Guest post by Thomas Fuller
It should be clear to all who are following climate issues that the establishment is flailing a bit in regards to how they should be dealing with a pesky public.
Ever since Climategate, Copenhagen, and a cold winter in western media capitals, their old techniques have been increasingly ineffective. Whereas before it was enough to combine a ‘sexy’ symbol, such as a polar bear or a Himalayan glacier, with a press release of a new paper showing how models predict doom for whatever symbol they used, now people seem to want things like data, whatever that is.
But there really isn’t enough data to make a definitive case for the type of climate change the establishment needs to command immediate and decisive action. (And it is my personal opinion that that is precisely the way it works–deciding the appropriate action and then searching for supporting information, of whatever quality they can drum up.)
Since then, we have seen some rather dubious attempts to play the media game differently, starting with an attack on Andrew Montford’s book ‘The Hockey Stick Illusion, where a blog aptly named Scholars and Rogues tried to mathematically prove that nobody needed to read the book, and then the sad coda to a great career for the late Stephen Schneider, where they hammered out a libelous paper purporting to show that establishment scientists were far more qualified (and better looking as well) than skeptics, which they did by looking only in English language publications, getting names and jobs wrong, and miscounting published papers.
That didn’t work. So they began also to run advertisements, such as jet planes crashing into skyscrapers, and the more recent explosion of skeptical children and soccer stars.
None of it is working right now. They literally cannot admit uncertainty, and they have lost the aura of invincibility–or at least authority. Criticism of the major skeptical figures hasn’t worked in the past–Lindzen, Spencer, Christy and others do not appear to have been damaged by accusations of tobacco use and being religious, and the screaming about conservative rich people giving liberal amounts of money to conservative think tanks is too obviously hypocritical when balanced against the amounts of money available to the establishment position. And it certainly hasn’t worked against new critics, such as Steve McIntyre or our host here.
The 10:10 video ‘No Pressure’ is a new symbol–not one that the Establishment will cherish. It’s a symbol of failure to communicate. They sent a message all right, just as the WWF, Stephen Schneider and Scholars and Rogues sent messages.
But they’re not listening–and so in the end they cannot communicate.
Thomas Fuller http://www.redbubble.com/people/hfuller