This letter, to The Australian's Higher Education Supplement, didn't get published either. So here it is:
I was saddened to read Barry Brook's endorsement of the cry 'Don't feed the troll!' If you are in the business of science education, you should treat every comment on your blog as a legitimate inquiry from a seeker-after-truth and respond politely. If your science is good, it will be obvious to your other readers if their response is to "sidestep valid critiques and ignore counter-evidence". If your science is good, it also doesn't matter how many times you repeat yourself. You will be improving the delivery of your message all the time.
It doesn't do any good to call people who disagree with you names ("sceptics, denialists, contrarians, delayers or delusionists" ... "cut of the same anti-intellectual cloth") or accuse them of being on the take ("Groups with vested interests in business as usual..."). If you are trying to communicate with those who are not already in your camp, such ad hominem attacks are worse than useless.
I thought it was unfortunate that an article entitled 'Science must prevail' contained no actual science. A calm 622 words outlining the physical mechanism of the Greenhouse Effect and the observational evidence for anthropogenic global warming would have been a much better use of space.
- ► 2012 (13)
- ▼ June (6)