2011-04-16 11:18:34Ideas for Treehugger videos
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
60.231.60.165

Treehugger suggested doing a video on record snow, asking I do a monologue of our rebuttal of "record snow disproves global warming". They'd then add visuals to my audio - the video went live a few days ago:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Video-record-breaking-snow-doesnt-mean-global-warming-stopped.html

I thought listening to my droning voice was fairly cringeworthy but they'd like to do a series of the videos, possibly bringing out one every week. So they asked for a suggested series of topics. Anyone got any suggestions? The emphasis should be on the most common myths seen in mainstream media and used by politicians. A few possible ideas:

  • "How to tell if you're a genuine skeptic or a climate denier". Not debunking a specific myth but setting the scene for all the videos. Discuss what a genuine skeptic is (someone who looks at all the evidence then comes to a conclusion) and what a climate denier is (someone who refuses to accept any evidence that contradicts their pre-held view). Then look at a few common examples.
  • "Climategate" - look at how every movement that denies a scientific consensus engages in conspiracy theories as a way to avoid the evidence. Climategate is the perfect example of trying to deflect attention from all the evidence for global warming.
  • "It's not happening" - look at the many lines of evidence that global warming is happening. Based on this graphic.
  • "It's not us" - look at the many lines of evidence that humans are causing global warming. Based on this graphic.
  • "It's the sun" - the most popular climate myth. Show how in the last few decades of global warming, sun and climate have been going in opposite directions. Then show patterns of current warming which further prove it's not the sun.

Any other good topics?

2011-04-16 12:16:41Nice
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.97.203
I thought it was quite good John. We Americans like Aussie accents! Maybe a weather vs climate video. I was going to say, it's the sun would be good, also it's natural (cycle and variability). And it's not happening.
2011-04-16 12:49:41
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Second on that "Its not happening"

Cutting audio can be kinda fun.  Back when I was selling TV advertising (hey, a man's gotta make a living somehow) I used to cut audio for my (and other exec's) clients all the time (including radio spots for them).

2011-04-16 17:50:43
Glenn Tamblyn

glenn@thefoodgallery.com...
121.219.26.219

A good one would be the 'It Can't be Us' meme. Both sources of CO2, but also the 'insignificance' of CO2. Joe Sixpack (or Susan Scone Maker - That was gender steroetyping wasn't it) looks around their day-to-day world, doesn't see most of our impacts (out of sight, out of mind - so what the f@&k is IR Radiation anyway?) and just can't viscerally 'get' that we can re-arrange a biosphere.

I was reading an article in the Saturday paper a few hours ago about guys working in the Coal industry in Australia. Put in the hours and you can get a salary equivalent to a senior manager in other industries. But you are mining coal - a GH product. The 'I don't see how we can be doing anything that is bad, what we do is insignificant' is a powerful argument to a young man who is securing his financial future from digging up black gold.

Connecting the imaginations of Joe & Susan to the big wide world, even to a small degree, is all upside for us. Even though we may be asking them to confront hard realities.

So a critical philosophical tenet is that this is a problem for all of us - no one will be left out, no one will be a victim. You will not be penalised just because grasping/coping/understanding this is too hard for you.

2011-04-19 12:54:01Rethinking the series theme
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
60.231.60.165

I'm rethinking the series concept. It's important that people understand climate science but just as important that they understand how climate denial misleads and distorts the science. Cognitive research indicates when you debunk myths, you also need to supply a narrative so the audience understands how/why the misinformer is misleading them. Otherwise, they just come away with “he said/she said” confusion and the debunking is often ineffective.

So I suggest giving the whole series the title "Are you a genuine skeptic or a climate denier?" The first episode explains the difference between skepticism and denial. The next 5 episodes look at the 5 characteristics of climate denial, using popular climate myths. So we debunk common myths but also explain the underlying principles of climate denial which at its heart is about denying or avoiding the full body of evidence.

  • "Are you a genuine skeptic or a climate denier?". Set the scene for all the videos. Discuss what a genuine skeptic is (someone who looks at all the evidence then comes to a conclusion) and what a climate denier is (someone who refuses to accept any evidence that contradicts their pre-held view). Then look at a few common examples.
  • Conspiracy Theories - look at how every movement that denies a scientific consensus engages in conspiracy theories as a way to avoid the evidence. Climategate is the perfect example of trying to deflect attention from all the evidence for global warming.
  • Fake Experts - raising up individuals purporting to be experts whose views conflict with scientific consensus (eg - tobacco industry and "Operation Whitecoat"). Examine most popular example in climate denial - the OISM Petition Project with 31,000 skeptic scientists.
  • Cherry Picking - drawing on isolated papers/data while ignoring the full body of evidence. Eg - insist global cooling while ignoring many lines of evidence that global warming is happening.
  • Impossible Expectations - demand impossible levels of proof before we act on climate change - in essence delaying climate action indefinitely. Examine "the science isn't settled" fallacy & criticisms of climate models.
  • Logical fallacies - examine fallacies such as "climate has changed naturally in the past therefore current change must be natural also"
2011-04-19 14:02:04
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.97.203

Sounds like a good plan.

2011-04-19 14:14:01Aussie accent
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
60.231.60.165

I'll "ocker" up my accent for the USA audience. "Gudday deniers! Climate science is bonza, mate! Crikey, that denier is rabid and ready to strike! Let's poke him with a stick!!"

The right-wing deniers will be so charmed, they'll forget to be outraged :-)

2011-04-19 14:15:23
James Wight

jameswight@southernphone.com...
112.213.169.63

Then you wouldn’t get to cover the #1 argument, “It’s the Sun”. Another top argument you might consider is “CO2 lags temperature” – it’s been on and off our top ten list but in my anecdotal experience it is an extremely common argument.

“Impossible expectations” also applies to some criticisms of climate data and its handling and sharing.

Another common logical fallacy is ad hominem - they can't deny the massive body of evidence so they focus on a handful of scientists, Al Gore, and the monolithic IPCC.

2011-04-19 14:17:10
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.97.203

You could cover it's the sun in the cherrypicking episode.

Throw another shrimp on the barbie, mate!

2011-04-19 14:22:40Oh oh, my imagination is going wild now
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
60.231.60.165

Now I can't help thinking of a Croc hunter/Man vs Wild hybrid (Denier hunter/Man vs denial) mocumentary as a Steve Irwin type encounters various forms of climate denier, analyses their denial techniques.

"Here's we see the denier in his natural habitat - the denialosphere. Here, he feeds on a diet of misinformation, conspiracy theories and ideological rants. His natural enemy - empirical evidence!"

Okay, back to some real work now!

2011-04-19 16:10:48
Glenn Tamblyn

glenn@thefoodgallery.com...
143.238.232.1

John

What seems to be missing from your list of topics, perhaps it could come under Fake Experts, is Experts Who Mislead. People who actually are experts in the field, who know the body of knowledge, but then mis-represent it often by ommission - Lindzen, Christy etc come to mind. Going into what they are doing and possible motivations they might have for doing so might be enlightening.

2011-04-19 16:15:08
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.97.203
That's a very good point, Glenn. Tobacco companies had "real" experts like Lindzen, too.