Dark Snow Project 2016 Field Campaign
May 16, 2016
Let me toot my horn a little. Here’s why you need to support this year’s Dark Snow Project field campaign. There’s a track record here that’s worth celebrating, and getting behind.
Florida’s Governor has made it against policy for state employees to use the words “climate change”.
You may have read that in the Washington Post, Miami Herald, or New York Times in spring of last year – but if you were a regular viewer of my video series “This is Not Cool”, you would have known about the blackout in the Sunshine State months ahead of the mainstream media, as I covered it in my piece on South Florida Sea Level rise the year before.
That’s not a fluke or a one-off, it’s been a consistent pattern.
For instance, a major discussion in the climate science community has been, not about whether climate change is happening, but rather – the degree to which arctic sea ice loss is already affecting global weather patterns.
In June of 2013, I featured two opposing voices in this debate, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers, and Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, taking
different sides of the issue.
The science debate did not break in major media until months later, when Dr. Trenberth published a letter in Science magazine with his arguments, in February of 2014, – and the Washington Post and many others covered the story.
Again, my viewers were already well briefed.
During the super-cold “Polar Vortex” extreme winters of recent years, I interviewed key scientists explaining how climate-fueled jet stream anomalies create extremes of both heat, and cold:
The National Journal cited the video as “The One Video to Shut Down Climate Deniers”
The Journal also cited my piece on Antarctic melting as “The One Video to Explain why the Antarctic Ice Sheet is Doomed”
Many may be aware of my work as Media Director of the Dark Snow Project, a crowd funded Science and Media collaborative between myself and Dr. Jason Box of the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland.
In 2013, “Dark Snow Project” brought international attention to a topic that was not on media radar, the impact of a darkening Greenland ice sheet on ice melt, warming, and sea level rise.
With our social networking efforts, literally dozens of high profile media outlets published and republished stories on this, including The Guardian, Slate, Rolling Stone, PBS, NBC, NASA Earth Observatory, The Independent, CBC, The Weather Channel, Vice Media, MotherBoard, Outside, Daily Kos, Scientific American, and many, many others.
Our work with Dark Snow was awarded a grant in 2015 by the Leonardo DeCaprio
Foundation. But that was last year.
This year, Dr. Box will be devoting the summer to writing, publishing and research – and I’ll be heading north to cover what may be a record-smashing, pivotal year.
A big part of this work is debunking climate denial talking points – One of my recent videos followed Senator Ted Cruz’s show-hearing on climate from December, 2015. I interviewed a number of key atmospheric scientists who showed how Senator Cruz
misused and distorted satellite temperature records.
This video was recommended by former US Navy Chief Oceanographer Admiral David Titley as “the best I’ve seen on this topic”
That satellite video in particular criticized the work of Dr. John Christy and Roy Spencer, who have been key disinformers on the climate issue and make frequent
appearances on Capitol Hill, most notably in recent hearings before Senator Cruz,
and Lamar Smith’s House Science Committee.
Dr. Christy was stung enough by the video to spend a significant portion of his recent
appearance before the Science Committee responding to the “well funded” video that revealed the truth about his work.
Recently I’ve begun archiving a number of scientist interviews on climate topics online, as a resource for students, academics, activists, and film makers – something Slate magazine thought was a historically significant trove worth writing about.
Ironically, climate denier Dr. John Christy complained of a “well funded” video attacking him, when in fact all these videos are produced on a shoestring budget out of a small home office in Midland, MI, far from the capitols of commerce and media.
I rely on crowd funding, and support from viewers, as well as the faith scientists have in me to get at the truth of the debate, to cut through the distortion and noise, and to convey the science in simple, vivid terms that anyone can follow.
This year, the need for information has never been more urgent.
Already, after two record warm years globally, 2016 is starting out with temperatures that normally reticent scientists are calling “shocking”, “unprecedented”, and “frightening”.
Arctic sea ice reached its annual maximum in March, at the lowest level ever measured in the satellite era.
If you’ve helped with Dark Snow funding in the past, the need has never been greater than now. If you’ve never taken the plunge before, there couldn’t be a better time.