Sherelle's Bingo Squares

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:

https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/climate-wars-bingo/

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78 Responses to Sherelle's Bingo Squares

  1. Steven Mosher says:

    You know willard even if it gets as bad as Greta predicts we have always found a way to adapt.
    In the end you can’t contain human ingenuity and we will discover the technology to survive and thrive. We’ve managed worse than climate change can throw at us and there are more pressing issues, like pandemics and asteroids.

    hehe.

  2. Willard says:

    > we have always found a way to adapt

    A perfect example of why the Contrarian Matrix does not suffice. My adaptation line is the following:

    We must learn to adapt to warming, and government policy must encourage efficient and intelligent adaptation for our high energy planet. Personally, I’d geoengineer an ice-nine powered Heliotropical Adaptator made of Tin foil orbiting around the Earth (The HAT).

    https://contrarianmatrix.wordpress.com/future-is-bright/

    (The second sentence is of my own artistic license.)

    Compare and contrast:

    [AA] We always found ways to adapt.
    [MA] We must adapt.

    Not the same claim. Not the same argument. Both are related to adaptation. Both could be subsumed under something like “But Adaptation.” Many other claims involving adaptation can be generated.

    In the end, what is being said does not matter much. What matters, at least for the Bingo, is that there is one and only one space for adaptation. It could be something like climateball.wordpress.com/but-adaptation.

    ***

    One problem I need to solve is semantic. Michael Brown’s question points to it:

    If all the different words used by contrarians can’t be put into some kind of equivalence classes, my project will explode. So I need to decide how to connect quasi-synonyms like “but alarmism,” “but chicken little,” “but apocalypse,” etc. Since they all imply “but CAGW” I am tempted to simply redirect to that page.

    That way I would get lots of pages, but at least would only need to curate a subset.

  3. JCH says:

    Is “butUmadeus” there?

  4. Willard says:

    No, JCH. Got an example?

  5. Joshua says:

    C’mon. Just admit that climate change is complex.

  6. JCH says:

    Not specifically, but several have claimed the attitude of AGW scientists, be it condescension, Gavin, or arrogance, Mann, have forced them to become contrarians.

  7. Willard says:

    > several have claimed the attitude of AGW scientists, be it condescension, Gavin, or arrogance, Mann, have forced them to become contrarians.

    Good point. I have “but Damascus” for personal journeys, but they’re related to conversions. I will probly add “but arrogance.”

    I did not think of adding “but you,” as it belongs to another project. (In a nutshell, it’s half of a tu quoque of the form “no u.”) Perhaps I should. I’ll have to think about that one.

  8. JCH says:

    You made me break the blog rules, and you made the blog owner fail to enforce them. Well, sort of wordy.

  9. Willard says:

    > You made me break the blog rules,

    I see what you did there.

    “But You” will be added. Come to think of it, I’m looking for the most common topics that can act as ClimateBall bait. Here are some versions from the top of my hat:

    (1) I gave up my car. What have you done to reduce your footprint?

    (2) You’re the reason why there are so many contrarians. Keep going.

    (3) You really think you know better than Freeman Dyson, don’t you?

    (4) So says AT’s moderator. Lulz.

    (5) Sure, you couldn’t even count sentences properly the other day.

    (6) You’re quite gullible; you must be an academic.

    (7) Come back when you’ll have worked with [the stuff I worked on] for [how long I worked on it] years.

    (8) You make no sense.

  10. izen says:

    “But economics” courtesy of Steve Mnuchin ?
    Or is that somewhere in the ‘do no harm’ section.

  11. dikranmarsupial says:

    “You know willard even if it gets as bad as Greta predicts we have always found a way to adapt.”

    But at what cost? Sometime we only just find a way adapt as a species. Our close cousins the Neanderthals didn’t adapt – they only live on as a remenant in our DNA.

    Hardship and suffering matter – if we only consider survival as a species, I’d argue that was a somewhat unambitious goal.

  12. Steven Mosher says:

    But carpe’ diem

  13. dikranmarsupial says:

    or diem non capimus (?) like the Neanderthals?

    Not that I think H. sapiens is in any real danger as a species from AGW, but as I said, that is a pretty low aspiration.

  14. Steven Mosher says:

    I give up. you can delete those willard. Donut has a sovereign citizen bingo game.
    cant get the vid to link

  15. Nathan says:

    “You know willard even if it gets as bad as Greta predicts we have always found a way to adapt.”

    We? Who is ‘We’?

  16. izen says:

    @SM
    “… even if it gets as bad as Greta predicts we have always found a way to adapt.”

    Could you give any historical examples of this ?

    I can find many examples where climate change caused the collapse of what were up till then, successful city based societies.
    Or at the very least, where climate was a significant contributing factor.
    Harrapa – Indus valley
    Akkadian – Mesopotamia
    First empire Egypt – N Africa
    Egyptian/Hittite/Agean – Mediterranean Bronze age collapse
    Tang dynasty and Ming dynasty – China
    Garama – W Africa
    Western Roman Empire -Europe
    Angkor Wat – Cambodia.
    Tolmic, Mayan, – S America
    Anasazi – N America
    Vikings – Greenland

    Drought and famine was clearly a factor in the current societal collapse in Syria, echoing the Akkadian collapse. Adaption there is massive refugee movement and uncivil war of all against all for the remaining resources.

    What aspects of the current globally interdependent societies do you think will be more resilient or adaptable in the face of global drought and famine ?

  17. David B. Benson says:

    izen — A fine list, but I will mildly dispute
    Western Roman Empire.

    Also, there were no Vikings in Greenland; they were Norse. And probably the southern colony quite orderly picked up and moved to Norway, where the plague had recently made room for farmer-fishermen.

  18. dikranmarsupial says:

    “Also, there were no Vikings in Greenland; they were Norse.”

    Is that just a distinction between farming and raiding/trading Norse?

  19. David B. Benson says:

    dikanmarsupial, the Norse in what is now Sweden and Denmark would sometimes choose to go a-viking, that is raiding, pillaging and enslaving. But mostly even those Norse engaged in farming and fishing.

    The Norse in Greenland never went a-viking. As best as I can tell neither did the Norse in Norway.

  20. dikranmarsupial says:

    Err, no. Viking also included trading/exploring. Vikings were not specific to Sweden and Denmark there were Norwegian vikings as well – Erik the Red was a viking and he was from Norway. Greenland was settled by Norse who were also Vikings.

    FWIW

    A víkingr was someone who went on expeditions, usually abroad, usually by sea, and usually in a group with other víkingar (the plural). Víkingr did not imply any particular ethnicity and it was a fairly neutral term, which could be used of one’s own group or another group. The activity of víking is not specified further, either. It could certainly include raiding, but was not restricted to that.

    In the academic world, “Viking” is used for people of Scandinavian origin or with Scandinavian connections who were active in trading and settlement as well as piracy and raiding, both within and outside Scandinavia in the period 750-1100. …

    [source]

  21. David B. Benson says:

    dikanmarsupial, thank you and I learned quite a bit. But it still remains that the settlers in Greenland were Norse, not themselves traders.

  22. dikranmarsupial says:

    The definition given by Prof of Viking Studies, Judith Jesch does not specify particular activities (e.g. trading), just that they went on expeditions and Jensch specifically mentions “settlement as well as piracy and raiding” in the academic definition.

  23. izen says:

    @-David B. Benson
    “But it still remains that the settlers in Greenland were Norse, not themselves traders.”

    At the risk of getting ridiculously pedantic; The Norse in Greenland were the source of ivory from walrus which they traded.
    It seems unlikely that they all just packed up and left. The failure of the colony was reported by contemporary traders who were then very occasional visitors as elephant ivory was again available for political reasons, and sailing conditions had deteriorated.
    There is also evidence that the mature trees were not available, nor the appropriate sheep wool to make boats/sails capable of leaving the Greenland colony in its later stages.

    However the Scandinavian ‘viking’ tradition was one of adaptive success in general. They eventually got their hands on England after trying for years as the Normans. They were also one of the most successful Mediterranean societies under king Roger in Sicily

  24. David B. Benson says:

    izen et al. — The popular meaning of Viking is raider and enslaver. The Norse in Greenland never did that. And yes, the archeological evidence certainly suggests that the eastern colony in Greenland simply picked up and left for Norway. I distinguish this from the western colony.

  25. David B. Benson says:

    Yes, there was trade between Greenland and the continent. I am under the impression that the traders came from the continent, not Greenland.

  26. dikranmarsupial says:

    David B Benson, if you are going to pedantically object to the settlers in Greenland being called Vikings, it is incorrect pedantry if you are relying on the *popular* meaning of the word. It isn’t the only meaning of the word, hence it isn’t necessarily wrong to use it in e.g. the historical or academic sense.

    The Vikings had a very interesting culture, not limited to raiding and enslaving, Dr Janina Ramirez’ documentaries about them are well worth watching if you get the chance.

  27. Willard says:

    FWIW, I had to add both “but Vikings” and “but Greenland” to the bingo, e.g.

    and

    ***

    Speaking of teh Mnuchin, I believe he’s using “but credentials”:

    In the end there may be a part of the bingo that will cover for what we usually call fallacies.

  28. Willard says:

    > Donut has a sovereign citizen bingo game.

    Here’s the bingo, Mosh:

    https://bingo.donutoperator.com/

    The ClimateBall bingo might reach 15 x 15.

  29. Willard says:

    David resuscitates “But Al (Gore)”:

  30. Willard says:

    “But Adaptation”

  31. izen says:

    The comments thread under Sherelle’s editorial includes all the other ClimateBall memes I think.
    Including, CO2 is tiny, the rise is not manmade, science is social groupthink, CO2 lags temp, butMWP, greenhouses work by convection not radiation, its Marxists….

  32. Joshua says:

    > Is “butUmadeus” there?

    Seems a close cousin to “they do it too” or “they did it first” which are more often the gist of “skeptic” arguments rather than stated outright.

    Go to any junior high school lunchroom and you’ll find the basic discourse model.

  33. Willard says:

    > Seems a close cousin to “they do it too” or “they did it first”

    They’re all tu quoques. My favorite is “no u”:

    I might as well explain a bit why I chose “but.”

    One problem with fallacy frameworks is that they often beg relevance. They’re used to teach very simplistic examples in which exchanges are more constrained than in online comment threads, where everybody are more or less talking at the same time about all the things using violent means. Search for “pedant” on this page for a nearby example.

    This implies that fallacy frameworks do not provide the proper means to evaluate arguments. Take “but credentials”: how can we know when it’s fair or not? Only by looking at what it responds. In other words, its evaluation can’t stand alone. (That’s one reason why formal dialogues are so evocative, btw.)

    Take teh Mnuchin’s retort to Greta. Does Greta appeal to her own authority on economic matters? Not at all. She only uses her klout to defer to scientists. His “but credentials” is thus infelicitous. (I say “infelicitous” because I can’t say it’s invalid – he’s not even formulating an inference!) Most of these memes fail relevance when being used.

    So the “but” is used to mark what I would call a switch. If “but” is the bait, then the topic (e.g. “you,” “credentials,” whatever) is the bait. “But X” thus represents a bait and switch. To see how they work, notice how the discussion switched to technical details about Vikings. Which goes on to show that science-minded folks are easily baited by knowledge-based stuff. In other words, most of the time ClimateBall players get distracted by their own interests.

  34. Joshua says:

    > Which goes on to show that science-minded folks are easily baited by knowledge-based stuff.

    Indeed. We see that more or less constantly. The discussion becomes one over science technical details, which ultimately can never be “proven” and where there will never be a prerequisite common agreement over fundamental “facts” or even key definitions of terms.

    OK, I’m going to go meta.

    All of which (IMO) covers over what’s really going on – which is “us vs. them,” which actually mostly just boils down to “I don’t like ‘them’ and now I’m going to establish why ‘they’ are inferior.”. (Which probably boils down to “I’m scared I’m inferior” and “What am I doing here?”)

    Which is why (IMO) online climate discussions are basically one big cluster fuck among people who are pursuing some kind of distraction.

    Look at the pattern in the previous thread.

    TE enters the discussion about consensus with a technical argument that’s really about establishing a ‘them’ – who are inferior to ‘us’ because confirmation bias.

    The proof likely comes (there are other potential but less likely explanations) when I asked him (repeatedly) about his basis for his technical argument – without engaging in discussion over the technical aspects of his technical argument – and he shows a total lack of interest.

    Of course, I would argue that the very premise for the discussion in the first place (consensus messaging) is intrinsically “us vs. them,” so in a way it was a “they did it first” from TE’s perspective (although it’s likely not raised to a level of consciousness – everyone just responds out of instinct and reflex).

    IMO, it’s “us vs. them” all the way down.

  35. Willard says:

    > IMO, it’s “us vs. them” all the way down.

    That’s here to stay, I’m afraid. We are suckers for narrative tension. Threads without it die.

    The trick, I surmise, is to take it less srsly and still try to connect.

    You know you won’t be able to change your uncle. You still love him and can have a good time with him. Things take time. Change is hard.

  36. Willard says:

    > The comments thread under Sherelle’s editorial includes all the other ClimateBall memes I think.

    We could call this phenomena bingo completeness.

    Exercise for the reader. Note the “but’s” in response to this tweet:

  37. izen says:

    @-W
    “Which goes on to show that science-minded folks are easily baited by knowledge-based stuff. In other words, most of the time ClimateBall players get distracted by their own interests.”

    Yeah, knowing stuff makes it tempting and self-aggrandising to spout off.

    OTOH going factual is sometimes a deliberate tactic to subvert a false narrative.
    Beautiful Theory Ugly Facts

  38. mrkenfabian says:

    Are “but ingenuity” and “but human resilience” on the list?

    I’ve never considered technological progress to be an inevitability or a law of nature, or really believed that necessity will be the cause of appropriate or timely invention. I’m more inclined to view R&D as a luxury that can be afforded because of success and abundance.

  39. Willard says:

    > Are “but ingenuity” and “but human resilience” on the list?

    I have “but resilience,” not yet “but ingenuity”:

  40. Willard says:

    > OTOH going factual is sometimes a deliberate tactic to subvert a false narrative.

    Exactly. Most of contrarian memes don’t make any explicit claims, and most explicit claims are rather trivial. Take “men adapted.” Of course they did, otherwise we’d not be here.

    It’s what’s dogwhistled that matters here, i.e. since men adapted before, they will adapt to AGW. How can we know? We can’t. Even if that were true, what follows – that we should do nothing about AGW? Not really. How is that claim relevant at all? It’s only meant to distract. No need to discuss its truth.

    How to counter that kind of claim? Simple. Focus on your own ball. Presumably something like: we still need to mitigate. “But adaptation” is trivial. It only hides the question if we should mitigate. We should. Argue for that.

    One way for contrarians to create obstruction is to go for “but debate me (coward).” Why? There’s very little to debate. Certainly not a trivial claim like “we adapted before.”

  41. angech says:

    There are so many underlying themes here that it is hard to get ones head around them all.
    Still having trouble getting the running of the bulls video out of my head.
    Thanks Willard.
    Predict that this will be a high hits blog topic.
    Also those polar bears on the ice floes are using incredible disguise tactics today.
    Finally why do the words of the song “Oh Carol” get mixed up in my head with “Oh Sherrelle”
    When I read the article?

  42. Willard says:

    > Exercise for the reader. Note the “but’s” in response to this tweet:

    Here are my responses (I got tired at the end):

    It got me “but deaths,” i.e. something along the lines of what the Lomborg Collective usually tries to sell, “but DustBowl,” and this one that I call “but no”:

    I completely forgot about pure contradiction.

  43. David B. Benson says:

    Not Vikings:
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norsemen
    “In the Old Norse language the term ‘norr○nnir menn’ (northern people) was used correspondingly to modern English name ‘Norsemen’, …”

    ‘Norse’ is the English equivalent of the modern Scandinavian term ‘nordbo’ and variants by national language. Refers to both ancient and modern inhabitants of Scandinavia other than the Sami.

  44. David B. Benson says:

    Willard, do not forget

    But off.

    🙂

  45. David B. Benson says:

    Not vikings; what we learn from Old Norse:
    https://lrc.la.utexas.edu/eieol/norol

  46. Willard says:

    > But off

    Good one!

  47. izen says:

    Norsemen, here is the version I remember;

  48. dikranmarsupial says:

    David B Benson, the second article was interesting. I note you fail of mention that it explains that among the noise, the term vikingr didn’t just mean raider, but something like “free enterpriser”, which would apply to the settlers of Greenland. The more limited term was from the languages of those that got raided.

  49. dikranmarsupial says:

    Of course, it could be that a professor of vikingora studies migh the best fundamentally wrong on such a basic manner. I gather the worldsame best climate scientists have been wrong on the basics of climate physics for over a century. #buthubris?

  50. dikranmarsupial says:

    Apologies for the autoincorrect – I need to work out how to switch it off. I’ll leave David to carry on about vikings if he chooses to do so.

  51. David B. Benson says:

    dikanmarsupial, the Norse in Greenland were farmers and fishermen. The traders came from the continent. The term vikingr would, I suppose, apply to them but not the Norse in Greenland any more than it would apply to the farmers in Norway; namely not at all.

  52. izen says:

    @-David B. Benson
    “The traders came from the continent.”

    It takes two to trade.

    Unless you think the Greenlanders gave the ivory away for nothing…

  53. David B. Benson says:

    izen, that is a standard use of the term trader. Old Norse vikingr, it seems.

    The Norse Greenlanders were farmers. Old Norse bo’ndi.

    When the ship arrived the two groups would barter the terms of trade.

    It is stated that a reason for the abandonment of Greenland for Norway was the availibity of elephant ivory ruined the market for narwhal tusks.

  54. izen says:

    @-David B. Benson
    “It is stated that a reason for the abandonment of Greenland for Norway was the availibity of elephant ivory ruined the market for narwhal tusks.”

    I don’t think there is much evidence that the Norse/viking/Greenlanders hunted narwhal. It is the Inuit at the northern edge of the island that are known for that.

    But it may be that the main motive for the Greenland colony was ivory from walrus tusk. While the expansion of Islam blocked African trade in elephant ivory, walrus ivory became the main source. DNA studies indicate that over time Greenland dominated this trade until demand fell with the plague and renewed African trade. The Greenlanders may also have over-exploited the walrus population that also became more difficult to hunt as the LIA caused worse sea conditions.

    The Greenlanders may have farmed just as a secondary means of expanding their diet. Their main economy was probably the hunting and trading of walrus ivory.

    https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rspb.2018.0978

  55. David B. Benson says:

    izen, good find! I am sure that farming came first as everybody had to eat. After that, then yes, walrus tusks for trade and possibly walrus for meat.

  56. Chubbs says:

    An alternative to the but**** framing, which focuses on the negative, is to consider the positives i.e., what do skeptics want. SM has got us started: adaption, optimism, freedom, simple, no-others. i.e. don’t ruin my day.

  57. Willard says:

    Chubbs,

    Since “but” only introduces a switch, it should allow contrarians to bait with any topic whatsoever, both with negative and positive connotations. My Bingo already includes “But Growth,” “But Good News,” “But Adaptation,” “But Nuclear,” “But Bjorn,” etc.

    That I find more negatives than positives is only contingent on the fact that contrarians tend to be negative overall. They’re in attack mode. Perfect to undermine credibility and authority.

  58. Chubbs says:

    Willard.

    Understand, this post got me thinking, we often worry about our side of the communication issue, but perhaps we would be better served trying to understand the other side. What would their perfect world look like? No climate models or elites?

  59. Willard says:

    > but perhaps we would be better served trying to understand the other side

    That’s shorter:

    http://contrarianmatrix.wordpress.com

    If you know better arguments, I will add them.

    One last note, as I think AT will post something soon. As I already said, I focus on identifying the bait-and-switch (instead of responses, like SkS does) because the underlying claims can vary. I also hinted that following through hoops can make ClimateBall players lose sight on their own balls. I can add the following reason: canned responses suck.

    Take “but predictions.” How to counter it? There are many ways. Depends on the ClimateBall player, the mood, the specific claim, etc. We could for instance remind our contrarian opponent that many predictions did not fail, e.g.

    But note how this contradicts the idea that predictions “always failed.” A contrarian could be more circumspect. (Angry Foodie preferred to delete the tweet instead of correcting the claim.) In that case, my own answer would be different. My response would also vary if my opponent would fail to distinguish predictions excerpted in newspapers and those in the specialized lichurchur. Who makes the prediction matters. When and where too.

    So before learning responses by rote I think it’s better to use your common sense. One trick that seldom fails is to ask to see the hand. What’s the point? What’s the source? Why does it matter? There are other considerations. How much time do you have? Is there a readership or is it a showdown? What do you gain from digging up resources? Etc.

    Basic rhetoric, really.

  60. Steven Mosher says:

    “An alternative to the but**** framing, which focuses on the negative, is to consider the positives i.e., what do skeptics want. SM has got us started: adaption, optimism, freedom, simple, no-others. i.e. don’t ruin my day.”

    Today is better than yesterday, why would you worry about tomorrow?

  61. dikranmarsupial says:

    “what do skeptics want.” to avoid reductions in their standard of living (e.g. taxation) and not to have to think about the consequences that may have on others.

  62. dikranmarsupial says:

    i.e. the same as the rest of us – who wants reductions in their standard of living? Nobody. Who wants to think that their actions have negative consequences for others? Nobody (to all intents and purposes). It is a dilemma for all of us, some are able to decide on mitigation, some are in denial about it (e.g. those who think that the rise in CO2 is natural), and a very small number of people who are able to resolve the dilemma by not caring about the consequences (however they tend to keep quiet about it because in most societies a high degree of selfishness is viewed with an element of dissaprobation). It is a matter of degree rather than substance. – IMHO.

  63. David B. Benson says:

    dikanmarsupial, change is hard. 0

  64. Chubbs says:

    DB,

    Yes, change is hard, and stressful. Ironically by resisting change skeptics/lukewarmers are promoting it in a way by making the existing system less sustainable.

  65. dikranmarsupial says:

    Indeed. It is indeed. Perhaps some of the difficulty on the science comes from being more accepting of (conceptual) change than average (most scientists are trying to change the way we think about or subject if only by noticing things that have up till now escaped us). While there is a substantially partisan nature to the discussion, I don’t think we necessarily have different values, just different means of resolving the dilemma.

  66. Chubbs says:

    SM – Think you have coined a new one – #ButProgress. Interesting how these memes cut both ways. We should ignore a piece of science and technology made possible by #ButProgress because of, you guessed it – #ButProgress

  67. Mal Adapted says:

    dikranmarsupial:

    “what do skeptics want.” to avoid reductions in their standard of living (e.g. taxation) and not to have to think about the consequences that may have on others.

    i.e. the same as the rest of us – who wants reductions in their standard of living? Nobody. Who wants to think that their actions have negative consequences for others? Nobody (to all intents and purposes). It is a dilemma for all of us, some are able to decide on mitigation, some are in denial about it (e.g. those who think that the rise in CO2 is natural), and a very small number of people who are able to resolve the dilemma by not caring about the consequences (however they tend to keep quiet about it because in most societies a high degree of selfishness is viewed with an element of dissaprobation). It is a matter of degree rather than substance. – IMHO.

    Excellent! QFT. You’ve exposed the absurdity of the political polarization around AGW. As if AGW weren’t a threat to literally everyone on Earth, regardless of party affiliation! I, for one, regard the extreme politicization of the issue in the US, including the capture of the federal government by forthright deniers, as a positive ROI for fossil-fuel capitalists’ investments in politics and public disinformation. As a consequence, climate realists are automatically labelled “liberals” because we recognize that internalizing the marginal climate-change costs of our living standards is necessary to avoid yet more negative consequences to our very selves, as well as others at least some of whom we care about. We’re called “greens” if we point out the physical threats not only to individual humans but entire species of conspicuous flora and fauna, along with economic immiseration due to rapid shifts in regional weather extremes, displacement of agricultural zones, collapse of ocean fisheries, etc. We’re branded “socialists” for acknowledging that capping the warming short of global economic collapse will require collective intervention in “free” energy markets.

    Former professional AGW-denier and Cato Institute VP Jerry Taylor cuts the crap: “Ideology = Motivated Cognition”. As Taylor tells it, his career aspirations and predisposition to deontological libertarianism overcame his commitment to reason, until they couldn’t. I’m not sure how many emulators he’ll have.

    Your last sentence identifies the source of lukewarmism, IMHO: namely, cognitive dissonance between selfishness and internalized social disapprobation. The more self-aware (i.e. least dissonant) unpaid lukewarmers tend to keep quiet, the rest keep trying to justify it on moral (butEnergyPoverty) and/or political (butSoshulizm) grounds. One hopes social disapprobation will increasingly overcome selfishness, until effective voting pluralities for climate realism emerge.

  68. Joshua says:

    Chubbs –

    > , but perhaps we would be better served trying to understand the other side. What would their perfect world look like? No climate models or elites?

    Your proposed answer looks highly improbable to me. I would offer that it looks like an answer rooted in poor faith – which is not a promising path towards cognitive empathy.

    “Skeptics” as a species are very closely related to “us” except their identiies are organized along a different ideological axis.

    I propose that you only accept an answer to that question if you think its likely that a “skeptics” would agree that the answer is accurate. You might even ask one as a test (although unfortunately, they frequently won’t answer).

  69. Susan Anderson says:

    Willard, I’m probably skipping over too much here. “But you’re making us uncomfortable” … not a good argument. Omnicide is what’s really uncomfortable!

    Dead, too, is a way of life. ….
    A new survey estimates that more than half of all Australians have been directly affected by the fires, with millions suffering adverse health effects. The economic damage keeps growing, the total cost placed at about $100 billion Australian dollars (more than $68 billion), and rising. Gross domestic product is already impacted. Australia’s central bank has announced that it may be forced to buy up coal mines and other fossil fuel assets to avoid an economic collapse. ….
    To describe this terrifying new reality …: “omnicide.” As used by Danielle Celermajer, a professor of sociology at the University of Sydney specializing in human rights, the term invokes a crime we have previously been unable to imagine because we had never before witnessed it.
    Ms. Celermajer argues that “ecocide,” the killing of ecosystems, is inadequate to describe the devastation of Australia’s fires. “This is something more,” she has written. “This is the killing of everything. Omnicide.”
    What does the future look like where omnicide is the norm?
    …. According to a recent United Nations report, what is happening in Australia is “one of the world’s largest fossil fuel expansions,” with proposals for 53 new coal mines.
    Australia’s fossil fuel industry is already huge, thanks to massive taxpayer subsidies — some $29 billion in 2015, according to a 2019 paper by the International Monetary Fund. Every Australian man, woman and child is underwriting their own apocalypse to the tune of $1,198 a year.
    According to the American climatologist Michael Mann, “It is conceivable that much of Australia simply becomes too hot and dry for human habitation.”

  70. Willard says:

    > #ButProgress.

    I try not to do synthetic squares. Unless I meet it, I won’t create one.

    The Bingo comes from dealing with Freedom Fighters. They usually don’t appeal to Progress. Their appeals will hide the “progress” – they’ll talk about things getting better (“but better”) or growth (“but growth”) or standards of living (“but lifestyle”) or else. They usually target progressives.

    Also bear in mind that the exchanges in which I use the bingo are very limited. Witness Sundance in this thread:

    He’s there to rehearse “but predictions,” “but Greta,” and “but CAGW.” Since it’s my own home, I feel like countering his crap. What are my options?

    I can focus on my own ball, i.e. how Junior misrepresents RCPs once more. I could follow through one of Sundance’s memes, which I did for a while by repeating over and over again that Greta is asking that we listen to scientists.

    I could also try to make Sundance honor his commitments. That’s what got me the last word, as it’s an impossible task for him. It’s not his objective. It would require more than copy-pasta.

    Sometimes the only losing move in ClimateBall is not to play.

  71. Willard says:

    Nice to see you back, Susan.

    I’m referring more to talking points than arguments, but I understand your point.

    What I’m studying is far from being logical. There’s some madness behind the contrarian method, however. Some kind of quasi-dialogical way to frame minds, so to speak.

    Speaking of dialogues:

  72. Joshua says:

    Keep in mind, “skeptics” largely align with those who firmly believe that Trump was truly concerned about curruption in the Ukraine, that he didn’t know who Parnas was (after dining together for 90 minutes and discussing pot legalization and Ukrainian politucs), that Bolton is lying about the quid pro quo,, etc.

    Any explanation for “skeptic” arguments about climate change should also account for those beliefs among a group of people who think of themselves as skeptical thinkers.

    Looking at this phenomon within the narrowed window of climate science is, imo, insufficient and why focusing on technical arguments – whether the be about the size of the consensus or the range of sensitivity – is futile.

  73. Willard says:

    > focusing on technical arguments – whether the be about the size of the consensus or the range of sensitivity – is futile.

    It can be more than futile. It’s quite often self-defeating.

    Consider a more realistic model of ClimateBall – football. The established viewpoint plays offense. Contrarians play defense, if only because their roles allow them to hold and hook and be meaner in general.

    You* play quarterback. Abstract You here. Note the asterisk. It’s your home, your tweet thread, your post, etc.

    When starting your offense, you see contrarians moving in the back field. Do you change your count? Do you change your play? Probly not. Your guys will do their thing, you’ll adjust your play when you’ll see what’s coming at You*.

    Pressure mounts on the offensive line. Would You* rush in with the running play exactly there? I bet not [1]. I bet You* would try to secure possession and find open space instead.

    Same with responding contrarians, really.

    [1] Unless of course you have a John The Diesel Riggins on your team:

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

  74. Joshua says:

    > Do you change your play? Probly not.

    Maybe. Although the best QBs will often audible at the line.

    > you’ll adjust your play when you’ll see what’s coming at You*.

    the Aikido of climateball.

    It strikes me that we could effectively substitute but… he does takes a lot of pictures at fundraisers, or Bolton is a disgruntled fired employee for pretty much any “skeptic” argument about climate.

    Certainly ButHunter is interchangeable with ButAl.

  75. Susan Anderson says:

    Nice to be here, but I’m afraid it is likely temporary, as life calls. I was mostly excited by the useful term “omnicide” and the discovery of Richard Flanagan whose books look interesting. He produces a monthly column for the Guardian from Tasmania and is doing his best to fight the good fight. Sorry I keep going OT.

    Public service suffers from the sports event model of elections, which is unhelpful in getting things done. It appears to benefit the takeover artists who are busy stealing everything that isn’t bolted down while their delusional followers rejoice in their “team”. [OT2, stopping now]

  76. Willard says:

    > Public service suffers from the sports event model of elections, which is unhelpful in getting things done.

    Perhaps you’d prefer:

  77. William Scott Scherk says:

    What staggers me about the Sherelle piece (essay, jeremiad, harangue) is the amount of lard, of loading, of the weight of adjectives. If I were her editor, I’d say “leave off the emotionally-laden language, the histrionic adjectives and adverbs. Either that or leave only the screeching modifiers — with which we will make a song.”

    Sinister Spectacle
    Grotesque Burlesque
    Disgracefully Dishonest
    Seedy Hypocrisy
    Murky Mendacity
    Gormless Apparatchiks
    Shaky Foundations
    Eco-catastrophic Mania
    Inquisitorial Reactionaries …

    Chorus
    Load the barge, load the barge
    Load the barge with Adjectives!

  78. Pingback: But RCPs | …and Then There's Physics

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