How Will Climate Change Affect People With Your First Name?

A climate-concerned friend told me about some neat research today.

An infographic summarising its main findings is freely available (the full paper is presumably paywalled somewhere).

Under the heading The Lasting Impacts Of Climate Change, the authors list:

5. Hundreds of species of marine life to die off because they’re too weak-willed and pathetic to handle a little ocean acidification.

6. Nation’s Brad population to begin going shirtless as early as March.

7. Constant warfare over earth’s dwindling resources not so bad once you get used to it.

What struck me, and will probably strike you, is the almost tongue-in-cheek, not-totally-literal approach the authors appear to have taken in communicating some of their conclusions.

(Then again, after studying the most deadly-serious, harrowing subject matter possible for 26 years straight, couldn’t climate scientists be forgiven for seeking a quantum of comic solace in the occasional in-joke or ironic wink at their colleagues?)

I wasn’t sure, initially, how credible the study was, so—in the spirit of actual skepticism, as opposed to “skepticism”—I sniffed around the parent site for a bit. I must admit I hadn’t heard of The Onion before, but they’re clearly a bona fide organisation and not something run out of a guy’s garage.

*cough* OISM petition *cough*

More importantly though, http://www.onion.com is nowhere to be seen in Sharman14, the authoritative map of the 171 known vectors of climate disinformation. (By the way, if you’re surfing the climatosphere without your own up-to-date copy of Sharman—at less than the cost of 10 cups of coffee—you’re practically asking to get scammed.)

Still, one can never be too skeptical, so I also wrote The Onion asking if they can confirm that the science behind this is, indeed, legit (albeit expressed in a somewhat droll style). I’ll keep you posted on their response.

Meanwhile, as a representative of “the Brad population,” I wanted to ask readers: do you belong to a minority that’s been specifically studied by climate science? What did the science say: the impacts your group can expect, its prognosis under various mitigation scenarios, things like that? How did this make you feel?

As a science communicator, I’ve long believed that demographically-targeted impacts research is an approach all climate scientists should consider taking. Again and again and again, people complain that the science doesn’t “speak to” them.

But you won’t hear me saying that.

Or any other Brad.

8 thoughts on “How Will Climate Change Affect People With Your First Name?

  1. Doubting Rich

    Don’t you think it’s scary when The Onion has an assessment that is more accurate and more reasonable than any widely-read newspaper and many scientific publications? That comment on sea level is too close to the current rate of sea level rise per century to be likely coincidence, with a perfect commentary.

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  2. mosomoso

    I think the entry titled “How Will Climate Change Affect People With Your First Name?” trivialises the very real negative impact of skepticism on inner-city males with the first names Tarquin, Dashiell, Dustin and Xavier. Romans, Oscars and male Ashleys will also come under heavy pressure from climate denialism.

    There are now no Tarquins or Dashiells directly employed by Queensland climate bodies, and there is a very real likelihood of similar redundacies further to the south. Surely every Tarquin is a canary in the mine for the rest of us with more mundane first names. Even a common Barry or Brian is not safe from the effects of denialism.

    [CN Moderator: Your may or may not be in violation our no-off-topic-comments policy.

    I’ll give your comment the benefit of the doubt this time since I don’t understand it.

    Please be advised, however, that CN moderators have an exquisitely fine-tuned radar for facetiousness and zero tolerance for posters who repeatedly fail to treat the climate change issue with the seriousness it deserves.]

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  3. tom0mason

    You seem not to appreciate that when the computerized climate models are run that when your names comes up the data is irrefutable. The models were run individually and as the full EMC with a rage of sustainability setting, and Brad was the answer.
    I must add the there is no truth in the rumor that certain people called something like Hensan, Trenbath, Manne, or Gliek have ‘adjusted’ the homogenized input.

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  4. Chris

    Dear Sir Brad (kind of an honorary title, so don’t get all weepy),

    [Insinuation of disingenuity snipped.] I found it via [reference to climate disinformation source snipped] blog, so you should probably send her [reproductive organs of a plant snipped] or something.

    I will visit daily and contribute rarely. You’re welcome.

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  5. H.D. Kline

    My name IS NOT Brad (obviously), but I self-identify with persons named Brad, because I used to know someone called Brad. So I just want to say to all Brads that I UNDERSTAND AND FEEL YOUR PAIN. Sometimes pain is necessary to make us aware of our real priorities in life, so try to think of this as a wake up call, not just for Brads and us persons who self-identify with Brads, but for the anyone who Cares About the Planet. Brads were chosen for this particular research project, but it could have been any Tom, Dick or Harry – or Harriet etc. for that matter – doesn’t have to be a man – I’m no sexist – and the result would have been exactly the same (as long as it was STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT, of course).

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  6. nige t

    This is a little OT Brad. But I know you won’t mind…

    I’ve just been listening to coverage of the London Marathon. Some moron was asked why he was running – he replied “I’m running to save the rain forest”.

    Bloody hell! If it was that simple, there wouldn’t be a crisis, would there? I could do the bloody marathon. Problem solved. NOT.

    It’s going to take more than a fun run to save us from the disaster that’s coming.

    And the BBC hasn’t put the listeners straight on this! Unbelievable!

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    1. wsg

      “And the BBC hasn’t put the listeners straight on this! Unbelievable!”

      They’re not allowed to have “save the rain forest by running” deniers on the BBC in case an opinion is expressed that leads to a”false balance” scenario. The BBC is there to impartially promote the scientific orthodoxy as wrote and in any event “save the rain forest by running” is a proven SCIENTIFIC FACT supported by research from the scientists at Nike. Time is running out and we must do something NOW!

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