Yesterday Michael Brown alterted me (see “@nevaudit”) to this contrarian editorial:
As many of you already know, I am currently developing a ClimateBall Bingo. That bingo consists of squares that I identify with a “but.” The central square is “but CAGW” – CAGW standing for Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. Most if not all contrarians visiting AT’s allude to it from time to time.
My bingo squares are not linked to claims but to memes. In principle, the Contrarian Matrix of all the best lines of arguments would suffice to play ClimateBall. In reality, contrarians evoke a variety of ideas using a specific bag of talking points. Arguments are secondary when the name of the contrarian game is to repeat over and over again the same fighting words.
These characteristics shine through Sherelle’s editorial. Following along her disciplined meme game also helps test which bingo squares I am missing.
* * *
The title lists the main squares: “but consensus,” “but elite,” and “but doom.”
The lead announces two other important memes, “but Greta” and “but complexity”:
I won’t add the “slavish” hyperbole for the moment – we need to cut somewhere. The first paragraph repeats “but elite” and “but consensus,” this time with “but hypocrisy”:
The second paragraph repeats “but Greta” and winks at “but activists”:
Let’s not wonder why Sherelle forgets that Greta’s main takeaway is to listen to scientists, and let’s read paragraph 3:
You guessed it: “but CAGW.” Not sure why Sherelle attributes it to teh Donald. Her main counterargument lies underneath her “but complexity.” This meme is rather inexact regarding the IPCC’s main conclusions: there’s nothing complex in the conclusion that dumping CO2 in the atmosphere like there’s no tomorrow is not a Good Thing. Onto the next paragraph, which redirects the reader toward the Australian fires:
The Australian fires are not quite relevant here, except by coincidence – it’s recent. Sherelle’s argument would work if our confidence about AGW depended on its proper contribution to fires, i.e. the meteorological fallacy, to be introduced another time.
Here’s a part of the next para (I’m lazy and won’t glue the two columns together):
The crux of Sherelle’s “but complexity” is pure assertion and amounts to “but CAGW.” Notice the shift from AGW to CAGW. Crumbly prose indeed.
In the next para, the precaution “you don’t need to doubt AGW to dispute CAGW” hides the AGW pea under the CAGW thimble. Hence perhaps why our editorialist shifts to “but billions,” “but proof,” and Niv’s crap, a “but teh sun” guru:
Next para shows “but uncertainty,” “but evidence,” “but teh modulz,” “but cult,” and once again “but CAGW,” with a “but funding” bow:
No contrarian editorial is complete without “but Galileo”:
Sorry, René. Next para is “but Enlightenment” and “but Inquisition” (will add that one), with a whiff of “but conspiracy:”
(Note the handwaving to undetermined contrarian papers.)
We’re almost finished. The penultimate para features “but Dark Ages” (to be added), “but elite,” “but communism,” and “but complexity”:
Perhaps I should add “but central planning”; “but one world governement” may do. Sherelle ends by hammering her main memes, i.e. “but Greta,” “but elite,” and “but complexity”:
As we can see, Sherelle is obviously skilled at rinsing and repeating. Let’s see how it reads if we render her editorial into tags:
#ButConsensus, #ButElite, and #ButDoom. #ButGreta and #ButComplexity. #ButElite, #ButConsensus, and #ButHypocrisy. #ButGreta and #ButActivists. #ButCAGW. #ButCAGW. #ButBillions, #ButProof, and #ButTehSun. #ButUncertainty, #ButEvidence, #ButTehModulz, #ButCult, #ButCAGW, #ButFunding. #ButGalileo, #ButEnlightenment, #ButInquisition, #ButConspiracy. #ButDarkAges, #ButElite, #ButCommunism, #ButComplexity, #ButOneWorldGovernement. #ButGreta, #ButElite, #ButComplexity.
Lots of memes for just a few uninformative paragraphs, don’t you think? In any case, my ClimateBall Bingo seems to be holding up. This analysis helped me add a few squares, but I think it’s getting there. It should be ready soon.
UPDATE. Seems that AT came up with the Climate Wars Bingo in 2015 already: