Jerry Biggers

"Experts" claim record cold caused by global warming

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High taxes and late nite t.v. is lowering our birthrate much more than the saltiness of the oceans or the average air temperatures.

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I will take this personally. If I don't denounce loopiness of 'alarmist' opinion and advocacy, then you will yawn in disbelief.

Fair enough.

William,

You took it wrong and it is not "fair enough."

Well, it made sense to me to take the suggestions and warnings as from one person to another, so personally -- in the sense of a personal challenge made by you to me.

Bear with me for a second. I add in a bit more context on the second run through:

And you have to denounce the loopiness.

The price if you don't?

Yawns and disbelief, even if you up your storytelling game.

I will take this personally. If I don't denounce loopiness of 'alarmist' opinion and advocacy, then you will yawn in disbelief.

Fair enough. That is your deal for me. How about a deal for you? How about you denounce by name and deed the 'opposing' side to my storytelling?

William,

You took it wrong and it is not "fair enough."

This may be a cul-de-sac, but let me explain further. Your argument is that I need to do something for my credibility. That thing is to denounce various actors and mouthpieces and idiots. I need to denounce the bad actors within climate science, and only then can I achieve credibility.

I take it as a personal challenge. Does that make more sense? You challenging me with a weakness in my entire output, a continuing weakness?

I was not talking about a power game or threat.

I was talking about a persuasion cause and effect.

Sure. We are two guys arguing about persuasion, with a certain amount of common ground. I am not threatening anything but a few more lengthy posts. I am not interested in a 'power game' either. If I am not persuasive on a given angle on a topic, then I am glad to know it. Details matter. Particulars are important. Diffuse complaints are hard to grasp and respond to.

I could unpack that last post of yours, but this is the worst I have seen you misunderstand something. There is just too much to unpack.

That is a strong claim, the worst. I don't agree. I did my very best -- at great length over a thousand words -- to show that I follow your argument and that I acknowledge your suggestions.

As for unpacking the blinds and digging out evidence of my misunderstanding, well, that is up to you. Simply claiming I misunderstood something worse than ever before -- that doesn't tell me much beyond that we have a disagreement.

How about turnabout as fair play? You entirely misunderstand me? Does that do any work?

Maybe I'm wrong, but I get the impression you are not interested in persuasion, but compliance.

Maybe you are wrong. I am interested in open discussion. I am game for a whole lot of side issues and trenchant critique. I respond to those who challenge me. It's not exactly fun, but it bears fruit for my selfish understanding.

Where I think we two have large common ground is on basics: I think we each agree that knowledge of our climate systems is partial and incomplete, that mere 'consensus' is a poor guide to truth, that a whole playing field of opinion is shot through with less-than-stellar performances. (beyond that generality are all the levels of persuasive instruments and entities -- from the sources in published scientific work all the way through to day-to-day media nitwittery, with a large and complex melange of blogs of various quality, foundations, advocacy groups, national associations with uncertain agendas and suspect funding ... and more more more)

But, let me entertain your impression that I want compliance. Does this mean I want compliant opinion here?

From another angle, perhaps you see me as an 'outlier' to the generally-adopted opinion here in regard to climate change. I am that lone jury hold-out.

Maybe it is the rest of you, the rest of the OL jury that wants me to fall in line with the majority, who want me to be compliant?

Anyhow, I thought to put back that context in the remarks you took issue with -- twenty-one words from a thousand spent. I know you hate venetian-blind replies, but I make them so that I can be thorough. Replying to that endless yawping can be a chore, but if you want me to be persuaded that you have found the worst misunderstanding of my OL years, I am open to further discussion on that point ...

Fair enough?

Edited by william.scherk

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Our level of competence to scientifically examine the issue is third-hand. Bob is in the second-hand. He could push first-hand although the effort would not likely be worth it. William pushes into second-hand. Thus most of us talk by each other.

Therefore we default to authority on the purported science or wallow around in innumerable facts, theories, opinions, analyses, etc., actually going nowhere.

Intellectually, culturally, morally--all another ball of wax. This is Climate Change Living(?).

In this area the "science"--too much of it--has gone or is going fascist*.

--Brant

*shutting the opposition up--or trying to

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So, that is six of MSK's baker's dozen of doozies. Not as witless and demented as I feared going in, except for Sanders garbling and over-simplifying of the actual research.

William,

You fell right into the storytelling trap.

If you are writing for yourself and to feel good, and not writing for public consumption, OK. Perfect.

If you are trying to debunk the items I listed with a kind of extended nitpicking (legitimate or not) as a form of persuasion, let me ask you this. Which approach persuaded more people, your approach or mine?

We have inadvertently given a perfect case study of what I was trying to convey.

No matter how many times you repeat what you just did, there is no engaging story. Nobody pays attention. Life is short and stretching out each item on a list is long. Too long for most people.

However, they look at the list I did with its bite-sized texts, links only to full articles and studies, easy-to-understand formatting, and think, "Wow. Those climate change people are getting crazy."

I just now gave you a couple of technical hints as to why that caught their attention. In general, don't you think it would be wise to discover why and how one way works at getting people to look, including look from my slant, while the other doesn't? (Imagine me posting that list on social media in a highly trafficked place.) What is happening?

The attitude about why the public lacks interest I generally see from the most ardent AGW supporters who use the thud method you employ is that the public is stupid. They mean people other than them, of course. They are the smart ones. But all those unwashed masses who are not dazzled by their brilliance are stupid.

That satisfies these vain souls as a kinda metaphysical explanation I suppose, but it gets them no closer to changing anyone's mind than before they wrote. It never occurs to them that there is value in understanding their potential readers.

(Apropos, it must be a hoot to actually believe, with great satisfaction, one was born inherently superior to most of humanity. I wonder what that feels like... :smile: On a serious note, no I don't. When I try to imagine myself that way, I get the willies.)

I consider you to be a cut above those folks. That's why I'm trying to give you a glimpse of a huge problem you will probably be facing shortly.

Let me give you an upcoming scenario. Suppose Donald Trump becomes president, which is a very real possibility. He has stated openly that he doesn't believe in manmade climate change. Not as a hard and fast position. He just thinks it's all silly. (Due to all that monkey-business I keep talking about.) And lots of people who are fans of his think exactly that.

As president, how much do you think the US government pulling out ALL its support to the climate change festivities will damage their efforts? And then there's this. Trump intends to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency. Not just diminish it. Abolish it.

Are you satisfied that long lists of data and intermittent attitude will be all the climate change folks will need for persuasion and rhetoric at that moment? I'm not asking as an "us against them" thing. I believe Trump is sincere, I believe you are, and I know I am. So if you are truly worried about saving the planet from toxic humans (if that is what you believe), I think you will need better intellectual weapons than what I have seen you currently employ.

But I have encountered resistance when I try to explain what the person you need to persuade looks like on the inside--by using myself as such a person. It helps that I am very close to thinking the way I have opined. Not everything since I exaggerated a bit for effect, but close.

Now do you understand what I meant when I said that one post was the worst I have seen you misunderstand something? I know I'm partly to blame, but the point is you can't fix an error by repeating it as the solution. The very thing I was telling you was not working is what you did as rebuttal.

Frankly, I am not all that interested in climate change. And the error was treating my comment as if I were and stretching it out item by item.

I am interested in my friend who was expressing frustration that he was unable to get his point across to OL people--so much so he (that is you) wanted to do it live to see if that would work. (Believe me, doing the same thing you have been doing re climate change, but live instead of on a forum, wouldn't work if getting potential adherents is your goal.) I even quoted you in my first post. That frustration what I was responding to, not the climate change issues you are passionate about. I merely tried to help. I don't like seeing people I like frustrated.

If you want others to share your passion, a different approach is needed. As Nathaniel Branden said, "Doing more of what doesn't work doesn't work." All I have been trying to do is show you what ain't working from the viewpoint of the public you need to reach if you want to make a difference and give you hints about what would work, at least to get people's attention and keep it and build on it around the topic you want folks to take seriously.

I have several things to share that I believe would rock your world and give you some hope, especially when the lean times for the AGW world arrives, but I have difficulty imagining how to do it among all the nitpicking.

(You might ask why I want to help someone who I disagree with when I mostly agree with Trump and he will have the power. The fact is, I think the climate change issue has been greatly harmed by radical idiots and people with nasty hidden agendas. A swing too hard to the opposite side--to an equally radical side--would encourage an equally wrong kind of people. We need reason, not bigotry.)

Frankly, this is the same issue with those who want to help spread Objectivism, or combat it. They make very similar errors in persuasion and arguments. In fact, their effect is minimal. Rand's fiction does the heavy lifting in spreading her ideas.

And what is her fiction?

Story.

Michael

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That is the great question right there. Is it possible, is it plausible that humans can affect climate (on meaningful scales)? Is it possible, plausible that human CO2 emissions can lead to warming?

William,

I'm on board with this, except it is only valid for me if it includes the contrary questions--and I mean this as seriously considered questions, not ones given to lip service to (in order to appear objective) or treated as strawmen to knock down.

In other words:

Is it possible, is it plausible that humans may not affect climate on meaningful scales? Is it possible, plausible that human CO2 emissions do not lead to warming?

Yeah, the hypothesis-testing must include the null hypothesis. I liked the way Brant put it as an epistemological puzzle or challenge. From that comes the more pointed questions, and the more the better. How to make incisive queries from the basic stance? I'll get back to finishing a couple Zzzzzzzzzzz responses in the queue, before I come up with basic queries that might be useful.

The basic (metaphysical) question here--the above is basically epistemological--is: does human activity significantly affect climate respecting warming or cooling?

Like I said, this makes least assumptions.

I can only entertain a look first, then evaluate process in my mind if both groups of questions are on the table without all the politics, vanities, prejudices, needs to maintain government funding, needs to keep oil profits high, attempts to win arguments or silence others, including through peer pressure, mockery, and so on. (What you called "us against them," at least, that's what I think you were referring to.)

This also includes the questions that arise from any reasonable answers to the first round.

It's hard to start over because so much has become tainted by subterfuge for money and power on all sides. Too many "authorities" have commitments that supercede proper (meaning objective) identification of the facts, issues and causality.

Michael

I don't think anyone can fully start over. There is a cultural 'war' aspect in a way kin to "Culture Wars" or the "Memory Wars." There are fanatics, and truth claims and a whole lot of contestation. It is hard to shed one's background impression along with retained knowledge.

But I will shut up on this and see where it goes without me as nanny. Back to page 2 I go.

Edited by william.scherk

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That is the great question right there. Is it possible, is it plausible that humans can affect climate (on meaningful scales)? Is it possible, plausible that human CO2 emissions can lead to warming?

William,

I'm on board with this, except it is only valid for me if it includes the contrary questions--and I mean this as seriously considered questions, not ones given to lip service to (in order to appear objective) or treated as strawmen to knock down.

In other words:

Is it possible, is it plausible that humans may not affect climate on meaningful scales? Is it possible, plausible that human CO2 emissions do not lead to warming?

Right, those two sets of corollary questions are at the core of it all, I think. I won't add much, but have to ask rhetorically what fascinates me most: why there are so many around who are so glad to seize on the idea of mankind as the root cause of all wrongs -simply for existing? Not every AGW-er scientist and commentator is dishonest or anti-mind (many are) but many, many people who know little independently of GW, relish hearing of criticism of man's productiveness and of possible cracks in his confidence to know. It is an almost mystical delight.

"For the children!", I keep hearing; with guilt-ridden apologies from we elders for stuffing up the Earth and their future. It kills me to hear a child accusingly mimic his teachers' self-righteousness on AGW, as if it is 'revealed', uncontested, certain knowledge.

----

Simplistically:

Heat in - Heat out.

"Heat in" was the source and is the sustenance of life on Earth. And out there, outside our atmosphere is hellish cold temperature which sucks up Earth warmth - heat out.

Through aeons, apparently this balance has fluctuated of its own accord, and Earth's mean temperatures varied, at times massively. All those drivers, water vapor, clouds, CO2 and whatever (even Earth orbit) were evidently never stable and the protective mantle continuously changed density. Then it more or less, not totally, stabilized for a long while. (Assuming the reliability of deducing ancient temperatures from core samples and tree rings).

Along comes man and his industry--and is the fatal flaw or last straw which put that ("perfect") fine balance out of whack. We are told by the so-called consensus.

But let's grant for the sake of argument, that to ~some~ degree, he has. "Meaningful scale" then matters a lot.

In this vastly complex field I don't know, but doubt, it can yet be ascertained with precision. The science will get better. In the interim, a vain and belated request: let educators, do-gooders, vested powers and governments express the temporary doubt - or at least not enforce anything more on the world. (Pollution legislation, aside).

Not much to add, I promised, more like a recap. A simple mind has to keep things simple :smile:

A whimsical afterthought, what about if industry and increased CO2 levels have truly been pushing up mean temps since that magical, pivotal year,1850, while natural forces were and have been simultaneously and coincidentally acting in the opposite direction - to push them down, colder? Men might in future be immensely grateful for that (recently announced) one point two degree Centigrade rise.

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Heat in. Heat out. See the Stephan Boltzman Law. A blackbody cannot get infinitely hot. The emissivity is proportional to the 4 th power of the thermodynamic temperature (Kelvin scale)...

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I don't think anyone can fully start over.

William,

Here's a place where it's perfectly easy.

Try to seriously consider storytelling for awhile before going back to strict science.

You can fully start over there--in storytelling.

Here's how to start.

Get a new villain.

11.20.2015-00.04.png

To paraphrase a copywriter where I got this from (Colin Theriot--a young marketing genius): People need a scapegoat, a whipping boy. They need to know it's not their fault. They need to pin it on someone--a bad guy. Remove or downplay the villain's humanity and start creating stories about how to get revenge. Sweet, sweet revenge. And suddenly people are devoting sustained focus to your message, not yawns.

Sell revenge, not science.

(Remember, this is only during the initial phase to get people's attention and focus. You still have the stages of bonding with them, then delivering some facts.)

Why won't the old villain work? (That is, mankind in general as the bad guy?)

Here's reality. You can't make the person you want to persuade the villain. People turn off when the finger points at them for too long. Granted, it works well enough during an initial window of opportunity, but after the shame-game gets old, people yawn.

And the the window of opportunity is closing.

So create a new villain and lay the blame for climate change at said villain's feet. Without mercy or nuance.

You might think this is silly, but people will pay attention. Try it.

(btw - There is neuroscience that backs this up.)

After you see how easy it is to manipulate public opinion by scapegoating through a good story, you become more objective when looking at the facts. Your own core story loses some of its power to limit your perspective because you have just seen the underbelly of story as persuasion--the man behind the curtain, so to speak (for an easy metaphor). And you start looking inside yourself to wonder if you have been manipulated out of objectivity and into a bias without even realizing it.

So you start over, objectively for real.

I told you I have good stuff to share. This is merely a scratch on the surface...

Michael

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Discussions on climate change are usually very much like discussions on conspiracy theories. They quickly devolve into mounds and mounds of details and pointless bickering over minutiae because no one began by laying the groundwork of identifying specifically what would constitute either proof or falsifiability. The believers are therefore left with the constant option of skirting the issue of falsifiability, and therefore of practicing pseudoscience and passing it off as science. Everything is accepted as proof of their position, and there is no possible falsification. They will not name or accept any possible outcomes as disproving their theory.

I would suggest that instead of skipping the vitally important first step of demanding -- requiring -- that they identify what outcomes in reality would falsify their theory, and instead of falling into the trap of then addressing their billions of irrelevant questions and information dumps, one should insist that they first identify the conditions which would they would accept as disproving their predictions/theories/conclusions.

As Rand would advise, identify the essence of the argument, and stick with it rather than falling for inessential distractions.

When I've done so, I've never yet received a legitimate answer. I've received lots of bluffing and I'll-get-back-to-you-laters, but no naming of the possible outcomes which would disprove their positions. When I've applied persistence, and kept throwing the issue of falsifiability in their faces, despite their best efforts to squirm and skirt the issue, they tended to eventually just dry up and disappear.

Here's one example of the culmination of such persistence on the APS and the Global Warming Scam thread:

Okay, so, now, which single climate model and its single set of predictions represents the "scientific consensus" view and is considered to be "settled science"? Who created the model, when were its predictions made, and when were they announced publicly? How and when, and by whom, was it decided that the model's predictions had been going on long enough to have "settled" the science? How was the timeline derived for accepting the "settling" of the science? Was that timeline explicitly identified prior to the predictions being made?

Please post graphs of the model's predictions. Include visual indicators of when the predictions began, which areas are included in the "95% certainty" range, and a line representing observations recorded in reality.

I received no answers to my questions. And I didn't get tangled up in mounds of bluffing and endless document dumping.

J

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-- going on with the stories MSK brought up in post #38. They are examples of outré claims that go beyond wrong, in his opinion. I looked over the first six items here. This particular thing is so freaking long that I might insert insert some graphics to break it up.

As MSK wrote earlier in introduction ...

I can't help but say something now that the climate change storytelling has gotten even worse than dishonest. It has gotten outright loopy.

Here is a baker's dozen of recent claims so you realize what I mean. (And there's plenty more where that came from.) I swear, this stuff doesn't sound any different in essentials than backwater fundamentalist Christians talking about Satan.

Prostitution
According to California Rep. Barbara Lee, climate change is going to force women into prostitution.


Breitbart reports that the representative tabled a resolution:

Lee introduced House Concurrent Resolution 29, warning that women will be forced into “transactional sex” to get enough food and clean water — all because global warming will create “conflict and instability” in the world.

“Women will disproportionately face harmful impacts from climate change,” Lee’s resolution reads. It continues claiming, “Food insecure women with limited socioeconomic resources may be vulnerable to situations such as sex work, transactional sex, and early marriage that put them at risk for HIV, STIs, unplanned pregnancy, and poor reproductive health.”

Lee’s document goes on to urge Congress to agree on the “disparate impacts of climate change on women,” and goes on to demand that Congress use “gender-sensitive frameworks in developing policies to address climate change.”

Lee also charges that women, who are “often underrepresented in the development and formulation of policy regarding adaptation to climate change,” are doubtless in the best position to offer policy ideas.

The 900-word resolution in one line: "Recognizing the disparate impact of climate change on women and the efforts of women globally to address climate change." from the full text. There are seventeen 'whereas' clauses, of which the Breitbart reporter zeroed in mostly on one, and teased out the most 'loopy' for the headline.

Will women be disproportionately face harmful impacts? Lee's resolution is not backed up by any particular references. I think I will take some time to further examine what scientific bases there are for her many 'whereas'-es. Here's several leading up to what caught the reporter's eye:

Whereas women in the United States and around the world are the linchpin of families and communities and are often the first to feel the immediate and adverse effects of social, environmental, and economic stresses on their families and communities;

Whereas the United Nations has recognized, as one of the central organizing principles for its work, that “no enduring solution to society's most threatening social, economic and political problems can be found without the full participation, and the full empowerment, of the world's women”;

Whereas the United Nations Development Programme 2013 Human Development Report has found that the number of people living in extreme poverty could increase by up to 3,000,000,000 by 2050 unless environmental disasters are averted by coordinated global action;

Whereas climate change is already forcing vulnerable communities in developing countries to face unprecedented climate stress, including water scarcity and drought, severe weather events and floods, which can lead to reduced agricultural productivity, food insecurity, and increased disease;

Whereas climate change exacerbates issues of scarcity and lack of accessibility to primary natural resources, forest resources, and arable land for food production, thereby contributing to increased conflict and instability, as well as the workload and stresses on women farmers, who are estimated to produce 60 to 80 percent of the food in most developing countries;

Whereas women will disproportionately face harmful impacts from climate change, particularly in poor and developing nations where women regularly assume increased responsibility for growing the family’s food and collecting water, fuel, and other resources;

Whereas epidemics, such as malaria, are expected to worsen and spread due to variations in climate, putting women and children without access to prevention and medical services at risk;



There is a lot to unpack. There is an argument there, but as I said, no direct references except to a UN document; I will look for signs that the representative is flailing, or that she is a one-issue congresswoman, or that she is grossly misinformed.

Her assumptions are many. Are they all wildly incorrect?

In any case, interesting resolution from a politician. Do we want to be informed on climate science by a politician? Are there any politicians in the House who we trust, if we cannot trust Lee?

More interesting are the last bits of the resolution. To reduce that to a one-liner, she wants the USA and the President to make sure women are included in deliberations about climate change.

boyd1.gif

Rape and other crimes

According to Michael Ranson, a Senior Associate with Abt Associates, climate change will cause a spike in rapes and other crimes, especially violent crimes. (Study here.)


This seems like a reach going in. What are the causal chains that lead from a changing climate to a spike in rape and other violent crimes?

Let's see how the Infowars reporter Kit Daniels covers this ...

In his study entitled “Crime, Weather and Climate Change,” Michael Ranson, a Senior Associate with Abt Associates, alleges that “global warming” will cause an additional 180,000 cases of rape and 22,000 murders by 2099.

Ranson also claims that “climate change” will lead to a further “1.2 million aggravated assaults, 2.3 million simple assaults, 260,000 robberies, 1.3 million burglaries, 2.2 million cases of larceny and 580,000 cases of vehicle theft in the United States.”


Yow. How? How does that work?

Daniels goes on:

In essence, the study is about as scientific as the quack science behind “global warming.”

“There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years,” Greenpeace co-founder and former member Patrick Moore said in a statement to a Senate committee on Tuesday. “Today, we live in an unusually cold period in the history of life on earth and there is no reason to believe that a warmer climate would be anything but beneficial for humans and the majority of other species.”


Okay. That is Moore -- not commenting directly on the study. It appeared in Journal of Environmental Economics and Management in May of 2014. It looks to be behind a massive pay-wall except for the abstract, but I will see if the author may have a reprint for me.

Here is the abstract:

This paper estimates the impact of climate change on the prevalence of criminal activity in the United States. The analysis is based on a 30-year panel of monthly crime and weather data for 2997 US counties. I identify the effect of weather on monthly crime by using a semi-parametric bin estimator and controlling for state-by-month and county-by-year fixed effects. The results show that temperature has a strong positive effect on criminal behavior, with little evidence of lagged impacts. Between 2010 and 2099, climate change will cause an additional 22,000 murders, 180,000 cases of rape, 1.2 million aggravated assaults, 2.3 million simple assaults, 260,000 robberies, 1.3 million burglaries, 2.2 million cases of larceny, and 580,000 cases of vehicle theft in the United States.


Well, this alone give me almost nothing. Is there a relationship between heat and crime in the USA? Does crime go up during hot weather? Is there some basic information I am missing? I'll hunt down the paper. In the meantime, there is a longer article than at Infowars, by Mark Leberfinger at Accuweather, with some quotes from the study author Ranson (who is associated with the Kennedy School of Government, boo hiss):

"We don't know what the year 2100 is going to be like," he said. "What we do know, however, is that climate change is likely to lead to higher temperatures, and historically, higher temperatures have caused more crime. So, while the predictions in the paper could be quite inaccurate, the takeaway message is that climate change is likely to cause a significant increase in crime."

However, not all experts agree. A George Washington University professor said the projected rise in crime is a bit more nuanced than what Ranson reported.

"It's not as straightforward as that. There are some findings that show there is not a linear relationship between crime and temperatures," Sabrina McCormick, an associate professor in the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health at GWU's Milken Institute School of Public Health, said.

The relationship appears to be more like an upside-down U, with lower rates of violent crimes during colder weather and higher rates as the temperature rises. But with extreme heat, the rate comes back down, according to McCormick.

Free-thinker-is-satans-slave-cut.jpeg

Australian farmer suicides
According to one Nick Squires of The Christian Science Monitor in 2006, climate change causes Australian farmer suicides.


The title is "Climate change hits hard in the Australian outback." That does not seem to be on-its-face dishonest or obviously wrong. I can think, going in, of the effects of drought expected in Australia. I am not off the top of my head acquainted with the details. I don't know going in what has happened in the last nine years since the CSM article about the outback town of Bourke -- in the sense of weather norms and outliers attributed in some way to the vague term 'climate change.'

Anyhow, the important who what where how when is answered to some degree in the article:

The drought has prompted an intense debate in Australia about the effects of global warming and whether some areas are becoming too dry for farming. But the government, which like the US has refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, insists there is no proven connection between climate change and drought.

Unless the drought breaks soon, Bourke will become "an economic and social disaster," according to a recent report published by Charles Sturt University in New South Wales.

[...]

The drought is taking a heavy toll on towns across the outback, but its effect on Bourke, 485 miles north-west of Sydney, is particularly acute.

"Bourke is on the brink," concluded the report. Unlike other towns in the bush, Bourke has no mining to fall back on. Its reliance on irrigation for vast cotton fields and citrus fruit plantations also makes it vulnerable to lack of rain.

There has been no cotton crop for three years due to lack of water, and orange and tangerine orchards are withering.


I hope that the drought broke and normal-ish or better conditions returned. On the note about suicide, the connection was not made the center point of the article.

Desperate graziers have taken to rounding up the flocks of feral goats which inhabit the scrub. Until recently dismissed as pests, they are now the only thing left to sell. The mental stress is enormous – a national mental health organization, Beyond Blue, has claimed an Australian farmer commits suicide once every four days.


Now, that seems eminently checkable. It is one thing to claim mental stress in Bourke -- the article lets locals speak of their worry for the future. Is there any direct evidence that dire conditions in Bourke contribute directly to farmer suicides? That is unclear. Do we tend to doubt that a lengthy drought can lead to mental health issues, despair, hopelessness, self-destruction? I would say no, not on the face of it.

The Australian ABC network did a little bit of fact-checking in 2014 on a similar-to-Beyond Blue claim about farmer suicides, "Fact check: Does a farmer die by suicide every four days in Australia as Bob Katter says?" The article does a good job of sorting the wheat from the chaff. While Bob Katter was not quoted in the in the CSM article, it looks like the same claim has been circulating for some time.

ABC says this about the likely initial claim:

In a landmark report published in 2002, researchers Andrew Page and Lyn Fragar from the University of Sydney produced results of a decade-long study beginning in the 1980s, which analysed farmer suicide rates.

"This study identified 921 farm suicides based on the agricultural classifications of farm managers and agricultural labourers for the period 1988-97," the report said.

"This is approximately 92 suicides per year, or one suicide every four days."

In October 2006 the claim gained notoriety when Jeff Kennett, chairman of beyondblue, an independent not-for-profit working to increase awareness for anxiety and depression, said: "One male farmer every four days is committing suicide". At the time, Australia was in the midst of a terrible drought.

The statistic on farmer suicide during "the big dry" grabbed headlines around the world.

Mr Kennett was quoted in a London newspaper as saying: "My fear is that when under prolonged stress and, when they see their assets totally denuded of value, that we will see an increase [in suicides]."

The statistics were criticised as being too old and having been collected before the "big dry" took place. Suicide rates had been falling since the late 1990s, when the study took place.


-- the article at ABC is a very thorough analysis, and utters useful caution about using that particular meme, of 'every four days' ... its expert opinion suggested it to be outdated and unhelpful as an illustration.

The verdict

The claim that one farmer dies by suicide every four days is based on data from the 1980s and 1990s. Newer data shows that farmers' suicide rates are elevated when compared to the general public, however the rates differ dramatically across regions.

Some data suggest the risk of suicide on average is twice as high for farmers. However new reports caution against referring to farmers as a homogenous group.

Mr Katter's claim is outdated.


I'll return to the Australian drought issue, and see if there has been any lifting of the dire situation for the folks in Bourke.

jesus%2Barm-wrestling%2Bwith%2Bsatan%2Bd

Mental illness

According to a 2011 report by Lise van Susteren, MD, and Kevin J. Doyle, JD, published by the National Wildlife Federation, climate change causes mental illness and other mental health problems like depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress, substance abuse, suicides, widespread outbreaks of violence, and so on. (Report here.)


Here I went to the report first, bypassing the Gizmodo story on the van Susteren/Doyle publication. The study header says it's from the National Wildlife Foundation, and the title is "The Psychological Effects of Global Warming on the United States: And Why the U.S. Mental Health Care System Is Not Adequately Prepared,"


-- and I get seven paragraphs into the Preface and I hate it. It is the result of some AWF forum with 24 participants, and the two named worthies are the ones who put it together.

Here's from the gushy Preface, where I began to hate:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Having the reality of the destructive forces presented by climate change fully register with people, so they will to act with the needed urgency, is indeed a challenge. And, while the physical and environmental effects of global warming are studied and described, what has rarely been addressed, and is as compelling a topic as any, are the psychological impacts.

This report aims both to fill in the gap in our awareness of the psychological impacts of climate change, and by exposing the emotional side of the issue, to find the place in our hearts that mobilizes us to fly into action, forewarned, determined, relentless. It also is a call for professionals in the mental health fields to focus on this, the social justice issue of all times, with their capacity to work through denial and apathy, to bring insight and commitment before it is too late.

The language of science is, admittedly, not a stirring call to action. Scientists are by nature cautious, and restrained. While this report does not aim to present the forum participants as flame throwers, for this work to accomplish a primary goal, the reader will need to feel something in reading it. The language used here, and some of the questions asked, may feel uncomfortably probing, as they pierce our armor. After all, most of us want to be patriotic, to be optimist about the future. But we need to fully confront certain realities.


Okay, not absolute hate, just a dislike of the gushy, moralistic posturing. I like my climate discussions dry, I guess. This is wet with advocacy, sodden with emotional gambits. That isn't the way to reach my core of interest.

I will struggle through the 55 remaining pages, yes I will. Under all the rampant emotion, is there an issue of any importance? Is it likely that this is a guild (psychiatric) puffing up its own status, and staking out a new competence? Is it bound by any reasonable assumptions?

By reasonable assumptions, I mean at least arguable. For example, if the assumption is that climate change effects will impact US mental health -- and we are not prepared! -- the underlying assumption is that there will be future effects. It is then arguable. The null hypothesis is that there will be few (no/negligible/positive/contradictory) effects. So you can follow along logically, even if you do not agree with the ifs.

And so here, I am going to look for anything out of the ordinary claims. I mean, it is almost an ordinary claim to hypothesize that mental effects will follow stressors -- like the Bourke drought (but any other 'assumed' climate-change effect, be it heatwave intensity or drought or whatever costly, damaging earthly effects is to be proven).

Then it sort of makes sense. Drawing in all the previously analyzed 'outliers'/loopy examples, there is a theme of unforeseen/foreseeable effects on human beings as global warming continues, as climate effects follow. Remove the reigning assumptions and this can all together seem like alarmism. With assumptions removed, then this one report in particular could seem quite mad, despite its own logic.

I am of a psychological bent, so I am of course interested in mental things, concepts of the mind, concepts of mental health, balance, house-keeping, breakdowns, failures, delusions, fears and phobias, depression, addiction, despair.

So, should the psychological boogie bears be preparing themselves for more clients down the road? I'd say, what the fuck, maybe. Maybe it's worth thinking about, at least entertaining an if, if, if suspension of background beliefs, like the 'willing suspension of disbelief.' The question they pose is "How will we cope with a changing world?"

I don't know the answer to the loopiness of this 60-pager just yet. On the surface, it seems to me suspicious and most like pure advocacy. If there is science involved, or if there is no meat at all for concern, I'll report back. The Gizmodo headline was pure clickbait and its story slightly less breathless. 200 Million Americans Will Suffer ‘Psychological Distress’ From Climate Change

Does this seem disproportionate, more scare-mongering than dry discussion, more fear-baiting than grappling with serious issues of the future?

In response, the report suggests that governments invest heavily in mental health preparedness, training first responders, increasing awareness of climate change’s psychological impacts and altering practices to suit.

One of the biggest issues it raises is the psychological impact on members of the military and their families expected to result from climate change.

“As the US military looks ahead to the likely causes of war in the next 30 years, global warming is front and center,” the report begins. It identifies, “massive human evacuations and migrations, increased border tensions, greater demands for rescue and evacuation efforts, and conflicts over essential resources, including food and water,” as both motivation for military actions and the kind of situations troops could soon be tasked with resolving. We’re already seeing mass migration partially motivated by climate change as hundreds of thousands of migrants pour into Europe; right now.

“The US military must learn how to prepare itself for and respond to the human suffering that will be on a scale not seen before,” the report continues. It warns that suicide rates for military members could rise dramatically as a result.

That’s some serious doom and gloom, huh? While the report does not end on a positive not, it does at least conclude that we can abate these impacts to the greatest possible degree by acting sooner rather than later:

Yikes.

Onward to beer, obesity and all manner of hideous disease ... I want to put a happy video here or something, to add a mood relief. This is silly, and about Beer!


Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, dengue and Lyme disease
According to a 2012 article in the Yale News, climate change could be intensifying the prevalence of tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, dengue and Lyme disease.


Yikes. How would climate change acting now to intensify prevalence? My first thought going in was something like the creep northward of species we have noted in British Columbia. But if it is a question of expanding range for bitties that can harm us (insect, viral carriers, parasites), we have a robust public health system constantly on alert to prevent and expunge odd new infections on a larger scale. I don't think dengue fever is on the move in North America, but I'll check. I don't think Lyme disease is on the move, but there too I will check.

What part or parts of the world and what scales of time are looked at?

At Yale News, in Kirsten Schnackenberg's "Global warming may intensify disease," it is said:

According to several leading climate scientists and public health researchers, global warming will lead to higher incidence and more intense versions of disease. The direct or indirect effects of global warming might intensify the prevalence of tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, dengue and Lyme disease, they said, but the threat of increased health risks is likely to further motivate the public to combat global warming.

“The environmental changes wrought by global warming will undoubtedly result in major ecologic changes that will alter patterns and intensity of some infectious diseases,” said Gerald Friedland, professor of medicine and epidemiology and public health at the Yale School of Medicine.

Global warming will likely cause major population upheavals, creating crowded slums of refugees, Friedland said. Not only do areas of high population density facilitate disease transmission, but their residents are more likely to be vulnerable to disease because of malnutrition and poverty, he said. This pattern of vulnerability holds for both tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, increasing the incidence of both the acquisition and spread of the diseases, he explained.

He said these potential effects are not surprising, since tuberculosis epidemics historically have followed major population and environmental upheavals.

By contrast, global warming may increase the infection rates of mosquito-borne diseases by creating a more mosquito-friendly habitat. Warming, and the floods associated with it, are like to increase rates of both malaria and dengue, a debilitating viral disease found in tropical areas and transmitted by mosquito bites, said Maria Diuk-Wasser, assistant professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health.


It is a fairly sober article (compared to the AWF forum gush above). It gives reasons for each estimation of intensity or incidence, by disease. Again, the assumption is arguable, and the logical reach of the warnings can be assessed.

One sobering subject that I have been keeping track of is the vulnerability to disease in Syria. It won't come as a surprise that polio, measles, rubella and typhoid have made a resurgence. Of course the 'friendly habitat' is war and dislocation and the loss of community health protections (like vaccinations and medical facilities).

In this story, at least, the link between 'believing' (climate change assumptions) and advocacy is understandable. These people are doing their jobs of inquiry, and the job includes sharing results and findings. I found this report among MSK's baker's dozen the most sobering. Here's a bit more from Schnackenberg.

While the study of global warming itself is relatively new, research on the impact of global warming on disease is an even more recent endeavor that draws on the skills and expertise of a wide variety of scientists and researchers.

“The field is multi-sourced, and recently interest has been evolving among climatologists, vector biologists, disease epidemiologists, ecologists, and policymakers alike,” said Uriel Kitron, professor and chair of the environmental studies department at Emory University.

Kitron said that in order to mitigate the effects of global warming on disease, the public must turn its attention to water management and an increased understanding of the connecting between “global processes and local impact.”

Diuk-Wasser said that raising awareness about the public health effects of global warming might aid climate control efforts, because it made the potential impact of global warming more personal.

“There’s been a great interest in climate advocacy groups to look for negative effects of climate change on health, since studies have found that this motivates people to adopt measures to curb climate change,” Diuk-Wasser said.


There's the kicker. Climate advocacy groups look for the negative effects on health (purported, realistic, zany, whatever) ... this motivates people to adopt measures. So 'studies have found.'

It goes some way to explain the attempts to persuade via 'studies' and 'reports' being retailed in world media. There is definitely a cohort of believers in the central assumptions. MSK is fairly certain that some kinds of messaging from the believer side simply do not have the effect desired.

Good food for thought.

devil.png

Obesity in cities

According to Dr. Harry Rutter, senior clinical research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, climate change causes obesity in city dwellers.


MSK's link leads to a Guardian article, "Violence, climate change, obesity: world's cities face growing health risks." What is the claim made by Dr Rutter, and is there some kind of research that speaks to the claim? The subhead to the article says ...

By 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population is expected to live in urban areas and the number living in slums is projected to double. This will present many health issues

Good data can help diagnose the health of cities around the world


That sort of sets the stage. I was more thinking of big fat people in the USA, How the hell would being in cities recently have added pounds via some process of climate change? It seems a bit bizarre to make a direct claim that, say, heat indexes correspond to fatness, and then connect the heat indexes to climate change.

Maybe there is some data somewhere that city folk are fatter than the rurals. But so what? how does that link to any plausible, arguable mechanism of climate change?

It looks like a bit of a detour before Rutter utters his signal claim "Climate Change Causes Obesity In City-Dwellers." FIrst in is some background assumptions about the coming decades, the increase in urbanization on earth. Dude says the level of urbanization will increase to 60 per cent in thirty-five years. That doesn't seem enormous or odd, just thinking about China's incredible pace of urbanizing.

Dude also mentions the difference between 'have' nations urbanizing and 'have-less' nations. Notable for him is the level of infrastructure we would call basic in the West, from transport to electricity to sewage and public health. In many places it is assumed the infrastructure will not keep up with the growth in cities. This is said to lead to more slums and decaying measures of resilience and health. Among which ...

Rutter says climate change will go beyond flooding, with other impacts including other severe weather, reduced water supplies, damage to crops and fisheries, changes to patterns of disease and increased migration. “It will have different effects depending on topography, climate and resilience,” he says.

City residents suffer from the local effects of burning fuel as well as the global ones, with 90% of people in urban areas breathing air that is not safe for their health, with impacts including premature births, chronic bronchitis, lung cancer and heart disease. South Asian cities suffer the worst problems, with Delhi, Patna, Gwalior and Raipur in India and Karachi in Pakistan having the highest levels of PM2.5 particulates caused by vehicle emissions, forest fires and metal processing.

As well as deaths and injuries from accidents, vehicles also contribute to city dwellers taking too little exercise. This and poor diets are leading to increased obesity in cities around the world, including in Mexico and the US. “Feeding large concentrations of people healthy, decent food provides a challenge,” says Rutter, as it needs to be brought in from rural areas. Meanwhile, unhealthy food tends is better-suited to cities: “It has a long shelf life and is less likely to spoil.”


There's the kernel: too little exercise and poor diets are leading to "increased obesity in cities around the world, including in Mexico and the US." It is not connected in the story to global warming or other aspect of climate change. Climate change is referred to as another challenge for the world's cities in the years out to 2050.

The article moves on to highlight various cities and their various efforts (mostly Western) in making cities more 'healthy.' We could have a robust debate about some of these or all of these efforts -- they are part of a green-red collectivist enterprise of sorts (see Citylab in my sig for a hint of the larger enterprise).

So, to go back to the assertion above, the Rutter says "climate change causes obesity in city dwellers, that is not actually true.

Now ... Beer!

harrypotterisevil.jpg

Price of beer

In 2008, Jim Salinger, a climate scientist at New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research said climate change will cause an increase in the price of beer.


I am sure that there is more than one reason for any increase in the price of beer -- especially transport and raw materials if priced as commodities perhaps. Is there something in a beer recipe that is bound to increase in price? If so, how can anyone connect it to climate changes?

Maybe it has something to do with New Zealand. None of my relatives who make beer from nearly scratch have bitched about prices lately. But hey.

Ah, here we go: "Salinger spoke only of the effects on Australia and New Zealand."

It looks like the supply of one key ingredient of beer will be impacted in those two countries, primarily in Australia. Salinger spoke to a brewers and distillers convention in New Zealand. One of the brewery executives pointed to price rises in the key ingredient, malting barley.

This rather brief AP story was from 2008. I wonder if the issue has resolved or grown more acute or been shown to be alarmism. I will dig a little bit deeper, but I still have 60 pages of chunder to get through first -- and I have one other response to MSK in queue first.

Descent_of_the_Modernists,_E._J._Pace,_C

This has been a fun sort of excursion, not a complete plod. Thanks again, Michael, for forking up stuff due close examination.

I am going to set aside my conclusions on your initial question to me going in, where you asked if these dozen stories were "any different in essentials than backwater fundamentalist Christians talking about Satan."

Seriously...

Do you see a PR problem here?

Do I see a public relations problem? Maybe I do, but perhaps not the one you are hoping I will underline. After having read or skimmed my analysis of the baker's dozen stories, what is the remaining problem as you see it -- one that I can acknowledge as a persisting or over-arching problem, and/or a problem with my own approaches on the issues you raised?

I go back to ponder these words following. They had an effect on me. They encouraged me to dig, to think, to weigh, to balance, to come closer to a fair understanding.

Every time I bring up the crappy way climate change is sold to the public, you acknowledge it, then go back to ignoring this factor. For instance, the constant dramatic end-of-times predictions that fizzle as the clock rolls around, the outright intentional lies told to the public by some climate scientists and AGW advocates, the carbon credit scams, and so on.

As I have stated before, the people caught up in these things, when busted or otherwise exposed, must be denounced--LOUDLY--by manmade climate change supporters, not set aside from public discourse for a while, then given cushy jobs backstage once the dust settles a little. People aren't stupid. They see it. The effect of this on credibility is devastating to your cause. Even I wonder if people like you can be truly bothered by the possibility of humans destroying the planet when you tolerate so easily the risk dishonest propagandists on your side bring to science.

You should do everything you can to preserve the public credibility of your warning, not treat the scientists you promote as an old-boy elite club and use "peer review" as a get out of jail free card.

That doesn't work for convincing the public.

Edited by william.scherk

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Nice find.

I am always fascinated by how surprised some folks are that these agenda driven marxists are something new to science and "higher" education.

For example, Rachel Carson was a fraud. Silent Spring!

The chain smoking bitch never even tried to be accurate!

A...

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William,

I do not consider you, or those similar to you, like the crappy dishonest AWG manipulators and sellouts. I think you have honest concerns and I would not be against looking at some of them (within my time constraints). But in neutral territory for real. Not from within your preordained core story and conviction that I do not share. (Nor mine, for that matter.)

This is intriguing. How can we identify the 'core story' of the other guy, accurately? I bet you could come close to my 'core story' ... but I don't know if I could come close to yours ... I have read and re-read that awful contentious thread that opened up a few fissures. And I pay attention when you write on climate issues.

I don't want to play a persuasion game. I want to identify correctly in order to evaluate correctly. I am willing to share that as common ground.

But I have been unable to get a simple idea across to you.

Is it worth working on?

This can only happen when there is credible stuff to look at.

So long as there is silence from you and those similar to you about the crappy AWG manipulators and sellouts, I will not be persuaded to turn over my sanction for more money and power to those who wish to govern mankind's efforts against the alleged coming planetary apocalypse.

Here is one issue I have with your rhetoric: I feel like I am asked to pull the lever at the gallows, without being told who is to be hanged. You simply haven't put names to the condemned. Like I said before, I can't guess. I am silent and unmoving before their crimes. So ...

You are saying in effect that I have to be the hangman for your side before deserving my opinions be admitted. Okay, who is to be hanged?

Because that's what they are continually demanding: more money and more power. And they want to restrict what people can produce and how well they can live with manufactured goods. I do not treat their wishes for money and power as a distant abstraction. Nor do I treat all the dishonesty from AWG manipulators and sellouts as an inconvenient trifle.

I am not going to curse anybody as a manipulator or sellout in this thread. At least not without names.

Crappy AWG manipulators and sellouts, especially the ones who have been busted, are no longer credible.

And when you preach their causes, but give them a pass, your arguments get tainted by what they did. You can't get people to simply look because they have already seen too much from those who betrayed science.

There are thousands of words of WSS to be quoted in support of this claim: that I preach 'their' causes or that I consider counter-arguments as 'inconvenient trifles.' That seems an unmoored charge. Name me the 'those who betrayed science.' Expose me as giving X and Y and Z a pass.

You see the gap for me in properly answering you?

I fell into this trap before. I went through technical studies, not once, but several times, trying to keep awake and interested. Forcing myself to be honest and open-minded. Then I discovered the people who wrote them were intent on deceiving the public because their own money depended on it. And they pressured peers who disagreed with them to leave the profession. (I actually started a few years ago by looking at Al Gore's documentary, then went on looking at some science papers. And news accounts. Then more papers and some nasty discussions.)

At some point, we have to approach 'technical' issues. I find a great deal of climatological research to be beyond my ability to comprehend. I need interpreters in many cases. I don't doubt your lack of interest in trudging through things that are intrinsically difficult. And the thickets of contention (I alluded to that thread earlier) and the monster swamps of contention elsewhere. I understand if you have a certain measure of revulsion. It is a hot issue, he said non-ironically.

That was too much effort by me for that result. I can enjoy the story of a simple con by turning on the TV and watching a crime show. I don't need to fill my mind with technical data I will never use.

Well, I'd say you know yourself what level of technical thumpity you want to avoid, what kinds of things you find compelling. At some point you will have stopped paying attention to shit that doesn't interest you or overcome your lack of attraction. Who wants endless loops of contestation often conducted in high dudgeon and brutal insult?

But, whenever I see you try to talk to folks like me about AWG, here comes a War and Peace size exposition of the same thing nobody ever looks at. I realize you deploy a lot of passion and work in getting it together, but it's almost like an intimidation tactic.

I have two readers. One is me. I work on that shit. I re-read it. I consider it of a piece. I have another reader, Tony. If you glaze over, fine. Maybe that is why you don't quote. It is all just some kind of stodge! I hope not.

It is weird to see 'intimidation tactic' applied. My attempts rank as either crap (in parts) or decently argued discussion points (in parts). Don't we wish everyone had the time or passion or interest in a subject to be able to ramble? Remember that the utmost length in some cases comes from the Zzzz venetian-blinds where I am attempting to dialogue closely with another person's commentary.

If it is an intimidation tactic, I want to know how to dial that back. I don't want any kind of intimidation to be among my tools in a discussion like this. I would rather be comprehensive and responsive to critical commentary, no matter the length.

(The subtext--not by you, but when others do it--is if I do not expend long hours going religiously through all that stuff, I am too stupid to have an intelligent opinion regarding the big picture. In general re AWG, this no longer works as a silencing tactic and it sure as shootin' doesn't persuade anyone. I'm not saying you are trying to manipulate, but you are a primate and primates learn mainly by imitation. This tactic is something the AWG manipulators have done abundantly since the beginning. It almost seems natural to do it. If I were an AWG supporter, I would probably do the same. God knows I have imitated Rand's forms of writing before. :smile: )

Let me disassociate myself from that sub-text. You are intelligent. You have an intelligent opinion regarding the big picture. You are not too stupid. You do not expend hours going through 'all that stuff,' as it doesn't have any power to persuade you.

I am a primate. I learn by imitation, surely. In this instance, I have learned 'how to talk about climate change' more sensibly than I might have ten years ago. My own mind is attracted to the subject simply because of the hot mess of disagreement. Something this fraught with contention and emotion is intrinsicly interesting to my mind at this point. It is one of those puzzles for me, like the "Culture Wars," that requires me to figure out what I think, and how I came to think it.

And it accompanies questions like: "Which parts do you disagree with?" (Granted, with you there is usually some honest soul-searching mixed in and a bit of perplexity about why your message is not resonating, both of which I greatly appreciate.) But all throughout the exposition, there is total indifference as to whether your reams of homework for me and others might involve some of the crappy AWG manipulators and sellouts. Total silence about them.

Here again, we lack common denominators -- we haven't nominated, named the 'crappy AGW manipulators' yet. I appreciate that you think I am doing honest soul-searching. I am indeed searching for ways to better understand. My 'reams of homework' are in effect triggered by worthies in these discussion threads, by Wolf, Brant, you, etc.

As to questions, heck. "Which parts do you disagree with?" is not a quote. My questions are most often made to myself and general readers (and Tony).

As for total silence ... I spent some fun time plodding through the baker's dozen items you put up. Does that work count against 'silence' going forward?

Well, I'm not Charlie Brown and you are not Lucy with the football. I need a compelling reason to go through all that again since I have been burned a few times.

Oh, that makes a lot of sense -- especially considering how nasty tone can get -- as with that lengthy thread I allude to. I should let you know that discussion here is not so fraught (and ugly) as it gets at my various haunts. Anyone who goes to Watts Up With That, or to Judith Curry's Climate blog, or to the WUWT critical blog Hotwhoppers -- the commentary gets ugly and wild fast. OL is different, at least for me. I don't feel insulted by anybody's rhetoric or argument -- it just doesn't compare with ugliness elsewhere.

Let me give you a counter-example. Suppose I were defending a religion, say Christianity. Whenever you tell me you think there are honest religious folks, but you really dislike TV evangelists of the huckster kind, you think they are conmen, I go, "OK. Anyway, what do you find wrong with this?" And I list a ton-load of commentary on nuances of the Bible, including all the rulers in the ancient promised land before Samuel and Saul (the "judges" of the 12 tribes of Israel) and how they later related to Jesus and the Book of Revelation. And in the middle of it is a lot of the buzzwords and attitudes used by TV evangelists of the huckster kind, especially how you will resolve everything in your life if you accept Jesus as your savior, along with calls for more tithes and donations. Then I ask if you would please engage me in meaningful dialogue.

I have difficulty with argument-by-metaphor, but I think you are trying to get something important across to me with the counter-example.

Let's say you were defending Christianity -- one hell of a big subject. I say, "I am not really interested, except where Christianity impacts my own life."

I go on to say there are plenty of honest Christian folks -- but my worst reaction to Christianity is to TV Evangelists (it isn't but I go with your metaphor). I mention a few names (Benny Hinn, JIm Bakker, Kenneth Copeland) and I say they are immoral hucksters in my opinion. You reply, well, look at all this commentary from X, Y and Z. What's wrong with these commentaries?

I say, I want to talk about the hucksters. You say, that is not a meaningful dialogue. Impasse.

I think you and I would have a way more useful dialogue in reality, I must say, even if it were all about Christianity, 'findings' and 'truth claims' and 'assertions' from scripture and theological commentary. We would each have a starting position of not being 'believers.' We would come to some simple groundings of epistemology, in a real conversation.

Why won't you talk about the hucksters among the evangelists? William asks. Why your silence?

You ask me again, a bit uncomfortably, "What do you think of TV evangelists of the huckster kind? Like those who got busted with prostitutes and offshore accounts? Like those who fleeced the elderly? Like those sleazebags?"

Yeah, I'd bring up Hinn, Bakker, Pastor Rabbi Cahn and a host of odious others, again.

I say, "Mumble mumble mumble... Anyway, I have good news for you. I have added to my list of Biblical nuance commentary. And it is only 297 pages of fine print. I've also included some folks who disagree with this or that religious doctrine. See? I'm meeting you halfway. So could you please let me know exactly which part you disagree with? btw - The people I support also want government control over you and everyone else on the planet, especially your sex life, because there's this big honking apocalypse coming and they need this control. But don't worry. They all agree with each other, so they keep each other honest..."

I would say, what parts of Christianity I disagree with, well, from the first epistemic claim. I am not sold by the very 'god' notion. I don't believe in a divine Christ. My particular bitches are with evangelical hucksters, and I'll tell you why. If you want me to become a Christian, that is going to be a work in progress. The basic 'divine' question was settled in my mind around age five and six. My dislike of Bakker, Cahn, Hinn stems from the same epistemic hole.

You move on to telling me about the folks you support (not, apparently, Hinn et al) as Christians. They are not only wanting me to believe in their Christian precepts and ministry, but are warning of an end-times scenario, one that is not only Christ-centred but apocalyptic. I'd bring in specifics again, the prophecies that propel Bakker to offer survival goods as the leading money-maker for his church. I'd bring up fake 'healings.' I'd try to bring up false claims made at particular times -- and tie them in with the notion of Christian Control, theocracy. I'd try really hard for you to grasp my complaints.

Then you ask, once again, "What do you think TV evangelists of the huckster kind? I think they are horrible, dishonest and a disgrace to their own integrity. They dishonor their religion. They are pure hypocrites. Why won't you repudiate them? I won't look at your information until you let me know what you think about them."

I'd come up with a decent summary of my objections to specific claims and behaviours made by specific people; by now I would probably move on from Hinn et all to the even creepier Christians on my list of baddies. I'd probably throw in some insane sectarian hatefulness from other religions -- making comparisons between end-times hysteria and the danger it holds in peoples' minds across religions, in radical senseless sectarianism or in violent and anti-human actions of incipient or actual theocracy.

And I'd say that even when I don't believe in God and judgment and end-times, I understand that people do -- even people who aren't as public and compelling and controversial as my named miscreants.

I would indeed be perplexed if you couldn't offer an opinion on Hinn, or Cahn, or Bakker (or other named folks). I'd wonder if there would be a useful outcome to a discussion where you were not able to focus on my 'cases' or 'examples.' Maybe we would have to pass in mutual incomprehension, but I doubt it. I think we would get down to a few satisfying nitty-gritties.

I answer, "Well... I mean... anyway... look here. I have some more Biblical nuance commentary. Another 312 pages. Isn't it exciting? I don't know why I can't get you or other people engaged. I know you are all intelligent, but you just won't engage... Why can't we have a rational discussion about this? Just look how you talk--the words you use when discussing religion:

huckster

conmen

fleece the elderly

sleazebags

horrible

disgrace to their integrity

dishonor their religion

pure hypocrites..."

If this was the answer, I'd become a robot. What about Hinn? What about Bakker? What about So-and-So? I would be beyond perplexed.

In short, in this context, don't give me more technical homework. I've wasted enough time on that for my personal values. I will never use that stuff. Tell me a good story that sounds reasonable and I'll listen. But tell me to get on board with Al Gore's vanity apocalypse and treat me like I'm stupid or unfair for not analyzing all the details of that for 1,700 hours of tedious torture, you lost me.

I want the technical homework. In this context, I can waste more time figuring out what I think about the various miscreants.

Do you notice my chorus, Michael? It is that you haven't named anyone.

(By Al Gore, I not only mean him, but every one of those who have been busted lying to the public and intimidating peers even as their fingers are still in the cookie jar.)

Al Gore. Well, I have talked about him and his documentary elsewhere. He is dead to me.

And may I remind you that these are all from you, addressed hotly to me:

  • those of your way of thinking, sleaze, scientists and administrators
  • promoting the end of times
  • power grab has been breathtaking in its amateurishness
  • do I see you, or people who think like you, slamming the dishonest assholes?
  • scientist who promotes AGW cannot be trusted
  • Al Gore is a clown and jerk
  • You just keep arguing
  • blast the idiots who abused their authority and good name
  • ostracizing them
  • Only after that can you have skeptics listen
  • huge mess of manipulation
  • "that guy" was a dishonest prick
  • filling his pockets
  • intimidating honest scientists
  • staging a power grab
  • not OK to ignore "that guy."
  • sleazy folks
  • Throw the bums off the team and I, for one, will start listening to other options
  • nobody believes people who tolerate and welcome scientists and administrators who sell-out their integrity on their team.
  • one of the main reasons for their skepticism is the sleaze on your side.
  • get rid of the sleazy folks.
  • Get pissed
  • sleaze. From nobody. Especially from folks on your side.
  • assholes betrayed you,
  • ignore it like you have been doing
  • you and those who think like you
  • You are afraid of the sleazy folks on your side come after you like you know they will
  • you keep dwelling in this alternate universe driven by end of times panic
  • contaminated
  • sheer greed
  • money and power
  • clear foundation is that lying and sleazy behavior to persuade people to save the planet from an ecological Apocalypse is virtue

In further short, I have a great deal of contempt for scientists and science promoters who lie about the science under their watch to gain money and power. It perplexes me that honest people who formally hold science over religion (who hold science as sacred, in fact) are indifferent to this misuse when they seek to persuade and instruct the public about a cause they believe in.

This is terrific. You have a great deal of contempt for 'scientists and science promoters who lie about science.' Your contempt is further aroused by these liars for their motivation: money and power. Who wouldn't be aroused?

I might be there in the second sentence. I might be the 'honest people who formally hold science over religion,' in fact I would be of that people, whether or not I am judged honest.

This may mean I am indifferent, in your eyes. It may mean that I am not showing good faith. In any case, I am falling short with you.

I would say, without rancor, that your arguments fall short with me -- simply because of the Unnamed Condemned.

My attitude is when an owner is fine with pickpockets freely running around in his store, I won't shop there. It doesn't matter how great he claims the quality of his goods are. I will avoid going in.

A bit metaphorical, but hey. I will read this as me having a store where pickpockets run free. You will not patronize my 'shop' because it is so infested with crime. You don't care about my products, only my shitty control of other shoppers, or the iffy neighborhood of the booth in the bazaar.

And should I go back (because "this time it's different") after getting ripped off several times and hearing about lots of others, I will be suspicious and ready to bolt in a moment's notice...

Fair enough. I can expect heightened suspicion. You may be ready to ditch discussion at any point. Okay.

I had a look back at an earlier, if friendlier impasse. I include it to cover my ass with commentary on Al Gore and his film. If you are fearing I will come on as verbally contemptuously as did a few in that earlier contentious thread which I hesitate to link to, I can understand that. But that kind of angry posturing is for another WSS, at another time, and on another subject. That's not the way I wish to treat you.

But to tell the truth, the issue is so acrimonious, and it gets that way by merely typing his [Richard Lindzen's] name, that I have practically thrown in the towel. Any pleasure I got out of researching this and trying to discuss it has evaporated.

There was a time I thought some of the things I learned about climatology from both the Gore film and the Swindle film were cool. Now I just think that there is nothing but a bunch of overly-sensitive people around the subject and they make learning anything at all about it very unpleasant.

I should mention I saw neither the Inconvenient Truth nor Swindle documentaries. I hate advocacy films -- especially ones that are promoted relentlessly a là Hollyweird. I was actually warned off both by the taint of exaggeration in the first and belligerence in the second. It seemed to me then and it seems to me now that there are better ways to become informed on the issues. Like Adam, I wasn't impressed with Shermer's conversion to proponent of AGW upon a single movie-viewing (that is not to deny the power of a well-produced cinematic confection; I just did not want to be manipulated by that power. I intended to form some independent opinions).

in those eight years, I have kept a watching brief, trying to take lessons from the tone and tenor and depth of discussion at OL, SOLO, RoR, OO, and other online Objectivish communities -- as well as educating myself elsewhere. I feel like I understand the best arguments of the skeptic sides and can make an intelligent response. Moronic as it may seem to some folks, this confrontation (between mainstream scientific proponents and mainstream skeptical inquirers) on all its levels fascinates me and has motivated extensive intellectual work. Like Michael seemed in those two paragraphs, I am wistful at times. I know that a Randian framework of inquiry, a rational, objective, systematic approach can bear fruit on the contested issues. I've always sought understanding of the skeptics and the proponents. My political opinions are Cynic and besides the point.

In reviewing that old thread recently, I was struck again by a comment from Brant that had puzzled me:

It has been established by general consent on this list that AGW is "essentially BS." End of story, unless Michael takes that back in a credible way.

End of story?

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End of story?

No, not at all. There are policy questions that have not yet been addressed. For instance, is global warming good? -- absolutely. Less fuel burned to keep us warm in the winter. "Natural gas consumption in the residential and commercial sectors is projected to decline in both 2015 and 2016, which largely reflects lower heating demand this winter compared with last winter." [EIA]

China-Beijing-pollution-008.jpg

Should we kill off large numbers of people, say in China, to cut emissions?

How bad is global warming this year?

635833483262575848-GettyImages-72871333-

Ramp-up in Siberian snow cover hints at cold winter for eastern U.S. [WaPo]

Record snow in Siberia [ice Age Now]

Snow, ice covering roads in Northwest Illinois [ABC News]

Snow, ice to sweep across Northern Ireland [belfast Live]

14 inches of snow in Sioux Falls crushes record [Argus Leader]

Severe winter weather, National Weather Service asks only travel in an emergency [NBC Chicago]

Temperatures down by 10 and 15 degrees Fahrenheit below normal average [skymet Weather]

201510.gif

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Any different in essentials than backwater fundamentalist Christians talking about Satan? Well, maybe that fundamentalist Christians don't publish in the scientific literature or do many experiments raising sharks as did the researchers, but hey.

Out of curiosity, I believe you said, in another part of one of these long posts in this thread, that you had never met one of these "backwater fundamentalist Christians talking about Satan..."

Therefore, how do you know what "they" talk about?

I have lived in a town with quite a number of fundamentalist Christians.

Many of them farmers and businessmen who service their needs.

I have found these "backwater" folks to be deep thinkers and well versed in the classics as well as the rhetoric of religion.

Just thought you might want to know.

A...

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William,

I continue a thought:

Sell revenge, not science.

. . .

... create a new villain and lay the blame for climate change at said villain's feet. Without mercy or nuance.

You might think this is silly, but people will pay attention. Try it.

(btw - There is neuroscience that backs this up.)

If you want people to pay attention, there is wisdom in my words above. I don't think you have been impressed by them, though.

Marketing 101. If people don't listen to what you say, it doesn't matter how well you say it. You are talking to no one.

You have to get their attention and keep it long enough to bond with them if you are going to persuade them of anything.

And that leads me to the next point.

In choosing a villain, if you are talking to someone who is not convinced that climate change is a serious problem, you have to find a villain that both can agree on. You can't just call him (or insinuate that he is) stupid, greedy, uncaring about the world the children will inherit, and so on, which is what is usually done. If you do that, you are asking the person you want to convince to be the bad guy in the story. That's a stupid mistake, but one I see all the time.

Finding a villain in common requires a skill I don't see climate changers exhibit. They have to try--at least partially--to see the world through the eyes of a climate change infidel--just for awhile. Long enough to see a villain who resonates with the infidels. From what I've seen, that ability is beyond most of the climate changers.

Later I'll give you an example of how to do this. I haven't seen much interest on your part, though, since the posts you made to persuade me that the baker's dozen referred to fools were long-ass circuitous rhetorical efforts full of the same mistakes I have tried to mention that is killing climate change persuasion the world over.

(Not to mention Jonathan's observation about falsifiability. Maybe this inherent lack of falsifiability weakness in climate science is the reason for so much nastiness in online discussion with climate changers--not us, I mean "out there." The discomfort must be a bitch when they say religion can't be science because it's propositions are not falsifiable, but climate science is science because it's propositions are... er... well... change the subject. :smile:

No! Wait! Scratch that! The propositions are measured, kinda, and peer reviewed! Old boy's club... nah... let's not go there... :smile:

Apropos, as a curiosity and mild example of this, even on the level of national news, I have seen MSNBC news anchor Chris Hayes, who is not stupid, say he refuses to have anyone on his show if they don't agree with manmade climate change, especially "misguided" scientists. He said that is a litmus test for him, a line he will not tolerate anyone to cross. Then he goes on to talk about science and objectivity and doesn't see any irony... :smile: )

Ultimately, this is a story war, not a data dump war. If the story war is not won, manmade climate change will go the way of the dodo bird. And I predict it will not take too long.

You asked for names of the dishonest. I started with Al Gore because he was the big splash that kicked it off. I haven't gone further because I don't want another data dump or long-ass post I will feel obligated to read to be courteous to you that will be beside the point. You know who the main culprits are. After all, you follow this stuff. The fact is, you resist calling the dishonest by that name when they support manmade climate change, and I tire of suggesting it, so there is no way to establish comfortable common ground on the basis of ethics. And your attitude is one I see reflected by climate changers in general.

At any rate, the best chance I see for man-made climate change to survive, seeing how so many people are now considering it as pseudoscience, is to sell a revenge story and hope some kind of falsifiability catches up over time. At least revenge is interesting and will buy time. (And start with a conversion story for bonding--more on that later.)

It's that common villain that's the rub. It's tough because it requires interest in one's audience. Climate changers generally are not.

Pretending to oneself that one is inherently superior to human cattle can be intoxicating...

:smile:

Michael

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The preceding comment by Jonathan reminded me of an earlier exchange I had with him on topic in -- of all places -- a Peikoff/Harriman thread. Looking back, it might be that Jonathan missed it. I don't yet see a reply. I include just the pertinent parts:

Quick question: Have there ever been any Anthropogenic Global Warming supporters/proponents who have identified the results which would disprove their theories? I have yet to hear of any AGWers who specifically state which conditions would falsify their theories. In fact, whenever any merely logically implied conditions of disproof are found to exist, the goal posts are always then moved, even to the extent of renaming the theory itself to erase the obvious falseness of the previous name. (It makes you wonder if "Climate Change" would give way to "Climate Smothering Stagnation/Sameness" if all evidence of change disappeared).

J


For this AGWer, a demonstration that CO2 does not act as advertised in the consensus, does not contribute to a 'greenhouse' effect, does not have a relationship with Earth's long-term temperature swings, that would tend to make me question the fundamentals. [...]

More close to home, a swing to world-wide temperature decreases, a cooling ocean, a resurgence of lost icefields and glaciers, a lowering of sea levels -- despite increasing CO2 -- these would cause me to get back to my climate science homework!


Even sharper situations I can think of: if I live for another twenty-five years, say, until 2040. There is going to be a point on that road where I would get doubtful about my understanding. If the arctic regions of Canada began to experience a downward trend in warming. When the arctic processes reverse themselves, especially with regard to sea ice. If indicators begin to 'recover' in various regional frameworks (ie, ocean acidity, permafrost lake loss, pest-killing deep freeze winters).

It comes to mind that another useful question is 'what evidence helped solidify your opinion?'

Discussions on climate change are usually very much like discussions on conspiracy theories. They quickly devolve into mounds and mounds of details and pointless bickering over minutiae because no one began by laying the groundwork of identifying specifically what would constitute either proof or falsifiability. The believers are therefore left with the constant option of skirting the issue of falsifiability, and therefore of practicing pseudoscience and passing it off as science. Everything is accepted as proof of their position, and there is no possible falsification. They will not name or accept any possible outcomes as disproving their theory.

I have begun laying that groundwork, I think, but await your feedback. In reading this over and digging into my Big Files, I see that there are a couple of posts by you, addressed to me in other threads, which together render a list of strong questions. I have attempted answering them -- but the answer languishes. It is one of my secret OL shames.

I think it would do good for my bona fides if I went back and finished the long-owed set of answers.

I would suggest that instead of skipping the vitally important first step of demanding -- requiring -- that they identify what outcomes in reality would falsify their theory, and instead of falling into the trap of then addressing their billions of irrelevant questions and information dumps, one should insist that they first identify the conditions which would they would accept as disproving their predictions/theories/conclusions.

It's good. I wonder how one could turn this to ask of a climate-change skeptic what "outcomes in reality" would lead to doubt their 'side,'" so to speak. Or maybe 'what kinds of evidence would be likely to alter your understanding.

As Rand would advise, identify the essence of the argument, and stick with it rather than falling for inessential distractions.

When I've done so, I've never yet received a legitimate answer. I've received lots of bluffing and I'll-get-back-to-you-laters, but no naming of the possible outcomes which would disprove their positions. When I've applied persistence, and kept throwing the issue of falsifiability in their faces, despite their best efforts to squirm and skirt the issue, they tended to eventually just dry up and disappear.

I am one of the squirmers and skirters. It is good that Jonathan links to his questions. Since I am having a small run of extra mental energy lately, and since his questions are still pendant, I will put effort into finishing the overdue answers -- and do that first. Well, except for a note in the APS thread about the new APS climate-change statement whoopee. But i will have to let some excellent commentaries here pass by unremarked in the meantime.

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It won't work William. You are not qualified to adduce data to support your position backed with integrated and accurate analyses. Your critics do not have to do the same. While you try to do the science all your critics are responsible for is the epistemological form or forms of the presentation. This, of course, is generalizable to the whole "debate." (Many of the critics make the same mistake in their counters.) It's a necessary deferring to authority for practicality's sake. On the non-moral issues, that's all that's done here. You, me, everybody. We are not scientists.

The facts--supposed and real--you can throw up amount to a smokescreen. Your position is (implicitly) basically moral, but the moral is foundational only in the sense it in turn has a (metaphysical) foundation. Ironically, the moral of it all is what you assiduously avoid. When it comes to that you seem to be like King Midas--afraid to touch it. The gold of truth is your most important allies are scalawags.

--Brant

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It won't work William. You are not qualified to adduce data to support your position backed with integrated and accurate analyses. Your critics do not have to do the same. While you try to do the science all your critics are responsible for is the epistemological form or forms of the presentation. This, of course, is generalizable to the whole "debate." (Many of the critics make the same mistake in their counters.) It's a necessary deferring to authority for practicality's sake. On the non-moral issues, that's all that's done here. You, me, everybody. We are not scientists.

The facts--supposed and real--you can throw up amount to a smokescreen. Your position is (implicitly) basically moral, but the moral is foundational only in the sense it in turn has a (metaphysical) foundation. Ironically, the moral of it all is what you assiduously avoid. When it comes to that you seem to be like King Midas--afraid to touch it. The gold of truth is your most important allies are scalawags.

--Brant

Persuasion by prolixity never persuades.

It bullies the reader into just shutting down.

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The preceding comment by Jonathan reminded me of an earlier exchange I had with him on topic in -- of all places -- a Peikoff/Harriman thread. Looking back, it might be that Jonathan missed it. I don't yet see a reply.

Seriously? You don't see, or remember, a reply from me?

Maybe the problem is that you've not reread the thread closely enough to remember that it shifted over to the "Scientic Fraud becoming endemic?" thread?

In the discussion, I asked you to define what you meant by "the consensus." You replied, not with specific numbers of one single scientific model, but with the vague statement "AGW is happening."

You provided links to what "the consensus" means and how it was allegedly established "scientifically,"

I responded by revealing the unscientific slop that was used to come to that pretend consensus, and you conceded my points and backed away from your earlier implied acceptance of the slop. I continued to press for specifics on the issue of "consensus," and specifically what your views are, and you disappeared.

The only actual "consensus" that the information at your own links supports is not that "AGW is happening," but that it is only "likely" happening to one vague degree or another.

Yet here you are today, with all of that forgotten, and back to talking about a vague "consensus" again.

I include just the pertinent parts:

Quick question: Have there ever been any Anthropogenic Global Warming supporters/proponents who have identified the results which would disprove their theories? I have yet to hear of any AGWers who specifically state which conditions would falsify their theories. In fact, whenever any merely logically implied conditions of disproof are found to exist, the goal posts are always then moved, even to the extent of renaming the theory itself to erase the obvious falseness of the previous name. (It makes you wonder if "Climate Change" would give way to "Climate Smothering Stagnation/Sameness" if all evidence of change disappeared).

J

For this AGWer, a demonstration that CO2 does not act as advertised in the consensus, does not contribute to a 'greenhouse' effect, does not have a relationship with Earth's long-term temperature swings, that would tend to make me question the fundamentals. [...]

More close to home, a swing to world-wide temperature decreases, a cooling ocean, a resurgence of lost icefields and glaciers, a lowering of sea levels -- despite increasing CO2 -- these would cause me to get back to my climate science homework!

Even sharper situations I can think of: if I live for another twenty-five years, say, until 2040. There is going to be a point on that road where I would get doubtful about my understanding. If the arctic regions of Canada began to experience a downward trend in warming. When the arctic processes reverse themselves, especially with regard to sea ice. If indicators begin to 'recover' in various regional frameworks (ie, ocean acidity, permafrost lake loss, pest-killing deep freeze winters).

It comes to mind that another useful question is 'what evidence helped solidify your opinion?'

Discussions on climate change are usually very much like discussions on conspiracy theories. They quickly devolve into mounds and mounds of details and pointless bickering over minutiae because no one began by laying the groundwork of identifying specifically what would constitute either proof or falsifiability. The believers are therefore left with the constant option of skirting the issue of falsifiability, and therefore of practicing pseudoscience and passing it off as science. Everything is accepted as proof of their position, and there is no possible falsification. They will not name or accept any possible outcomes as disproving their theory.

I have begun laying that groundwork, I think, but await your feedback. In reading this over and digging into my Big Files, I see that there are a couple of posts by you, addressed to me in other threads, which together render a list of strong questions. I have attempted answering them -- but the answer languishes. It is one of my secret OL shames.

I think it would do good for my bona fides if I went back and finished the long-owed set of answers.

I would suggest that instead of skipping the vitally important first step of demanding -- requiring -- that they identify what outcomes in reality would falsify their theory, and instead of falling into the trap of then addressing their billions of irrelevant questions and information dumps, one should insist that they first identify the conditions which would they would accept as disproving their predictions/theories/conclusions.

It's good. I wonder how one could turn this to ask of a climate-change skeptic what "outcomes in reality" would lead to doubt their 'side,'" so to speak. Or maybe 'what kinds of evidence would be likely to alter your understanding.

As Rand would advise, identify the essence of the argument, and stick with it rather than falling for inessential distractions.

When I've done so, I've never yet received a legitimate answer. I've received lots of bluffing and I'll-get-back-to-you-laters, but no naming of the possible outcomes which would disprove their positions. When I've applied persistence, and kept throwing the issue of falsifiability in their faces, despite their best efforts to squirm and skirt the issue, they tended to eventually just dry up and disappear.

I am one of the squirmers and skirters. It is good that Jonathan links to his questions. Since I am having a small run of extra mental energy lately, and since his questions are still pendant, I will put effort into finishing the overdue answers -- and do that first. Well, except for a note in the APS thread about the new APS climate-change statement whoopee. But i will have to let some excellent commentaries here pass by unremarked in the meantime.

The questions that I asked remain unanswered. They're the ones that I asked of Naomi, and included at the end of my last post, but which you clipped and didn't address:

"Okay, so, now, which single climate model and its single set of predictions represents the "scientific consensus" view and is considered to be "settled science"? Who created the model, when were its predictions made, and when were they announced publicly? How and when, and by whom, was it decided that the model's predictions had been going on long enough to have "settled" the science? How was the timeline derived for accepting the "settling" of the science? Was that timeline explicitly identified prior to the predictions being made?

"Please post graphs of the model's predictions. Include visual indicators of when the predictions began, which areas are included in the "95% certainty" range, and a line representing observations recorded in reality."

My questions from the "Scientific Fraud" thread also remain unanswered. As I've said, when AGWers are asked to identify the specific numbers from the single model which represents the "settled science," they punt. It seems to me that they don't want to get that specific because they need to rely on much more that one predicted outcome, and, in fact, they need to be able to claim ALL possible outcomes as supporting their theory.

The pseudoscience of unfalsifiabilty.

J

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So, that is six of MSK's baker's dozen of doozies. Not as witless and demented as I feared going in, except for Sanders garbling and over-simplifying of the actual research.

William,

You fell right into the storytelling trap.

If you are writing for yourself and to feel good, and not writing for public consumption, OK. Perfect.

I obviously write for OL in public, for the OL public. But I write first and foremost for myself, to satisfy myself, to advance my own knowledge.

If you are trying to debunk the items I listed with a kind of extended nitpicking (legitimate or not) as a form of persuasion, let me ask you this. Which approach persuaded more people, your approach or mine?

We have inadvertently given a perfect case study of what I was trying to convey.

No matter how many times you repeat what you just did, there is no engaging story. Nobody pays attention. Life is short and stretching out each item on a list is long. Too long for most people.

However, they look at the list I did with its bite-sized texts, links only to full articles and studies, easy-to-understand formatting, and think, "Wow. Those climate change people are getting crazy."

I had a good time going through the baker's dozen. If you are telling me that you it was pointless for you personally, that you will not read the two-part analysis, okay. I probably should have done it in separate parts -- figured out a way to make it more breezy.

I am glad I went through your items one by one. You said, "this stuff doesn't sound any different in essentials than backwater fundamentalist Christians talking about Satan."

I disagree, upon researching the items you brought forward. I showed my work.

I do understand that you think I fail at story-telling, persuasion.

I just now gave you a couple of technical hints as to why that caught their attention. In general, don't you think it would be wise to discover why and how one way works at getting people to look, including look from my slant, while the other doesn't? (Imagine me posting that list on social media in a highly trafficked place.) What is happening?

The attitude about why the public lacks interest I generally see from the most ardent AGW supporters who use the thud method you employ is that the public is stupid. They mean people other than them, of course. They are the smart ones. But all those unwashed masses who are not dazzled by their brilliance are stupid.

Does 'the public' lack interest? I don't think so -- at least in these environs. Folks are paying attention to what you and I reason out, and this engenders more discussion. I am the lone hold-out against the OL consensus. So it goes.

That satisfies these vain souls as a kinda metaphysical explanation I suppose, but it gets them no closer to changing anyone's mind than before they wrote. It never occurs to them that there is value in understanding their potential readers.

(Apropos, it must be a hoot to actually believe, with great satisfaction, one was born inherently superior to most of humanity. I wonder what that feels like... :smile: On a serious note, no I don't. When I try to imagine myself that way, I get the willies.)

I get it.

I consider you to be a cut above those folks. That's why I'm trying to give you a glimpse of a huge problem you will probably be facing shortly.

Let me give you an upcoming scenario. Suppose Donald Trump becomes president, which is a very real possibility. He has stated openly that he doesn't believe in manmade climate change. Not as a hard and fast position. He just thinks it's all silly. (Due to all that monkey-business I keep talking about.) And lots of people who are fans of his think exactly that.

As president, how much do you think the US government pulling out ALL its support to the climate change festivities will damage their efforts? And then there's this. Trump intends to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency. Not just diminish it. Abolish it.

In the time between now and July in Cleveland, I will have very little if not nothing to say about Trump. When the new President takes office in 2017, there will no doubt be a change in many policy areas. I haven''t really dug into the probable policy of the candidate.

Are you satisfied that long lists of data and intermittent attitude will be all the climate change folks will need for persuasion and rhetoric at that moment? I'm not asking as an "us against them" thing. I believe Trump is sincere, I believe you are, and I know I am. So if you are truly worried about saving the planet from toxic humans (if that is what you believe), I think you will need better intellectual weapons than what I have seen you currently employ.

But I have encountered resistance when I try to explain what the person you need to persuade looks like on the inside--by using myself as such a person. It helps that I am very close to thinking the way I have opined. Not everything since I exaggerated a bit for effect, but close.

Under a Trump presidency ,,, I cannot foresee the road he would take. I can guess that he means to de-fund the major government-supported institutions which do climate change research and reporting -- like NASA and NOAO (and many others), and try to withdraw from international agreements, try to de-legislate thousands of 'environmental' rules and regulations, He would probably seek to implement a suite of executive actions that re-orient policy away from any reliance on mainstream climatology.

That whole road will be no piece of cake. Surveys show that American majorities support CO2 reduction, for example. The country will be to the left of Trump on climate change issues. We shouldn't underestimate the kind of political struggle involved in such a broad national re-alignment of policy.

Now do you understand what I meant when I said that one post was the worst I have seen you misunderstand something? I know I'm partly to blame, but the point is you can't fix an error by repeating it as the solution. The very thing I was telling you was not working is what you did as rebuttal.

Frankly, I am not all that interested in climate change. And the error was treating my comment as if I were and stretching it out item by item.

I'd swap out 'rebuttal' for 'analysis.' You put up a list of items, and I dug into them, to see if you had judged them fairly, to see if they were quite as loopy as you assumed. I demonstrated to my satisfaction that none of them were loopy to the degree that Sanders was.

If I fell into a trap -- at least I got to advance my own knowledge. I see a disparity between what you claimed for each item, and what each had to tell us.

If you are not interested in climate change problem all that much, no worries. I am. You can probably send into the trap again, if you use the lure of 'stories' ... next time I will be much more tightly focused. I will try to think of 'beginning middle end,' and the limits of comprehension. I will say, "Don't write a fucking Chapter, William. Write in bite-size 'stories' that explore limited areas. Answer questions posed with grace and humility. Use the blog to park and parcel out longer pieces. Think of introduction. Think of your poor reader.

I am interested in my friend who was expressing frustration that he was unable to get his point across to OL people--so much so he (that is you) wanted to do it live to see if that would work. (Believe me, doing the same thing you have been doing re climate change, but live instead of on a forum, wouldn't work if getting potential adherents is your goal.) I even quoted you in my first post. That frustration what I was responding to, not the climate change issues you are passionate about. I merely tried to help. I don't like seeing people I like frustrated.

If you want others to share your passion, a different approach is needed. As Nathaniel Branden said, "Doing more of what doesn't work doesn't work." All I have been trying to do is show you what ain't working from the viewpoint of the public you need to reach if you want to make a difference and give you hints about what would work, at least to get people's attention and keep it and build on it around the topic you want folks to take seriously.

To the friend who wanted to "do it live," who dreamed of an OL conference, and a formalized setting, you can imagine this guy working for a year on his 'presentation.' But that is a will o' the wisp. It is kind of a limitation of the forum that we can only seem to have conversations. The closest thing to a live conversation would be in a chat module. Another, more formalized setting akin to OL's would be a seminar-style gathering.

But you give me an idea: if I break out the baker's dozen into single donuts and stick them in my Friends and Foes blog here.

But back to the friend. I think I have said a couple times that conversations -- completely informal conversations -- would be better grounds for quick, responsive exchanges. What happens in a conversation that doesn't in forum is that degree responsiveness. If, for example, you thought that I was evading a question or comment or suggestion, you could more easily get that question answered. You would be persistent in relation to the importance of the question. You would insist.

The other benefit of a conversational format is shortness of statements. It is only in symposia and debates and other structured discussions that a guy can drone on for ever (five minutes). In the higher realms of this, in a lecture hall, the long droning (plus class discussion) is what you pay for.

So, all in all, I think I understand your objections to aspects and style of my meta-argument. Maybe it will take a while for the lessons to sink in and be represented in a new style or focus.

Doing it live for me would be writing live in short bursts -- like a chat. Or video conference. Each guy gets a blurb-length time, and we go round the table, and we are open to questions at any time.

Here's where my passion leads, Michael -- the APS new statement is in the other thread. I have been through the APS workshop transcript two times! I want to be informed. It's a trap!

(couldn't help adding this. Leavening laughter)

I have several things to share that I believe would rock your world and give you some hope, especially when the lean times for the AGW world arrives, but I have difficulty imagining how to do it among all the nitpicking.

(You might ask why I want to help someone who I disagree with when I mostly agree with Trump and he will have the power. The fact is, I think the climate change issue has been greatly harmed by radical idiots and people with nasty hidden agendas. A swing too hard to the opposite side--to an equally radical side--would encourage an equally wrong kind of people. We need reason, not bigotry.)

I object to the term nit-picking. It poisons the well. When I go into research mode, it is usually in response to a challenge. I nit-picked each of the thirteen blurbs you put up as examples of bullshit/baloney/loopy stuff I should condemn. I dug in.

We are indeed cousins of the mind, we have adopted Reason as our most precious.

So, if you put up some story or claim or whatever, I am likely to go digging; It's how I implement reason, and add to reasonable discussion.

Frankly, this is the same issue with those who want to help spread Objectivism, or combat it. They make very similar errors in persuasion and arguments. In fact, their effect is minimal. Rand's fiction does the heavy lifting in spreading her ideas.

And what is her fiction?

Story.

Michael

Well, here |I am thinking to myself that I am a failure at story-telling. It is probably true. I'd like to think that we can keep the 'climate change discussion' ball in the air without kicking each other too much.

I am afraid my story-telling is not going to be stellar in the next items I will post in reaction to challenges from the other discussants.

Thanks for all the stiff challenges Michael -- especially those that are to do with my writing chops.

I am off to submit to verbal spanking by Jonathan. There are unanswered questions, William!

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Ah... brevity, sweet brevity, she's such a passionate bitch!!

A...

trying to keep up...

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But you give me an idea: if I break out the baker's dozen into single donuts and stick them in my Friends and Foes blog here.

William,

This is the first thing I've read from you in these recent posts that deal with what I'm actually talking about.

(For instance, you keep taking the "loopy" thing as climate change analysis and "us against them" in a fight with a religious "them," and not as a marketing message. Then you nitpick it. That is, from a marketing standpoint, it comes off as nitpicking. It's no big deal for me if you resist understanding this stuff. The public will continue to see it as nitpicking, data dumps, etc. And they won't read it. For the record, when I use the word "nitpicking" in this marketing context, I'm not poisoning any well because nobody is drinking from that well except you. I'm identifying how the normal reading public thinks of your analyses--not just yours, but all similar responses. And that's bad enough, but it gets worse. Marketing-wise, nitpicking in marketing comes off as subterfuge. Used car salesman stuff.)

Anyway, I'm not sure you fully understand the wisdom of dealing with each item separately (presuming you want to elaborate on each), nor am I sure you will do any kind of stories that resonate with your readers, but it is a step in the right direction.

People might actually read that batch if you do it right.

Listen, if you can, take off your climate change goggles for just a second and look. (Don't be afraid. It's only for a second. You can put them back on after. :) )

Now look at this (if you wish, of course).

If you want to get an image of "loopy" across to the public, package the headlines and links the way I did. Now get this. Then... (drum roll)... if you want to get the public to think that climate changers (the sincere ones) are ivory tower eggheads, disconnected from reality, and with thin skins, get one to nitpick the baker's dozen. :)

Bam.

Instant discredit of climate change science in the public eye.

I'm not trying to be offensive. I'm trying to show you how image works from a marketing and propaganda perspective. (It's odd... I even learned some of this studying the marketing of climate changers. :) )

So what's the difference? At least right now?

If I had to sum it up in one principle only, I would say this. I take my audience into account and you don't.

(So far.)

That is what I have been trying to get across, yet you keep taking my remarks as a commentary on the substance of the data dumps.

I don't care about those. Seriously. I don't care--like lots of people who did care before but don't care anymore. I need to be re-seduced into thinking man-made climate change is a serious problem before I will care again because I don't trust the sources you do. They lied and obfuscated too much while trying to grab all that money and power, not to mention the carbon credit scams. And others? Too many are on the dole to the bad guys. That's where they get their funding. So they've all discredited themselves to me, and to many, many people.

More data dumps doesn't recover lost trust.

As usual, you are free to think that marketing and storytelling are not too important to climate change. But, I feel something marketing-wise is seeping through as you did come up with a half-decent idea. It's like you stepped out of the bubble for a second.

:)

Michael

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