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  •  Wow. Mann really sounds like a self-idolizing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WeatherDem

    prick.

    That's a shame, too, because he is a very knowledgeable and influential self-idolizing prick who is very right about one thing:

    Scientists need to emphasize what we know over what we do not know.

    However, it pays to understand the nature of the problem with regard to actually getting something done -- something a recent statement by the American Association for the Advancement of Science did quite nicely.

    Global warming may be a science question, but the response is not merely a matter of risk assessment, but a special kind of  argument called Pascal's Wager.

    Blaise Pascal's original model concerned belief in God, and was a very early example of decision theory:

    1. If I believe in God and there is no God:
      a.  I'll spend time doing something that's pointless,
      b.  I'll spend money that I don't need to, but
      c.  I'll aquire some social standing and friends in the process
      d. When I die, I die -- incapable of any embarrassment over having been wrong in my lifetime

    2.  If I don't believe in God and there is a God:

      a. I will have a little more money and time,
      b. I  will lose some social status and some friends,
      c. I will spend eternity in Hell.

    At issue is not merely whether you're right or wrong, but the consequences of being right or wrong.

    I think many people perform the same kind of analysis with regard to global warming, and they don't all come to the same conclusion.  Given the general contempt that our leaders have for us, it's easy to understand a consequence-derived skepticism for the science.  If you don't trust the powers that be  and expect to be a loser in any intitiative, you're more likely to disbelieve the science as well.  As much as people like to shout "denier", it's much easier to deny the science than  to say "Oh sure, I know we're doomed but I don't think we should do anything about it."

    Clear and succinct discussions of the science are absolutely desirable -- imperative, even. But a major focus on "you will not be screwed" -- an honest one, not just bullshit -- would go a long way to elminating "deniers".

    It's coincidence, but for people who like a non-asshole discussion of scientific consensus and the way science should work, we are fortunate to have two nice recent lay-person articles in two scientific publications for the layman:

    The Case against Copernicus, in the January, 2014 Scientific American
    We are all Mutants, an interview with Masatoshi Nei, in the March, 2014 Discover magazine.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 03:17:22 PM PDT

    •  science is not about politics (4+ / 0-)

      people should base their opinions on the science. period.

      and mann is one of the best and most important climate scientists in the world, and has had his very career potentially threatened because of dishonest attacks by climate change deniers. he doesn't suffer fools.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 03:23:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is simply nonsense. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eparrot

        Always has been and always will be.

        If you don't trust the people telling you that, and, especially if you believe that you will be a loser in the new regime, you are  less likely to listen.  

        People look out for themselves and for their families.
        If listening to the science means that you and your children and their children are screwed, you're likely to be very aggressively opposed to anything put forward.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 03:34:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  or maybe (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          davidincleveland, Militarytracy

          if people listen to the science, they will demand the action that it demands.

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 03:38:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  In a fully fair and rational world, that would be (0+ / 0-)

            the case, but HL Mencken got it right.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 03:43:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  yeah (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              davidincleveland, Militarytracy

              because people just give up. like on suffrage or civil rights or marriage equality or getting the u.s. out of vietnam and iraq. or something.

              The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

              by Laurence Lewis on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 03:45:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No. There are alternatives to giving up -- like (0+ / 0-)

                understanding the obstacles and working to overcome them.

                In this case, one obstacle is that people are not anxious to screw themselves over or to screw their children over.

                Surely there are ways to fight global warming that don't screw everybody over.  If not, the fight is most definitely lost.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 04:42:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  um (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  davidincleveland

                  you do understand the consequences of climate change, right? if you actually care about people being screwed over.

                  The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                  by Laurence Lewis on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 04:49:29 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Um, I do understand the consequences of global (0+ / 0-)

                    warming.

                    If you actually care about it, you should want to do something about it, not merely stew and curse those who aren't helping you out.

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 05:37:43 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'd go further (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      dinotrac

                      If Laurence actually cares about global warming, they should want to engage with those whom they seem to disagree, not write hit pieces that seek to delegitimize people who do not perfectly agree with Laurence.

                    •  informing people (0+ / 0-)

                      is doing something about it. i know this is hard.

                      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                      by Laurence Lewis on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 01:31:43 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  So you should consider it. (0+ / 0-)

                        Informing people is a great thing to do.
                        So is informing yourself.

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 08:30:57 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  i know this is hard (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          dinotrac

                          but this post is part of informing people. as is everything i write about climate research and climate change.

                          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                          by Laurence Lewis on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 08:40:04 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I overstated. The problem with this post is not (0+ / 0-)

                            its lack of information or even the style in which it's written.

                            There's no problem with you. You're smart, you've educated yourself on the topic, your heart is in the right place, and you write well.

                            A post on DK is preaching to the choir.  Nothing wrong with that. The choir likes to keep up and, sometimes,  it's members need to be reminded that they are part of a choir, not some lonely solo.

                            The real need, and the hard part, is elsewhere.  Not in the corporate shill deniers, of course, but in the winnable hearts and minds around the country.  The tricky part with the rest of the crowd is that they don't need preaching. They need conversation.

                            We really need evangelists now, people who can go among the unbelievers and touch their hearts and change their minds.

                            Maybe that's not your thing.  That's OK.  We need people to keep the choir pumped up, too. That keeps us from slipping backwards.  It just doesn't move us forward.

                            Well...maybe it does.  
                            If there are good evangelists in the choir, keeping the choir revved up will help to spread the word.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 05:50:23 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  actually (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            dinotrac

                            hundreds of thousands of people subscribe to our rss feed, and that includes congresspeople and their staff members and members of major media. our reach goes far beyond this active community.

                            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                            by Laurence Lewis on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 07:29:21 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't doubt that (0+ / 0-)

                            And I could be wrong, but I think getting over the hump will take a lot of conversations -- which requires a lot of listening as well.  People need to believe that there is a place for them -- and a good place -- in the future.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 08:27:26 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  Prohibition took 100 years. nt (0+ / 0-)

                Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                by k9disc on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 12:31:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Mann's always been... difficult. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac

      He doesn't seem to care a whole lot for rational debate or proper data disclosure either.

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