Episode 1

The first Episode of Irregular Climate has been released! Get it here.

This week: Skeptics vs Deniers, Malaria, Scientists fighting back, Greenland rising , dead deniers at SEPP and the denier facepalm of the week!

This is the first episode so expect glitches!

Irregular Climate needs your help!

Show notes available here.

Comments:

  1. Hi Dan – I like the sound of your voice on there, nicely measured pace. A few slip-ups on words, but even the pros do that once in a while.

    One correction – Lindzen’s op-eds have been in the Wall Street Journal (a New York-based paper focused on business) not the Washington Post (Washington DC politics-oriented paper). Just a minor point!

  2. By the way, if you have some particular piece of music in mind for the show, and it’s out of copyright as far as the sheet music goes (i.e. something classical, pre-1920 or so) I’d be happy to do a piano recording and release under creative commons for you.

  3. Oops, I should have known that… actually I probably did, but I think I mixed up Lindzen’s terrible columns with George Will’s terrible columns, which are published in the Washington Post.

    I’ll issue a correction when I write the show notes and when I record the next podcast.

    Thanks for the offer for theme music. I don’t have anything in mind yet, but if I think of something I’ll let you know. Though I am open to suggestions.

    • Great job Dan! Excellent speaking voice and great analysis.

      Tiny quibbles: check the pronunciation of “Lindzen”, and be careful of “causal” (cause) vs. “casual” (relaxed)

      Oh, and thanks for the coverage for my list of lists! I’d say the latest NAS statement was indeed a response to Cuccinelli, though it would be good to check the chronology and even consult the originators to know for sure.

    • I think you list of lists is one of the most important stories to get across to people.

      As for whether it was a response to Cuccinelli, I think it is possible, but the release of the letter happened shortly after Cuccinelli witch hunt against Mann was made public, so I don’t think the letter was a direct response to Cuccinelli.

      But If I can find the contact information for Peter Gleick I’ll ask him directly

    • I sent Peter Gleick an email asking him about Cuccinelli and this is what he replied (printed with permission)

      The letter was written long before Cuccinelli — in March. I spent the end of March and much of April collecting and verifying signatures. At the end of April, we sent it to publications for release, and Science agreed to publish it.

      Cuccinelli came after the letter was written and all the signatures gathered. But it is precisely the kind of attack the letter addressed.

      I’ll mention this in the next episode.

  4. The Cato Institute ran full-page ads in both WaPo and NYT, iirc, after Obama’s election with a “With all due respect, Mr. President” headline attacking Obama’s strong stated commitment to action on climate change. I tagged this as “Cato09” and have annotated all 115 signers:
    http://www.cato.org/special/climatechange/alternate_version.html
    The statement in the ad is a vacuous lump of denialism. Now, if the NAS statement was put forward to the papers as a paid ad and refused, there is probably a basis for a formal complaint against the publishers. OTOH if it was turned down as a news story, there’s nothing to do but write to their ombudsman, write LTEs, and of course tell everyone else how “balanced” they’ve been on this particular scorecard, as you do so well here.

    – Jim

  5. On the issue of Malaria that you mention in your first podcast.
    I would add that environmental campaigners and the media have in the past picked up on the idea that Malaria might spread more widely due to warming. There is a mind set in the denialsphere that lumps scientists, campaigners and others into one homogeneous conspiring basket, so if campaigners pick up on a statement and run with it in order to increase the pressure to change, the campaign is also attributed to the scientists, even though the science can only suggest probabilities not certainties.

    I think sometimes emphasising the extremes that might happen, helps to keep the pressure on for change, however it can also backfire with accusations of ‘alarmism’.

    To be honest, in the eyes of a denialist you can’t win, the only way of achieving peace with them is if you deny the science as well and invest in fossil fuel stocks. Hence you get comments like ‘don’t worry, just enjoy the ride’.

    • Good point. Scientists and environmental campaigners are not one and the same, and when anyone ignores that distinction we should point that out.

      I do that, for example, when people trash Al Gore. Nothing he says or does has any impact on the science case for AGW.

  6. This is terrific start… I want to check back again…. got a mailing list? For notification of new posting…

    Just got the book “Merchants of Doubt” by Oreskes and Conway.

    But I have to say that the big issue is not whether or not we have AGW… Many who are sane and sober instead wonder what are we going to do about it… . the issue is how do we react? and what do we do? Much more important questions.

    And it is a much harder discussion to hold. So many have concluded that humans face inevitable mass suffering ahead…. inescapable. Attending a debate between scientists and denialists is a form of escapism.

    We want scientists to speak out and be politically forceful…. but I am told by a local professor of oceanography that about half the faculty is passively accepting an inevitable future that they cannot change…. and stoically setting about to enjoy themselves and carry on somehow. They think there is sufficient science, and now the issue is political not scientific.

    • Thanks!

      You are right that the question “what should we do” is more important, but as long as action has costs (and it does, though they are not as high as most think) and as long as enough people deny or minimize the problem, the question “what should we do” is not enough.

      BTW I have the Merchants of Doubt on my desk, it is next on my reading list.

    • This is terrific start… I want to check back again…. got a mailing list? For notification of new posting…

      No mailing list yet, but plenty of RSS feeds.


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