Greg Craven

American high school science teacher and climate change author

Greg Craven is an American high school science teacher and climate change author.


All page numbers are from the trade paperback first edition published by Perigee Books ISBN 978-0-399-53501-7
  • I’ve found that if I can't come up with even an inkling of how my mind might be changed, then I'm not really thinking at all; I'm just set on holding on to my current beliefs.
    • Chapter 1 "The Decision Grid" (p. 18)
  • The clever part is that it changes the question from, Who should I believe? to, What should I do? After all, the physical world is unaffected by our beliefs. It reacts only to our actions.
    • Chapter 1 "The Decision Grid" (p. 19)
  • I was left with a great idea gutted by critical examination. But that's good. That's how we make ideas better—by trying to poke holes in them and then finding ways to fix the holes.
    • Chapter 1 "The Decision Grid" (p. 31)
  • Scientists are trained to not give absolute answers. It is interesting that in recent years, some have started to do so when talking with the media, because they've learned that whenever they include the very scientific words possibly, perhaps, and uncertainty, their conclusions are interpreted by the media and public as simple guesswork.
    • Chapter 2 "The Nature of Science" (p. 41)
  • My students have described this process of testing ideas in science as: “Hit it with a sledgehammer and see if it breaks. Whatever survives is the best we've got." Science is a very adversarial activity! Hence the old adage among physicists: Physics is a contact sport.
    • Chapter 2 "The Nature of Science" (p. 43)
  • As much as we think science is about being right, the actual practice of the stuff is largely focused on being wrong.
    Why? Because being open to the possibility that you might be wrong is exactly how you get less wrong over time, sort of like saying “I’d better find all the holes in my argument before someone else can." Strangely, the way to make your ideas stronger is to try to break them. Looking for errors in your understanding rather than just trying to find supporting evidence is the best way to improve your ideas.
    • Chapter 2 "The Nature of Science" (pp. 47-48)
  • Knowing how to combat your own confirmation bias helps remove that huge handicap that we all share—the tendency for our beliefs to drift toward what we want to be true.
    • Chapter 3 "Our Glitchy Brains" (p. 66)
  • As humans, we reflexively reject arguments that contradict what we would like to be true.
    • Chapter 3 "Our Glitchy Brains" (p. 74)
  • In any disagreement between what we want to be true and what is true, physical reality wins every time.
    • Chapter 3 "Our Glitchy Brains" (p. 74)
  • Even depressions end. Climate chaos may not.
    • Chapter 9 "Author's Conclusion" (p. 195)
  • Try to keep in mind one of the fundamental aspects of science: letting the evidence form belief rather than belief select evidence.
    • Chapter 10 "Reader's Conclusion" (p. 206)
  • New breakthrough technologies can make it easier, but we've already got, right now, everything we need to accomplish the task of transforming our energy economy away from fossil fuels. Except the willingness.
    • Appendix (p. 218)
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