Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Index for Confronting Science Contrarians, citizenschallenge, wuwtw

Lets close out 2019 with an index of previous posts.  
Happy New Year (what a shame it rings more hollow than in times past.)  
A healthy democracy requires and informed and engaged citizenry.

My Mission Statement:
We The People have a moral ethical right - along with a pragmatic need - to learn what scientists have learned about this planet's biosphere and climate engine without constant dishonest crossfire.     
We should not tolerate serious scientists always being drown out by amoral, dishonest and frankly ignorant arguments - that an astoundingly ruthless PR factory repeats over and over again, without ever learning a damned thing from the evidence in front of us.       ( email @ citizenschallenge gmail com )
Confronting Science Contrarians BLOG ARCHIVE:

Sunday, December 29, 2019

About that Earth Centrism.

I have a couple days to myself and I'm caught up on outdoor chores, I'd hoped to get focused on some started project, instead just feeling numb.  Not sure where to start or what the point is for that matter.  Instead I've slipped into year end musing and since this month seems to be about me trying to explain myself and why these thoughts matter, I think it's time to bring this biographical effort over here.  I'll spare the introduction, suffice it to say it's the script to a 20 minute talk.

Hello, my name is Peter Miesler and I am an Earth Centrist. 

I admit, I’m hoping you’re wondering what in the world is that, and why on Earth should you care.
I even spent a couple weeks writing an essay describing this particular perspective.  It turned out pretty good, it was tight, flowed well, told a story that held attention and people liked reading it.
I sent it around, even received a couple attaboys from some genuine science Who’s Who, who are usually silent, which did me a bit of good, I’m not the crazy one after all.  :-)  I have enunciated something valuable, that too many overlook.  But that was about it.

When reading it to friends though they seemed to listen with interest it left them a bit perplexed rather than enlightened;  Okay? Fun interesting read, now what am I supposed to do with it?  What is it actually about?  And so on.  In responding I was down to, 
"It’s about perspectives and how we process the information that’s flowing through our senses." 
Thinking on it some more I know that it's about much more than that.  

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Diary, 12/26/2019 - Rhetorical Jujutsu, case in point.

If we are not changing minds we are losing!
11)  Confront Trash Talk with Rhetorical Jujutsu
Contrarians depend on personal attacks to distract the discussion from their bankrupt “science”.  Learn to recognize the game, turn it to your favor, be prepared to point out the juvenility of the tactic, while forcing the discussion back to the real world facts your contrarian opponent wants to avoid.
This impeachment process, especially the part where +40% of Americans are simply harding up their passionate support for Trump who clearly believes he's above all laws and ethics, by getting ever passion, if disconnected, from the real world facts by the day.  

Has honesty, dignity, respect for evidence and laws and professional standards of ethics and enlighten-self-interest all been trashed by people who've convinced themselves they have God in their back pockets?   

Worst and genuinely painful is witnessing the continued ineptness of Democratic communication efforts with their own grassroots supporters, let alone their inability to directly confront Republican deception and bullying.  

Democrats haven't explained anything in a way that offers regular voters some rhetorical ammunition when confronted with the Republican's onslaught of ruthless deception and scorched earth attitudes towards others. 

It feels like an all-hands-on-deck situation, but Democrats don't seem to get it.  What I write is uncomfortable, so it's ignored.  I'm told to make it feel nicer.  I say, Democrats need to do better than peddling old bromides.

Since one of my bitches is that Democrats keep talking past Republican bullies when we need to be stopping them in their lying tracks, long enough to educate onlookers, by shoving GOP lies right back down their disingenuous throats with clarifications and explanations.  Succinctly enunciate and clarify arguments in a way that resonates with people.

Here I share an example of what I mean when I suggest talking AT them, rather than past them, as our Democratic politicians do all too well. This has to do with a semi-local issue, but that's beside the point.  I'm simply sharing some food for thought.  

Oh and if any of this is resonating with some editor or agent or writing coach or political staffer type out there, someone who appreciates the potential of what I'm trying to do here.  Please, I need some help.  Might you have any to offer?

Dennis points to ANILCA and cries foul on behalf of Mr. McCombs,  
“There is a law that says the USFS has to grant access to inholdings.”   
Is that a fact?  There’s another side to this story that's worth listening to, particularly if you want to understand the unrelenting opposition to the notion of bulldozing a Village at Wolf Creek into Alberta Park. ...

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Questioning the Geologic Column. Mind over Matter

think it's important to add this essay to December's collection.  I like how it reads.  Nothing fancy, all based on a century and more of scientists and other experts accumulating evidence, then engaging in careful study and learned debate - that evolves as more evidence accumulates.  The results of which they (and some intrepid reporters) have then explained to the general public, well, those interested in learning about Earth and keeping up on the latest findings.  In this essay I describe what the Geologic Column is to a faith-shackled character that simply can't bring himself to accept the evidence.  So he ran away to hide from this essay.  

Could you do a better job of connecting?    How would you go about challenging someone who thinks 'I Know "God's Will" for certain'?  What if giving up on trump's 40% is not an option?  If we aren't changing minds, we are losing.  Thoughtful, suggestion and opinions are welcome.
The following appears in the July 2018 issue of the Four Corners Free Press
Working title was: Explaining the Geologic Column to Psalm1Tree. 

Colorado's Grand Staircase's Geologic Column - Wayne Ranney
(click on image for a better view)


Saying No To Reality
Four Corners Free Press, July 2018
Recently, I was minding my own business listening to a fascinating talk on YouTube titled, “Rooted in Earth History: the Devonian transition to a forested planet.”  It was about strategies that Earth’s first ground-hugging plants adapted to escape the confines of Earth’s surface.  They did this in order to reach closer to our sun and further away from plant-eaters. 

This led to Earth’s first forests, which in turn led to an explosion of new environmental niches for life to radiate into. 

I learned some fascinating details regarding questions I’d been wondering about for a long time.  The lecture increased my understanding of evolution on this fantastic planet of ours, which has been a lifelong passion for me.

But my pleasant reverie was shattered by a YouTube comment that blind-sided me.  One ‘Psalm1Tree’ wrote in all seriousness: 

“There never was a Devonian period, just as there never was a Cambrian, Jurassic, Triassic etc. period. That's because there never was a Geologic Column. That is a 19th century construct that has no data whatsoever to support it.”

Besides avoiding the topic of the video, the comment is such an ignorant statement on so many levels that most who know anything about geology and evolution would simply clamp on the head-vise and back away. 

Unfortunately, decades of ignoring such belligerent ignorance about important aspects of our life and planet have led to its becoming so insidious and commonplace that our government is controlled by Republicans who disregard obvious physical realities on personal whim.   Justified only by a hubristic conceit that they are doing “God’s duty,” they are in fact all about pursuing their own EGO’s bidding.

I decided to engage Psalm with a short video that rationally explains what the geologic column is all about.  Then came my second shock.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Examining an Intellectual Juvenile Delinquent, ‘Anonymous, Dec.12, 2019

This video is dedicated to Moscow Mitch McConnell

I’m sick and tired, quite literally. Many decades of burning the candle at both ends adds up, now thee ol’body ain’t as tough as it used to be and the extreme stress of watching us destroying what hopes we had for an already guaranteed difficult future are manifesting themselves in physical illness.  
Thus rather than continuing with chores or getting back to working on my Black Tuesday videos and blog post, I wound up going down for the count Thursday afternoon.  Tough times for empathic people who appreciate what we are doing to our planet, all its creatures, not to mention our children’s futures.
Guess this is by way of explaining why I’m not pulling punches in the following virtual debate with Anonymous12/12.  

Why virtual debate?  Because the cowards always hide, it’s been the only way to have a constructive debate with the GOP science slandering contrarian types. 
This post is built around a comment I received Thursday (12/12/19) night.  
(click on images for better view)

I rejected the two part comment because I won’t be played and used as a propaganda billboard for liars.  If you have something to say, or a link to share, be upfront with it, don’t try sneaking in tricky-dick coding.  
If you gotta hide it, you reveal yourself to be a dishonest political operative rather than constructive thinker having a serious discussion.  
Anonymous 12/12 starts out with:  

Peter, Having looked at some links your partner in crime here has links showing a clear political motive
I find it amusing you finish citing propaganda when that is actually what you represent. Let us try to be civil then and stick to the science.   {I added the highlight colors} c

Interesting way to start a discussion. 

Monday, December 9, 2019

Pageant of Earth's Evolution (in 24hr) part two

Since my introduction was so long I posted it separately.

FourCornersFreePress, December 2019

In the first half of this look at Earth’s 4.6 billion year old pageant of Evolution, scaled down to 24 hours, Earth’s first enduring Life took about 4 hours to claw together an existence within very tiny, very simple, very protective sacks, against an extremely harsh environment.

After that, Evolution progressed very slowly.  Why?  Because Earth’s hostile environment provided limited means, this stifled further development.  Which brings us to a key early scientific breakthrough in perspective, namely that an organism cannot be understood without also understanding the environment it lives within.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Introduction to Cc's Pageant of Evolution part two.

They say a true test of how well you've learned about something is how well you can explain it to others and in its essence this months long Pageant of Earth’s Evolution project has been that sort of a self-evaluation for me.  Both to see how well I understand it and to see if I could convey the story in a way that might resonate with regular people.  

Why is that important to me?  Because I believe clearly appreciating Earth and her story is one of human society’s greatest failures - and greatest challenge for enabling any sort of future functional human society, since our avarice has pretty well condemned this globally connected modern society we depend on.  

I keep struggling with; How could intelligent people allow such self-destructive disregard to the need of our life support system, the one that sustains our society?  I mean seriously, never accepting that our long term economy depends on a healthy biosphere (no matter how much we’ve learned about it)?  WTF!  

Proudly proclaiming that endless growth was/is our economic priority and that Greed is Good along with convincing ourselves that Too Much Is Never Enough.  From my perspective it’s always been nothing less than sociopathic self-interest and faith-induced-blindness.  Along with being absolutely self-destructive.  As those who dare to open their eyes and minds can see when surveying the growing carnage covering our planet.  But I digress.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Pageant of Earth Evolution (in 24hr) part one

A nice thing about having my own blog is that I get to do what I want and since I've finally completed the big project I assigned myself this past summer - I'm going to repost the first half of my Pageant of Evolution in 24 hours before sharing the finale in the next post.  

In last month’s celebration of Earth’s Pageant of Evolution I touched on the interplay of tectonics, geochemistry and archaic life. The intimate love-making of Earth's geology and biology - to put it poetically rather than scientifically. 

Getting back to the science, scientists have learned about the why and how of various ocean bottom structures that provide the catalyst between geochemistry and biochemistry, by helping bind basic molecules into complex organic building blocks of life.

This month to convey the immensity of Deep Time I’m scaling down Earth’s 4.6 billion years to 24 hours. A billion years take 5 hours plus change, 3.2 million years tick by every minute. Our human story fits into Earth’s past 4-5 seconds. Imagine that.