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Coping With Climate Science Haters

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Author Topic: Coping With Climate Science Haters  (Read 56 times)
Misty Allen
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« on: March 09, 2010, 12:56:52 am »

    Coping With Climate Science Haters

    By Larry O'Hanlon | Mon Mar 1, 2010 02:29 PM ET

If you are a regular reader of Discovery News' Earth page, you have probably seen some of the ugly exchanges that take place in the comments sections of blog posts or news story that attempt to cover the facts of climate science. Names are hurled at science writers and scientists, conspiracies are alleged to account for why we continue to "lie" about climate science, etc. It's unproductive, and the only reason science writers and scientists even try to respond to such attacks is that they genuinely want folks to understand what's happening in the world and the dangers we are facing.

Alas, most science journalists and scientists are not trained debaters (I am certainly not). We are generally more interested in confirming facts and understanding concepts than winning a particular argument. This, of course, makes us rather ill-equipped for fighting back against the angry rhetoric, strident ignorance and repeated regurgitation of obsolete information employed by most climate science deniers/dissenters (some of whom are quite organized and well paid by big CO2 emitting industries).

So what do we do? Martin Bridgstock of Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, has offered up some pragmatic ideas in his article "Encounters with Aliens (the Local Kind)," published in the March/April issue of Skeptical Inquirer magazine. I summarize them here, but encourage you to get the magazine and read the whole article (and while you're at it, peruse the article "Disinformation about Global Warming," by David Morrison, a column by Massimo Pigliucci's on Climate Denialism, and Mark Boslough's commentary "Why 'Climategate' Was Newsworthy").

First, identify the sort of dissent you are dealing with. Bridgstock identifies three types:

1) Howlers: These statements make no logical sense and completely ignore the facts. A good example would be the common claim that there is a global cooling trend underway.

2) Hijacking: This is when someone generally doesn't even bother reading the article and just uses the general subject as an excuse to holler about their pet peeve. I've seen a lot of this, with some commenters even apparently pasting large sections of prepared text into the comment sections (I know this because I've caught them using the same texts as comments on other blogs).

3) Hurtfulness: This one is pretty obvious. It's when a commenter's main argument consists of statements like "You are an idiot" or other abuse. Science writers are on the receiving end of a lot of this.

For genuine examples of all these, stick around and look at the comments this post is likely to receive.

Next, Bridgstock outlines four ethical strategies for dealing with these sorts of comments or attacks. Here they are:

1) Ignore it. This isn't the most satisfying approach, but sometimes it's appropriate. However, it does not stop some commenters from continuing to abuse you.

2) Respond with a note telling the commenter that their ideas are interesting but beyond your ability to comment. Apparently this was a tactic Einstein employed when people told him of their powers of extrasensory perception, according to Bridgstock.

3) Refer the commenter to a forbidding, but relevant equation or some textbooks and tell them their mastery of these is a prerequisite for further discussion.

4) Develop a "form letter" that lists the most common howlers (along with a line for "abusiveness"). Check off which ones the commenter has used and send it to them.

I have two more approaches to offer. One I have employed and the other I am still considering. The first is humor: When a commenter makes howler after howler and refuses to stop, just agree with them, congratulate them on solving the problem in less than four paragraphs and being smarter and better informed than all the climate scientists in the world, put together. They usually stop commenting after that.

Finally, I'm considering telling deniers/dissenters how reminiscent their arguments are of the witch hunt scene in the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Then ask them who they identify with -- the witch or the witch hunters?
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Misty Allen
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2010, 12:58:14 am »
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Ulric Lyons
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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2010, 05:58:01 pm »

 I can map the last 8,000 years of climate change at a monthly level, the next 2,000 is not a problem.
The modern warming is natural.

I would add that there could be a minor additional greenhouse effect from enhanced CO2 levels. This is a sensible estimate; 0.12K over the next 100 years:
its not much, but a little warmer is better than nothing.

There are though prospects of natural warmer periods over the next few hundred years, but probably not quite as warm as the Holocene Optimum of the Bronze Age, when all the great civilisations really started to prosper (Egyptian, Harapan, Minoan, Chinese, Peruvian, Babylonian, etc), as the general trend over the last 4000yrs is slowly downwards. The immediate outlook is for a rather warm few years till 2013, then turning much cooler from 2014 till the early 2020`s, with particularly cold N.H. winters in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2020. From 2025 till 2038 will be a very warm period.

These forecasts are based upon heliocentric planetary positions, which essentially turn the solar wind up and down as they move collectively from one configuration to another. I can easily plot all the coldest winters in the last 2000yrs and more, and am forecasting at a weekly or less level, highly accurately.
This work is mine alone, and bears resemblance only* with the work of Kepler. (*that I know of )

Until we can control the solar wind, we are at the mercy of natural variation, and as history shows every time, civilisations colapse in cold and dry episodes, so it is of the first order priority to have advance knowledge of any impending cold climatic shifts.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2010, 06:01:44 pm by Ulric Lyons » Report Spam   Logged
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2010, 01:55:00 pm »

Right we should just accept fraud by a bunch of elite banksters that just planned on taxing the carbon cycle to pay for their Global-Bank.

So if rejecting fraud is "hating" then I'm gladfully a hater.
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