Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
It’s been a couple months of seriously bad PR for climate science, both due to unfortunate errors made by scientists and (okay, mostly) a well-funded noise machine intent on preserving the status quo at any cost. So how can climate scientists dig themselves out of the negative publicity trench and help reeducate the public on the dangers of climate change? The answer’s not debating skeptics on TV, that’s for sure. So would a full-on national media blitz by Obama’s Nobel Prize winning science team–Stephen Chu and John Holdren–help do the trick?
That’s what Climate Progress’s Joe Romm suggests, after taking advice from a recent editorial in the scientific journal Nature.
Here’s an excerpt from the Nature article (subscription required), entitled Climate of Fear (via CP):
The integrity of climate research has taken a very public battering in recent months. Scientists must now emphasize the science, while acknowledging that they are in a street fight.
Climate scientists are on the defensive, knocked off balance by a re-energized community of global-warming deniers who, by dominating the media agenda, are sowing doubts about the fundamental science. Most researchers find themselves completely out of their league in this kind of battle because it’s only superficially about the science. The real goal is to stoke the angry fires of talk radio, cable news, the blogosphere and the like, all of which feed off of contrarian story lines and seldom make the time to assess facts and weigh evidence. Civility, honesty, fact and perspective are irrelevant.
And all that is exactly why it’s all but futile for a climate scientist to go on TV to attempt to refute anti-science misinformation. So what to do? Scientists, who were never trained for and therefore aren’t particularly adept at “street fights” aren’t the ideal candidates to get in the ring. But scientists, despite the recent deluge of bad PR regarding climate, remain more trusted than almost any other group in relaying information to the people–and rightly so.
The thing with trust must be exquisitely frustrating for the chicken-little “scientists.” Yes, the trust is there — until they seize it, then it is not. The minute they start in with their “who ya gonna believe, me, a REAL SCIENTIST, or your lyin’ eyes?”…everyone with an I.Q. north of an overripe cantaloupe, for some inexplicable reason, stops listening.
Under the “How To Debate Climate Change: Don’t” article, there is a fascinating comment that received lots of high fives at treehugger.com:
So “debating” climate science in the dumbed-down forum of TV is pointless. These are the points that we need to be discussing:
1. Americans consume fossil fuel as if it were an unlimited resource
2. We act as if all the deposits are in our own country, under our control
3. We appear to believe there are no consequences whatsoever for extracting and burning oil
Whether someone believes in AGW or not, most people can see why extracting resources from a closed system and dumping waste back into it in ever-growing streams might cause some problems. To endlessly argue over piles of scientific research that few have read–or would understand if they did–is to postpone developing policies and taking action to address these (very real) problems…Oh, I see.
I wonder what an alien civilization would think of our grasp on “science” if they were to intercept things like this.
Science cannot be debated on the teevee, because debate too often degenerates into a contest among personalities. Hmmm. Very true. This is a real problem. B-u-u-u-t…you know, somehow I doubt this was much of a problem for the guy writing, when “contest among personalities” meant Barack Obama was elected to an office for which He is manifestly unqualified.
But he’s right; science is not about personalities. It is about forming a consensus, and once you acquire a critical mass within that consensus, making sure no other opinion can be heard or legitimized. Science does not tolerate challenges, and if one ever comes along it should be met with the ol’ “Will Not Dignify That With a Response” slapdown. Science is really all about putting dissent in its proper place.
Science is also all about changing policies. Once you have gathered enough “facts” to make your proposal look like a good idea, you should stop gathering any more. Cherry pick only the stuff that makes your idea look appealing.
Science is about monitoring how much of a resource people are consuming, and getting into a pissy mood about it. Science is about passing judgment on how people live their private lives, and cooking up scary stories about what might or might not happen to the rest of us as a result. Find some consequences, and if you can’t find any credible ones, invent some. Then start bullying.
That is what science is all about.
Meanwhile, back on the real Planet Earth, the one I call home…the analogy about the puppy with the dynamite stick holds. The fuse was lit with the East Anglia scandal, and any scientist who values his credibility will drop the “stick.” Any other puppies out there who still insist on playing fetch, will be blown to kingdom come.
Sad part is, there is a lot of money involved in this scary bedtime story. And if you count “money” by purity of profit, this new cottage industry makes the entire petroleum market look like a kids’ lemonade stand. So there are a lot of puppies out there who will still want to play fetch. And they won’t debate. Because science, after all, isn’t about debate. It’s about charlatans, canned speeches and golden idols. And policy change. Don’t forget that; it is all important.
If the policy change is likely and imminent, science is having a great week. If the policy change becomes unlikely, science is having a tough time of it.
Inigo Montoya moment.
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