What you need the next time you’re talking to a doubter: Skeptical Science’s Android or iPhone app

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"What you need the next time you’re talking to a doubter: Skeptical Science’s Android or iPhone app"

One of the best climate websites is SkepticalScience.com run by physicist John Cook.

The goal of SkepticalScience is to “explain what peer reviewed science has to say about global warming” and answer the most common questions and objections raised both by the well-meaning doubters and the not-well-meaning disinformers.

Fortunately for all of us, Cook is blogging more now.  He has agreed to let me repost some of his best stuff now that I am going on “vacation” for two weeks.  Of course, as I said to him, when are father of a three-year-old, and the sole proprietor of a blog like ClimateProgress, a ‘vacation’  is sort of like global cooling — it’d be great if it could happen but it just isn’t real (except over time periods too short to matter).  Frankly it wouldn’t be a very fun vacation if I couldn’t blog at all, but I will mostly be reposting.

Cook created a terrific App for smart phones that puts the science at your fingertips, along with the most commonly used arguments by the disinformers and doubters and how to answer them.  Here are the details:

The post below was originally published on Skeptical Science.

Skeptical Science is now available as a free Android app for anyone using an Android phone. When the iPhone app was first launched, there was an immediate chorus from Android users asking for an app for the Android phone. Shine Technologies, who developed the iPhone app for free (and are IMHO legends for their amazing generosity and passion for climate change) immediately started developing an Android version). The app is now completed. You can download it by going to the Android Market Place (or the Market icon as I see it on my phone). Search for Skeptical Science (or just “skeptic” should do it). Select Install then sit back while a wealth of climate science pours into your Android phone!

Here are some screenshots of the Android App on a HTC Desire phone. Note – all the pics link to higher-rez versions so click on any pic to get a closer look. The 3 skeptic parent categories (not happening, not us, not bad) display in the same manner as the iPhone app. Tapping on any category brings up a long list of skeptic arguments. You can also browse by the Top 10 arguments. The content is regularly updated so your phone receives new arguments and updates to existing ones.


Three parent categories

Lists all the different skeptic arguments

Top 10 skeptic arguments

As the app uses Android functionality, it works a little differently to the iPhone app. Click the Menu button (yes, an actual physical button – took a while for an iPhone user like myself to get used to this) to bring up options like Settings and Search. Selecting Search lets you instantly search all the skeptic arguments – this is the way I use the app to get straight to the argument I’m looking for.


Use Menu to bring up the Settings and Search options.

Use search to drill straight to a skeptic argument

Search results

One unique feature of the Android app (and a few iPhone users have asked for this) is the ability to enlarge the text. As you scroll up and down an argument, magnifying glass options appear at the bottom of the screen to enlarge or shrink the text. If you press the Menu button while looking at a skeptic argument, you get the options to copy the URL, share the URL with others (which I encourage everyone to do), open it in a browser or report this argument so we can keep track of which skeptic arguments are the most popular.


Select a skeptic argument for more details

Use the magnifying glass icons to increase/shrink the text

Click the Menu button while looking at an argument for a range of options

As with the iPhone app, tapping on any graph or diagram brings the diagram up in its own window, which you can rotate and zoom in for more detail.

Also, while writing this blog post, I only just realised you also can view the whole app in landscape – this feature is very welcome and not yet available in the iPhone app. One of the guys at Shine Tech who was developing the Android app confided that he thought this app worked better than the iPhone version. At first, I thought maybe this was a bit of iPhone vs Android competitiveness but now I’ve had a chance to use it more extensively, the Android version does have a few snazzy new features.

A few final notes: Apparently you can also download and install the app from AppBrain although as an Android newbie, I’m not quite sure how this works. Also, kudos to Skychazz who scooped me on my own app, tweeting about the Android app a few days ago. Shine actually uploaded the app late Friday but I’ve only managed to put together a blog post about it today. You snooze, you lose in the Twitter age.

And again, many thanks to Shine Technologies who have done incredible work on the iPhone app and Android app (and a third bit of software which is potentially even more exciting and near completion). They have done all this work for free, released all the apps for free, motivated purely by a passion for climate. They have made a hugely significant contribution to the effort to bring climate science to the public.

– John Cook

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20 Responses to What you need the next time you’re talking to a doubter: Skeptical Science’s Android or iPhone app

  1. Peter Mizla says:

    A great site I visit every day–lots of great information- a wee technical in nature- but much can be learned.

  2. Robert says:

    I think skeptical science (SS) is the best science website on the internet. There’s a reason them over at WUWT don’t do battle with SS like they do with real climate or climate progress, they know that their arguments have already been addressed and disproven.

  3. Colorado Bob says:

    Smog from spreading Russia fires chokes Moscow

    Moscow commuters, many wearing masks, wheezed as they made their way to work in the worst smog to hit the capital since the fires broke out over one week ago. Experts said the pollution was four times above safe levels.

    The mortality rate in Moscow soared by 50 percent in July compared to the same period last year, according to Yevgenia Smirnova, an official from the Moscow registry office.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5i_CzF2jrEHA8fVfsWaurgENuLTxw

  4. Colorado Bob says:

    Floods hit North Korea

    Chinese media reported Wednesday that the worst floods for up to 100 years have brought misery to hundreds of thousands of people near the country’s border with North Korea.

    The Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in Jilin province was suffering its worst flooding for 100 years, with some 500,000 of its 2.2 million residents affected, the official Xinhua news agency said.

    http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/news/338264,floods-hit-north-korea.html
    —————–
    We’re going to have to change the definition of just what a 100 year flood is .

  5. Peter Mizla says:

    Weather forecast for Moscow the next 5 days looks hellish

    Today 104 & 75

    Tomorrow 102 & 73

    Sunday 101 & 73

    Monday 100 & 72

    Tuesday 96 & 70

    Does this sound like a ‘normal’ summer weather in the heartland of the Russian republic? At this point the Government & media have come to an agreement- its Global warming.

    meanwhile back in the land of the free & home of the brave- eyes wide shut and ears plugged.

  6. What I especially like about Skeptical Science is how complete it is. Check out the taxonomy of issues at http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php?f=taxonomy
    When confronted by people making the same arguments over and over again I simply point them to Skeptical Science and say “every issue you have raised about the science has already been addressed in the peer reviewed literature”. It’s a way of pointing out the dishonesty of their attacks without getting into lots of details.

  7. Jeff Huggins says:

    Speaking of Physicists

    Speaking of that wonderful wacky and (sometimes) weird group of minds we call physicists — and we all love ‘em, at least when they don’t invent bombs that can destroy the world! — has anyone read the article in the recent American Scholar (Phi Beta Kappa), by Robert Laughlin (Nobel Prize winner, Stanford), titled “The Earth Doesn’t Care If You Drive a Hybrid”?

    I first became aware of the article because an acquaintance of mine, who is on the denier side of the fence, more or less, sent me an e-mail that is circulating broadly in his Republican e-mail network that includes selective excerpts from the article. Yikes.

    If you get American Scholar and read the article, also read the Editor’s Note, called “Earth Time”, by the American Scholar editor Robert Wilson who — trying to be as “polite” as he can, I suppose — expresses some not-too-subtle disagreement with the Laughlin piece, while offering some odd and confusing points of his own. In my view, the American Scholar, in this issue, also falls prey to the same tendency to feature catchy but misleading — or easily misunderstood — hoopla, on its cover, as is used by mainstream publications.

    I would suspect that the number of people reading excerpts of what this Nobel physicist, from Stanford, said, distributed to them via the Republican e-mail networks, will far surpass the number of people who will actually read the entire article in American Scholar and who will also evaluate it critically, separating the physical science aspects of it from its other extrapolations or implied implications.

    (If CP has already covered the article, and if I missed it, sorry. I sometimes miss things as the hours turn to days, the days to weeks, and the weeks to months.)

    By the way, try to enjoy your vacation as much as possible, Joe. And Be Well,

    Jeff

  8. Colorado Bob says:

    Study Finds Permafrost Warming

    The researchers established nearly 300 borehole sites that serve as permafrost observatories across the polar and sub-polar regions in the Northern Hemisphere. Their work more than doubled the size of the previously existing network

    “The heart of monitoring is the measuring of temperatures in boreholes,” Romanovsky said. “For permafrost temperatures, you have to be there. You have to establish boreholes.”

    http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Study_Finds_Permafrost_Warming_999.html

  9. People can easily install the app without searching, just scan this image with their phone –

  10. Laughlin’s American Scholar article can be found at http://www.theamericanscholar.org/what-the-earth-knows/ and it says he’s producing a book about fossil fuels.
    He displays stunning ignorance of climate science, making the claim that we’re not powerful enough to affect the climate. It’s a strange article. Someone needs to dig into it and dissect the arguments, but I don’t have time. Any volunteers?

  11. neot says:

    The deniers have their own iPhone app too… very polished looking, also:

    http://bit.ly/bzKJ9w

  12. giniajim says:

    Thanks for the Android app. I downloaded it right away and look forward to browsing and having instant rebuttals at my fingertips. Not that the deniers are open to logical arguments and facts, but hey, its worth a try.

  13. Dano says:

    What is also needed is not only an app for Climate Crock of the Week, but short movies like they do in India for phones. These movies would address the issues in a short, pithy way the different policy options available for adaptation and mitigation. Because the minority of the deranged is not a voting minority and the voting majority needs to be informed on what to do about changing society to adapt and mitigate.

    Best,

    D

  14. Dano says:

    Correction (sorry):

    Because the minority of the deranged is not a voting majority, and the voting majority needs to be informed on what to do about changing society to adapt and mitigate.

    D

  15. Chris Winter says:

    Stunning ignorance indeed. His whole thrust in the article is that changes to Earth (or as he writes it, “earth”) in prehistoric times dwarf anything humans can bring about. His concluding sentence is: “The geologic record suggests that climate ought not to concern us too much when we’re gazing into the energy future, not because it’s unimportant, but because it’s beyond our power to control.”

    In short, he repeats a common Denialist talking point and, by doing so, talks right past the essential point — which is that the data we have been collecting for over fifty years strongly suggest human civilization will have big problems later in this century.

  16. Chris Winter says:

    Here’s another goody. Paragraph 25: “Nobody knows why these dramatic climate changes occurred in the ancient past. Ideas that commonly surface include perturbations to the earth’s orbit by other planets, disruptions of ocean currents, the rise and fall of greenhouse gases, heat reflection by snow, continental drift, comet impacts, Genesis floods, volcanoes, and slow changes in the irradiance of the sun. No scientifically solid support has been found for any of these suggestions. One thing we know for sure is that people weren’t involved. There weren’t enough people around during the ice episodes to matter, and there weren’t any people around before the ice episodes.”

    Really, Dr. Laughlin? You believe there’s no scientific support for any of these? That’s hard to credit, but leave it aside.

    The contention that since climate changed before humans were around, humans cannot possibly change the climate now that they are around is logically indefensible and scientifically untenable.

  17. Florifulgurator says:

    Some physicists quip that Laughlin was lucky that the Nobel prize for the fractional quantum Hall effect was awarded so quick. There are better models meanwhile.

  18. BB says:

    I like your comparison of vacation to global cooling.

    As someone who’s also headed on vacation, the similarities are striking.

  19. John Mashey says:

    I have long been a fan of Skeptical Science, and John was kind enough to add this fixednum view of his list. On that list, he froze the numbers recently. This is extremely useful when responding to a Gish gallop in a blog, or especially in a letter-to-editor, or an online post with restricted word counts. All you need to do is give the numbers, which take little space, and they won’t change and obsolete you. This also makes the point to onlookers of how routinely repetitive this is, far better than if you try to go through each of bunch of arguments and try to explain them one mroe time, thus treating them as though they were new. Thanks John!!