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How to Talk About Climate Change So People Will Listen: A Skeptic’s View


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how-talk-about-climate-change-so-people-will-listen-skeptics-viewHeartland :

A recent essay in The Atlantic purports to instruct readers on “How to Talk About Climate So People Will Listen.” The author, Charles C. Mann, is a longtime contributor to the magazine who writes about history, tourism, and energy issues. With this article, he tries to cut a path between the two warring tribes in the global warming debate, the Alarmists and the Skeptics.


He fails, rather spectacularly I think. The first four paragraphs (out of 45) are good, as are a few paragraphs later on about enviro fruitcake Bill McKibben. But the rest of the article simply accepts the dubious and sometimes outrageous assertions and false narratives that gave rise to alarmism in the first place, the same ones skeptics delight in debunking.


Surveys show most people know more about global warming than does Mann, and why skeptics once again won most of the debates in bars and around grills this summer.


A Good Start


Mann starts out strong, reporting how the media turned an obscure modeling exercise about the melt rate of the western Antarctic ice shelf into hysterical headlines about coastal flooding. Had he waited a couple of weeks, he could have written much the same about “Russian methane holes.” The lesson in both cases, which he doesn’t draw, is that the mainstream media are utterly unreliable sources of information on the climate issue. They profit from exaggeration, rely on special interests for advertising revenue, and lack expertise to report on science matters.


Sadly, Mann doesn’t appear to have learned this lesson. In the rest of his article he treats mainstream media accounts of the climate debate as dispositive. The public understands this better than does Mann: Nearly half believe the media exaggerate the climate change problem.Scissors-32x32.png

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How to Talk About Climate Change So People Will Listen: A Skeptic’s View


As I have often said "I'm Not That Bright." When charts/graphs are thrown at me I and I believe most other people get MEGO (my eyes graze over). So I fall back on simple questions...ie What is the ideal climate we should attempt to achieve? I also point out that 20,000 years ago (in geological time that is 2 weeks ago) Mpls Mn. was covered by an ice sheet around 1 mile thick.

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