Somehow we need to find more courage to be as open, forthright and communicating as Professor Stephen Schneider was.
There’s a neat little linguistic trick that’s been used with much success in ideologically-oriented journalism over the years.
The reader feels he is being clever when he reads a qualifying statement, hinting at doubt or uncertainty, in an article or report about Climate Change, and concludes “I’m smart enough to realise that, because another view has been voiced, the science isn’t as settled as the scientists are claiming”.
And so you get people with absolutely no relevant education or training declaring things like a family friend of mine did last year, “I think Global Warming is not as bad as they are saying it is.”
What did he base his confidence in his own reasoning upon ?
Take a guess.
Without a Science education, people don’t know how to treat statements of Climate Change doubt in the Press. They don’t know how invalid opinions may be. They cannot judge the credibility of the commentators and the people interviewed.
It is time to stop reporting Climate Change scepticism-denial in the mainstream Media. There’s enough of it in the “blogosphere” already.
It’s time to have fact-checked, expertly reviewed Science in the newspapers and on the Internet portals of the larger media outlets.
Policy action on Climate Change is urgent and necessary, just like action was on ozone depletion, tobacco smoking, HIV, the Millenium Bug, acid rain, ground level ozone pollution (smog), lead in petrol, leaching plastics in children’s toys, food dyes in curries, salt/sugar/fat in fast food, lead in cosmetics, ergot in wheat, smallpox, typhoid, diptheria, lead in paint on children’s toys, trans fats, untreated water supplies…can you think of any environmental or medical problem tackled over the last few centuries that hasn’t been contested by some group or other ?
Countries that use high levels of energy must change their energy infrastructure to low Carbon.
Companies that produce and sell Carbon energy must diversify.
Deforestation must be halted and reversed.
High Carbon material consumption must decline.
Any organisation that has a large procurement budget must insist on low Carbon contracts for goods and services.
Anybody investing capital in the global Economy must demand low-risk, low Carbon stocks and shares.
Every government must seek resolution and agreement on a fair treaty to succeed the Kyoto Protocol in 2012.
Wealthy, industrialised countries must make firm, clear commitments to reduce their Greenhouse Gas emissions.
And the Scientists ? Stand by your beds. The Media will be asking for opinions from you. Practice :-