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tactics to counter deniers

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

i have pasted this below in from yahoo, fully expecting it to disapppear. <roll eye smiley>

you can see its a bit of troublemaking, but there is a serious discussion to be had; how do we tackle denial effectively?

going head to head like this just polarises the viewpoints of both sides.

using science doesnt work, as they are not confined by either scientific rigour or a need to be truthful, and many just do nat believe any science from any body as being unbiased.

you cant counter an emotional point with a logical one.

so, what to do?

 

 

 

Have the climate change deniers learned the creationists tactics?

or are they indeed mainly the same people?

as "Delay is no longer an option. Denial is no longer an acceptable response" (thank you Mr. Obama), we will be seeing more in the way of these creationist style sneaky attacks;


'contrived dualism' - repeating over and over that there is controversy over the theory when there isn't, until some people start believing it.

'its a theory not a fact' , taking advantage of the common confusion between the scientific use of the word and the everyday one.

'academic freedom' - claiming that valid alternative interpretations are being suppressed, when they are not, as there aren't any, taking advantage of our natural desire to see fair play.

can you think of more? and have you any suggestions for countering these tactics?


oh, one that is slightly more adapted is
that teaching evolution threatens religion, morality and society;
which turns into
'even if its happening we cant afford to fix it/fixing it will leave developing countries in poverty' as if that wasnt already happening...

 

The Latest Face of Creationism in the Classroom

sci am, dec. 2008

 

post #2 of 18

We all know the deniers are never going to be convinced they're wrong.  My opinion is that there's no point in even acknowledging their arguments except to correc the factual errors.  If people want to be convinced by the deniers, then they'll be convinced and there's not much we can do about it.  For people genuinely interested in the facts, it's pretty clear who's presenting data and who's presenting garbage.

post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by dana1981:

We all know the deniers are never going to be convinced they're wrong.  My opinion is that there's no point in even acknowledging their arguments except to correc the factual errors.  If people want to be convinced by the deniers, then they'll be convinced and there's not much we can do about it.  For people genuinely interested in the facts, it's pretty clear who's presenting data and who's presenting garbage.

 

Yeah, I'm not necessarily sure you'll ever really be able to change the mind of a denier.  But in that case, how do you choose to deal with them?  Can you just ignore them?

post #4 of 18

It just depends on the situation.  The thing about Yahoo Answers is that it's a good place to inform or misinform people.  So if you just ignore the deniers, they may succeed in misinforming people.

 

But then again if they ask some stupid "question" that few people are liable to read, the best course of action is probably to ignore them.  Or perhaps correct some of the misinformation in the "question" and denier answers, knowing that it will fall mostly on deaf ears (or blind eyes).

 

For the most part I try to limit my answers to questions of people who are asking them sincerely.

post #5 of 18

There really is little you can do. Most global warming deniers became global warming deniers before they ever learned what global warming was. It's just something in their personality. There are many personality traits that can lead to having a 'pre-denialist' mindset, be it a desire to be different, a suspicion of anything "liberal", general shortsightedness, whatever. It's impossible to change these traits.

post #6 of 18

Case and point, this random British journalist named Christopher Booker wrote some crappy article about how global warming is all a scam, the planet is cooling, blah blah blah - the usual claptrap - and there have already been multiple "questions" citing this article, suggesting the guy is right.  I spent a few minutes pointing out some of the errors in the article (and coincidentally, Booker has also tried to argue that asbestos is "chemically identical to talcum powder" - the guy is a freaking fruitcake), but I guarantee they'll pick some moronic fellow denier answer as "best".

 

Nevertheless, I felt it was worth the time to make sure people don't read his garbage article without knowing he's full of crap.

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

i agree that there is no point trying to convert hardened deniers, but we cant ignore them. there are too many people who are ignorant and scared of the issues, and all too willing to grasp at their easy answers that all is well, its all a gov. scam (that always plays well, most people are naturally suspicious of gov.)etc etc. maybe its how to reach these people that is the big one. and here, its no good preaching, that just hardens the resistance, how do you get in under their guard, gain their trust? once you have that you can start slipping some info in.

 

i have started collecting resources;

 

here's the standard 'hit em over the head with the real science' database from gristmill;

How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic

 

 

here's a completely different approach i stole from the transition town movement site;

Nonviolent Communication

its pretty hippy and i havnt found an online source of the whole deal yet, but the intro sounds pretty logical.


 this piece by Roman Krznaric on a site about the psychology of denial
which also has some interesting looking links.


Edited by gerda - Mon, 29 Dec 2008 16:07:43 GMT


Edited by gerda - Mon, 29 Dec 2008 16:12:19 GMT
post #8 of 18

 My first post - thanks for inviting me to join, Gerda.

 

The question is how best to propagate values, beliefs and evidence in order to influence others.

 

Those of you posting here are adept at communicating the truth about anthropogenic climate change. I can see no better way of converting others to this cause than getting our act together and presenting the facts to real-life audiences in our local communities.

 

Many will be unmoved and the local deniers will harass us. Nevertheless, our messages will get through to some and the heckling will sharpen up our presentation skills.

 

Arguing with hardened deniers is likely to remain fruitless. Let's focus on informing the unaware and inspiring the undecided.  Resources like Gerda's "How To Talk to a Climate Skeptic" are brilliant. I would like to collaborate with you guys to build a knock-out set of presentation material (photos, powerpoints, video, etc) for addressing community audiences, presuming no proior knowledge and countering commonly held misconceptions. Anybody want to work with me on this in the New Year?

 

 

post #9 of 18

Face it, we're living in a world where people try to deny what is fact without even offering solid evidence to the contrary.  Yeah, the GCC deniers use creationist tactics, and then try to incorporate "science" into the mix by citing natural cycles and what they believe to be ambiguous data.

 

Re the link, "How to Talk To a Climate Skeptic."  It's more like talking at them, as what you say seems to bounce off.  I agree with Archipet, that presenting the facts to real life audiences in our local communities is the best tactic for getting the word out.  Going head-to-head with Yahoo's loyal denialist crowd is like marching in place.  I'm very selective now about what questions I answer, but will sometimes respond to a question if a host of deniers have globbed on with bull.  But more and more I just ignore the whole lot.  I've finally resorted to blocking, which I hate.

 

Participation on this site is growing, and I expect that I'll come here more and more and Yahoo less and less.  I don't like talking to a wall, I like a dialogue, and that's what this forum provides.  Thanks everyone.

post #10 of 18

I definitely agree on the dialogue.  On YA a denier asks a dumb question and as I'm writing an answer with scientific evidence to the contrary I think to myself "this is a complete waste of time".  Which is why I'm also very selective about the questions I answer these days.  I usually base it on the Additional Details - if the question asker makes some comment about Al Gore or AGW being a hoax, I usually don't even bother to answer.  If they're sincerely asking why it's so cold, I'm willing to explain that global warming doesn't make winter disappear.

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 

hi archipet, thanks for coming over. i agree about the real life persuasion thing. i have just joined a local movement 'green your village', we have 5 local villages and the market town involved so far, with eventual aim of becoming a transition town. baby steps at first, just stuff like getting little pledges from villagers and tidying the green (i get to help dig out the pond hooray!) but we are hoping it will snowball. lots of telegraph readers and volvo drivers here so we have to slip in under the radar....

 

 

 

Happy New Year one and all!


Edited by gerda - Wed, 31 Dec 2008 20:23:31 GMT
post #12 of 18

Gerda, what you said about "tidying the green --" I'm involved at work and as a volunteer with native plant restoration, and the rewards of learning and sharing my knowledge with others is incredible.  The satisfaction with improving habitat is incredible, and now of course I've added carbon sequestration as a factor when chosing tree species to plant as part of a project.  I visited Point Magu State Park in California this week and saw ads trying to solicit volunteers.  If they are looking for experienced folk such as myself, I'd be glad to come and share what I know and to learn from others.  It's all good at that point, as discussions on topics like GCC come up and that crowd tends to be better informed and more willing to learn than the general public, so you sometimes get a discussion going on broader issues while enhancing the greater backyard for humans and wildlife.

 

Happy New Year.  2009 shows a lot of promise, don't you think?

post #13 of 18

Cool stuff, Amy and gerda.

 

Just 3 weeks until we transition from Bush to Obama.  2009 is looking very promising indeed!

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

amy, love of environment is one of the few areas where c.c. skeptics and us seem to find common ground. a brilliant starting point.

another i am surprised doesnt seem to work so well is money saving energy efficiency. why isnt this the no brainer i think it should be?

post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dana1981:

 

Just 3 weeks until we transition from Bush to Obama.  2009 is looking very promising indeed!

getting hippy dippy for a minute, obama is 48 this coming chinese year, so is a metal ox like me, and this year is earth ox starting this feb. we should both do well i guess. and everybody else has to do oxy things, hard work and warm stable etc.

 


Edited by gerda - Mon, 05 Jan 2009 15:36:34 GMT


Edited by gerda - Mon, 05 Jan 2009 15:39:33 GMT


Edited by gerda - Mon, 05 Jan 2009 15:44:26 GMT
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerda:

 

another i am surprised doesnt seem to work so well is money saving energy efficiency. why isnt this the no brainer i think it should be?


 

Oftentimes a "skeptic" will ask what we're doing to reduce our GHG emissions and I'll list the things I've done, and the "skeptic" will say "I do most of those things too".  So at least some of them are smart enough to realize that efficiency is a no-brainer.

 

The problem with the "skeptics" is that they don't support any government action, and they don't think renewable energy works.  Basically their solution is to let the free market solve all our problems, which as recently demonstrated (housing market, banks, wall street, auto companies, etc.), doesn't always work.  You'll never convince a conservative of that though.

 

That's really what it boils down to - they don't mind taking some no-brainer individual actions, but they don't support large-scale government actions.

post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerda:

i have pasted this below in from yahoo, fully expecting it to disapppear. <roll eye smiley>

you can see its a bit of troublemaking, but there is a serious discussion to be had; how do we tackle denial effectively?

going head to head like this just polarises the viewpoints of both sides.

using science doesnt work, as they are not confined by either scientific rigour or a need to be truthful, and many just do nat believe any science from any body as being unbiased.

you cant counter an emotional point with a logical one.

so, what to do?

 

 

 

Have the climate change deniers learned the creationists tactics?

or are they indeed mainly the same people?

as "Delay is no longer an option. Denial is no longer an acceptable response" (thank you Mr. Obama), we will be seeing more in the way of these creationist style sneaky attacks;


'contrived dualism' - repeating over and over that there is controversy over the theory when there isn't, until some people start believing it.

'its a theory not a fact' , taking advantage of the common confusion between the scientific use of the word and the everyday one.

'academic freedom' - claiming that valid alternative interpretations are being suppressed, when they are not, as there aren't any, taking advantage of our natural desire to see fair play.

can you think of more? and have you any suggestions for countering these tactics?


oh, one that is slightly more adapted is
that teaching evolution threatens religion, morality and society;
which turns into
'even if its happening we cant afford to fix it/fixing it will leave developing countries in poverty' as if that wasnt already happening...

 

The Latest Face of Creationism in the Classroom

sci am, dec. 2008

 

You are reaching far and wide to tie Creationism with Climate Change. First off, not only are they separate issues, no one doubts that we are experiencing climate change, it's natural. The earth has been doing it since the dawn of time. What we do know is a total lie is that mankind is causing it. I read on one of the articles that 90% of scientists are convinced. What a total lie. More weather researchers are changing their minds all the time. I remember that we were supposed to be in a ice age by now the last time these climate kooks came out of the swamps.

 

post #18 of 18

So, in another Forum where they actually do talk about facts we have our our resident Scientist and while we intelligently discuss climate charge we charge him to analyze direct data. This is his current findings.

 

Some time ago I said I would investigate the Solar Sunspot Cycle by subjecting the data of sunspot counts to a Fourier analysis.

 

A "Fourier analysis" is a mathematical technique whereby a periodic function is broken down into a "spectrum" of frequencies of individual sine or cosine functions.I have some preliminary results.The Fourier treatment yields a large peak at a frequency corresponding to a period of 22 years, as expected. It also reveals the presence of oscillations with periods of about 35 years and 120 years. These were previously known as well, and are called the "Nyquist Frequencies".
 

 

But my analysis reveals something apparently new- the 22-year peak is apparently composed of two frequencies, slightly different. This is revealed by the slightly "lopsided" shape of the 22-year peak, as the discrimination of the Fourier analysis is limited by the number of data points (I use monthly sunspot numbers beginning in 1749. This allows only ~3200 data points).The frequencies indicated by the F. analysis can then be combined in a procedure the reverse of the Fourier analysis, called "Fourier synthesis" which yields an idealized waveform, without the "noise" and random errors in the data. A synthesis of the frequencies revealed so far indicates that the Sun's cycle is currently in a "low amplitude" part pf its extended cycle, where the number of spots will be relatively low for a number of years, perhaps as long as 5-10 years.

 

We do NOT appear to be entering another period like the Maunder Minimum of the late 1600s, but we do appear to be in a period of very low solar activity which may last for a decade.

 

You heard it here first...


Edited by griv - Sat, 21 Feb 2009 21:23:26 UTC
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