Thanks to Al Gore, I will always have a job. His 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, transformed my meteorology degree from an obscure corner of science into a hot commodity.
One thing I always appreciated about the film was that it made some of what I studied accessible to the general public (It also made me a hit at parties for a while, as people sought my opinion of the film). That is something that scientists sometimes don’t do very well-make their work easy for the lay person to understand.
This lack of understanding is something that has always frustrated me, because I don’t think it helps anyone. Scientists sometimes do a poor job of explaining themselves to those who don’t share their background or training, and, at least in the case of climate change, you can see the effects playing out. Unscrupulous, or perhaps ignorant, media personnel and politicians misread and misinterpret what’s being said, transforming a scientific discussion into a political argument, and the general public is left in the dark because nothing was clearly explained in the first place.
This leads me to what I intended to be the point of this blog–a bit of science education. Not necessarily about global warming, or even climate change. I’m not wading into that. Not yet anyway. One of the things that I’d like to do here is fill in some of the holes that I think are ignored. I want to give a more complete picture of what’s being said in scientific discussions that have societal implications, so that you, my readers, can participate in the discussions in a meaningful way.