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This diary was mistakenly removed (by me) from the Front Page earlier this week. There is no need to recommend it. I am posting it again so that it will be archived. Apologies to the dozens of Kossacks whose comments were lost when the diary was removed. —MB
The global warming "debate" between Bill Nye and Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn shown above and engineered by the producers of NBC's Meet the Press Sunday attracted a fair amount of commentary beforehand and afterward. See, for instance, Kossack xaxnar's solid post on the subject here, which includes a poll and an extensive and thoughtful comment thread, and Ben German's write-up at the National Journal.

The whole affair was, of course, a phony debate since Blackburn is a climate science denier whose only direct challenge to scientific fact on the program ended in a failure in basic arithmetic, and Nye, who for all his rightly touted skills at presenting a broad range of science topics in an appealing way, never landed a knock-out blow or addressed what should have been the topic of the entire 13-minute segment—the politics of global warming.

Don't get me wrong. I appreciate Nye's exuberant demeanor and all he has done to get young people to understand and engage in science. And I appreciate his willingness to go head to head with Blackburn. Given the dreadful Meet the Press format based on the premise of false balance regarding climate change—something he had no control over—and given that he needs serious media combat training, Nye did an okay job.

But even if he had been spectacular, it wasn't the right job. It's way past time to stop politely coddling these deniers, stop treating their opinions as anything but scientifically illiterate nonsense and lies promoted by fossil fuel fools and mountebanks. Their well-honed use of the Gish Gallop—dumping so many exaggerations, half-truths, quarter-truths and outright fabrications into the conversation that their factually motivated foes can't keep up—works unless the counter-technique is to run a relentless, focused attack on a few key points without getting distracted. Doing that takes skill, passion and determination because it's not something the typical radio or television host wants to happen.

Please read more below the orange polar vortex.

The marionette politicians who aren't merely pretending they don't accept the scientific evidence of global warming in order to keep the cash flowing into their campaign coffers are possessed of an invincible ignorance. More than half the Republicans in Congress now fall into the dumbcluck or greedhead categories when it comes to global warming. They, and the journalists and television hosts who treat them as if their opinions were as worthy as the climate scientists they have smeared and sneered at, deserve nothing but merciless mockery. Eye-rolls.

Not just the politicians, of course, but the hired guns like Pat Michaels and the handful of scientists with relevant degrees, such as Richard Lindzen, who keep repeating their crapola even after being repeatedly proved wrong in their delusionary, often well-funded conjectures that climate warming isn't happening or is not happening from human causes. All have been treated too politely over the years. They deserve the same respect as the Flat Earth Society, although, ironically, the president of that organization agrees that emissions from industrialization are changing the climate.

If Meet the Press or other media are going to bring on Marsha Blackburn or her ilk, then the global warming debate that ensues should not be on the science, about which she and they have proved incompetent or disingenuous. The focus needs to be elsewhere.

One target: Blackburn is vice chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Twenty-four of the 30 Republicans on that committee are outright climate-change deniers. Four more have voting records proving they might as well be outright deniers. One Democrat, John Barrow of Georgia, is also in their camp.

So, at least 29 out of 54 committee members spout denier claptrap or go along with it. That makes the committee a barricade to getting any global-warming legislation sent to the full House floor. Focusing on that Sunday would have made for a valuable and productive debate. But now the NBC producers no doubt think they have given climate change its (almost) 15 minutes of coverage and they can move on to the next subject.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  From Fox "News" Sunday (33+ / 0-)

    last Sunday.

    CHRIS WALLACE (making a face) "Maybe you know because I don't, when did Global Warming become Climate Change?"

    KIM STRASSEL: “(giggles) It became climate change when you couldn't prove that there was much global warming anymore. You know as the temperature didn't change. So suddenly we needed to have this catch all term - that was responsible...that meant any change in the weather supported somehow the theory."

    "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 12:26:08 AM PST

  •  It would have been a shame (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, caul, ericlewis0, lunachickie

    if something had happened to this diary ...

    Punxsutawney Phil has been unfriended.

    by jwinIL14 on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 12:33:59 AM PST

  •  MB (15+ / 0-)

    I am so glad I couldn't sleep, got up, and found this diary. I have spent quite a bit of time over the last few days wondering what happened, and why you would delete a diary.  "Were the comments so horrible?" "Did your source turn out to be wrong?"

    I had seen the title when originally posted, but didn't have time right then, and when I went back, it was gone. Someone even asked about it at the help desk. I'm going to give them an update.

    Okay, now to read.

  •  link (14+ / 0-)

    Here is a link to xaxnar's diary on the subject. It is missing from the first paragraph in the diary, probably getting lost on republication.

    MB, thank you for giving me an opportunity to help. :)

  •  Holy cow. I wish I knew how to post videos. (27+ / 0-)

    Funniest thing ever is a debate yesterday on "Crossfire" with Van Jones and Joe Cirincione (who's on Kerry's International Security Advisory Board) on the left vs. Newt Gangrich and Bill Kristol on the right.  The debate is on Newt's most recent freakout calling on Obama to replace John Kerry because he's delusional.  He is basing his opinion on Kerry's Jakarta speech where he stated that Climate Change is as big a threat as terrorism and WMD's.

    "Last year when the head of the Pacific Command was asked what our single greatest threat was, he said 'Climate Change'". -- Joe Cirincione

    •  i listened to a science podcast about 3 years ago (9+ / 0-)

      and the guest was the US Navy's top oceanographer. he was asked point blank about whether he accepted climate change and said yes. he was careful to point out that the Navy did not engage in policy debates about what to do about it. it only studied the problem to understand its national security implications and to plan for what it would mean to how the Navy operates, e.g. what impact will global sea level rise have on their bases around the world?

      his explanation for why he accepted global warming was extremely simple:

      1. we have been able to measure global temperature increases for decades. there are only three things that can account for this, which are:
      2. More heat from the sun, which we know is not the case in recent decades because have have accurate measurements of the sun's energy output going back decades. increase carbon dioxide from natural variation, or increase carbon dioxide from human sources.
      3. we know that natural variation is not the source of the carbon because we can chemically analyze the sources and distinguish them. the dramatic increase we seen in carbon dioxide and related gases are not coming from naturally occurring variation.

      he finally said that the human cause explanation is the only one that stands up to scrutiny, and that the effects of that increase are being modeled with increasing accuracy, so much so that the navy is planning for expected sea level increase over the next 50 years.

      what is missing in this debate, whether its on Fox, MTP, or anywhere else, is this guy, from the Navy, wearing his uniform, stating in basic terms that anyone can understand why we KNOW this is happening and that in places that matter (the Navy, insurance companies, quiet corners of government agencies around the world) the debate is long since over and the planning for how to respond is well under way.


      •  It seems that the Pentagon is afraid to confront (0+ / 0-)

        the politics behind what it is willing to call the biggest threat to US security: Global Climate Change (or Global Climate Ever-Accelerating Catastrophe).

        The Pentagon knows that this is happening not due to things beyond our control -- like sunspot activity-- but to actions people must choose to keep doing, and which doom us all; and it knows that it is the people with money to lose, who are deliberately trying to muddy the waters, so as to avoid public awareness that would demand costly changes, now before it's too late.

        If this global climate 'change'  is to be stopped, then those who benefit at the cost of humanity's survival must be stopped from their propaganda victories. If we allow them to delay effective action until it is too late, we sacrifice everything to avoid confrontation, in the short run.

        Therefore if the US military is true to its task to protect us from all dangers, it must step up its challenge to climate Deniers, who are in fact a bigger threat to US safety than Al Qaeda, and should not be coddled.

        Not suggesting night commando raids or drone attacks, but to stop treating Climate Change as a given, and treat it as the outcome of our failure to challenge the presently  successful long-term Denier Black-Propaganda in the USA.

        If the Pentagon is up to the task, the US people could use help in seeing through this self-serving propaganda attack.

        Congress would have a hard time denying requests to testify before it, if the Pentagon were to be intelligently proactive at advertising its findings. A tiny fraction of the amount lavished on the SDI program could be a decisive factor in the Climate Change debate.

        An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure here more than most.
        Instead of the Pentagon bracing for the inevitable dangers to come from Global climate Catastrophe, it could help the whole world by helping prevent it.

  •  we are seeing the same discussion in the (22+ / 0-)

    Evolution circles as these people tend to embrace a worldview which accommodates geocentrism, anti-vaccination while embracing all sorts of quack remedies and so on.  The point is that people prefer to believe in magic, if it offers hope, when reality can only offer cold comfort and inevitability.
    I know; I have been there, having nursed several family members through very painful, very unpleasant, very fatal illnesses which lasted several years each time.  It is hard to tell a loved one that he or she is going to die and their death will be horrific while there is nothing you can do.

    Add to this decades of decaying educational standards whereby 25% of Americans don't know the earth revolves around the sun and is there any wonder that the denialists on every topic continue to prosper?  

  •  outright rejection of science (19+ / 0-)

    We live in a technologically sophisticated world, made possible by many innovations and application of science. From modern medicine to microelectronics, with Gore-TEX and high-speed trains in between. How is it possible that so many otherwise well-educated people can put themselves into such a bizarre position of picking and choosing which science to "believe"?

    As a PhD engineer who does research, I find this approach puzzling. It doesn't compute.

    What the hell is going on in society?

    -5.38, -2.97
    The NRA doesn't represent the interests of gun owners. So why are you still a member?

    by ChuckInReno on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 02:27:04 AM PST

    •  Money for misinformation. Last count I saw, the (17+ / 0-)

      Koch's may have put almost $700 million into climate denial alone (that doesn't include all of the monies that went into campaign contributions and superpac ads).  Exxon is another big play in the denial think tanks and other efforts.

      People actually paid millions of dollars to read Inhofe books filled with that garbage.

      I ran into a man I dated decades ago at the gym who told me that global warming was a hoax that it had been "thoroughly debunked".  When I explained to him that I study the science, I had to ask "aren't you as a parent now concerned about the future we may be leaving your kids and grandchildren?"  He replied that he wasn't worried about it because it won't matter anyhow.  He believes that the Lord is going to come back any day now.  I was astounded (yet trying to be respectful).  I simply informed him that Christians have thought that for a couple of thousand years now, many generations;  and, yet, it hasn't happened.  I suggested politely that he might want to take a different approach with regard to his children's future since even the Bible doesn't assure us that it's going to happen at a particular time.

      That was the only guy I ever broke up with because he didn't smell right to me at the time.  Nothing about him smells right 25 years later.  The Tea Party and internet misinformation are truly making people bat crazy.

    •  See the Dismantlement of Our System over 45 Years (6+ / 0-)

      Everything about where we are has been carefully warned about since before Disco.

      We've rebuilt our economy such that at the level that has the most influence, it doesn't need scientifically literate Americans.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 04:57:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry MB re-recommended anyway! (10+ / 0-)

    Thanks for reposting.

  •  Didn't catch this one the first time around so (6+ / 0-)

    reccing it now.

    The thing I would point out, and hammer over and over, is how these climate change denying pols are basically in the pay of the fossil fuel industry.  Their denialism, as is most denialism, is rooted in corruption.  It's a petty, venal exercise in the service of greater gobs of campaign cash and cushy lobbying "consultancy" jobs and obscenely massive speaking fees when they retire (on the public dole, of course).

    They are in the pockets of those who profit off the destruction of the environment, and whose profit-seeking leaves them unable to see their fellow human beings as anything other than exploitable objects, or to see beyond the next quarterly report to realize the consequences for the not-so long term are grim.

    When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered -- MLK, Jr.

    by caul on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 03:06:19 AM PST

  •  I am all for debating deniers and (7+ / 0-)

    creationists in a 'different' manner.

    Some would call that debate style "cage fighting".

    May the most informed and reasoned contestant prevail.

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 03:13:02 AM PST

  •  Tis But A Scratch (5+ / 0-)

    I think it was Shermer or Scott who came up with the analogy of The Black Knight from Monty Python And The Holy Grail for anti-science reality deniers. I looked for the original discussion paper but all I could find is this one by Kelly C Smith in the magazine Synthese:

    and here is exactly why the analogy seems so fitting

    If the USA, home of science denial, was isolated from the rest of the world inside some massive bubble it would be fun to sit outside and laugh.... but it aint and so this continued thick headedness is just depressing.

  •  When would this be reversed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WisVoter, Chi

    If all coal burning was eliminated today?  The problem some people have with climate change is if it is actually man made. Identifying when things would be reversed would help people understand the impact of dirty humans on the planet.

    You best believe it does

    by HangsLeft on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 04:51:47 AM PST

  •  Simple measure of the politics of GW or CC is how (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades

    Many party candidates make the issue a primary plank of their campaigns. What would hold any candidate back if the evidence is overwhelming and the consequences so dire? Gloom and Doom over false economic projections is the mainstay of Republican Party politics, but framing GW or CC as something that can be solved is a net positive and doesn't need be a gloom and doom issue.

    “Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.” Richard Nixon, 1977.

    by Kvetchnrelease on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 04:56:55 AM PST

  •  Stop calling them deniers, it is a misnomer. (5+ / 0-)

    They are:

    The Scientifically Illiterate
    It is what they are, and if we consistently point that out the smarter ones will STFU.
  •  I love how someone on the Energy Committee (8+ / 0-)

    doesn't believe in science! What a disingenuous lying liar. I'm sure the Koch bros don't believe in science either, the very science and technology that made them their money!

    Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer. Ayn is the bane!

    by Floyd Blue on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 05:12:06 AM PST

  •  Even Our Side's Debate Participants Are Almost (7+ / 0-)

    never competent to debate the phenomenon.

    The subject is one of expertise, and the real issue is how does a rational society and a democratic science deal with the findings of expertise?

    This I think is the proper civic focus in any of these debates, for our side. The proper role for citizen, pundit and politician is to the summary bullet points of the kinds of findings of expertise, and the degree of consensus in the field. It is improper and in fact meaningless to debate the expertise itself.

    So when a denier offers this or that point, the proper response from our side is that the denier is incompetent to practice climate science, just as we [in most cases] are. And practicing one science doesn't qualify you to dabble in another unrefereed in the general public. Witness Schockley and the bell curve.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 05:12:18 AM PST

  •  This now true of most Repugs on most issues: (8+ / 0-)
    Their well-honed use of the Gish Gallop—dumping so many exaggerations, half-truths, quarter-truths and outright fabrications into the conversation that their factually motivated foes can't keep up—works unless the counter-technique is to run a relentless, focused attack on a few key points without getting distracted. Doing that takes skill, passion and determination because it's not something the typical radio or television host wants to happen.
    One danger is that "relentless, focused attack on a few key points" is vulnerable to being portrayed as avoiding other points.

    I wonder whether this portrayal can be pre-empted with rhetoric like the following:

    •    That’s such a high L.P.M. (“lies-per-minute”) you might break Mitt Romney’s “Lyin’ Speed Record”.
    •    While you try to change the subject, I’m going to finish disproving the biggest lie that you’re trying to run from.
    •    I’ll disprove that lie after I finish disproving your other lie.
  •  I actually thought Nye... (8+ / 0-)

    ...did a very good job.  He certainly did a better job than most of the scientists who've been in similar situations.  

    Our side has a tendency to treat such "debates" as opportunities for facts to change minds.  But the one fact that never seems to change our minds is that facts don't change minds, feelings do.

    I think Nye's "reasonable" persona and TV-friendly presence made an effective contrast with Blackburn's shrill ignorance.

    There seems to be at least a little bit of change for the better in the public discussion of climate recently.

    Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

    by WarrenS on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 05:27:23 AM PST

  •  A Proper Debate (8+ / 0-)

    With climate change deniers is best conducted according the rules set forth by the esteemed Dr. Hunter S. Thompson: drive them from the room with mace and cattle prods! (In fairness, Dr. Thompson gave this advice in regards to how conservative politicians should be driven out of DC).

    These people should be vilified and shunned, not treated as if their oft-times industry funded perspective has any intellectual value what-so-ever. These people do not deserve the time of day.

    "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

    by US Blues on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 05:41:39 AM PST

  •  Hmmm. Funny how that relates to a comment I (7+ / 0-)

    made in another thread.

    I believe that part of environmentalists' problem is that they are so, well, freakin' environmentalist-y.

    Yes. The environment is incredibly important. Not frying the earth is a good thing, but...

    the deniers (and I don't consider rank and file citizens to be in this group, only those with a vested interest) are not playing to the environment and they are not playing to the science. They are playing to lifestyle, the American Dream, and to liberty,jobs, private property, yada yada.

    But the seamy underside of that argument is that it's a lie.  The energy extraction animals do not respect property rights.  They go in sideways and steal mineral rights.  They poison gazillions of gallons of water which people -- and ranches and farms -- need.  They get laws passed that take away individual freedom not to sell rights, not to mention freedom to sue and recover full damages.

    It's unfamiliar ground for liberals, but there's plenty of grist for the mill there, grist that smacks conservatives right in the face with things we care about deeply.
    It'll take time and repetition, but it needs to be done.

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

    by dinotrac on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 05:45:47 AM PST

  •  What if the reaction to Sputnik in 1957 had been (7+ / 0-)

    … "Don't believe it! It's just a hoax by communist governments and corrupt scientists! We don't need a space program! The heavens are for G~d and the angels! Man can't intrude and shouldn't try! They're just trying to trick us into building a new tower of Babel!"


    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ♥ ♥ ♥ Forget Neo — The One is Minori Urakawa

    by lotlizard on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 05:48:21 AM PST

  •  Deconstructing the gop (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Eric Nelson

    since the election of President Obama:
    The goppers got together on Day One and agreed on the strategy of "Oppose Obama on Everything".

    The gop base (religious right) jumped on the "tea party" bandwagon. Kochs et al bankrolled the effort.

    Climate change action was then opposed as a natural extension, "We can't give Obama this opportunity to create massive economic stimulus by creating climate change response...(the Kerry / Corker? climate/energy/infrastructure bill. "

    The religious right was enlisted in this effort with "God wouldn't let us warm the planet, it says so in the Bible. Anyone who says otherwise must be an atheist i.e. communist."

    I could go on and discuss other problems of the day with the same result. It's the gop's fault Most everyone at DKos knows this.

    The narrative should be an instructive deconstruction of the gop in this way at every opportunity by Dems. I agree completely with the point of this diary. If there's an honest discussion of climate change, then it focuses on the politics, and from there it exposes the fundamental black-heartedness and mendacity of the gop.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 06:17:48 AM PST

  •  Only two ways to fight this (6+ / 0-)

    One, in terms of the public "debate", always attack, never defend, and do so by both exposing the financial connections between public climate change deniers and the vested industrial and fossil fuel interests that want climate change to be denied so as to tarnish their credibility, and by throwing their "facts" back at them with relentless questioning to reveal their incoherence.

    And two, by exposing the vested interests that want climate change denied, and their motivations for doing so.

    But mostly, I think, focus on discrediting the public deniers, in terms of their motivations for being deniers--they're being paid to do it--and in terms of their "arguments" and "facts", as they were, using an aggressive version of the Socratic Method. And don't worry about coming across as "mean" or "uncivil", which in the establishment media is infinitely worse than say being a pedophile or hypocrite. So long as you entertain while doing it, and come across as confident, strong and likeable, in the Barney Frank mode, you'll be fine.

    Reagan made a career out of being a "likeable" asshole, for all the wrong reasons, and it worked well for him (and not so well for the rest of us). Why not turn this on its head and make it work for a good cause for a change?

    They'll like us when they respect us, not vice-versa.

    They'll like us when we win.

    Seriously, what's the difference between "Islamofascism" (whose danger I don't mean to diminish even though it's been vastly exaggerated and overexploited by our government) and US-style corporate fascism, except that the latter has indisputably been far worse for the US and world?

    We're dealing with economic and environmental terrorists here, and they should be treated and dealt with as such.

    They'll like us when we win.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 06:48:12 AM PST

  •  What are you arguing for? (0+ / 0-)
    So, at least 29 out of 54 committee members spout denier claptrap or go along with it. That makes the committee a barricade to getting any global-warming legislation sent to the full House floor. Focusing on that Sunday would have made for a valuable and productive debate.
    What precisely would have been the subject of that debate?
    •  On the blockade put up by members of... (0+ / 0-)

      ...Congress who distort the evidence and take gobs of dough from the interests that are worsening global warming. It's debating the politics, not debating the science. Debating the science with those 29 deniers is like debating with your 12-year-old over whether he's allowed to drink whiskey.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 02:26:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Contemptuous dismissal works fine for me n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  Reason and faith are two different things. Sadly, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    both the left and right conflate the two. Reason is based on observation. Faith is based on that which cannot be observed. This is the root of the problem.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 07:12:27 AM PST

  •  Bush Ruined The/Weather! (0+ / 0-)

    honor the treaties. honor the honorable.

    by renzo capetti on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 07:15:00 AM PST

  •  but i want to be on the record (0+ / 0-)

    as having recommended it, MB :-D

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 07:19:30 AM PST

  •  From my experience as a Science Museum Educator (8+ / 0-)

    I think we are starting the conversation/debate at the wrong point.  Back in 1997 I was given the unenviable task of training 200 volunteer docents for a Global Warming exhibit at a major science museum.  The majority of the volunteers were retired geologists and engineers from mining and petrochemical companies.  (We also trained 100 school teachers for the classroom component).  It was a hard audience--primed to be skeptical and antagonistic.  I worked with the research staff and asked them to identify \ 2 or 3 concepts or questions that were foundational for the research they were doing.  After some prodding, and asking them to dig deeper to the basics, we boiled it down to 2 basic ideas: The Carbon Cycle and the question "Why is the earth temperate and why is the moon (and other nearby planets) subject to inhospitable temperatures?"  When we started with the basics, the opposition dropped almost immediately.  The truth is that most of the popular deniers can't describe either phenomena and without that basic science can't even fully understand the science they are critiquing. With those two pieces, the issue becomes pretty easy to grasp and exceedingly difficult to deny.   I now start every debate with these two ideas.  It's amazing how going back to grade school level science can change the terms of the debate.

  •  Excellent writeup, I need to ask a question.?.? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In all seriousness.

    If they continue to refuse to come to terms with reality, obstruct any effort to mitigate or reverse Atmospheric Modification at what point do we say enough and just remove them from the equation?

    We know what the worst case scenario's are, we understand how at risk not just our way of life is, but literally LIFE ON EARTH is, unless we take enormous countermeasures soon. The longer it takes to start action, the more drastic the action will have to be, Chemistry and Physics don't do politics.

    Do we just stand by and let the greed, ignorance and idiocy of what amounts to a handful of people, march all of us to oblivion? When is it your right to defend yourself against these people?

    They are TRYING TO KILL YOU, all to make a few more dollars before they themselves are killed by their own idiocy.

    When does Public Health and Safety, National Security, and Self Preservation trump the continued tolerance of this idiocy and greed.

  •  This is harder than we realize (0+ / 0-)

    It's not a matter of ignorance, for the simple reason that the culture we're dealing with prizes ignorance (and does so knowingly and with pride, and has a theological and philosophical justification for ignorance).

  •  We ought to call it "climate change" not (0+ / 0-)

    "global warming."  Every time global warming causes the polar vortex to go wobbly and sends a deep freeze down south, the willfully ignorant and the sincerely ignorant will guffaw at the concept of global warming.  Droughts, floods, record lows, record highs, record precipitation, ocean acidification, etc. are not all intuitively warming events.  Too many people can not or will not understand the concept of averages.  They only know what's in front of them right now.

    Government works when you elect those who want it to. --askyron (2013)

    by Simul Iustus et Peccator on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 09:03:25 AM PST

    •  I don't think adopting Frank Luntz's choice... (1+ / 0-)

      ...of terms is all that helpful.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 02:20:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I never figured out why that term has been (0+ / 0-)

        adopted by the right and vilified by the reality based community as somehow a rightwinger dog whistle.  It is far more accurate and facile and it still acknowledges that anthropogenic carbon emissions are causing systemic havoc.

        Government works when you elect those who want it to. --askyron (2013)

        by Simul Iustus et Peccator on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 08:51:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  A repeat commentary I linked on this subject: (2+ / 0-)

          From Skeptical Science:

          The argument "they changed the name" suggests that the term 'global warming' was previously the norm, and the widespread use of the term 'climate change' is now.  However, this is simply untrue.  For example, a seminal climate science work is Gilbert Plass' 1956 study 'The Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climatic Change' (which coincidentally estimated the climate sensitivity to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide at 3.6°C, not far off from today's widely accepted most likely value of 3°C).  Barrett and Gast published a letter in Science in 1971 entitled simply 'Climate Change'.  The journal 'Climatic Change' was created in 1977 (and is still published today).  The IPCC was formed in 1988, and of course the 'CC' is 'climate change', not 'global warming'.  There are many, many other examples of the use of the term 'climate change' many decades ago.  There is nothing new whatsoever about the usage of the term.

          In fact, according to Google Books, the usage of both terms in books published in the United States has increased at similar rates over the past 40 years. [...]

          Those who perpetuate the "they changed the name" myth generally suggest two reasons for the supposed terminology change.  Either because (i) the planet supposedly stopped warming, and thus the term 'global warming' is no longer accurate, or (ii) the term 'climate change' is more frightening.

          The first premise is demonstrably wrong, as the first figure above shows the planet is still warming, and is still accumulating heat.  Quite simply, global warming has not stopped.

          The second premise is also wrong, as demonstrated by perhaps the only individual to actually advocate changing the term from 'global warming' to 'climate change', Republican political strategist Frank Luntz in a controversial memo advising conservative politicians on communicating about the environment:

          It’s time for us to start talking about “climate change” instead of global warming and “conservation” instead of preservation.

          “Climate change” is less frightening than “global warming”. As one focus group participant noted, climate change “sounds like you’re going from Pittsburgh to Fort Lauderdale.” While global warming has catastrophic connotations attached to it, climate change suggests a more controllable and less emotional challenge.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 09:32:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  The "deniers" are blinded by many factors (0+ / 0-)

    ~blinded by the mountains of money paid them to take the corporate line

    ~blinded by their irrational hatred of the President and Democrats to the point that they'll take any opposing view, no matter how dangerous or ridiculous

    ~blinded by literalist religious dogma, or by their voters who spout it

    ~blinded by the celebration of anti-knowledge, anti-science, anti-"elitism"

    At what point do we allow the willfully blind to lead our country--and the world--into a future destroyed by their policies?  

    "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

    by SottoVoce on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 09:11:29 AM PST

  •  I said it for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades

    ham and I'll say it for the blackburn "debate," Nye isn't educated in the kind of skills he needs to be doing this. That's not a slight against him, it's just the way things are. He's trying to debate facts, and ends up having a debate about something the other side isn't even concerned about.
    Hell, look at the debate with ham, the arguments ham used were taken apart, laughed at, and desecrated by (iirc) Heidegger a good while ago. Send bill to a philosopher for some education on addressing this kind of "debate", they deal with this crap professionally, and it'll help him significantly if he's going to keep doing this.

    Nicht durch Zorn, sondern durch Lachen tödtet man. ~Nietzsche

    by somewierdguy on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 09:25:49 AM PST

  •  No - - - (0+ / 0-)

    Focusing on the tactics of articles like this would be more illustrative.
    You use the terms "dumbcluck" and "greedhead" - -
    And then expect them to do your bidding?
    Get real.

    It reminds me of the Lieberman/Lamont primary back in 2006.
    I was as opposed to Lieberman as anyone here -
    But I was appalled by the utter futility of Lamont's campaign.

    It was evident that Lieberman could and would run as an independent
    if he lost the primary.
    He lost the primary - he ran as an independent -
    And he won.

    Lamont's campaign manager said this about Lieberman supporters in Waterbury -
    (People whose support Lamont needed to win the general)
    "Where the forces of slime meet the forces of evil."

    Really, really smart.


    I have been a tactical climate skeptic for some time now.
    Not an easy place to remain, but I will do so.
    Ever since the demands - yes, demands -
    that the time for any discussion is over.
    And comparing opponents to Nazis and Holocaust deniers.

    The American public is hardly convinced - and going south, too.
    It is the greatest quixotic adventure I have seen in my lifetime.

     photo DonQuixotes_zps4cb240c9.jpg

    PS - Given the current social, political, and economic climate in the U.S., the fact that Blackburn is part of the House majority should be a topic of serious discussion.  The Democrats' weaknesses in a near-perfect political climate are a lot more than gerrymandering.

    •  Sorry, but the climate change deniers... (0+ / 0-)

      ...on that committee are either dumbclucks or greedheads, some of them both. But, no, I don't suggest that a "debater" call them that. I suggest that they be called out on the fact that they are utterly wrong about global warming, on their stubborn unwillingness to actually look at the evidence and the predictions—which, as I am sure you have noticed—is grim and that many of them are doing the bidding of fossil fuel companies so they can pad their campaign chests.

      And for the record, I have never called any climate change denier a Nazi.

      Quixotic adventure? So you either 1) think that we're going to lose to the fossil fuel interests (which means we're screwed) or 2) believe that this battle doesn't matter and only fools are engaged in it, which means you're only a half-step removed from being a denier yourself.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 02:17:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  MB - (0+ / 0-)

        Your #2 is exactly why the AGWers are losing.
        And you are doing what Lamont's campaign manager did.

        Have you looked at Australian elections in the past few years?
        How effective has the Labor/Green climate legislation been?
        In 2008, Labor controlled the federal government and every state.
        Next month Labor is likely to lose its last two state govts.
        Climate issues are not the only part of it - but a big part.

        You take away a chunk of folks who may not be 100% -
        And you paint yourself into a corner of political ineffectiveness.

        And that - amigo - is quixotic.

        •  26 years since James Hansen first... (0+ / 0-)

          ...testified in Congress. And despite the work of the IPCC (whose pronouncements and predictions are quite mild and late compared to what is actually happening and how fast), we still have vast numbers of people who don't believe, vast numbers of politicians blocking action, and counselors like yourself saying don't get too pushy but have no suggestions of how exactly to change this dynamic. Tell it to your grandchildren.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 11:10:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How Did Pushing It Work Out in Oz? (0+ / 0-)

            Not only is Labor out of power at the federal level, but also in four states with the last two almost certain to go, too.

            That means no progress not only on climate issues but a raft of other environmental issues - plus economic, education, immigration, civil rights, etc.

            If the choice is between jumping off a cliff and attempting to scale down it, I'll take the latter - - even if the chances are not great.

            Not to mention the great pix I'll be able to show the grandkids.

  •  Not Global Warming - Not Climate Change (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Call it pollution - you can get everyone (or almost everyone) on board by making a campaign to reduce pollution.  A by-product or reducing pollution is reducing greenhouse gasses.

    For many - Climate change is a theory - to almost everyone - pollution is a undeniable fact and being cleaner is a much easier sell.

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 10:00:04 AM PST

  •  Proper debate response (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    "Drudge: soundslike sludge, islike sewage."
    (-7.25, -6.72)

    by gougef on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 10:18:44 AM PST

  •  Comedian Ron White is 100% correct (0+ / 0-)

    with his bit: "You can't fix stupid. Stupid is forever."

    "Greed" seems to fall into the same incurable category.

    Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies, We were roaring drunk on petroleum -Kurt Vonnegut

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 10:30:08 AM PST

  •  What opened the door to a conversation with (0+ / 0-)

    my winger mother about climate change was  beginning  by talking about personal experience.

    I raced to Hawaii from SF.  To prep I went to the gym, and I obsessed about the weather.  Then there were  no satellite images, only hand drawn daily issue NOAA charts of pressures and winds aloft, and the daily "telexes". I developed favorites, those who did not just redraw pressure systems when they were wrong, and the weather commenters whose dailies panned out the best. I developed the bestFrench Curve ruler, the one that worked most often, and could predict weather within 2 hours.  It took a lot of time.

    My mother thought I was crazy.  When she started spouting denialist talking points, I just pulled out the ruler, showed her that it is all wrong now, these 20 years later.  Then I jump to the mega: anyone who believes that there were once ice ages and that there is not an ice age now believes in climate change.

    Then the question becomes "is climate change man made?" No, there always has been climate change.  So then she tried "mother nature is doing much more to change the climate than anything mankind is doing".  I just go with

    Less energy is escaping to space: Carbon dioxide (CO2) acts like a blanket; adding more CO2 makes the 'blanket' thicker, and humans are adding more CO2 all the time.

    The Bible is a book of conclusions seeking unquestioning believers. Science is a "book" of questions seeking skeptics with more questions. -Zed Mont

    by sailmaker on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 10:37:22 AM PST

  •  Yes way past time.. (0+ / 0-)

    From Xaxnar's work:

    David Gregory proved to be a surprise - more than once he challenged (if obliquely) Blackburn's assertions.
    I agreed it is a surprise when Grgory pushes back (a bit) yet it always comes out as whining, with an apologetic tone, as if todays journalists like Gregory have taken to believe that in order to remain neutral they must demonstrate objectivity in this way.

    Wrong imo.

    I blame the RWNJ shrieking campaign of "victimhood" and the Gregory's of journalism for being cowed by that ridiculous accusation.

    Who made the rule that reporting and interviewing means listening to bullshit lying with absolutely no emotion afraid to call out the liars as what they are - LIARS  

    And that fear of calling out is considered "being objective"?

    That IS the technique all liars use. Tell a lie that challenges polite norms, daring the opponent to publicly call them a liar.

    So this:

    It's way past time to stop politely coddling these deniers, stop treating their opinions as anything but scientifically illiterate nonsense and lies promoted by fossil fuel fools and mountebanks. Their well-honed use of the Gish Gallop—dumping so many exaggerations, half-truths, quarter-truths and outright fabrications into the conversation that their factually motivated foes can't keep up—works unless the counter-technique is to run a relentless, focused attack on a few key points without getting distracted. Doing that takes skill, passion and determination because it's not something the typical radio or television host wants to happen.

     - emphasis added

    Yes & double Yes

    A short story from the past on liars:

    I watched something work on a liar years ago.

    At a party there was a character that always had the best story.

    Always had driven the fast car once - starting with "one time I...""

    Always ate at the best restaurant (even traveled  to Europe) - "one time I...""

    Any of the mini conversations going on at the party he would interject a more fabulous experience - "one time I..."

    Another guy (and for full disclosure, was also kind of an exaggerator) played along with the liar with a constant look of amazed admiration; playing it cool though and feeding him story after story of his own that, of course, the liar had to top with a "better story" no matter how outlandish and ridiculous.

    All of a sudden the liar realized that the people at the party had all one by one gone quiet and were looking askance at the liar and listening; holding back their bursting laughter as not to break the spell created by his challenger; that he was completely unaware of being set up.

    The liar looked up to find all eyes on him. the laughter and mocking looks let loose, with many looks of pity.

    That closed him down, but only for a while.

    The lesson wasn't for the liar though. It was for all of us.

    Call the liars out. Publicly humiliate the kind of behavior with the truth backed up with facts.

    So yes. I love that idea. change focus. Simply state that talking with Blackburn and her type is useless

    Laugh at the thought of having a conversation with them on environmental issues - show their voting records - and then laugh off the idea of talking climate change with them off as the corpo shills that they are.

    Demonstrate why these marionettes have zero qualifications to sit on the house energy & commerce committee determining policy on any of the issues.

    Or any committee at all

    That would be my focus. Deny these types as worse than incompetent - paid shills.

    Get in their way big time - challenge their creds. Make it the wall they must get over

    That should be the only conversation these assholes are allowed to talk about - Whether they are qualified. Have these people like Marsha Blackburn of James Inhofe first have to defend their very reason to be in office much less  on a committee making important decisions about this country's energy needs.

    We Dems could and should take this stance

    P.S. I'm not that fluent with words by when I sit and listen to interviews like Bill Nye vs Marsha Blackburn It's all I can do NOT to shout out what could and should be said by the moderator - who imo - should want his/her "show" to have some standards above that of a teabagger - yes Blackburn rates no higher than that - again  - imo

    Thx MB

    and sorry for the long winded response - I've waited for this subject to be raised - it's so important

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