TheBestSchools.org is organizing an ongoing series of focused civil dialogues (FCDs) on controversial topics of significant public interest. Each FCD gives the participants the opportunity to formulate the best case possible for their position, focused on particular points of contention, in a civil and respectful manner.
TBS is proud to announce a new FCD, beginning February 15, 2016, on the topic of global warming (climate change) between Professor David Karoly of the University of Melbourne and Professor William Happer of Princeton University.
Professor Karoly is a Professor of Atmospheric Science in the School of Earth Sciences and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at the University of Melbourne. He is an internationally known expert on the climatology of the Southern Hemisphere, climate variability, and climate change. He was heavily involved in the preparation of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released in 2007, as well as in other IPCC–sponsored reports.
Professor Happer is the Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics at Princeton University. He is an expert on spin-polarized atoms and nuclei, and their applications, and helped to pioneer the development of sodium laser guide-star adaptive optics. Happer’s research on the atmosphere for his work on adaptive optics led to his involvement in the global warming controversy. He has frequently served as an expert witness before U.S. congressional committees investigating that subject.
The FCD between Professor Karoly and Professor Happer will consist of four parts: in-depth interviews with each participant, a round of initial statements, a round of responses to the initial statements, and a round of replies to the responses.
The topic of global warming or climate change is highly complex, combining scientific issues from a variety of fields from physics to biology, with hotly disputed moral and political considerations.
The FCD on Global Warming between Karoly and Happer will cover such topics as the physics (both theoretical models and empirical evidence) underlying our understanding of the climate and its state changes, the role of biological feedbacks, the historical record, the existence and desirability of scientific “consensus” on this and other topics, the need for concerted international governmental action to combat global warming, burden sharing among nations, freedom of speech for scientists on this and other matters of grave public importance, and the general propriety of scientists acting as advocates in political controversies.