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Archive for December, 2010

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Linguiça Hodge Podge

Curry’ed Menudo (Tripe)

Jumped Shark Fin Soup

Carbonnade à la Flamande Hash

Banh Tieu Chiffonade

Dog(ma) Imbottito con Ideologia

Trockenbeerenauslese Trifle

Lemon Curry Fool

A recipe for Ms Curry

Curry şiş Kebabs


I have finally gotten around to reading Judith Curry‘s contributions to the climate change debate and I have to say Stewart Shaw’s paraphrasing of the old axiom sums it up best:

It’s like making sausage. The more you know about what goes into it and how it’s done, the less you like it.

Stewart Shaw

Insomuch as Ms Curry’s stated objective is to build bridges and “have a civil conversation about climate” I thought it would be interesting to have a look at the Curry phenomenon from a conflict resolution perspective. Specifically to look at and assess Ms Curry’s contribution to facilitating civil discourse.

Curry and her take on climate science has been much discussed and vivisected (Curry şiş Kebabs below) and although I present some samplings to illustrate how she deals with contentious issues, I will not be repeating or reviewing the scientific or political perspective. There are far too many threads and Curry’s dissembling has made most of them more convoluted and Byzantine than they needed to be.

What I found is that while Curry claims to want to build bridges, she is going about it with a flame thrower. Her approach, whether intentional or not, is a recipe to make matters far worse, and it’s working!

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BPSDB

Global Warming? or Climate Change?

 

Peter Sinclair’s latest addition to the Climate Denial Crock of the Week debunks the idiotic “they changed it to “climate change after 1998” meme … “they” being the IPCC … which apparently the paranoid delusionals (aka climate change Deniers) thought stood for ‘Intergovernmental Panel on Coerced Collectivization’

As both the video and Joseph Romm note, the irony is the fact that it was the Republicans & Deniers who made calling it ‘”climate change” a priority because “global warming” was too scary. (foreshadowing - when our collective inaction on climate leads to the inevitable social collapse the Deniers will blame scientists and progressives for the inaction).

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BPSDB

Scientific malpractice isn’t

Scientific malpractice is

Principles of scientific work

The controversial part

It’s not a bloody shovel

One of the most scrutinized and stringently regulated common professions is medicine. Just becoming a medical practitioner is a long and arduous process with strict standards, reviews and licensing.

Despite this system of oversights and checks medical malpractice still occurs, and far more frequently than we are really comfortable contemplating. Given that, is it really so shocking that there is such a thing as scientific malpractice and incompetence as well?

Of course science has standards and checks such as peer review to ensure that published scientific work itself is, by and large, competent. However there is no check on the competence of the scientists themselves beyond what their employer may choose to impose.

If only 1/10,000 scientists is incompetent it would still give us 6,000 to 7,000 of them skulking about. If the rate even approaches that of medical malpractice than we are talking at least 31,000, undoubtedly many more.

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BPSDB

FABIAN:  If this were played upon a stage now, I could condemn it as an improbable fiction.

SIR TOBY BELCH : His very genius hath taken the infection of the device, man.

.

It is a perverse fact that often the sheer idiocy of many of the climate change Denier arguments works in their favour.

This is above and beyond the usual reasons some people find ways to believe the climate change Denier deceptions.

I am not referring to the hard core Deniers who write the blogs and spam legitimate climate sites with absurd claims, obvious frauds and largely irrelevant rants. This cadre are & will be the 10% of the population that will never be convinced even as their homes burst into flame.

My concern is the section of the general public who are “in denial” rather than being “Deniers” per se. They are our target for education, but to do that we need to understand why they are in denial and why the lies work on them.

  • Information Deficit
  • Psychology of Denial
    • Motivated reasoning
    • Groupthink
    • Future discounting & the neurotic paradox
    • Belief retention
    • Inferred justification
    • The bigger the lie
  • Beware this boy
  • Links of interest

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BPSDB

One of the most difficult problems communicating science to the public is how to convince someone who does not have a scientific background and cannot take the time to look at the science itself.

For someone who is legitimately uncertain and wants to know the truth regardless of what it is, what can one offer?

From WallMart greeters to Orthodontists, probably 99% of the public is getting along by putting their faith in some group or other (just as we all do for most things in our life; how many really understand electricity? or how a computer works?).

Some accept the word of the scientific community, some side with the climate change Denier “scientists”, some with a particular suite of media, and so on. Regardless of which, they are taking the word of one group over the next pretty much on faith.

I believe that I have what may be a contribution which will help those who are uncertain and really want to know. Before getting into what I have to offer let’s look at some of the other attempts to address this problem.

This problem eats at most people concerned with climate change and there are several approaches that people have tried. The first is to demonstrate that the climate change Denier claims are all misrepresentations, hoaxes and lies, for eg:

Continue reading at News Junkie Post

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BPSDB Not even wrong … refers to any statement, argument or explanation that is so at odds with reality that it is considered uncorrectable.

2 + 2 = 4  … is correct

2 + 2 = 5 … is wrong

2 + 2 =  ‘§’ … did not understand the question

(2 + 2)/ zebra * Fugue = “global cooling” … is not even wrong

Climate change Deniers are often (usually?)  “not even wrong

I want to use one of the perennial Denier fables to illustrate not merely that the Deniers are wrong &/or willfully lying, but that they are not even wrong, ie so totally clueless that it’s a wonder anyone trusts them for the time of day, much less for science.

For this little demonstration I’d like to use that standard “It was cold today/this week/this month/this year in my region/town/yard/basement therefore global warming theory is wrong.”

The Poptart is Cold

For a specific “typical” example I will use PopTech’s (aka PopTart1,000 References of Global Cooling. This is a collection of 1000 media stories from the past decade about everything from cold snaps to people dying from cold.

Naturally this Denier fable has been debunked over and over (see at bottom), but rather than jump to what is the right answer let’s take a tour of just how absurdly “not even wrong” the fable is.

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Wut evah

In an attempt to have the comment threads be reasonably worth reading (ie relevant to the post, coherent, relatively spam free) I first created two pages, one that was to be “Mostly Open” and the other for “Challenging the Core Science.”

As Deniers do not read it became necessary to create the “Dunce’s Corner” as a dumping ground for the relentless repetition of the same Denier memes long since known to be bunk. These aren’t challenges to the core science, they are just chanting of the Denier Canon.

The latest spat in the comments section has me creating “Wutevah” as it is an exchange that does not really fit in any of the above, nor is it appropriate where it has been posted.  I opted for “Wutevah” as it is hopefully the ultimate in miscellany & I can chuck anything here.

As comments cannot be moved easily I am forced to copy/paste the exchange, a waste of my time that I frankly resent, never mind having to read it to check for abuse etc. Clearly I will have to ponder how I respond if this keeps up.

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