It is time to stop quivering in our boots in pointless fear of the future and just roll up our sleeves and build it.
- Ray Pierrehumbert

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Great comment on RC

A nice summary of a typical foray into the bizarro universe

This is what a lot of people are thinking. You can't refute this stuff with references to primary literature. What's most disturbing is that the stuff sticks. More and more people think like this every day. Let's think about why, and what we can do about it.

5 comments:

Michael Tobis said...

Also
this comment
on the language we use to communicate is hugely important.

Step Back said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
inel said...

I agree with the comment over at RealClimate referenced by michael tobis.

In January, I began writing about climate change, after watching AIT with my three middle school children. They asked some good questions, so I decided to try to answer what I could on my blog, in case other kids had similar queries. Kids like images, and so do I, so graphs, photographs and cartoons are more suitable than reams of text. Often I post/pingback my comments to others' blogs so I can illustrate my answers on my own blog :-)

So far, I have found no-one else consistently blogging for kids on climate change, apart from a few companies with spiffy websites that are not appealing to kids (!) I get quite a few teachers and students visiting my blog looking for help with global warming school projects.

I am deliberately trying to avoid getting into technical details, even though I am often tempted to go deeper into those areas myself: there are plenty of climate scientists who can cover the tekky-tekky areas.

I have found through my work with police and teachers, that even my milder-than-tekky comments can give them headaches at times!

As well as trying to post for middle schoolers, I am trying to build up a reference of authorities (mainly British, but that is because they are under-represented) who can refute nonsense in a clear way, understandable by the public, whenever the sceptics "go to town" (or "have a field day") on a particular topic such as The Great Global Warming Swindle.

I am still amazed at the number of visitors to my blog who search on variations on a sceptical theme, e.g. "debunk An Inconvenient Truth", "Al Gore lies", "prove global warming hoax", "global warming swindle i agree" and so on …

Dano said...

I started the Dano character years ago, seeking the source of the simple FUD phrases that folks used to propagate "their" "arguments", and looking at the argumentation and what it would take to frame an argument to convince the denialists.

I have since changed his focus, but nonetheless my point is that the people who respond positively to the noise machine are responding to simple, clear easily understandable phraseology.

And why so much SwiftBoating and vitriol to fat energy wasteful Algore? His message is simple, clear, effective and people understand it. Period.

And the two comments at RC highlighted here? Aaaaa-men, brother.

Keep thinking this through. We need to change the status quo and it will take quite a few smart people thinking about this problem of most scientists being unable to communicate to the lay public.

Best,

D

(hibiscus) said...

i would say, don't give up any ground. there's a lot of public support and those people are waiting for language and materials they can use to make changes and move hearts.

might need to face facts that evolution is tied into this debate, too, and that discredits scientists, because obviously since evolution is a big conspiracy, global warming could be. getting those people turned around will take personal contact.

i would say, just state what's known, keep pushing the need for action, and leave the de-poisoning of the well to the people on the ground. much resistance will dry up and blow away.