Posted by John Cook on July 7, 2017
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We talk to climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe about cheerfully responding to climate misinformation, finding shared values with your audience, finding hope in climate solutions, and denial mansplaining.
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July 8, 2017
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really enjoyed this talk with Katherine Hayhoe and also the brilliantly optimistic take by Richard Alley — I’m going to run that through slowly and type it word for word int my personal Great Quotations file
One thing we may be missing in responding to those who say “its the Sun” is that they are actually right that the energy does comes from the Sun … it’s just a bit more complicated than directly from the Sun, i.e. per those excellent videos by Professor Ranney at Berkeley .. Sun warms the Earth, the Earth radiates infrared, GHG’s absorb infrared, become warm themselves and radiate it back down … all very intuitive … one common failing I notice with scientists communication is they often leave out steps that are vital for the understanding of something by us less educated .. mathematicians are bad for this too … so for example, if they say carbon dioxide is causing the warming it sounds like each CO2 molecule is a miniature source of heat … but heat from where? .. it sounds intuitively wrong ..but Ranney’s explanation above took just 19 words, I think its worthwhile
July 8, 2017
You’re completely correct about the sun, and understanding the greenhouse effect is crucially important. In fact, I’ve been fascinated with Mike Ranney’s work on explaining the greenhouse effect for a number of years. Inspired by Mike’s research, when I give talks on climate change to general audiences, I often ask them to explain the mechanism that is causing global warming. I show a clip of this interaction (at the 3:30 mark) in the following video:
That video is a summary of our Denial101x Massive Open Online Course and in fact, we have transcripts of all our videos, including the Richard Alley interview. You’d have to enroll and find Richard’s interview in week 1 in order to download the transcript.
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