Polar Ice Albedo and Ponderings

I’ve been reading (not exhaustively) Realclimate.org since it popped up on the 2006 Best Science Weblogs nominations.

I like science blogs that stretch what I know about topics, yet are not so far past me that I can’t make heads or tails. This entry I find cogent and fascinating. It reminds me that topics such as global warming (just for one example) are always more complicated that than appear and require dedicated study to truly understand.

It also reminds me why I usually dislike discussing “science” topics with people. I am science-knowledgeable enough to know what is fact, what is fiction, what is still under debate, and most importantly, what I don’t know enough about to have a legitimate opinion. However I’m not a professional scientist and I don’t have practice convincing lay persons that what they hear or read in the media is not everything to it. I especially find it difficult explaining that having a useful discussion about a slippery and detailed scientific field of study requires both persons involved having some expertise. “‘Cause I heard it on the TV,” is difficult to slap down when it’s considered gospel.

Nevertheless, I try and explain without being insulting that the person may want to seek multiple sources of input before chiseling their opinion in stone. Practice makes perfect.

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