#Climate denialism – what, how, why, who. Video by #Manchester bigmouth

After I published an interview with the excellent blogger over at “And Then There’s Physics” there were some brief and exceptionally useful exchanges with a few people (some more than others), on the D word…  I promised a video. Voila.

[Comments on the youtube channel will be moderately moderated, comments on the blog immoderately.]

Update:  17th March.    This John Russell guy clearly… is right.  Sigh. #schoolboyerrors

johnrussell40 says:

While I agree with the points it was trying to make, unfortunately it wasn’t much good as a video. Why? Well it broke rule number 1, which is something every communicator should understand. Rule number 1 is: “when on-screen text is used, it should always match the narration”. In other words, the narrator should be repeating any text that appears on screen (or the text should echo the narration). The human mind cannot comfortably read text and listen to different narration: either the ears of the eyes will command most attention and the other will be missed. Even if the text and narration are both making the same point, if they use different words then they will pull against one another.



About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
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9 Responses to #Climate denialism – what, how, why, who. Video by #Manchester bigmouth

  1. Rachel says:

    Good video although I do have one complaint. Why not explain what a gish gallop is rather than telling people they shouldn’t be involved if they don’t know what it means? I didn’t know what it meant when I first started debating climate science contrarians. Does that mean I should not have debated them at all? A bit hard really when they’re members of my family and can’t be avoided. The more people engaged in the debate from the science side the better. It really shouldn’t matter whether they know what gish gallop means.

  2. Brandon Shollenberger says:

    I’m confused by many things in this video. You’ve clarified one point in response to Rachel. It’s true you originally stated that point was definitely true, making it odd you’d change it the moment it was called into question, but it’s still good you gave a prompt correction.

    Perhaps you could clarify a different point for me. You say it’s helpful to think of four types of denialism. You then list:

    1) Trend denialism.
    2) Attribution denialism
    3) Impacts denialis (which you say includes lukewarmers
    4) Policy skeptics

    You clearly list “policy skeptics” as denialists, yet the description of your video states you are “deadly serious that we should all be policy skeptics.” This would seem to suggest you think everyone should be a denialist. That seems to be the only conclusion one can draw.

    Given that’s an incredibly odd conclusion, could you clarify just what is a “denialist”?

    • Hi Brandon,
      well, James Hansen is a denier too, according to some.

      I am so sorry that many things in the video confuse you.

      The video was thrown together at (too much) haste as an act of procrastination and perseveration – I was avoiding doing work on something more important than explaining why a bunch of people have such trouble with 19th century physics. And so I wasn’t clear in my thinking or language. What I meant in the original is that if scientists are going to engage in public with denialists, then they should know what to expect – chop logic, puerile debating techniques etc etc. What Rachel pointed out is that the video could be seen as telling individuals to roll over when idiotic old uncles (it’s usually old white men. Not exclusively, but disproportionately) spout gibberish they read on websites or certain media outlets.

      The denialist/skeptic confusion comes from me taking the four part denialism from James Painter. But he doesn’t like the term denialist (that’s his right) and talks about skeptics. Now, it’s a bit odd to call someone a policy “denialist” – and I meant what I said in the video. But I will expand – our so-called mitigation “strategies” are a sick joke. We are not even re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. We are (to mix metaphors) hitting the accelerator on the bus that’s heading towards the edge of the cliff. Personally, I think we’ve already gone off the cliff, but that’s something we won’t know for sure for another 20 years perhaps. So we should be skeptics.

      Basically, what you’ve done here is attempt to use semantics and something that doesn’t really quite rise to the level of “logic”. I refer again to this post –

      to generate more heat than light.

      If you have something substantive to add, reply. If you come back with more time-wasting games, I ain’t gonna post it, so you may as well keep shtum, no? This site is primarily about MANCHESTER Climate (in)action.

      • Brandon Shollenberger says:

        I’m afraid I don’t get your response. I asked a simple question the answer to which is essential for anyone hoping to understand your viewpoint: What is a denialist? It should be easy to give a single sentence definition as an answer.

        I think I’ll leave my response at that as that’s the important point here, and I doubt you’d post anything more I might say.

      • The simple question is answered near the outset of the video. I quoted the Hoofnagle brothers.

        Something about cheap rhetorical tricks used to obscure reality, I seem to recall… (I paraphrase).

  3. Pingback: Climate denialism | And Then There's Physics

  4. Brandon Shollenberger says:

    manchesterclimatemonthly, by what you said in that video, anyone who is a policy skeptic (or lukewarmer) is a denialist. As I pointed out in my original comment, that seems odd. All I’ve been asking is for you to clarify if you think those people are denialists.

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