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Exploring the feasibility of a new feature: Bunk of the Week

Posted on 8 September 2023 by BaerbelW

We'd like to improve our agility for dealing with newly-emergent climate misinformation, revisitation of old claims by people in general, and misinformers on platforms with high potential for causing harm.

So, we're exploring publishing a weekly feature, with the working title "Bunk of the Week."  We'd appreciate and value your help in shaping our direction.

Google form

If you care to help, please answer the following questions via this Google form:

  1. Would a "bunk of the week" be helpful?
    • Yes
    • No
    • Don't Know

  2. What would you like to see debunked?
    • Specific agenda-driven misinforming articles
    • social media posts etc. with high profile
    • Misinformation frequently repeated by many people in a variety of contexts
    • News-driven topical and "trendy" misinformation
    • Novel, unfamiliar climate misinformation

  3. Do you have current examples?

  4. What could such a feature be called?

Question #2 invites "other" and we'd like to know your thoughts on that as well. For question #3 we are looking for current examples of what you'd like to see debunked. For any selected category, some samples would be helpful. For now, this is just to gather information to get a better handle on how much "input" there is readily available to feed into such a weekly publication. Therefore, please don't expect any actual debunkings for your submissions right away (sorry about that!).

"Bunk of the Week" is our working title but there might be better ones. If you have a suggestion for another title please let us know in response to question #4.

Thanks for your help and filling out the short Google form!

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Comments 1 to 6:

  1. I don't think a once-per-week-no-matter-what schedule is helpful. We have so much social media noise already. Instead, please consider setting a threshold for how bad the bunk needs to be (in both content & spread) and debunk stuff that is higher than that threshold no matter how seldom or often it happens.

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  2. (I mentioned this in the google form.)

    I think it's good to refute arguments that haven't already been refuted in your "climate myths" permalinks. There are a lot of advanced climate change deniers out there, and it's hard to refute them if you don't have a solid understanding of climate science and research, which is a complex topic. Worse, they are sometimes convincing to people who don't have an agenda to deny AGW.

    I saw this recently with a YouTube video arguing that CO2 greenhouse theory is self-contradictory in how the stratosphere cools. I'm considering posting it in the comments of the "greenhouse theory falsified" article but I don't know if I should expect people to watch a 20-minute video. I did suggest this as something to be in "bunk of the week" (or whatever to call it).

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  3. This website appears to exist to debunk the climate mythys, so it seems a "no brainer" that obviously there should be a (roughly) weekly article debunking significant denialist nonsense contained in media articles, studies, papers or video interviews. Otherwise what is the point of this website?

    Just because the latest nonsense might be adequately answered in the  list of climate myths is not a reason to not do a specific debunking. You cant expect people to automatically make the connection between a paper and an existing climate myth buried in the list of 100 climate myths.

    Sure if theres nothing significant one week skip that week, but I would say there will be something significant most weeks. Sadly to say. 

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  4. Suggested name for new series: 

    Let's Play Wack-A-Mole!

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  5. I think a bunk of the week would be good and maybe ease up on the other emails. There has been a few diversion tactics in the media I would like see debunked like  Small Modular Rector's SMRs none have ever been completed and I can imagine the price of electricity would be thru the roof. Also have you guys heard the planet has greened 4% so co2 can't be that bad. And also thorium reactors are cheaper and we should all drive cars with nuclear batteries because you only have to replace them every10,000 years.

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  6. I will submit a response using the form. But I want to share my initial 'thoughts open to discussion'.

    A good title is important. But a good description of the objective, the reason, for the actions is probably more important.

    My first thoughts for a Title and an 'Intro, objective, reason' for the Blog Post series is:

    This Week's (or Month's) Climate Science Non-sense: In pursuit of common-sense understanding of climate science matters.

    Developing a common sense (a common understanding or consensus understanding) requires an agreed common objective. Without an agreed 'common interest' objective a diversity of conflicting interests will interfere with the development of 'common sense'.

    The common sense objective regarding climate science should be pursuing increased awareness and improved understanding to reduce harmful human activities, especially by trying to reduce the harm of misleading marketing efforts.

    My suggested focus on 'common sense' is due to harmfully misleading populist political players claiming their group is 'The Common Sense Party' while they make non-sense claims that they hope will be popular. It seems to be driven by the non-sense belief that a belief that is more popular 'must be more reasonable and more justified'. More popular means more correct and therefore, by default, less harmful and well justified doesn't it?

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