Fri
Oct 26 2012 12:00pm
“Our Biggest Challenge” New Symphony of Science

Posted recently, the sixteenth installment of the Symphony of Science project is “Our Biggest Challenge,” a call-to-action about climate change featuring the vocals of Bill Nye, David Attenborough, Richard Alley and, last but not least, our old pal Isaac Asimov. This particular piece makes me take note of how much there was packed into Bill Nye’s programs, which I watched as a kid – there’s a hell of a lot of information, there, told in a very intelligible way. Set to music, it’s pretty neat, too. (I do so miss Carl Sagan in the newer songs, though.)

(Previous posts on the series are collected here.)


Brit Mandelo is a writer, critic, and editor whose primary fields of interest are speculative fiction and queer literature, especially when the two coincide. She can be found on Twitter and her website.

4 comments
lorq
1. lorq
Terrific video! So nicely done.

And I too was always struck by how information-packed the Bill Nye shows were. Far superior to other, earlier science education shows in this regard. Those others were well-intentioned, but a *lot* of air-time was wasted on setting up a story, or elaborate attempts at comedy, or other bells & whistles. (It was a stroke of genius to structure the Bill Nye shows around the idea of channel-surfing. This tripled the pace. A quick blur of static and you would fly to the next segment, which was "already in progress." There was no throat-clearing: you went straight to the content.)
Roger Powell
2. forkroot
I can confidently predict that this sort of thing will be laughed at in the future much like we laugh at "Reefer Madness" now.

Anthropogenic global warming is an important issue with a lot of scientific information still being gleaned. More importantly, the effects and appropriate response to global warming are complex issues that are not well served by a childish, shallow video.

I will toss in one link - please understand that this link is to an article that is in response to a recent report, not this video. I include it because it's handy and it provides an introduction to a more nuanced look at some of the issues.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/09/28/not_so_hot?page=0,0
lorq
3. lorq
Puzzling. The subject of the article linked to in the previous comment is just one report -- the DARA report. So in relation to the issue of climate change as a whole, its range is quite narrow. And a central qualifying claim the article itself makes about the issue is: "Global warming is real and man-made, and it needs an effective response." Precisely the message of the video.
Roger Powell
4. forkroot
lorq@3
I thought I had made it clear (@2) that I wasn't posting a link to some
general website discussing GW but rather to a particular article - and I included the disclaimer that the article itself was a response to something other than the video (i.e. it had a context.)

The reason for that particular choice of article: Timeliness and an excellent introduction to a more sensible approach to the issues - one that must include cost/benefit analyses.

Lastly, please note that while Lomborg is not a global warming denier - I doubt he would claim that GW is solely "man-made". From what I can tell, the most responsible position based on the state of the science is that the present warming cycle is "man-exacerbated".

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