Author Archives: Tom Smerling

“The Air Force, that’s who!”

Simply the best short videos on climate.  Ever.

That’s the only way to describe EOM’s “How to Talk to an Ostrich” series of short clips answering common skeptical  questions.   It’s a spin-off of the PBS series “Earth the Operators’ Manual,” starring Dr. Richard Alley Continue reading

Air Force: “Hug the Monster” by embracing fear.

“Sooner or later, everyone who learns about the rapid advance of manmade global warming must deal with the question of fear.”

Veteran climate reporter, ABC’s Bill Blakemore, has written an interesting piece on embracing fear (5/6/12) and using it to mobilize climate action.     In recent years, communication researchers  have warned that “fear is not enough,” and may even be Continue reading

Bill Harley: “Let me tell you a little story. . . “

Watch this 13-min video, and you may never want to get up in front of an audience again without uttering, at some point, the seven magic words in the title.    Why?   Because. . .

“Story is how we are reminded, and how we remember. If we want it to be memorable, it must be a story. . .    We are not built to memorize lists, or unrelated facts. We are built to remember narrative.” Continue reading

‘But we can’t afford to change our ways.’

People who say we can’t afford switching to a low-carbon economy almost never consider the cost of not making that transition.     This reminds me of one of my all-time favorite cartoons. (1)

Yes, moving to a low-carbon economy will be difficult, bumpy and entail costs.    Yet by almost any measure it will be far, far more costly Continue reading

Weather Channel: 21 of 25 top US corporations accept climate reality

In this 1-minute clip — from the Weather Channel’s excellent Earth Watch series — meteorologist Carl Parker takes on the conspiracy narrative, which views climate change science as a bizarre plot to topple capitalism.    Parker says

“There are problems with that narrative, and one is that major corporations, the core of our market-based economy, don’t agree.

Parker checked out the official positions of the 25-largest U.S. corporations and found, Continue reading

Climate Communication Soundbites:  
“One-sided skepticism is no skepticism at all.”

Many defenders of science have tried to clarify the difference between skepticism and denial, but nobody has nailed it as succinctly as Dr. Michael Mann, author of The Hockey Stick & the Climate Wars, in a recent interview in Slate:

“When it comes to climate change, true skepticism is   two-sided.     One-sided skepticism is no skepticism at all.”

Bravo!    It’s long past time to reclaim the term “skeptic” from true-believers who are only skeptical about things that Continue reading

“If climate change isn’t real, I’ll give you my Beretta”

A veteran hunter has challenged skeptics with a bet in the sportsmen’s journal Field & Stream:

“If you can convince Conservation Hawks chairman Todd Tanner that he’s wasting his time, that he does not have to worry about climate change, he will present to you his most prized possession:   A Beretta Silver Pigeon 12 gauge Continue reading

Climate Change Metaphors:  
Pipe dream: “Why lunch counters? Getting served coffee won’t end racism!”

Tar Sands Coalition shot past their goal of 500,000 messages to Congress in 7 hours.

Pundits who grouse that blocking the pipeline won’t curb emissions may know something about oil, but they know nothing about social change.

Republicans in Congress are trying to resurrect the tar sands pipeline  that President Obama nixed after the House forced an early decision.    Most of them question the reality of man-made climate change altogether.

But off Capitol Hill, some analysts who accept climate science still say, “This is the wrong issue, Continue reading

Climate Communication Graphics, Climate Change Metaphors:  
The real doping scandal: Weather on steroids.

Is the increase in extreme weather due to climate change?    This little clip from the National Center from Atmospheric Research (NCAR) provides the clearest — and most entertaining — answer we’ve seen.

For cutting-edge science Continue reading