Saturday, February 15, 2014

"Meet the Press" Avoids Real Scientists When Discussing Science

This country funds lots of very good scientists to analyze and understand climate change. So who does a purported journalistic outfit like Meet the Press have on to debate the subject? An entertainer and a know-nothing Congresswoman.

Bill Nye is a good guy who I'm sure means well, but he's not a climate scientist. Marsha Blackburn is someone actually proud of her ignorance:

Dan Satterfield calls it "a perfect example of false balance and of course lousy journalism."

The Huffington Post reports that a Media Matters study found that the Sunday morning shows on NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox "spent a combined 27 minutes on the topic in the whole of 2013."

That time presumably counts minutes like those Nye and Blackburn will be talking at one another.

What a sad commentary on our society.


Darlene Garvais said...

I just spent at least an hour or two reading your blog and Facebook page. I will admit much of it is over my head. I was a Business major. Like it or not, I am the PTA Science & Conservation Chairperson for my son's elementary school. There was no need of a runoff election. If you care, you're in. I do care. I hope it doesn't offend you that I have no credentials. My belief is that someone needs to give the kids a thirst to learn more. People like Bill Nye, Michio Kaku and David Cox may not meet your approval, but they capture the imagination and inspire interest to pursue scientific investigation. Celebrity-Scientists, Al Gore and Tom Friedman awoke my interest in the fate of the planet. I don't know about you, but I expect to have grandchildren. You may not appreciate my chiding, but my point is that it starts somewhere and you were dismissive of Bill Nye who will undoubtedly feed many students to universities where they may rise to a rigor you can respect.

So, am I here just to chide? No. As a volunteer, I am invited in by teachers to do science activities that complement the curriculum and bring an element of fun. I also post experiments, articles, and video clips on an internal Shutterfly site. I'm pretty dedicated to reading about climate matters, but your writing isn't going to meet the elementary school niche. So, that said... I still hope you will accept the friend request that I will make to your FB. BTW, I have a FB page for the school "Morning Creek Science & Conservation" as well. If you would ever reconsider your marketing approach, and bring things to a really basic level, I would happily share your posts, as written, to the audience of elementary school students and their parents. Otherwise, you can expect that I will accompany your posts with my best representation including the same grounded, even-handed credibility -- just translated into 5th-grader-speak.

As I said, I think you are grounded, even-handed and credible. Still, I worry that you don't have much sense of urgency about climate-- if we are to do anything to mitigate or accommodate the effects, shouldn't we get started on that? It doesn't turn on a dime and our infrastructure projects have a lengthy commissioning process, right?

Thank you

David Appell said...

Hi Denise.

Thanks for writing, and for the chide. I probably deserve it. My blog posts often come out more dogmatic than I mean, more judgemental, more certain than I really am. I'm not sure why. Some part inside me thinks that's what you need to do to write a blog that means anything, but the rest of me is more diffident and uncertain and sometimes even confused. That's harder to write about.

Again, thanks for commenting. Best,