Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Americans for (Koch's) Prosperity - a closer look

Americans for (Koch's) Prosperity.blogspot

They say life is what happens while you're busy making plans.  This past Thursday I was waylaid by the fact that Americans for Prosperity has invaded our little eastern slope Colorado town with the intention of removing a much liked County Commissioner because she shows concern for the local environment and believes the Oil Industry should take responsible for their own messes, though she's never voted against a well permit.  She is simply too green for Koch's agenda.  Next they want to kill a long overdue and much worked on county land-use code.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

"12) Faith-based Thinking: God or EGO?" - GOP's hate-on for Pluralism

I've reached out to some internet acquaintances, some scientists and communicators, telling them about my new blogging effort ConfrontingScienceContrarians, trying to get a little feedback.  Nothing much by way of response, these are busy people with bigger concerns filling their days, plus they come from a more establishment background.  And me, what am I, a terrified spectator, low on anyone's priority list.  Plus most simply don't understand what I'm trying do, which I shouldn't be surprised at.  In many ways they can't understand me any better than I can understand them.  Still, I try, so along with a couple other posts, I shared my list of 14 Observations regarding communication failures

One response I did receive:
"Your section 12 Faith-Based Thinking makes absolutely no sense to me."
On reread the text it seemed straightforward enough, so I figured the main problem was with my convoluted title and I made it more concise; 

12)  Faith-based Thinking - God or EGO?

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.  

It's one thing to believe in an unknowable god, quite another to mistake one’s own hyper-inflated EGO for God. 

Unhinged from reality is not too harsh a descriptive.

I shared my change and added some explanation.

The right-wing and evangelical faithful tell us to our faces that they are in direct communication with God Almighty of Time and Light, Creation and Life.  They tell us they are doing God's duty.  For instance, it's God demanding that Government interfer with a woman's right to self-determination and to self-defense when it comes to having a child, or not - though it matters not one bit to the State what any woman does with herself.  

It's God telling people that Evolution is Satan's plan and that liberals are enemies who are going to hell.  They really and truly believe and broadcast it.  It's God telling them scientists are liars.

That is something Children of the Intellectual Enlightenment really ought to start facing up front - it demands a new sort of language and questions and open rejection of such nonsense.  

Monday, January 15, 2018

"Blue team v Pruitt" update

Here's an update on my Blue Team teaches Pruitt project.

A reminder, this is an outline for exploring the learning opportunities Pruitt's Red Team Blue Team challenge offers for exposing GOP's intellectual dishonesty.  With time I hope to add posts and links to sources explaining all of the listed items.

"Blue team v Pruitt"

 Pruitt, questioning the unquestionable is fine. 

 Now, will you pay attention to the answers you receive? 

Science’s Blue team educates 
Pruitt’s GOP Red team  -  A Rough Outline.

I appreciate this is only an amateur’s exercise, I dare you to do better.  
Heck, I implore you to do better.  Please.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Schooling Pruitt's Red Team about our planet and its climate

I wrote the following column mid December for the Four Corners Free Press out of Cortez, Colorado.  Since then it seems that the GOP doesn’t think much of Pruitt’s Red team Blue team idea and his challenge appears dead.  Still as I explained at Confronting Science Contrarians I believe Pruitt’s challenge is worth exploring, if only in outline.  Beginning with an observation and a pointed question:
Pruitt, questioning the unquestionable is fine. 
Now, will you, can you, pay attention to the answers you receive? 

Science’s Blue team educates Pruitt’s GOP Red team

A rough outline for exploring the learning opportunities Pruitt's Red Team Blue Team challenge offers for exposing GOP's intellectual dishonesty.

The following column was inspired by a lecture that Kevin Trenberth  gave at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado on November 9th, 2017.  Pruitt's "challenge" happened to jump into the headlines giving this story the hook that had been alluding me for weeks.  Worth noting is that most of what I write here at WUWT and at CSC is intended for readers up to speed on the science and the public dialogue - these columns for the FCFP force me to write for an audience preoccupied with other concerns, which produces a different sort of piece.

January 2018 - Four Corners Free Press, Cortez, Colorado

Early in December U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt told lawmakers he intended to organize a “Red team v Blue team” exercise to debate climate change science.

Pruitt is being willfully blind to the fact that the scientific aspects of global warming have already been thoroughly debated by experts. It’s expected that Pruitt will orchestrate a lawyerly winner-take-all debate. One that’s based on rhetorical trickery and a ruthless disregard for facts.

It’s a shame, since we Americans needs a constructive educational dialogue. A debate where honestly representing your opponent’s arguments and data is as important as honestly representing your own data. One where objective learning is the goal, and where truth matters.

Speaking of honestly representing the science, November 9th Dr. Kevin Trenberth (the distinguished senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder and a lead author for IPCC’s Scientific Assessment in 1995, 2001, and 2007, a giant in the field of climate assessment), gave a talk at the Fort Lewis College Climate Symposium explaining what scientists have learned about our planet. It sounded to me like a potential Blue team opening statement.

Since, today climate scientists and the science itself is under attack like never before it’s critical for more citizens to become aware and engaged. That’s why I want to share what Trenberth explained to us, along with some additional science. Information that makes clear what an internally consistent understanding scientists have achieved.

Trenberth underscored that pretty much all scientists agree. As for the few outliers, they are driven by other causes, such as religious and political inclinations. He explained that: “… as a whole the data are of mixed quality and length. If you were to look at one little piece of it you might be able to be skeptical that climate change is happening, but when you put it all together there's no doubt whatsoever that this is happening.”