More on the IPCC and the younger dryas event

4 thoughts on “More on the IPCC and the younger dryas event”

  1. Ove,

    Well said and I agree with your response entirely. The problem is that, in the main, yourself excepted of course, scientists are not very good communicators. The likes of Monckton et al are and, even though their spruikings are rubbish and easily refuted, they are not interested in the science. It’s the perception of the science and they know that mud sticks. Sling enough and you create sufficient doubt and therefore inhibit the public and political will for change. Add in the vested interests and the skewed media coverage (probably a combination of the perceived need for balanced reporting and the world view of the owners) and it is an exceedingly tough sell.

    I wrote to Nick Minchin prior to the last vote on the CPRS legislation after he had made some ridiculous comments in the media, which seemed to be lifted verbatim from Plimer’s book. Tried to argue that if he was going to oppose the CPRS, do so on the basis of it being bad policy, not the science on which it is based, because this near unanimous endorsement by scientists is about as strong as it is possible to get. Even if the science wasn’t as strong, basic risk management is sufficient justification to act. It doesn’t require belief or acceptance, just an objective view of the perceived risks and the costs involved with the various forms of action (or inaction). To date, I haven’t received a reply.

    Sadly, I don’t think you’ll have much better luck with Dr Jensen. Despite having a PhD, he is I think a member of the Lavoisier Group and the barriers to understanding there are more of the ideological variety.

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  2. I think this is becoming a recurrent theme. This is that scientists are too honest and too inexperienced at communicating charismatically to tackle the likes of pompous scallywags like Monckton. Perhaps we need to find the 1 or 2 scientists that are effective communicators, and put then on the payroll to travel the country high and low to get this important message out.

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  3. Dr Dennis Jensen is a member of the Lavoisier Group which makes a lot of sense given his absolute ignorance of facts and his denialist rhetoric. Such are the ethics and heart of this man that he boycotted Parliament on the day that the formal apology to the Stolen Generations was made by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Lovely fellow!

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  4. [Scientists] are too honest and too inexperienced at communicating charismatically to tackle the likes of pompous scallywags like Monckton.

    Ove, I’m afraid you’re probably right about this. Problem is it’s a win-win situation for the deniers; even sharing the stage with a real scientist gives them an air of legitimacy they don’t deserve. And then the debate itself becomes a performance, a battle of personalities not ideas. It’s a waste of time, the signal to noise ratio is just too low to get the message out. (Besides, you don’t need a scientist to trip these guys up on their ‘science’, a good journalist will do rather nicely – just take another look at George Monbiot’s evisceration of Ian Plimer on Lateline).

    Perhaps we need to find the 1 or 2 scientists that are effective communicators, and put then on the payroll to travel the country high and low to get this important message out.

    Yes, bring it on! You’ll always struggle get the science out there via the 24-hour TV news cycle, and most certainly won’t through our esteemed national broadsheet. People trust scientists, which explains the ferocity of the recent attacks on CRU and IPCC. As Naomi Oreskes has shown (and you are doubtless well aware) this is part of a deliberate strategy to cast doubt on the science by attacking the motives of the scientists. Perhaps public ‘town hall’ style meetings might be one of the better ways for scientists to push back and finally get the message through. Wishful thinking, maybe?

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