Richard Betts : Communicating Science

Yes, we’ve all been there. Just idly chatting to someone in the pub, office or outside the school gates, and they say “I don’t rate that Global Warming thing. Look how cold it is today.” Or like a family friend said, on his own, un-tutored authority a couple of months ago, “I don’t think it’s warming up as much as they say it is”.

Don’t fret, Climate Changers, it happens to us all.

The main source of this dissonance between Truth and Deniership is the mainstream media, I’m sorry to say. They really haven’t improved things, when, with just a little more care and attention, they could have done so much to help comprehension of the scale and might of the risks of dangerous Climate Change.

Here’s what a real scientist is appealing for : scientists to start communicating for themselves :-

“Monday, 11 January 2010 : Science must end climate confusion : VIEWPOINT : Richard Betts : Climate scientists need to take more responsibility about how their work is presented to the public, suggests the Met Office’s Richard Betts. In this week’s Green Room, he says it is vital to prevent climate science being misunderstood or misused. Recently, I gave a talk on climate change in my local village hall in Devon, and not surprisingly I was given a hard time. In fact, it started two days before that. Cut off from work by the snow (which, incidentally, had been forecast with almost pinpoint accuracy), I was out with the kids and being teased by the other dads. “Where’s all this global warming you’re always on about, ha ha!” The usual stuff, leading to the usual somewhat nerdy discussion on the difference between weather and climate, which was then cut short when one of the children crashed their sledge and asked if we had got that on video to send to a TV show such as You’ve Been Framed…”

Sadly, I think a lot of scientists suffer from MMCD – Masculine Mind Communications Disability. I’m not being sexist. It can happen to anyone, even women. Just try concentrating for long enough on something technical, and you too, sister, could find yourself unable to order the right pizza from Dominos in the evening, or fail to say something cogent to the Press.

Maybe what Climate Change Science needs is a mass Public Relations unit, that any laboratory, research department or individual scientist can approach to get the true message out there.

Yes, of course there are differences between scientists – it’s not a universal one-size-fits-all message about what’s happening in the natural world. Scientists have varying opinions, based on their research, modelling and calculations. This is even more of a reason why we need a Media Unit for Climate Change Science – to stop the renegade Deniers from inserting their genetic fragments where they should be filtered out of the debate.

And I mean that most sincerely, folks. It is wrong to include footage of Climate Change Deniers in reports on Climate Change. Climate Change Deniers live in another universe of their own construction, defying the Laws of Physics and the entire canon of research into Chemistry and Geology.

Climate Change Deniers should be allowed to have their own cable channels and newspapers and pretender journals. They have a right to try to influence the public. A lot of them are privately funded, even if only partially, by big businesses with interests in Oil, Gas and Mining. So I guess they’ll have the funds to have their own Media.

Conversely, Climate Change Science has a need to give the public the correct information without distortion. Who is going to give us pure science unblemished by conspiracy theory and outright fallacy ? Who can manage the Public Relations ? Who will fund it ?

And when are we going to see an end to this kind of “insertion” by Climate Change Deniers ? :-

“8 January 2010 : BBC Trots Out Skeptic Benny Peiser To Question Global Warming In A Snow Storm”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.