[Coral-List] Media and Oil Spill Science

Thomas Moore thomas.moore.is at gmail.com
Fri Aug 27 20:13:03 EDT 2010

On Sat, Aug 28, 2010 at 3:09 AM, Greg Challenger <gchallenger at msn.com> wrote:

> The post below from Thomas Moore at NOAA is a clear illustration of the same
> problem I had in my statement about journalists.

First (to avoid any further confusion), I definitely am not an
employee of NOAA or any other US government agency!

> Rather than discussing the merits of the technical views I expressed (or whether a news story is
> intended to be accurate), the inclination is to allow a preconception of who
> you work for to influence your interpretation of someones' technical opinion
> .....or to somehow raise doubt on the technical opinion without actually
> engaging in the technical discussion.

There was no preconception, but in the interests of disclosure, I
don't see why you didn't say "Hey, I work for BP". It would then be up
to others to judge your technical merit and impartiality. This would
accusations of BP buying up scientists and the Ivor Van Heerden /
Polaris public relations video

As for the technical discussion, it's not my area of expertise, but I
am intrigued. Several people have contacted me off the list who do not
want to go on record in saying that they strongly disagree with the
idea that most of the oil has evaporated. I don't think your technical
opinion was actually that technical... Can you cite references for
statements such as "It is not a hard conclusion to reach since about
30-40% evaporates in the first five days after it hits the surface"?

> There is no shame in working for BP.  Our mission is to do well
> so that we may work again.  Should we all have said no?

Good to hear. No need to be defensive! I'm simply saying: be more transparent
about your position when discussing vested interests.

> BP is lucky to have
> the private industry experts assisting with response and
> assessment strategies.

I wouldn't go that far. Money can buy most things, luck has little to
do with it.


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