There are several wildlife-identifying ones which might have come in handy on my Big Garden Birdwatch a few weeks back. There’s one called Pollution which tells you how badly the air around you right now is polluted. Adam also recommends GoodGuide – a buyer’s guide along the lines of Ethical Consumer. You can even scan in barcodes while you’re shopping to find out a product’s environmental and social credentials but I’ve scanned everything in my kitchen cupboards to no avail – it’s very US-centric at the moment.
However the app I got most excited about was a free-of-charge app called Skeptical Science. It arms you with a whole list of climate change sceptics’ arguments – and the scientific rebuttal of them. There are 28 arguments under the subheading ‘It’s Not Happening’; 54 under ‘It’s Not Us’; and 6 under ‘It’s Not Bad’.
I wish I’d had this app a couple of weeks back when my friend Dave came round for dinner. He befuddled me with talk of ‘sunspots’ being the possible cause of global warming as opposed to CO2 emissions. I knew this couldn’t be right but I hadn’t read much about this particular argument so I didn’t have much of a come-back.
But with a few taps on my iPhone, this new app gives me a link to the sceptics’ argument in action (in this case, a BBC story on the sun being hotter now than it has been for the last 1,000 years), and then the scientific counter-argument, a lovely graph, and a whole list of studies and experts which refute the sunspot theory.