, because in this case the discussion points are provided to any member of the public, with no financial incentive involved.
It’s definitely a new direction in the ongoing argument, and while it’s now clear that a lot of the denial is being funded from various entrenched industrial groups, including the energy lobby, up till now there’s been no real coordinated way for the scientists to get their message out at the grassroots level, so to speak.
Whether you agree with the science or feel it’s all a waste of time and money, the one thing it will be hard to deny is that we need more informed discussion, and any tool which can supply that must count as a good thing. This is the kind of tool which could become even more important if it’s rolled out for other contentious issues, because there’s no doubt that the Internet is now suffering under the weight of too much ill-formed, and uninformed argument. Definitely one to watch!