Sunday, May 10, 2009

More EGU

Those who are desperate for more info about all the exciting things that happened at the EGU can have a look at the various web streams, mostly the press conferences with a few medal lectures thrown in for good measure. It's some lame Windows Media nonsense but I'm sure Mac users will be able to work out how to deal with it (if not, you can just do what I did and download flip4mac, install it, and work out the URL of the relevant video stream (eg here) to open directly in Quicktime).

Most excitingly, you can now find out everything you wanted to know about palsa mires but were afraid to ask by listening to the joint press conference from the uncertainty sessions. Best not all pile in together or you might crash the EGU servers.

While I'm writing, EGU attendees will also have recently received an invitation to participate in a questionnaire. While it doesn't directly address the Exxon issue, there are questions about sponsorship and also opportunity for free-form commentary on anything that you want to say. Don't hold back...


Alastair said...

Thanks for providing those links.

But the press conference about uncertainty would be a joke it the climate change was not so serious.

The last thing that the scientists need to get over to the general public is that they are uncertain. The man in the street is quite willing to pay a fiver each week for lottery tickets when the odds are stacked against him. He will have the same attitude to global warming. He will be very happy to take the chance of one in a hundred that it won't happen if it means he can keep driving his second hand BMW.

When the doctor tells me that I must go on a diet, I do not ask him what is the probability of me dying earlier. I want to know how much time I have left, or how many years the diet will add to my life.

The scientists should be keeping it simple with the general public. Tell them that if no action is taken the Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets will melt and sea level will rise by 80 m drowning all the major ports in the world, including London and New York.

Before that happens the Arctic sea ice will disappear and the polar bears will become extinct along with the palsa mires (if they must.)

You won't get the public's attention until you scare them, and you won't get the politicians attention until you scare the public.

James Annan said...

Yeah, let's stir up as much panic as we can, by focussing on the extreme outcomes that we don't think will happen anyway (but which "cannot be excluded").

Oh, we already do that....

I think if you tell the average Brit that London and NY may get drowned they would probably go straight out and buy a Hummer or three :-)