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 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 argumentsAs 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 resultsOne 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 optionsAs 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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