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CMU PugWash: Science, Technology & Society Lecture

Department of Social & Decision Sciences and Department of Engineering & Public Policy,
Carnegie Mellon University
Why Climate Skeptics are Skeptical
Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 5:30pm
Hamerschlag Hall

Research that is trying to determine the significance of human activities on a changing climate and the development of public policies that are aimed at mitigating those effects are major scientific and societal endeavors. As with all such endeavors, there is a range of positions and opinions. These differences have led to simplistic name calling and labeling. Trimming off the extremist positions from both ends and mapping out a common ground for informative discussions has proven to be extremely difficult. This talk will present some of the positions taken by climate skeptics (not ‘climate deniers’) that focus on data analytic and statistical concerns with some of theclimate research. Concerns, if addressed by the multiple parties in the climate community, would move the field to a more defendable and policy-relevant region.


Dr. Paul Fischbeck is a professor of both Social Decision Science and Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. His research focuses on the quantification and communication of uncertainty. This work covers both theoretical improvements to decision analysis and numerous applied real world problems. Fischbeck is the co-director of the Brownfield's Center and has developed Regional Industrial Site Evaluation Systems (RISES), a geographic information system (GIS) designed to evaluate the environmental risk and economic potential of abandoned industrial sites. He currently is studying performance-based regulations and how they can be used to improve fire-safety systems and oil- tanker design as well as how farmers make purchase decisions and perceptions of risk and diversification in financial markets and the power-generation industry.crop-insurance purchase decisions and perceptions of risk and diversification in financial markets and the power-generation industry.

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