- Climate Wars
- Icing Asher
- Never Debate
The CBC ‘Ideas’ series is presenting Gwynne Dyer’s “Climate Wars.” Fortunately a friend alerted me to it at the last moment and I managed to catch Part 1, and based on that I am recommending it to all.
“Global warming is moving much more quickly than scientists thought it would. Even if the biggest current and prospective emitters – the United States, China and India – were to slam on the brakes today, the earth would continue to heat up for decades.
cbc.ca — At best, we may be able to slow things down and deal with the consequences, without social and political breakdown. Gwynne Dyer examines several radical short- and medium-term measures now being considered – all of them controversial. Climate Wars – January 14, 21, 28, 2009”
Unfortunately Part 1 has already aired, but it becomes available as podcast Monday Jan 19th so you can still hear it (for a month anyway). The rest of the series is as scheduled on the page linked, or by podcast.
More Icing on debunking Asher
I have added a couple of updates to the debunking of Michael Asher’s bogus claim that “Sea Ice Ends Year at Same Level as 1979“, viz
Tamino has done a lovely job exposing Asher’s con job with his Cold Hard Facts piece:
and Peter Sinclair has also debunked it in video format:
Explain, apologise, but never debate
Intelligence Squared US hosted a debate on the question “Major reductions in carbon emissions are not worth the money”
Major reductions in carbon emissions are not worth the money
Date 1/13/2009 Votes
For 67.19 % 15.66 % 41.90 % Against 29.65 % 49.40 % 47.71 % Undecided 3.15 % 34.94 % 10.40 %
What do you notice? A few things stand out for me.
i) The original audience was almost 50% favour taking action, followed 35% Undecided, and only 15% favouring no action.
ii) After the debate the original audience was almost evenly split between for and against.
iii) The web voters overwhelming favour taking no action by 2:1.
The initial audience composition of the audience is interesting in that it doesn’t reflect the population demographics with respect to the issue. I suspect that the fact of the matter is that anyone who is going to spend an evening watching a debate, never mind drop $40 to do it, believes the issue is an important one.
The web poll is somewhat skewed the other way, but I suspect that this reflects in part the fact that word went out to the Denialosphere to go and vote. I detected no such effort on behalf of the climate realists.
Given that, I am not really sure what the initial Against/Undecided/For division means in practice, nor what conclusions we should draw from it beyond what I have to say below.
Needless to say the Denier crowd is making much of points ii) and iii), specifically that a) the “skeptics” won the debate, and b) that all of the undecideds and almost none of those favouring action on climate change were influenced by the debate, ie we are such brainless zealots that facts have no influence on us (eg here).
I blogged earlier that climate realists should never debate.
While “debating” may be a wonderful part of civic discourse, public “Debates” are another matter entirely. They are not about determining what is correct or true, instead they are a type of theatre and the best performer will “win”.
Debates are only a level playing field if both sides have the same regard (or disregard) for the truth. Ten minutes spent in the Denialosphere is all you need to see how little regard they have for facts or truth.
Picking the most prominent of the “For” team, let’s have a quick look at Bjorn Lomborg. John Mashey has a new post “BJORN LOMBORG, Wizard of misdirection & Reincarnation of Julian Simon” over at The Way Things Break that looks at Lomborg’s principle tactics.
There is another simple explanation as to why the climate propoenents were not influenced by the debate. I would like to suggest that they were probably more educated about this issue, and hence not disposed to believe the blizzard of bullshit that got thrown at them.
On the other hand those in the Undecided group would be very susceptible to what appears to be a mountain of evidence, but is in fact merely a large heap of something.
As mentioned, I may get around to dissecting the actual transcript and demonstrating the truth of what I suggest here, or not.
Regardless, never debate! It is a popularity contest between those expressing the complexity and uncertainty of reality versus the charisma of absolute certainty in an ideology, and we know who wins those.
That is why Deniers always want public debates rather than simply referring to the facts and evidence. They cannot win the latter, and they almost always win the former, so it’s not much of a choice for them, nor for us.
We give our consent every moment that we do not resist.
Denier “Challenge” aka Deathwatch Update: Day 88 … still no evidence.