Saturday, November 17, 2007

Selling the Science and not sounding shrilll

The United Nations just published a depressing report on the risks of inaction on climate change. The New York Times Article gives a good summary. The gist of the report is "we're all in this together" which sadly reminds me of the film Brazil by Terry Gilliam, about a dystopic world which is well dystopic. The developed world needs to figure out a way to reduce it's emissions and provide an alternate path for the developing world. Hypocrisy alert while I take a break from getting ready to drive a lot of miles to go to a winery, and while adding that, I just bought a plane ticket to head to my parents for the Holidays. And that hypocrisy is the point, even the best efforts of the aware (and I'll give myself a few points for that) can't mitigate that normalcy right now is damn hard to reduce our carbon footprint. Systemic technologies will be needed.

So back to my point of this post, the paper sounds dire, the paper sounds scary, the paper sounds shrill. This week, I participated in a corporate reorg which is de rigeur in corporate life. This one is interesting in that the engineers are in charge, not bad I get what they are trying to do. But in the communications, they ended up annoying a bunch of people. And that's what I fear the fact based approach to climate change is doing. It's not accident that Al Gore a non-scientist has been the most effective at getting the message out.

We need to sell the science and the technology, and that may mean that we need a more rounded education. The technology is there, but the creators tend to look at the communication arts in the same way that an English major looks at E&M. This blog is about spreading the word, or more documenting it as I still don't have the platform to spread effectively. I need to comment on other blogs and build traffic. But the risk is that we echo chamber.

So I leave with a rhetorical question. What does the science and green community need to do to sell without being shrill. Aside from hot models talking about global warming, I'm at a loss.


At 7:07 PM , Blogger Green Bean said...

I've been following your blog for a while - since it appeared on Yahoo Green (or whatever that is called). My sister and I were having the same discussion today about how to convince others (namely family) of the direness (is that a word) of the global warming and how important it is to make personal changes. It is hard and seems like much of the time, you simply annoy people. I have started a Green Book Club which is so far pretty successful. It seems like a good entre because you get people who are already open to going "Green" and then let the books do the persuading. Also, letting people see you make changes seems to incite, at least comments like I should do that too. I can only home people eventually do do that too. Anyway, people are paying attention - just barely. :)


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