See a scientist be emotional or aggressive in defending their work and any number of people, including other scientists, will chide them and say that is not how scientists are supposed to act. Meanwhile, the trial lawyers who run environmental groups know that they have set the bar for how they are supposed to act differently; they are supposed to be passionate. It's expected.
The proof that emotional verbiage works was evident in a PNAS paper which looked at "hot button" terms and the impact they had. An analysis of 563,312 tweets on gun control, gay marriage, and climate change showed what got the most attention had words like:
And the more the merrier. Each emotional term was correlated to a 20% boost in retweets.
Look at those words and the fundraising pleas from groups like Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club (and their Earthjustice litigation group), Greenpeace, or NRDC and you see how they have mastered emotional rhetoric. What does the science side offer in return? 'Let me show you some data.'
I always joke that telling people their food is safe and the modern world is not killing us is a terrible business model - no one is mobilized by being calm - but I don't believe it.
I believe just the opposite, that people will proactively support experts communicating directly with the public, bypassing media corporations.
Science 2.0 has no editorial bias or ideological litmus test, we let scientists say what they want to say, with no filter. Sometimes that is controversial, because anti-science activists and their political allies will use freedom and lack of censorship against the pro-science side. Deviate from their social authoritarian agenda and they will try to claim you must be a Nazi, or sexist, or whatever the term du jour is.
You can make an impact on fighting back against that, by donating to our efforts. While environmental groups have to raise money so they can pay for fancy buildings, lawyers, and ever more employees to feed their greed, 100 percent of your donation will go toward science content.
If you are a scientist or doctor who is early career and has no money, you can also help by writing an article. If you are out in the audience, share our work with friends. It takes money to be heard, sure, but we can also mobilize a lot of grassroots support and that will offset the high-paid lobbyists that environmental corporations and their trade groups have throughout Washington, DC.