A Few Things Ill Considered

A layman's take on the science of Global Warming featuring a guide on How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic.

Monday, March 12, 2007

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Making an ASS out of U and ME

(The title seems like a good description of what it is to argue too long with your typical climate denialist, but it has a more specific connection to this short post.)

Unfortunately Blogger, (as far as I can tell) has no way to display recent comments, so a few interesting exchanges go on behind the scenes. I don't have any good ideas for rectifying that, but I did want to share a laugh with readers from the latest comment on the "How To" front page. I spent some time back and forth with one anonymouse and after all that work their concluding position is?
"I will stand by my assumptions"

LOL! Who needs data and logic when you are well armed with assumptions, right?

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7 Comments:

  • At March 12, 2007 6:53 PM, Blogger joice said…

    he he he

     
  • At March 13, 2007 6:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow! That's even stupider than "I stand by all my mistatements." - GW Bush

     
  • At March 13, 2007 8:00 PM, Blogger Hatz said…

    " Climate change is the greatest threat facing our world today "
    On Thursday March 15th, the environment ministers from the G8, the world's biggest
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    meeting will play a critical role in determining the world's response to global
    warming-and the fate of the planet. The G8 is a summit of world leaders from the
    "Group of 8" largest economies. Together, these countries account for 50% of global
    greenhouse gas emissions-the gasses that cause climate change. The full G8 summit
    is coming in June, but the agenda and outcome of this type of high-profile event
    is usually set far in advance--at meetings like this one of the Environment Ministers.
    Help seize this opportunity to shape the G8's agenda by signing the petition here www.avaaz.org/en/climate_action_germany.
    It's a rare opportunity to have a global impact. Add your voice to the petition
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    first step to save the world.

     
  • At March 14, 2007 12:15 PM, Blogger Wag the Dog said…

    This blog is about "How to talk to a Skeptic" not "How to convince a Denialist". True Skeptics are at least agnostic and open to being convinced if given enough evidence and sufficient logical arguments. Denialists however start with a conclusion ("I don't pollute.") and work backward to arrive at their assumptions ("CO2 is not a GHG.") and even the evidence ("Troposphere hasn't warmed fast enough."). The most one can hope to achieve with a denialist is to demonstrate their logic is inconsistent and they always end up mired in contradiction and ridiculous results.

    Perhaps one needs a whole new site for this. Examples of the type of content would be:
    If a denialist says: "The climate has changed before industrialisation, therefore the present warming is natural"
    Then he must also believe: "Murders have occured in the past centuries ago, therefore the accused on trial before us today is innocent."
    and "Lightning has struck the Earth millions of years before Faraday, Tesla and Edison, so the electricity we get from the socket is all natural cycles."

    A denialist who says, "Man-made CO2 is a tiny fraction of natural CO2."
    would not protest if asked, "Give me 5% of your salary - it'll have little or no impact on your monthly savings."

    A denialist making this inference, "CO2 lags behind T in part of the ice cores therefore T is never determined by CO2"
    must also make this inference, "Some people earn a good reputation before landing their first job, therefore one's performance at work can never affect one's reputation." The denialist must skive off of work a lot.

    A denialist reasoning that "If more hurricanes is proof of global warming then the lack of hurricanes last year is proof of an ice age.", must also think being born in Arizona proves one is an American, so not being born in Arizona proves you are not American.

    Such a technique most likely will not convince the denialists of the errors in their "logic" which is largely based on stringing together emotive phrases and hoping they stick together in peoples heads. However it will efficiently demonstrate to their potential audience how silly their position is. It would best be put to use in forums where the readership doesn't have the patience to digest a long winded scientific explanation. The moment the choir to which the denialist preaches begins to sing out of tune, is the moment they begin to think for themselves, start asking their own questions, and become more open to rational discouse.

     
  • At March 16, 2007 3:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Skeptic is spelled with a K

     
  • At March 18, 2007 8:50 PM, Anonymous jangari said…

    Actually anonymous, S(c~k)eptic is spelled either way. Both spellings are accepted as 'correct'. (OED)

     
  • At March 27, 2007 5:08 PM, Blogger EliRabett said…

    Well first of all, that must have been one of those anonyrats used by the psych department. We try and help the dear things but keep em out of biting range.

     

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