Generally Eclectic

The Museum of Climate Change and Global Warming

Museums exist around the world, and cover a diverse range of subjects. In Canada's case, there are national museums of civilization, science and technology, natural history, art gallery, war, and human rights. There are no major museums dedicated to climate change generally, including the specific subject of global warming.

Of all the issues facing the populations of the world today, climate change is the most important. Without a major focus, the future of homo sapiens and other species around the globe will deteriorate dramatically within the next century.

Climate change and global warming are also topics about which populations around the globe are remarkably uninformed. This is particularly true in Canada and the United States.

Based on this, a National Museum of Climate Change and Global Warming is put forward for Canada, and perhaps other countries.


Here a some concepts on which a Canadian National Museum of Climate Change and Global Warming could be based.

  1. The Canadian National Museum of Climate Change and Global Warming should be developed with the view that it will be part of a network of climate change and global warming museums that includes national, regional, city and other museums, with a free flow of exhibits, ideas and concepts.
  2. The museum should be a museum based on science. As a science museum, it should be based on the following principles:
    1. It should be based on theories, studies, and similar sources from peer reviewed respected academic journals or equivalents.
    2. It should address not only our current understandings but also how these understandings were derived.
  3. It should focus on the global warming aspect of climate science. The focus should be on the radiative balance and related issues, so that the key causes of global warming do not get lost in the details of climate science.
  4. It should not be a "political" museum. This will protect the museum in the long term from political debates, changes in governing parties, and public controversies. Specifically, this means:
    1. Discussion of international and national emission targets should not be addressed. These targets are inherently political, based on political judgments about what is doable within a time-frame.
    2. It should not address projected emissions. These are based on assumptions about greenhouse gas emissions going forward, and these assumptions are inherently political (e.g. business as usual, drastic immediate reductions). What happens in the future is a result of political decisions in the present.
    3. It should not address public policies, policy options, and policy issues, including:
      1. Mitigation Strategies.
      2. Economics of climate change.
      3. Environmental laws.
      4. Sectoral policies.
      5. National responsibilities for past emissions.
    4. It should not address the climate change denial industry and deliberate misinformation campaigns, but should draw attention to legitimate scientific differences and debates.
  5. To be relevant to the location of Canada's national museum. and the locations where other major museums are developed, the museum has to provide relevant regional and local information, while emphasizing the universal character of the science. For example, impacts would be largely regional. Most exhibits would be relevant anywhere in the world or within a country and should be designed that way. Where the science has regional implications, the regional components should be designed so that the regional components are easily shareable with relevant modifications in the specifics.
  6. Canada's National Museum of Climate Change and Global Warming should be designed for the online world, so that the information can be shared via internet for those not able to travel to the Museum.
  7. As climate science is continuing to evolve, the Canadian National Museum needs to be designed so that exhibits can be updated regularly and there is room to display new scientific findings.
  8. While the federal government typically funds Canada's national museums, a National Museum of Climate Change and Global Warming is potentially fundable at least in part by Canadian citizens and corporations through donations and crowd funding. It should be designed to accommodate this funding, provided the funding is not allowed to bias the content.
  9. Canada's museum managers are experts in developing exhibits and presenting materials in interesting, and often interactive, ways. They should be allowed to demonstrated their skills within a science-based framework.

An example of science-based design is provided below.

Canadian National Museum of Climate Change and Global Warming
Hall A: Earth's Energy BudgetMain EntranceHall G: The Science of Climate Change
Hall B: Lessons from the PastHall F: Getting to Zero Emissions and Beyond: the Technologies
Hall C: The Workings of the Climate SystemHall D: Climate ModelsHall E: Impacts of Global Warming