Tag Archives: al gore

Tackling climate change debates via YouTube

Peter Hadfield, formerly of the New Scientist, has taken to YouTube to tackle climate change sceptics as he recently explained on the Guardian’s Environment Blog:

After questioning and listening to hundreds of climate change “sceptics,” I have found that not all are conspiracy theorists or religious fundamentalists. Many are keen to learn about the science of climate change, but they have been learning about it from rather dubious sources.

So two years ago I began a series of videos on YouTube to explain the science, and rebut urban myths that spin round the internet and end up on the opinion pages of the Daily Express and the Wall Street Journal. The result has been astonishing. My channel, Potholer54, now has over 27,000 subscribers. The videos have been mirrored by others all over the internet, and several university lecturers have asked if they can use it in their environmental science classes. Most importantly, former sceptics tell me the videos have changed their minds about the reality of climate change.

That success, however, comes at a price. It means looking at the science – not scary and unrealistic images of submerged cities. It means accepting the fact that Al Gore is not always right, and he should not be defended when he’s wrong. It means acknowledging that while sceptics like Christopher Monckton and Martin Durkin fabricate a lot of their facts, many environmental activists tend to exaggerate theirs.

You can read the full piece here or view his YouTube channel here. But here’s his film addressing the claim that climate change is natural and always happens:

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Televised party leader debates: get your worms at the ready

The “worm” is an instant poll tracker which wriggles across people’s TV screens, showing the net negative or positive reaction of a small group of the public to what is happening on screen. Running a worm across a politician’s speech or a debate between politicians has become a not uncommon feature of political coverage across many democracies.

The worm has even occasionally surfaced in the UK – so will it surface again for our TV party leader debates at the general election? And will worms offer a chance for Channel 4 to repeat an Australian trick and put one over the other channels who have excluded it from the debates?

Known in the US as dial groups (because a group of people is each given a dial to twist towards positive or negative), worms have often been the cause of controversy there. Joe Klein in Politics Lost recounts how badly they got the 2000 Bush-Gore debates wrong:

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