Film-maker and former scientist Randy Olson [right, sitting on stage after today's talk] laid out four things that have led to a sharp drop in concern about climate change and an increase in denials:
1. the Al Gore move "An Inconvenient Truth" ineffectively hyped an imminent apocalypse
2. we have not experienced more hurricanes like Katrina and summers have not been that hot lately
3. the economic downturn, and
4. public distrust of scientists resulting from "Climategate", the stolen emails from climate scientists.
Randy spoke at the Arizona State History Museum next to UA to a standing-room only crowd as part of Earth Week.
He spoke extensively about the reasons the Academy Award winning movie with Al Gore did not really improve awareness or create a sense of urgency among its viewers, then laid out the four elements of successful communications about science that he talks about in his popular book, "Don't Be Such A Scientist."
He's also speaking tonight following the Tucson premiere of his latest movie, "Sizzle, A Global Warming Comedy" at the Loft Cinema. We tried to get in but it was completely sold out and they were turning away scores of people.