2011-01-31 10:28:16Allow me some thoughts regarding educating folks
Peter Miesler

It seems to me the big problem is that people are not connecting on a visceral level.

You’ll notice all the AGWHoaxer arguments are gut level emotional -
That is how they are winning.
How do we fight that?

We are not teaching/broadcasting Earth Science 101 in a way that grabs ‘em by the solar plexus...
{sort of like a song can touch you deep down.}
But, that’s exactly what the Republicans have been and are doing and are winning at.

Most of our society looks upon our planet as a two dimensional thing off in the distance.
A self obsessed religious mentality, being feed by emotional {Hollyworld and all it promises}, manna on a daily basis veils their vision.

This is what we are up against.

All Climate Science has to offer is increasingly tough, even ugly days ahead of us.
   How to overcome that?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Here are some thoughts on a Climate Science 101 video presentation:

Our planet is a real living incredible thing.  Having been on its evolutionary journey for over four billions years.  It is such an overwhelmingly beautiful story and it seems like only a tiny percent appreciate it.  How to convey that?  Attenborough and others have done superb jobs of conveying the wonder and value in our evolutionary heritage.  Yet, how few have actually been touched? How many actually feel what it means to love our planet and its biosphere, to feel connected to it, to care about it.  
~ ~ ~
visual -

The Earth from orbit during a season’s worth of Atlantic and Pacific cyclones played out uninterrupted panning across the globe.

Then, using CGI shrink that down to a beach ball in a narrator’s hand.  Keeping the global surface weather patterns playing on that thin film of atmosphere.

From there explain our thin atmosphere and dynamics with ocean and land, mountains and cryosphere.  Perhaps zooming in close here and there to explain particulars,  glaciers and their hydrological influence on regional weather, etc.

Keep it strictly to the physics -
Our planet is a heat engine,

this is how it functions,
this is what we have been doing to it,
this is how it is reacting,
this is what we have to expect from the future.

All while looking at the circulating weather patterns on the beach ball. 

It doesn’t need any filler because the shorter the better anyways.

No nothing but Earth, Atmosphere, Biosphere dynamics, science.
Simply explained in its magnificent glory!

The simple truth away from the graphs and dramatic images and all the other distracts. 

For people to be given the space to think it through on a gut level.
If no else has thought of it before, shame on them... ;-)  If they have, Get it out there:-)

Now I’m just some bumpkin who can’t do a thing with this dream... other than share it and hopefully pass it along. But, I do know this video should be made! 
Gotta be some talented people out there looking for a worthy project.



2011-01-31 10:42:22


As someone who has spent the better part of his life studying physics, I still have to ask you: Why do you expect the ordinary Joe to get excited about the physics of the atmosphere?

We have to get people excited to get anything to happen - but that approach certainly seems like the thick end of the wedge.

I think where we have a chance is to get people excited about the solutions. As long as there isn't a clear vision for that, the story is always going to be a bit of a downer. We need a convincing storyline that leads to success. 

For example, if someone had an analysis that showed that sequestration (even better: separation from the air) of CO2 could be done cost-effectively, that would be a good story. THAT would be a Sputnik moment, with a clear challenge and a definite goal. Right now, we're still looking for a new technology. we're still lost in the desert. It's kind of hard to get people to march.

2011-01-31 10:55:44
Peter Miesler

Oh, yea.  i guess you probably have a point.

But it isn't like anything else has been working too well either.  People don't have the faintest appreciation, so they eat all this obviously twisted nonsense the denialist echo-chamber feeds them.

How else to teach what the climate scientists are trying to explain.  People get overwhelmed by the complexity, but a picture is worth a thousand. . . .  ~  For instance, all the it's cold in east coast so global warming is proven false, but color enhanced imagining of weather patterns has way of putting a little perspective on the ego-centric soundbite nonsense.

What metaphor is more appropriate, or accurate, than a global heat engine?  Why isn't that being explained?

also I apologize for this again sounding US centric, it really isn't, that's just where I'm in the middle of.

2011-01-31 11:30:55citizenschallenge
John Hartz
John Hartz

See Daniel Bailey's post about the "Prophets of Doom" video. The average person does not wwant to watch such a video because he/she knows it will be depressing.  

What Climate Hawks like us lack is not a gut-wrenching video. Rather, what we lack is a sophisticated way to mobilize ourselves and speak-out with one voice. The Climate Denial Machine has had the money and wherewithall to put such as system in place in the US and throughout the countries of the world. They have an advantage over us because all they have to do to succeed is to sow the seeds of doubt. That is a lot easier than educating and reasoning with people. 

2011-01-31 12:03:27"A sophisticated way to mobilize ourselves and speak-out with one voice"
John Cook

The 'Rapid Response Network' is designed to achieve that. I was planning to start work on it in January but got distracted by Monckton Myths (a happy distraction). Will begin work in February.
2011-01-31 20:09:22
Mark Richardson

"Our planet is a real living incredible thing.  Having been on its evolutionary journey for over four billions years."


I think you've just lost half of the climate 'skeptic' camp right there!

2011-02-01 06:19:42connecting on a viscarel level
John Hartz
John Hartz

is the topic of a very interesting article, "Is it hot in here? Or is the climate changing?" posted today (Jan 31) on Grist.


2011-02-01 13:39:02
Peter Miesler

"Our planet is a real living incredible thing.  Having been on its evolutionary journey for over four billions years."

 I think you've just lost half of the climate 'skeptic' camp right there!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

No doubt.  That is the challenge for the thinking artist to convey.....

Don't get me wrong it isn't like I imagine some magic wand to 'smite the disbelievers with the light' . . . 

But, what about

the folks who do sort of glimpse climate science dynamics, but it is out of their grasp.

Those silly liberals who want to help but don't actually have a clue... >>> when will someone offer them some digestible lessons?

For kee-rist sake I've listened to so many AGW "believers" {sorry lousy word, but bare with me ~ and do share a better term} spew 3/4 nonsense, simply because they didn't quite grasp the global dynamics going on. While the "sceptics" laugh that it is all too incomprehensible so let's just all ignore the problem  ~  and remember they are winning....


The folks who have a rough appreciation, could really use a tool to nail down their understanding and appreciation...

It would give them a real "leg up" as they say when trying to convey what they understand about climate change and why we should all be worrying about it.

Why Not?


2011-02-01 13:53:01The challenge
John Cook

A Christian friend of mine the other day said "you're a sciencey guy - what's up with this carbon dating stuff? Is it accurate?" So I explained how carbon dating was just one method of dating and there were all manner of different ways of working out the age of rocks or fossils or whatever - and all these different lines of evidence gave similar answers which went well beyond the 6000 years that creationists believe. But it's a tough sell. People just can't shrug off what they've believed without nquestion all their life. So we have to be sensitive to our audience and their values.
2011-02-01 14:16:51
Peter Miesler


a very interesting article, "Is it hot in here? Or is the climate changing?" posted today (Jan 31) on Grist.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Thanks for that link, good read.  Excellent example although they are talking about physical emotional short term stuff.

I'm thinking more in terms of intellectual visceral.

You folks know {have even experienced I dare say} those moments when the strands of a mystery, problem, finally connect.

For example, for us older folks, when plate tectonics came along and suddenly there was this pop of a bubble with an entirely new appreciation for what lay beyond our previous understanding.  Fortunately, plate tectonics was easy enough to explain to interested grade schoolers, but climate change isn't all that different, only a few more dimensions added...

that's what I'm dreaming of.......... convey the information in a refreshing manner.

2011-02-02 03:39:20Resources
John Hartz
John Hartz

As they say, "There's nothing new under the sun."

There are numerous websites* that convey the science of climate change in a refreshing manner.

Here are just three:

Planetsave  http://planetsave.com/

GreenAnswers http://greenanswers.com/

Climate Central  http://www.climatecentral.org/

*Including SkS to be sure. 

2011-02-03 09:38:54
Peter Miesler

You miss the point.  Also, with respect, none of those 3 sites offered anything refreshing, and SkS out shines them all by many factors on various levels. {but this isn't about tit for tat.}

The point I'm trying to make is that I believe appreciating our globe and its thin atmosphere, oceans, etc ~ Climate as a dynamic heat engine is critical for interested folks (and the noninterested) to grasp just what is happening within our climate and the weather it spawns.

And that has not been accomplished.

And seems to me, the best way to actually do that, is not through more endless words that can be found on endless websites, such as the three above... put together for people who don't read them anyways.  {no insult intended, just trying to explain myself.} 

I believe scientific comprehension desperately needs something dramatic, visual, emotional, but without blabla stats and anecdotes.  Draw them a picture simple enough for a ten year old to understand.  Better yet make an buttkicking animation, just the facts, because that really is all the story needs, it tells itself once you grab the audiences attention.

 Here is what our climate {biosphere} is ~ here is what we have done to it ~ here is how the climate {biosphere} is changing.

2011-02-03 11:38:32
Stephen Leahy


I've done something similar in conversations...and almost always get a "ya but...its Al Gore bla bla"..and other variations. We are not nearly the rational creatures we'd like to think we are.

Not saying that approach doesn't work, just not w many people, but the younger the better in my experience.