You have to feel sorry for him. He’s genuine. He’s stressed to the point of mania. And it’s all for nothing.
But as Brice Bosnich says, Hilarious; bring the back to front canvas jacket, rubber spoon…
Greg Craven posted his infamous AGU speech and asked us to share it. Craven is absolutely right in a chain of logic except for one ever so small point, in the first link. His chain is anchored to his Gods of Science. He doesn’t question authority. Everything else is an error cascade, and he’s over the waterfall. He’s just done Niagara in a tin-can.
I hope he makes it.
The irony is he’ll devote hours to “understanding” the official establishment version of events, and three years working non-stop to promote that, but nothing to understanding why people are unconvinced. He’s living in the matrix — he thinks the punters are dumber than him, and they’re being exploited by a “ruthless denial machine” — meanwhile his religious zeal, and blind faith in authority is passively exploited by a ruthless power-seeking money-hungry machine.
Shame, if only someone had taught him the fallacy of argumentum ad verecundiam. All those good intentions could be used to help the daughters he loves so much. Instead he willingly feeds the establishment that wants to take away their freedom and shackle them for life to be vassals for bureaucrats and banksters. (We fight for your daughters too Greg).
He faithfully ignores the missing stations, the smearing of measurements across 1200km, the thermometers in car-parks, the endless shifting excuses, the un-falsifiability of their predictions, the weather-balloon results, the polite questions from skeptics and the pattern of deceit in some of his hallowed hero scientists who somehow repeatedly hide and lose their records.
I’ve selected the choice edits…
What’s the Worst That Could Happen? A Veteran of the Climate Change Culture Wars Explains Why America Isn’t Listening and What To Do About It.
American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting
Dec. 15, 2010
This is not a talk. This is a primal scream. For help. For salvation. For the lives of my children. And I will not apologize. I will not yield. I will charge the stage and scream my message if I must. I am in the zone. I am over the edge. I am gone. I am enlightened. I am maniacal. I am insane. I am terrified at what I have just become. All of my life has been to serve this single moment. And you may need to forcibly remove me to the hospital, screaming like a madman. But you will not stop me. For I have revelation to bring.
Wait for it… the revelation to save the world: the multi-billion-dollar machine with professional PR writers, journalists, editors of science journals, and whole popular science magazines (which subscribe and promote the “party line” 100%) it’s failing because it doesn’t communicate the science well.
I am a fanatic of science. I love you, and what you do. What I bring you is the loving but eviscerating criticism of the outsider looking in. So I’m going to give you the gift of brutal frankness. Because you have done an abhorrent job at communicating climate change to the public so far. Because what you’ve been giving them up to now, as a scientist, is information. And with the terrifying divergence between public opinion and scientific opinion in the last few years, with public opinion in the U.S. plummeting over the last several years, that strategy clearly is not working.
So it is time for a radical change in tactics. [Applause.]
Don’t applaud just yet, I’m about to call you insane. [Mild laughter.]
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. And I’m sorry you have to hear this, but it’s best to come from a friend. You have become insane. You have brought them information when they needed emotion. What you must bring them now, as a citizen, as a father, as a mother, as an aunt, as a grandparent, who knows better than anyone else what the physical world will bring in the future, you must give them yourself.
This talk was supposed to be about becoming better communicators about climate change. My answer to the question “What can be done about it?”—about America not listening—was “You must become better communicators by understanding the psychology of the individual, the foibles of the brain, how they are exploited by the ruthless denial machine, and how we can work with that.”
Golly. He’s finally realized that it’s all about PR (about 15 years after the IPCC did).
Well I’ve got sober news for you. You, in this room, in this community of science—you are that someone. You are the ones we have been waiting for. You are the last battle reserves in civilization’s last stand. And you damn well need to saddle up and come down off that hill as the cavalry, to turn the tide of battle when all hope seems lost. So sound your bugle call and come down into the bloody fray.
My journey in climate change has gone from dawning realization, to “holy shit!” to terror and fierce urgency to protect my children, and now sadly, inevitably, to despair. And to leaving the ship to itself, to build my lifeboat for my family, before what others have wrought take us below the icy water. You say you want to have an effect on the public? If you trod a journey at all similar to mine, think, visualize, take five minutes to meditate on the impact it would have if you took off your goddamned scientist hat for just a moment, and put on your citizen hat. And said frankly to the public through the largest mouthpiece you can: “As a scientist, here’s my understanding. As a citizen, here’s my hope, my vision. And as a mother, here’s my contingency plan, here’s my lifeboat.”
The monumental effort — misdirected:
I went through the harshest, most unimaginable hell doing my climate change crusade over the last three years. Three and a half years ago I posted a single innocuous video on YouTube—a ten minute whiteboard lecture drawing a decision grid for risk analysis, proposing how confused but sincere laypeople can possibly make sense out of the shouting match about climate change when they don’t have the expertise, they don’t have the time, they don’t have the training, and they’ve got to get their kids to school.
“Lucky” for us that Greg Craven has the brains that most people don’t:
And you’ve got to know: the public requires certainty before making a decision. They misunderstand the basic nature of science, and that science cannot provide certainty–it can only provide “good enough to go on.” So tell them that. Unhitch them from the con man in their brains that keeps them holding on to something that they can never get from science, which is “The Answer.”
That civilization is teetering over the precipice, staring down into the abyss. You must be the hand that reaches out, grabs hold, and pulls us back from the brink of extinction. The hand of a hero. You. You must stop selfishly pursuing your pleasure in finding things out. To be frank: fuck your research. We. Need. You. I know I am almost certain to outrage you with my impertinence and the audacity of my message.
So what’s the key to better communication when you have already done the 3000 page reports, the 50 page glossies, the televised adverts, posters in schools, coloring in competitions, brochures, feature length documentaries, and interviews on every current affairs program in the Western World? The answer: scream louder.
You shall spill your blood. You shall soak the earth with your viscera. You shall scream the alarm until your throat runs raw. And then you shall pick up rocks and bang them together as the alarm until your hands become a bloody pulp. What shall be your future regrets if you choose? Will they be that you stood by, hopeful, desperate, unaffected, impotent while your children were slaughtered before you? Or will it be that you went too far, destroyed your career, your life, in your panic to save them?
This is your power. This is your purpose. This is your insignificant role in an infinite, uncaring universe. You will not be denied. You will charge the stage of the world and scream your message if you must. This is the most important thing here. This is the most important thing now. And I shall not yield. I shall not back down. I shall stand. And I will be heard. Because I have need to be all afire, for I have mountains of ice about me to melt.
Incidentally, nothing you can say critically after this can touch me. It’s strange to feel what it’s like to be inside the madman. I’ve always wondered. But it struck at 1 a.m. this morning. And I know what the face of god–which I don’t believe in–but this morning, for the first time in my life, I feel that level of faith: that this is what must be done.
[Sigh of relief that this exceedingly uncomfortable speech is done.]
I am Greg Craven. I am my daughter’s . . . [unable to speak] . . . I’m kind of exhausted. . . .
I am Greg Craven. Hear my name. I am my daughter’s father. On behalf of my children, please–I beseech you–and I thank you for your time. Sorry.
[Applause. Polite? Mildly enthusiastic? Scornful? Happy this ridiculously inappropriate rant is done? (I'm told this was the first time the word "fuck" has ever been used onstage at an AGU meeting, with hundreds of thousands of scientific presentations given over the decades. So . . . I've got that going for me.)]
[End of speech]
The whole speech is here.
h/t to Brice Bosnich!