2011-11-20 01:07:31Need Feedback For Myth-Busting Video Storyboard


Hi guys, I dropped a post in the authors' intro thread last month and mentioned that I was working on a series of videos based on the rebuttals for the most common arguments. Well, I've been on holiday in Japan for a few weeks, but I'mback and just finished most of the storyboard for my first video! I went for numero uno: what past climate changes tell us about present warming.

Any feedback you guys can give me would be fantastic, including:

  • technical errors;
  • better ways to communicate the content;
  • thoughts on how appropriate the level of complexity is (I'm shooting for somewhere between basic and intermediate);
  • ideas for the introduction or the very last part of the conclusion; or
  • any other thoughts you might have.

If you can spare a few minutes to take  a look at the storyboard, it's here (PDF, 8 MB). It isn't too long; I don't want the video to run any longer than 90 seconds (as I tend to find that people nod off if you can't make your point by then). I'm starting to work on the production tonight, but there's still plenty of time for me to refine this (indeed, I expect to considerably over the next few days). Oh, and if I'm posting on the wrong board, let me know. Thanks a heap!

2011-11-20 06:31:19
Rob Painting

Rensa - posts tend to get ignored if they're not on the general chat or blog post threads. So I'd suggest posting on the general threads in future.

Nice work, but I'm not sure you really nail what this myth is all about. The two main memes are that "climate changed naturally before, therefore this current warming must also be natural" and secondly "these scientists are such dumb fracks, don't they realize that climated changed naturally before?"

Well, at least those are the two memes I see peddled most often.   

2011-11-21 02:48:27


Hi Rob, thanks for the board tip :)

I agree wholeheartedly. When I initially read the rebuttals for this myth, I'd assumed they would either deal with the invalid logic of the argument or go into an attribution explanation (ie. 'yes, the climate has changed naturally in the past, but this time it's us - and this is how we know that'). The basic page deals with the former, but the intermediate doesn't deal with the latter. Put another way, instead of ruling out natural attribution to show that current warming isn't a repeat of past changes, it uses past changes to hypothesise that current emissions would result in warming. Which, I agree, is not what I initially expected.

So I'm a little torn whether to follow the rebuttal pages as strictly as I have or to rewrite the logical argument in a way that I feel addresses the myth more clearly. A compromise would be to start off with a straight-up Fiction/Fact pushing the logical error and then to steer off into the intermediate rebuttal's content, but I think this might muddy the narrative of the video further. What do you think?

2011-11-22 01:57:13
Paul D


I think the language you are using is could be better although well intended.

Really when I read the first frame, I get the impression that the heat gain and loss (effects) are the things controlling the temperature, when in reality it is the external sources/sinks and the object itself that is determining the loss or gain. The gain or loss are effects, not causes.

Also, the system isn't exactly unbalanced. What goes in does come out! If it didn't the earth would get hotter and hotter. The problem is the delay in getting the energy out to space, that is different to having an unbalanced system. The issue is time.


Insulation doesn't create an unblanced system on a house, over time, the heat produced inside the house does escape. The reason it is more efficient is that less fuel is needed to maintain a temperature inside because heat escapes at a slower rate. If we all had well insulated houses, fossil fuels would still run out and produce just as much CO2 as non-insulated houses, the only difference is how long it would take to use the fossil fuel and put all the carbon into the biosphere/astmosphere.

2011-12-02 00:05:51


Paul, re. your first point, I decided that it would be best to split the forcing -> energy imbalance -> temperature change causal change into two parts (forcing -> imbalance, imbalance -> temp change) and explain them seperately. I think elements of the first section work well to explain the imbalance -> t/c part, and I tried to logically connect it to the first part (forcing -> imbalance) in reverse. But I agree: there is potential for confusion here. As it stands the video's missing an introduction, and I'm rather fond of the reel effect I'm using at the end. What if I brought that in at the start as well? It would work well to book-end the video and help the viewer keep the 'big picture' in mind as they went through the detail. Thoughts?

Re. the second point, I should be referring to an imbalance in rate of heat transfer; I got sloppy there. I need to find an easy way to phrase it that is still technically accurate. Shall have a think on that :)

I'm going to tr yand rewrite significant parts of the video in order to accommodate Rob's criticism as well, but thanks for the input, Paul!