Another great contribution from the O’Reilly Radar site, this one by Michael Jensen.
I am very interested in the little sidelight about scientific publishing. The very peculiar behavior of career scientists vs critical hobbyists revealed in the Climate Audit vs RealClimate rivalry, one where the RC folks seem to frequently miss the boat and miss how they are missing the boat, ties into the very peculiar incentive system built into science. The people who function best within this environment are determined partially by scientific talent and partially by a talent in thriving under the peculiar incentives. Their odd behavior is easily recast by the opposition as malign, alas.
But the article is rich in interesting ideas in many ways. I wanted to share this snippet with you in particular. I’m not sure what to say about it but it’s worth thinking about:
For more than a year, my friend Jim and I have been documenting and recording stories on the great unravelling of our livable world, and trying to build entertainment into it.
Climate chaos is a thread, just as is ocean acidification, and overfishing, and amphibian die-off, and pharma-laced water supplies, and giant dead zones, and the toxic plastic gumbo twice the size of Texas gyring in the Pacific. It’s the heavy metals we’ve been spewing willy-nilly out of coal plants, the persistent toxic runoff from our cities and farms, and the debt of poison we’re bequeathing to our children.
*These* are the problems that truly must be addressed. *These* are the problems that are “stuff that Really Matters.” Our little project is a stab at trying to nudge some momentum of awareness of these really serious issues.
We’ve been trying to work out ways of making the news entertaining, even funny; we’ve added a weekly Pre-Apocalypse News and Info Quiz, a collection of paper-free crossword puzzles, and we try to find a punchline to each story we record.
We do this because without entertainment, nobody wants to know about the jellyfish swarms, the orcas and other mammals sickening from eating salmon poisoned with PCBs and flame retardant, the collapse of little brown bats in the Northeast, and the precipitous loss of biomass from the oceans.
Isn’t apocalypse fun? Yay!