2011-07-08 08:07:38John Abraham again on conservative radio
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.9.229

John shows how it's done again

2011-07-08 08:24:28
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Man he's good.  It's usually the host that won't let the guest get a word in, but Abraham does a great job not letting the hosts get much of a word in :-)  And I like how he spun the host's comment about an increasing number of 'skeptics' (first she said scientists, then she switched to politicians, then she switched to Republicans and finally got it right) into pointing out that the GOP is letting down Republicans who aren't anti-science.  Abraham's an interviewing pro.

2011-07-08 08:45:55
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.149.101.148

I can tell where John was having trouble answering the question about being able to replicate the results - a common corollary to that (if I can use that word) is "well climate science doesn't test results or give replicable results."  Well yes, it is difficult to apply the same type of scientific investigation to the climate as you would with chemical testing, for instance, since it's not really possible to form a physical climate with which you can perform experiments, but as John was also trying to lead into, there are several ways of approaching the step of testing your hypotheses, not all of them being hardcore power leveling through test tube run after test tube run.  If you have a model that can accurately predict what you observe, it's likely a good model.  I think an analogy to the Big Bang model would be appropriate: no good way to form a laboratory-version mini universe, but the observations support the theory very well.  What would we expect?  Well, we'd expect a background radiation - oh whadyaknow?  We'd expect widespread redshift - whadyaknow?  We observe all of these fingerprints.

Unfortunately, many people see science as being all in the physical lab making a physical model, which is where that argument could have spiraled out of control.  I think John handled it well, and I'm glad it didn't go off on such a pointless tangent.

And yes, good interview, just like before.  All the command without the, shall we say, arrogance of command.

2011-07-11 12:47:50More on how John kicks arse
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.9.229

In an email, Bart Verheggen comments:

He talks very well indeed. What I think makes him particularly effective is that doesn't just mention dry facts, but molds them into a little story (yes I'm a Randy Olson fan).
E.g. about the consensus he suggests to the interviewer to join him to AGU and ask scientists there what they think about AGW and challenges him to find 1 out of 10 to disagree with the importance of human influence. That makes the information tangible and believable to a non-specialist audience.
I didn't even notice this while listening but upon reflection, it's very very good messaging from John - a very clever way to frame the scientific consensus. It's visual, concrete, it tells a story that the listener can picture in their mind. It's not just a 97% statistic but painting the picture of walking through the AGU asking scientists their opinion. I like this a lot - already a big fan of JA but this took him up another notch in my estimation.
2011-07-11 13:02:25
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.99.60

Yeah very smart - "if you don't believe me, come see for yourself".  A good way to shut a consensus denier up.

2011-07-11 16:39:41
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.143.14

John Abraham = Kung Fu Climatologist. Jeet Kune Do! 

2011-07-11 23:16:28
Glenn Tamblyn

glenn@thefoodgallery.com...
121.219.227.23

<start rant>

Scary observation about conservative journalism standards.

How do we know whats going on out there in the oceans? Subtext. Maybe we don't and its all a blank.

Like, this stuff we are asking questions about; we really know nothing about it at ALL. Cause its this weird science shit about stuff somewhere else in the world. And that can't be important cause that has nothing to do with Main Street or what Oprah (or Rush, or heeearsse Johnny) said last night. These scientist guys are really, you know, like, out there. Weird you know. I bet they don't even know what Pepsi's latest adverts are Let alone Dr Peppers!

Actually we know exactly what we are doing. We are acting as a mirror, reflecting our audiences supposed ignorance of a subject, by trying to get this wise-arse science nerd to admit that he is pulling crap out of thin air like we think he is doing (actually what we think our audience thinks he is doing). He might admit it. He might not but show what a science nerd he is which is as good as admitting he knows nothing cause nerds aren't real folks you know.

And if he comes up with an answer that doesn't support that, well hey, we've got this list of other questions so we can take this some place else and try to trip him up again. And if that doesn't work we can do the two presenters tag-teaming thing to deflect that as well.

Cause we are here to make the 'folks feel all comfy and right at home, you know!

<rant end>

2011-07-12 00:55:33Thanks...
John Abraham
John Abraham
JPABRAHAM@stthomas...
140.209.20.216
Folks Thanks for the kind words. Three things that I tried to do in this interview were: 1. Compliment the hosts immediately and frame the discussion as a need to get good information so we can make good decisions 2. Reinforce the consensus argument with the challenge to attend AGU and do a poll. 3. Talk about denialist scientists like Spencer that are activists. I had intended to relay the recent Spencer quote but time ended too early. At least I threw the guantlet down. Hard to know if it was successful. I did have a problem answering one question because I do a lot of legal work and I thought he was leading me into a trap. Looking back, I was giving the host too much credit. Any more suggestions welcome. John
2011-07-12 10:03:14a home run
Tom Smerling

avi@smerling...
216.164.57.97

Best example I've seen of establishing rapport and "disagreeing without being disagreeable."     Hey, John, Chris S. even wants to buy you a beer!    I've never heard Chris listen for such long periods -- without interrupting -- to any guest on climate (other than deniers).

(FYI We've reposted it at ClimateBites under exemplary "Great Presentations", highlighting some of the effective communication principles your segment demonstrates.)

Having done ARNN myself twice, I know how hard it is to get in your key messages, in 9 minutes.  

Question for John:   When the host claimed that all sensors are land-based, was there a reason you decided not to cite the actual (impressively large) number of ocean-based sensors?   

re:  Suggestions?    only minor tweaks:

  • On ARNN I found that one can avoid getting cut-off by watching the clock.   The producer said that most interviews run about 8-9 minutes and they never go past 9:45 minutes, so you can predict when an abrupt cut-off will occur and pace yourself accordingly.
  • Might some answers be more effective if more succinct?   I suspect that some radio listeners -- lacking visual cues -- find it hard to following an extended train-of-thought.
2011-07-12 13:29:24
Tom Smerling

avi@smerling...
216.164.57.97
2011-07-13 03:42:45Response to tom
John Abraham
John Abraham
JPABRAHAM@stthomas...
140.209.20.216
Good points, I will do better on the ending time but the interviews move so fast! I think I did mention that each year, thousands of ocean temp sensors are used. That is an area I work in... John