Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Rising to the Red Team - Blue Team Challenge. Get Strategy.


“Scott Pruitt, the deeply mistrusted head of the US Environmental Protection Agency, confirmed ... his plans to launch a “red team-blue team” exercise on the subject on climate change could reach fruition as early as next month. …”
“Scott Pruitt’s call for a ‘Red Team, Blue Team’ debate on climate change is a farce and a distraction,” said Peter Frumhoff from the UCS after Pruitt’s hearing. “If he has questions about climate science, he should turn to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, not hacks from the Heartland Institute. …”
Scott Pruitt Confirms “Red Team–Blue Team” Climate Exercise Could Launch As Early As January  |  December 11th, 2017 by Joshua S Hill  
______________________________________________________________

The internet is abuzz with handwringing over the prospect of Pruitt's "red team - blue team" competition to "establish" the validity of the scientific understanding of human caused global warming, (see the recent SkepticalScience.com article I’ve reposted below.)

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!

(originally posted at my new ConfrontingScienceContrarians blog)

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Announcing "Confronting Science Contrarians" blogspot

The title of this blog has received many complaints over the years and I've finally taken steps to remedy that by starting a new blogspot that's more explicitly titled and that reflects my own developing perspective.  It's still pretty bare bones but come on down for a visit anyways - let me know somebody is out there.

Confronting Science Contrarians






Tuesday, November 14, 2017

An Earth-Centrist's Observations On Communicating Climate Reality


November 9th Dr. Trenberth visited our local Fort Lewis College for an afternoon Climate Change Symposium that included four other scientists and a talk on ‘Climate Communication and Engagement” by Heidi Steltzer, along with a panel discussion. 

The event spurred me into another exercise in trying to refine my observations on what’s closing in on a half century of active personal interest and engagement with learning about Earth Sciences and Climate Sciences along with the developing dysfunctional public conversation, in a concise manner.  I hope some of it resonates with some of you and that it's of some little use.


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Introduction

In the half century since starting high school in 1969, climate science has blossomed.  The details have been filled in by an amazing global community of scientists, technicians, students and their array of instrumentation for Earth Observations along with super computers for processing the flood of data.  

These scientists have been reporting back to We The People and our leaders with overwhelming evidence of manmade warming of our biosphere, resulting in our changing climate with its cascading consequences that are catching those experts by surprise with their speed.  Yet, …  

Over the decades much has been learned, countless of refinements, a number of unexpected discoveries and surprises.  Through it all the fundamental story remains identical, only the details got slightly rearranged into better focus.

Then, why are we collectively, as a people, and even worse, our leaders, more deluded about climate science and its implications for our future than back in ’69?  


I don’t pretend to have any answers, but I have been witnessing and wrestling with this problem for decades and would like to share some neglected observations that deserve more consideration.    (edited 12/13/17)
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Uncertainties vs. known Physical Certainties

Is it a service or disservice to constantly allow trivial uncertainties to become the focal point of the public discussion?

In real life when we get mired or overwhelmed by increasingly complex situations, we stop, back off a little, get reoriented with the big picture, reacquaint ourselves with what we do know for certain, then move forward again.  

I’m not saying ignore uncertainties!  I’m saying keep reminding us of the overriding fundamental certainties!  Thus putting contrarian trivial pursuits into real world perspective.
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Map vs. Territory Problem

Scientists are Cartographers mapping out the geophysical realities of our planet, the Territory if you will.  They do the best they can with the data they have available.

Too often we get trapped into assuming that until our scientists can define all aspects with statistical certainty, we should assume it doesn’t exist.  Getting lost on the Map and forgetting we exist within the Territory.  Not wise.
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Sloppy usage of “Natural Variability”

Every component and aspect of our Global Heat and Moisture Distribution Engine is warming and energizing.  All of Earth’s historic Natural Variabilities are embedded within this warming matrix.

Yet too often ‘natural variability’ gets used as a sort of defense against acknowledging the obvious.  Weather systems are not caused by manmade global warming, but every last one of them is certainly impacted by it.  

We have left our historic climate regime.  Comparisons to yesteryears offer little guidance for understanding this brave new 400 PPM CO2 + + world we have created for ourselves and children.
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“Seepage”

Allowing dishonest shrill voices to force scientists into following the contrarian script rather than focusing on conveying our physical reality to the public.

As Prof. Stephen Lewandowsky put it: “...even when scientists are rebutting contrarian talking points, they often do so within a framing and within a linguistic landscape created by denial, and often in a manner that reinforces the contrarian claim. This ‘‘seepage’’ has arguably contributed to a widespread tendency to understate the severity of the climate problem.

Check out his paper:

1 the scientific community has adopted assumptions or language from discourse that originated outside the scientific community or from a small set of dissenting scientific voices. 
2 those assumptions depart from those commonly held by the scientific community.

Also see:   
Seepage: Climate change denial and its effect on the scientific community
Greg Laden - May 15, 2015

On Seeps and SCAMS Part I: Lessons for Climate Scientists - May 14, 2015

On Seeps and SCAMS Part II: Pat'n Chip'n David Fake a Debate.

Seeps and SCAMS Part III: Richard Betts misunderstands (and misrepresents) a paper

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“Global Warming” vs “Climate Change”  

Climate change is a result, not a cause! 

Give credit where credit is due.
It’s the atmospheric insulation driving these changes!

Be clear Anthropogenic Global Warming is the cause and driver 
of the increasingly intense cascading Climate Changes we are witnessing.  

Cascading Consequences?

More greenhouse gases in the atmosphere;
more infrared radiation bouncing around within the atmosphere;
more heat and energy accumulating within that atmosphere;
more moisture that atmosphere holds;
more heat, moisture and energy being moved around by weather systems;
more intense and destructive weather events.

One thing leads to another.

It's deniable, but unavoidable, physics.
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Responsibilities of Scientists vs
Responsibilities of Citizens and Students

Scientists are dedicated to their work, given their education and accumulated knowledge, their time is very precious and we need them focusing on their respective tasks.  

They are not the ones to fight for the recognition that their work is rational, objective, factually, and morally authoritative.  They’ve done the difficult task of accumulating, digesting, reporting, and filing the substantive evidence. 

Who’s to defend them? 
  
A HEALTHY DEMOCRACY DEMANDS AN INFORMED AND ENGAGED CITIZENRY.
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Define the Debate, A to Z

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.

Z 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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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!

A good resource for factual jump starts: 

Focus.  Expose the dishonesty in their words and educate them.
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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! 
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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. 

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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.

      fyi, studies in the contrarian mindscape: 

LandscapesAndCycles, Jim Steele’s malicious deception.
A contrarian shouts: “Science, science, science.”
google Jujutsu”   ~  Food for Thought, turn the conversation into an exploration of the tactics of avoidance, evasion and lying.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Where appropriate, why not point out Calumny in action?  
Be ready to define it:  https://dictionary.thelaw.com/calumny/

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Faith-based Thinking - consider the source

Possessing the hubris to fancy that we petty, jealous, fearful, prideful humans can access and understand the real God of Light and Time, Life and Love, leads to a profound disconnect from our planet’s physical reality, and an immoral absolutism.  

It's one thing to believe in an unknowable god, quite another to mistake one’s own hyper-inflated EGO for God. Unhinged from reality is not too harsh a descriptive.
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The pain of our brave new world

Face it, or not, we are like children being inextricably torn from our mother for all time.  Our brave new world is arriving, it will be traumatic, but we can’t wish it away.  Delusional thinking and disregard for scientific understanding and rational constructive dialogue will only make the coming decades that much worse.  Why are we all still allowing it?
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WE THE PEOPLE,

have the right to demand honesty when hearing what real experts are trying to convey, without being flooded with the constant deceptive and fraudulent cross-screaming of the propaganda machine of unhinged self-obsessed oligarchs and their astro-turfing thugs.
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About me and why this flier

By nature, I’ve always been fascinated by, and actively learning, about our Earth in all her marvelous aspects - along with the humans she created and the evolving society Earth enabled and nurtured. 

Shared science has enriched me and made me feel a member of this world and this moment in the time that I find myself experiencing.  It’s this feeling of connectedness that drives me to share these thoughts in return.    

Best wishes, Peter Miesler

http://WhatsUpWithThatWatts.blogspot.com


Message to interested readers, I'm just an outside life long observer and my writing is done in fits and starts with constant short and long interrupts, thus it never surpasses the 'grandma moses' level.  But, my information is solid and my reasoning is solid and I welcome anyone with more time and focus, to take anything at WUWTW and use it as a starting point for better efforts that reach more people.  

Of course, if anyone were interested in helping me focus more on this, my obvious passion, to see what I could accomplish with the luxury of full-time focus on my side, please do let me.  


Citizenschallenge - P.O.Box 56 - Durango, Colorado, 81302 - citizenschallenge at gmail

Friday, November 3, 2017

Considering the Contrarian Mindscape


This is about Intellectual Confrontation and my pal 'n sparing partner over at CFI, MikeYohe, who's tenacity in the face of my steady stream of explanations, references, links, counter-questions has been impressive.  He stands his ground where other climate science contrarians have slunk away in silence.

I'm appreciative of the opportunity it allows me to unpeel his layers of self-deception.  He also makes a bad habit of slandering Dr. Michael Mann with outlandish, but widely believed fabricated nonsense. Thus I've promised myself to share that discussion over here, but it takes time he's so good with the gish gallop.  In the meanwhile, I want to start the ball rolling with this recent exchange.  It's a screen shot and not of the best quality but the link is there, come on down, join the discussion. ;-)  Food for thought.
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Breaking news, released November 4th: 
Climate Science Special Report
Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), Volume I

This report is an authoritative assessment of the science of climate change, with a focus on the United States. It represents the first of two volumes of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, mandated by the Global Change Research Act of 1990.

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My response to Mike's ramble are in red,
click for clearer image.
                                                                                     

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Considering a contrarian’s “Global Warming Pathways”


Mikie the Contrarian writes:

What I see is there are (two) separate Global Warming pathways going on at the same time. ...

But first.  Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.  Though I only had a lifetime of self-study regarding our marvelous planet and its processes and history under my belt, I still felt qualified enough to put in hundreds of hours directly confronting contrarian claims with rational arguments, backed by copious links to more authoritative sources for real learning opportunities.  

Various impulses drove this passion, since I’m basically self taught it provided me with great personal learning challenges.  I’ll admit to dreaming of winning over some contrarian, though more important was a desire to produce substantive study guides to help jump start interested students to engage in their own efforts of public debate and standing up to the massive malicious astroturfing going on.  

I’d also hoped to network with like minded citizens who resented the nonstop transparent lies as much as I do and who were likewise motivated to engage in the public “debate.”

I’m aware that with over a decade of blogging all I have to show for my efforts is a good deal of self-education which is satisfaction in itself, but still never any substantive connections that would help me improve my work, nor any sort of organizing a bit of intellectual confrontationalism against all the malicious deception being astroturfed everywhere.  

Seems everyone rather keep it polite and play by the contrarian handbook.  

Yet, it’s 2017, and it seems that despite all that has unfolding in past years and again this year not a damned thing has been learned by so-called conservatives and the GOP in general, heck the Democratic liberals themselves remain stunned and clueless as ever.  

So, what’s the point at this point?  

Calistoga CA and end of The Dream


As I write this the northern California fires continue raging and Calfire doesn’t expect containment for another week.  Santa Rosa the area’s ‘big city’ has been decimated, quite literally.  Major fires in Mendocino County and around Clear Lake (yet again) with Sonoma and Napa valleys being particularly hard hit this past week.

Right now heroic efforts continue to cut fire-lines and other defenses against the huge Tubbs fire in order to save Chateau Montelena Winery of “Bottle Shock” fame and the beautiful little town of Calistoga at the head of the Napa Valley.

All hinges on the weather.  Beyond a certain point, heat and wind will overcome the best defenses, given a few days of favorable winds/temps and the town has a good chance.  (Saturday turned out to be a good day for them and I wish them well these next couple critical days.)

Not that it’s more important than the other catastrophes going down, but this one’s personal, I know the town and the landscape fairly well so this hurts in a way destruction in places I'm not connected with can't. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

“Climate Fears and Finance” - A look at CRC's Dr. S.J. Allen’s fraud.

I will be taking a closer look at Dr. Steven Allen’s (Capital Research Center) YouTube feature, “Climate Fears and Finance” which is a stringing together of misrepresentations, innuendo and lies about a topic that is of critical importance to our future, after an introduction. 

Finishing my Investors Business Daily takedown was the usual let down.  No one seems concerned or interested.  No one wants to be bothered.  In my short email exchanges with Dr. Mann, I could almost hear him thinking: ‘Buddy, I got a bottom drawer full of this and worse! What do you want me to do about it?’  Thing is, that’s right.  He’s got far more important work to do with that incredible brain, his time is too precious to be squandered on such contrived delusionals.

Still, people should care.  In particular, I can’t grasp why there are so few knowledgable students who care about their futures and honesty enough to confront such trash in comments sections where ever that sort of fraud gets astro-turfed.  

Why aren’t hundreds writing the sort of take-downs I am - say what you will about my quality or tone, these dissections are to the point and packed with valid information that climate science contrarians always run and hide from.  Nor are they tough to put together, if you have a familiarity with the topic, a curiosity to search out more information and wrestle with arguments.  They also make excellent personal learning tools. 

Or, for that matter the older folks like me who have been attentive witnesses to the past decades of slow ominous degradation of the biosphere we were born into, mature people who resent juvenile malicious nonsense when they see it.  We have Potholer54 and Greenman3610, but need many more.  Why are we leaving the playing field open to these strategically manipulative fraudsters?

In any event I did what I could, it’s part of the record now, back to catching up on my wage slaving obligations.  In my spare time I've returned to wresting with the Map Territory Problem and am reading from suggestions that Trenberth and Francis offered and this.  Of course, such reading always leads to looking up more papers.  Check out one link, read the abstract, perhaps dig into the full paper if available, do a little searching for other stuff related to points raised, see something else that catches my eye, before I know, I’ve got multiple pages with a dozen tabs on each open and me overwhelmed with info overload and deeply humbled by the folds within folds of complexities.  That’s when I must step back allowing things to soak in, reestablish my grip on the fundamentals and to get some perspective.

If I visit CFI and am not careful my sparring mate Mikie The Contrarian will have me chasing another one of his shticks.  Which is how I discovered the scandalous Dr. S.J. Allen of the Capital Research Center where he’s Vice President & Chief Investigative Officer.  He previously served as press secretary to U.S. Senator Jeremiah Denton, as editor of Tea Party Review magazine, and as senior researcher for Newt Gingrich 2012.  
edited 9/30/2017,  9:00 PM
Links to info re feedback mechanisms added October 11.