Science on Gore's Impact and Message
Climate researchers have known Gore as the rare policymaker who brings scientists in--and listens. When he visited Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York, as a senator, recalls geochemist Wallace Broecker, "he said, 'I don't want a tour. I just want to sit around a table with some of your climate people.' " While Gore was writing his 1992 book Earth in the Balance, recalls atmospheric chemist Michael McElroy of Harvard University, the then-senator spent 2 hours on the phone nailing down a "pretty subtle chemical point" about ocean acidification. "He came into these issues with a visceral feel that this was an important issue," says McElroy, "like the Vietnam War had been when he was a young man."
Schneider thinks the award to both Gore and IPCC recognizes their dual roles in promoting climate science. "We provide the credibility the Gores and Blairs and Schwarzeneggers need," he says of the panel. And Gore's treatment of that science? "He did a pretty good job of communicating complex scientific information to a lay audience," says McElroy of Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth. "If it was a scientist doing it, it would be different. But I don't think there were any glaring errors." The publicity, Broecker says, accomplished far more than IPCC's scientists could have done on their own: "Gore put it in a way that people listened. We're much further along to meaningful action [to cut emissions] because of him."
To close the article, I am quoted offering the following observation, along the lines argued this week at this blog and elsewhere:
The end result has been an explosion of media attention and, in the United States, unprecedented political debate and even emission-cutting legislation. But it's not over, warns political communications researcher Matthew Nisbet of American University in Washington, D.C. IPCC and Gore may have raised awareness broadly and stoked concern among the already environmentally attentive, but by Nisbet's reading of the polls, the broad support for emissions cuts that will hurt is nowhere near there. Activists, he says, need a new message.
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In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.
- Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
- The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
- Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.
- In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
- This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
- Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
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