Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Climate science is like sport...

Everyone's an expert at it.

Whenever the Olympic games are on, everyone's an expert on diving, or weightlifting, or whatever, when they really are not experts. The worrying thing is, that some of these non-experts, are the ones that get to stand in front of cameras and micrphones and talk to us about them.  They are "personalities" rather than experts. The only time that these celebrities were any good at sports commentating was for that televisiual feast of a program called Wipeout. That was  great.

The Melbourne cup is the same thing (and many other sports too), suddenly everyone is an odds expert, or knows which horse is good in the wet, and how many races they've won recently. Everyone's an expert at horse racing and everyone gets the same airtime as the real experts whose job it is to worry about that sort of thing.

Sidenote: I can't stand horse racing. It's simply justified animal abuse in my opinion. If I were to hit you with a whip to make you run faster, I'd surely be done for physical abuse! I've been told however that jockey's don't hit horses, they pretend to hit them most of the time...which is worse. If I was to pretend to hit you with a whip in order for you to run faster, I could be doen for emotional abuse. The only good thing about horse racing is that it uses parrallax (or used to) at the finish line (that'll be another unexpected physics post sometime soon).

I've noticed that the climate debate is also being talked about by commentators or personalities who really are not experts. There are plenty of experts around who know about climate science, yet we get to listen to a politician or social commentators. Sure we get the experts as well, but they are certainly not the only ones with opinions that get broadcast.

This still gets me! I really have no words. 
I was listening to a radio interview a couple of weeks ago where the leader of the family first party was asked about climate change. He said he does not believe in it and would not support legislation to combat it. It made me so angry that this non-expert (in his own words too) gets to make laws that disagree with scientific facts. It's like me trying to write a law that opens up the flight paths to humans. We can't fly, gravity wont let us. Even if it's my opinion that we can fly, I'd still be wrong.

Perhaps we should have a weekly panel show where climate experts review the weeks highlights and lowlights and discuss the nexts weeks events. (Yes, I'm thinking the footy show but for science). We could even make it a variety show to make the scientists seem like celebrities, we could have guest speakers to give their opinion and add to the lively discussion, and even some light hearted shenanigans and silly games.

Whatever happened to quality over quantity. There are enough climate experts out there to fill up the required airtime with comments, we don't need ot keep going to people who don't know what they're talking about. They shouldn't be that hard to find. Don't know where to look? Try the CSIRO, or the Climate Council, they'd have some ideas on who to look for.  `

So here I am, a non-expert in climate science, making comments and having opinions about climate science. For sure, it's a good thing that we can have these ideas and express them. I also have ideas about sport, and which team I like, and my opinions about which player is in form etc, matter to me, but to me only. I can talk as much as a like about the GWS giants, but I don't get to write the rules of AFL. No matter how far I spray my opinions however right or wrong they are, I don't get to vote on who plays the game. Further, the 2013 season has no impact on my childrens future and how they'll have to live their lives (luckily).

So when it comes to who gets to talk about it and who listens, climate science is like a sport where everyone suddenly becomes an expert. But in all other ways, it's like a science, that is based on fact and evidence. No amount of opinion is going to change the facts and the experts really are experts!

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