Monday, April 14, 2014

What to do when you just hope that hundreds of thousands of people will die...

From the locked psych ward of global-warming activism:
Communication Dilemmas #1: Wishing Death on People Without Losing Them

Part of being a science communicator is hoping a natural disaster kills as many members of the audience as possible, as soon as possible, with as much media exposure as possible. As a communicator myself, I’d like nothing better than for thousands of middle-class white people to die in an extreme weather event—preferably one with global warming’s fingerprints on it—live on cable news. Tomorrow. 
The hardest thing about communicating the deadliness of the climate problem is that it isn’t killing anyone. And just between us, let’s be honest: the average member of the public is a bit (how can I put it politely?) of a moron. It’s all well and good for the science to tell us global warming is a bigger threat than Fascism was, but Joe Q. Flyover doesn’t understand science. He wants evidence. 
So we’ve probably reached the limits of what science communication can achieve. At this point only nature herself can close the consensus gap—or the fear gap
Cognitive scientist C. R. R. Kampen thinks the annihilation of a city of 150,000 people might just provide the teaching moment we need
You see, consensus is so often only reached after a painful confrontation with evidence. 
Knowing this, I hope against knowledge of her expected track that Cyclone Ita will wipe Cairns off the map. Because the sooner the lesson is learnt by early confrontation, the better one more population will be suited to anticipate and mitigate the vast weather and climate (+ related) disasters that lie in the immediate future and to lose all distractions on the way. 
(Let me dispel, right up front, a common and perhaps forgivable misinterpretation of this family of argument: no, Dr Kampen doesn’t mean to suggest the destruction of a single city would be sufficient. That’s just a silly strawman. As a scientist himself, Kampen is acutely aware that a single data point, such as the deletion of Cairns, would not even be attributable to man-made global warming with any confidence—let alone would it prove the planet was worse off, taking all metrics into account, under BAU. What we’re talking about here is a possibility which, with luck, would start a conversation on climate action, not end one.) 
One thing science communicators have learned the hard way is that simply blurting out the truths you know isn’t good enough. Some ideas need to be framed more carefully than others. (Dan Kahan might say “scientifically.”)
Hey, you have to admit that a conversation started by the deaths of a hundred and fifty thousand people sure would be a stroke of "luck".

Yet our science communicator is disapproving of Dr. Kampen's candor:
Unfortunately, Kampen’s writing is almost naïve in its candor. One can only hope the forces of anti-science never hear about it, because it’s veritably ripe for their favorite rhetorical tactic: cherry-picking, or ‘quoting.’ 
Heh (*rubs hands*)... Anti-Science Forces are already quoting him...
Let’s pretend, solo ad argumentum, that I’m on the Monckton side of the Subterranean War on Science. Now let me inform you that Dr Kampen once wrote: 
I hope against knowledge of her expected track that Cyclone Ita will wipe Cairns off the map. 
Wow. Taste the difference? By the simple trick of telling people that Kampen hopes they die without saying what he writes next (wherein he clearly explains that it’s for their own good), a rhetorician with no conscience—like a denier—could simultaneously make Kampen look like a sociopath and pander to the false stereotype of the greenie-as-armchair-genocidaire. 
That’s what we call, in science communication, an own goal.
Being a denier with no compunction whatsoever about quoting global warming loons, I'm proceeding to make Kampen and the psycho who wrote this piece look like just like sociopaths and genocidaires. It's sooo easy....

Psycho science communicator:
say so 
always return to the real issue: the dangers of the denialist agenda
When you have scientists hoping that hundreds of thousands of people will die so the political debate will swing their way, it's not the "denialist agenda" that presents a danger to the public.  


  1. I would be more worried about Christians gleefully hoping for a speedy (albeit 2000 years later than advertized) return of the almighty Jeebus, who will then proceed to slaughter most humans on the planet before sending them on their way to eternal torture. Some of those nice Christians hope that stoking a bit of war in the middle East might hasten the Lard's return. I hope the good Christian Vladimir Vladimirovich doesn't feel that way.

    1. troy,

      using the illustration at hand,
      human sin == global warming -- it will be the death of our world.
      evangelical Christians == global warming scientists warning of pending doom and the need to repent.

      But the difference is that Jesus Christ died for the forgiveness of sins, where no scientist has yet come up with a way to survive global warming other than proposing to move to another planet.

      Those who are -- in your words -- "on their way to eternal torture" will be there, not because God sent them there. It's because they didn't accept the offer of a pardon.

      They chose that outcome, just as surely as any of us who would refuse a free ticket to fly off to a better planet.

    2. Citizen Boggs, Committee of General SecurityApril 14, 2014 at 7:47 AM

      Don't worry. Jeebus McLightworker, the proglodyte cult messiah who had the eurolackeys licking his shoes in Berlin, announced that now that he was in charge the oceans would be receding and the planet was beginning to heal.

  2. Egnor,

    Climatenuremberg is written by one of your kind - a global warming denialist loon. The only difference between you and the Brad who writes this blog is that you're too stupid to realise it's a spoof.

    Even Jo Nova realises what it is and appreciates it as agreeing with her.

  3. Fell for this satire, Mike? What a dork.


    1. Yikes! It's so hard to tell AGW science from a parody. Apologies.

    2. Citizen Boggs, Committee of General SecurityApril 14, 2014 at 8:15 AM

      In some cases, it's nearly impossible. Remember how many people fell for this one?

      Within a few years winter snowfall will become a very rare and exciting event. … Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.
      --- David Viner, Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia (2000)

      Funny guy, eh?

    3. Egnor: It's so hard to tell AGW science from a parody.

      Especially if you are willing to deceive yourself. Somehow bachfiend and I were able to see through the charade and you weren't.


    4. Citizen Boggs, Committee of General SecurityApril 14, 2014 at 8:57 AM

      Researchers at The University of Queensland are racing against time to lessen the damage from a coral bleaching incident about to hit the Great Barrier Reef.

      The Director of UQ's Centre for Marine Studies, Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, has warned that between 30 to 40 percent of coral on Queensland's Great Barrier Reef could die within a month due to 2005's record temperatures.

      ---- (2006)

      Just kiddin'!!!


  4. Well, even if it's satire, it accurately represents the atheo-scientists' desire for population reduction by means of natural catastrophe, so that they can push through more taxation (in order for the greedy architects, both political and pseudo-scientific, to line their coffers) and green energy initiatives (in order to control natural resources and steal people's property, as in Nevada *hint hint*).

    Even if they had 10 trillion dollars, tell me, how could they: A) predict a natural disaster (e.g. cyclone, hurricane, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption), and B) prevent it or mitigate damage? The answer is, of course, that they can't, no matter how much money they've got to work with. Global warming is a political scam.

    1. Notice how nobody attempts to dispute either of my posts. That's because they know that they cannot.

    2. Citizen Boggs, Committee of General SecurityApril 14, 2014 at 11:09 AM

      Do you really believe the government can't fix a broken global climate?

      Silly boy. They just need more of your money, Climate repair doesn't come cheap these days.

    3. The government can't even balance their budget, let alone "fix" the weather.

    4. Michael,

      You do realise that 'hurricanes' and 'cyclones' are the same thing, don't you? Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are currently unpredictable, to the extent that volcanologists are 'surprised' sometimes and killed by an eruption they weren't expecting at that particular time. Or it was worse than expected.

      At least with tsunamis it's possible to issue warnings whenever an earthquake occurs in a location sufficient to cause one some of the time.

      It might eventually be possible to precipitate a small earthquake to prevent a larger later one - as the earthquakes induced by fracking suggests.

      Is it possible to mitigate global warming by reducing our consumption of fossil fuels? Or are we condemned to adapting if it turns out to be happening and it's as serious as feared?

      No one so far has successfully disputed my argument that the cost of fossil fuels under a business as usual scenario must increase - poor countries are developing, the global population is increasing (expected to reach at least 9 billion by 2050) and we're going after increasingly less accessible and more expensive reserves. And we need oil and gas to make the pesticides and fertilisers we need for the modern agriculture that is feeding a burgeoning population.

      We might reach a point where we need to adapt to global warming with very expensive energy and not adequate food supplies.

    5. On your first point, yes, my mistake: I meant to say tornadoes.

      As for tsunami warnings, as you mentioned, they already have the equipment to test seismic activity. Outside of that and the onset of tornado/hurricane formation, they cannot accurately predict this stuff, let alone prevent it.

      Issuing an artificial price-increase on fuel (on top of its current exorbitant costs) would impact nothing except middle-to-lower class families' wallets.

      I said it before and I'll say it again: global warming is a SCAM.

    6. Michael,

      The price of fuel will go up just because of supply/demand. Demand is increasing because of the increasing global population and development of countries such as China and India.

      The price must increase in order to increase supply by encouraging recovery of fossil fuels from technically more difficult reserves such as the Arctic, shale oil and oil sands, and to reduce demand by encouraging fuel efficiency.

      What will you prefer? Increased fuel prices naturally or increased fuel prices due to a carbon tax (which should be returned to you by a reduction in other taxes) in order to encourage the development of other energy sources earlier than would otherwise happen?

    7. bachfiend, don't forget speculation. Carbon taxation is an attempt by the UN and their constituents to hoodwink populaces into transferring more wealth into the hands of the filthy rich. Agenda 21 in action.

  5. It’s the way Christians think so it’s easy for them to project. Remember, they are the ultimate doomsday cult and think Armageddon is inevitable and good. Many of them act as if the destruction of the world is a small price to pay for the satisfaction of the big “I told you so” moment they are looking forward to.


    1. Citizen Boggs, Committee of General SecurityApril 14, 2014 at 8:36 AM

      "Ultimate doomsday cult". I like that. The only editorial change I can suggest would be the substitution of "cabal" for "cult". "cabal" sounds a little more... eeeevil. Right, troi?

      Anyway, the Penultimate Doomsday Cabal, NASA, knows when the galaxy will end. They have a video that proves it.

    2. Remind me: which ideology is responsible for committing mass genocide on an unprecedented scale, killing upwards of 150-200+ million people in the 20th century alone, and denying every basic human right under its despotic form of government?

    3. Senile old fart,

      Another YouTube video, eh? If you'd managed to increase your attention span and actually did some real reading you'd realise that the collision between the Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxies in around 4 billion years would actually cause very little damage.

      Stars are so small compared to the enormous distance between them that the chance of any two stars colliding are minute.

      Anyway. The Sun is likely to be a red giant before then and either engulfed or fried the Earth, so life on Earth is doomed before then.

      Assuming that the geothermal heat hasn't already dissipated abolishing tectonic plate movement and trapping all the atmospheric carbon in rocks causing a snowball Earth, again in billions of years - with a fatal result again to life on Earth.

    4. Citizen Boggs, Committee of General SecurityApril 14, 2014 at 9:01 AM

      blowfish: "Another YouTube video, eh?"

      Yep. NASA's in the video biz. If you have a problem with the content, email them directly. I'm sure they will assign the proper level of attention to anything you say, just as I do.

    5. Senile old fart,

      It's packaged as a CNN video. I thought you didn't trust their editorial content? I never trust what a journalist says about science, particularly when it's so far in the future.

      I actually pay a lot of attention to your opinions. I know that if I reverse them 180 degrees I'll be much closer to the truth.

    6. Citizen Boggs, Committee of General SecurityApril 14, 2014 at 9:26 AM

      blowfish: "It's packaged as a CNN video"

      Because it was shown on CNN. Through the miracle of digital video processing, they can now superimpose things like that on the video feed. Someday, they'll be able to do that where you live.

      "I actually pay a lot of attention to your opinions"

      That's sweet, given how little attention you have to pay. The Widow's Mite, eh? Thank you!

    7. Senile old fart,

      And the editorial comment that it's going to destroy the galaxy? Astronomers have seen many galaxies that have fused.

      I pay attention to you because you're the perfect example of the deluded.

    8. Senile old fart,

      NASA has an App for the iPad. One of the videos is for the collision of the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way Galaxy. CNN took just part of it, and added the commentary that it will destroy the Milky Way Galaxy. The NASA video makes clear that it won't. And that no stars will collide because they're so far apart, as I stated.

      The Sun, the Earth and any life still surviving there will do just fine.

      You really should stop demonstrating how ignorant you are and do a little reading.


    More parody?

    1. Rex on the road,

      Not parody. I suspect that Lovelock is going ga-ga in his old age (similar to senile old fart, but in the opposite direction).

      Global warming won't destroy the Earth. The climate has changed in the past. It will change in the future. What is happening now is nothing special, except that we are causing the increase in greenhouse gases, instead of by 'natural' means.

      Because the Earth has oceans and tectonic plate geology, over thousands of years weathering of rocks will remove the increased CO2 from the atmosphere and reducing warming.

      The only problem is what the warming will do to our agriculture in the meantime. And our coastal cities. And weather extremes.

  7. Commissar Boggs, Ministry of TruthApril 14, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    Daily Truth™:

    The proglodytes have come up with the bestest idea evah...

    Last week, student leaders at the University of California, Santa Barbara, passed a resolution urging officials to institute mandatory trigger warnings on class syllabi. Professors who present "content that may trigger the onset of symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder" would be required to issue advance alerts and allow students to skip those classes...

    On college campuses across the country, a growing number of students are demanding trigger warnings on class content. Many instructors are obliging with alerts in handouts and before presentations, even emailing notes of caution ahead of class.

    --- New Republic

    There should be a Law requiring sufficiently comprehensive Trigger Warnings for the more delicate and emotionally feeble members of our society (gays, womyn, etc.) on all spoken, printed, or visual communications.

    We could call it the Statute of Lamentations.

    1. Conservatives do something similar with warning labels about evolutionary content, the difference is conservatives don’t want to protect anyone; they just want to make them stupid and confused.


    2. Commissar Boggs, Ministry of TruthApril 14, 2014 at 10:42 AM

      Link, please?

    3. "Statute of Lamentations".


    4. Grandpa, your Google broken, or just feeling lazy?


    5. Commissar Boggs, Ministry of TruthApril 14, 2014 at 2:39 PM

      According to your sources, Popster, those evolution warning labels were removed following lawsuits demanding they be removed.

      Since you regard the textbook warnings and "trigger warnings" as "similar", do you favor a lawsuit to force removal of "trigger warnings", or do you think the evolution warnings should be reinstated?

    6. Commissar Boggs, Ministry of TruthApril 14, 2014 at 2:56 PM

      And, Pop-Tard, why am I "lazy" if you fail to include your own sources? Can't you do your own work?

      Or does your mom still make your breakfast?

    7. Sorry Gramps, I assumed everyone in this crowd was familiar with the evolution warning labels. I guess I just gave you too much credit. I’ll lower my expectations for you some more and try to spell everything out for you as time permits.


    8. Commissar Boggs, Ministry of TruthApril 14, 2014 at 4:05 PM

      I can't think of a better candidate to spell things out for me, Popster. We know you're not a lair, are you? You give the strait facts.

      But back to the point... since you regard the textbook warnings and "trigger warnings" as "similar", do you favor a lawsuit to force removal of "trigger warnings", or do you think the evolution warnings should be reinstated?

    9. Yes, my spelling sucks. Thanks for not going after that particular low hanging fruit more often.

      I didn't answer your question because it's silly. The evolution warnings were rightfully challenged and removed because are part of the unconstitutional effort to insert Christian beliefs into the public schools. I haven’t seen any of the other warnings, but I doubt any of them would have the same sort of constitutional issues.


    10. Commissar Boggs, Ministry of TruthApril 14, 2014 at 6:25 PM

      Popeye: " I doubt any of them would have the same sort of constitutional issues"

      Well, I guess that settles it, Constitutional authority that you are. And not having seen the warnings.

      It's good to know that your opinions are reality-based, not ideologically blinded. Typical proglodyte.

    11. "Separation of Church and State" does not appear anywhere in the Constitution.

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