Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Occupy Wall Street / Nevada City; not the place for a climate survey

"They'll be standing around, they'll be happy to talk."
Ah, the confidence of the inexperienced...
It struck me earlier today that this afternoon's "Occupy Wall Street" gathering in Nevada City would be a great place to do an informal climate survey - ask people for their views on what's causing climate change, what science projects the consequences to be, how long the extra heat will last once we finally stop - basically, assess the knowledge level of this group. But it turns out there's a structural problem (or two) - yes, they are happy to talk, but demonstrators aren't students eager to take your quiz, they're demonstrating because they've got something they want to tell you; and they're a lot more voluble than your humble correspondent.
Plus there's the problem of running into colleagues & friends you haven't seen for a while, getting caught up on family doings etc; and the temptation, when provided a less than accurate climate answer, to seize the opportunity & turn the survey into a push poll.
(All in all, a very successful outing for discovering problems with my approach.)

Suggestions for how to assess our community's climate knowledge would be gratefully received.

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