This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember’d;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed 
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks 
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
Sometimes it’s worthwhile to stop and reflect on things.
In this case, a recent article in ECOS magazine noted that blogging about climate change as an activity “for the brave”:
“Everyone from world leading climate scientists at NASA to fossil-fuel lobbyists, journalists, politicians, campaigners, activists and countless other global citizens are writing thousands of posts every day. Unfortunately, some of the most popular blogs have misrepresented the science – sometimes innocently and sometimes not. However, some scientists are taking up this communication challenge.
Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, director of the University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute, started his blog Climate Shifts after seeing a ‘growing distortion of the information’
What me, brave?
Crazy brave perhaps.
The article sums up the war of words bloggers conduct – variously labelled deniers, alarmists, warmers, pro-science advocates – every day.
For those of you writing and blogging you know it’s a hard fight. There are days when you want to throw up your hands in the air:
- “Seriously, the polar bear argument!?!?”  
- “You’re actually denying there’s a natural greenhouse effect!?!?”
Many of us blog out of conviction. No one asked us to sacrifice the time and energy. And what do we often get in return?
The nasty emails, the derogatory comments by the army of denialist commentators. The constant battle against a never-ending tide of disinformation and sheer stupidity. It is easy to feel despair reading yet another article from The Australian or Herald Sun that misrepresents and attacks science (and scientists).
Then there is the fear one develops as you immerse yourself deeper in the science. No wonder people want to deny what could happen.
I question myself: am I doing enough? Does it make a difference?
But, as tough fight as it can be, it’s a worthy battle.
John Cook, of Skeptical Science fame, notes his reasons for blogging in the article:
‘I have a 10-year-old daughter,’ says Cook. ‘The latest science tells me she’ll see 1 to 2 metres of sea level rise in her lifetime. I want to be able to look her in the eye when I’m an old man and say that although my generation dithered on acting on climate change, at least I tried to change things. That motivates me.’
My reasons are similar. I have a two-year old daughter: what world to I give to her?
And then people will thank me in posts or in email.
It’s then I think to myself: “I’ve made a difference. There is one person who feels more informed about the debate.”
I started this blog five months ago.
If you’ve visited or commented, thankyou. Yes, even the “climate change sceptics”. At least I understand your world view better, even if I profoundly disagree.
Milestones for this blog:
- 115 posts since February 2010 when I started WTD
- 550 comments
- Just shy of 17,000 “hits”
This isn’t one of the big guns in the climate debate, but I hope I’m holding up the rear-guard and firing off some shots that make a difference.
I like to think of myself as one of the many ordinary citizens trying to make a difference. It’s the sum of our activities that can change things.
We few, we happy few.
We are also many.
 And sisters…
 And those from the Pacific, North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, South America…
 Does that mean what I think it does? See footnote one..