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One-line rebuttals now available as flashcards for study or play

Posted on 9 January 2011 by ahaynes

Guest post by Anna Haynes

When countering climate contrarianism in our daily lives, those of us without - or caught without - our SkepticalScience App-equipped iPhones, Androids and Nokias must resort to using the human memory.  Fortunately, with practice this can work reasonably well; and way to practice is to run through Skeptical Science's "climate myth" one-line rebuttals, in the form of cue-and-response flashcards at http://tinyurl.com/ssflashcards from Flash Card Exchange, a website for making and sharing flashcards for study.  You can either "flip" through the cards online, or - if you're the old fashioned type - you can print them out for off-computer use.  (Printing them isn't free, though, so I haven't tried it.)

If you do print out the flashcards, you could play Counter the Contrarian with your friends.

Here's a cue:

Flashcard Cue

And here's your answer:

 Sample flashcard answer

A caveat: the "one-liner" wording of the contrarian claims and one-line responses is often too concise to be optimal for flashcards, so some of them do look a little odd.

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Comments

Comments 1 to 8:

  1. Very impressive, except those hyperlinks are a bit of an eyesore. Is it possible to assign a single- or two-word subpage to each argument? This would make links much easier to remember and follow, and would make it easier to jump in to a discussion with the link. Like this:

    skepticalscience.com/sun
    skepticalscience.com/natural
    skepticalscience.com/consensus
    skepticalscience.com/cooling
    skepticalscience.com/models
    skepticalscience.com/uhi
    skepticalscience.com/1998
    skepticalscience.com/lag
    skepticalscience.com/good
    skepticalscience.com/cosmic
    skepticalscience.com/1934
    skepticalscience.com/sealevelrise
    skepticalscience.com/lia
    skepticalscience.com/1970s
    skepticalscience.com/empirical
    skepticalscience.com/mwp
    skepticalscience.com/settled
    skepticalscience.com/acidification
    etc.

    Other than that, very helpful, thanks.
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  2. And Twitter compatible!
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  3. What is the rebuttal to "If sea level is rising faster than predicted, what do we not understand yet and how do I have any confidence in the predictions if they are already wrong?"?
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  4. @JR: "Underestimated" doesn't mean "wrong."

    In fact, scientists will often present conservative estimates in order to be safe. You seem to be arguing that scientists should use the high end of their estimates, but that would cause many contrarians to cry "alarmist!"
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  5. Tom, I agree that shorter URLs would help, as would longer one-liners, which are short in order to fit on the argument one-liners webpage (link). But unless John wants to add more fields to his DB for these, it's probably not worth the effort to cobble them up separately.
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  6. The fixed numbers argument page already has short names for many of the arguments. A 404 redirect could be set up to use that table.

    e.g.
    skepticalscience.com/sun => skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming.htm
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  7. To further enhance linkability, the domain name sks.to is available from the Tonga Network Information Center for $100 (2 years @ $50).

    e.g.
    sks.to/change => skepticalscience.com/climate-change-little-ice-age-medieval-warm-period.htm
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  8. I updated the flashcards to use the new short URLs (link).

    But unfortunately (when you're Studying them online) you still can't click on the URL for the relevant SkS page, or even drag over the URL to copy it. A feature, say the flashcard folks; a bug, say I.
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