[Coral-List] Getting the message across

RainbowWarriorsInternational southern_caribbean at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 20 15:17:07 EST 2010

Dear Karsten,

Thanks for the list. I will put together a mandatory reading list for organizations which want to improve their communication skills and at the same time try to find a group of media consultants catering to non-profits to put together (a set of ) courses and documents how to deal with the tactics described in these books.

That this is necessary I must infer from the half a dozen or more global non-profits licking their wounds from the failed Fair Ambitious and Binding Climate Deal at Copenhagen which have sent off for the first time in their history surveys to email list subscribers for more input on campaigns and their willingness to go beyond subscription in support of the non-profits concerned.

The key problem with civil society organizations dealing with environmental and sustainable development issues is now how to gauge effectiveness of their programs, projects and campaigns and shore up the education, communication and outreach efforts.

It is disheartening to see that somehow in this modern age of internet, wireless communications with all the social media and social network technologies in place, old fashioned tried and proven underhanded backstabbing and propaganda described in the books you listed still have the upper hand, in spite of the fact that in 2009 record amounts of money were thrown at the efforts by non-profts a.o to get the Copenhagen climate deal message across.

Maybe it is time to seriously think about the Implementation of Sustainable Development and do a conference focusing on Capacity Building, Education and Awareness with backdrop the International Year of Biodiversity and the follow up to Copenhagen.

Agenda 21  and documents from subsequent summits cover these issues:

Milton Ponson, President
Rainbow Warriors Core Foundation
(Rainbow Warriors International) Tel. +297 747 8280
PO Box 1154, Oranjestad 
Aruba, Dutch Caribbean 
Email: southern_caribbean at yahoo.com Web Sites: http://www.southerncaribbean..org   http://www.rainbowwarriors.net (Global)

To unite humanity in a global society dedicated to a sustainable way of life

--- On Thu, 2/18/10, Karsten Shein <Karsten.Shein at noaa.gov> wrote:

From: Karsten Shein <Karsten.Shein at noaa.gov>
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Getting the message across
To: Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Date: Thursday, February 18, 2010, 6:15 AM

Milton, Steve,

Disturbingly, there seem to be quite a few books of similar vein talking 
about various socio-environmental problems and how the same tactics are 
used time and again to undermine the legitimate science that underscores 
the problem.  One of the better ones is "Doubt is their product" by 
David Michaels.  Talks about how the tobacco industry waged war against 
the science that was linking smoking to lung cancer, and how those same 
tactics are now being used by the anti-warming crowd to hammer away at 
climate science (ps. if you haven't seen the movie "Thank you for 
smoking" - it also gets at a lot of why these folks have such success, 
plus it's a good movie).

A few other relatively more recent books (last couple of years):
Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming, by James Hoggan
Censoring Science: Dr. James Hansen and the Truth of Global Warming by 
Mark Bowen
Bending Science: How Special Interests Corrupt Public Health Research, 
by Thomas McGarity and Wendy Wagner
Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free by 
Charles Pierce
Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms 
the Planet and Threatens our Lives by Michael Specter
True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society by Farhad Manjoo

There's also a book that as a scientist who communicates with the public 
I found to be a worthwhile read, and that's "Don't be Such a Scientist: 
Talking Substance in an Age of Style" by Randy Olson.


RainbowWarriorsInternational said the following on 2/17/2010 3:56 PM:
> Dear Steve,
> Funny you should mention the book. It seems that everybody but the environmental groups and lots of academics read this. We could have seen the Copenhagen Deal coming from a thousand miles away. We did not. The book is 15 years old. Any similar publications in the internet age w/social media on this topic?
> Right now we have some serious issues impacting marine ecosystems in the Caribbean and we need to know how to counter the big corporate/state  interests preventing effective measures being taken.
> E.g. marine debris prevention, port reception facilities for ship-generated solid waste, LBS Protocol of Cartagena Convention implementation, ecosystem services protection (e.g. coastal wetlands and mangrove marshes/swamps being cleared), regulation of water sports.
> Milton Ponson, President
> Rainbow Warriors Core Foundation
> (Rainbow Warriors International) Tel. +297 747 8280
> PO Box 1154, Oranjestad 
> Aruba, Dutch Caribbean 
> Email: southern_caribbean at yahoo.com Web Sites: http://www.southerncaribbean..org   http://www.rainbowwarriors.net (Global)
> http://www.projectparadigm.info
> To unite humanity in a global society dedicated to a sustainable way of life
> --- On Mon, 2/15/10, Steve Tooze <stevetooze1000 at googlemail.com> wrote:
> From: Steve Tooze <stevetooze1000 at googlemail.com>
> Subject: [Coral-List] Getting the message across
> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Date: Monday, February 15, 2010, 4:11 AM
> Dear all
> I've followed the intermittent debate about why the general public are
> failing to get the message in regard to the threat to coral reefs, and what
> scientists should do about that.
> I'm involved with various grass roots environmental movements in the UK and
> we all spend a lot of time agonising about the same thing. Why are people
> not marching in their millions about some of the gravest threats that our
> society has ever faced to its existence?
> Then, a couple of weeks ago, a friend recommended a book that seemed to me
> to go right to the nub of the problem.
> At the risk of sounding like your old university lecturer, I'd suggest that
> interested List members take a look at Free to be Human: Intellectual
> self-defence in an Age of Illusions by a UK-based academic called David
> Edwards. Then discuss.
> I found his analysis of the corporate and State 'framing conditions' that
> control and hamstring our attempts to build, for example, a critical mass of
> support for responsible and sustainable environmental polices extremely
> interesting and persuasive.
> It's also worth logging on to the BBC's website and tracking down a podcast
> of a BBC Radio 4 program called Turkeys Voting for Christmas.
> A thought-provoking examination of why overwhelming scientific data about
> anthropogenic climate change - even when put across in an accessible pop
> science form by the likes of Al Gore - fails to engage and convince the man
> on the street.
> I feel both of the above might be food for thought for the List's ongoing
> mass communications debate.
> regards
> Steve Tooze
> Journalist and media consultant
> London UK
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*Karsten Shein, Ph.D.*
/Applied Climatologist/
NOAA's National Climatic Data Center
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