I generally agree with Rosen (even in this), but there is something to be said for at least attempting to be objective. Getting both sides of a story is very important and if we’re not reaching past our own biases, we are doing the reader a disservice. Pretending that we don’t have those biases, though? That’s completely disingenuous.
Maybe we simply need to redefine objectivity: It’s not “my biases are opaque and my work bears no trace of them,” rather it’s “here are my biases, but you should trust me because I’m trying to get at the whole story, regardless – I’m trying to get at the truth even if it can’t exist outside of whatever framework each of us is operating in.”
This really struck a chord with me. It’s something that’s been bouncing around in my head since I launched Climatide. So I’m coming clean. Here are my biases, my motivations, my goals and aspirations for this blog. It’s a first stab at what will likely become a permanent part of the site in the form of an About page:
Climatide is based on the premise that climate change IS happening, that the impacts of climate (and ocean) change can be seen and felt in our daily lives. That idea is based on a mountain of facts and solid science. Here on Cape Cod, sea level has risen nearly 11 inches in the past century, exacerbating coastal erosion. The Gulf of Maine and the waters surrounding Cape Cod are 2-4ºF warmer than they were 50 years ago; economically and ecologically important fish species are moving north to stay within their comfort zones. Globally, the ocean is 30% more acidic than it was 150 years ago, with potentially dire ramifications for corals and shellfish. Scientific consensus is firm on this – climate change is happening, and greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are a major factor.
And yet, there are many things we don’t know about climate change and there is a great deal of uncertainty about the future. A highly polarized and vitriolic debate (war?) has arisen out of that uncertainty, leaving many people confused and disenfranchised. The goal of Climatide – my goal – is not to further that debate, not to convert or indoctrinate or preach, but rather to present sound science and thoughtful commentary (including viewpoints I would personally disagree with), and to foster reasoned, intelligent, and respectful dialogue about what we do and do not know, how we know it, and what it means for our collective future.
I’m now completely intimidated by my own idea. Is such a conversation possible? I certainly hope so. But I certainly can’t do it alone. So keep reading, start commenting – let me know what you want to know, what you want to talk about. Let’s get to it!