2011-09-01 11:30:53CERN - Saying Nothing About Cosmic Ray Effects on Climate
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.106.125

Drafted up what's meant to be the basic rebuttal to the myth "CERN proved cosmic rays are causing global warming", to compliment ThingsBreak's more technical (Intermediate) version.  I tried to keep the language as simple as possible.  I also used the "final nail in the coffin" theme discussed in general chat.

CERN - the Newest Nail in the Coffin

CERN - Saying Nothing About Cosmic Ray Effects on Climate

2011-09-01 14:29:58Have mixed feelings about nail in the coffin theme
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
130.102.158.12
On the one hand, it's visual and funny and if by lampooning every goon that uses the "final nail in the coffin" cliche, we cause deniers to stop using that metaphor, I would consider the series a resounding success.

On the other hand, a key element to communication psychology is that the by making people more familiar with a myth, you risk a backfire effect where you reinforce the myth (increased familiarity and repetition increase the chance of people accepting it as true). In this case, are we reinforcing the "nail in the coffin" metaphor. The backfire effect occurs because people read a debunking of a myth then afterwards, after time has passed, all they remember is the myth. In this case, the danger is they come away just remembering the strong visual of "nail in the coffin" and climate change.

So a few thoughts. Perhaps our visual should be "bent nails" or "broken nails". Secondly, I don't think that this heading should be about the nails or coffins. Instead, it should be about your core message. What is the core message in this post? It's buried away towards the bottom - the CERN people themselves say this study doesn't prove a GCR-climate link at all. I would suggest your headline should contain that somehow and your first paragraph should have something about how a new CERN study has come out investigating cosmic rays, the people involved in the study have said "yards yards" and despite this, the website XXX has labeled this the "final nail in the coffin". For this reason, XXX has been awarded the inaugural SkS Bent Nail Award for gratuitous and false application of the "final nail in the coffin" metaphor. Something like that - if we decide to go with someone like that, jg or I can come up with a badge or award graphic of some sort.

On the other hand, just to contradict myself, maybe we should launch the series with a blog post "The Skeptical Science Bent Nail Award" and explain how the nail metaphor is used so often, here are a few examples and SkS will be awarding websites this award at regular intervals. Then follow up with Dana's post as the inaugural award. Just thinking out aloud here, would like to do it in such a way that it's as humorous and tweetable as possible. Plus the "launch" post gives readers a chance to suggest examples.

2011-09-01 14:52:51
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.106.125

Oh John, I knew you'd get on me for buring the lede.  You're always messing with my flow, man.  I didn't start with the quote because I wanted to lay the foundation and explain GCRs and their climate impact first.

jg's got a good graphic with some bent nails in a coffin, by the way.

2011-09-01 14:59:08Flow and core messages
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
130.102.158.12
I wrestled with the same issue - you want to build up a story then hit them with the conclusion. But you're also meant to start with the core message - which is kind of like starting a murder mystery by revealing who the murderer is on the first page. Or by giving away Planet of the Apes shocker ending by showing the destroyed Statue of Liberty on the DVD cover (they actually did this).

the way I resolved this conundrum came about when I wrote that article for The Age. My core message was "Bob Carter cherry picks". So I started my article by talking about the Yiddish proverb "a half truth is a whole lie". It enabled me to kick off with my core message without upsetting the flow of the article.

In this case, you could maintain flow but still start with the core message by talking about how deniers claim results from a study which contradict the very people who did the study. Eg - establish the principle from the outset then give the specific example further down the track.

2011-09-01 15:16:01Acronym pun
jyyh
Otto Lehikoinen
otanle@hotmail...
85.77.214.16

CERN - Cosmic Effects Really Non-existent.

2011-09-01 15:20:45damn dirty apes
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.106.125

Eh, I just put the Statue of Liberty on the cover.  I think it still works okay.

2011-09-01 18:36:42
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.55.176

Looks fine to me.

2011-09-01 20:17:48
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.32.69

John,

Part of the visual effect - according to my view of the plan - is that the article end with the (preferably animated) image of the GHE zombie pushing up the lid of the coffin. That should reinforce the punchline.

I think jg was working on the visuals.

2011-09-01 22:08:24Google translate of my rebuttal
Hoskibui

hoskibui@gmail...
80.239.242.158

I like it, thumbs up.

--

P.S. it might be useful (doubt it though), but last night I made a rebuttal in icelandic and it can be found here in a google translated way.

2011-09-02 01:26:05ready to go
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.106.125

Okay, I created the myth "CERN CLOUD experiment proved cosmic rays are causing global warming."  I made my post the basic rebuttal, and thingsbreak's the intermediate.  I gave it the short URL sks.to/cern.  And I added a greenbox to the bottom of my post noting all that.

Now my post just needs jg's nails graphics and we're good to go.

2011-09-02 06:57:58
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.32.69

I think you have to state the claim at the beginning, to get a sensible association with the nail.

Also, I think the tone is a little too dry: If we're going to play with nails and zombies, we should be willing to crack a smile.

2011-09-02 12:17:20
jyyh
Otto Lehikoinen
otanle@hotmail...
85.77.109.161

the flaming headlines belong to 'sceptic' sites

2011-09-02 14:45:09
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.106.125
The rebuttal is probably fine as-is. The blog post may need some revising to work with all the nail imagery once jg is finished with it. I may leave that up to John since I'll be on vacation, unless he wants to wait until I get back.
2011-09-03 13:09:54It's worse than saying nothing
muoncounter
Dan Friedman
dfriedman3@comcast...
76.30.158.238

It really is worse than saying nothing; this experiment can't say anything about cosmic rays and climate.

 

The 3.5 GeV positive pion beam used is just as good an analog for solar cosmic rays as it is for the elusive galactic cosmic rays.  We live in a constant background of solar cosmic rays - mostly muons with 2-4 GeV energy.  If the CLOUD experiment actually produces clouds beyond Nigel Calder's wildest dreams, then we would have solar cosmic rays producing clouds -- we should have all clouds, all the time.  As I've said before, where are the clouds?

 

Further, the original tie to GCRs was the Be10 anomalies coincident with cooling events.  Be10 is formed by spallation; it is typically a result of high energy protons (which are actually GCR products).  Pions decay to muons.  There aren't any protons in this experiment; it does not represent even the basic points of the supposed GCR-climate connection.

 

Calder's dam against which AGW breaks is leaking very badly.

2011-09-03 17:15:52
Glenn Tamblyn

glenn@thefoodgallery.com...
124.180.41.123

Generally I like it. One point however that is perhaps important for a basic rebuttal is that it doesn't spell out the difference in time scale between a solar cycle and multiple decades of warming. A more knowledgable audience might understand that, a basic one not.

 

Muoncounter. Sounds to me like you are the right person to write the advanced rebuttal...