Thursday, November 13, 2014

Who is the Biggest Fool in Hollywood?

By Pascal Dennis

There is an embarrassment of riches, is there not?

Chief Hollywood Climate Scientist, Leo DiCaprio, is making a strong case for himself though.

“The debate is over. Climate change is happening right now!” he told the gathered UN dignitaries. “If our climate collapses – our economy will collapse too!” he warned.

Please pardon my crankiness, folks. But climate change is a ‘wicked problem’ according to the splendid Judith Curry, Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology and President of Climate Forecast Applications Network.

By ‘wicked’ she means complex, difficult, involving multiple and imperfectly understood causation. Wicked problems require tenacity, honesty, humility and can take decades to solve.

Prof. Curry is concerned that the debate is becoming stultified. Climate science isn’t ‘settled’. In fact, science, by definition, is never settled.

In 1491, the pundits were just as sure of themselves as DiCaprio is today. “The debate is over. The world is flat!”

I suppose winning the genetic and financial lotteries creates a fair amount of guilt. Stars and starlets, knowing deep down that they’re bozos, compensate by ‘saving the world’.

In their minds, I suppose it’s all ‘make believe’. Just another role, more pretending. But it’s not harmless. Sadly, Leo will reach more people in one day than Prof. Curry will in a lifetime.

Hollywood stars inevitably degrade the debate, and often do more harm than good. (There are too many examples to count.)

It takes a great deal of hubris, if you think of it, to pontificate on subjects you know little about, with little regard for the consequences of your actions.

I want to be charitable. But sorry, Leo, but it’s not about you. I like your movies and you’re probably not the most horrible person in Hollywood.

But a bit of humility would do you good. At your next photo-op, how about saying, “I don’t know”, or “I’m not sure.”

Better yet, “I’m an actor. Climate science is a wicked problem, and I don’t understand it. But people like Dr. Curry and the folks at the Climate Forecast Applications Network do. Please support them.”

Is that asking too much?

Best regards,


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