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Radio interview with Skeptically Speaking

Posted on 7 June 2010 by John Cook

Skeptically Speaking is a fantastic radio show with the slogan "Question everything". Hosted by Desiree Shell (and with a catchy jingle, note to Doug Moutal), the show is committed to the skepticism community (by skepticism, they mean a basis on scientific evidence, not misinformation or ideology). Last Sunday, they aired a show, The Evidence for Climate Change, featuring an interview with myself. You can download the whole show straight from the website or subscribe to the Skeptically Speaking podcast (I know I have, can't get enough science podcasts).

The interview goes for nearly 40 minutes where they throw a bunch of global warming skeptic arguments at me:  the sun, Climategate, the hockey stick, ice age predictions in the 1970s, the difference between weather and climate, extreme weather and so on. I also managed to slip in "Human CO2 is tiny" as it was still fresh in my head after last week's podcast.  Hopefully it's worth a listen and I recommend adding Skeptically Speaking to your list of podcasts.

Also, the CSIRO's ECOS Magazine latest edition has an article by Graham Readfern, Blogging on climate change – a job for the brave. The article looks at the efforts of several climate blogs, including Climate Shifts (originating from my own University of Queensland), Tim Lambert's Deltoid and Skeptical Science. Thanks to Doug for the heads up.

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Comments 1 to 8:

  1. Few "umms" or "ahhs" and your thoughts keep up with your mouth, which does not run too fast. You interview well, John. I can't help but note some underlying dramatic tension here. Skeptically Speaking is produced in Alberta, a province up to its ears in tar being enthusiastically liquefied in vast quantities, monetized, shipped south here to the U.S. where we burn it. "They said it couldn't be done", but at $70/barrel the logistical obstacles to creating a mess on this scale turn out not be a problem. Nice that a little of that money is going to programs like this one.
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  2. To add to what Doug says; you know your stuff, and you keep it simple, John, which means that you make a good interviewee. The only point where I thought you sounded a little defensive was on the question about extreme weather events. While your answer was, of course, perfectly correct, it might have been worth pointing out that a lack of convincing evidence of the increasing frequency and severity of hurricanes does not in any way detract from all the other accumulated evidence that AGW is real. Overall though, a very good show -- with every new interview you'll get even better.
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  3. I am sorry to post off-topic but I cannot find the discussion about this which my doc friend just sent me as proof positive that what we observe is not happening. Would someone please direct me to the rebuttal, please?: Oregon petition project
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    Moderator Response: The Oregon petition project is covered here.
  4. Good Job John! These kinds of things scare the bejeebus out of me, like that sink hole in Guatemala... an endless pit of despair! I'm sure I would trail off into an trail of mindless factoids that would fly right over people's sleeping heads. You kept focus well. I wonder about that weather vs climate metaphor, though. You nailed the sense that weather is random, and that we'll feel the changing climate mostly in the extremes. But that dice analogy doesn't really accomodate a superimposed trend. Not sure I have a better option. Thought of hiring a rapper to do a jingle? I mean, if they can get em in Alberta, why not Queensland.
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    Response: Re the dice analogy, the superimposed trend comes from the weighting of the dice so that it rolls a 6 more often. Maybe I didn't explain that bit clearly enough.
  5. I know you were looking for SkepticalScience posts on the Oregon Petition, but these might be useful. Scrutinizing the 31,000 scientists in the OISM Petition Project
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  6. It is heartening to know that a program like Skeptically Speaking exists in the first place. You did an excellent job, John, especially of sticking with science instead of being drawn into "teaching the controversy."
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  7. Great interview John! Well worth the listen.
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  8. I heard your interview and enjoyed it very much. The homeopathic believer who called in was a little intense, but they tend to be, I guess. It is good to see you verbalize from the heart. Well-handled and your site is now bookmarked! Have a good one.
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