When I first started at NCSE four years ago, our climate change program was fresh and new, only recently launched by my colleague Mark McCaffrey. The program was conceived on the basis of the thirty years of experience NCSE had working in the socially contentious area of evolution.

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Back when the FDA was testing ads to discourage kids from smoking, they tried arguments based on science: smoking will give you cancer; smoking will give you emphysema; smoking will hurt your unborn child. They tried appealing to kids’ social anxieties: smoking will make your teeth yellow; smoking will give you bad breath. None of these arguments worked very well. What worked was telling kids that the tobacco companies were lying to them, tricking them into smoking so that they could make money off them for the rest of their lives. The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy, by climate scientist Michael Mann and cartoonist Tom Toles, serves the same purpose. It makes it quite clear that the “debate” about climate change has nothing to do with science and everything to do with wishful thinking, exploited by vested economic and political interests. Only when that false debate is put behind us will a productive discussion about what to do about climate change finally begin, returning scientific evidence to its rightful place as a powerful tool, not a punching bag.

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Sure, the Olympics have the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. But do they have the thrill of discovery (Neanderthal fashion, dinosaur armageddon)? And how about the agony of denial (Ark Encounter X 3, and even some flat-earthers)? No, no they don't. That's OK. As a reader of NCSE's blog, you get both.

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If you had two minutes with John S. Watson, the CEO of oil industry giant Chevron, what would you ask? Climate scientist and NCSE Board member Ben Santer recently got that opportunity, when he attended the company’s annual shareholder meeting in San Ramon, California.

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This week in Iowa we started advertising for NCSE’s Science Booster Club Project summer camp. We are really excited about this camp, which will give local kids, especially those from rural school districts, the opportunity to participate in a week-long daycamp. We’re going to go to museums, tour state and university labs, and meet lots of real scientists doing their real scientist thing. We’ll also go on hikes to do some observational work of our own, learning about both of extant and extinct local ecosystems through exploration of our

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My favorite place to be is outdoors, and I mean that in a purposefully vague way. Whether I’m by the beach, hiking, or canoeing through alligator-laden swamps, I’m by far the happiest and most in my element. Heck, the reason I got into the field of climate education was because of how much I love the outdoors. Naturally, one of my favorite days every year is Earth Day—the one day when the rest of the world hops the nature nerd train and comes together to make the world a better, more sustainable place.

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Katherine Hayhoe, photo by Ashley Rodgers, Texas Tech UniversityKatherine Hayhoe, photo by Ashley Rodgers, Texas Tech University

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A class action lawsuit over an ounce of pepper? Sounds crazy doesn’t it?

Screen grab from April 22, 2016: can you spot the problem?

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Greenhouse gas emissions are expected to double in the next 20 years unless radical changes are made. As people argue over policies to address climate change and how to best educate the public about it, I actually work in a position where I can effect major change. Am I politician? A CEO of an energy company? A magic genie? No, I work with buildings. That’s right, your regular, boring, run-of-the-mill buildings.

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