Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Frustrated Google Science Communication Fellow Alan Townshend blocks me on Twitter after failing to articulate why he thinks CO2 is endangering his daughter; admits that he personally can't be bothered to make the lifestyle changes he's preaching for the rest of us

Climate Denial, Part Deux | Alan Townsend's Blog
Few of us have changed our lifestyles in a major way because of climate risks. We justify, we rationalize, we do make some choices with the climate in mind…but while exceptions are out there, most of us don’t truly minimize our personal climate footprints.

Whatever the dispute in life might be, it’s easy to yell at the people on the other side of the fence that got you all riled up. It’s harder to look in the mirror and admit your own role in the conflict. Yesterday, I stated that climate deniers are handing my daughter a riskier future. I firmly believe they are. But I, too, am adding to that risk, as are most of those who push for climate action. My wife and I own two cars. Sure, one of them is about as high mileage as you can get, bought for that reason. But the other is a 4WD, purchased because the weather can be rough in Colorado and we haul some kids around and like to get up in the mountains. Typically, I’m on an airplane at least once a month– sometimes to attend scientific meetings in which climate change is a major topic. I’m hardly unique.

Many of us who worry about climate change scoff or deflect when we hear the deniers call out those who have a big carbon footprint while simultaneously pushing for climate action. But they have a point. My wife, reliably wiser than I, put it this way: if the doctor who told you to stop smoking was knocking back two packs a day, would you listen?
...Just because a climate scientist flies to conferences and drives to the mountains to go skiing does not make that person a complete hypocrite or a secret agent of a global conspiracy....stating that I’m concerned about how climate change will affect future generations does not equate to it being the top worry for my kids. It’s not. Doubt it is for anyone.)...[Written right after he blocked me on Twitter] ...for those who genuinely believe the science is wrong yet are open to a conversation instead of a shouting match, I’ll seek to understand why you feel that way without casting broader judgment, and I’ll keep trying to share what I know as best I can.
Google Science Communication Fellows
This year we initiated a Science Communication Fellows program to help foster a more open, transparent and accessible scientific dialogue. This effort seeks to empower scientists to use information technology, new media, and systems and computational thinking to engage the public in science.
Alan Townsend, Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado
Twitter / tan123: .@alan_townsend So what ...
[My Twitter exchange with Alan is here.  He claims to have evidence that CO2 is dangerous to kids, but he also claims that I don't want to see that evidence, therefore he won't tell me what it is.]

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