7 April 2011
Coming to PBS: Earth-The Operator’s Manual
Posted by Dan Satterfield
Bud Ward, of the Yale Forum for Climate and Media, has organised another climate change seminar for TV weathercasters in Oklahoma later this month. I’m one of the presenters and it’s very humbling to be on the same stage as some of the smartest climate experts in the world. Many on air weather people remain skeptical of the science, but having a chance to listen and ask questions of those who are experts in the field makes a huge difference.
Bud Ward has a guest post today (on John Cook’s fantastic blog Skeptical Science) about Richard Alley’s upcoming PBS program. The title is Earth The Operator’s Manual. Dr. Alley has written a book of the same name that comes out in a couple of weeks, and based on what he has previously written, I can highly recommend it.
If you read this blog often, you know that I’m a huge fan of those top scientists who can communicate the wonder of science to the public. People like the late Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson (who has now stepped into Sagan’s shoes). Climate science desperately needs communicators right now and Dr. Alley, with a “voice for TV and a face for Radio” is the unlikely answer to the need.
Alley knows how to communicate, and frankly it is not something you can learn; you either have it or you don’t. I know of others who have the talent, like Dr. Jim White at the Univ. of Colorado. Both are renowned experts in paleoclimate and have made ground breaking and breathtaking discoveries in the field. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the discoveries in field of paleoclimate have rewritten the text books. Unfortunately, the public knows little about it because the majority of media outlets love controversy, and continue to focus on the few remaining scientists who doubt the seriousness of what we are facing.
Check out the web site for the program and either watch it online, or when it airs in your area. It’s sure to be a real eye opener ,and If you have not read Alley’s previous book The Two Mile Time Machine, grab it before you see the PBS special.
It’s one of the best popular science books out there.
We are hosting a moderated discussion forum for educators about ETOM at iceeonline.org/forum. This is part of our climate education work at the U. of Colorado, Boulder through the CIRES Education and Outreach group.
Dr. Alley will answer selected questions from teachers on the forum as his time permits. I agree that Richard Alley is a fantastic communicator-exactly what this dialogue needs. The teachers we work with wish everyone in America could spend some time in a room with an actual climate scientist and see for themselves the depth of expertise which is brought to bear on this work.
If you enjoy learning about Dr. Alley and his studies, you might be interested in some of these other videos and interviews with the renowned scientist. Here’s the link: http://bit.ly/h8EY6q