2011-09-22 04:20:51Suggestons for 5-min talk at Moving Planet event
Julian Brimelow

Hi all,

I have been invited to give a talk at a local Moving Planet gathering on Saturday and was hoping the kind and informed folks at SkS could float some ideas.  I have about 5 minutes.

Many thanks in advance.

2011-09-22 05:23:08


Talk about your work at SkS.

2011-09-22 05:41:27
Dana Nuccitelli

Moving Planet is about moving beyond fossil fuels.  So a brief summary of the science regarding why we need to move beyond fossil fuels would be appropriate (CO2 causing global warming, resulting in climate change such as increases in extreme weather events, and ocean acidification of course).

And of course talk about how SkS is trying to help achieve that goal :-)

2011-09-22 06:02:11
Julian Brimelow

Thanks guys,

Yes, I am goingto give a plug for skepticalscience.  I want to speak (thank God they do not have to read my awful "speed" typing!) to the science, but I also have to give them some hope and how we can make it work.  I was also going to place what is happening now and what is expected to happen in the context of the paleo record.  No props allowed, so that will make it more difficult.

2011-09-22 14:34:48


I think telling people explicitly that because we're now pretty clear on how sensitive the climate/ocean can be to increases in CO2 concentrations, we've got a pretty good idea that reducing concentrations will evoke a proportionate response.  (In 5 mins you can't get into methane bombs and the like.)

Just get them clear that reducing emissions is a very good thing - because it is the first step on the long road to reducing concentrations.

2011-09-22 17:17:20I assume from such an event that...
Glenn Tamblyn


I assume from such an event that this will be a sympathetic audience. Therefore I would use it to push the science of the consequences rather than the causes and the case for the urgency of it. Thermal lag so we haven't seen the full impact of what we have done to date. Ocean uptake of CO2 is slow so it will remain for 1000's of years. The rate of change is the force multiplier of the impacts. This is 10 times faster than the PETM. Last interglacial (EEMIAN) was only a bit warmer than now but 1/2 of Greenland went, Denmark, Holland did not exist, Scandinavia was an island. CO2 may be heading to levels unseen in 30 million years.

2011-09-22 19:38:05
Rob Painting

Yeah, I too thought about suggesting something along the lines Glenn has. It is very poorly understood, by the general population, that much suffering and pain is already guaranteed. All the research trickling in suggests things are deteriorating much faster than anyone anticipated.

But how do you convey that to an audience without them getting all depressed? Being unrealistically optimistic might make the talk go well, but how does that actually prepare anyone for reality? Tough finding the right balance of realism vs optimism.  

2011-09-22 19:48:53


Do the people at MovingPlanet really need a 5-minute talk on the science? I don't think so! I think you're much better off focusing on the issue of what can and needs to be done. And right now, that's mostly to turn around the drift of public opinion towards a false economy of "Let's do the cheapest thing now, and fix CO2 when we're rich again."

2011-09-23 02:30:36
Julian Brimelow

Hi all,

Thanks so much for your feedback-- this helps a lot.  No worries Neal, I will not be speaking to the science for 5-min (inlcuding past climate), maybe 2.5 min or so.  The reast will be about what needs to be done and how and what people can do.  Does that sound like a good balance?  So 50% on what is happening, why and where we are possible headed, 50% on what needs to be sone, how and what people can do.  And of course plug for SkS at the very end.

Will try and throw in an inspiration quote somewhere (SheWonk/Policy Lass has some good ones), like this one:

"Only the most naive gamblers bet against physics, and only the most irresponsible bet with their grandchildren's resources"W. Calvin, 2002

"We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces."
Carl Sagan

"The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition." Carl Sagan

"Science is so powerful that it drags us kicking and screaming towards the truth despite our best efforts to avoid it." Peter Watts

This is good, but too dark and something to mull over and will just distract people:

"Those who will not reason, perish in the act. Those who will not act, perish for that reason."
W. Auden

[If people have appropriate quotes please forward those. Thanks!]

2011-09-23 10:21:54Have a visit of climate bites
John Cook


Tom Smerling, who is now an official SkSer with his pending Galileo rebuttal, created a whole website exactly for what you're after, Alby. Jokes, quotes, metaphors, slides, etc.


Tom, I'm surprised you didn't use this thread to plug your site :-)

2011-09-23 10:28:10


The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of great moral crises maintain their neutrality.
 Dante Alighieri

2011-09-24 14:47:59
Julian Brimelow

Many thanks John.

2011-11-16 01:54:18Six weeks later...
Tom Smerling


John -- Oops, just stumbled across this thread, six weeks late!   

Albatross -- I'd very much appreciate your feedback/suggestions -- Were you able to find what you wre looking for at ClimateBites.org?  

2011-11-16 03:38:49
Julian Brimelow

Hi Tom,

I did thanks, and incorporated some of the material in my speech.  It was a huuge help!