The past days I’ve been at the AGU Fall Meeting interviewing scientists and experts, going to presentations, visit poster sessions, checking out exhibitions, and meeting a lot of interesting folks. Basically I’m gathering information and content on a lot of climate science and science communication related subjects.
It’s not often that I’ll go the “I told you so route”, but this time it seems appropriate towards Richard Tol. Though maybe also a thank you might be in order with how decisive scientists rebutted Tol’s nonsensus. But before I go into that, a bit of context is needed.
To quote John Reisman, “Science is not a democracy. It is a dictatorship. It is evidence that does the dictating.” It’s this evidence based ‘dictatorship’ that is the basis for a scientific consensus. Based on this ‘dictatorship’ of evidence we know that global warming is real, we’re causing it, and that it’s a problem if we don’t act. This presents a real problem for those denying that there is a problem or want to minimize the consequences.
This is also why you see the assumption among science deniers that people have at best “questionable motives” or at worst “nefarious intent.” Which largely explains the defamation you see on science denier blogs and websites. It doesn’t take much for science deniers to jump from assuming nefarious intent to assigning nefarious intent and screeching “fraud” and “fakery” (see ‘climategate‘ for the perfect example).
Continue reading Science Deniers Again Try To Discredit John Cook And Skeptical Science
Everyone at Skeptical Science spends a lot of their time reading the scientific literature and listening to experts. Without that we wouldn’t be able to write all the material that’s published on Skeptical Science. It’s a lot of work, especially when you do this with a critical eye. Our goal, after all, is to ensure that what we write reflects the scientific literature on the subject as accurately as possible.
The materials created by Skeptical Science are used by teachers, politicians, and of course by users on the internet to rebut climate myths. Thanks to this a lot of people have seen materials produced by us, even though they might not know that they have.
The biggest threat to the denial of any scientific fact is evidence showing that there is a scientific consensus. Scientists are sceptical and questioning by their very nature. They love to poke and prod everything to see if it withstands scrutiny.
Back in January, my wife engaged a climate science doubter on Facebook. Should you consider a similar engagement, consider this: nobody doubts scientists when it comes to gravity or that the Earth revolves around the sun. These theories/laws do not pose a threat so they are widely accepted. Climate change, on the other hand, is perceived as a threat to some because they fear the solutions might result in loss of individual rights or hurt the economy. It is because of these perceived threats that they subconsciously resist the settled science.
Continue reading Communicating Climate Change: Sometimes It’s Not about the Science
Technology and the science it’s based on are everywhere in our society. Understanding science is crucial for navigating yourself through our society and taking part in the political process. Without this we can’t make sound decisions on what we as a society want to do.
It doesn’t mean that someone has to be completely versed in a scientific subject to make informed decisions. With the amount of information we have on all kinds of science subjects and what this means for the issues we face that is just not possible. Though at least a basic understanding is needed.
Continue reading New Series: Science Communicators – Why We Love Communicating Science
During the AGU 2014 Fall Meeting John Cook, Peter Sinclair, and I interviewed a stellar list of scientists. Everyone brought their A game which gave us some incredible footage. At the end of the conference I returned home with about 36 hours of footage.
I’m already working on editing all that into videos that I can upload to my YouTube Channel. But there’s also a lot of material that I can’t use for those videos. Most of the time because they don’t fit the subject I’m tackling. Though it doesn’t mean they’re not good, quite on the contrary.
Continue reading New Series: AGU 2014 Tidbits – Anecdotes And Stories From The Front Lines Of Science