Sunday, March 18, 2007

Title Fight

Titles matter.

Does an Ace beat a King? A King a Queen, etc.

Of course, there is the small matter of the Jester.

Because when it comes to climate science, this has become key.

I am guessing a Professor beats a Doctor, but maybe not.

Then there are qualifiers.

Does 'eminent' mean more than 'noted'. And in what combination?

And is the quiet guy, who knows his/her stuff and gets on with it, better to explain than the one with a slick sound bite and speed dial to the media?

Frankly, I do not know what to believe any more, because I do not know who to believe.


And that... is all we have time for

This, from the BBC website, sums up a major chunk of what I think is going wrong.

If you can't get it in two minutes, or one headline, you are not going to get it, no matter how complex or what context it is in.

Pump it up. Pump it out. Shoot it down. Next!

ADDENDUM (Mon 19/3/07):

It was only a piece on cooking, but I thought it was telling.

Some guy who had won something was in a kitchen and was being asked to demo. I think he was allowed ten seconds before the reporter said ''Throw it in". When he hesitated, perhaps as a consequence of it not working , at least as it should like that, she turned to camera and said "We're running out of time' and proceeded to hog the screen saying sod all of interest to a 'celebrity' chef who is on screen too often at the drop of a white stovepipe hat.

Sir, Madam. How would you like to be cooked?

When I lived in Singapore there were many phrases in Singlish (the local patois) that could cause delight, but one I always recall were variants on the way you'd prefer your steak. Perhaps my favourite was: 'What done you want?'.

Quite. The degree of 'done', as in being so or simply having had enough and giving up with it is very topical.

I have here announced I no longer intend to blog on 'Global warming' more times than bands announce final concerts, and will doubtless be seduced to the pointless side again when something truly egregious strikes. But I have decided enough is enough. It really is getting me nowhere. And the amount of time I am wasting reading all this guff, writing about it all, and not doing what I do better is not a good investment in helping improve the planet.

To grasp why here are two recent pieces that typify the situation of, it seems to me, wanting to be 100% right rather than getting on and doing an even better % of the right thing.

Bad Science - Credit where it’s due - You gotta graph!

EDITED extra bits:

When I lived ..

I'm afraid I came to this conclusion as this latest set on the topic of 'who's 100% righter' came into my in-box along with one from the BBC - Caution urged on climate 'risks' -

I don't know what my body may be like in a decade, but my brain is already drowning in such 'information' and fried by trying to square the spirals.

...they will eat you instead.

Time for new, less self-interested, and more genuinely motivated and engaging brooms.
BBC - Caution urged on climate 'risks' - And they are not even real... well, they seem to be, but they're not the right kind (ie: our kind) of climate scientist)

Here's a newsflash. If I no longer feel like keeping up, I rather doubt most others can be bothered either. That may mean the 'deniers' (too broad, but will suffice for here) have succeeded.

But it also means that those who would claim to wish, and have the ways, to rectify matters... have failed.

When you rely on Chicken Little for your science, and then rush with his findings to the Boy Who Cried Wolf to handle the PR, and do it too often, then, like Little Red Riding Hood, it doesn't matter what you take to Big Bad Media. If it isn't palatable enough for their audiences, or spoiled by being rushed, they will eat you instead.

Time for new, less self-interested, and more genuinely motivated and engaging brooms.

Observer - Don't exaggerate climate dangers, scientists warn