Real Video

Guest post by Kelly Levin, WRI; Paul Higgins, AMS; Brian Helmuth, University of South Carolina; and Andy Dessler, Texas A&M

Scientists have made massive progress in understanding the climate system and how human activities are altering it. Despite that progress, decision makers continue to struggle with climate change risk management.

RealClimate and other initiatives have shown that new media can be effective in enhancing communication of climate science. The speed by which new information can be transmitted has increased significantly, and new media has provided new learning opportunities, including discussion, debate, and links to further information.

This month, WRI, supported by, launched a pilot project to further build the capacity of the scientific community to more effectively relay their recent scientific findings. The project stemmed from the Google Science Communication Fellow program, which aims to foster more accessible, open, and transparent scientific dialogue.

The project assesses whether video can be a compelling way for a scientist to describe his/her discoveries and, if so, which type of video works best. Imagine video being embedded one day into journal websites and Google scholar, not only offering the option of downloading a recent publication but also a video associated with the publication. Imagine videos sitting alongside newspaper and magazine articles, where you can hear about findings directly from the scientist in his or her own words. Like RealClimate, the project aims to connect viewers to the scientists themselves.

This project has the potential to improve scientific communication and enhance the public understanding of science. Ultimately, if done right scientific communication can help shape the public debate and lead to more informed decisions. That’s critical because societal decisions have the greatest chance to benefit the public when they are grounded in the best available knowledge and understanding. We need RealClimate’s reader’s help.

Please assist us in identifying the most effective means for communicating the latest findings of climate science via video. Go to to watch the three videos.

Three scientists (also Google Fellows) — Andy Dessler from Texas A&M University; Brian Helmuth from University of South Carolina; and Paul Higgins from the American Meteorological Society – participated, and the videos showcase one of their recent studies that is either in production or recently published:

Dessler’s paper (Science, Vol. 330., focused on quantifying the cloud feedback. Using the ENSO to study changing cloud patterns during climatic variability, he found that the feedback is likely positive, consistent with the feedback that climate models yield.

Helmuth’s paper (Ecology Letters, forthcoming) examined the impact of variations in water and aerial temperatures on predator-prey interactions between sea stars and mussels in the intertidal zone. He and his colleagues found that predation rates decreased during non-coincident interactions between the two temperature stressors. Their paper underscores the need for taking into account temporal fluctuations in environmental stress, which can be ignored in experiments and models.

Higgins focuses on his recent research (Journal of Climate, in press) to more fully quantify the potential range in the terrestrial carbon cycle response to climate warming. This research suggests that plants and soils could release large amounts of carbon dioxide as global climate warms. That would push GHG concentrations higher and lead to even more climate warming. This is important because we’ve been counting on plants and soils to soak up and store some of the carbon we’re releasing.

Three videos were produced for each of the abovementioned papers:

  • The first is comprised of a slideshow of relevant images with a voiceover of the scientist discussing his finding.
  • For the second video, Dessler, Helmuth and Higgins filmed their own videos.
  • For the third video, Dessler, Helmuth and Higgins each came into WRI’s offices, and were filmed conducting a white board talk describing their findings.
  • Which video do you think works best? Click here to cast your vote and tell us about why you think it is most effective. Your votes will inform any scaling up of this project in the future.

    102 comments on this post.
    1. Bob Fischer:

      Here is the most effective science video I’ve ever seen, by a long shot:

      This video was made for the “What is Nano?” contest, and it was IMHO the runaway winner. Here you can see other submissions to the contest, including the runner-up:

      So… I would suggest we figure out what we can learn from the Nano Song, and try to apply it to communicating climate change.

    2. Bob Fischer:

      I would say all three videos are, unfortunately, pretty ineffective. It has already been well established that providing more information is NOT a way to effectively communicate climate change.

      Here is the best science communication I’ve ever seen, by far. Everything I know about nanotechnology, I learned from it:

    3. BillS:

      All three web cam presentations put me to sleep. Of the nine videos Helmuth’s “conversation” is the best but that’s damning with faint praise.

    4. tamino:

      I too found all the presentations deadly dull. I though Dessler’s were best because he outlined more clearly the basics underlying his issues. But I thought the webcams were just talking heads, and the “conversations” just pretty pictures that weren’t really informative.

    5. thefordprefect:

      my response is for white board. But none of them are good!

      DO NOT use low contrast colours like green unless necessary
      Lose the title writing
      Animate graphics. Give figures on the animations for albedo dwlir etc but do not talk about then unless necessary
      Use film clips if relevance can be found
      Use no unnecessary cuts (jumps in presentation)
      loose the shirt – relaxed but do not dumb down! presentation required
      examples of well known positive/negative feedbacks
      No satellite naming – irrelevant
      Give data sources/papers for followup

      1 – no point showing person
      2 – no point showing pictures of clouds

      both cases you lose a asesory input to the viewer

    6. CRV9:

      I think you’re trying to comunicate to the general public like me. So here’s what I think.

      First, and most importantly you cannot dumb it down too much so that you’d have to compromise its core science.

      If I were you I’d try to create your surrogates who would be college educated so that they’d hopefuly understand rather scientific talks, explainations better than the general public. But you’d also have to provide some articulations with common/everyday language so that they, your surogates can talk/explain to rest of us.

      I’d guess that scientists study and research details because where it really counts, devils in details(?). But for us, it would be nice if you can connect detailed works, findings to a big picture. How those details matter relatted to the big picture. We are not students in classroom. We don’t progress. It’s always climate change 101 prerequisites.
      Explaination of water cycle earlier thread with pictures was very nice and helpfull eventhough it was too technical to me. But as I said if someone with higher education around me can understand it and explain it to me in everyday language. Do I make sense? Pardon me, english is my learned language.

    7. Steve Fish:

      I think the graphics were not congruent with the points the speaker was making and this divides attention. In these sorts of presentations it helps to have a small window with the presenter’s image in a lower corner when a photograph, word, or data slide is up so the presenter can direct the watchers attention with gestures, or by looking at a slide (toward the graphic from a window). A digital pointer should be used on slides to guide the learner’s attention through relevant graphics and graphics should be turned off when they are not needed. I agree that the presentations were unnecessarily dull. Science is fun because it consists of a series of satisfying logical stories, and this is what should be communicated.

    8. Dan:

      Number 2-5 are being too harsh!

      Dessler’s webcam is great at communicating concepts and significance. Helmuth’s whiteboard is great too – lots of information yet still engaging. In general, it seemed important to get the right pacing.

      Do you randomize the order for different participants so there isn’t a bias from increasing comprehension (or boredom).

    9. Jay Dee Are:

      All nine presentations were dull and didn’t communicate the urgency of the climate problem. The nano video has good production values and is cute, but it’s not very informative either. Maybe something along the lines of the Blazing Saddles hymn at

      would get the urgency message across.

    10. Jim Eager:

      There is a rule of thumb well known to every politician: a presentation meant for the general voting public should be understandable to a typical 13 year old seventh grader.

      That means no big words, no jargon or acronyms, no mathematical formulae, degrees in Fahrenheit if in the USA, and lots of easy-to-grasp illustrations, even better if they are animated. If you are going to show a graph or chart, animate it left-to-right forward through time, etc.

    11. SecularAnimist:

      “if done right scientific communication can help shape the public debate and lead to more informed decisions”

      Unfortunately, the many millions of dollars in campaign contributions from fossil fuel corporations to legislators have a lot more to do with “shaping the public debate” than do scientists communicating the details of their work to the general public.

      Videos are nice. But they are no substitute for bribes.

    12. barry:

      Webcams don’t work for me because the personality gets in the way of the message. I’m too interested in what the face and eyes are doing, what the speaker is thinking.

      Helmuth’s Conversation was best for me because the delivery was loose, relaxed and genuine (seemed like he was reaching for the right words), and because the imagery made what he was saying factual. The Whiteboard version was clearer with the theory, but I didn’t ‘believe’ as much as I did with the Conversation version. It wasn’t as *real*.

      For the other two the Whiteboard version was the best and clearest, but the Conversation versions were just not as well done as Helmuth’s. Dessler’s imagery was pretty mono-themed, and Higgins delivery was a bit shouty. Presentation, unfortunately, matters.

      The simplest fix using the tools and offers on hand: narratve needs to be emphasised. Unless you’re going to sing about it, nothing holds the viewer like a story. Therefore, I’d merge Whiteboard and Conversation, and make the story the journey from theory to data collection to findings. And pick some compelling images, and also images right from the guts of the work, even if its just a computer churning out numbers. We want to *see* the process as clearly as possible. We want to go on a journey.

    13. Jim Larsen:

      It ever so much depends on the individual. The conversational and whiteboard techniques have the advantage, in my current opinion.

      Also, I think it would be best to convey something more of the essence of science. We’ve all been there. A prof is explaining something, and our mind flashes on the “expected” result/cause, and reality is 180 degrees in opposition, often because the order of magnitude for one of the forcings in our uninformed mind is off by two. (Good thing we didn’t raise our hand too quickly, eh?) Not a big human error, but it changes EVERYTHING in the real world.

      So, tell folks, “Clouds cool the planet because ______. Clouds also warm the planet because ___. Cloud height changes the equations tremendously. With that and all the other variables, determining which effect is stronger is a seriously difficult scientific query. A cloud only shades a small area, but it blocks infrared emissions from a large area of the planet. One’s experience can make one more attuned to the shading, which would be an error, The warming is aided when clouds _______, while the cooling effect is maximized when __. Our research shows that ___.”

      So, describe scientific truths with analogies. Ensure the reader can relate to each and every claim WITHOUT MATH. Then give reasons for their order of magnitude. This substitutes for the math. “This is in this direction and most important because ______. This is next in importance because _______, and in ____ direction because ____. Stressing the relative strengths of effects is crucial. “Higher CO2 yields higher CO2 utilization”. Yep, quite true. Is this a primary factor, or a 10^-3 factor and why? Deniers rely on promoting 10^-3 factors to primary.

    14. Edward Greisch:

      I’m glad you are thinking about how to communicate with the public on GW. You have a very long way to go. I like the whiteboard talks the best because being in a classroom is familiar to me. That is irrelevant to the general public. The public will turn you off instantly. I am proud to be a nerd and I expect that you are as well. The public is not like us. Nerds are never popular.

      1. The public needs to know certain things such as that the problem is solvable, scientists don’t conspire, and fossil fuel money has been paying for propaganda, providing fake experts and bribing congress.

      2. To begin, we need to spend many millions of dollars on Madison Avenue. Second, the production has to be done at the Hollywood level, in Hollywood with really beautiful Hollywood people in the cast. If we can’t wrangle the cash, talk to the professors in the marketing department and the drama department. Cybil Shepherd was once a drama student at Carnegie-Mellon University. Reese Witherspoon attended Stanford University as an English literature major. Get the next one like them.

      The Madison Avenue people first need to do “market research” to find out how to turn opinions around and get people into a mood to revolt. This is a revolution or insurrection against the powers that be, the 1%. Remember that. Expect to meet repression.

      Again, I’m glad you are beginning to head in the right direction.

    15. Fraz:

      It is a good thing to develop a specific communication media for the scientists but what about the international community authorities. They don’t take the new discoveries of scientists related to climate change. The last decade was full of impacts of climate change. Almost 1 million people were eaten by nature and still world governments argue with climate change whistle blowers.

    16. R. Gates:

      My background is as a professional video producer and of course video can be the most effective tool to communicate any message to a mass audience. But the key is proper scripting and a strong mix of video, graphics, animations, and on camera narration when necessary. These videos are quite poor in all these areas, but I have offered WRI free consulting on any future videos they’d like to produce.

    17. Radge Havers:

      Fraz, If I’m catching your drift, I agree. It may be time to start raising the profile of consequences in public discussions. That is, reiterate current observable impacts of AGW; the list is growing. Look at the meaning of projections in terms of scenarios; as in “Six Degrees”. Reconstruct how the world looked under paleoclimate regimes. In other words, take it from an abstraction, in distracted minds, to something vivid, concrete and therefore intuitively meaningful.

      Short form, there needs to be some world building in which your narrative takes place delivered with a little old fashioned motivational gusto, IMAO.

    18. frflyer:

      I watched the videos and here is my comment posted at the survey.

      “So much depends on who the audience is. For most of the public, these videos are okay, but wrongly assume that people actually know what the carbon cycle is. – and that detracts from their impact.

      They fail to explain the ‘how’ of plants contributing to atmospheric CO2. Decomposition of plants is not even mentioned.”

      I post comments on climate change regularly at online news outlets like Yahoo News, CBS, CNN etc. From what I’ve seen at these sites, most people have no idea what the carbon cycle is.

      Being a layman, I hope that my words communicate to the general public, using language they can understand. Here is an example of a comment, that I post regularly.
      I would appreciate any criticism or corrections that would make my communication better. And maybe it will give some idea of how to talk to non scientists.

      “Global warming is NOT just a natural warming like the earth always goes through.

      There has never before been a large species on Earth, 7 billion strong, burning fossil fuels and speeding up the natural short term carbon cycle.
      ( 20% of human caused emissions are from land use impacts. )

      In the short term (or active) carbon cycle, carbon cycles through the atmosphere, water, top soil, and living things. We are made of carbon compounds.

      This cycle has been in a kind of balance or equilibrium for at least the last 10,000 years, and maybe as long as humans have been on earth.

      That balance made possible the Holocene, during which agriculture and civilization emerged in a fairly benign climate regime. Carbon effects all life, the climate, geology, the chemistry of the oceans.

      Have you heard of clean coal technology? It’s called carbon capture and sequestration. The idea is to capture CO2 from power plants and pump it deep underground to sequester it. In other words, take it out of circulation, take it out of the short term carbon cyle.

      Nature has done a kind of carbon sequestration. The carbon from former living things gets deposited underground, where after many tens of millions of years, it becomes coal. This locks it out of the short term carbon cycle, helping keep it in a balance that has made life, as we know it, possible
      We are now taking maybe 65 million years of coal, burning it, and releasing all that carbon back into the active carbon cycle, in a few human lifetimes. That’s a blink of an eye in geological time scales.

      So carbon from fossil fuel emissions are ON TOP OF the normal carbon that naturally cycles through the carbon cycle.

      That is Not just a natural cycle that the earth is going through.”

    19. Geoff Wexler:

      As Richard Feynman observed of his children there is no single best educational method for everyone. In addition, there is no single method which is best for all educators. Some might excell at lecturing, others at preparing a presentation using slides and aids.

      I am unclear who the audience is supposed to be. That affects the amount of context which needs to be included.

      I would prefer if the balance between findings and method were to be tilted more in favour of the latter. At least in the UK we already get numerous reports in the media of the conclusions of research. What tends to be missing is the route which is used to get there. This could be an opportunity for researchers to redress the balance. Otherwise there is an empty space which can be invaded by propagandists as happened when Channel 4 (in the UK) presented the GGWS fake documentary.

      In these examples, I preferred the whiteboard format because it devoted slightly more time to the methods involved. The “conversation” format was a failure, but might be improved by devoting much more time to choosing relevant slides.

    20. Robert Damon:

      I thought the whiteboard talks were the best of the three approaches for all three talks (but none were particularly strong). Should probably pass these by a different audience (high school students? other?) rather than the group that frequents this site.

    21. Hank Roberts:

      Remember the US average reading comprehension level is around 8th-9th grade for nontechnical, nonscientific reading.

      So if you want to reach more than half your audience — simple sentences, few words, lots of paragraph breaks.

    22. Patrick:

      I’ve seen and commented on the videos by these researchers, each one
      doing important work. The key is good graphics within the conversation.

      The most engaging climate-change info video I know was the one posted by
      rasmus 17 January 2012. The aptness of the analogy plus style makes it work:

      This NRK animation was linked by rasmus to a group post about Foster and Rahmstorf, linked in turn to (graphic) “details” at Tamino. I took the total package as the animation plus the graphics at both links.

      Not every graphic can be a home run, but every one can serve its purpose.

      When a graphic really works, it’s the concept that counts. Here’s another one (no animation):

    23. Thomas:

      I made my comments on the video site. But after reading some of these harsh or unsupported comments, I would like to add:
      1. Talking heads are ok if they look natural, and I thought the first video was sufficiently practiced so that he did a pretty good job. Yes graphics would be nice to add. but just with his talking, he knew what he was going to say ahead of saying it.
      2. the second graphic video was overloaded and it cost the viewer’s attention (unless he viewed the first video). Pacing is a factor, but IMHO there was too much in the second video.
      3. Strongly suggest testing this with real students in High school. By posting this here you do get some feedback,but it is hit and miss. This was the main reason I had a job in aerospace business, because engineers and scientists neglected to test their material with people other than their friends for understanding/comprehension; As i don’t have a scientific academic background.

    24. Thomas:

      I forgot to mention HUMOR!
      A real class of junior high, or maybe high school kids could be given an assignment to make this video humorous and still convey the information.

    25. Edward Greisch:

      Joe Romm has a comment at:
      “Must-See TEDx Video: If You Want Them To Remember, Tell A Story”

      So put GW into a story or 2 and hire R. Gates to produce the video. Make that 2 stories. 1 We win and 2 we loose.

      Climate Ostriches:

      leads to:

      “On the Perpetuation of Ignorance: System Dependence, System Justification, and the Motivated Avoidance of Sociopolitical Information”

      “In the case of energy, nearly 40% of respondents in a Public Agenda (2009) survey could not identify a fossil fuel.” !!!

      “Nearly one third could not identify a renewable energy source and incorrectly believed that solar energy contributes to global warming.”

      “Namely, feeling unknowledgeable should instigate feelings of dependence on those who manage the system (i.e., the government) and, in turn, increase trust in the government and the status quo,”

      So you are going to have to tell them that neither the government nor the status quo will protect them, and that they are going to have to tell the government to protect them.

      “Self Efficacy: The Exercise of Control,” by Albert Bandura of Stanford University’s Department of Psychology

    26. Edward Greisch:

      “Self Efficacy: The Exercise of Control,” by Albert Bandura of Stanford University’s Department of Psychology
      is a book.

    27. GrahamD:

      I likes the whiteboard best at about 5/10.

      Agree with CRV9 regards surrogates.

      My personal experience coming off very technical design phases and then having to interact with the general public was that it took and amount of time for me to get to the point where I could condense the essential elements enough in my own head to get the message to the point where it was simple enough but still effective.

      While not directly relevant I think Greenmans “Climate Denial Crock of the Week” are pretty good, but that’s just my opinion. These presentations are about a particular paper but you need to have education about how the scientific method works sort of built in.

      You are not talking to your peers necessarily here.

      He may have a slightly monotone voice, but it is not shrill and it ties into the average persons “current affairs” as well.


    28. CCraig:

      I agree that these were all quite dull. I think a good example of delivering information effectively in video form is the LFTR in 5 Minutes video

    29. Hank Roberts:

      Aside — if you haven’t asked Tufte, you should.
      He has an active blog.

    30. adelady:

      I think one problem is rehearsal or the lack of it. Some training by a voice coach might be helpful. We’re not asking for the mellifluous, melted butter tones of a Richard Burton or a Denzel Washington but clear, steadily paced speech in a nicely modulated tone takes a goodly amount of practice, usually helped along by some coaching assistance. It’s not enough to follow some advice to “slow down”, you have to practise talking at a different pace entirely.

      Humour? Not all topics lend themselves to this kind of treatment by Watkins and Braganza at the Australian BOM, but maybe more than we initially think.

      As for presentation tips and tricks, we can’t all aim for the whizbangery of Hans Rosling’s population statistics on TED, but he often uses very simple boxes or other props to make some points. Worth bearing in mind for some presentations. I lack the imagination to work out whether any simple household items might or might not be useful for any of these.

      And why did we come to a full stop – more than once – in the whiteboard presentations to _write_ words like ‘Method’ on the board? Much, much better to write the heading off camera, or use a magnetic strip with the word already printed, and then go on smoothly with that portion of the presentation. “And now we come to ….. ” “Moving along to …”

    31. Vendicar Decaruan:

      The polarizing impact of science literacy and numeracy on perceived climate change risks

      “Seeming public apathy over climate change is often attributed to a deficit in comprehension. The public knows too little science, it is claimed, to understand the evidence or avoid being misled1. Widespread limits on technical reasoning aggravate the problem by forcing citizens to use unreliable cognitive heuristics to assess risk2. We conducted a study to test this account and found no support for it. Members of the public with the highest degrees of science literacy and technical reasoning capacity were not the most concerned about climate change. Rather, they were the ones among whom cultural polarization was greatest. This result suggests that public divisions over climate change stem not from the public’s incomprehension of science but from a distinctive conflict of interest: between the personal interest individuals have in forming beliefs in line with those held by others with whom they share close ties and the collective one they all share in making use of the best available science to promote common welfare.” – Nature Climate Change (2012

    32. Jacob Mack:

    33. Kerry:

      Climate Crock of the Week has videos that I think do a good job of conveying both science and urgency in a compelling way:

    34. Steve Fish:

      I agree with Kerry (~#33) that Peter Sinclair is an excellent presenter. But also, even though he is even more into debunking, Peter Hatfield (potholer54, is an excellent model for presentation style.

    35. Harmen:

      This is stil my favorite..

      Because it connects so well with the youth..
      Especially the NSFW version :)

    36. Anna Haynes:

      I love that WRI & are concerned about this, & are trying different approaches to address it.

      How about running a contest-of-sorts, for a given paper, to see what ideas people can come up with?

      Of the 3 Dessler videos, I preferred the one in front of a whiteboard, but much whiteboarding can&should be shown as sped-up video (what’s the URL for the folks who do this?).
      Also, some Toastmasters-style coaching could be helpful. (Minor but distracting: “What we found was…” -> “We found…”, etc)

      And a general “public science communication” point –
      It’s important not to irk the high end while aiming for a broad-audience message. Suggestion (and this goes for journos like Borenstein, Vergano & Black) – at the end, give a link to a site that goes into more depth+evidence on the issue being addressed.
      (the default, of course, being Skeptical Science)
      Do any already do this?

    37. Anna Haynes:

      p.s. to the “general press” part of my 11:48am comment: e.g., it’s necessary-but-not-sufficient to say “97% of climate scientists agree…”; there should also be a link for readers who want to go further & see what the evidence is.

      (Sorry to go off track here, but I don’t know where better to put it.)

    38. Hank Roberts:

      “… polarization actually becomes larger, not smaller, as science literacy and numeracy increase (Fig. 2 and Supplementary Table S4 and Fig. S3).

    39. Hank Roberts:

      aw, links broke to the figures; go through the original. Title is

      The polarizing impact of science literacy and numeracy on perceived climate change risk

    40. CRV9:

      #34, thanks, Steven Fish.
      I’ve watched a couple of them. They’re very good.

      Thing is this. There are just so many imformations out there. When I looked it up on the net first 10-15 hits are usually ‘scienfitific fact, fact, truth, truth. AGW is hoax’ ones. I simply don’t have time to comb through them to find legitimate ones. Even among legitemate ones, it’s so hard to find ones that can explain to me and satisfy me. Excuse me for being uneducated and dumb.
      When I ask around people around me, it’s always something like #35 vodeo. It’s no offence but they’re not talking science. It is a typical example of my earlier point, not dumb it down too much. If you can’t explain it, don’t. Don’t belittle.

      If you can’t convince some educated ones what would you expect from me, us uneducated dumb ones? I’ve been around for a while so I can smell ‘snake oil salesman’ talks but I can’t argue against or pin point what’s wrong with their scientific arguments. You’d have to admit they make good arguments on surface if only their logic were consistent. That is also why they bring it to where it counts, one vote at a time. And unfortunately climate change and evolution have become hot issues. It has become science is at stake now.

      Personally I really don’t care if AGW is real or not. I believe it is though. I looked it up only because I happened to engage in this idiotic, dogmatic, stupid, unscientific debate with a man from Galileo Movement of Australia. I just didn’t want to back away because of my ego and their casual disregard for science and scientists eventhough I didn’t know what i was talking about.
      What frustrated me was that there are so many imformations out there yet I couldn’t find anything.
      Thank you for place to vent. Pardon me, english is my learned language. I’m off, truly off. Please keep up your good work.

    41. Edward Greisch:

      CRV9: start here:

      If you really want to get into it, go to the top left of this page and click on “start here” or go to
      and take the course.

    42. Edward Greisch:

      In order to get the message down to the right level, make it an episode of “The Simpsons.” Have Homer take a job as a coal miner and find a fossil 1 foot long dragon fly in the coal. The dragon fly tries to come back to life and Homer tells it to get back in the coal. End of episode.

    43. Marcus:

      Hello CRV9,

      if you feel that You need a comprehensive primer that does not “dumb down”,
      and your mother tongue is german I can recommend ZAMG (Austrian)


    44. Joe Joyce:

      You need professionals. Here’s a video of about the same length as the three I watched. Which do you think is most effective?
      And the Hungry Beast video Harmen references in #35, I’m a Climate Scientist, ain’t bad, not at all! But it too suffers from overly geeky production values. Just not too much. I enjoy using both videos in discussions.

      Notice the Blue Man Group’s production. Every word was crisp and clear. The message was simple, straightforward, and very easy to understand. They got and kept peoples’ attention through use of humor and novelty. Grin, how many of your videos got cheers at the end?

      To even attempt to fight back against the tens of millions of dollars of the other side’s propaganda, you’ve got to be slick. You might consider hiring someone – someone good.

    45. Daniel Bailey:

      CRV9, Skeptical Science contains answers to virtually all of your climate-science-related questions:

      It has the added benefit of having articles translated into 20 different languages:

      I recommend reading about Newcomers, Start Here and The Big Picture

      New seekers after knowledge are always welcome.

    46. Peter Griffith:

      Oh my I am so sad to see how little has been learned about communicating science. Every one of these is bad. The script has no story line. The graphics are unreadable. The production values are low. Each could be used as examples of what not to do. There is no excuse for an organization like WRI to do so poorly. We must do better than this!

      And to top it off, he’s setting up a straw man argument (scientists have thought that plants and soils are only a carbon sink, and aren’t going to be a source) that simply is not true. Read the 1999 US Carbon Cycle Science Plan, or the North American Carbon Program implementation strategy; or the 2011 US Carbon Cycle Science Plan. This community has been trying to better understand sources and sinks of carbon gases, and potential changes due to ecosystem impacts of climate change, for decades.

      Bad script, bad graphics, bad science all add up to an afternoon cup of sadness.

    47. Steve Fentress:

      I watched all nine videos. I don’t agree that a speech coach or video consultant is always needed. The productions are all a little rough, but that may not really matter, because the essential element is the scientist talking about actual work on some small piece of the puzzle. Starting bottom-up, from the details observed in nature (or computer model), shows the scientists as trying to explore the world, wherever the facts may lead, rather than trying to push an agenda. If there’s a feeling of an agenda at the beginning, that will simply turn off people who see themselves as in ‘the opposing camp.’ Scientists who want to do well on video might watch others who have done a good job explaining details of their own research for general audiences. Feynman obviously comes to mind. Edward O. Wilson is great too. Who else?

    48. Ron Manley:

      I watched some of the videos completely and all of them at least partly.

      I’m not sure that we are the right people to be evaluating them. Participants at this blog know all (well not ‘all’ but a lot) about the science. We can see where the new research fits it regardless of whether the explanation is clear or vague.

      I also wonder whether it’s important for the public to know about the content of the three papers. Granted, they all suggest climate change will be worse than was thought but most of the public don’t understand, or even accept, the basic science: CO2=AGW, CO2+H2O=CAGW.

      [Response: Please find a single ‘basic scientific’ text that defines ‘CAGW’ – let alone uses your definition. Though you are correct that most people do not understand the basics. – gavin]

    49. MapleLeaf:

      Completed the survey :)

    50. Hank Roberts:

      > CO2+H2O
      Talking point popular recently, long since debunked. Top of atmosphere is dry.