Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sarewitz on conveying climate complexity

The Dot Earth blog by Andrew Revkin in the New York Times looks at the just-completed Copenhagen conference on climate change science and policy and delves into concerns by some scientists "that overheated descriptions of looming dangers coming out of the conference could actually backfire."

Geologist Daniel Sarewitz, who is Director of the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes at Arizona State University is quoted as saying, "this was a classic example of how scientists and the media play down complexity in their thirst for powerful framing that catches attention and might drive action. The problem, he and several colleagues said, is that over-reaching can also lead to distrust and further polarization of advocates threatened or empowered by the controversial finding."

I've always found Dan to offer fresh, uncompromising, and often provocative views of topics that are taken as granted by the scientific community. I pay attention to what he says.

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