I don’t know much about science, and even less about climate science. So as a practical matter, I like to side with the majority of scientists until they change their collective minds. They might be wrong, but their guess is probably better than mine.
That said, it is mind-boggling to me that the scientific community can’t make a case for climate science that sounds convincing, even to some of the people on their side, such as me. In other words, I think scientists are right (because I play the odds), but I am puzzled by why they can’t put together a convincing argument, whereas the skeptics can, and easily do. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
As a public service, and to save the planet, obviously, I will tell you what it would take to convince skeptics that climate science is a problem that we must fix. Please avoid the following persuasion mistakes.
1. Stop telling me the “models” (plural) are good. If you told me one specific model was good, that might sound convincing. But if climate scientists have multiple models, and they all point in the same general direction, something sounds fishy. If climate science is relatively “settled,” wouldn’t we all use the same models and assumptions?
And why can’t science tell me which one of the different models is the good one, so we can ignore the less-good ones? What’s up with that? If you can’t tell me which model is better than the others, why would I believe anything about them?
2. Stop telling me the climate models are excellent at hindcasting, meaning they work when you look at history. That is also true of financial models, and we know financial models can NOT predict the future. We also know that investment advisors like to show you their pure-luck past performance to scam you into thinking they can do it in the future. To put it bluntly, climate science is using the most well-known scam method (predicting the past) to gain credibility. That doesn’t mean climate models are scams. It only means scientists picked the least credible way to claim credibility. Were there no options for presenting their case in a credible way?
Just to be clear, hindcasting is a necessary check-off for knowing your models are rational and worthy of testing in the future. But it tells you nothing of their ability to predict the future. If scientists were honest about that point, they would be more credible.
3. Tell me what percentage of warming is caused by humans versus natural causes. If humans are 10% of the cause, I am not so worried. If we are 90%, you have my attention. And if you leave out the percentage caused by humans, I have to assume the omission is intentional. And why would you leave out the most important number if you were being straight with people? Sounds fishy.
There might be a good reason why science doesn’t know the percentage of human-made warming and still has a good reason for being alarmed. I just haven’t seen it, and I’ve been looking for it. Why would climate science ignore the only important fact for persuasion?
Today I saw an article saying humans are responsible for MORE than 100% of warming because the earth would otherwise be in a cooling state. No links provided. Credibility = zero.
4. Stop attacking some of the messengers for believing that our reality holds evidence of Intelligent Design. Climate science alarmists need to update their thinking to the “simulated universe” idea that makes a convincing case that we are a trillion times more likely to be a simulation than we are likely to be the first creatures who can create one. No God is required in that theory, and it is entirely compatible with accepted science. (Even if it is wrong.)
5. Skeptics produce charts of the earth’s temperature going up and down for ages before humans were industrialized. If you can’t explain-away that chart, I can’t hear anything else you say. I believe the climate alarmists are talking about the rate of increase, not the actual temperatures. But why do I never see their chart overlayed on the skeptics’ chart so we can see the difference? That seems like the obvious thing to do. In fact, climate alarmists should throw out everything but that one chart.
6. Stop telling me the arctic ice on one pole is decreasing if you are ignoring the increase on the other pole. Or tell me why the experts observing the ice increase are wrong. When you ignore the claim, it feels fishy.
7. When skeptics point out that the Earth has not warmed as predicted, don’t change the subject to sea levels. That sounds fishy.
8. Don’t let the skeptics talk last. The typical arc I see online is that Climate Scientists point out that temperatures are rising, then skeptics produce a chart saying the temperatures are always fluctuating, and have for as far as we can measure. If the real argument is about rate of change, stop telling me about record high temperatures as if they are proof of something.
9. Stop pointing to record warmth in one place when we’re also having record cold in others. How is one relevant and the other is not?
10. Don’t tell me how well your models predict the past. Tell me how many climate models have ever been created, since we started doing this sort of thing, and tell me how many have now been discarded because they didn’t predict correctly. If the answer is “All of the old ones failed and we were totally surprised because they were good at hindcasting,” then why would I trust the new ones?
11. When you claim the oceans have risen dramatically, you need to explain why insurance companies are ignoring this risk and why my local beaches look exactly the same to me. Also, when I Google this question, why are half of the top search results debunking the rise? How can I tell who is right? They all sound credible to me.
12. If you want me to believe warmer temperatures are bad, you need to produce a chart telling me how humankind thrived during various warmer and colder eras. Was warming usually good or usually bad?
You also need to convince me that economic models are accurate. Sure, we might have warming, but you have to run economic models to figure out how that affects things. And economic models are, as you know, usually worthless.
13. Stop conflating the basic science and the measurements with the models. Each has its own credibility. The basic science and even the measurements are credible. The models are less so. If you don’t make that distinction, I see the message as manipulation, not an honest transfer of knowledge.
14. If skeptics make you retreat to Pascal’s Wager as your main argument for aggressively responding the climate change, please understand that you lost the debate. The world is full of risks that might happen. We don’t treat all of them as real. And we can’t rank any of these risks to know how to allocate our capital to the best path. Should we put a trillion dollars into climate remediation or use that money for a missile defense system to better protect us from North Korea?
Anyway, to me it seems brutally wrong to call skeptics on climate science “anti-science” when all they want is for science to make its case in a way that doesn’t look exactly like a financial scam.* Is that asking a lot?
People ask me why I keep writing on this topic. My interest is the psychology around it, and the persuasion game on both sides. And it seems to me that climate scientists are the Hillary Clinton of scientists. They think facts and reason will persuade the public. Even though science knows that doesn’t generally work.
I drive my son to school daily which is the reason I cannot help but keep an eye-out for interesting license plates. That, and the accessibility of my cell phone is why I have many pictures. Here are a few more:
If you're a fan of sunny-side-up eggs, you might want to make them partly cloudy the next time you brunch.
Instagrammers are taking the egg and sky metaphors to new heights with the latest craze — nestling a runny yolk right in the center of an egg white "cloud." Affectionately dubbed "cloud eggs," this fluffy breakfast concoction just might be eggs' best look yet.
Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man tht hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. ~ Ps 127
Son & Daughter Piano Duo
Our family of 8
Thank You for dropping by! I am married to my high-school sweetheart. The Lord has "enlarged my coast" (remember Jabez of old) through my beloved Husband and our Six children. Life is Good because God is Good; Life is Exciting; and, oh, yeah, Life is Busy. Being a full-time Wife and Mom is the best decision I've ever made, bar none. All my family has asked of me is to hang on to my hat and designer bags, and let go of the brakes.
The pursuit and promotion of WISDOM, UNDERSTANDING and KNOWLEDGE; so that my home and yours may be filled with "riches" that are Precious and Pleasant (see Proverbs 24). This looks like it can encompass a LOT of topics, but since I'm only human, and quite busy with running a large household, I will focus on the following (no particular order): Family, Men (husbands & boys), Children, Teens, Christianity, US/World Politics, Homeschool, College/Dorm life, Food, Health and Nutrition, Relationships, Pets, Humor, Finance, Accessories, the Philippines, Home decor. My, my, that's still A LOT.
The Lord shall increase you more and more, you and your children. You are blessed of the Lord which made heaven and earth. ~ Psalm 115
Praise ye the Lord...He maketh the barren woman to keep house, to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord ~ Psalm 113
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord ~ Romans 6:23 Morever, brethren I declare unto you the gospel...how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures... ~ I Corinthians 15
For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. ~ Ephesians 2: 8,9
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Our daughter Jillian playing Beethoven's Tempest Sonata