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The Consensus Project Update and Dana on Al Jazeera Inside Story

Posted on 6 July 2013 by , dana1981

Cook et al. (2013) has now been downloaded over 64,000 times, becoming the most-downloaded paper ever published by Environmental Research Letters.  During the speech announcing his new Climate Action Plan, President Obama again mentioned the 97% expert consensus on human-caused global warming. 

Awareness of the 97% consensus figure has spread far and wide.  To help close the consensus gap, check out sks.to/consensuspics and make use of the consensus graphics.

I also discussed President Obama's climate plan along with Daniel Kessler from 350.org on Al Jazeera Inside Story.

I was also on Inside Story once previously to discuss The Consensus Project.

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Comments 1 to 8:

  1. Dana, Both sets of interviews are very good & informative (recommend all to watch). I am impressed by Al Jazeera's integrity to sound journalism (i.e. not pandering to the typical argumentative interview via including the 'denialist' in the mix). Everyone was professional yet gave a piece of their own personality to this "debate of our time" (in other words, it was neat to hear & see you, Dana, in person). As an older guy myself (& increasing realizing how fast life slips by), I sadly wonder, Dana, what it will feel like for you, when in 20-25 years from now, you will be the 'old' guy in the mix (remembering & memorializing the late climate heros before you), and yet still talking in hopeful terms about these same basic policy initiatives. I hope not, but yet ...

    I thought the question on the rudimentary development of people's belief & its possible change (& the study sited, starting at 7:50 on 2nd interview) to be interesting. It implied that scientific announcements and weather upsets have little impact, but that political 'browbeating', and I would add, bolstered by repetitive ideological news broadcasts have, back to the study, the strongest impact on shaping & solidifying a person's 'bent', moving from a budding presumption to an entrenched imutable convention. Sadly, I would say this seems to match my unscientific observations, casting yet even more doubt that change via good & noble things, like logic & truth, will have a remotely easy time of it. ... But, I'm just another agent of noise speaking from my own entrenched and immutable position.

    Thanks again for posting and for your continued hard work!

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  2. Thanks sauerj.  Al Jazeera's willingness to have thorough discussions of climate change without false balance is impressive and laudable.  I just wish some more mainstream American cable news networks were willing to do the same.  At most you'll get Chris Hayes devoting a few-minute-long segment on his MSNBC show to climate change with a good set of panelists every so often.  Or you'll get Fox News putting Joe Bastardi on to see if he'll try and break his record for dumbest thing ever said about global warming.


    I think Al Jazeera is launching an American station in the near future.  I hope they're successful, and show the existing American networks how it's done.

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  3. If you think Arabic language + google translate = imperfect text, check for example this translation of AJ commenting on recent tornadoes in OK. I'm just shocked with surprise: apart from few obvious misnomers: lack of distinction tornado vs. hurricane (maybe due to Arabic language nuances that someone speaking that language can explain), the translation reads perfectly clear and accurate, far clearer than most Fox, CNN, WSJ nonsense, where language is not a barrier for English reader.

    In particualer, everything what Mike Mann has said is quoted without misrepresentation after this double translation. Why? Because the sound and honest journalism by the author (Yasser Aerami) + impartial google translator can confuse some technical words but cannot distort the meaning. On the other side, a human translator can be very biased and can distort the meaning (as we've seen meny times from denialists) and produce the text so obfuscated as sometimes incomprehensible. The climate science became comprehensible to me only after I started to read SkS. In terms of Climate News, AJ stands among those Fox, CNN, WSJ obfuscators like SkS stands among WUWT and the like.

    Dana, I cannot wait AJ launch in Amerika. Hopefuly they be able to stream something over internet because Im located in AUS. Let us know.

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  4. Dana, it was good to see you "in person."  All the guests in the two shows in the post were knowlegeable and contributed wisely to the discussion.  

    My main concerns continue to be the irreversable limits we have already passed.  Some are more obvious than others.  The ice sheets and glaciers are melting and sea level is rising.  Extreme weather events are increasing both in number and intensity.  Ocean waters are becoming more acidic.  We know that there is enough carbon already in the climate system "pipeline" to allow these processes to continue for some time.  We should also be discussing these consequences and how much time the next generations will have to deal with them as we inevitably reduce carbon pollution.  We don't have all the answers (i.e., all the potential consequences) but we have enough to begin discussions.

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  5. I was amazed by the quality of the interview conducted by the AJ interviewer – I didn’t get his name.  He was so much more widely and deeply informed than any American media interviewer I’ve heard. If only msnbc did this kind of work instead of burying its lens up Ms. Palin’s you-know-what.

    He asked some excellent questions regarding policy and economics that didn’t play so much to the central forte of his guests. I also noticed that the issue of whether nuclear energy will need to be a part of the complete solution to generate a fossil-fuel-free energy sector was never mentioned.

    I wonder if SkS would benefit from some resident policy and economics wonks. Some articles/threads by someone really knowledgeable about electricity transmission and grid technology and management would be hugely valuable. Threads discussing grid integration of intermittent sources and its cost and the extent and costs of required backup, etc. would be very valuable.

    You guys are extremely good at the science of AGW and at making the argument for stopping bulk CO2 emissions, but that’s only half of the discussion. I think your site would become even more influential if you developed as expert a discussion of the other half of the problem – solutions.

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  6. tcflood: I agree that SkS could do with more coverage of solutions and that our team would be strengthened if we had more contributors with expertise in energy and economics solutions. We are always open to contributions from new authors. (Hint)

    Dana, rustneversleeps and I have all written recent articles on carbon taxes and carbon capture and storage  and we intend to do more in the future. 

    One problem is that, when it comes to alternative energy and climate economics, there is a relative scarcity of peer-reviewed material to draw upon compared to the physical sciences. And, certainly, when it comes to controversial matters such as peak oil, nuclear energy, geoengineering and so on, there is nothing approaching a 97% consensus. (As far as I can tell, there is no issue in the entire field of economics on which the majority of experts can agree.)

    So, any "solutions" articles we write will necessarily be more subjective and less reliably referenced--and more contentious--than the hard science material that is the main focus of SkS. 

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  7. It is Shihab Rattansi who does Inside Story for Al Jazeera.  He is brilliant - knows his stuff and how to communicate.

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  8. Yes I was very impressed by Shihab Rattansi during both shows.  He does his research and knows his stuff and does a very good job facilitating the discussion.

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