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#00: Another Climate Blog: But why?

May 16, 2020

Welcome to my climate blog Tmag! This disclaimer will walk you through what you can (and can't) expect when you roam these pages.
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For some years now everyone seems to be talking about climate change. The news is full of it, people discuss it in their local pubs, politicians and scientists talk about possible consequences and countermeasures, and on the internet there are countless blogs, feeds, and opinions filled to the brim with information and misinformation on climate change. So really, why would there be a need for yet another blog on the topic?

Having an impact on the scales that balance information and misinformation

It is not a secret that there is a huge volume of climate change misinformation readily available on the internet. This is confusing to people and it is meant to be like that by some of the people that spread it. With this blog I want to try and counter some of the misinformation that exists on climate change and offer some clarity on these difficult issues. And to maybe have a little impact on the scales when it comes to quantifying the balance between information and misinformation.

You will find that the blog posts are numbered. This does not mean that they can only be understood if you read them in the presented order. Every blog post is supposed to stand for itself, although of course there will be links to other posts so that I don't have to write basic pieces of information again and again. With the numbering I just want to provide a suggested reading sequence for people who are overwhelmed with a large number of seemingly unrelated blog posts (like myself). I want to provide the impression that you can read the blog like a book from start to finish (which you can), without missing out on an important piece. You can blame my own sort of obsessive compulsive disorder for that. And my love for books. I just like things to be in order.

What is the content of this blog and who is the target audience?

The first handful of blog posts will be filled with technicalities and general information on climate change communication. I will introduce myself and provide some information on my own experiences and curriculum vitae. After I have put these provisions out of the way, I will have a closer look at the science of climate change. The target audience here is not scientists; they would probably be bored to death with my level of detail. Instead, I want to address the Average Joe & Jane who are struggling to find their way through media reports on climate change. Many people will find it hard to see the big picture of the issue whilst being bombarded with information on distracting and political side-issues, some of which is important, some of which is not. I know this first-hand, because it is how I felt when I started investigating climate change topics several years ago. So I am trying to write blog posts which are as easily digestible as possible, for people without prior knowledge. This does include (older) children, given that the issues should be interesting to them (looking at you, Fridays For Future), but also most importantly, since I am writing about the planet they'll be living on when my generation is gone. Including a broad audience will require scientific simplifications from time to time, although I will try to avoid oversimplifications. To not give the impression of hiding out on important details, I will provide further reading references for people interested in the details of the discussed topics wherever possible. I consider it a crucial aspect of this blog that you do not have to take my word for what I am writing - I will provide references to scientific sources as much as I can.

Why the heck can't I give this guy a piece of my mind?

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Finally, due to the very polarising nature of every piece of information on climate change on the internet, it is an obvious question why I do not have a comment section for people to discuss my blog posts. The answer to that is pretty simple: I neither have the time nor the passion to lead comment section wars like the ones I have seen under many climate blogs. This is not my intention with this blog and it might drain all my life's energy if I had to confront and rebut climate science deniers on a daily basis. Nevertheless, refusing feedback on what I am writing is not my intention at all. For one, there might be mistakes in the posts and secondly, readers need to be able to send constructive feedback. If you want to do so, please simply use the email address you find on my contact page or tweet/comment the articles on Twitter. I will correct errors or publish errata if necessary. I am not perfect, no one is.

The first and central part of this blog will be the question, who we can trust on providing reliable information on climate change and how we can distinguish between information and misinformation. As a consequence, you should obviously ask yourself the question, who is the writer of this blog and why should you rely on the information I am presenting? These questions and more are addressed in my first blog post.