The Basics

As a public and policy topic, climate change boils down to three overarching issues:

  1. People are causing climate to change;
  2. The societal consequences of climate change are highly uncertain and include the potential for serious negative impacts; and
  3. There are many policy options for climate change risk management, most of which have well-known strengths and weaknesses.

These basic conclusions are drawn from the comprehensive assessment of scientific research. Each conclusion rests on multiple independent lines of evidene that have been generated over decades of intensive study. They are widely accepted by those experts who are familiar with the relevant scientific evidence. Nevertheless, most, if not all, of these conclusions remain contentious within broader society.

If you would like to learn more about the three basic issues or the evidence on which they are based please follow the links to find out more. If you still have doubts or wish to know more, please let us know so we can continue to improve this website.