Sunday, April 27, 2014

Why do Global Warming "Skeptics" Reject Rational Debate?

I’ve been reflecting on my past few years worth of futile attempts to engage various “climate science skeptics” in a substantive debate.  An exercise that began with Letters to the Editor and that has evolved into my modest blog that has visitors from around the world.
Besides learning a great deal more about the substance of the various lines of increasingly solid evidence, I’ve learned about the human ability to hide from the uncomfortable and scary.
I’ve also learned that the loudest deniers of anthropogenic global warming consistently turn out to be cowards who will bluster and insult and threaten, but in the end, they always run away from defending their various claims in an objective manner. 
In a way that’s not surprising since there is no substance to their various claims.  But, what’s shocked me is that rather than learning from their failures and mistakes, they erect ever weirder intellectual contortions and blind-spots while becoming increasingly hostile, some bordering on the vicious.
~ ~ ~
I don’t pretend to be a learned intellectual, but it seems to me there are basically two kinds of debates:
The one would be your political debate, where winning your argument is the only thing that matters.  This style of debate is a ‘no holds barred’ exercise where rhetorical fancy dancing, misrepresenting facts, and personal attacks to distract, are all considered fair-play towards the goal of winning for one’s personal agenda.
The other, I would call a constructive rational debate where each side remains focused on the facts, explaining those facts, the evidence, or lack thereof, along with their implications. 

In this style of debate learning and arriving at a constructive consensus is more important than “winning,” since arriving at a solid realistic understanding is of paramount importance. 
A constructive rational debate requires a certain level of respect for the known facts along with your opponent’s integrity - which is not to be confused with liking your opponent, or accepting what they are proposing. 
Thing is, both sides agree that the weight of objective evidence must carry the day, even when that means admitting ones own assumptions were mistaken.
Unfortunately the neo-Republican/Libertarian’s desperation to protect their political and business status quo has obliterated their notions of personal intellectual integrity, respect and honestly -
which in turn has reduced our ‘global warming education dialogue’ to a dog fight where one side sticks to the rules of rational constructive engagement and the other side acts as though they were in an alley brawl.

Tragically it’s not the chorus of strident climate science deniers but our children who will be paying the price for our unforgivable failure.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Jim Steele Exploiting Human Misery and Distorting Science

{edited for typos 4/26/14 pm}

Jim Steele made the following comment at my post regarding a new documentary "Years of Living Dangerously - facing what's happening"

"Since Citizenschallenge is the only one who comments on this blog, perhaps I am wasting my time. But for those who want an objective skeptical opinion from an avid evironamentalist regards the fear mongering in this documentary, please read my analysis "Exploiting Human Misery and Distorting the Science: An environmentalist’s critique of “Years of Living Dangerously” at - 2014/04/14
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

At the time I was occupied and it's taken a while to finish a thorough 'analysis' of Jim Steele's "Exploiting Human Misery, Distorting Science…"  

Yup, it's another marathon, though I plan to do a condensed version also.  It seems to me, sometimes there's no choice but to do a sentence by sentence review in order to reveal the various tactics and tricks contrarians such as this Jim Steele employ.

I do this because there needs to be some source of information available to counter such astro-turfing.  

I'm also hoping to inspire a few students out there to go after such articles of nonsense.  It's not tough, the information is out there and the scientific case has become overwhelming, just takes time and a willingness to do some research, plus you'll learn a lot along the way.  

Stop giving contrarian PR hawkers a free ride - call 'em on their lies every time they utter them.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Great March for Climate Action needs your help

I received the following email this morning that's worth sharing.  
If you are in a position to help, please do.

Dear Friends,
Let me cut to the chase: The Great March for Climate Action needs to raise $50,000 during the next month if it is to continue.We have marched over 600 miles and have enough funds to get to Albuquerque. But the next critical stretch - Albuquerque to Denver, and then eastward toward the proposed path of the Keystone Pipeline - is in jeopardy if significant funds don't arrive immediately. {Click here to donate now.}

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Heartland logic: if it hurts my financial interests, global warming must be false.

This morning I read Narahani's neat summation of the crazy-makers at Heartland Institute with their NON-IPCC Report created by their paid panel of a few scientific extreme outliers and non-climatologists, one and all unidirectional-science-skeptics who refuse to address the full scope of evidence out there.  

The NIPCC effort is an example of Science in a Vacuum where one can convince anyone of anything, so long as one can limit their audience's access to authoritative information.  

Beyond that Narahani says it quite well so with a tip of my hat to I'll hand it over to her.  

As for the real IPCC report link: 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Heartland logic: More people have heard of Fidel Castro than Michael Mann, therefore global warming is false. (via Skeptical Science)
Posted on 16 April 2014 by Guest Author 
This is a guest post from Narahani.   

Or is happening and is good for you, or has stopped happening, or is caused by CO2 but only a little, or is about to reverse due to lots of yet-to-be-discovered negative…

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Years of Living Dangerously - facing what's happening

There’s a new documentary series out that has traveled the world to chronicle the dramatic changes upon our planet and the cascading consequences of those changes to age old climate patterns.  It's not about models or forecasts, it's about impacts happening today.  It's called Years of Living Dangerously.

Being of the generation who learned about this global warming science and atmospheric observations in the early 1970s, it is indescribably heartbreaking to see those fearful, yet sober, projections from way back, {when the science of climatology was young}, being played out in real time and real life.

Every bit as heartbreaking has been witnessing the escalating war of dirty-tricks and lies the Republican/Libertarian powers-that-be have waged against a rational sober understanding of the science.  

I’ve watched as decade after decade passed with increasing indications of the reality of our impact upon our one and only home planet.  And rather than rationally learning about our planet and the reality of the impacts that increasing billions of resource hungry humans were having upon our finite planet - 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Forbes Follies - Joe Bast Deliberately Excludes And Misrepresents Important Climate Science

The IPCC's Latest Report Deliberately Excludes And Misrepresents Important Climate Science
By Joseph Bast
Reviewed by citizenschallenge

~ ~ ~
First, we should be clear - Joe Bast is a political operative.  Everything he does, he does from a position of defending his policy agenda which is all about protecting the big business status quo.  This is not slander nor misleading and I'm not even opining on whether it is right or wrong.  It is what it is.  

Nowhere in Joe Bast's writings will you find any curiosity or interest in understanding the various dynamics at work in our atmosphere and oceans.  He won't discuss basic geophysical fundamentals, nor review the science that is "settled."  Things that we need to understand before any of the rest of this 'global warming conversation' can make any sense.

Read on as I do a detailed review of Mr. Bast's recent Forbes' Op-Ed attack on the IPCC's WG2 report, including many links to authoritative sources of further information  
Joe Bast's words are in courier font and unaltered.

Here's an interesting quote worth keeping in mind when reading Joe's take on scientific reality:
"Joe Bast reflecting on the kind of person needed to run the Heartland Institute: 
“My motto is, you need to find a used car salesman who’s a libertarian—
an aggressive, articulate guy who wants to build an organization.” "
Brian Doherty, Radicals for Capitalism: 
A Free-Wheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement 
(New York: Perseus Books Group, 2007).