Thursday, February 27, 2014

Climate Change in Our Times

In the previous post Eli noted the NBC News take on the NRC/RS Climate Change FAQ.  While short, copies of the report, printed or perhaps thumb drived would be a fine inclusion in some chocolate Easter eggs in the coming Spring, especially for those Thanksgiving uncles.

However, here, Eli would like to draw your focus to the obligatory Roger Pielke Jr. remark

"Ultimately, [it is] rather ho-hum, and pretty redundant to everything else that is out there," Roger Pielke Jr., a climate policy analyst and professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, told NBC News in an email.
This is truly amazing for many reasons.  First, John Roach, who wrote the piece, framed the quote beautifully, with a subhead
'Ho-hum' but necessary
 a lead in (emphasis added in bold)
Outside experts asked to comment on the report noted that it lacks new information, but neatly packages mainstream climate science for a general audience.  "Ultimately, [it is] rather ho-hum, and pretty redundant to everything else that is out there," Roger Pielke Jr., a climate policy analyst and professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, told NBC News in an email.
followed by the hammer
Ho-hummery aside, the National Academy of Sciences and Royal Society were compelled to make a statement, according to Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University in University Park. "Sadly, in today's political environment, where climate change denial is pervasive at our highest levels of government, it seems that the message is not being heard," he told NBC News via email.
Roger, of course, is a policy analyst, something that Roach was careful to point out.  Is it not curious Ethon points out that Roger is not aware of the fact that the ho hommery does not appear to have penetrated some policy making skulls?  This, of course is part of his game.

Roger Jr. and Dan Kahan and their ilk have always pushed the idea that well everyone knows that the IPCC has it right, but so what, the people who count will never agree to taking action so dig your survival shelter and wait out the coming, either that or buy air conditioner futures and move to the mountains.   It actually works if, as Richard Alley says, the policy maker listens to the discussion between the guy on the blue side and the guy on the green side which is "certainly not both sides. If you want both sides, we would have to have somebody in here screaming a conniption fit on the red end, because you are hearing a very optimistic side."

But times they are a changing.  The somebunnies shouting bloody murder are sick of being triangulated and the green side has realized that things are much worse than they thought and too are starting to scream bloody murder, perhaps not as loud as necessary, but much louder and the journos are also listening and catching on.

Maybe not, but maybe things end better this time

10 comments:

Victor Venema said...

Balance would be to let such people debate militant environmental activists willing to risk human lives. And do so in political programs.

In the science programs and documentaries, the scientists can explain the current scientific understanding of the topic.

And Then Theres Physics said...

I have a sense that we will start to see those who were arguing that climate change isn't happening or won't be significant, starting to control the narrative with regards to what should be done, once it becomes obvious that something has to be done.

If we're lucky they will argue for sensible things and we'll actually achieve something. Of course, if this does happen, those who've spent that last couple of decades arguing for action will be told "see, we told you to listen to us and stop being so alarmist".

pp said...

ATTP, Yes you see this kind of Borg assimilation with crude oil depletion.

Year after year, the Anti's will claim that there is no problem with reserves ... until one day the reserves go to nil, and then suddenly we have electric cars and wind turbines everywhere.

Yet, they will never admit that Peak Oil was real. Much like the Y2K non-problem.

Agreed, they must control the narrative, so we let them and keep on making the subversive choices of investing in alternative and renewable energy.

EliRabett said...

ATTP. Eli is a VERY old bunny. What you are talking about used to be called being prematurely anti-fascist.

Such are not credited much by the VSP

plg said...

1984? Newspeak? Orwell just got the year wrong...

And Then Theres Physics said...

Eli, yes, my naivety shines though sometimes :-)

BTW, are you going to solve your little puzzle from a few posts ago, or just let it hang?

Alamin Arafat said...

If we're lucky they will argue for sensible things and we'll actually achieve something. Of course, if this does happen, those who've spent that last couple of decades arguing for action will be told "see, we told you to listen to us and stop being so alarmist".

Bryson said...

The use of 'premature anti-fascism' to brand people suspected of being too left wing was a big and early tell on where politics would go after we managed to defeat the fascists-- I think Dorothy Parker (of the Algonquin Round Table, and the author of a notorious pun about horticulture and thinking) was refused permission to serve as a journalist in Europe during WWII because she was identified by the PTB as one.

Russell Seitz said...

Eli's memory is long as his ears, but the more premature they were, the slower they tend to be in catching up to the outcome of the Cold War.

The inverse corollary is neocons too proud of their role in the Evil Empire's downfall to pay the sightest attention to the climate wars.

Brian said...

Regarding ho-hummery, I can assume from RPJr's comment that his classes do not consist of repackaging and summarizing existing knowledge for the purposes of education, but rather each one solely conducts new research in the policy fields.

I might be a little easier on Kahan than Eli is - Kahan doesn't seem to me to agree that denialist tribals acknowledge the IPCC, he thinks they find it easier not to believe the IPCC. I think his blanket claim that there's no point in conveying knowledge to them, especially to the fence-sitters, is wrong.