Global warming DOT org! Beware

July 2, 2007 at 4:35 pm | Posted in Climate change, Global warming, Search engines, UK, US | 3 Comments

“The risks of global warming are speculative;
the risks of global warming policies are all too real.”

With that misguided mantra, and a jolly good URL, this American organisation naming its own website Global Warming garners the second highest number of UK-sourced search hits on ‘global warming’ … !

There is no common good being served by a site designed, as it is, to muddy the waters and confuse you with denialist think-tank materials from a parallel pseudo-scientific universe inhabited by well-known misinformers. For example, rather dated now, but this is an example of what is on offer:

Global Warming Science Updates
These bi-weekly updates are courtesy of the The Cooler Heads Newsletter published by the Competitive Enterprise Institute in conjunction with the National Consumer Coalition.

😐 Therefore, I recommend teachers and students avoid the misinformation prepares, provides and promotes.

For your delectation and further delight, I now present the top ten sites per Hitwise’ recent analysis for UK-sourced searches on ‘global warming’. I added a note to the rankings so you can see the balance of UK-specific and US-specific sites too. UK searchers would be well advised to stick to ‘climate change‘ and even ‘climate challenge‘ if you want to find more up-to-date information from reputable scientific advisers and even the British government. Anyway, ‘global warming’ is pretty much a term harking back to yesteryear on websites now 😉

Rank Website Share Notes for students
1Global hosts and audience: English language, with native language versions in German, French, etc. worth checking too 🙂 Wikipedia 26.05% Your best bet for accurate information and cross-referencing information on climate change for school projects. You do need to be cautious with wikis though, as the pages can be temporarily hijacked for mischief, so it is always worth cross-referencing information with a reputable scientific site. In the UK, the Met Office performs world-class research on climate change. (Note for British teachers: the Tyndall Centre and its objectives relating to climate change policies, is worth keeping an eye on for policy and implementation matters, as it has a greater focus on bringing together interdisciplinary teams to collaborate on national and international responses to climate change.)
2US-specific site for confused American audience Global Warming 16.96% Beware! A denialist site promoting misinformation about global warming advertising itself with the meta tag for content “Dispelling myths of global warming by exposing flawed economic, scientific, and risk analysis. Coalition members will also follow the progress of the international Global Climate Change Treaty negotiations and the Kyoto Protocol.”
3US hosts and audience Global Warming: Early Warning Signs 5.45% Global warming basics link top left takes you to the Global Warming Program by the Union of Concerned Scientists, which is a good place to start. The climatehotmap idea provides a visual aid for students, but some of the information on this site is rather dated (being copyright 1999 by UCS and WRI), so I would go to one of the organisations that produced this site for more up-to-date information for school projects. The following organizations produced GLOBAL WARMING: Early Warning Signs:Environmental DefenseNatural Resources Defense CouncilSierra ClubUnion of Concerned Scientists U.S. Public Interest Research GroupWorld Resources InstituteWorld Wildlife Fund
4UK hosts and audience The Royal Society 3.63% Climate change is the term used by the Royal Society, and I hope students manage to get through to this landing page, as there is plenty of good stuff for educators and students here, including Facts and fictions about climate change and Climate change controversies: a simple guide which was updated in April 2007.
5US hosts and audience US Environmental Protection Agency 3.03% Climate change is the term used by the EPA, and in the Quick Links you should choose climate change to get through to this climate change links page providing access to many resources, including this page for young children.
6US hosts and audience Earth Share 2.42% This is a collaborative effort by non-profit organisations to enable employees to contribute to environmental charities, programs and initiatives. It is not really much use for students, apart from this page of handy links to member organizations and reports in the media, with a good deal of emphasis on Hurricane Katrina.
7US hosts and audience 2.42% This is a headline sponsored link on Google, advertised as ‘Global Warming. Learn How You Can Reduce CO2 Emissions to Help Climate Change.’ and is a site dedicated to helping you offset the carbon you cannot eliminate by reduction. This is an interesting site for older students, especially if you visit the pages for individuals and organizations and want an example of a carbon calculator.
8UK hosts and British child-friendly material for target audience of UK school kids BBC – CBBC Newsround 2.32% CBBC is fun for British kids, though I am tempted to write to CBBC to suggest some improvements to their section on global warming.  Well, a search on ‘global warming’ and another on ‘climate change’ turn up plenty of CBBC entries that mention those terms. This is a good place to go when climate change is a hot topic and British kids want a safe place to share their views.
9US hosts and audience Natural Resources Defense Council 1.82% This is a sidebar sponsored link on Google, advertised as ‘Global Warming. Learn about its causes & solutions
from NRDC scientists & experts.’
10 Climate Ark 1.82% This is a search engine, with headline sponsored link on Google, advertised as ‘Stop Global Warming. You Can Make a Difference. News, Search & Alerts to Learn How.’ Climate Ark describes itself as:’Climate Change and Global Warming Portal
The Original Biocentric Climate Science, Policy & Advocacy Search Engine
Climate Change Search’


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  1. inel

    Thanks for this excellent list. It’s fascinating how just 4 sites can take most of the internet search traffic for ‘global warming’. And yes, GW is such a misleading term! Good old wiki comes out tops again, another great Scottish invention I believe.

  2. Yea, do not expose thyselves to blaphemy!

  3. Hello Mike M,
    It is not a case of not exposing oneself to alternative views. This is advice for British pupils involved in school projects on global warming, warning them to watch out for globalwarming DOT org because it is a source of misinformation.
    It is not easy for adults, let alone children, to figure out which sources of information are trustworthy and based on scientific evidence.
    Thanks for the BBC report you referenced. I shall add it here so visitors know that my post is dealing with a real problem for kids who do unassisted research online, as well as adults who seek reliable, relevant and up-to-date information on climate change based on scientific evidence.
    Scepticism’ over climate claims
    Image of Larsen B ice shelf collapse in 2002 (British Antarctic Survey)
    Accelerating ice-melting may be a sign of global climate change
    The public believes the effects of global warming on the climate are not as bad as politicians and scientists claim, a poll has suggested.
    The Ipsos Mori poll of 2,032 adults – interviewed between 14 and 20 June – found 56% believed scientists were still questioning climate change.
    There was a feeling the problem was exaggerated to make money, it found.
    The Royal Society said most climate scientists believed humans were having an “unprecedented” effect on climate.
    The survey suggested that terrorism, graffiti, crime and dog mess were all of more concern than climate change.
    People should not be misled by those that exploit the complexity of the issue, seeking to distort the science
    Sir David Read
    Royal Society
    Ipsos Mori’s head of environmental research, Phil Downing, said the research showed there was “still a lot to do” in encouraging “low-carbon lifestyles”.
    “We are alive to climate change and very few people actually reject out of hand the idea the climate is changing or that humans have had at least some part to play in this,” he added.
    “However, a significant number have many doubts about exactly how serious it really is and believe it has been over-hyped.”
    People had been influenced by counter-arguments, he said.
    Royal Society vice-president Sir David Read said: “People should not be misled by those that exploit the complexity of the issue, seeking to distort the science and deny the seriousness of the potential consequences of climate change.
    “The science very clearly points towards the need for us all – nations, businesses and individuals – to do as much as possible, as soon as possible, to avoid the worst consequences of a changing climate.”

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