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Climate Hustle

2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #49

Posted on 10 December 2017 by John Hartz

Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... SkS Spotlights... Video of the Week... Reports of Note... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... Climate Feedback Reviews... SkS Week in Review... 97 Hours of Consensus...

Story of the Week...

A Spectacle At The Coliseum — US To Hold Public Climate Change Debate As Soon As January, EPA Head Says

 Roman Coliseum

 

Much of modern politics amounts to nothing more than spectacle and entertainment at this point. Getting people to actually think about anything, rather than to stare blankly while taking part in whatever scapegoating or lynching frenzy is in effect at the moment, is essentially a lost cause. It’s so much easier, after all, to just assume that one knows everything, that one’s peers speak the unvarnished truth, and that everything that goes wrong is someone else’s doing/fault than it is to live in the highly nuanced and unpredictable world that everything actually resides in. And anyway, someone has to be wrong, and it’s not you, right?

With that background haze firmly in mind, the new head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruitt, has announced that the EPA may launch a “public climate debate” as soon as January. In other words, rather than dealing with the issue in any real way, the idea is that some monkeys can get together on TV and yell past one another — and that can substitute for an actual discussion of the civilization-wrecking issues now facing the world.

A return to the coliseum, in other words. Though, observing the nonsensical but gore-filled visual noise that passes for entertainment nowadays, it appears that the coliseum has been with us for quite a while now. To the credit of the Romans, though, at least the violence of the coliseum was real in its way and made some kind of sense (even if it was essentially intended as tribute to the foreign Carthaginian god Ammon, established as part of the evocatio preceding the Punic Wars). The depictions of violence seen in popular culture nowadays have about as much to do with reality as a child’s make believe does. 

A Spectacle At The Coliseum — US To Hold Public Climate Change Debate As Soon As January, EPA Head Says by James Ayre, Clean Technica, Dec 8, 2017

Also see: Scott Pruitt’s terrible plan to “objectively” assess climate science by David Roberts, Energy & Environment, Vox, Dec 7, 2017


Toon of the Week...

2017 Toon 49 


Quote of the Week...

Top US firms including Walmart and Ford oppose Trump on climate change

Several of the country’s corporate giants, including Walmart, General Motors, Ford and Mars, appeared this week at the second annual Companies v Climate Change conference in Miami to showcase their progress and reinforce their belief that sustainability and other green targets can be achieved irrespective of the policies and purpose of the White House.

“We were disappointed [the] US pulled out of Paris, but what’s so great is what companies can do to make a difference,” said Zach Freeze, senior director for strategic initiatives in sustainability at Walmart, the first retailer to announce science-based targets for emissions reductions and a key signatory to the We Are Still In declaration that followed Trump’s Paris withdrawal.

“We all have a lot we can do and should do, it’s becoming more and more of an imperative. We’ve been working on this for a long time, prior to this administration [and] we’re thinking about 10 years from now where we’re going to be. Regardless of what’s happening, this is something we believe in. If we do it the right way we will see progress.”

Top US firms including Walmart and Ford oppose Trump on climate change by Richard Luscombe, Guardian, Dec 1, 2017 


SkS Spotlights...

 UPF&SI Logo

Faith and science are two of the most influential forces in global society. The United Planet Faith & Science Initiative (UPFSI) unites prominent religious figures and leading scientists to speak out together and mobilize action for ecological sustainability.

The UPFSI is a project that holds low-impact, web-based meetings of eminent scientists and faith leaders from across the globe.  These meetings are edited into short, powerful videos and disseminated through social media and news outlets to promote public awareness, political will, policy, and action. The UPFSI also holds public events featuring presentations by these leaders.  Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu and prominent climatologist Dr. James Hansen are among the founding members of this Initiative. (Click here for a full list of founding members.)

The UPFSI also reaches out to the world’s youth as they are at greatest risk from the ecological crisis. The Initiative uses social media to help replace the unsustainable paradigm that has created many of our environmental problems with new inspiration, intention, and action.

UPFSI aims to shift the consciousness of humanity and the momentum of global society in a more sustainable direction in such critical areas as climate change, environmental protection, and biodiversity. The Initiative is an outgrowth of the Interfaith Declaration on Climate Change (IDCC), which was seminal in coalescing the interfaith ‘constituency’ within the UN FCCC process in 2009.


Coming Soon on SkS...

  • From the eMail Bag: Carbon Isotopes - Part 1 - The Basics (David Kirtley)
  • Guest Post (John Abraham)
  • Analysis: How developing nations are driving record growth in solar power (Zeke)
  • New research this week (Ari)
  • 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50 (John Hartz)
  • 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Waming Digest #50 (John Hartz)

Poster of the Week...

2017 Poster 49 


Climate Feedback Reviews...

Climate Feedback Daily-Caller_Michael-Bastasch_Global-Warming

Climate Feedback asked its network of scientists to review the article, "STUDY: Satellites Show No Acceleration In Global Warming For 23 Years" by Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, Nov 29, 2017. 

Five scientists analyzed the article and estimate its overall scientific credibility to be 'low'.  

A majority of reviewers tagged the article as: .

Review Summary

This article in The Daily Caller describes a recent study published on the University of Alabama at Huntsville satellite temperature dataset. The study claims that, after removing the cooling influence of two large volcanic eruptions in 1982 and 1991, the rate of warming is slower than simulated by climate models.

While The Daily Caller story accurately describes the study, it fails to include comments from other scientists in the field or to provide necessary context for readers, as the scientists who reviewed the story explained. For example, the study fails to account for more recent volcanic activity, and does not support its conclusion that climate models are overly sensitive to CO2.

In addition, the story’s headline emphasizes that the study shows “no acceleration in global warming for 23 years” and this is presented as a challenge to model simulations. This is misleading, as no acceleration of the warming rate is expected to be seen in such a short timeframe.

See all the scientists’ annotations in context

Daily Caller uncritically reports poorly supported conclusion of satellite temperature study, Climate Feedback, Dec 4, 2017 


SkS Week in Review... 


97 Hours of Consensus...

97 Hours: Richard_Somerville 

 

Richard Somerville's bio page and Quote source

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Comments

Comments 1 to 27:

  1. The red blue climate debate concept is a modern day farce, a terrible idea, that will cause further division, and whatever the result, it will be ignored by the other side. The problem is not scientific, it is ideological.

    The trump administration will find scientists on red team prepared to say anything. If it goes ahead and especially if televised, find articulate people for blue team, who are polite and pleasant, but who are strong and dont take any nonsense, and who keep it simple, not lost in details. Because if you don't, it will be a massacre.

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  2. Just another day of "you literally can not make this s**t up" in the US. I'm embarrassed.

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  3. Many of your unscientific readers will read that statement to mean there has been no increase in temperature over the past 23 years.  Possibly a better way of stating it would have been to say global temperatures have been increasing steadily over the past 23 years.

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  4. I recommend the David Roberts piece at Vox.  For one thing, he's a very lucid writer, able to make complicated issues simple and even entertaining.  He brings up the real tragedy of Pruitts red-team exercise: that they are not debating our response to climate change.  The military developed this debate structure to harden its solutions to tactical weaknesses.  Should we not worry about climate change?  Or worry later?  Go renewable?  Nuclear?  Geoengineering?  'Clean Coal'? (ok, I just put that in for yucks).  The red-team debate pokes holes in all solutions, exposing weaknesses and making all of them more robust.  Now is the time for us to build resilience, but Pruitt wants talking heads shouting in endless circles in a modern equivalent of counting how many angels can fit on the head of a pin. 

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  5. I would hope that no climate scientist will agree to take part in a farce like this. There is absolutely nothing to be gained. Let the deniers pontificate to themselves.

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  6. An apathetic uniformed unengaged public is what make all this possible.

    As for the Red Team / Blue Team, seems to me if the blue team focused on exposing the tactics of deception that the red team is dependent on, it might make for an interesting event.

     

    Define the Debate, 

    A Constructive Argument based on real facts, with the ultimate goal being a collective better understanding of the issue at hand.

    Such as a Scientific Debate: where honestly representing your opponent’s position is required. Striving to understand your opponent’s position well enough to reject or modify it on the merits of your own facts.

    If we fail, it means something. It may hurt, but it’s a learning experience for the intellectually honest. Mistakes have always been necessary learning opportunities for the stout.

    The Lawyerly Debate: winning is all that matters, facts are irrelevant obstacles to hurdle. Being skilled in rhetorical trickery is a prerequisite. Objective learning is not the object.

    Amorality, misdirection and theatre are its hallmarks.

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  7. Intellectual Confrontation

    The fact is, climate science awareness is being actively stifled by ruthless individuals with bottomless bank accounts and octopus news outlets to do their bidding. They have sold a lazy public a pack of lies that have become the comfort zone of all too many today.

    How can the misinformation this juggernaut force feeds the public be neutralized without direct intellectual confrontation by masses of informed, concerned, engaged students, and citizens, everywhere it pops up?

    It’s not about attacking people, it’s about attacking the maliciously deceptive words, the lies and stupidity they spew. It’s about teaching them how our physical planet operates!

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

    Call out False Claims & Lies

    When someone makes a malicious false claim, relentlessly demand evidence for said attacks - shame and expose those who refuse to produce evidence for their malicious claims. Examine and expose the props substituted for substance.

    Dissect and confront their tactics rather than being played by them!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Better than Skepticism ===> Critical Thinking Skills

    The term “Skeptics” has been poisoned by theatre and the grotesque double standard of the GOP.

    Critical Thinking Skills is a clear descriptive that explains the process itself.

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

    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 won’t have.

    _____________________

    Just a suggestion.  

    "Dysfunctional Climate Science Communication in 14 verses. "  https://confrontingsciencecontrarians.blogspot.com/2017/12/dysfunctional-science-communication.html

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  8. nigel @ 1

    I have hesitated to even comment on this thread because I have made my views known on this topic in respect to other topics when this the issue of the red team blue team has come up.  Things became rather heated when I suggested a certain physicist as a possible chairman.

    But nigelj, have you read the transcript from the 2014 APS panel review which has been referenced many times?  These were not "monkeys" yelling at each other.  They were rational climate scientists on both sides commenting on the questions posed from the Framework document.  Why could we not have the same thing but this time allow for a long lead time for each side to prepare their responses to specific questions posed.  I think this could be incredibly educational.  This would be miles better than trying this issue in courtrooms as suggested by others.   You never get the "give and take" between experts in a courtroom.  One side says one thing and the other says something else and the two experts cannot go head to head.   The only job of the lawyer in cross-examination is just to make his points and sit down.  A courtroom does not offer the interchange that I would hope you would see with a red team blue team approach.  

    Depending on who participates in this panel (and who chairs it), it could be very valuable to highlight in the public's mind what real scientists are saying about this.  Of course, such a panel discussion would raise a number of issues but do you think the public would come away thinking climate change is all a "hoax"?  It would clearly bring the debate front and centre in the United States.  What would Trump have to say after both sides acknowledged that there is real AGW and it is only a question of how serious it will be? 

    And it is not right to say that there should be a 9.7 to 1 ratio on the panel.  The facts and science should stand on its own.   Facts are facts.   We have massively injected CO2 into our atmosphere way beyond anything in the last X,000 years.  Let the facts speak for themselves.  The oceans are rising, the temperature is going up and the glaciers are melting, more droughts are happening and there is more precipitation.  I personally  think you should not get into California forest fires or more intense hurricanes but that is just my opinion. 

    If you have to say climate science is too complicated, you just have to "trust us" then you will never get the public truly behind this. 

    I appreciate that the climate models will meet with criticisms but I have over the last while seen enough graphs to see that they have been generally tracking the temperature rise with maybe a 10% difference but not significantly off.    I understand there are recent studies that have suggested the models are too conservative.  Legitimately, answers will have to be given as to why temperature rates are anticipated to accelerate (if that is the case).

    But this kind of debate would get it totally out in the open.   

    I think the "consensus side" scientists and others are far too concerned about the fact that there are scientific uncertainties as to what will happen and are afraid that admitting these things will "weaken their case" when in fact admitting these uncertainties will give confidence to the public that true science is working, not political agendas.  If the science is not compelling given these uncertainties then that would be a problem.  But everything that I have learned so far tells me that there is no real alternative explanation and so therefore the only questions remaining are how serious is it (ie how much time do we have) and what are the best solutions going forward?  It is not a question of moving off of fossil fuels but only how fast.  I have also gained a lot of respect for what the IPCC has done (and their openness to a lot of uncertainties) but you cannot expect "Joe Public" to start reading the Fifth Assessment.  Watching a TV "debate" is the best you can expect of him.

    If it is some kind of kangaroo court then I agree it would not be advisable.  That is why I would like to reserve my decision until I see who the proposed chair or co-chairs are and who are the participants.  On this point, I might note that Judith Curry has been quoted somewhere that she does not think that the Heartland Institute should be involved.  I obviously agree.  I just hope the "consensus" side does not just "thumb its nose" at this but rather agrees to participate CONDITIONAL on being satisfied as to the constitution of the red team blue team and the rules of the game.  I would hope that this would be broken into a serious of debates on various issues spaced perhaps one month between them.  I personally  would like to have this extended to solutions but perhaps that would be for another year.

    Again, I have made this point before, but given the political reality today in the United States, here is a chance to deliver a body blow to the Trump administration.  Other than taking to the courts, what other choice is available to try and convince the middle of the road Republicans and Democrats of your case? 

    I just worry that Trump will not let it be sufficiently independent to encourage real climate scientists on the consensus side to participate.  I think that is the real tug of war that is going on behind the scenes right now.  If we see the Heartland Institute up there front and centre then we know the answer.

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  9. Couple of typos

    Par 1 "when this issue of the red team blue team has come up".

    Par 9 "broken into a series of debates" 

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  10. NorrisM @8

    Thanks for the comment. Regarding some theoretical red / blue debate. Your views are interesting and constructive to some extent, so thanks.

    However I agree a court process is absurd. I certainly don't promote some courtroom process and never have. I dont know where you get that idea from. The courts are entirely unsuited to establishing science theories, obviously.

    Pruitt has not yet crystalised his process, but I disagee with every preliminary idea I have heard. None of this thing makes sense to me.

    The process you decribe which is largely sensible discussion arriving at consensus, is exactly what the IPCC have done many times with vastly greater resources. Therefore there's no point repeating it. This is especially because climate change is so complex, and the scale of discussion between just a few people cannot possibly be in enough depth, even if they spend months.

    The whole idea looks like a delaying tactic, and I dont trust the thing to be fairly done, so its hard for me to support it. You surely understand that?

    "do you think the public would come away thinking climate change is all a "hoax"?

    If the red team find ruthless,unprincipled people there is a risk their twisted message could make any nonsense sound logical and plausible. You can point out the logical fallacies in their arguments, but the damage would be done. On the other hand the blue team might have more articulate speakers, but Im not sure this is going to convince many denialists. The problem is any televised debate becomes a spectacle, and personality contest, and speaking skills contest and the outcome is unlikely to progress understanding or convince anyone. Of course it depends on the final proposal Pruit comes up with.

    "What would Trump have to say after both sides acknowledged that there is real AGW and it is only a question of how serious it will be? "

    It's possible he could be persuaded, because he is mercurial, but I suspect the white house, and the republican congress / senate would remain in denial, and they count a lot here. The climate issue has become intensely ideological and political in America for some reason,and science argument struggles to change this. Any rational argment does. I'm stumped on how this deadlock can be broken, but I agree with comments above that more time must be put pointing out the logical fallacies in the denialists pseudo science. But we shouldnt be trying to break deadlocks with dubious debate processes.

    "And it is not right to say that there should be a 9.7 to 1 ratio on the panel. "

    I never said that. I have said that an equally divided panel simply does not represent true opionion in the scientific community, so on that basis the whole thing is absurd, and the IPCC process makes more sense.

    "The facts and science should stand on its own. Facts are facts. "

    Empty rhetoric Norris. Lawyerspeak!

    "We have massively injected CO2 into our atmosphere way beyond anything in the last X,000 years. Let the facts speak for themselves. "

    This has been said a hundred times. Saying it again in another debate is a farce.

    "The oceans are rising, the temperature is going up and the glaciers are melting, more droughts are happening and there is more precipitation. I personally think you should not get into California forest fires or more intense hurricanes but that is just my opinion."

    I know where you are coming from, but the science says we are changing the weather. You said "let the science speak for itself". If its going to be a serious process everything has to be on the table especially the serious weather consequnces but only where we have good evidence of such changes which does happen to include forest fires.

    "If you have to say climate science is too complicated, you just have to "trust us" then you will never get the public truly behind this. "

    Nobody has said this strawman argument. The public have been given numerous simplified explanations, and an argumentative debate will just confuse people.

    "I appreciate that the climate models will meet with criticisms but I have over the last while seen enough graphs to see that they have been generally tracking the temperature rise with maybe a 10% difference but not significantly off. "

    I'm impressed. You have taken a genuine open position on the science. You also mean well on the red blue thing, and I hear where you are coming from. But I must respond as I see it.

    "But this kind of debate would get it totally out in the open."

    Yes, I understand, but the debate could equally just confuse people further. Huge chance of this.

    "I think the "consensus side" scientists and others are far too concerned about the fact that there are scientific uncertainties as to what will happen and are afraid that admitting these things will "weaken their case" when in fact admitting these uncertainties will give confidence to the public"

    The IPCC repotrts already admit all the uncertainties. So do people like M Mann and other commentators. These's just not much more that a red blue debate could add.

    "you cannot expect "Joe Public" to start reading the Fifth Assessment. Watching a TV "debate" is the best you can expect of him."

    Ok the public wont read the IPCC report, but Joe Public has already read various simplified accounts of climate science and endless books and free websites are available eg NASA does good simple coverage but not over simplified. Televised debates tend to be emotive and confusing. They are entertainment.

    " I just hope the "consensus" side does not just "thumb its nose" at this but rather agrees to participate CONDITIONAL on being satisfied as to the constitution of the red team blue team and the rules of the game. I would hope that this would be broken into a serious of debates on various issues spaced perhaps one month between them. "

    Pruit has obviously set his mind on having the thing. And I think it would be unwise for the "consensus team" to just not participate. Snubbing the process would look bad, and could just empower the denialists. However this depends entirely on the final plan and there may be reasons not to participate if it's a bad plan.

    A series of Public debates as you envisage is not the right approach as I have already made clear. Science is done with discussion in a certain way, and we should stay with that because it works, and suits science, just a courtrooms suit the law and classrooms suit teaching etc.

    "Other than taking to the courts, what other choice is available to try and convince the middle of the road Republicans and Democrats of your case? "

    I understand, but the basic red blue idea just doesnt "sit right " with me, and in the end I have to be true to myself. It almost looks like America is beyond hope at least while Trump is in charge. I just cant see a red blue rocess changing peoples minds.

    "I just worry that Trump will not let it be sufficiently independent to encourage real climate scientists on the consensus side to participate."

    Exactly. And if it isn't absolutely a proper process in every respect, I would say to the "consensus side" dont participate.

    "I think that is the real tug of war that is going on behind the scenes right now. If we see the Heartland Institute up there front and centre then we know the answer."

    You "got that right" (to use the american vernacular). 

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  11. Norrism:

    You need to keep in mind that the IPCC report is a consensus report.  In practice that means that the conclusions in the report are those that 80%+ of scientists agree on.  That generally means that a majority of scientists think it will be worse than what is in the IPCC report.  For some problems the majority of scientists think it will be much worse than the IPCC projections.

    A good example is sea level rise.  A large majority of sea level rise scientists think the rise will be greater than the IPCC projections.  There have been discussions of putting the majority opinion in the report but so far only the numbers that a consensus can agree are the minimum gets in. 

    Then scientists are blamed for being alarmist.  Keep in mind that the IPCC reports are the minimum expected changes.

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  12. citizenschalleng@7,

    'Critical Thinking Skills applied for, or guided by, Good Purpose/Public Interest' is what Skepticism should be.

    And the critical aspect is the 'application for Good Purpose/Public Interest'.

    A Red/Blue Team exercise regarding climate science could involve 'Critical Thinkers' on each side but would only be a Private Interest scam, an effort to promote unjust impressions. The science is substantially settled. The major points will not be changing as further effort increases awareness and improves understanding. What needs to be debated is how to achieve the undeniably required rapid termination of global burning of fossil fuels with Good objectives/Purpose in mind. And what a Good Objective/Purpose actually is does not require any debate (red/blue or any other 'debate'). The goals/changes required are already well established/presented in the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs identify the collection of goals required for humanity to have a lasting better future (all of them have to be achieved or there is no sustainable better future).

    Of course, acceptance of the SDGs is challenged, even by 'critical thinkers' because the SDGs require significant changes to incorrect over-development by some sub-sets of humanity. Some development has undeniably occurred in the wrong direction. And that wrong direction development has produced misleading marketing efforts to maintain or expand the damaging inertia of false perceptions of prosperity and opportunity that many people are easily impressed into wanting to benefit from (regional or tribal popular or profitable Private Interests that are impediments to achieving the Public Interest).

    Critical Thinkers with Good Objectives would try to increase the awareness and understanding regarding how damaging and unnecessary a climate science Red/Blue Team exercise is.

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  13. A clarification/correction of my previous comment.

    "What needs to be debated is how to achieve the undeniably required rapid termination of global burning of fossil fuels and the rapid reduction of CO2 levels to 350 ppm with Good objectives/Purpose in mind."

    The pushing of CO2 beyond 350 ppm is undeniably an unjust creation of harm by a sub-set of humanity irresponsibly pursuing a 'better present for themsleves' to the detriment of the 'development of the gift of a better future for all of humanity as a part of the virtually perpetual  robust diversity of life that can be the future on this amazing planet. A better future is not guaranteed by lots of people believing that everyone freer to believe whatever they want and do as they please in a democracy will develop a sustainable better future. There is ample proof that Private Interests detrimental to that Public Interest have a competitive advantage because of the ease of tempting people to be greedier or less tolerant of Others who are harmlessly different, allowing undeserving people to regionally temporarily Win creating damaging consequences until it is well and popularly understood how unjustified those Winners were, but then too late, damage already done (the damaging reality of the flawed reliance on threats of legal penalty to get better behaviour out of people who believe in their freedom to believe whatever they want and do whatever they please).

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  14. This thing kept coming back to me over the course of the days, and why not strive to turn the table on them for a change?  

    __________

    Trump Administration is looking forward to making a theater out of climate science and scientists are rightfully upset.

    Yet, it seems to me this exercise provides a wonderful opportunity for some savvy science and history communicators with the right stuff to stand up and turn the table on these fraudsters.

    Reject their script and use this opportunity to expose the contrarian mishmash of inconsistent nonsense, lies and slander.

    Use the moment to expose their dishonest rotten underbelly!

    Presenting the consensus evidence is straight forward.

    “There it is.”
    “Now please list your perceived problems with this fundamental understanding?”

    We know they have nothing of substance.

    This is where they start their circus. Be ready for it.

    When the Red Team comes with their contrived memes, they will be reruns of talking points based on innuendo; on deliberately misrepresenting scientists and the science; on projecting an a priori assumption of malfeasance on the part of scientists; on a deliberate disconnect from the reality of our physical Earth and her geophysics; etc., etc..

    Put Heartland's dishonest talking points on trial !

    Demand proof from them.

    Publicize the provenance of these deliberate frauds.

    Publicize the money trails, and EXXON’s covered up research on the impacts of runaway fossil fuels consumption.

    And so on.

    ________________________________

    OPOF, sorry about the "critical thinking" vs. the constantly misused "skeptic" - didn't mean to upset you.  It was only an observation.  'Confronting Contrarians' that's the important point I'm trying to enunciate.     cheers.

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  15. day 

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  16. citizenschallenge,

    I agree with challenging the abiuse of the term skeptic. And I support Critical Thinking as being much better than 'believing what suits your interests'. But was pointing out that the term Critical Thinking can be abused just like Skeptic is being abuised, and lawyers are likely yo be the most abusive because they do Critically Think but not always with a Public Interest Good Objective/Purpose. Lawyers tend to debate competing Private Interests and can often believe, in the same fatally flawed way that many economists do, that freer competition between Private Interests will always produce a Good Result, without ever Critically Thinking aboyut the actual results developed when people think they have the right to believe whatever they want and do whatever they please (or claim that a Private Interest that is understandably unsustainable and is actually harmful to others needs to be balanced with the potential loss of perception of personal gain that would be the result of that Private Interest not being allowed to continue to do what it has developed a taste for getting away with).

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  17. William@3 to put it even more simply, (absolutely required, alas) the temperature is rising every year on average, it is not rising faster every year, 'accelerating', the atmosphere imbalance is adding heat every year, some is absorbed, melting glaciers, causing fierce storms, some heats the atmosphere or oceans just a bit more, every year a bit more, some years it seems to jump up, some years seems no change, but it is happening, slowly and surely.

    "Accelerating" rise, may happen at any of a number of 'tipping points,' eg the melting of the Permafrost, releasing huge amounts of Methane that is frozen under the ice, but that is actually happening bit by bit already, so there may be a little bit of "acceleration," but our planet is big, things happen slowly, the amount of acceleration may be virtually too small to measure significantly, and only in some years do we realise it was happening, but of course then it is too late, it has happened.

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  18. Recommended supplemental reading:

    Showing Conservatives The Scientific Consensus On Climate Change Can Shift Their Views On The Issue by Tom Jacobs, Pacific Standard, Dec 11, 2017

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  19. @ Citizenschallenge 7.

    I'm beginning to think pretty much along your lines.  I doesn't matter how much the contrarian arguments are baseless or wrong, pointing out their flaws is just being ignored.  I think a direct and public approach needs to be put forward pointing out their deliberate misrepresentations, non-science sources, and that the fact is that it is not mainstream science, i.e. NASA, NOAA, HadCRUT, etc., who are manipulating data and making false claims, but the contrarian (skeptic) side.  This I believe is what the public needs to be shown.  They do not have the background to recognize bad or misrepresented science, but I do believe they can recognize and understand fraud when it is presented in a straight forward and honest way with unquestionable examples.

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  20. Speaking of accelerations and permafrost, it's not looking good currently in the Arctic as discussed here.

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  21. I agree with Citizenchallenge's philosophy. The climate denialists use a lot of  misleading rhetotic, cherrypicking,  and general brazen nonsense. This must all  be exposed mercilessly, concisely, and clearly. Scientists are trained to jump straight to the science, but may need a partial change of mindset to highlight these tactics more, especially if its a public debate. Scientists might assume public automatically recognise  rhetorical trickery, but the public dont always, and it needs to be pointed out.

    But be very careful before accusing people of lies as such, because it can be hard proving a lie, and you can end up alienating the public gallery, and could find yourself accused of inflaming the discussion. If the whole thing becomes a circus or yelling match, the public will dismiss both teams arguments, and the climate will be the loser. However all false claims, and cherrypicking etc must be exposed. 

    The climate issue has become one where the denialists use lawyers tactics to bury people with lists of questions, sometimes rhetorical questions, and make outrageous inflated claims, and use sarcasm, and  sling as much mud as possible and bring in claims of political motives. This is to inflame the public gallery, and get them on side with the denialists. For some horrible reason mud slinging appeals to some people, this is the same reason they like Donald Trump.  It's hard dealing with this, and tempting to go down into the mud as well. But you dont want to get down in the mud and wrestle with a pig.

    We must 1) stay cool 2) give scientific answer and 2) expose misleading claims, trickery and the like, and do it robustly. This applies to all forums, red / blue debates and all other discourse. People must not be allowed to get away with trickery.

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  22. Acording to E&E news,  Pruitt is having trouble getting scientists to sign up for the Red team. Real scientists like Judith Curry and John Christy do not want to serve with a bunch of crackpots and the crackpots do not want to be left out.  Curry specifically said she did not want to work with a bunch of Heartland funded cranks (Heartland sent Pruitt a list of possible members of the Red team.  Curry and Spencer were on the list but said they have not been asked if they want to participate).  Even some conservative politicians say they want  a serious debate which excludes many "skeptics".

    In addition, since the skeptics do not agree with each other they cannot agree on what positions they want to support.  While it will give them a national stage they do not deserve, if scientist A says CO2 is increasing but no warming and scienitst B says it is warming but that is good and scientist 3 says CO2 is not increasing they will not come across as convincing.  Those whose views are not expounded on will be angered.

    I think that Pruitt may not be able to organize a red team.  He has made a lot of noise and has little to show for it.  Many of the members of the Heartland list can only be called cranks, certainly not scientists.

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  23. So from the EE news media article, the Heartland Institute has proposed a list of anyone and everyone including, lawyers and self-funded hobbyists, nuclear physicists, engineers, and maybe a couple of actual climate scientists. This is pretty sad, and must be deeply embarassing for Pruitt, as the longer it goes on the more obvious it is that precious few genuinely sceptical climate research scientists actually exist.

    It will also become apparent that their scepticism is more narrowly focussed than people realise and is mainly on detailed aspects of the issue. As I have said many times, sceptical scientists make denialist noise on blogs on the internet, but when they are put on the spot in full public view interviewed by media, they are suddenly not so sceptical. We have seen examples with Lindzen and Spencer. A lot of this sceptical thing is attention seeking and stirring.

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  24. My guess: Pruitt won't actually start or announce a team if it is obvious that they are cranks, and if he can't find willing participants with any degree of reall expertise for the "skeptics" side, he'll just keep on making noise. If the event doesn't happen, it will be blamed on the genuine climate science community for making an environment so toxic that the "other side" is afraid to participate.

    This is just a Kabuki Dance.

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  25. Climate change deniers can be roughly (and generally not exclusively to a single category) grouped into lobbyists, loons, ideologues, and opportunists. I will refrain from naming names out of sheer politeness, but I think that covers the gamut. Serious data-driven climate denial is basically non-existent. 

    It's going to be well-nigh impossible for Pruitt to put together a respectable panel of climate denial 'red-team' people. 

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  26. Bob Loblow, could be a Kabuki dance. Hadn't heard of that one, most fascinating reading.

    But right now Pruitt is serious, so its a war dance. 

     

    Or the red blue debate could turn  into maybe Danse Macabre by Saint Sains, refer wikipedia.

    "According to legend, "Death" appears at midnight every year on Halloween. Death calls forth the dead from their graves to dance for him while he plays his fiddle (here represented by a solo violin). His skeletons dance for him until the rooster crows at dawn, when they must return to their graves until the next year. The piece opens with a harp playing a single note,"

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  27. Tamino has a new analysis of sea level rise. Apparently there was a problem with early satalite data. When the data is corrected and ENSO is removed, he gets this graph:

    sea level rise

    Note the strong acceleration after 2010.   Tamino estimates sea level rise from 2010-2017 as 5.5mm/yr.  It may not be significant since the time is so short.

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