Revised Blog Entry (November 2, 2016)

ORIGINAL BLOG ENTRY:
jetstreamconfig

Disbelief of Revolutionaries (2 September 2016)

It seems that whenever contemporary scientists bring to light any new idea, the public widely criticizes it or flat out rejects it. Just like Galileo’s ‘wild’ heliocentric theory or the Wright Brothers’ ‘unfathomable’ flying machines, Jennifer Francis’ theory that arctic amplification and the polar jet stream could actually be affecting the global climate was passed off as a ludicrous sentiment from the beginning. This is not to say that Francis is in fact a revolutionary scientist, but rather that in the past, controversy over a new scientific idea that breaks from the norm has often times come back to bite the naysayers in the rear. So, why aren’t more people giving her work at least some consideration? Why is Martin Hoerling rudely bashing her before she can even get her point across, according to Eli Kintisch, the author of “Into the Maelstrom?”

“‘WHEN THE PUBLIC BECOMES CONFUSED, THE CAREFULLY CONSIDERED SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS [ON CLIMATE] BECOMES VULNERABLE TO ATTACK’” (KINTISCH 161).

That is a tricky question to answer and involves multiple sides of one story. Admittedly, I do sympathize with the opponents of the Francis hypothesis because while some people believe global warming is just a myth, others are trying very hard to prove that global warming is a real and present danger. So, by turning the table on those scientists trying to convince people of global warming, Francis has understandably stirred some impassioned arguments. Francis even “‘[understands] that people would be skeptical… It’s a new paradigm’” (Kintisch 160). Why not give the idea a chance, though? It seems foolish to want to inhibit the progress of science by shooting down an unpopular belief. I was very relieved when reading Kintisch’s piece when John Wallace finally said: “the Francis hypothesis ‘deserves a fair hearing’… But to make it the centerpiece of the public discourse on global warming is inappropriate’” (Kintisch 161). Finally, someone wants to at least hear her case.

I enjoy reading how Francis generally reacts so calmly and complacently to all the negativity thrown her way. She still urges people that the hypothesis needs more time to verify her findings (after all, the earth wasn’t formed in a day – it is believed to have formed over around 4.5 billion years – so why should Francis’ theory regarding the entire global climate be soundproof after just 15 years of data?) and argues that modern modeling devices don’t take into account scientifically robust Arctic amplification. Francis is strong and confident though, seeing as she has braved the circumnavigation of the globe and “seeking out adversity is part of [her] character” (Kintisch 156). If she does ever feel too much pressure, though, Francis could always just sail away aboard the Nunaga into the sunset.

 

REVISIONS (IN BOLD):

It seems that whenever contemporary scientists bring to light any new idea, the public widely criticizes it or flat out rejects it. Just like Galileo’s ‘wild’ heliocentric theory or the Wright Brothers’ ‘unfathomable’ flying machines, Jennifer Francis’ theory that arctic amplification and the polar jet stream could actually be affecting the global climate was passed off as a ludicrous sentiment from the beginning. This is not to say that Francis is in fact a revolutionary scientist, but rather that in the past, controversy over a new scientific idea that breaks from the norm has often times come back to bite the naysayers in the rear. So, why aren’t more people giving her work at least some consideration? Why is Martin Hoerling rudely bashing her before she can even get her point across, according to Eli Kintisch, the author of “Into the Maelstrom?”

“‘WHEN THE PUBLIC BECOMES CONFUSED, THE CAREFULLY CONSIDERED SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS [ON CLIMATE] BECOMES VULNERABLE TO ATTACK’” (KINTISCH 161).

That is a tricky question to answer and involves multiple sides of one story. Admittedly, I do sympathize with the opponents of the Francis hypothesis because while some people believe global warming is just a myth, others are trying very hard to prove that global warming is a real and present danger. So, by turning the table on those scientists trying to convince people of global warming, Francis has understandably stirred some impassioned arguments with her new and “crazy” theory. Francis is also sympathetic and “‘[understands] that people would be skeptical… It’s a new paradigm’” (Kintisch 160). But that’s the whole point! That’s how we progress science! A new paradigm should be given a chance, whether or not it goes against preconceived notions. Why not give the idea a chance? It seems foolish to want to inhibit the progress of science by shooting down an unpopular belief. I was very relieved while reading Kintisch’s piece when John Wallace, a dynamicist at the University of Washington who saw a White House adviser’s video promoting Francis’ theory, finally said: “the Francis hypothesis ‘deserves a fair hearing’… But to make it the centerpiece of the public discourse on global warming is inappropriate’” (Kintisch 161). First Holdren, the White House adviser, wanted to publicly encourage Francis’ work and then Wallace agreed (to a degree). This is what should have happened from the beginning: taking a stab at an unfamiliar idea. Finally, people want to at least hear her case.

I enjoy reading how Francis generally reacts so calmly and complacently to all the negativity thrown her way. She still urges people that the hypothesis needs more time to verify her findings (after all, the earth wasn’t formed in a day – it is believed to have formed over around 4.5 billion years – so why should Francis’ theory regarding the entire global climate be soundproof after just 15 years of data?) and argues that modern modeling devices don’t take into account scientifically robust Arctic amplification. Francis is strong and confident though, seeing as she has braved the circumnavigation of the globe and “seeking out adversity is part of [her] character” (Kintisch 156). If she does ever feel too much pressure, though, Francis could always just sail away aboard the Nunaga into the sunset.

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