CS Monitor: Public Needs Hollywood's Help to Understand Climate Change

Of all the claims made in the ongoing debates over environmental issues and global warming, the assertion that the public hasn't been told or told enough about climate change is laughable at best. But that's what Gregory Lamb wrote in The Christian Science Monitor March 15.

What had Lamb troubled was that the American public's concern for global warming is at its lowest level years. According to a new Rasmussen poll, just 28 percent of Americans think it's a serious problem. To Lamb and the scientists he interviewed, that means the message isn't getting through, and scientists must look to new means of publicizing their work.

"The importance of getting the word out has science organizations scrambling to explore news channels, from souped up websites to asking Hollywood for help," he wrote.

"One effort ... will recruit Hollywood to help scientists tell their stories. NAS (National Academy of Sciences) and the University of Southern California will team up to draw on USC's expertise in film, TV, websites, and video games. The partnership will be the first between a federal agency and a film school."

Lamb was reporting from the annual convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where he apparently found that scientists are apparently the only people in the world who haven't been bombarded with green messages from the media, corporations and academia.   

Science, he lamented, is getting short shrift in news organizations. CNN "dismantled its entire science reporting staff,"

And the climate change propaganda that does trickle out just isn't sexy enough. "Today's climate story is often framed as a sober warning, not as an exciting adventure,"  Lamb wrote.

Lamb attributed the rising skepticism of anthropogenic global-warming (AGW) to a "communications gap," and forwarded usual talking-points about the phantom consensus in the science community:

"The current climate-change furor has become the poster child for what happens when there's a communications gap between scientists and the public," Lamb wrote. "The vast majority of scientists see compelling evidence that the world's climate is about to change significantly, and that the change is largely driven by human activity."

"Contributing to that swing have been efforts by skeptics to point out flaws in specific portions of the landmark 2007 report from the IPCC and question whether other findings have been manipulated," he wrote. Apparently the Christian Science Monitor hasn't heard there's actual proof of manipulation, in the guise of ClimateGate (not to mention ChinaGate, SternGate, PeerReviewGate, HimilayaGate, AmazonGate ... ).

Lamb also noted how the education system and universities like MIT concurrently stepped up their "communication efforts" as well. "Even the U.S. government has joined in with a new site called climate.gov, aimed at being a reliable source of data and facts on climate change," he noted.

The government is going to get involved? That should solve everything.