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2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #09

Posted on 3 March 2024 by BaerbelW, Doug Bostrom

A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, Feb 25, 2024 thru Sat, March 2, 2024.

Story of the week

This week's big news is close to home for Skeptical Science and comes via UNICEF: Seriously Cranky: the uncle we all have helps build the skills we all need to resist misinformation (pdf). It's a story spanning an arc of progress beginning with fundamental research by Skeptical Science founder John Cook and ending with operational application of findings from that investigation-- now in multiple arenas including and beyond Skeptical Science's core mission of promoting accurate understanding of the science of climate change.

We're speaking of Cranky Uncle, a game built on scientifically tested and verified methods of improving critical thinking skills, first deployed to help people avoid being mentally infected with climate bunk transmitted by a veritable zoo of grifters attached to the fossil fuel industry. The same techniques and delivery framework for boosting cognitive competency have now successfully been adopted and adapted for combating vaccination hesitancy and reluctance, by UNICEF and with the assistance of John Cook and Skeptical Science.

Conceptualization, exploration and funding for creating Cranky Uncle came thanks to and via Skeptical Science's own internal and external contributors. Without Skeptical Science in the picture UNICEF's successful project to help save lives wouldn't have been possible. All who assisted may share pleasure plus at least a little pride in this outcome. Our ripples of progress travel far. It's a great true story!

Stories we promoted this week, by publication date:

Before February 25

February 25

February 26

February 27

February 28

February 29

March 1

If you happen upon high quality climate-science and/or climate-myth busting articles from reliable sources while surfing the web, please feel free to submit them via this Google form so that we may share them widely. Thanks!

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Comments 1 to 2:

  1. As this is your first post, Skeptical Science respectfully reminds you to please follow our comments policy. Thank You!

    The term "climate change" is an Orwellian BENIGN and VAGUE term for a civilization threatening DISEASE. 

    A medical approach to naming this disease would result in a term such as "Atmospheric Carbon Poisoning". 

    Atmospheric is the LOCATION of the POISON

    Carbon Gases (CO2 and CH4) are the NAME of the primary POISONS.

    Poisoning is an unequivocal declaration of dangerous toxicity.

    A skeptical scientist should think about telling the public the TRUTH and not shy away from naming the disease like a good scientist would. Climate change is clearly vague and inadequate. The generally public is woefully ignorant about this DISEASE.

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    Moderator Response:

    [BL] When you signed up for an account here at SkS, you were expected to read and follow the Comments Policy. Two of the items in that policy are:

    • No ALL CAPSYou can't have a civil, constructive discussion if you're shouting.
    • No profanity or inflammatory toneAgain, constructive discussion is difficult when overheated rhetoric or profanity is flying around.

    SkS has a post about the use of the terms "climate change" and "global warming". It would serve you well to read that post and reflect upon the meaning of the various terms.

    The wording of your post and your suggested terminology represents a level of hyperbole and rhetoric that is neither scientific nor constructive.


  2. Efforts to fight disinformation and the resulting tragic popularity of harmful misunderstanding, especially the application of Cranky Uncle beyond the important climate science matters (as highlighted in The Story of the Week), are highly valuable (tragically not valued by all leadership competitors). They help promote learning to improve the future for all children on this amazing planet which may be the only viable place for children to continue to be born to live on as sustainable parts of an amazing robust diversity of life. (tragically not the objective of all leadership competitors)

    This new CBC News article: After Mulroney, being a 'green' PM got a lot tougher presents a history lesson about the need for the development of Cranky Uncle, and more like it, to try to counter-act tragically popular and profitable harmful developments and resistance to correction of damaging unsustainable misunderstandings over the past 30 years.

    The CBC story is about a major political group in Canada, a nation that many people would currently mistakenly consider to be quite advanced. Before the early-1990s the group that Mulroney led pursued ‘learning to develop improvements for all children, including leadership actions to limit Canada’s ghg emissions’. But the group was rapidly captured (taken-over) by interests that oppose leadership actions that are being learned to be required to ‘develop sustainable improvements for all children’. (Note that the related concern about ‘harmful capture’ of potentially helpful learning institutions is highlighted in Academic capture in the Anthropocene: a framework to assess climate action in higher education, Lachapelle et al., Climatic Change:, the 3rd open access notable item on Skeptical Science New Research for Week #9 2024.)

    The following quote from the CBC article highlights this tragic transition:

    Mulroney's Progressive Conservative government also enacted the Canadian Environmental Protection Act to manage toxic substances in the environment, and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act to review the environmental impacts of major projects.

    It established the International Institute for Sustainable Development — still a leading voice on global environmental policy — and launched the National Roundtable on the Economy and the Environment (NRTEE), an expert advisory body that published analysis until Stephen Harper's Conservative government abolished it in 2013.

    The Harper Conservatives were what the Mulroney PCs had transformed into. And the opposition to learning to be less harmful and more helpful has increased in the Conservative Party of Canada since Harper stopped being its leader. See the following string of quotes from the article:

    In 1990, the federal government released "Canada's Green Plan," a 174-page statement of intent to deal with a host of environmental problems, including global warming. That plan set a lofty goal of stabilizing Canada's greenhouse gas emissions at 1990 levels by 2000 — the first of several targets Canada would announce and fail to pursue seriously between 1990 and 2015.
    The Green Plan touted the possibility of pursuing an emissions "trading" program — what we would now call a cap-and-trade system, one of two primary methods for establishing a price on harmful emissions.

    "There is evidence that a market-based approach to the problem can be quicker, more efficient and more effective in reducing emissions and the costs of achieving these reductions," the PC government wrote.
    It would be another 29 years before the federal government [Liberal-led] finally applied a "market-based" approach to carbon emissions, through the current government's carbon tax. But now the future of that policy is very much in doubt — Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, Mulroney's [and Harper’s] political heir, has loudly and repeatedly vowed that a government led by him will "axe the tax."

    This tragic transition of a major political group that was ‘striving to be more helpful and less harmful’ into ‘harmful disinformation producers’ trying to ‘oppose and delay learning to develop improvements for all children’ can be seen to have happened (still happening) in many other nations.

    The undeniably high-value leadership goal of ‘Learning to improve the future for all children’ is tragically opposed by special interest groups with ‘Other interests they consider to be important enough (to them) to justify being damaging rather than improving the future for all children’.

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