Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to Quartz, proper stage management and timing is required to make climate studies persuasive.
To get people talking about climate change, publish your study during a hot summer
By Akshat Rathi
That said, there’s still a sizeable population on the planet that doesn’t care about climate change or, worse, denies it’s real. To turn those people around, some of the world’s most preeminent scientists have figured out it makes sense to publish global-warming studies when it’s hot outside.
It was the trick Jim Hansen, one of the world’s leading lights on climate change, used when he gave his now-famous testimony to the US Congress on a blistering hot day in June 1988.
The good news is that it’s not too late. “We as a global community can also manage our relationship with the system to influence future planetary conditions,” Katherine Richardson of the University of Copenhagen told the BBC. But it will require bold moves, such as switching to fully zero-carbon energy sources by mid-century, readying ways to suck carbon dioxide from the air, and maybe even consider solar geoengineering. All that, however, will require all of us to believe that the threat of global warming is real and deserves drastic action.
Remember the fairy Tinker Bell from the story Peter Pan? In the story, every time someone says “I do not believe in fairies”, somewhere a fairy dies. The only cure was to clap loudly while reciting “I do believe in fairies” over and over, until the belief was strong enough to revive the dying fairy.
Now we have a field of science where everyone has to believe or it doesn’t work.
Every time someone says “I do not believe in climate change”, somewhere a sad climate scientist decides to write about their feelings. Perhaps if we all clap hands and recite “I do believe in the climate crisis”, we can make them smile again, and help save the world.