Saturday, June 24, 2023

It's all the Scientists' Fault!

We're at the stage in climate change news that it's time to blame scientists for not telling anyone about it before now. Headline from The Hill: "Catch-22: Scientific communication failures linked to faster-rising seas"

"Scientists failed for decades to communicate the coming risks of rapid sea-level rise to policymakers and the public, a new study has found. . . . Scientists have soft-pedaled the kinds of catastrophic risks most easily headed off by cutting emissions. While scientific communication has improved in the 2020s, this trajectory led policymakers to make decisions based on risks that are better understood, easier to quantify--and also easier to write off as an acceptable long-term risk."

This is so totally bananas!! 

I'm a nobody with a flippin' philosophy degree. I've blogged about the environment since May 2009, when I start a blog for the explicit purpose of trying to get other environmentally-minded high school teachers and students involved in an amazing collaboration of ideas to help green our schools. I tried valiantly, writing at least once/week for two years, with few commenters and no joiners, then slowly gave it up. I get few commenters here, too, but I'm just barfing out my outrage now, not hoping to actually work with people on a solution. It's too painful when it's so fruitless.


Even I knew all about the causes and solutions around climate change. Heck, I remember learning all this from my grade six teacher, worried about global CO2 rising ONE degree back in 1976! Aw, so cute. 

The information was always out there for the taking, so if policymakers chose poorly, they have NOBODY to blame but their own idiocy.  

The study they cite, big surprise, doesn't slam scientists for failing to communicate coming risks. It's very specific to communication of "sea-level projection uncertainty." Analyzing how best to explain types of uncertainties is very different than claiming a failure to communicate! A better news article here

The article does get to the meat of the study, but later in the article, and it's definitely not indicated by the headline. And all too often, people don't read much past the headline.

Hey, mainstream media! Maybe it's time to look in the mirror, and consider how well you communicate. 

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