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Remember this from last week? It’s supposed to be a sunrise projected due to high levels of pollution in China. Well, we’ve been duped. It’s an advertisement that plays year round, regardless time of day or pollution levels. From TechInAsia:

No, Beijing residents are NOT watching fake sunrises on giant TVs because of pollution

Over the weekend, a story that originated on the smut-ridden UK-based Daily Mail went viral among major media outlets across the world. TimeCBS, and the Huffington Post were among the dozens of online news media who published stories about Beijing residents flocking to giant TV screens to see fake sunrises during heavy pollution last week. Most of these stories were accompanied by the same photo of a massive TV screen in Tiananmen Square with a sunrise appearing on it.

In truth, that sunrise was on the screen for less than 10 seconds at a time, as it was part of an ad for tourism in China’s Shandong province. The ad plays every day throughout the day all year round no matter how bad the pollution is. … Look closely, and you can even see the Shandong tourism logo in the bottom right corner.

I am seriously considering stringing for Al Jazeera after my USAID adaptation contract is up. They are, by far in my opinion, leading the world in media, journalism, investigations, and “tone.”

Kinda goofy, possibly interesting take from the linkbait media.

Thoughts on the Washington Post's sale?
climateadaptation climateadaptation Said:

I used to be in journalism, so this to me is excellent news. WaPo was bleeding cash for decades, only kept afloat by the corporate owner’s education publishing and testing divisions. It’s kept out of the hands of terrible potential owners, such as the Koch Brothers or Disney (yes). I suspect no changes to reporting. Some changes to business model - more online flashiness, apps, dataviz, that sort of thing. 

It also separates controversial education test publisher, Kaplan.


Really interesting testimony to the committee. Be sure to check out Michael Beckerman’s testimony, which sets the stage for how Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other internet giants assist with disasters and response.

My name is Michael Beckerman, and I am the President and CEO of the Internet Association, a trade organization comprised of 17 leading Internet companies across the globe, including AOL, Airbnb,, ebay, Expedia, Facebook, Google, IAC, LinkedIn, Monster, Path, Rackspace,, SurveyMonkey, TripAdvisor, Yahoo, and Zynga.

Our members have been on the forefront of efforts to leverage new technology and communication platforms to inform the public before, during and after a disaster, and to facilitate recovery and reconstruction efforts in the aftermath. … 

Communicating during a disaster is now an interactive conversation. Millions of minds converge to solve problems, seek out answers and disseminate vital information. Important news can be shared with millions, and by millions, quickly and efficiently.

The social web is challenging emergency managers, government agencies and aid organizations to adapt time-honored expertise with real-time information from the public (Please see Exhibit A). In short, the convergence of social networks and mobile has thrown the old response playbook out the window.” 


Mr. Michael Beckerman 
President and CEO, The Internet Association

  • Witness Statement [PDF]
  • Slides [PPTX]
  • Witness Truth in Testimony [PDF]
  • Witness Biography [PDF]

Mr. Jorge L. Cardenas 
Vice President, Asset Management and Centralized Services, Public Service Electric and Gas Company

  • Witness Statement [PDF]
  • Witness Truth in Testimony [PDF]

Mr. Jason Matthew Payne 
Philanthropy Lead, Palantir Technologies, Inc.

  • Witness Statement [PDF]
  • Slides [JPG]
  • Witness Truth in Testimony [PDF]

Mr. Matthew Stepka 
Vice President for Technology for Social Impact,

  • Witness Statement [PDF]
  • Slides [PDF]
  • Witness Truth in Testimony [PDF]

Support Documents

  • Witness List [PDF]Added 05/31/2013 at 03:06 PM


This Guardian presentation on a massive bushfire in Dunalley, Australia is absolutely mesmerizing. Incredibly well done.


Presumably because the two former environment editors are moving to new tasks, making it an orphaned effort in a shrinking newsroom: Tracking the Green Blog’s Reporters.”

I note that at the time of this posting, the above reader-notice has “0” comments…

The Crisis in Climate Reporting.”  - An event by climate, environment, and media experts on how journalists are a critical conduit to discussing climate change.

The speakers explored several practical solutions and then launch into a decent Q&A. Some were simple, such as directing readers to share their reading materials or collaborate with authors from various news outlets (e.g., Mother Jones partnering with, say, Washington Post to work on and cross-post the same stories, which would reach different audiences.). It was good to hear some practical solutions rather than esoteric brainstorming.

The public is poorly served by reports about climate change that follow familiar lines and surface only when there’s a severe weather event or UN conference; meanwhile, media outlets like the New York Times are scaling back on environmental reporting.

Orion and media watchdog Free Press convened a panel of authors and activists (including Kate Sheppard, M. Sanjayan, Bill McKibben, and others) to propose concrete actions for improving the state of climate reporting in the mainstream media.

Climate Science Communications Week is winding down at Climate Adaptation!  For the entire week of Feb. 18 - 23, I covered how climate change is discussed by the media, scientists, researchers, academics, and politicians. If you have sources or ideas on communicating climate change, send to:

I struggled deciding to post this video on Communicating climate science to the public. But I opted to post it anyway to show that it is totally OK to criticize experts in your own field.

The video is not dated, despite that Columbia University hosted this event back in 2010. The issues discussed really are relevant today.

Three distinguished scientists walk you through the issues and challenges of communicating climate science to the public:

  • Gavin Schmidt, climate modeler at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, co-founder of the blog Real, and co-author of a popular science book Climate Change: Picturing the Science.
  • Ned Gardiner, Climate Visualization Project Manager at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Climate Program Office.
  • Sabine Marx, Managing Director at the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED) at Columbia University.

The first panelist, Gavin Schmidt, who is utterly brilliant on, is flat, rambling, and just plain boring. I learned nothing from him other than his contempt for politicians, which is both repulsive for a scientist and ironic to convey considering he’s advocating communicating with them.

Gardiner brings up the fact that most Americans are terrible at reading and understanding basic charts and graphs, for example, which makes communication really difficult for the scientist. Good point, but he doesn’t provide a solution.

And that’s basically how I felt throughout the entire hour+ while watching this - smart people discussing simplified themes with contempt for the public and the politicians they (we) voted to represent us.

True, the panelists are experts in their fields. They are revered, credentialed scientists with public personas. This brings much needed credibility to the conceptual problem of communicating science to the public. But they don’t do a great job of explaining the difficulties of communication, nor do they provide tested examples with any sort of stickiness. Gardiner dances around this issue of getting scientific concepts to stick, and he points to the media’s lack of scientific understanding. But he just misses his opportunity to nail his points home with any clarity.

My gut thinks this talk was rather generic and vague and overall does a disservice to the important concept of communicating science.

You might be asking: If Michael is so sour on this talk, why did he even post it? I think it’s to show that even experts in communications struggle with the issue of communicating science with the public. For example, their personal biases shade their overall points.On the one hand, they want their fellow scientists to make greater efforts to communicate with politicians. On the other, the panelists spent several minutes completely dismissing and condescending those very same politicians.

And maybe that’s my secondary point of posting this. That critical thinking is required when watching these talks. Just because someone is respected in their field doesn’t mean that they’re any good at advocating for change. In other words, it’s OK to be critical of the critics…

It’s Climate Science Communications Week at Climate Adaptation!  For the entire week of Feb. 18 - 23, I’ll cover how climate change is discussed by the media, scientists, researchers, academics, and politicians. If you have sources or ideas on communicating climate change, send to:

We have a situation where no significant reform can be enacted in our congress without getting approval from the special interests first.

Al Gore, talking to Brian Lehrer about money in politics, fracking, China, free trade and more. Listen (via wnyc)

Gore is plugging his new book, The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change. Much talk about China’s new carbon tax and carbon trading pilot programs. Worth listening to.

Donald Brown, scholar of climate ethics, blames the press for not challenging politicians to explain their stance on climate change. He’s formulated 10 questions that journalists and the public should ask (which, imo, should be edited down for brevity…).

1. What specific scientific references and sources do you rely upon to conclude that there is a reasonable scientific dispute about whether human actions are causing dangerous climate change?

2. Are you aware that the United States Academy of Sciences and almost all respected scientific organizations whose membership includes scientists  with expertise relevant to climate change science support the scientific consensus view that holds has that the planet is warming, that the warming is mostly human caused, and that harsh impacts from warming are very likely under business-as-usual?

3.  On what basis do you disregard the conclusions that humans are causing dangerous climate change held by the United States Academy of Sciences, over a hundred scientific organizations whose membership includes experts with expertise relevant to the science of climate change, and 97 percent of scientists who actually do peer-reviewed research on climate change?

4. When you claim that the United States need not adopt climate change policies because adverse climate change impacts have not yet been proven, are you claiming that climate change skeptics have proven that human-induced climate change will not create adverse impacts on human health and the ecological systems of others on which their life often depends and if so what is that proof?

5. When you claim that the United States should not adopt climate change policies because there is scientific uncertainty about adverse climate change impacts, are you arguing that no action of climate change should be taken until all scientific uncertainties are resolved given that waiting to resolve all scientific uncertainties before action is taken will very likely make it too late to prevent dangerous human-induced climate change harms according to the consensus view?

Read the rest at, Ethics and Climate.

It’s Climate Science Communications Week at Climate Adaptation!   For the entire week of Feb. 18 - 23, I’ll cover how climate change is discussed by the media, scientists, researchers, academics, and politicians. If you have sources or ideas on communicating climate change, send to:

#ExxonHatesYourChildren. No comment.

First part is excellent and topical for this week’s theme of science communication. Here, researcher Nate Johnson discusses how scientists can alienate people, and uses the example of neuroscientist Sam Harris. Clever analysis on the pitfalls of science communications.  

Via skeptv

It’s Climate Science Communications Week at Climate Adaptation!  For the entire week of Feb. 18 - 23, I’ll cover how climate change is discussed by the media, scientists, researchers, academics, and politicians. If you have sources or ideas on communicating climate change, send to:

(via scientiflix)

When the mainstream media says ‘diversity,’ who’s included?