Proud of a Student Who Makes It As a Blogger...

Caitlin Wall, one of the students in my Political Communication seminar this semester, has embarked on a very successful job as an international affairs blogger for Foreign Policy magazine. Caitlin's latest blog post is sure to interest Framing Science readers. She analyzes the challenge to Al Gore put forth by climate skeptic J. Scott Armstrong. A Wharton School Business professor, Armstrong wants Gore to take him up on his $10,000 wager that he can forecast climate change more accurately than the climate modeling experts.

Fresh off a recent class lecture on the strategy used by conservative think tanks and skeptics to sow doubt about climate change, here's what Caitlin has to conclude about the wager:

Gore is right to dismiss this antagonistic offer. Subjecting complex scientific issues to a game of gotcha only heightens the conflict surrounding the issue, and doesn't bring us any closer to bridging political divides or solving problems that most scientists agree will plague us for generations to come.

But if Armstrong wants people to put their money where their mouths are, perhaps he would agree to this wager: Both he and Gore can purchase vacation homes of equal value, Gore's house on high ground, and Armstrong's on the tiny Pacific island of Tuvalu. Then we'll see who's really full of hot air.

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