Monday, September 12, 2011

Climate reality... What a concept.

Starting a 8pm EST on Wednesday night, the Al Gore's Climate Reality Project will be doing a 24 hour live broadcast of people around the world talking about climate change. Here's their pitch:

24 Presenters. 24 Time Zones. 13 Languages. 1 Message. 24 Hours of Reality is a worldwide event to broadcast the reality of the climate crisis. It will consist of a new multimedia presentation created by Al Gore and delivered once per hour for 24 hours, representing every time zone around the globe. Each hour people living with the reality of climate change will connect the dots between recent extreme weather events — including floods, droughts and storms — and the manmade pollution that is changing our climate. We will offer a round-the-clock, round-the-globe snapshot of the climate crisis in real time. The deniers may have millions of dollars to spend, but we have a powerful advantage. We have reality.

I'll be taking part in some of the expert panels back in the studio, discussing some of the science and some of the issues after the on-site presenters are finished (for updates on times, follow me on Twitter: @simondonner).

As regular readers of Maribo, or people who heard my talk at AMS this spring know, I've been an advocate of what one might call a "humbler" approach to outreach about climate change. That approach is informed by my field research in the Pacific Islands, some related historical research over the past five years, and my outreach experience; the argument for it is described in a paper currently in press with the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (more on that later). I'll be bringing some of that thinking to portions of the broadcast.

In case you are not a child of the 80s... the title of this post is a play on a Robin Williams comedy album from the Mork and Mindy days.


Tyler said...

I think this event has much potential. Unfortunately, I also fear that the nature of the event as well as the audience will have causation fallacies flying all over the place that will negatively impact the event's significance.

JS said...

It would seem that less than 20,000 people logged in to watch this appalling display of ignorance. See:

Simon Donner said...

I can't defend the numbers promoted by the Climate Reality Project as I don't know how they were calculated, and I'm no expert on web analytics. But I'd guess that the real display of ignorance is that post you cite. There were multiple ways of watching the program, and the organizers, unlike the author of that post, presumably tracked them all.