John Abraham: How to give good radio

It’s hard to know listening to this recent US radio interview with John Abraham whether to be more admiring of his incisive responses or more astonished at the regularity with which tired old denier claims are put forward by the interviewers. The interview perhaps highlights the extraordinary divergences of American society – home to impressively intelligent and dependable science yet harbouring, at high levels of government and in major media, scientific denial expressed with a confidence untethered to any scientific grounding.

John Abraham figured on Hot Topic last year when Gareth ran a post inviting expressions of support for him in the face of Christopher Monckton’s campaign to intimidate him and his University following his famous debunking of Monckton.  The support poured in.

Abraham is a founding member of the Climate Science Rapid Response Team set up last year to provide rapid, high-quality information to media and government officials. He has certainly done just that for America’s Radio News, though I doubt they appreciated it and I notice the interviewer claimed the last word just before they ran out of time, which seems a little odd by normal interviewing standards. Anyway it’s great to hear the firm messages of climate science delivered with clarity and a fully justified assertiveness.

The Carbon Brief and Climate Denial Crock of the Week, which led me to the video, have apposite comments.

8 thoughts on “John Abraham: How to give good radio”

  1. I had a hard time working out whether the interviewer was feeding lines he knew his audience would want raised, or whether he seriously believed he could counter the evidence of a real live scientist.

  2. Gee, nearly every multiply-discredited talking point gets a run-through. ‘Research I’ve done’ appears to have been done solely at, ah, let’s guess – WUWT? Much like the bulk of all that ‘research’ that various other people we know do…

    Abraham did a very good job at rebuffing it all in a matching – and effective – style. I suppose when you first hit notice up against a king of bafflegab (followed by indignant vitriol) like Monckton you’re going to either get sucked under in the nonsensical tide or become a stronger swimmer!

  3. John Abraham sure did a great job during that interview. Hopefully other climate scientists, considering media interviews, have picked up a few tips. Scientific expertise alone, isn’t sufficient when you’re dealing with disinformers.

    And thanks for the links Bill.

  4. David Karoly faced a more hostile interviewer recently (I can’t find the link but it was on 2GB) and was a model of calm, polite, intellient grace under fire. Kudos to these scientists who are able to deal with numpties in the public arena.
    I am becoming frustrated that we still have to educate the public on the basics of global warming when we should be well into planning and implementing our response to it by now.

    1. He’s worth his weight in gold. The general public is still woefully ignorant, with politicians on the right doing their best to keep it that way.

      This forum has been great of late – the comparative absence of a certain type of contributor may have something to do with that!

  5. Aussies – and curious friends and neighbours – looking for a preview of the new Michael ‘tell him he’s dreaming’ Caton and Cate Blanchett pro-carbon tax ad can preview it here.

    Barnaby Joyce doesn’t like it. Diddums!

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