Monday, November 22, 2010

Climate Science Rapid Response Team (CSRRT)

A new communication effort has been announced, from the house of Abrahams, Weymann and Mandia (who brought us the Monckton Debuncton).

NAME: Climate Science Rapid Response Team (CSRRT)

WEBSITE: www.climaterapidresponse.org

WHO & WHAT: The CSSRT is a match-making service between top scientists and members of the media and office holders and their staffs from various levels of government. Our group consists of dozens of leading scientists who wish to improve communication about climate change. The group is committed to providing rapid, high-quality information to media and government officials. Our members have expertise in virtually all areas of climate science and they are available to share their current understanding in a fairly rapid time frame.

HOW IT WORKS: Inquirers will use the form on the Website to identify themselves and to send their questions along with the desired timeframe of the response. That information will immediately be sent to three people: Dr. John Abraham, Dr. Ray Weymann, and Prof. Scott Mandia. These three “match-makers” will immediately notify up to three scientists with the most appropriate expertise. One scientist or one of the three CSRRT match-makers will then respond directly to the inquirer with the correct science information.

WHY WE DO IT: There is a sharp divide between what scientists know about climate change and what the public knows. The scientists of the CSSRT understand that better communication can narrow this gap. The media is in the best position to deliver accurate science information to the general public and to our elected leaders but only if they are provided with that information. The CSRRT is committed to delivering that service We are advocates for science education.

Disclaimer: I'm one of them. But I've seen the list and the others really are top scientists :-)

10 comments:

Steve Bloom said...

Er, I don't see anything about rejecting questions until they're re-written so as to strip away any hint of policy implication. Also, the solicitation of the desired time for sending replies smacks of an unseemly desire to actually serve the target audience. This will not do! :)

Chuck said...

Top scientists?
Like the "top men" at the end of Indiana Jones?

James Annan said...

Yes, they are all...Top...Scientists.

Brian Schmidt said...

I know it's not the intended purpose, but I've thought that with just a little effort, journalists could find their needed "balance" tp any new climate stories within the range of scientists who aren't trying to distort the science.

Scientists are likely to disagree about the implication of anything new, and a journalist could find the needed disagreement without having to rely on Lindzen, Christy, non-scientist Pielke Jr. etc., who will use their disagreement on the particular issue to damage public understanding of the overall issue.

If a journalist could email a list of scientists and say "what do you think of new development X? I've got a quote saying Y, do any of you disagree with it" then the balance/controversy they're looking for would be much more productive.

Steve L said...

I think this is a great idea. But you'll need somebody to do away with their staid scientific evenhandedness -- to ensure the media will come to you, you'll probably have to be outrageous.

Peter.Bridge2 said...

Totally OT but I found this statistics paper

http://www.dbem.ws/FeelingFuture.pdf

which led to the more interesting

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1018886/Bem6.pdf

James Annan said...

SteveL and Brian, I see it having two distinct points - one to potentially expand the range of perspectives (or perhaps give a more representative range) compared to journalists just using their handful of regular contacts, and the other to actually provide easy and rapid contact to journalists who might not have any in the first place.

I'm not particularly thrilled by the activist agenda that some have attributed to it. OTOH it is clear that the worst nonsense comes from the denialist side, so in practice that needs more rebuttal.

Peter, interesting the specific criticism precisely matches a social science talk (but with a climate science audience) I recently attended, where the researcher had undertaken a massive fishing expedition and was presenting the small handful of "statistically significant" results. An audience member politely raised the issue of multiple comparisons, but the presenter didn't seem to have heard of the concept...

Harold Brooks said...

I got asked to participate because I responded to something about tornadoes that would be interpreted as alarmist. I also respond to the denialist side (Goddard just posted a standard thing that ignores the well-known changes in damage reporting practices.) I'll be interested to see how often I get something from this compared to my agency's standard Public Affairs office.

Harold Brooks said...

It's interesting to note the contrast in the two responses to my comments. (Bottom line-the observed tornado record suffers from so many problems you can't use it for climate change analyses.)

http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2010/11/25/warmer-temperatures-mean-fewer-tornadoes/#comments

http://profmandia.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/nature-did-not-read-the-hacked-emails/#more-999

dhogaza said...

Harold Brooks, thanks for those two links, though rather than "interesting", "predictable" comes to mind :)