by Judith Curry
Here are a few things that caught my eye this past week.
Science journalism under fire
Keith Kloor has a good article at YaleClimateMediaForum, entitled Science Journalism Under Fire. Some excerpts:
Science journalism is getting smacked around a lot this week. The hits are coming from all directions.
At the climate activist website Desmogblog, writer and author Chris Mooney says he is “appalled” at thisWashington Post article for what he regards as its tarring of climate scientists “as radicals or political operatives.”
On the other side of the opinion spectrum, Roger Pielke Jr., a University of Colorado political scientist, believes that journalists have been too obsequious to climate scientists — to the detriment of climate science.
Indeed, if there is an Achilles heel to climate reporting, it would be its penchant for simplistic, dramatic coverage — be it a new study linking climate change to shrinking animals or to declining grape quality in wine-growing regions.
Then there is the issue of official press releases, and the propensity of too many in the media to recycle PR claims with little or no scrutiny.
Freelance science writer Ed Yong echoes this sentiment at his Discover magazine blog: “If the paper was rubbish, if the peer reviewers missed something, if the scientist lied, if the press release is distorted, it’s still our fault for producing something that is inaccurate or that fails to root out these problems.”
DotEarth profiles Jonathan Foley, Director of the Institute for the Environment at the University of Minnesota.
He is a scientist on the leading edge of climate change analysis who proposes an end run around paralyzing climate disputes by focusing on energy and forest policies with multiple benefits and on fostering resilience to climate extremes.
In 2010, Foley wrote an essay Becoming a Climate Pragmatist. Foley is a very interesting voice on climate change.
Thomas Friedman, whom I previously regarded as a climate hawk, seems to take on the pragmatist mantle with his piece on Take the Subway. Some excerpts:
This is a column about energy and environment and why we must not let the poisonous debate about climate change so tie us in knots that we cannot have any energy policy at all, particularly one focused on developing much more efficient use of resources, through better designs and systems.
We can’t let the climate wars continue to derail efforts to have an energy policy that puts in place rising efficiency standards, for buildings, windows, traffic, housing, packaging and appliances, that will drive innovation — which is our strength — in what has to be the next great global industry: energy and resource efficiency.
Delingpole thinks that the climate realists are winning the debate, because climate alarmists seem to have lost their prestige. I guess climate realists are defined here as skeptics that agree with Delingpole.
So now we have new taxonomy in the climate debate to confuse us: climate hawks, climate pragmatists, climate realists. I think I like this better than alarmists, deniers, skeptics.
Climate Change Analyst Job Description
Check this out: climate change analyst job description. Excerpts:
Climate change analysts use research and analysis to make recommendations for climate-related legislation, fundraising, and awareness campaigns.
Responsibilities for climate change analysts often include:
- Informing legislators and regulatory agencies of research findings.
- Proposing policies related to alternative fuels and other factors related to climate change.
- Identifying the environmental impacts of existing policies.
There are currently 85,870 climate change analysts in the United States, with 4,840 new climate change analyst job openings created each year.
Climate Change Analyst jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.
I suspect that those of you you that have been diligently attending the College of Climate Etc. are eminently qualified for such positions :)
Although most of the money for such positions may be on the green side. Larry Bell bemoans at Forbes: How can I get some of that big oil anti-global warming money? Given that the budgets at NGOs such as Greenpeace and WWF are almost two orders of magnitude larger than the likes of Heartland, the prospects for climate and green energy skeptics don’t look to good for climate analyst positions.
JC note: I made an attempt to keep this review Gleick-free and Mann-free.