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The Best Climate Change Websites
Alex Steffen, 11 Jul 07
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It's supposed to hit 96 degrees here in Seattle today, so (scientific certainty or no) climate is on our minds, and I thought this would be a good opportunity for an overview of climate resources online.

If you're looking for a chance to educate yourself on climate change, get started on greening your own life (with all the normal caveats that lifestyle changes are nowhere near enough) or have facts and figures at hand to win your next argument with a denialist, you've got some tricky choices ahead of you. After all, the web has never been more overrun with climate "resources" and "guides," and most of them are lame -- some are downright inaccurate or misleading.

Here is a quick survey of some that I've found interesting and useful:

The best on-going coverage of climate change and related issues can be found at Real Climate. They're scientists, and sometimes the issues they find important to discuss can be complex, but they do an astonishingly good job of making cutting-edge climate science accessible. If they aren't on your RSS feed, they ought to be.

The Sustainability Insitute's Climate Challenge simulator is a great place to start. Using the analogy of a bathtub (the atmosphere) and a faucet (emissions), it lets you test various strategies for keeping atmospheric CO2 under dangerous levels (or, in the analogy's terms, the water from overflowing the tub). I found it a simple, yet helpful tool for visualizing the reality of our climate troubles.

Smart people all know the debate is over, but some others still haven't caught on. Our friends at Grist have provided a new home for ally Coby Beck's classic resource How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic. If you have a denialist in the family -- don't be ashamed, in North America, even the best families often do -- How to Talk will give you more than enough ammunition to ruin the next family outing by proving him decisively wrong.

Of course, if you want to know how your relative became a denialist in the first place, two amazing resources are worth a look: ExxonSecrets will let you follow the money that funded climate deception back to it sources, while DeSmog Blog debunks prominent denialists with funny, hard-hitting posts.

If you're looking to take some first steps towards lifestyle change (or encourage someone you know in that direction) the Live Earth site isn't bad at all. Ally David de Rothschild's Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook is excerpted there. They also offer the now-obligatory climate footprint calculator.

Of the big enviro groups' climate sites, I most prefer NRDC's, though if you want the real deal, there's just no substitute for taking a deep breath and plowing through the original reports at the IPCC. Yes, the IPCC reports were watered down by politicians, and the reality is we probably need to move much farther, much faster than the reports suggest, but they are still the closest thing the world has to a scientific consensus on the issues.

But enough about me: what climate sites would you recommend?

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Pew Center is a pretty good resource for scientific reports on climate change - in particular, this page and it's links:

Posted by: Melanie on 11 Jul 07


Posted by: B on 11 Jul 07

Check out this US Carbon Footprint Map, an interactive United States Carbon Footprint Map, illustrating Greenest States. This site has all sorts of stats on individual State energy consumptions, demographics and State energy offices, Taxes and more...

Posted by: Eredux on 11 Jul 07

Lots of practical tips. The author of it is also part of a group aiming to prove that 90% reduction of personal impact is feasible. For going beyond just changing a lightbulb, it's a great resource.

Posted by: feonixrift on 11 Jul 07

The May 19, 2007 edition of New Scientist has a special section on debunking some myths of climate change (worth a look, even if just for the cover picture of a very worried looking polar bear!)

The debate may be over, but the echoes haven't faded away yet. It so happens that tonight the (Australian) ABC is screening The Great Global Warming Swindle, followed by by what is likely to be a pretty critical discussion. Well, it will be interesting to see what tactics are employed by the denialists. I will have a look at those sites, afterward.

Posted by: Tony Fisk on 11 Jul 07

i WISH SOmeone would mention, even briefly, my blogsite about POLAR CITIES.....can you blog on this, pro or con? thanks


> >
> > Webposted: July 1, 2007
> >
> > Environmental activist Dan Bloom has come up with a solution to global
> > warming that apparently no one else is talking about: polar cities.
> > That's right, Bloom envisions future polar cities will house some 200
> > million survivors of global warming in the far distant future (perhaps
> > in the year 2500, he says on his blog), and he's lobbying on the
> > Internet for their planning, design and construction -- NOW!
> >
> > "Sounds nutty, I know" the 58-year-old self-described "eco-dreamer"
> > says from his home in Asia, where he has been based since 1991. "But
> > global warming is for real, climate change is for real, and polar
> > cities just might be important if humankind is to survive the coming
> > 'events', whatever they might be, in whatever form they take."
> >
> > Bloom, a 1971 graduate of Tufts University in Boston, says he came up
> > with the idea of polar cities after reading a long interview with
> > British scientist James Lovelock, who has predicted that in the
> > future, the only survivors of global warming might be around 200
> > million people who migrate to the polar regions of the world.
> >
> > "Lovelock pointed me in this direction," Bloom says. "Although he has
> > never spoken of polar cities per se, he has talked about the
> > possibility that the polar regions might be the only place where
> > humans can survive if a major cataclysmic event occurs as a direct
> > result of global warming, in the far distant future. I think we've got
> > about 30 generations of human beings to get ready for this."
> >
> > Does Bloom, who has created a blog and video on YouTube, think that
> > polar cities are practicial?
> >
> > ""Practical, necessary, imperative," he says. "We need to start
> > thinking about them now, and maybe even designing and building them
> > now, while we still have time and transportation and fuel and
> > materials and perspective. Even if they never get built, the very idea
> > of polar cities should scare the pants off people who hear about the
> > concept and goad them into doing something concrete about global
> > warming. That's part of my agenda, too."
> >
> > For more information:
> > GOOGLE: "polar cities"
> > WIKIPEDIA: "polar cities"
> > BLOG SEARCH: "polar cities"

Posted by: danny bloom on 11 Jul 07

Excellent list! There's also,, and the NYTimes site for environmental news:

Posted by: Stephanie on 11 Jul 07

Also, climate scientist Stephen Schneider of Stanford University (and IPCC report coauthor) has an website with interesting and informative content (

Posted by: Stephanie on 11 Jul 07 This a great site, mainly for the UK but the introduction to the main types of renewable energy was helpful and also found some suppliers of solar panels in my local area, devon

Posted by: astrid harper on 12 Jul 07

Great list so far. Here's 21 short video answers to the question "What can I do, and tell others to do, to stop global warming?"

Tip: click on the soundbyte to get a full-transcript and bio. Click on the picture to watch the video.

Posted by: Valdis on 12 Jul 07

I blog about climate change and how it is affecting us personally. Warning: Contains Opinions!

Posted by: Martin Edic on 12 Jul 07

2People is an online citizen's network for climate action with members in 41 countries and 43 U.S. states.

I'd also recommend the It's Getting Hot In Here blog as a guide to the powerful youth climate movement.

Posted by: Phil Mitchell on 12 Jul 07

Visit for an annotated bibliograpy of great climate change references-- with sections on U.S. policy, implications for the developing world, and a special focus on gender and climate change. Compiled by the Women's Environment & Development Organization.

Posted by: WEDO on 12 Jul 07

ahem, my own site GeeKyoto ( but also how about , AMEE's development blog (AMEE - Avoiding Mass Extinctions Engine an api for carbon footprint / energy use data).


Posted by: mark simpkins on 12 Jul 07

Union of Concerned Scientists just issued a report, with info especially on the Northeast ( The Earth Institute at Columbia University has many sites and projects, including some interactive features ( I also love Green Map System, a global eco-cultural movement to promote sustainability and community participation in the local natural and built environment ( A wonderful group devoted to putting theory into action is EarthPledge Foundation, which promotes sustainable development by identifying and implementing innovative technologies that balance human and natural systems ( And US cities are working through C40 Cities Climate Change Group: the world's largest cities committed to tackling climate change

Europe has fascinating groups including the Sustainable Cities Research Institute (; Polis, the network of leading European cities and regions working together to promote sustainable mobility through deployment of innovative transport solutions (; and EUROCITIES: working towards a common vision of a sustainable future in which all citizens can enjoy a good quality of life (

Check out my wiki (url listed) for more info on groups working on climate change and sustainability (based on my own independent research).

Posted by: Julia Erickson on 12 Jul 07

I'll make a third recommendation for as it is an indispensable source of dispatches from the youth climate movement. In addition, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, a strong regional climate organization has recently launched a blog -

Posted by: Matt Stern on 12 Jul 07 is a great site if you want to find out the latest innovations in sustainability from the corporate world. I believe the way forward is through the promotion of the innovative sustainable initiatives that are coming out of big business - Whilst this site comes from Australia, it offers a lot of great case studies, information and articles from multinational companies who are on their journey to sustainability.

Posted by: John Butterworth on 12 Jul 07 is an excellent site. It has a calculator/social networking tool that will help you measure and manage your footprint. The site also has a green marketplace, widgets, events and a ton more.

Posted by: Deborah on 12 Jul 07

Good collection Alex!

I've seen a few other sites around:

Posted by: Ken Ott on 13 Jul 07

for your solutions list:

Posted by: socialscientist on 16 Jul 07 European hitchhiking tour for global responsibility.

Posted by: Dovile on 16 Jul 07 fosters social networking about climate change between individuals and groups. Anyone or any organization can join, ask questions and post articles and comments. It is a tool -- or rather a set of tools -- for developing practical ways of trying to mitigate global warming and for helping people kick the fossil fuel habit. It also seeks to draw attention to the injustice of climate change which creates more disease, starvation and death for the world's poor whilst not being in any sense their fault. 'owns' a Second Life island where debates and video presentations are held; a carbon-free way of meeting like-minded people around the world and finding solutions to the biggest problem humankind has ever had to face.

Posted by: Bry Lynas on 16 Jul 07

I'm blogging about actual adaptation to climate change and the locations where such activities are likely to appear first. ClimateFrog accepts that climate change is happening and is going to have heavy impact no matter how soon we straighten up our bad habits. Individuals, businesses and governments should be at least in contingency planning for these impacts. Phoenix, are you listening?

Posted by: Cliff Figallo on 16 Jul 07

I recently watched "Kilowatt Ours" and encourage you to share this documentary about energy conservation and alternative energies with people in your communities. Through good humor and illustrations of our naivete when it comes to the origin of our electricity, this film does a nice job of empowering people on an individual basis. It also recognizes communities, particularly in the southest, that have come up with profound and creative ways to reduce their energy consumption and raise awareness around the issue at large.

Posted by: Spring Hericks on 21 Jul 07


This is a very simple web site that lists COUNTRIES and CITIES around the world that have pledged to become CARBON NEUTRAL.

Please help us stay updated about new pledges by emailing

Posted by: Jens Ljunggren on 23 Jul 07

I may have to move. I would love to make the right move, climate wise. Any suggestions or resources?

Posted by: Stephen Shern on 24 Jul 07

If you don't mind, I would like to nominate my site which tries to give both sides of the climate change debate. You can go to

Posted by: Sean O on 29 Jul 07

I usually start at: and follow links from there plus there is always the latest climate news there.

Posted by: Jo Quick on 30 Jul 07



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