It’s okay to talk about how scary climate change is. Really. By David Roberts on the very PC Vox.
It’s just weird for journalists and analysts to worry about overly alarming people regarding the biggest, scariest problem humanity has ever faced. By any sane accounting, the ranks [of] the under-alarmed outnumber the over-alarmed by many multiples. The vast majority of people do not have an accurate understanding of how bad climate change has already gotten or how bad it is likely to get, much less how bad it could get if we keep electing crazy people.
When there are important things that people don’t understand, journalists should explain those things. Attempts at dime-store social psychology are unlikely to lead to better journalism.
Over my 407 years in the climate-o-sphere, I’ve cycled through just about every school of thought on the right way to communicate climate change. What I’ve come to believe is that on this, as on most matters, nobody really knows anything. Even if there are accurate statements about how people in general respond to messages in general, they won’t tell you much about how you ought to communicate with the people you want to reach.
Writing that is consciously pitched to reach and inspire some mythical average reader (as encountered in social science studies filtered through popular journalism) tends to be flavorless and dull.
Similarly, the dry, hedged language of science is not the only serious or legitimate way to communicate, though climate scientists often mistake it as such.
Nuh. The carbon dioxide theory of global warming is just due to technical error. Should have checked the calculations.