Please excuse the lack of posting yesterday; I was entombed by work and not feeling particularly insightful. In a “new directions” post coming up soon, I’ll explain how we are going to have some new voices here at “the Intersection” that should increase total content volume in the future, and prevent many post-free days from occurring on weekdays.
In the meantime, though, I want to call attention to my latest DeSmogBlog post, which is about the IPCC and communication. It builds on Andy Revkin’s recent writings, and starts like this:
The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the world authority on the science of climate. But at the same time, it has been increasingly beset by controversies that call into question its approach, and its preparedness, when it comes to communication.
Essentially, the IPCC releases highly technical reports, fairly infrequently, that get an initial flurry of mainstream media attention and then get attacked viciously until the next report comes out. And when attacked, IPCC has opted for an ill advised strategy of “hunkering down,” as Andrew Revkin puts it. Indeed, following “GlacierGate”—when a very real error was found in one of IPCC’s reports—IPCC came off as defensive and was very slow to admit the mistake.
Following the various “-Gates” of 2009 and 2010, a cry went out in many circles that we need to improve climate science communication. As a result, all kinds of communication innovations are now going forward, many of which are ably summarized by Revkin in a recent article in the Bulletin of the World Meteorological Organization (which was central to creating the IPCC itself in 1988).
But where does IPCC fit in the context of this innovation wave?
Read here for my at-best-mixed answer.