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Environmentalists who value science over ideology

Over the last ten years I’ve abandoned all the green groups that I was a member of, because they failed to use logic and reason and appeared more religious than scientific, so I’m delighted to have found one that holds as it’s first priority that “policies are set and decisions are made on the basis of facts, evidence and scientific analysis.” Say hello to The Australian Environment Foundation (AEF).

I’m speaking next Tuesday at their annual conference in Canberra, “Environmentalism: A Climate of Conflict”. [Link ]

AEF Conference BannerOne of my favourite politicians, Denis Jensen will also be speaking (he’s the only Member of Parliament with a science based PhD). I’m also honored to join the great Professor Garth Paltridge, who recently wrote “The Climate Caper”. He’s is an atmospheric physicist, and was Chief Research Scientist with the CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research, among many other eminent positions.

My speech:

How poor science communication hurts the environment

When science communicators pretend to be impartial but only give us half the story it wreaks far more damage than any paid biased advertising ever could. The unsuspecting public assumes science journalists have a meaningful code of ethics, and that they have been trained in logic and reason. When journalists repeat PR from bureaucrats without investigating it, they mislead the public, they fail as auditors, and they rubber-stamp policies that should have been discussed and debated.

How can we figure out which factors in the environment need our attention if we rely on fashion-think, circular reasoning and ad hominem attacks to choose the agenda?

False issues drive out the real ones.

Well meaning, evangelistic coverage of science is patronizing, condescending, and an insult to the intelligence of the public.

It’s time standards of science communication were lifted.

People are welcome to come to the AEF conference, members forĀ  $95, non-members for $150.

Let me know if there are other equivalents overseas. I want to spread the word!

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