November 29, 2018

Fourth National Climate Assessment kicks off #ClimateFriday

Posted by Laura Guertin

It was announced that Volume II of the Fourth National Climate Assessment was being released on Black Friday, a day where the news focuses on how long the lines are before the stores open and shares the hottest selling items of the season. The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is mandated by the Global Change Research Act of 1990 to deliver a report to Congress and the President – clearly, it doesn’t say anywhere when that report is to be delivered to the public.

And as these things usually go, it starts with a tweet (in this case, by oceanographer Dr. Tessa Hill):

The idea of “#ClimateFriday” caught on quickly, and appears that it will be sticking around well after Thanksgiving.

At the time of the publishing of this post, it will be one week since the National Climate Assessment has been released. The chatter on Twitter for the past week originally was on information in the report, but quickly shifted to scientists being interviewed and then having their segments cut by news outlets, to the time and attention being given to those discrediting the report content and claiming scientists were driven by money to present the “most extreme” scenario, to reporters having round table discussions on the science of the report – without one scientist having a seat at the table… it seems we have lost our focus, and our voice.

Hopefully, this hashtag will bring everyone’s attention back to the science, back to communicating not just what the report is stating but why it matters to all. I know I will do my best to add a #ClimateFriday tweet to my Twitter feed every Friday – I hope you will post something on social media as well.