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

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.

Dr. Richard Alley of Penn. State University is an elegant spokesman on climate science. Image from Northwestern Uni.

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.