Sunday, November 23, 2014

Food For Thought

A collection of recent attempts to examine contrarian tactics and the challenge of communicating with those who don't want to listen.

Friday, November 21, 2014
Secret Life of Trolls Part 3: Hoyt's Showdown - examined

Rosi did something most hide from and for good reason. Going face to face with a contrarian, a long time insurance exec no less, a man who's got the domination thing down, not to mention the tactical speaking skills, is a formidable challenge. Rosi broke the ice, I want to build on that with this long winded review. Besides my own learning exercise, I want to share it with anyone interested in better understanding climate science contrarian tactics. 


For starters, anyone who steps out into that arena should be aware that contrarians aren't into hearing your concepts or arguments. They are about emotional gamesmanship. Your opponent will deliberately sidestep the essence of what you are conveying and launch diversions to throw you off balance, as this video demonstrates.

They will scrabble your prepared remarks by matching what you are trying to explain with something from left field, then inappropriately cutting and pasting valid objections from one topic into another. Then while you're back peddling to straighten out the misinformation, they pile it on.

Keep in mind most of these intelligent serious global warming science denialists types, were men of power in previous lives. They've got decades worth of business/negotiating skills and a ruthlessness you won't learn in college. Get to recognize how the truth of a matter doesn't interest them in the slightest. Notice how it's all about the game of f'ing with your presentation. Unfortunately, it's always been easier to be a vandal than a builder, so beware all who enter within.

I'd be awful at the public debate myself. I want it in writing. Sitting here behind this keyboard absorbing the exchange and having all the time in the world to ponder each sentence and response allows me to do a better job than Rosi did. Rosi, James my apologies if the following seems hard ball, it is, but it comes from a constructive desire; and it's the only way we learn and grow. 

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Thursday, November 20, 2014
Trollus Maximus, HoytC, Secret Life of Trolls #1 examined

In May 2013 put together an interesting series of short videos looking at the phenomena of internet trolls who disrupt serious dialogue thus taking everyone's Eyes Off The Prize.  I came across it in preparation for Steele's videos, wanting to take my review up a notch.

The Climate Desk video's contained revealing footage and seems like an effort begging for some further attention including a bit of serious commentary.  I'll give it a try, outlining the talk and sharing Hoyt's quotes along with my commentary. 

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Monday, November 17, 2014
Considering the demarcation between valid science and pseudo-science

...    I got sidetracked into wondering about the mind's ability to ignore important valid information.  And I took an excursion into Massimo Pigiucci's "Nonsense on Stills."  His book inspired me to look him up on the internet and among other information I found some interviews.  I think he does a good job of outlining the problem for a novice like me.  

Since I like to imagine there are some other novice students of life looking in on these pages, I've put together highlights from his interview at "For Good Reason" and interjected some links to further reading, including a couple important videos related to climate science and the public dialogue in particular.  Given by Naomi Oreskes and Ben Santer respectively.  For good measure I've included the "Six Rules of Critical Thinking in Science". ...

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Friday, October 25, 2013
Colorado Floods - statistical certainty vs geophysical realities

Colorado experienced its most extreme weather event in memory between September 9th to the 15th. Golden, Boulder and Larimer counties received the worst of it with rain accumulations of sixteen/seventeen inches and more, some areas receiving nine inches on Thursday alone, resulting in massive flooding compounded by destructive run-off from mountainsides of burned-out forests that could no longer hold water.

Predictably folks are asking: Is this related to manmade Global Warming? It's an easy and tough question to answer.

Consider please, our climate system is a global heat distribution engine and our land, atmosphere, and the oceans have indisputably warmed, not only that, our atmosphere's moisture content has been measurably increasing. Given such geophysical realities, it is self-evident that all extreme weather events contain elements of this newly energized climate system.  And that much more of the same must be expected.

On the other hand,
it's an exceedingly difficult question to answer if the demand is to know precisely every attribution down to fine detail. Fortunately for interested citizens, scientists have been trying harder to convey their knowledge of those details. {Yet they often shoot themselves in the foot.}

For example, less than two weeks after the flooding, the Western Water Assessment (WWA) together with Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) released a preliminary report during an hour and a half long videoed web news conference. ...
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