John Baez has put together the Azimuth Project. In keeping with Eli's dictum of starting small the goal is to save the planet, but, as he notes, wanting to save the planet means that one thinks the planet is at risk
the very health of the planet is in peril because of the actions of humankind. Whether it is global warming, mass extinction, peak oil, or other problems, we need to be prepared on many fronts for an uncertain future.John is a bit younger than Eli, but the Rabett learned that the planet was at risk in first grade, when the teacher made us dive under the desk in case of nuclear attack. This, perhaps, accounts for the sunny disposition hereabouts, but also explains a generational disposition to think of big problems. Interestingly the rather older folks tend to think they can engineer their way out, but those of us who majored in desk diving believe something more is needed.
The Azimuth Project has a course (Eli assumes Ankh was already there) on the Mathematics of Climate Change which was taught by John Baez in Fall 2012. It is not more difficult than Science of Doom, in fact it really is simpler, less detailed and more big picture but it does have the POV of a mathematician. At first glance, there are also things that the bunnies can help with. We have been at this game quite a long time. However, remember, there is a tension between what you want to talk to your mom about and what you want to discuss with Raypierre.
The course notes are on the Azimuth blog, so you can comment and ask questions there with the folks at that place
Part 1 - The mathematics of planet Earth.
Part 2 - Simple estimates of the Earth's temperature.
Part 3 - The greenhouse effect.
Part 4 - History of the Earth's climate.
Part 5 - A model showing bistability of the Earth's climate due to the ice albedo effect: statics.
Part 6 - A model showing bistability of the Earth's climate due to the ice albedo effect: dynamics.
Part 7 - Stochastic differential equations and stochastic resonance.
Part 8 - A stochastic energy balance model and Milankovitch cycles.
Part 9 - Changes in insolation due to changes in the eccentricity of the Earth's orbit.
Part 10 - Didier Paillard's model of the glacial cycles.