Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Science lesson on the Late Show

Al Gore's long interview with David Letterman last night could serve as an object lesson for scientists on how to relate a complex subject like climate change to a popular audience. Though it is a sad comment on the media that a late night comedian asks better questions about science and the planet than a network news anchor [and that a retired politician is the best spokesmen on those same issues].

Alas, the highlighted video on the Late Show website is not the section where Gore and Letterman discussed Copenhagen, or ocean acidification, or the plight of the world's coral. It is the final minute of the interview, in which Letterman asked about the "carbon billionaire" accusation in that dreadful New York Times train wreck I mentioned yesterday.

Controversy, even artificial and debunked controversy, wins over content, which is why the editors at the NY Times should be hanging their heads over the decision to publish that article.

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