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View Diary: Open Thread for Night Owls, Early Birds & Expats: Green Framing Edition (285 comments)

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  •  no, pdn, sad to say, i doubt that it is (5+ / 0-)

    snark.  some very intelligent peeps still "believe" it is a hoax, or it is caused by epochal climate changes that have nothing to do with man.  anything to ignore the "inconvenient truth" that we have to actually change our ways.

    and for that i do place a lot of the blame on our media.  if they pushed this very real story half as hard as they push Republican opposition to a stimulus (that's why they lost, sillies, why do you keep pounding us with their ideas as if they still had merit?), more people would understand how serious this is and how much we can do, right now.  But the corporations that own the media would lose some of their business.

    •  I also place "blame", if you can call it that, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      polar bear

      ...on the scientific establishment for not making it clearer, sooner.

      The problem is that science deals in probabilities, never certainties, and that's necessary for the scientific method to work properly.

      But, what we needed was to have some scientists, good at public speaking and perhaps good at PR, translate the situation to clear, bold statements:  Global Warming is happening, it's due to man, and it needs to be fixed right away.

      Without someone from the scientific community making that case--someone like a Sagan, for instance--the deniers and the politicians and the companies could continue to focus on the needle of uncertainty as to some details of ACGW, while ignoring the haystack of certainty of the outcome.

      "Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet, you can't win." Lazurus Long

      by rfall on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:36:02 PM PST

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      •  the scientists have made this abundantly clear - (6+ / 0-)

        their message has been distorted by corporate hacks, right wing flaks and the insipid media. Scientists have done their very best to get the message out.

        •  I wouldn't disagree with what you said (3+ / 0-)

          My point--perhaps poorly put--was that I would like to have seen a spokesman or two from the science community, with some public speaking ability and charisma, take on the corporate hacks, right wing flaks, and others, rather than just continuing to quietly put out IPCC reports, one after another.

          I think we actually agree that the science community did a good job with the science--but I take a somewhat more activist position, and believe that some part of the scientific community needs to stand up to those who try to distort their message to their own ends.

          "Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet, you can't win." Lazurus Long

          by rfall on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 11:17:14 PM PST

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          •  I think what this post is about (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bluegrass50

            in part at least, is the idea that we can't count on the public responding to even really well done scientific press on the subject of looming environmental disaster. It is a highly complex subject and much of the public are not highly complex creatures.

            Elitist? Maybe. On the other hand, much of the public is good at things I'm not, so there you go too.

            I don't think it's reasonable, though, to expect the public to direct the government on these issues, though it is always good when we do. What we need more of is government that listens to scientists, as opposed to scientists who try to get the public to listen to them. The latter are good for affecting whom we vote for, and how we interact with elected officials, but the former are good for more directly influencing the setting of public policy that will lead to those green jobs, and send the economy in the directions it needs to go to respond to both the fuel crisis and whatever is happening with climate change. But it is true that it's unrealistic to expect the public to take to spontaneously making sacrifices right and left in the name of what are to most abstract scientific concepts, and even suspect ones in many cases.

            "The intelligence it took to bring us to modern society may not be enough to get us out of it." = Einstein

            by mieprowan on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 12:29:45 AM PST

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            •  Hmmmmm. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bushondrugs, mieprowan

              What we need more of is government that listens to scientists, as opposed to scientists who try to get the public to listen to them.

              I think we need both.

              I think I can agree with you, except that I find one point nagging me:  while the government should seek out the opinions of experts--and that's not elitist, in my book--there's a hidden implication in what you say that almost sounds like "it doesn't matter what the public believes--the government needs to do what's right!"

              If this isn't what you intended to say, my apologies.

              If it is what you intended to say, I worry that it sounds too close to a "the state before the people" approach to government.

              Bottom line--and my apologies if I'm not saying it well--is that the "people", bless their hearts, are sometimes stupid, self-centered, greedy little SOBs, but the are the "people", and I'd prefer to bring this along willingly rather than some other way.

              "Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet, you can't win." Lazurus Long

              by rfall on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 12:49:18 AM PST

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              •  you describe well (0+ / 0-)

                the problem inherent in the situation. Ask Californians who have suffered through the results of various ballot propositions how they feel about the will of the people.

                When the people vote on the law and don't understand law, you get bad outcomes. When the people vote with poor scientific understanding and elect people who also have poor scientific understanding (or are just plain out for themselves) you get bad outcomes. There is such a thing as hiring professionals to do a professional job, and not assuming all humans have equal expertise in decision-making about everything. I agree with you that the state shouldn't take priority over the people, but at the same time, the other way around doesn't always work so well, either. Maybe government needs a fourth branch - the science branch!

                If you want the people to stop being resistant to science, that's partly an education problem, though the religious element is strong and also problematic and transcends education at times.

                When we elect Democrats, they tend to at least start moving us in the right directions. When we elect Republicans, they tend to derail all such efforts because they cost the corporations money. Though I am far from happy about everything Obama is doing, he is at least talking a good line about energy. But it's going to take more than talk, and whatever change is to come about has to become more institutionalized in society (as in, people like the change, are used to how things have changed, support the programs) before the Republicans get elected again (and I do not assume for a minute that such is impossible).

                If the changes make things less expensive, that would help a lot. Since green changes really are less expensive if you argue real costs, that suggests some sort of subsidy/investment would be cost effective. Watch the RW go hysterical about that though; only they get to decide who gets subsidies!

                Meanwhile, maybe we get cap and trade, which isn't a bad system inherently, but a day late and a dollar short.

                "The intelligence it took to bring us to modern society may not be enough to get us out of it." = Einstein

                by mieprowan on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 10:38:35 AM PST

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          •  I think there were scientists trying to (0+ / 0-)

            make the public case, James Hansen comes to mind. But the media stomped all over the message.  And when Al Gore took up the cause the media stomped all over him too.  

            You raise many good points, but without a responsible media we are in real trouble - no good message can get out without all the noise and spin and lies from the right wing draped all over it.

            In that way, this is somewhat like the tobacco/cigarette issue going back to the early 60s.   These things take time because the media are so bad and the public does not understand science - so they get confused when any jackass who calls himslef a "scientist" claims to have "contradictory evidence" .

    •  if they are "intelligent" they don't really (3+ / 0-)

      believe it is a hoax.

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