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

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Fun with Dot Earth

Demonstrating that web polling is different from scientific consensus, and exposing the toxicity that still lurks out there for what it is, have a look at a most interesting if somewhat disconcerting conversation on Dot Earth about the AGU position on climate change.

I'm happy with my contributions to the thread, especially comment #207, which I think summarizes why Revkin's approach in the parent article didn't work, as any usenet veteran could have predicted.

8 comments:

Dano said...

Ah, but I must disagree.

The big-time blog has brought out the top-rated FUD purveyors. Sure, it's turned out as you say, but look at the benefits.

Morano is actively applying for a new job with the CEI-Heritage-Scaife axis; guess where he goes next year should be a popular office pool soon. The old guard appears again, using the very same refuted and recycled again arguments they used years ago - so much so that the thread is a uniquely one-stop-shop for deconstructing the denialist argumentation. A reference point, if you will.

Plus, one of the Inhofe 400 distinguished and prominent scientists from over two dozen countries comes out and admits that he is not a climatologist (whatever that is), meteorologist, geologist, University Professor, and he doesn't even have a PhD. Coupled with the fact that AFAICT he hasn't published in the natural sciences and, we must conclude prominent and distinguished indeed!

Best,

D

John Fleck said...

Without a doubt, the best part about that thread was the poetry.

In all seriousness, what good does a 487-comment thread do for anyone? The only people who will read that are climate wars participants, who already have made up their minds.

But man, the poetry was great.

anna said...

Permalink to your comment#207

Dano said...

In all seriousness, what good does a 487-comment thread do for anyone?

John, it's emblematic. It's a handy-dandy reference. All in one spot, in a national paper, for how these things go.

It's not contributing to the national discourse, but it can serve as, say, a reference for rhetorical tactics.

Best,

D

Anna said...

> "It's not contributing to the national discourse, but it can serve as, say, a reference for rhetorical tactics."

And in another day or two we'll get to do it all over again - this is far from the first such thread on Dot Earth.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

From an interview with a beatblogger:
Q: Do you have any fears?

A: I don't want it to turn into a giant crowd of noise, where it turns into a gazillion people just yapping at each other and not accomplishing some things that could really help us and help themselves. So figuring out how to make positive things happen, that's important.


Indeed.

anna said...

(In fairness I should (& therefore shall) say that Dot Earth's proprietor realizes which posts aren't working, and is aiming the blog toward less denier-attractive topics.)

Hank Roberts said...

You had a wise caution about letting people who deny impenetrably succeed in goading scientists into intemperate responses, a while back.

It's happening on the dot.earth thread, winning Andy Revkin's attention -- he's now deleting comments he considers inappropriate.

The denials are too smoothly worded to get deleted. It's the irate responses to them that are being removed.

If it's performance art, remember, it's not real time -- it's for the ages that you have to write, because the thread will be seen by more people over the long term than are participating day to day.

The PR types know this.

Dano said...

If it's performance art, remember, it's not real time -- it's for the ages that you have to write, because the thread will be seen by more people over the long term than are participating day to day.

Agreed, Hank. Which is why IMHO Morano is a poor PR-type (all the more reason to point him out).

The better PR types, however, don't have names (well, OK, Frank Luntz) and instead draw attention to their prose rather than their names. Lomborg just happens to be photogenic with an image, and the rest of them are easily overcome by their boilerplate words.

Best,

D