If it’s a fight?

I’ve had very little to say recently, and still don’t have much to say. However, just to keep things ticking over, I thought I would highlight this David Roberts article called [c]onservatives probably can’t be persuaded on climate change. So now what?. The basic suggestion is that

One more round of “messaging” won’t do it.

which I find myself mostly agreeing with. To be clear, though, this is a very US-centric article, so this does not apply everywhere, or at all times.

However, I do think we spend a lot of time arguing about how best to communicate when, in reality, there are some people who are unconvinceable, and it’s probably worth recognising that if you want to move forward, then it’s going to involve doing so despite these people, rather than trying to find ways to convince them to do so.

Of course, there are scenarios where something like consensus messaging can have an impact, and others where taking cultural cognition into account can have an impact. However, this doesn’t change that there will probably be some core of people who will never be convinced and trying to find clever messaging strategies that might do so, is probably a waste of time.

So, I do think that those who want to actively promote change will probably have to – at times – approach this more as a fight than as some kind of polite debate. This doesn’t mean that everyone has to do so; I certainly have no great interest in approaching it in this way and I think scientists, in general, are probably more interested in constructive engagement, than fighting. However, I do think that scientists have to be careful of assuming that everyone has to behave as they would.

If anything, those contrarians who complain about tone probably do so because they are aware that it’s better for them if people continue to approach this as a debate, rather than as a fight. A polite debate is something that they can appear to win. The last thing they want is people actively trying to make them look stupid, because that’s too close to the truth, for comfort.

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155 Responses to If it’s a fight?

  1. Joshua says:

    Anders +

    So, I do think that those who want to actively promote change will probably have to – at times – approach this more as a fight than as some kind of polite debate.

    Does this presume that approaching it as a fight will have a manifestly better outcome then approaching it as a conversation? Or merely that the outcomes if doing so are less certainly futile?

  2. Magma says:

    When commenting on science oriented forums about climate, I like to focus on the science, because it’s interesting and that’s why many of us chose to become scientists. Good-faith discussions and arguments, even if they get a little pointed or heated at times, are part of the package.

    But when I comment on local or national media sites infested by climate change deniers who don’t know the first thing about science but are eager to defame scientists and make claims so foolish you sometimes wonder if the commenters are deliberately parodying deniers (in virtually all cases they aren’t), the gloves are off and the boots are on. This isn’t just an American phenomenon, although U.S.-centered, but has branches in Britain, Canada and Australia as well.

    I’m fully in agreement with David Roberts that at this point, forty years into the ‘debate’ on anthropogenic climate change and long after a robust scientific consensus has been developed, we are no longer in an educational or messaging situation with hard-core deniers. They have chosen their positions and will likely take them to the grave. Although I think they are unwilling and therefore incapable of learning, but some can be embarrassed or shamed. Others can be outvoted and politically marginalized. And finally, demographics are not on their side.

  3. Joshua,

    Does this presume that approaching it as a fight will have a manifestly better outcome then approaching it as a conversation?

    I don’t know. However, fight, is probably the wrong term. The argument (as I understand it) is that trying to develop messaging strategy that will appeal to the unconvinceable is probably pointless. It might, therefore, be better to simply try and develop strategies that might lead to changes despite those who are unconvinceable. It’s not something I plan to follow myself, but I can see how it might be a better strategy for those who are actively promoting that we develop policies aimed at addressing climate change.

  4. Joshua says:

    Magma –

    And finally, demographics are not on their side.

    I take little splice from that, as I’m afraid that the demographics is destiny line of reasoning has taken a big hit recently. Not to mention that even if demographic did settle the issue (or what I find more likely, climate change at a level that unarguably affects people in their everyday lives), there is an increased risk itvwould be past the point of no return from catastrophic climate change

  5. Joshua says:

    Oy… Solace …

  6. Joshua says:

    The argument (as I understand it) is that trying to develop messaging strategy that will appeal to the unconvinceable is probably pointless. It might, therefore, be better to simply try and develop strategies that might lead to changes despite those who are unconvinceable.

    I think that there is a third way. Messaging is not likely to be effective because it inherently operationalizes a dichotomous framework. I think you need to employ techniques aimed not at “convincing” but at sharing ownership over outcomes, largely via strategies such as distinguishing positions from interests through stakeholder dialog. And, of course, through grassroots level organizing to get out the vote.

  7. BBD says:

    I agree with Roberts. Can I just quote the end of the article, as I think it clarifies what is meant by ‘fight’:

    But it may be time to face the fact that there is no magic message, no persuasive strategy, that can get us out of this mess. There’s no persuading the conservative base without conservative elites and there’s no persuading conservative elites as long as their material interests point the wrong direction.

    It may just be that we’re not all going to get along — that the only way to move forward on this is to fight it out.

    If that’s true, then what matters most on the left is not the breadth of agreement, but the depth. It is intensity that wins political battles. The only way Democrats can achieve progress on this is to intensify the fight.

    Tepid “free market” messages, forever hoping to win over an unwinnable right, won’t do that. They do nothing to inspire those who already care and are primed for action.

    Figuring out endless ways to avoid saying the words “climate change” won’t do that. Gimmicks don’t persuade or inspire; visible passion and conviction do.

    For Democrats, raising intensity would mean making it a fight, staking a claim, defining the core values involved, telling vivid stories with heroes and villains and repeating them frequently. It would mean making climate change and clean energy tier-one priorities — organizing around them, talking about them at every opportunity, pushing them into the news and popular culture.

    It would mean, rather than begging Republicans for assent or small scraps of policy assistance, doing everything possible to publicize their intransigence and make it core to their identity. Tie it around their necks every time a microphone appears; make them own it.

    Since nothing else appears to be working, perhaps this is indeed the way forward.

  8. BBD says:

    I think you need to employ techniques aimed not at “convincing” but at sharing ownership over outcomes, largely via strategies such as distinguishing positions from interests through stakeholder dialog.

    Does this actually mean anything?

  9. Joshua says:

    BBD –

    I had the same question about Roberts saying that we had to fight.

  10. Joshua,

    I think you need to employ techniques aimed not at “convincing” but at sharing ownership over outcomes, largely via strategies such as distinguishing positions from interests through stakeholder dialog. And, of course, through grassroots level organizing to get out the vote.

    But don’t you do this to engage with/convince those who are potentially willing to be convinced. I don’t see how this will make any different to those who are not.

  11. If someone doesn’t accept that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic, why would an approach on sharing “ownership over outcomes” be more successful than trying to explain the science?

  12. Ed Davies says:

    There is a core of deniers who will never be convinced. (We can only wait for them to die – luckily most are quite old.) And then there are a lot of others who are “skeptical” because they see an argument and find it comfortable to assume the jury’s still out. In my opinion, any useful “messaging” can only be aimed at the second lot. I really don’t know how that should be done, and doubt there’s one solution which fits all, but accepting any form of symmetry with the deniers seems like a loser.

  13. Ed,

    I really don’t know how that should be done, and doubt there’s one solution which fits all, but accepting any form of symmetry with the deniers seems like a loser.

    Yes, I agree.

  14. BBD says:

    I think that tying the stinking albatross of their denial around the necks of the right is a splendid idea. As Roberts says, make them own it and make sure everybody sees and knows who lied about climate change. Eventually, their denial will drag them down into a political abyss from which there is no coming back.

  15. BBD,

    As Roberts says, make them own it and make sure everybody sees and knows who lied about climate change.

    I suspect this is why some object so strongly to the labelling. They’d rather not be associated with it just in case they are indeed as wrong as some suggest that they are.

  16. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    But don’t you do this to engage with/convince those who are potentially willing to be convinced. I don’t see how this will make any different to those who are not.

    Engage with and convince are not one and the same. I’m saying that the explicit, or proximal goal shouldn’t be to “convince” because that is futile – likely even counterproductive.

    These are principles of stakeholder dialog, participatory democracy, and conflict resolution. You find shared interests and work towards implementing policies to further those interests. Digging in and focusing on positions dichotomizes the engagement.

    I’m not suggesting that such an approach is easy, or logistically uncomplicated. It requires people to be more focused on outcomes than on fighting otters. But I think that “fighting” likewise suffers from logistical obstacles. It’s easy to say that you’re going to tying an identify around someone’s desk and “making them own it.” that, it seems it me, assumes a level of control that we don’t have. For example, although Trump is obviously a misogynistic liar, making him “own” that identity is complicated:

    Everybody I talk to,” he said, “realizes it’s not Trump who’s dragging his feet. Trump’s probably the most diligent, hardest-working president we’ve ever had in our lifetimes. It’s not like he sleeps in till noon and goes golfing every weekend, like the last president did.”
    I stopped him, informing him that, yes, Barack Obama liked to golf, but Trump in fact does golf a lot, too—more, in fact.

    Del Signore was surprised to hear this.

    “Does he?” he said.

    “Yes,” I said.

    He did not linger on this topic, smiling and changing the subject with a quip. “If I was married to his wife,” Del Signore said, “I don’t think I’d go anywhere.”

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/11/08/donald-trump-johnstown-pennsylvania-supporters-215800

    That is the demographic you’re taking about.

    And focusing on such a strategy perpetuates the polarization, by definition.

  17. Joshua says:

    BBD –

    I think that tying the stinking albatross of their denial around the necks of the right is a splendid idea.

    Well, all I wish you luck with that, but remain skeptical that you have that power. Seems like wishful thinking to me.

    Eventually, their denial will drag them down into a political abyss from which there is no coming back.

    “skeptics” have ascended to the highest seats of power in the world. It’s a long road down to that abyss. I don’t see them likely facing that destination for quite a while.

  18. Joshua,
    Maybe we’re talking at cross purposes a little. As an individual, I have no great interesting in fighting with others about this. As a scientist, I think there is some obligation to engage constructively, where possible. I’m thinking more specifically about those who are actively promoting that we address climate change. I don’t think they need to find ways to engage with those who are almost certainly going to dispute the need to address this. I think they may well be better off attempting to dominate the dialogue in a way that undermines those who are dismissive of the risks associated with climate change. I don’t even really see this as all that controversial; I don’t think politics typically involves finding ways to engage with all parties; I think it’s more about promoting your own agenda over that of others.

    “skeptics” have ascended to the highest seats of power in the world. It’s a long road down to that abyss. I don’t see them likely facing that destination for quite a while.

    Yes, probably true.

  19. John Hartz says:

    As they say in American football, “The best defense is a good offense.”

    The science of climate change must be continuously communicated to the general public regardless of what’s happening in Deniersville. In Western democracies, the majority of people rule. Once the majority accepts that manmade climate change is real and must be addressed, it will be.

  20. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Going forward we need a toolkit for mobilizing women at the interface of mainstreaming grassroots stakeholder involvement in the three-legged climate stool of dialogue, capacity-building and diversity, thereby embedding key core synergies of excellence in civil society strategies.

  21. BBD says:

    “skeptics” have ascended to the highest seats of power in the world. It’s a long road down to that abyss. I don’t see them likely facing that destination for quite a while.

    I’ll give them about three decades, tops. Then it’s over for good.

    As for making the right own its denial, as Roberts said, it’s a question of the opposition making CC and energy policy absolutely its own. That’s all. Do, by all means, read the article, or even the little bit I quoted upthread.

    You just like to witter, I know. So witter. It will achieve nothing whatsoever.

  22. Joshua, I’d appreciate an answer to my question. If someone doesn’t believe that there is anthropogenic climate change, how can we get them to usefully discuss ownership of the outcomes (which they would say does not exists) or to discuss interests when they do not consider there to be any valid interest in anthropogenic climate change.

  23. Magma says:

    As a minor side note, some of the individuals I referred to in my first post occasionally try the same tactic that Vinny does above, apparently under the misconception they’re being clever.

  24. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    I think they may well be better off attempting to dominate the dialogue in a way that undermines those who are dismissive of the risks associated with climate change.

    I question how realistic that is. It’s easy to say that you’re going to utilize a strategy to dominate. Pulling it off is rather difficult, IMO. Maybe it will work. I certainly don’t know. But I am quite dubious. And I think it’s part of human nature to think that you have greater power in that regard than you actually do. And I also think it’s a part of human nature to pick such a strategy because it’s someone cathartic.

    I don’t think politics typically involves finding ways to engage with all parties; I think it’s more about promoting your own agenda over that of others.

    Well, that seems to me should be where the discussion might go. What similar movements have taken place, and how much are they attributable to specific strategies, and whether or not this situation in this specific time is similar enough for those strategies to be similarly applicable.

    BBD –

    It will achieve nothing whatsoever.

    As opposed with what you’ll achieve with your albatross tying?

    Like I said, good luck with that. Seems to me that there has been a pretty concerted effort at albatross tying from basically the same cohort that would be engaged in that process now, and it doesn’t seem to me to have moved the needle very far. Anyway, you’d better bring a lot of rope with you (which brand do you use, I’ll buy some stock in that company to catch the wave).

  25. Joshua,

    I question how realistic that is. It’s easy to say that you’re going to utilize a strategy to dominate. Pulling it off is rather difficult, IMO.

    Of course, it may not work, but it seems to me that trying to dominate is the nature of politics. Maybe when decisions are actually being made there is some amount of compromise, but a key aspect seems to be getting enough of mandate to make the decisions that you would like to make, not finding ways to engage with those who do not want those decisions to be made.

    But I am quite dubious. And I think it’s part of human nature to think that you have greater power in that regard than you actually do.

    I must admit that I’m slightly confused by your response. When you consider most modern democracies, do they mostly work by the various parties finding ways to engage with the other parties, or do they work by the parties trying to dominate so that they can get sufficient control to pass that they would like to pass? Of course, there are some where governments are formed by coalitions, but that would still normally one being the dominant party.

  26. Making people own their position can be very difficult

    Sometimes the best you can do is expose the evasion.

  27. Joshua says:

    Dirkan –

    If someone doesn’t believe that there is anthropogenic climate change, how can we get them to usefully discuss ownership of the outcomes (which they would say does not exists) or to discuss interests when they do not consider there to be any valid interest in anthropogenic climate change.

    At the risk of being called a Nevel Chamberlain…

    Pretty much all people who identify as “skeptics” have an interest in energy policy – in evaluating the tradeoffs between cost of energy and impact of the accompanying production pathways. But they closed to those interests and focus instead on positions because they feel that their positions are threatened in a zero sum gain scenario. There are parallel processes that have worked, say with community planning , where people who come at an issue with oppositional positions gain ownership over shared policy through focusing on shared interests.

    Obviously, as applied to climate change what I’m talking about is theoretical. Kahan does speak about policies that have been developed through a somewhat similar approach to address sea level rise in Florida – but I see that as a special circumstance because of a pressing imminent problem, and don’t think it’s particularly generalizable.

    I think that the obstacles are quite likely insurmountable, because the good will is lacking, on both sides, for such a process. Maybe if on the “realist” side there was a concerted effort to realize such a process, it could work – but I think that mostly people on both sides are locked into the zero sum game scenario. Discussions like these, don’t exactly fill me with hope. Just as engaging at “skeptic” sites make the notion of participatory democracy rather laughable. It’s like a marriage breakup – where people become more focused on being right and vindicating a sense of victimization than in negotiating a way forward that maximizes shared interests (I am not pointing the finger there to any individual in particular. There are also many who don’t elevate vindication over synergistic outcomes, but simply don’t think the kind of process I’m describing could ever work – or who think that the process I’m describing simply makes no sense) .

    But likewise, I also think that the obstacles to the albatross approach are quite formidable as well, and as I said above, I have seen many occasions where people start smelling themselvles and give themselves more power to bring about results from such an approach than what is realistic.

    If I were to bet money, I’d go with nothing much will happen for another @75 years, or so, when there is a much higher chance that dangerous climate change will be unambiguous in the sense that it affects people’s everyday lives. And then the question will be whether the barn doors have simply been left open too long to ever find the horses.

  28. “Pretty much all people who identify as “skeptics” have an interest in energy policy – in evaluating the tradeoffs between cost of energy and impact of the accompanying production pathways. ”

    I’m sorry, but as far as I can see, you have not answered the question. For someone that doesn’t accept the existence of anthropogenic climate change, there is no “impact of the accompanying production pathway” in this respect, so how are they going to accept any ownership of a problem they do not believe to exist?

  29. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    I must admit that I’m slightly confused by your response. When you consider most modern democracies, do they mostly work by the various parties finding ways to engage with the other parties, or do they work by the parties trying to dominate so that they can get sufficient control to pass that they would like to pass? Of course, there are some where governments are formed by coalitions, but that would still normally one being the dominant party.

    Well, some argue that in the United States, it was easier to enact policies in previous times precisely because compromise was structurally built into the process. For all the fighting in recent years, not a ton of stuff has gotten done. And what has been done is relatively easily undone. I’m pretty agnostic about such analyses, but there does seem little doubt to me that there has been a concerted effort to deconstruct those structural elements of compromise, that has coincided with greater polarization and, I think, reduced functionality. I also think of folks like Fukuyama whose arguments suggest to me that our current system isn’t up to the task of dealing with issues with climate change.

    But again, that’s all theoretical. What I’m really saying is that in the real world, it’s easy to proclaim that society-level decision making works by dominance, and therefore we’re just going to dominate society to enact climate change policy development, but I think that mostly that thinking rests on delusions of grandeur.

  30. Joshua says:

    Gotta run. Don’t want anyone to think that I’m ducking out because I’m been outed for “wittering” about nonsense. 🙂

  31. I can be patient. ;o)

  32. John Hartz says:

    ATTP: I’m not sure that your OP properly conveys how David Roberts frames “fight” in his article. He writes:

    But it may be time to face the fact that there is no magic message, no persuasive strategy, that can get us out of this mess. There’s no persuading the conservative base without conservative elites and there’s no persuading conservative elites as long as their material interests point the wrong direction.

    It may just be that we’re not all going to get along — that the only way to move forward on this is to fight it out.

    If that’s true, then what matters most on the left is not the breadth of agreement, but the depth. It is intensity that wins political battles. The only way Democrats can achieve progress on this is to intensify the fight.

    Tepid “free market” messages, forever hoping to win over an unwinnable right, won’t do that. They do nothing to inspire those who already care and are primed for action.

    Figuring out endless ways to avoid saying the words “climate change” won’t do that. Gimmicks don’t persuade or inspire; visible passion and conviction do.

    For Democrats, raising intensity would mean making it a fight, staking a claim, defining the core values involved, telling vivid stories with heroes and villains and repeating them frequently. It would mean making climate change and clean energy tier-one priorities — organizing around them, talking about them at every opportunity, pushing them into the news and popular culture.

    It would mean, rather than begging Republicans for assent or small scraps of policy assistance, doing everything possible to publicize their intransigence and make it core to their identity. Tie it around their necks every time a microphone appears; make them own it.

  33. Joshua,

    What I’m really saying is that in the real world, it’s easy to proclaim that society-level decision making works by dominance, and therefore we’re just going to dominate society to enact climate change policy development, but I think that mostly that thinking rests on delusions of grandeur.

    Possibly, I’ll have to think about this a little more.

  34. russellseitz says:

    It’s hard to exaggerate the absurdity of the climate discourse being fed Trump supporters by the usual grifters from the Oil Patch, but eliding a reality TV star like Trump with conservatism is as silly as equating UKIP with the Tories.

  35. JH,

    ATTP: I’m not sure that your OP properly conveys how David Roberts frames “fight” in his article. He writes:

    Possibly, but this was roughly how I understood what he was saying

    raising intensity would mean making it a fight, staking a claim, defining the core values involved, telling vivid stories with heroes and villains and repeating them frequently.

    It’s more about dominating the dialogue and stronging expressing the goals, than about specifically fighting with others.

  36. Rusell,

    but eliding a reality TV star like Trump with conservatism is as silly as equating UKIP with the Tories.

    Okay, but UKIP isn’t the Tories, while Trump is a Republican.

  37. I would have said that UKIP are conservatives (with a small C).

  38. John Hartz says:

    ATTP: Robert’s framing focused on a partian political strategy rather than on a debating strategy.

  39. BBD says:

    dikran

    Sometimes the best you can do is expose the evasion.

    Which is just what Roberts advocates.

    Dunno why Joshua’s got such a down on all this. Unless he feels that it’s yet more evidence that wittering about stakeholder dialogues is a waste of time.

  40. JH,
    Yes, that was how I understood it, and was what I thought I had indicated in the OP.

  41. A stakeholder dialog is always going to be rather tricky if one party is unwilling to unambiguously set out their position on even the most basic facts. It is an approach that will work for some, but won’t reach everybody (as my question is intended to probe).

  42. John Hartz says:

    On the good news front,,,

    Americans in many states and cities across the country elected leaders on Tuesday who have pledged to address climate change despite—and even rebuking—the recalcitrant Trump administration.

    Newly elected governors, mayors and state legislators from the East Coast to the West won on platforms including carbon pricing and clean energy incentives that will bolster ongoing efforts at city, state and regional levels to combat climate change.

    These efforts have received newfound urgency in the wake of both President Donald Trump’s decision in June to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement and the extraordinary damage from hurricanes and wildfires this fall.

    Perhaps of greatest significance is the boost regional carbon pricing efforts are likely to get from Democrats who regained or solidified control in New Jersey, Virginia and Washington state.

    Election Winners Promise Climate Action in Coast-to-Coast Pushback on Trump by Phil McKenna, InsideClimate News, Nov 8, 2017

  43. > However, fight, is probably the wrong term

    Indeed. Unfortunately, people reading only your post and not the comments will find you endorsing the wrong strategy; that seems regrettable. Indeed, you might even fool the stupid into writing blog posts at least partially based on taking your words as having their obvious meaning.

  44. Greg Robie says:

    My Election Day conversations … and my strategic affect (as it relates to Robert’s “fight”):

    I ran into two people I know in my voting district at the polls last Tuesday. Both I’ve known for decades. One was a classmate in high school, the other is almost of my parent’s generation. Our paths cross, infrequently. The point of my sharing this here in response to Robert’s is that regardless of the infrequency, there is history among us. Both of these people are Trump supporters.

    I chose to publicly call-out the elder neighbor and educate my classmate. I have, at least in my mind, the standing to do both. Perhaps the proof of that is that my classmate, when I told him I’d gone after the elder neighbor said he’d have liked to have heard that (the older guy, like me, has a bit of a self righteous/bully affect).

    Of course I feel – and I’d like to think – that my use of sarcasm and irony with my elder was measured and appropriate … at least relative to physics and the threat of abrupt climate change within the paradigm of CapitalismFail. But socially, and thanks to motivated reasoning, that feeling is just a[nother] personal thought in the dominate culture of this nation. Because of the lack of visible significant (in the scientific sense) alternatives to how we live, trusted social framings on all sides of the dynamics that consequence us having twice the carbon footprint of you in the Old Country, We-R-Trump … no matter what we profess. (& those of us on both sides of The Pond fail to lay claim to our consumptive share of China’s and India’s GHG emissions.)

    David doesn’t own this. The economic success of his brand precludes him doing so, in spite of taking a year off; in spite of having a kid a third the age of mine. Our GREED-as-dog/go[]d we are letting urinate on our children. Though not digitalized, “The Science of Persuasion” by Robert Cialdini in Scientific American, February 2001, is a worthwhile read (& I’m pretty sure I recall a book…). Anyway, six basic tendencies are observed to be integral to generating a positive response to behavioral change: reciprocation, consistency, social validation, liking, authority, and scarcity. Robert’s focuses on the authority aspect of persuasion, and then, in the negative, or scapegoating, is too simplistic to be helpful and/ or relevant … unless a fight is the desired outcome!

    To the degree it is true that a war starts 10 years before the first bullets fly, we are well into our next civil war (with Brexit, you may be too). An excuse for our repeating our history could [comfortably] be chalked up to our relative youth … if this conflict over the effects of Neoliberalism wasn’t, like CapitalismFail, global; if our trust in it wasn’t, thanks to motivated reasoning, functionally ‘religious’.

    If only there would be a human society in the future we are creating, it would recount the history of this time, by saying that. 9/11 was the most effective use of limited violent as an act of change in all of human history: at the cost of only 3000 lives, the back of the global empire and pariah of GREED-as-go[]d CapitalismFail was broken. How the breaking of it will be completed is yet a known unknown. But Dame Nature holds the trump card (if we don’t trump ourselves!), so I am persuaded I need to consider it very highly likely that the abrupt climate change card has been played. That said, aren’t we socially ‘privileged’ yet persuaded that, above all else, CapitalismFail must be saved; are already at war over the “how” of this?

    Something to consider during 11:11:11 (as that last eleven works its way across the planet’s time zones) … & an ongoing self-enslavement to GREED-as-go[]d binds and blinds; as history repeats:

    Of [unseen] Winds of War

    History of change
    detached, a leaf is fallen
    Fallen leaves swirling

  45. Willard says:

    Of course “fight” is the proper word, and our Stoatness’ concerns over that word almost proves it:

    [E]ristic (from Eris, the ancient Greek goddess of chaos, strife, and discord) refers to argument that aims to successfully dispute another’s argument, rather than searching for truth. According to T.H. Irwin, “It is characteristic of the eristic to think of some arguments as a way of defeating the other side, by showing that an opponent must assent to the negation of what he initially took himself to believe.” Eristic is arguing for the sake of conflict, as opposed to resolving conflict.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eristic

    I don’t particularly like that characterisation, as the notion of aim and winning is obscure. (V. ClimateBall.) A more descriptive one would be to refer to any exchange where the means of communication get more “physical” than a rational discussion (i.e. dialectic). For instance, a debate could be seen as deliberative theater that mixes dialectic and eristic. Being able to put forward reasonable arguments with enough zest and gusto to hint at one’s opponent’s lack of both could be quite persuasive.

    Almost anything that “goes meta,” like concerns over terminology, risks becoming means of obstruction. Hence the parsomatics overspecialization of Freedom Fighters. Because, the fight for freedom somehow requires narrative control.

  46. BBD says:

    FWIW, Willard, I remember you saying pretty much exactly this a year or two back:

    For Democrats, raising intensity would mean making it a fight, staking a claim, defining the core values involved, telling vivid stories with heroes and villains and repeating them frequently.

    I thought it was a good idea.

  47. russellseitz says:

    ATTP{‘ Okay, but UKIP isn’t the Tories, while Trump is a Republican.”

    Really? Trump’s adopted constituancy is the Tea Party, a populist faction as distinct from, and hostile to, the Republican establishment as Nigel Farage is to Boris Johnson

  48. John Hartz says:

    Russell Steitz:

    Trump’s adopted constituancy is the Tea Party

    Trump’s constituency is broader than the Tea Pary (created by the Koch brothers). His base includes white Nationalists and angry white males who are not college-educated. It also includes fans of his pseudo-reality TV show, The Apprentice.

    Given how the political momentum has shifted from the Republican-Tea Party to Democrat-Progressive, Trump is unlikely to serve out his four-year term.

    I believe that the Womens March on Washington will go down in history as the pivotal event for shifiting the momentum.

    Mark my words, the need to address climate change will be one of the primary issues in the 2018 elections.

    Note: The above predicitions assume that Trump doesn’t start WWIII by attacking North Korea.

  49. russellseitz says:

    Speak of the devil- while The New York Times reports

    Nigel Farage to Campaign for Roy Moore in Alabama Senate Race
    Nigel Farage, the right-wing British politician and outspoken supporter of President Trump, plans to campaign in Alabama on Monday against the president …

    Bretbart says Trump strategist Steve Bannon is going to the UK to stump fo r Farage

  50. izen says:

    As a pacifist, and devout coward I would avoid a fight.
    Ridicule on the other hand….

  51. Everett F Sargent says:

    As a pacifist, and devout coward I would avoid a fight.
    Ridicule on the other hand….

    Hmm err, so Trump is married to a mannequin I mean seriously, have you ever seen her move? I haven’t.

  52. izen says:

    @-EFS
    I was wondering where Liv Tyler has her hands to cause the expressions on the face of Trump and the Emir.

  53. Everett F Sargent says:

    U of T profs alarmed by Jordan Peterson’s plan to target classes he calls ‘indoctrination cults’

    On any day at any time the fight is s-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o ON!

  54. izen says:

    With all that Talmudic analysis of Old Testament stories do you think JP has a Jewish heritage ?

  55. Everett F Sargent says:

    With all that Talmudic analysis of Old Testament stories do you think JP has a Jewish heritage?

    Don’t go there Pilgrim. 😉

    Speaking of which, in the USA your crazy uncle JBP will be there on the 23th … what do you do … and then a fight breaks out.

  56. Everett F Sargent says:

  57. Willard says:

    I’ll try to find it, BBD. Meanwhile, enjoy:

  58. guthrie says:

    I’m pretty sure I said this years ago, the best thing to do is make sure anti-science folk, conervatives, denialists, whatever, don’t get elected, dont’ get to decide policy, etc.

  59. Steven Mosher says:

    Skimmed it.
    Seems like the basic argument is
    1. Using messaging and messengers that would appeal to conservatives wont work, because
    they are hypocrits about the free market.
    2. Its a fight, fighting is good, we need to intensify the fight.

    Let’s just say that there is a paucity of evidence on #1. We can be pretty certain that selling fear
    ( omg the world will end) doesnt work on conservatives when the thing they have to surrender is their freedom. Give me FF or give me death. And I would argue that its equally clear that you
    could have won over liberals without the fear message. The concern message would work
    just fine. Liberals would have accepted any of the proposed social changes on even the thinest of evidence and even when faced with only mere inconvience. You didnt need to sell an apocalypse to fight FF, Because Exxon Evil. Spend as much effort trying to sell the “free market” solutions– delivered by the right spokespeople– as you have spent selling the fear message, and perhaps we can dismiss #1. But for the sake of argument lets assume that #1 is true.

    then,

    It’s a fight. It will always be a fight and drawing sharp lines in the fight is the best strategy.
    Let’s grant that. Comes the question, what tactics? Maybe we should get AGs to go after
    skeptics? or call them names! Maybe we should just push ahead with great ideas like
    biofuels! take action. Of course some folks will take the fight forward using their own tactics.
    Roger jr, seems to have felt the brunt of a soldier in the climate wars doing a little guerilla
    action on his own. It’s a fight for sure. That’s never been the question. Like duh. The question has always been tactical. It’s a fight, don’t expect a fair fight. Don’t whine when your emails get snatched. Don’t whine when some clown shows up at your door because he is responding to the dog whistle of “fights on”. Dont whine when you get banned, or do whine!!! its a fight, what works, works. What doesnt work, well it didnt work today. Fights are not logical or rational. Welcome to Mosh pit. Somebody pick up Bill Nye I think he is out cold. And watch for Gore jumping off the stage. And stop hiting like a girl. Do like Jerry
    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/california-gov-jerry-brown-to-protesters-during-climate-speech-lets-put-you-in-the-ground/article/2640410

  60. Everett F Sargent says:

    The “win at all costs” moral rot that is our (American) body politic.

    Someone just said on the MSNBC teevee in reference to Roy Moore. Don’t know Roy Moore?
    Then you really don’t want to know Roy Moore. Trust me on that one.

    It’s kind of what Trump has done, raping the entirety of all species, living and dead … plus three mannequins … if you know what I mean. You’d still vote for him because … birth control … feminism … ambiguous gender equality … the right to die … no borders …

    Fight, in the figurative sense, because if you don’t, you lose and your kind cease to exist.
    Fight, in the literal sense, because if you don’t, you lose and your kind cease to exist.

    Democracy is a ‘so called’ pain in the ass. Deal with it. Remember the golden rule, kill or be killed.

  61. BBD says:

    Willard

    🙂

  62. Joshua says:

    We can be pretty certain that selling fear
    ( omg the world will end) doesnt work on conservatives when the thing they have to surrender is their freedom.

    Funny. Google war on terror. Get back. We’ll talk.

  63. Steven Mosher says:

    Funny. Google war on terror. Get back. We’ll talk.

    Thats a perfect example of what I am saying.

    you can never sell on fear when people strongly object to the solution. If they already liked the solution, they you can sell them on false fear

  64. Steven Mosher says:

    “The “win at all costs” moral rot that is our (American) body politic.”

    Ya, I’m going to eject. Done finished out.
    can you apply for refugee status due to a culture war?

  65. Steven Mosher says:

    “For Democrats, raising intensity would mean making it a fight, staking a claim, defining the core values involved, telling vivid stories with heroes and villains and repeating them frequently.”

    The only issue is that the liberal imagination tends to focus on other narratives: Like victims.
    or collective action ( it takes a village) as opposed to individual heros.

    Not saying you cant do it, or cant whip out a few counter examples, but generally you guys
    write stories that suck. ( Peterson would have a theory why– your disconnected from the grand moral truth of Judeo blah blah blah)

    The hero fights for Freedom. Dont forget that. That’s why SJW is so funny as a trope.

    You need a one word Selling Proposition.

    What is the one core value ya’ll want to go to war over? peace? love? equality? justice?

    and it better have some alliteration cause Freedom Fighter is hard to beat. beatable, but you
    need better talent than the hollywood perverts to help you.

  66. Willard says:

    Speaking of hard sells:

    A softer cell:

  67. Steven Mosher says:

    Moore should convert to Islam … WWMD

  68. Ragnaar says:

    Steven Mosher:

    You make some entertaining comments.

    I think a lot of messaging qualifies as, What’s wrong with these people? When the better question is, What’s wrong with us? We have virtues. A whole checklist of virtues with notarized signatures from people who know us. But it hasn’t done the job and results so far are weak.

    Legions of scientists haven’t done it. Ridicule hasn’t done it. The help of many large non-profits hasn’t done it. The words of the most of rest of the world hasn’t done it.

    If you were a large corporation trying to provide value how would you do that? You’d have a product people wanted to buy and served them well like a car that had a low cost and low maintenance and lasted for 300,000 miles. We all sell a product. If people aren’t buying it, we look at ourselves. Apple may have been lucky, but they didn’t spend much time saying, What’s wrong with people? They provided value. They didn’t try to fix people.

    So we can ask, Is there something we can sell, that really has value that people will buy? We are not in the winning business, we are in the providing value business. If we do that well enough people will just come to us.

    I sell the climate blogs something I think has value. Carbon soil restoration. Results have been poor to date. I appeal to Red States so I say. Here’s some money to put carbon back into your farmland. Other possible things to sell are nuclear power and natural gas fracking. Coastal restorations and improvements. Rednecks like to hunt. How about duck habitat? Deer habitat. Improved watersheds.

  69. Steven Mosher says:

    “I sell the climate blogs something I think has value. Carbon soil restoration.”

    I like your approach.

  70. lucas says:

    Hello,
    Just browsing by, I got on your top article and I was a bit annoyed by your approach of the problem “doing so despite those people”. Well, seems that not learning from own mistakes is universal : in America, you tried to “do so despite those people” and it badly backfired. Backfire name starting with a T and ending with a P…. But even so, you still want to “do so despite those people”. Well, I hope your opinion is not the most commonly spread in USA because then, probably, you will get another backfire. Perhaps much bigger than this insignificant Trump.

    In democracy, you CANNOT “do so despite those people”. You must convince them. No choice. But to convince them, if you think that people that have a different opinion or lifestyle are “rednecks” (this is for Ragnaar comment), you will probably not convince them. Even a “redneck” can feel scorn, you now (perhaps because “they love hunting”…).

    Now, if you want to convince people like me (I’m not a redneck, I’m a mechanical engineer from a top level university of France) for example, start asking you the right question : why, despite the aura of Science, are there people not “believing” or “trusting” you ?
    Some guesses : because the Climate Change cause is mainly defended by dogmatic, arrogant, aggressive and irrational people ? Haters that insult anybody that is not enthusiastic about their stupid so-called “solutions” ? An example : in France, we have Corinne Lepage, former minister of Environmental Affairs, that said (and repeated) that the French government should make a list of anybody voicing a different opinion about Climate Change and then, in the future, sue them for “crime against humanity”… What is the next step : forcing them to wear a yellow star ? And after the trial, hang them ? Send them to concentration camps ?!

    You really think Climate Change cause is helped by such people ? No ? Well, the problem my dear is that only them are visible in the media, and balanced and logical people like me are drifting away from Climate Change cause because we cannot stand this stupidity anymore.

    You want to convince “those people” then ? Cut loose from those “Khmers Verts” (in reference to Khmers Rouge), forbid them to talk in your name, make a clear distinction between those green fascists and yourself, and probably, people will start listening to you and to Climate Change cause again…

    Lucas

  71. lucas says:

    And what about Al Gore, spending in 2017 the same amount of energy for his house than in 2007, despite having installed solar panels…. This guy is spending in one year (221000 kWh/year) what I will spend in…. 190 years (1200 kWh/year) !
    And this guy is a major voice of Climate Change cause….
    And you don’t understand why there are some people getting allergic to Climate Change cause ?

  72. angech says:

    DM
    ” For someone that doesn’t accept the existence of anthropogenic climate change, there is no “impact of the accompanying production pathway” in this respect, so how are they going to accept any ownership of a problem they do not believe to exist?
    “Making people own their position can be very difficult. Sometimes the best you can do is expose the evasion.”

    There is a subtle difference between knowing and believing.
    Found this out studying Italian Conditional verbs last week.

    I guess some of the people that do not accept the existence of anthropogenic climate change know they do not have enough proof. Show them enough proof.

    Others are believers, They do not need proof and you will never convince them.
    They are still people and we all need to get on with people so the best thing is to be nice to them [especially your elders] and not harangue them and embarrass them in public as others have done. Some are mothers, sisters, wives, girlfriends or family, some are bosses.
    No need to argue with them. just ignore them.

    Some are difficult contrarians on blogs. Fight them with all you have got. Expose my evasion.

    For the record.
    The world has a lot of problems and potential problems and if your justified fears on Climate change come true there may well be severe “problems” as you put it.
    If I waved a magic wand and fixed it today forever the rest of the problems would still exist.
    Some of the problems would still be the same, deforestation and species rundown from anthropogenic, non climate change reasons.
    Some of the problems are much more urgent and pressing than climate change and can be fixed for a fraction of the cost. Overpopulation and famine for a start.
    Which one should I give allegiance to, and at what detriment to all the others?

    None of the problems for a single person last more than a thinking lifetime.
    Duties and obligations seem to be an undercurrent. Yet why are we lumbered with duties and obligations, culturally burdened, when we did not ask to be born?
    Do you blame your forebears for not considering the consequences of invading the new world or starting the Industrial Revolution? Did they consider their descendants?

  73. angech says:

    “I’m sorry, but as far as I can see, you have not answered the question”
    Anthropogenic Climate Change as an entity.
    Willard might have a list of levels.
    Absolute denial. Some deluded people. Not CO2 , not happening
    Relative Denial Some deluded people. Not CO2.
    Specific denial Some deluded people Not CO2, something else
    but then we have another group of people also called denialists who absolutely agree that there is AGW but just do not believe that it has to be bad or severe.
    Judith Curry and R Pielke spring to mind as do nearly all Climate etc followers and most WUWT bloggers.

    A definition of Anthropogenic Climate Change would be that harmful warming due to human activity [ specifically increased CO2] that produces 110% of all the warming that has occurred to date since humans first built fires and will cause anything between a 2.0 and 6.0C temperature rise by 2100 if fossil fuel use increases at the current rate.
    Harmful warming being sea level rise of several meters, Increased severe flooding, droughts and weather disturbances etc.
    Special mention that this effect will be irreversible and last for 100’s of years.

    For some strange and unaccountable reason a lot of people just do not buy this product despite testimonials from 97% of dentists.

  74. Greg Robie says:

    It’s English common law … and common sense
    What would be owned is (wait, this is intense)
    A thing for which responsibility
    Is held, i.e., the meaning once of free

    Systemically, freedom (and ‘wealth’) are the right to be responsible. In the US we are two centuries down a rabbit hole of limited liability law enabled “free” markets. Freedom is now the right to be irresponsible … or, and thanks to motivated reasoning, a trusted oxymoron.

    Megadeath’s album cover for “PEACE SELLS … BUT WHO’S BUYING” is an image – & concept – to consider. In this irresponsibly ‘privileged’ culture of globalized CapitalsmFail what must be “sold” is responsibility. Does anybody reading this wake up each day with a hankering for more responsibility … or know anyone who does commensurate to the mess we own?

    This question is laughed off when I ask it.

    PS: if its to [continue to] be a fight, have the common sense to know how to win the imagined ‘peace’ that war is being waged for.

  75. JCH says:

    Maybe you didn’t notice, but you are winning the climate debate. Donald Trump could not lead a litter of puppies to their mother’s mammaries.

  76. Lucas,

    Just browsing by, I got on your top article and I was a bit annoyed by your approach of the problem “doing so despite those people”.

    Not really my approach. I’m simply suggesting that there are some who clearly do not see the need (do not want) to address climate change and, hence, those who do might have to work out how to do so despite these people.

    In democracy, you CANNOT “do so despite those people”. You must convince them.

    No you don’t. This is clearly not the case. Political parties have manifestos and can enact them if they get enough of the vote to form a government. Enacting their policies doesn’t then require convincing all those who opposed them to now support them.

    Now, if you want to convince people like me

    I don’t specifically want to convince you of something. Firstly, I’m not really all that interested in convincing people. I’m just a scientist who blogs about this topic. If that leads to people understanding more and this topic, then great. If not, that’s their choice.

  77. Lucas,

    And what about Al Gore,

    What about Al Gore? To be fair, I think that some do behave in ways that are inconsistent with what they’re promoting. This, however, does not make climate change not real and does not somehow mean that continuing to pump CO2 into the atmosphere does not carry risks.

    Of course, there are some who think that we can address this without having to change our lifestyles; we simply need to change our energy infrastructure. I’m not sure that this is true, but does mean that some with high energy lifestyles who promote addressing climate change are not necessarily being inconsistent. There are other (Kevin Anderson and Peter Kalmus, for example) who think we cannot address climate change while also maintaining our high energy lifestyles and they do try to reduce their own carbon footprint as a result of this.

  78. Joshua says:

    angech –

    Some of the problems are much more urgent and pressing than climate change and can be fixed for a fraction of the cost.

    How did you calculate the “cost” of fixing climate change?

  79. Joshua says:

    I was going to respond to Lucas’ first comment, then saw “Al Gore is fat” in the 2nd, and realized it would be even more futile than most blog exchanges.

  80. JCH says:

    Al Gore is rich. There are all sorts of things he gets to do that far less successful people do not get to do. It has never been otherwise and it never will be otherwise.

  81. Joshua says:

    BTW, re Al Gore’s fatness, an interesting tidbit:


    Trump won 27 of the 32 states, almost entirely across the nation’s interior, with the highest per capita levels of the carbon dioxide emissions linked to global climate change. Clinton won 15 of the 18 states with the lowest per capita carbon emissions

    http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2017/politics/state/2016-election-anniversary/

  82. Joshua says:

    Dikran –

    “I’m sorry, but as far as I can see, you have not answered the question”

    I doubt that I will ever be able to meet that standard, but I haven’t forgotten and will respond in a bit. You can tell me if I at least get closer to going so.

  83. Willard says:

    > In democracy, you CANNOT “do so despite those people”.

    Tell that to teh Donald whose approval rating is as low as the percentage of people who voted for him, Lucas.

    ***

    > What about Al

    Whataboutism may not be that convincing, but thank you for your overall concerns.

  84. Willard says:

    ­> Willard might have a list of levels.

    Six:

    https://contrarianmatrix.wordpress.com/

    Three less than Dante’s construction:

  85. dikranmarsupial says:

    Joshua wrote “I doubt that I will ever be able to meet that standard,

    What “standard”? I am just asking how your approach could make progress in a situation where one party believes there is no “impact of the accompanying production pathway” (in a climate change sense), and hence there is no environmental outcome needing ownership.

    My belief is that your approach to that audience will fail as they don’t accept there is a problem to begin with, and really they need to understand the science first. This is not to say that your strategy is a bad one, I suspect there are a lot of people for whom it would be a very good strategy, but that doesn’t mean it will reach the unreachables (who happillly are rare, but sadly often in psitions of considerable influence).

    “but I haven’t forgotten and will respond in a bit.”

    no problem, as I said, I can be patient.

    You can tell me if I at least get closer to going so.

    you would at least need to address the specific example I mentioned in the question. Note my original question was very specific:

    If someone doesn’t accept that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic, why would an approach on sharing “ownership over outcomes” be more successful than trying to explain the science?

    If someone doesn’t even believe we are responsible for the rise in atmospheric CO2 (and they do exist, see relevant threads on WUWT), they are not going to accept that any mitigation or adaption steps are necessary as the problem of AGW doesn’t exist in the first place. Their stumbling block is not values, but science.

  86. dikranmarsupial says:

    angech wrote “but then we have another group of people also called denialists who absolutely agree that there is AGW but just do not believe that it has to be bad or severe.”

    I’d say they were luke-warmers, rather than “denialists” (!!!), however we don’t particularly need a label for either. The point is that there are some who are unreachable by any means, and (i) it is probably pointless to keep trying to reach them when genuine efforts have failed and (ii) we should welcome people taking different approaches (rather than telling them to adopt our “one true approach”).

    “I guess some of the people that do not accept the existence of anthropogenic climate change know they do not have enough proof. Show them enough proof.”

    This is exactly my point, in order to have a stakeholder dialog you need to think that something is at stake, and hence for some the problem is one of science before values. The problem is that for a subset of those, their values prevent discussion of the science, so there is an impasse and they are effectively “unreachable”.

    BTW I seem to remember we have already discussed the idea that there is no “proof” in science (just reduction to the most plausible explanation), and asking for ever higher levels of “proof” is often a way of avoiding accepting a truth you don’t want to hear. See the video I posted up thread where the EPA candidate does exactly that.

  87. dikranmarsupial says:

    “In democracy, you CANNOT “do so despite those people”. You must convince them.”

    just like BREXIT then?

  88. jacksmith4tx says:

    What are the weapons that will win this ‘fight’? Maybe arguments with words and numbers are not the right weapons. You need to target their emotions, their id.
    Hack their brains with Artificial Intelligence. Humans are easy to manipulate once you know the right buttons to push. Someday (soon?) everybody will have a shadow A.I. bot that will learn every weakness and every doubt we have and use that knowledge to influence our actions.

    Replika, which uses AI to create a chatbot in your likeness. Over time, it picks up your moods and mannerisms, your preferences and patterns of speech, until it starts to feel like talking to the mirror—a “replica” of yourself.
    https://www.wired.com/story/what-my-personal-chat-bot-replika-is-teaching-me-about-artificial-intelligence/

    This is just a trivial example of what is possible.
    “Today, the average chatbot’s language skills have advanced enough that they can do all kinds of things beyond basic small talk…
    There are chatbot lawyers and chatbot educators. And even when they are just chatting, bots have graduated from simple conversationalists into potential talk therapists, as with Woebot, “a robot you can tell anything to.”

  89. Willard says:

    > What are the weapons that will win this ‘fight’?

    Love and Light.

    Drolls dwell in dark and damp dumps. The unexpected affection makes them lose their ground. Flames never work, as drolls regenerate and prey on triggers:

  90. jacksmith4tx says:

    Of course A.I. will use Love and Light psychology when it works. As A.I. develops it’s own system of ethics and morals it will choose the tools that achieve the outcomes it wants.
    Spock sez “Pure Logic”.
    Stephen Hawking says A.I. will exterminate all humans (probably to prevent CAGW LOL).

  91. Willard says:

  92. Steven Mosher says:

    “Al Gore is rich. There are all sorts of things he gets to do that far less successful people do not get to do. It has never been otherwise and it never will be otherwise.”

  93. Joshua says:

    Dikran –

    What “standard”?

    Basically, the standard where you feel that I’ve answered your question (as a binary outcome condition).

    Let me go with what you wrote in the follow-on comment:

    I am just asking how your approach could make progress in a situation where one party believes there is no “impact of the accompanying production pathway” (in a climate change sense), and hence there is no environmental outcome needing ownership.

    As a starting point, my sense is that when you dig down into it, there are fewer people who actually hold such a belief than the number who state that they have such a belief. Obviously, that’s tricky territory (mind-reading) but If I’m correct about that (and I think there’s evidence to support such a conclusion), then the notion of “convincing” them seems to me to be counterproductive because you’re getting distracted from a more productive goal. Better is to engage them in discussion where they think that they have interests being addressed. For example, they might think that there would be economic benefit to reducing current regulations aimed at limiting ACO2 emissions. They might think that there would be jobs and economic benefit to be gained from increasing support for the coal or natural gas or oil industries. Now of course, those don’t really address the limitation that you put in with respect to “in a climate change sense,” but part of what I’m suggesting is that you can engage in stakeholder dialog, fruitfully, in ways that might affect the impact of ACO2 emissions, by focusing on interests rather than on positions w/r/t the impact of ACO2 emissions on the climate.

    That said, yes, the likelihood of benefits from stakeholder dialog, participatory democracy, a win/win getting to yes type of negotiation framework is certainly inversely proportional to the extent that your engaged with someone who approaches the process in good faith and who is interested in shared ownership over outcomes. But my sense is that many more people present themselves in such a (identity-protective) stance if the framework is one of who will convince the other. I think that there are probably quite a few people who might begin an exchange targeting the advancement of interests (e.g., more jobs, a better economy through promoting fossil fuel usage and reducing support for alternative energy pathways, for example), but come to see through the process of engagement that indeed, they can share interests with those who want to promote alternative energy pathways and apply full cost accounting to the picture of using fossil fuels. I feel that way because, indeed, I think that they would benefit from exploring those ideas more openly, and that they might realize interests from policies that effectively mitigate emissions even if they don’t target emissions, explicitly for the purpose of mitigating climate change. I don’t see any reason to assume that everyone who is on the otter side is a fixed entity – I think that some can be moved through some forms of exchange; but I do think that very few will move in their orientation if the proximal and stated goal is to either be “convinced” or certainly “dominated.”

    A couple of more points – which I hope won’t drag us into the muck (if I haven’t already).

    Note my original question was very specific:

    Well, that specificity of the first question and the qualification in the 2nd question (“in a climate change sense”) may be part of the reason why I suspect that you may not feel that I’ve answered your question sufficiently. What I’m to lay out as a possibly more effective process than either “convincing through messaging” or “dominating” includes “in a climate change sense” along with other “senses” that can be grouped holistically as a playing field for examining the tension between positions and interests.

    If someone doesn’t even believe we are responsible for the rise in atmospheric CO2 (and they do exist, see relevant threads on WUWT), they are not going to accept that any mitigation or adaption steps are necessary as the problem of AGW doesn’t exist in the first place.

    This also, seems relevant to what I just wrote above. Basically, I think that people who completely reject the possibility that we contribute to the rise in ACO2 in the atmosphere are probably larger in a "convincing" framework (that necessarily stimulates identity-protection internal algorithm protocols) than in a "how can we help you to realize your interests" framework. But even that said, I think that even those people can, potentially, see that they (at least might) have some interest in developing energy policies that reduce ACO2 emissions (say, if they are engaged in discussions that examine non-climate specific externalities) without ever being "convinced" that we contribute to CO2 in the atmosphere. Ultimately, I think that is a question that specific question is probably pretty limited in relevance (when push comes to shove, I think that while the number of people that feel that way might be relatively high at WUWT, the number is probably pretty small when viewed within the larger population – particularly if they are asked about that view in a way that doesn't stimulate identity-protective reflexes).

    Their stumbling block is not values, but science.

    My belief is that far more people share values than what we would seem to be the case from discussing climate change. I don’t think that it is so much about either values or science, but about tribalism. And I think there’s a fairly solid base of evidence to support that conclusion.

  94. John Hartz says:

    Take a break from this discussion thread and check out the photos embedded in:

    COP23: Fake Donald Trump marches in Carnival-themed climate protests in Bonn by Jennifer Collins, Deutsche Welle (DW), Nov 11, 2017

  95. Steven Mosher says:

    “Drolls dwell in dark and damp dumps. The unexpected affection makes them lose their ground. Flames never work, as drolls regenerate and prey on triggers:”

    dont get upset no matter what they say. What you think of me is none of my business.

    not only does unexpected affection disarm, but cuteness has been known to work, even on soldiers

  96. Everett F Sargent says:

    lucas,

    This guy is spending in one year (221000 kWh/year) what I will spend in…. 190 years (1200 kWh/year) !


    How’s that job in Haiti working out for you?

  97. Joshua says:

    Thanks for the formatting help. You’re a peach

  98. John Hartz says:

    Once again, Pope Francis nails it!

    > Francis urged leaders at climate talks in Bonn, Germany, to take a global outlook.

    > The pope told the Pacific leaders he shares their concerns about rising sea levels.

    Pope Slams ‘Shortsighted’ Human Activity for Warming and Calls for Global Outlook From World Leaders, AP/The Weather Channel Canada, Nov 10, 2017

  99. Steven Mosher says:

    Sorry, not listening to the pope of pervs

  100. Ragnaar says:

    JCH:

    “Donald Trump could not lead a litter of puppies to their mother’s mammaries.”

    Some leading is done. His message was, Don’t listen to establishment Republicans, MSM etc. Trust yourself.

  101. Willard says:

    > Trust yourself.

    What’s that, Ragnaar?

  102. Sounds like some are starting to feel my pain.
    May I offer some food for thought?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Intellectual Confrontation

    The fact is, climate science awareness is being actively stifled by ruthless individuals with bottomless bank accounts and octopus news outlets to do their bidding. They have sold a lazy public a pack of lies that have become the comfort zone of all too many today.

    How can the misinformation this juggernaut force feeds the public be neutralized without direct intellectual confrontation by masses of informed, concerned, engaged students, and citizens, everywhere it pops up?

    It’s not about attacking people, it’s about attacking the maliciously deceptive words, the lies and stupidity they spew. It’s about teaching them how our physical planet operates!

    A good resource for factual jump starts:
    https://skepticalscience.com/argument.php?f=taxonomy
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Call out False Claims & Lies

    When someone makes a malicious false claim, relentlessly demand evidence for said attacks – shame and expose those who refuse to produce evidence for their malicious claims. Examine and expose the props substituted for substance.

    Focus. Expose the dishonesty in their words and educate them.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Confront Trash Talk with Rhetorical Jujutsu

    Contrarians depend on personal attacks to distract the discussion from their bankrupt “science”. Learn to recognize the game, turn it to your favor, be prepared to point out the juvenility of the tactic, while forcing the discussion back to the real world facts your contrarian opponent won’t have.

    fyi, studies in the contrarian mindscape:
    LandscapesAndCycles, Jim Steele’s malicious deception.
    http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/p/landscapesandcycles.html ~ http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/19555/#235817 (A contrarian shouts: “science, science, science”) ~ google “Jujutsu”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Faith-based Thinking – consider the source

    Possessing the hubris to fancy that we petty, jealous, fearful, prideful humans can access and understand the real God of Light and Time, Life and Love, leads to a profound disconnect from our planet’s physical reality, and an immoral absolutism. Mistaking one’s own hyper-inflated EGO for God. Unhinged from reality is not too harsh a descriptive.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Cheers

  103. Ragnaar says:

    Joshua:

    “…in ways that might affect the impact of ACO2 emissions, by focusing on interests rather than on positions w/r/t the impact of ACO2 emissions on the climate.”

    Binary sorts were done by some. Think of EU with their mulitple parties. Then the U.S. with our written on stone tablets 2 party system.

    Time for ClimateBall.

    So the left attacks the lukewarmers but should they? The right sees these attacks and then what do they do? They see this tribal thing. Some rally to the lukewarmers defense when they would’ve just kept saying CO2 can’t warm the atmoshere and oceans. So one interpretation would be that by attacking lukewarmers, the lukewarm position was hardened. Being repeated by conservative media and politicians. This all might be good as some people have moved away from tinfoil hatism. But attacking the skeptics or lukewarmers should involve favorable policy outcomes. And attacking may not be the best approach. Maybe it’s triangulation. But our political experience is a binary one.

  104. Joshua says: November 12, 2017 at 6:55 pm
    “My belief is that far more people share values than what we would seem to be the case from discussing climate change. I don’t think that it is so much about either values or science, but about tribalism. And I think there’s a fairly solid base of evidence to support that conclusion.”
    Spot on and worth repeating and here’s an article worth the reading.

    This Political Theorist Predicted the Rise of Trumpism. His Name Was . . .

    In Hell’s Angels, the gonzo journalist wrote about left-behind people motivated only by “an ethic of total retaliation.” Sound familiar?

    By Susan McWilliams, DECEMBER 15, 2016
    https://www.thenation.com/article/this-political-theorist-predicted-the-rise-of-trumpism-his-name-was-hunter-s-thompson/


    It’s not hard to see in the demographics, the words, and the behavior of Trump supporters an ethic of total retaliation at work. These are men and women who defend their vote by saying things like: “I just wanted people to know that I’m here, that I count.” These are men and women whose scorn of “political correctness” translates into: “You can’t make me talk the way that you want me to talk, even if that way of talking is nicer and smarter and better.” These are men and women whose denials of climate change are gleeful denials of scientific expertise in a world where scientific experts have unquestioned intellectual respect and social status. These are men and women who seemed to applaud the incompetence of Trump’s campaign because competence itself is associated with membership in the elite. …

    Thompson would want us to see this: These are men and women who know that, by all intellectual and economic standards, they cannot win the game. So whether it be out of self-protection or an overcompensation for their own profound sense of shame, they lash out at politicians, judges, scientists, teachers, Wall Street, universities, the media, legislatures—even at elections. They are not interested in contemplating serious reforms to the system; they are either too pessimistic or too disappointed to believe that is possible. So the best they can do is adopt a position of total irreverence: to show they hate the players and the game. …

  105. Ragnaar says:

    Willard:

    Tough question.

    I am a capitalist, but not a pure one. I trust my thoughts and reasoning that brought me to being a capitalist. It’s not a popular position. If there was a one philosophy that has had more garbage dumped on it, I’d like to know what that is?

    I am for individual choices. The libertarians watched for decades with our pot smoking label as both parties did not approve into law, gay marriage. I remember the defense of marriage act.

    Some Trump voters felt marginalized. He told them, You are important and valuable instead of a bunch of backwards rednecks. I see what the rednecks do. A few of them are my cousins. Doing things like feeding the world with corn production. Driving Semis. Raising their children.

  106. Ragnaar says:

    citizenschallenge says:

    Intellectual Confrontation

    This from a study of cooperation in a laboratory public goods game:

    “However, de-centralized peer-to-peer punishments have drawbacks. First, punishment becomes a second-level public good; those who are willing to punish, must not only punish free-riders but also those non-punishers, who may cooperate but do not punish free riders and hence free ride on others’ punishment and so on.”
    “…one often finds the incidence of “anti-social” punishments, where free-riders punish cooperators, often in anticipation of punishment from the latter.”
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-12490-5

    The general idea is that it may be up to us to pursue the optimal public goods outcome through one to one punishments if that works.

    I think there is some aspect of this same thing with the climate debate.

    A polarization.

  107. John Hartz says:

    Steven Mosher:

    “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

  108. russellseitz says:

    Willard says: > Willard might have a list of levels.
    Six: https://contrarianmatrix.wordpress.com/
    Three less than Dante’s construction:
    Cue trolls demanding estimates of phlogiston doubling sensitivity:

    https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2012/12/anthonys-inferno.html

  109. Ragnaar says:

    Right above I talked about triangulation attack pathways from the left or something like that.

    What about appeal pathways? The left has had success doing that, but not with much of the right. I am not necessarily talking about overt appeals. Example appeals have also been used. By everyone including lukewarmers.

    I’d say Curry has aspects of example appeal. Setting an example.
    The left has aspects of example appeal as well. The consensus is an example. Here’s 90 some people out of 100 standing here. It’s an example of being part of a group.

    In one case it’s an example of being in a group and in the other of being over here.

    Home solar – example appeal. I am doing something. Now take away my subsidy and I am an example of a victim. Consult your pocket copy of villains, that covers it.

    Germany’s electrical grid – example appeal. They signal the world to follow them. I do think things are tipping sub-optimal for them. If it goes that way, example of what not to do. The appeal fails.

  110. Steven Mosher says:

    I’d tell that Pharasee “First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean”

    he needs to clean the inside of the cup

    dont even begin to fuck with 12 years of daily bible class. jeez

    The context of cast the first stone is important. Who was he speaking to and what were they doing.
    Ya, the powerful accusing the weak of adultry.

    And what was another good piece of advice he gave to the Pharasee

    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness”

    Like I said, I’ll listen when he cleans the inside of the cup.

  111. Ragnaar says: November 12, 2017 at 10:58 pm
    “A polarization.”
    Sure a polarization between those who believe tactical lies and critical omissions, and misrepresenting your opponents message is a Free Speech Right – and those who believe standards of honest ought to prevail.

    Lest I be mistaken above, I’m not pointing at scientists, but at the nonscientist crowd.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Responsibilities of Scientists vs
    Responsibilities of Citizens and Students

    Scientists are dedicated to their work, given their education and accumulated knowledge, their time is very precious and we need them focusing on their respective tasks.

    They are not the ones to fight for the recognition that their work is rational, objective, factually, and morally authoritative. They’ve done the difficult task of accumulating, digesting, reporting, and filing the substantive evidence.

    Who’s to defend them?
    A HEALTHY DEMOCRACY DEMANDS AN INFORMED AND ENGAGED CITIZENRY.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Define the Debate, A to Z

    A Constructive Argument based on real facts, with the ultimate goal being a collective better understanding of the issue at hand.

    Such as a Scientific Debate where honestly representing your opponent’s position is required. Striving to understand your opponent’s position well enough to reject or modify it on the merits of your own facts.

    If we fail, it means something. It may hurt, but it’s a learning experience for the intellectually honest. Mistakes have always been necessary learning opportunities for the stout.

    Z Lawyerly Debate, winning is all that matters, facts are irrelevant obstacles to hurdle. Being skilled in rhetorical trickery is a prerequisite. Objective learning is not the object.

    Amorality, misdirection and theatre are its hallmarks.

  112. dikranmarsupial says:

    Joshua wrote

    Now of course, those don’t really address the limitation that you put in with respect to “in a climate change sense,” but part of what I’m suggesting is that you can engage in stakeholder dialog, fruitfully, in ways that might affect the impact of ACO2 emissions, by focusing on interests rather than on positions w/r/t the impact of ACO2 emissions on the climate.

    Yes, you haven’t addressed the limitation, which is the whole point. Yes you can engage in a stakeholder dialog with such people, you can listen to what they say, but don’t we do that already (I fully understand why people don’t want to reduce their standard of living, I don’t either, neither do I really want regulation where it is not necessary)? It is only a dialog if they are listening as well as talking. So how would this make progress if they don’t believe there is another side to the story? Without an environmental impact of fossil fuel use, there is very little reason to stop using them (at least not without substantial risk – fossil fuel driven economic growth has been very reliable so far).

    At least this time you show you understand why you haven’t answered my question. The discussion is about whether there are unreachables or not. I have already agreed that your strategy is a good one for a large part of the population. I don’t really understand your unwillingness to agree that there are some that are unreachable because of the science.

  113. JCH says:

    I gave Nazi Pope the same treatment.

  114. JCH says:

    Trust yourself – took awhile. People who consistently throw deceptive crap on the wall do not play much of a role in how I form conclusions. You should try it.

  115. JCH says:

    OMG, the delusional at WUWT just discovered Donohue 2014.

  116. Marco says:

    JCH, did you mean Donohoe et al 2014?

    If so, let me guess: “See, it’s the sun!”

  117. John Hartz says:

    Pope Francis has been and continues to be a global force for good re the environment and the need for mankind to live in harmony with it. He teaches and inspires millions in this effort.

  118. John Hartz says:

    Steve Mosher:

    …12 years of daily bible class.

    Explains a lot about your sunny disposition.

  119. Joshua says:

    I don’t really understand your unwillingness to agree that there are some that are unreachable because of the science.

    I agree that there are some. The potential set of people who fall into that category is small to begin with.

    Winnowing out the ones who might appear that way but not actually be that way is complicated. I think that some methods for doing so are more likely effective than others. Some methods actually, IMO, are likely to increase the likelihood that some people who aren’t really that way, adopt such a stance.

    And even of those who are that way (those who will never, ever believe that ACO2 emissions increase CO2 in the atmosphere, for example) may have “interests” than be leveraged to support energy policies that in the end, could reduce CO2 emissions (or slow the increase in comparison to no attempts or unwise methods).

    Most who indicate that they are unreachable “because of the science” don’t understand the science, and IMO merely leverage “the science” so as to support preexisting ideology, ideology that reflects positions rather than interests. I think that there is a weakness there that can be exploited if they can be brought into a discussion based on interests rather than an approach based on competing interests.

    So in the end, yes, there are probably some who are unreachable because of the science, but what does that have to do with the price of tea in China? I think the more interesting question is which strategies are most optimal in a situation where none are perfect.

  120. Joshua says:

    sorry.. many errors in syntax/spelling, but I think that this may be the only important one…

    … if they can be brought into a discussion based on i[shared] interests rather than an approach based on competing interests. positions.

  121. John Hartz says:

    The fact that time is not on our side is driven home by Bill McKibbon in his stark responses to the questions recently posed to him by Charlotta Lomas of Deutsche Welle.

    McKibben: We need action to match the scale of the problem by Charlotta Lomas, Deutsche Welle (DW), Nov 9, 2017

    The final Q&A of the DW article is particularly relevant to the issues being discussed on this thread.

    CL: Looking into your crystal ball, how do you see the people’s movement progressing over the coming decades?

    BM: I think it becomes ever-more intelligent. I think we understand better with each passing month the linkages between high finance and the fossil fuel industry. And I think we’ll go after them more and more. I think we understand that the imperative now is to push for speedy change — that we’re no longer interested in getting people to say that they believe in global warming or to take convenient and relatively easy steps forward. We actually need change on a scale that matches the scale of the damage that we’re seeing.

    The human race desperately needs more Pied Pipers like Bill McKibben and Pope Francis to lead us out of this horrific mess of its own making. Time is not on our side.

  122. Ragnaar says:

    citizenschallenge:

    I was questioning the effectiveness of these one to one punishments. At the link above, I think one can gather the gist of a possible response to problems including global warming where one is better off letting others solve the problem.

    We see the pitched battles of the debate where individuals go after individuals. What does Desmogblog gain with their lists of skeptics? Is that a successful business model?

    See something, say something. As if they are terrorists about to do something and we are guards.

    We each have our backgrounds. Do we have other examples of where we found that one to one punishment is what we are comfortable doing? I think it’s becoming more common with social media.

  123. Ragnaar says:

    JCH:

    Donohoe 2014

    Yes we should discuss it, but not by picking the low hanging fruit of what someone at WUWT said.

    CO2 lost some sustain. Other changes such as the resultant albedo gained. What does this to for sensitivity?

    Shortwave and longwave radiative contributions to global warming under increasing CO2

  124. Everett F Sargent says:

    “OMG, the delusional at WUWT just discovered Donohue 2014.”

    And Pat Frank has updated his manifesto with one further journal submission, this time he’s going after James Annan. What follows is my simplest FORTRAN code (Intel Parallel Studio XE) for a 1D random walk (quad precision no less, for their hardware random number generator) …

    program odrw
    integer*1 sout
    integer*4 i,j,k,sum
    real*16 number
    call random_seed
    open(7,file=’1D_Random_Walk.txt’,status=’unknown’)
    do j=0,99999,10000
    write(*,'(i5)’)j
    do k=j,j+9999
    sum=0
    do i=0,99999999
    call random_number(number)
    sout=number+5q-1
    sum=sum+sout+sout-1
    enddo
    write(7,'(i5,1x,i5)’)k-j,sum
    enddo
    enddo
    close(7)
    end program odrw

  125. izen says:

    @-Joshua
    “I agree that there are some. The potential set of people who fall into that category is small to begin with.”

    The number of science refuseniks is indeed very small.
    They compensate by being incredibly tenacious and willing to go above and beyond the average level of effort to defend their errors. Almost in direct proportion to how wrong they are.

    For a outstanding example check out Rabbet Run and the ‘Green Plate challenge’ thread. (or the Green plate effect post before that)
    Betty Pound (?) is doing more work than a legion of lukewarmers.

    I am beginning to have doubts however. Perhaps Mosher, or any others with knowledge of ‘bot’ technology could tell whether such persistence could be algorithmic. Have conversational language systems got good enough to pass the Turing text in that limited domain ?

    http://rabett.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/green-plate-challenge.html

  126. angech says:

    “They are not interested in contemplating serious reforms to the system; they are either too pessimistic or too disappointed to believe that is possible. So the best they can do is adopt a position of total irreverence: to show they hate the players and the game. …”

    How about too realistic as in you cannot fight city hall? Does not stop me wanting to fight it though.

    “an ethic of total retaliation at work”.
    You can’t make me think the way that you want me to think, even if that way of thinking is nicer and smarter and better.”Particularly if ‘” like whitewashed tombs” What is inside the white walls of Climate Change theory is not always kosher.
    Saying it is 97% is just platitudes, proving it is 97% is the way to go.
    Pielke, Curry, Soon, McIntyre,
    Prove it to these people.
    They are intelligent, scientific and not convinced.
    Don’t use arguments about Fossil fuel interests.
    Is that all one has?
    Look at the concerns, genuine concerns, about the level of proof we have and how you are able to improve that.

    By the way, thanks to VTG for our discussion elsewhere, trying to improve my understanding of the level of proof. Appreciated.

  127. John Hartz says:

    Very impressive indeed,

    Yikes.

    Over 15,000 scientists hailing from more than 180 countries just issued a dire warning to humanity:

    “Time is running out” to stop business as usual, as threats from rising greenhouse gases to biodiversity loss are pushing the biosphere to the brink.

    The new warning was published Monday in the international journal BioScience, and marks an update to the “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity” issued by nearly 1,700 leading scientists 25 years ago.

    The 1992 plea, which said Earth was on track to be “irretrievably mutilated” baring “fundamental change,” however, was largely unheeded.

    Over 15,000 Scientists Just Issued a ‘Second Notice’ to Humanity. Can We Listen Now? by Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams, Nov 13, 2017

  128. Ragnaar says:

    Yikes:

    “Among the steps that could be taken to prevent catastrophe are promoting plant-based diets; reducing wealth inequality, stopping conversions of forests and grasslands; government interventions to rein in biodiversity loss via poaching and illicit trade; and “massively adopting renewable energy sources” while phasing out fossil fuel subsidies.”
    So many points:
    Vegans.
    Capitalism.
    Loss of forests and grasslands to what?
    Poachers and tusks.
    Wind and solar.
    Big oil.

    You don’t eat the right things and you use fossil fuels. And you are a capitalist to boot. I fail to see the significance of the paper.

  129. John Hartz says:

    Ragnaar: The fact that 15,000 scientists from throughout the world signed the letter is damn significant!

  130. russellseitz says:

    Give thanks St Hubert’s day has come, so we can all go forth to increase the niche diversity for smaller herbivores, discourage agribusiness, and reduce the Lyme disease-bearing deer tick population by substituting venison for beef.

  131. Steven Mosher says:

    “I am beginning to have doubts however. Perhaps Mosher, or any others with knowledge of ‘bot’ technology could tell whether such persistence could be algorithmic.”

    You will have to roll tape back to some of the earliest exchanges that Willard and I had, prolly on CA, WRT to “lines” in arguments. At times I used the chess opening analogy. Theres an opening book. Everyone knows it, even machines. Other times I referred to the Tropes of the classic Skeptics. Think of it as a tool kit you can use against ANY argument.
    Willard, however, nailed it with his contrarian matrix. I would guess he could generalize it into a cookbook applicable to any topic whatsover. So in that sense there is an algorithm.. but I’d rather
    refer to it as a cookbook, or set of tools, or standard responses. I sense he could even use formal notion to express the matrix.. That would be a powerful piece of work.

    I would guess that there is a deep cookbook, or algorithm if you like, that allows people to continue in denial and yet appear to be somewhat “rational”. That is, the same formulation of argument has times and places where it is cogent or reasonable. ‘many Theories’ is a good example. The problem of underdetermination is well known, and we are well within our rational rights to assert it.
    So it looks rational. And it is. However, situationally we know that people playing the many theories card, are cheating. Philosophically, yes there are many theories. Practically, in science, its about choosing the best theory, not merely noting what may be philosophically true. “Socially”, scientists dont go around spouting off philosophical objections about underdetermination. They go around trying to find more evidence or better theories. ‘Many theories” for them is an INVITATION to do work, not an excuse for rejecting the best science we have.

    did that answer you?

  132. Tony Banton says:

    angech says:

    “Saying it is 97% is just platitudes, proving it is 97% is the way to go.
    Pielke, Curry, Soon, McIntyre,
    Prove it to these people.
    They are intelligent, scientific and not convinced.”

    But why do you think science can convince even the “scientific” in every and all cases?

    All one has to do is invoke the vagaries of human nature and just accept that there is a percentage of the population who just gainsay because of psychological makeup.
    What is psychology behind Pat Frank, in thinking he is correct and all his ‘accusers’ – sorry – reviewers, are wrong and he is correct?

    Spencer espouses intelligent design FI !!
    I would say that 3% is about right in quantifying the magnitude of that group.

    And what happens – their “opinion” is magnified to be at least 50% in the minds of those armed through the distorting lense of the Internet and the right-wing press.

  133. Andrew Dodds says:

    izen –

    I don’t think that bot technology is good enough to actually argue in detail. It’s certainly good enough to post standard issue ‘rebuttal’ responses to a given article on climate, choosing from a list based on keywords in the article – that wouldn’t be particularly hard.

    Actually applying something like the contrarian matrix would be an interesting challenge – you’d need to be able to correctly parse responses, as in ‘The person I am arguing with has mentioned the 97% consensus, so I need to respond with the “Science is not based on consensus, see Galileo” argument’. Given the number of ways the arguments can be posed, that’s a machine learning classifying problem. You’d end up with some disjointed and slightly odd answers that didn’t look like they were properly engaging, and missed out large chunks of the post they were replying to. So.. no one would notice.

    The real deep-learning people would probably try to automate everything – take a very large selection of online climate ‘debates’, label posts as ‘scientist’ or ‘skeptic’ responses and try to learn to automate one or the other – or indeed, learn to conduct climate debate without any external influence. Probably doable, but you’d need a huge amount of training data preparation.

  134. Joshua wrote “So in the end, yes, there are probably some who are unreachable because of the science, but what does that have to do with the price of tea in China?.”

    from ATTP’s original article:

    However, I do think we spend a lot of time arguing about how best to communicate when, in reality, there are some people who are unconvinceable, and it’s probably worth recognising that if you want to move forward, then it’s going to involve doing so despite these people, rather than trying to find ways to convince them to do so.

    It doesn’t have a great deal to do with the price of tea in China, but it is directly relevant to the topic under discussion.

    As I said, I think there needs to be a diversity of approaches (including stakeholder dialog), because the audience is diverse, and we shouldn’t adopt a “one size fits all policy”. However, even then there are those that are unreachable, and it is probably not worth continuing to try after having made a sincere effort.

  135. BTW, I don’t think you have answered the question even now

    And even of those who are that way (those who will never, ever believe that ACO2 emissions increase CO2 in the atmosphere, for example) may have “interests” than be leveraged to support energy policies that in the end, could reduce CO2 emissions (or slow the increase in comparison to no attempts or unwise methods).

    Note there are no specifics here, despite being given a specific scenario to address, just a suggestion that they may have interests that can be leveraged, without even a hint as to what they may be, and without addressing the counter-argument that I have already mentioned, namely that there is a risk (excepting environmental impacts) in reducing fossil fuel use as it has been a very reliable driver of economic growth in the past. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I agree with stakeholder dialogues (where appropriate) in principle, but in order to be useful you need to be able to deal with the specifics.

    If fossil fuels had no environmental impacts, you would have a hard time convincing me that we should give up fossil fuel use. 

  136. BBD says:

    You’d end up with some disjointed and slightly odd answers that didn’t look like they were properly engaging, and missed out large chunks of the post they were replying to. So.. no one would notice.

    🙂

  137. I’ll second that 🙂 : 🙂

  138. angech says:

    “I would guess that there is a deep cookbook, or algorithm if you like, that allows people to continue in denial and yet appear to be somewhat “rational”.

    Would someone in denial, being able to access and understand that cookbook, be able to drag themselves out of that denial?
    There is a SF story , Zelazny? about a therapist going into the brain to rescue someone trapped in their denial but becoming a part of it instead.
    Once in that state of course the sane people outside appear to be the denialists.
    Of course, without the cookbook, each group thinks the other is at fault.

  139. Magma says:

    “Of course, without the cookbook, each group thinks the other is at fault.”

    If only there was a quantifiable, measurable, external physical reality that could be used as a check.

  140. Magma says:

    dikranmarsupial: “If fossil fuels had no environmental impacts, you would have a hard time convincing me that we should give up fossil fuel use.”

    Certainly if CO2 was an inert, infrared-transparent gas we could focus on eliminating fugitive emissions of methane and VOCs, cutting down on leaks and spills of liquids, reducing harmful combustion products such as NOx, SO2, CO, soot and other particulate matter, mercury, lead, arsenic, vanadium in fallout, etc. Those alone would constitute significant technical challenges, but ones that could be managed. But this is all moot, since CO2 isn’t those things.

  141. Magma says:

    John Hartz: “Ragnaar: The fact that 15,000 scientists from throughout the world signed the letter is damn significant!”

    With all respect, John, I think the “n signatories” argument was poisoned by the fake Oregon/OISM petition nearly 20 years ago. In this case I see many signatories listing relevant qualifications and affiliations , but also many not: e.g. name and country only, name and generic title only (‘biologist’, ‘ecologist’), Master’s and PhD students in unnamed departments, high school teachers, physicians, professors of psychology, professors of history, an electronic engineer, etc.

    I would prefer to see the focus placed on reviews and summaries by well-regarded mid-career and senior climate scientists and position statements by scientific bodies… but of course we already have those, and they have been ignored by those with strong motives to do so.

  142. Magma says: November 14, 2017 at 2:05 pm
    “If only there was a quantifiable, measurable, external physical reality that could be used as a check.”
    ~ ~ ~
    You mean like one physical Earth to examine?

    But the fly in the ointment – having a public expectation that we honesty reflect what the other has written and said. Specifically, honestly representing what scientists and their studies have actually written or said.

    Today’s Alt-right is proud to make misrepresentation, lies and slander and character-assassination are their limitless Free Speech right. It’s what their entire contrarian campaign has been dependent on. I still have a rough time wrapping my head around why we allowed the alternate reality thing get so out of hand. Without confronting that head on, . . .

  143. John Hartz says:

    Magma: I agree. The Oregon/OISM has poisoned the well. Regardless, I believe it is damn impressive to get 15,000 scientists from around the world to agree on anything.

  144. John Hartz says:

    Speaking of fossil fuels,,,

    Demonstrators interrupted a U.S. government event at the United Nations climate conference in Germany on Monday, protesting the Trump administration’s support for coal-fired power plants and the president’s intention to pull the United States out of an international climate pact.

    At the U.N. climate conference in Bonn, demonstrators interrupted the event following a presentation by White House energy policy adviser George David Banks. The event was titled “The Role of Cleaner and More Efficient Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Power in Climate Mitigation.”

    The protesters, who delayed the event for roughly seven minutes amid the talk by the next speaker, sang a version of the country music song “God Bless the U.S.A.” with lyrics altered for an anti-coal message.

    Singing activists interrupt U.S. coal-focused event at United Nations climate conference by Chris Mooney, Energy & Environment, Washington Post, Nov 13, 2017

  145. Joshua says:

    Dikran –

    namely that there is a risk (excepting environmental impacts) in reducing fossil fuel use as it has been a very reliable driver of economic growth in the past.

    Well, I happen to believe that there are quite a few folks who make largely unfounded assumptions about the nature of economic growth being driven by fossil fuel use. IMO, such assumptions often are based on ignoring negative externalities and facile cause-and-effect conclusions about what actually “drives” economic growth. If you can engage them in discussions about their interests related to energy policy – possibly leveraging their desire to increase fossil fuel use, a desire that is being advocated currently by a large segment of the American public – then I think you might be able to get them to reexamine their assumptions, with the possible outcome of actually weakening their belief in fossil fuel use is as an economic driver.

    If fossil fuels had no environmental impacts, you would have a hard time convincing me that we should give up fossil fuel use. 

    Well yeah, it might be hard. But I don’t think impossible. Part of my point was that fossil fuels have environmental impact beyond the climate (I thought the context of your original question was focused on those who exclude any climate impact), and even people who might never be convinced that ACO2 will impact the climate might be likely to see that they have interests related to that other impact. When you specified a group that doesn’t accept that human activity increases climatic levels of CO2, part of my response was that such a group can possibly be engaged fruitfully on a somewhat altered playing field.

    And of course, fossil fuels have impact beyond direct environmental impact (i.e., negative externalities such as the enormous financial and geopolitical costs of keeping fossil fuels flowing from oppressive governments) and even those people who reject the possibility of any environmental impact have interests than cal allow room for exchange

    And “give up fossil fuel use” seems like a rather categorical standard – as it doesn’t allow for the condition of decreasing fossil fuel use, by various degrees over different time periods.

  146. There was a global survey of people, and over 50% were optimists. Only 4% were deniers.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/climate-optimism-versus-fatalism_us_59c53600e4b08d6615504207

    Moving the ‘pessimists’ into ‘soft optimists’ would mean that over 75% were optimistic. That feels like an easier task than trying to convince the obdurately ignorant 4%.

    In the UK, despite over a decade of denigration and fake science from The Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, etc. of the dominant right wing media, the latest Government survey of opinion finds …

    “As the Government appears to be softening its position on onshore wind, news that just 8% of Brits oppose the technology should be a very welcome finding … [and] a record-low 3% of the population opposing the use of renewable energy”
    Dr Jonathan Marshall, energy analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU); commenting on the latest Government survey on public attitudes on energy and climate change.

    Just as the angry mob are rather over represented on programmes like Any Answers on the BBC, so it feels are the ‘deniers’, or as Professor Mackay termed them, the ‘climate inactivists’.

    I am not say they should not be called out, but in addition to calling out their nonscience, may calling out their marginality would also be good.

  147. Magma says:

    Richard Erskine: “I am not say they should not be called out, but in addition to calling out their nonscience, may calling out their marginality would also be good.”

    In my opinion, that’s one reason ‘contrarians’ attack any mention of the 97% (or 99%, or high 90s) scientific consensus on AGW. They may not know much, but they know where they’re vulnerable. (Think back to Judith Curry’s recent bafflement at looking around at proposed red team members and finding herself entirely surrounded by third-raters. ‘Why am *I* here?’ she wondered sadly.)

  148. Magma, I don’t disagree. But for the majority of people, I am not sure it is effective to at least start mentioneding 97%. There is a 99.999 recurring % of biologists who adhere to Darwinian evolution by natural selection; ditto physicists re. the second law of thermodynamics. Asked if there will be a heat death of the universe, how often is 99.999% mentioned?

  149. John Hartz says:

    ATTP: Possible fodder for a new blog post…

    Consciously quantum: How you make everything real

    The idea that we create reality seems absurd. But an audacious new take on quantum theory suggests the fundamental laws of nature emerge from our own experiences

    Feature article by Phillip Ball, New Scientist, Nov 8, 2017

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