Once again, Dr. John Abraham (St. Thomas University & CSRRT) models how to stay friendly yet forceful, when interviewed by a conservative talk radio host .
America’s Radio News Network is a tough format. With only 8-9 minutes to make your points and no breathing space, you have to be very fast on your feet. All of us can learn a lot from John’s quick, light and firm touch, which he demonstrates in this (10-23-11) and two previous ARNN interviews.
The news hook this time was the recent Berkely Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) study, funded in part by the Koch brothers, and led by a well-known climate change skeptic. The study boomeranged on the Kochs by strongly confirming what the vast majority of climate scientists already knew: the world is, indeed, warming.
Notice how John greets his hosts warmly, compliments them, and answers every question respectfully (“that’s a good question”), but keeps pivoting back to his key message. No hint of arrogance, defensiveness or impatience in his tone. Zero jargon. His tone is inviting and questioning — “let’s think about this together” — rather than lecturing or scolding. He’s so nice that even when he refers to the urban heat island objection as a “crazy argument,” it does not come across as patronizing or offensive.
Abraham draws a sharp line between honest, open-minded scientific skeptics — like those who performed the BEST study, who modified their views based on their findings — vs. the closed-minded ideologues who just keep coming up with new excuses to do nothing. And you gotta love his “fourth nail in the coffin” and “whack-a-mole” analogies!
Our collection of climate communication rock stars (in “Other Climate Communication Tools“) includes links to two even more instructive clips of John on ARNN. Back then (July 2011) the host, Chris Salcedo, was more challenging, so you can hear how John parries his thrusts.