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Discussion: How to talk to climate skeptics

in: blairtrewin; blairtrewin > 2020-01-12

Jan 13, 2020 9:05 AM # 
salal:
Do you have any thoughts / advice?
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Jan 14, 2020 5:46 AM # 
jennycas:
"Speak softly and carry a big stick"?
Jan 14, 2020 6:58 AM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_i...
Jan 14, 2020 9:52 AM # 
blairtrewin:
If you're after a resource for counters to specific sceptic arguments, https://skepticalscience.com/ is a valuable site.

More generally, if I'm speaking to an audience which I think is going to have more than its fair share of sceptics (say, a rural community), my strategy is two-pronged; one is to present a lot of information about what's been happening in their local area (people find it hard to relate to a 1-degree rise in average temperatures, but they can relate more to the idea that the first 35C day of the season is a month earlier in spring than it was 50 years ago), and the second is to be frank about areas where there is still a lot of scientific uncertainty - in Australia, two examples are what's going to happen to extreme high rainfalls, and what's going to happen to tropical cyclones - because I think being honest about areas where we're uncertain gives you more credibility when speaking about the areas which are certain.

Helps that I'm an observations person; would be harder for a modeller to do that successfully.

And if anyone starts getting into details about specific observation sites and us supposedly not knowing enough about them, I have been known to use the story about how I drowned my car at Kalumburu...
Jan 14, 2020 10:42 AM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
How many obs sites ticked off. How many to go?
Jan 14, 2020 10:48 AM # 
blairtrewin:
104 down, 8 to go.
Jan 14, 2020 8:59 PM # 
salal:
I will have to hear that story sometime. Thomas has pointed a mild skeptic (someone who was maybe more hoping it's not true, but is relatively scientific) to the ippc report I think. But it's harder when they are an obnoxious pro oil skeptic (like someone who my parents know...).
Jan 14, 2020 11:29 PM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
I think the hardest thing to deal with is not pro-oil vested interests, but tribal identification. This does not just apply to climate change, but to any one of the fractured debates where tribalism trumps evidence - vaccines, GMOs, alternative agricultures come to mind.
Jan 15, 2020 2:35 AM # 
blairtrewin:
As for the Kalumburu saga, you can get a taste of it here.

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