Byron Kennard: Why I'm Ridiculing Climate Deniers

Sat, 2011-10-29 08:30Guest
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Byron Kennard: Why I'm Ridiculing Climate Deniers

This is a guest post by Byron Kennard.
 
Late in 2010, I read Whole Earth Discipline by Stewart Brand and, frankly, I almost wish I hadn’t. Reading Brand’s book convinced me that global warming is a threat that’s breathing down our necks right now. Until then, even though I am a stalwart environmentalist, it was just one of several worries that kept me awake at nights. Now it became Nightmare # 1.
 
But what the devil was I to do about it?
 
After decades in the trenches, I’d just about given up on conventional politics, especially now that “climate deniers” have managed to disable our national government’s capacity to respond to the threat – yet another reason to toss and turn all night long.  
 
But then looking at the preposterous, anti-science claims these climate deniers are making I thought, “Gee, these guys are begging for ridicule.” And I remembered organizing guru Saul Alinsky’s observation that, “Ridicule is the most powerful weapon there is because it is almost unanswerable.” 
 
It occurred to me that, while I personally don’t possess the political power to combat climate deniers, I do personally possess the power to ridicule them. Years spent writing, producing, and performing political satire in community theater weren’t wasted after all! 


 
So here’s my new motto: Ridicule the Bastards!  And here’s my new campaign:  


 Meet Rue Rylvester – the acerbic, off-the-wall star of a new series of short YouTube videos that parodies Sue Sylvester, the villainous cheerleading coach on Glee. The hit show’s vast audience of young people loves to hate Sue.
 
My aim is to discredit climate denial in the eyes of this vast young audience through use of ridicule and use of images - like Sue Sylvester - that are familiar to, and even beloved by them.
 
Still, I hope that environmentalists too will love to hate Rue.  As the world's top-ranked “climate lifestyle coach,” Rue tells clients that global warming simply isn’t happening, or – if it is – humans certainly aren’t causing it, but – well, since it is happening – the thing to do is relax and enjoy it.  Yes, Rue is full of crap, but she’s funny as the dickens.
 
This series of short (90 sec) videos may be viewed on The Confounded Environmentalist channel on YouTube.

Enjoy! And if you do, please forward the link to your friends and colleagues.  And since the videos have been prepared for a youth audience, climate activists can be especially helpful by forwarding to student groups engaged in climate advocacy. 

For more information, check out our website: byronkennard.com.  You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Here's a taste of Rue Rylvester's coaching:

Comments

Maybe you could make a short film where the ‘true believers’ blow up anyone that refuses to reduce their carbon foot print! That will certainly get their attention!

Oh wait, someone already did that……

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jCUI-sYRmU

 http://www.care2.com/causes/violent-climate-video.html

“Years spent writing, producing, and performing political satire in community theater weren’t wasted after all!

Um, I hate to break it to you, but …

Seriously, do you actually think your smug, condescending, and incredibly awkward attempt at satire is going to change anybody’s mind?

And Saul Alinsky?  Like we need another reminder that environmental movement has long been undermined and co-opted by neo-Marxists and the far left.

“Ridicule the Bastards!”

This is obviously not about convincing anyone, so much as it is about giving vent to your left-wing frothing hatred, and making yourself feel better about your losing position.  But thanks for reminding us (again) that you think anyone who has a scientific difference of opinion, or dares to call into question your extraordinary faith-based claims, is a “bastard”.

 

And they wonder why the “communication” of CAGW is failing =\ Here’s a hint; try engaging a skeptical person in rational discussion next time instead of name calling and ridiculing them, ok? You might actually learn something.

Satire (and ridicule) is useful for reaffirming your belief in something, but it’s ineffective as a means of winning over the opposition. Every church needs a choir I suppose.

attempt to engage in rational discourse with the flat earthers?

More name calling, jeez! I rest my case.

Flat Earth? It exists. Just go to Southern Saskatchewan for scientific proof.

That probably would not work out well.  Flat Earthers are Satireists atterall.

However you might try to encourage a real debate between real scientist on both sides of the Debate…

The sceptical Scientists have been trying to arrange one for years but for some odd reason, no Warmist Scientist is ever willing to take up the challange.

Odd thing really.  You would think they would jump at the chance but no, they seem to have something to hide.

Wonder what that might be.

hmmmmmm….   Not easy to “hide the decline” in an open debate perhaps?

“However you might try to encourage a real debate between real scientist on both sides of the Debate...The sceptical Scientists have been trying to arrange one for years but for some odd reason, no Warmist Scientist is ever willing to take up the challange.”

Public debates are for the benefit of the public, where the audience of the particular venue partake in an attempt of proselytizing. It is largely wasted time for realist scientists because deniers can simply employ the gish gallop. Bamboozling a largely uneducated audience with premise after premise, too quickly to be able to be checked or addressed in the allotted time frame. Giving the audience the impression that if the realist scientist cannot address every assertion in that time frame , then the denier is correct.

Realist scientists on the other hand have been asking deniers for years for a similar debate of which deniers refuse to partake in. Scientific peer review. This is where proper scientific debate is conducted, where their peers can test & simulate the premise or results.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Gish_Gallop

The Gish Gallop is an informal name for a debating technique that involves drowning the opponent in such a torrent of half-truths, lies, and straw-man arguments that the opponent cannot possibly answer every falsehood that has been raised. Usually this results in many involuntary twitches in frustration as the opponent struggles just to decide where to start. It is named after creationism activist and professional debater Duane Gish.

The gallop is often used as an indirect argument from authority, as it appears to paint the “galloper” as an expert in a broad range of subjects and the opponent as an incompetent bumbler who didn’t do their homework before the debate. Such emphasis on style over substance is the reason many scientists disdain public debates as a forum for disseminating opinions.

It is often successfully combined with the “point refuted a thousand times” (PRATT). The gallop must consist of as many points as possible, and even old and worn out arguments are useful in overwhelming the respondent and bamboozling the audience. The technique also takes advantage of the one single proof fallacy, since if a respondent only manages to refute 99 out of 100 points there is still one point that proves the galloper correct. The galloper takes to heart Joseph Stalin’s advice that “quantity has a quality all its own.”




 

Oh come on Ralph…

There is load of evidence… and you know it.

The is the ice that melted …. and then froze… oh.. um

Well there is sea level ris….. oh wait..

Ther was that storm… and that calm spell and the the rain and the dorught.

storms and rain and drougth have never happened before….   have they?

ok…ok… got one…. there are those computer games…. that… um … nuts, they didn’t work that well either…

lets see…..    umm….

K…  here it is … Gore and Hansen  said it was so……  

And Joe Romm agreed. and Michael Mann made this neat graph with spliced temp readings on… hmmm crap  that didn’t work either…

I give up… But they don’t need evidence because they are Liberals and liberals are always right…. Just ask one.

Gary- where have you been? Pretty much every line you wrote is contradicted by well documented scientific observations of the global climate!

The is the ice that melted …. and then froze… oh.. um

Ice thawing and freezing is normal. The VOLUME of sea ice and glacier ice worldwide is decreasing. If deniers claim “ice extent” is OK, this is just the thin layer of ice which forms in winter and is melting faster and further every year. The “ice extent” is like the gold plating on a cheap jewelry- are you seriously telling me that you wouldn’t weigh the amount of gold, that you’d just check the surface area that was gold plated?

http://psc.apl.washington.edu/wordpress/research/projects/arctic-sea-ice-volume-anomaly/

Well there is sea level ris….. oh wait..

OK so you don’t believe in that either. Just waiting for the “global scientific conspiracy” claims to start.

Ther was that storm… and that calm spell and the the rain and the dorught. storms and rain and drougth have never happened before….   have they?

Weather is not climate. Local is not global. Local extremes can happen (and in fact are predicted by most global warming models), they dont change the inexorable upward creep of temperatures observed.

ok…ok… got one…. there are those computer games…. that… um … nuts, they didn’t work that well either… lets see…..    umm….

That’d be the same computer games that design the aircraft you fly in, the combustion chambers in your car, design the skyscrapers you work in (or walk under), the bridges you drive over, those ones? Funny how only computer models that don’t fit in with your beliefs are bad, all others are OK to rely on. If you have an issue with the climate models, point out the flaws, publish a paper, become famous.  Or try to become famous by trolling, I guess its your choice.

K…  here it is … Gore and Hansen  said it was so……  

And Joe Romm agreed. and Michael Mann made this neat graph with spliced temp readings on… hmmm crap  that didn’t work either…

Ah there it is- the “scientific conspiracy and coverup” theory, disproven by multiple independent investigations.  Mann’s basic results have stood up, the proof is that there has been no credible contradiction of the hockey stick, it just keeps getting stronger as more temperature rise is experienced. If you don’t understand the shorthand used, or why the approaches were taken, you shouldn’t be commenting. Funny that even the UAH satellite data is showing the same “hockey stick” trend now isn’t it.

I give up… But they don’t need evidence because they are Liberals and liberals are always right…. Just ask one.

Where is your evidence to support your P-oily-anna world view, that everything is just getting better and better? There is scant evidence, and getting thinner every day. Plimer can’t get his “CO2 from volcanoes” calculations right, BEST is showing warming is happening (despite the way the science conspiracy put the weather stations in bad places decades ago, knowing they’d be used for climate science), Spencer and Christy have been forced to fix up basic errors in the UAH datawhich now shows warming in line with Hadley data etc.  But of course if you listen to Monkcton and David Evans and other deniers the old wrong claims just keep being reused.

The rocks are being lifted, the light is being relentlessly shone upone the bogus or bunkum claims of climate change deniers and the organisations that fund them, there are fewer places left to scuttle to.

I’ve never seen the character he’s imitating but this guy has a definite Rachel Maddow vibe. Just needs a brown wig.