How Do You Build a Scientific Republican?

It’s widely known that Republicans, far more than Democrats, reject modern climate science. And more and more, it has become apparent that this is at least partly because Republicans have a deep distrust of scientists in general, or at least environmental scientists.

But there are many other causes for this rejection as well. These include Republicans’ strongly individualistic system of values—basically, a go-it-alone sense that government is the problem, and markets the solution—and even, perhaps, some aspects of their personalities or psychologies. This is something that I’ve argued in my new book.

There is also, of course, the huge role of Fox News in all of this: Watching it causes conservatives to have more false beliefs than they would otherwise, about issues like climate change. We’ve written about this extensively on DeSmogBlog; and I’ve highlighted a new video on the “Fox misinformation effect” here and below.

Such are some of the factors that seem to build an anti-science Republican; but now, researchers at George Mason, American University, and Yale have swooped in to ask the reverse question. Given that this is so, how do you make a pro-science one? Or in other words, what attributes or beliefs predict being an outlier Republican who actually believes that global warming is real and caused by humans?

The researchers call such Republicans “counter-normative.” That’s academic speak for “out in the cold” in their party right now.

So here’s what their study did. It sought to examine the factors—beliefs, traits, practices—that are correlated with being a Republican, but also accepting global warming. Quite a large number of traits were thrown into the analysis, ranging from individualism to religiosity to self-reported conservatism—each of them measured according to standard social scientific techniques. The researchers also took a close look at how much Republicans they trusted scientists on global warming.

Then, they put it all into a blender—sorry, a “regression” analysis—and found that the factors they’d highlighted, together, explained quite a lot of why Republicans do what they do (or don’t do what they don’t do). So which were the strongest ones?

First, and not surprisingly, individualism played a significant role in fueling climate denial. The same went for “information satisfaction”—the so-called “smart idiot” effect that I’ve written on a great deal. In other words, what the study found is that the more Republicans thought they knew everything they needed to know about global warming, the more they were climate deniers. (Check out the study if you want to delve into the statistics; there are also far more factors analyzed than I discuss here.)

These first two findings might be considered pretty dismaying. If more knowledge (or at least, more believing that you know something about the issue) predicts more Republican denial, that suggests that patiently explaining the issue will get you nowhere. Something similar might be said for individualism—this is a deep seated part of identity, highly emotional (“don’t tread on me!”), and also not particularly amenable to change.

But have hope: The study found that the strongest predictor in determining whether a Republican accepts global warming is whether he or she trusts in scientists, and whether he or she thinks they are in agreement about whether global warming is occurring. As the authors therefore conclude: “Science views thus may serve as a central pathway in the development of Republican climate opinions.”

This, to me, says a ton. Remember that over the past several decades, there has been an active smearing of the scientific community on this issue. Trust  in scientists was clearly driven down among Republican by events like “ClimateGate,” and how they were seized upon; and doubt about a scientific consensus on global warming was deliberately and consciously sown.

In this context, the new data suggest that, had there not been such a concerted attempt to create doubt about global warming by conservative think tanks and their corporate sponsors—and, by Fox—we might never have had a problem. Perhaps Republican individualism, information satisfaction, and all the rest would have gone and found some other issue to attach themselves too.

So how do we change Republican science views? Well, unfortunately, it still isn’t going to be easy. The authors of the new study write, for instance, that “a communication plan based around a core message of scientific consensus would have broad applicability across political audience segments.” But it would also get attacked by conservative media, e.g., Fox, and the usual suspects in conservative think tanks and the climate denial blogosphere. And given the “smart idiot” problem, Republicans consuming these media would then reject the science, and feel sure of themselves.

The only solution, then, is to make organized climate denial simply beyond the pale. It has to be the case that taking such a stand is tantamount to asserting that smoking is completely safe, no big deal, go ahead and have two packs a day.

Will that happen? Someday, I think it will. But it is not like we have a lot of time on our hands.

(Image credit: Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons.)


I am flabbergasted how much troll feeding is going on here. Especially on this particular thread from Chris. If you follow his work you should know that feeding the troll more facts and explanations changes nothing. The intelligent lurkers out there will appreciate one or two curteous but firm debunkings. But the way you have been feeding windy makes you wonder. Stick to the topic please.

“I am flabbergasted how much troll feeding is going on here. Especially on this particular thread from Chris.”

gws, the other side of the coin is, an assertion that has gone unchallenged is an assertion that is perceived to be correct by some and an assertion where AGW realists have no answer for. 

Sure, they often try to derail threads, but Windy was mostly on topic in the first few comments. Plus, if their ill thought comments are not put to rest quickly, they simply come back and repeat the claim over and over. For lurkers that accept the science, this is no big deal, but for lurkers that are sitting on the fence, it appears the question is being avoided and there is something to hide. If we go on just ignoring them, then they cry that we refuse to debate. It’s a catch 22 situation.


Personally I feel that this keeps us busy here when we could be on other forums correcting more public versions of the same garbage.

That’s why I think desmogblog should toss them to the wind.

Unless they think there is some value in having us sit around debunking the drivel.

If a troll puts out misinformation it behooves us to correct it. We all know that it will not influence the troll but how many lurkers will believe the nonsense if it is not corrected? That is why I will always correct lies and distortions put out by the deniers.

Too bad if you don’t like it. You are not a concern troll are you?

Phil, I agree with you to some degree. I would to point out though that windy was using typical tactics, such as moving the goalposts, which need to pointed out. That puts things to rest more quickly. If you keep following the goalposts you will never get there. I great example is O’Reilly’s defense after having been called on his lack of knowledge on the effect of the moon on tides.

I agree with you that there is too much trolling but it is not up to us to stop it, that should be up to DeSmogBlog. Allowing incorrect information to go unchallenged can only help the denier side since there are far more lurkers than posters.

If you feel this strong then I suggest you contact DeSmogBlog and ask them to shut down the trolls. As long as they post incorrect and dishonest information I will respond and correct it, no matter how much the goal posts are moved. I am a scientist and I hate dishonesty.

I did switch to myth busting as per here;

Don’t repeat the myth… Just point out what they are doing wrong.  Its been proven to work, apparently.

The real purpose to using that technique is not to convince the troll, but rather to show better information and a better stance for future readers.

Perhaps we should all try this for a week or so.  IANVS is the king of huge fact sprees… I know I’m too chatty.  (Neither are effective.)

All of us are just a little too happy to throw a Molotov or two, then top it off with a match.

“I would to point out though that windy was using typical tactics, such as moving the goalposts, which need to pointed out. That puts things to rest more quickly. If you keep following the goalposts you will never get there. 

Well, I see you are newly registered (although you have probably lurked for months or years), so welcome aboard. If you can see a way to help or add weight to the debate, then get amongst it like you have stated above. Point it out and help put it to rest. 

We are still in a transtion stage similar to where the public were in the tobacco wars during the 60’s - 80’s. The majority of people though that smoking was not harmful and that people who were saying it was harmful were being alarmist, attacking profits and attempting to destroy freedom of choice and liberty. Fast forward to the 90’s and 2000’s and it was a different public perception.

This is where we are at present with public AGW perception. A great many are still at the “smoking doesnt cause damage……does it? 20, 679 physicians say they are ok and Camels are the doctors favourite cigarette!!…..Helloooo, smoking is ok you pinko”

While for others, regarding AGW, it’s a no brainer that adding billions of tonnes of a GHG tothe atmosphere everyday artificially……will create more heat. Except this time, those advocating the non smoking are equally affected by not acting.


on balance, there is much more benefit to challenging anti-science denier bull at every twist & turn rather than ignoring it or just a single good-old-fashioned spanking.

First, it alerts the denier that we are aware of what he’s up to.

Second, it alerts the readers to the denier’s nonsense & tactics.

Third & most importantly, it helps keep readers better informed of what the actual science & leading scientists report. 

Fourth, it demonstrates to the readers the arguments & techniques, some better than others, of dealing with deniers & their bull.

Fifth, it hones our own knowledge & skills to better deal with the willful disinformation & lies about the science & our dedicated, honest scientists.

Should we allow the servile dittoheads of deliberate disinformation & blatant denial of science to stand & scream nonsense on every streetcorner, what will they scream for next? Creationism in our public schools & poverty for our children?

Freedom isn’t free. 

I don’t disagree.  Just read this.

We find the techniques & advice of the Debunking Handbook do on occasion work with friends & associates & real people, but virtually never on the faceless pseudonyms of the denialosphere who frequent the poison wells of WUWT, who are on a fanatics jihad to propagate lies about climate & evolutionary sciences & to destroy the lives of honest, dedicated scientists.

These “true deniers” should be challenged at every lie before the damage is done.

The LNP (Liberal National Party - Conservatives) have finaly won power in the state of Queensland Australia and are fast tracking their opposition to environmental or climate initiatives.

Most politicians and political parties get on the nose of the public after a few terms. John Howard, former Conservative Prime Minister felt this at the 2nd last Federal election when not only did his party lose after 11 years of Government, but the Prime Minister lost his own seat in a landslide.

In the QLD state election (QLD covers an area equal to 10 states in the USA) after 20 years of Labor rule, the LNP have won in a massive landslide also, leaving Labor with virtually no opposition and the LNP the ability to rubber stamp every policy they came up with…..which was none. They didn’t have to come up with any policies, as the time was ripe for an ousting anyway.

One of the first things Campbell Newman has done after being appointed as Queensland Premier, is to reverse all the climate change policies put in place by Labor. The guy that gets the job of doing this, is the guy that helped create them in the first place. Talk about cold.


If you follow Mooney’s posts, you’d also note that he does quote real research.

Here’s one such professor (and no.. this is just a book based on that professor’s papers);

Can you list, describe or otherwise clarify what you can’t understand with AGW?  Here’s hansen’s 1988 paper and its a home run;

Billions of dollars in research and satellites, and world wide work have continuously proven this paper to be correct.

Thanks for all the extra feedback. You are making a lot of good points. Still, your tone(s) in the “conversation” were much different than towards me. I am sure you know that tone matters. So while you are correct about setting the record straight, the lurkers “on the fence” you are trying to reach are often smart people, who are put off by shouting matches. The tone quickly becomes more important than the substance. So by the third name-calling, it does not matter any more how many truths you speak to a liar.

For all you know, windy is an intelligent person of the kind who digs in deeper and finds more arguments for his/her confirmation bias when faced with evidence contrary to his/her beliefs. Your framing in this case was off I think. It appeared to me more like you just threw more facts at him/her in a dismissive tone. Sure you convinced the lurkers? I am not.

This site is here to counter the PR pollution, and discuss effective ways to intelligently spread the message of science for the benefit of all of us. Framing is (almost) everything in that respect. It took us scientists a while to get that, but the majority is still doing a dismal job as an example pointed to by Chris in an earlier post demonstrates.

Phil’s reply is good framing: Climate denial is at a stage similar to where smoking-affects-your-health-denial was 30-40 years ago. I have used that analogy too, although you have to be careful who your audience is as his last sentence hints at.


“ Still, your tone(s) in the “conversation” were much different than towards me. I am sure you know that tone matters.”

And what of the tone of deniers that comment on this blog? I remember being optimistic and considered the diplomatic approach when I first started debating this topic online nearly 10 years ago. I am keen to see you put your advice to the test and see how long you remain composed. I really wish it was like that….but it’s not. I’ve seen many of the commenters on here on other blogs for many years also and they can probably attest to the attitudes we are forced to debate with. 

I have seen many scientists trying to keep their composure over the years and eventually succumb to the incontrovertible fact, that there are skeptics and there are deniers. Even worse, paid deniers, or deniers with not only a political axe to grind, but coin to defend. I remember the days of hearing Hansen hit the blogosphere saying we should watch our tone, we shouldn’t lower ourselves to their debating methods, we shouldn’t call them deniers, as it too readily pigeonholes them. We should instead call them skeptics. Going by Hansens recent talk at TED, he too has succumbed to facts. There are skeptics…..and there are deniers. Deniers will not shift their opinion no matter how much you offer facts or sweet talk them. 

“For all you know, windy is an intelligent person” .I’m sure most are. But, we also must acknowledge that a) there are political and lobby groups that are paid to disrupt, delay and derail AGW blogs including these threads. b) AGW deniers are fact immune when it comes to climate change discussions. c) There are people that must be exposed for their role in shaping public opinion for their private benefit, yet socialized costs.

Articles that appear on this blog are bound to draw the ire of partisans and those with coin involved.

I certainly hope you can stick around and test out some of these tactics. I’m sure nearly everyone here has been down the same road as you are advocating now and are keen to see if you can succeed, where I/we/they have not.

“but the majority is still doing a dismal job as an example pointed to by Chris in an earlier post demonstrates.”

I agree, but if something as obvious as the dangers of smoking took nearly 40 years to legislate against, tax and promote as a health risk. Then how much harder is the educational process for something as complex as anthropogenic climate change? I wish there was an easier more diplomatic way too.


… long before I even knew who they were or why they were doing it.

Mostly they seem to do it to spread their filth.

Which is why you shouldn’t confront them, but rather just calmly spread truth.

I think it’s a good technique to ask the deniers to take a stand on smoking. According to Merchants of Doubt, the professional deniers are constantly against health/environment, whether it is smoking, CFCs or formaldehyde (affects workers in the industry). If the denier refuses to take a stand on smoking/CFCs/formaldehyde, they are hiding their “profesionalism” in being deniers.

If the denier follows the proven damages caused by smoking/CFCs/formaldehyde, then their views on climate have some merit. Otherwise, they are to be discarded.


I’m pro-smoking.

I feel that people should have the ability to choose how they die. ie. Pick their own deadly poison.  This idea is libertarian, and central to “Thank You For Smoking”;

I think its a travesty that they waste their time attacking the science behind the health damage from smoking.

I feel that we should regulate second had smoke.  (There was a bar around here that we used to call “The Black Lung”.)  I feel that cigarette companies should pay for all their medical damage.

Phil, you make lot of good points, but you may have slightly missed my point.

I followed the US scene for a while now, but more intensely in recent years. In the late 90ies I read Gelbspan’s book, before that I was an activist for many years. My experience may not be as extensive as yours, but I am trying to put it to work a bit now. And I am learning every day.

So … Of course it is frustrating to confront people who won’t argue on the basis of facts. And of course the denialists among them have to be called out as such. So your a, b, and c are of course acknowledged. Maybe not by all people who read this blog and its comment sections, but our conversation now has the advantage of telling them, … again! :)

And that is my point you did not address: The lurkers out there (i was not talking about convincing windy) do not usually appreciate the frustration people like you and I experience after years of unfounded attacks by the denialosphere (is that a word?), much less if it is put into name-calling.

Anyway, I think that – although difficult – we have to preserve some composure as we are held to much higher standards by the general public. Simple repetition is one way to do that, and has been shown over and over to work. Why do you think denialists use that tactic, namely regurgitating long-debunked falsehoods? Because it works! Uninformed people tend to believe something if only they hear it often enough. Advertisements work exactly the same way! It does not help to call them idiotic of stupid. Next time you are in the store, you will buy the product because your brain recalls seeing an ad for it …

Alas, one way to keep composure is to simply repeat the debunking. No need to write a long answer. Just give the link. It is usually very successfully practised that way on realclimate … and the trolls there are few and far. Don’t debate them, it legitimizes them. Firmly deny them the debate instead.

Check this out:


For too long scientists and others who understand the dangers from AGW have decided to be “nice little boys” and treat the deniers as nothing more than annoying little gnats. That form of appeasement doesn’t work just as it didn’t work for Chamberlain.

These despicable people, just see what they are doing to Tim DeChristopher, must be confronted in a much more positive and assertive and honest manner than you are advocating. Calling a spade a spade is what is required. The methods these people are using are not acceptable to reasonable people, treating them as “reasonable but misinformed ” will not work. They are laughing at the likes of you and your “be nice to them”.

Are you sure you are not a “concern troll”? As a scientist, I cannot condone or accept terms such as “tone” and “framing”. These are just terms to avoid confrontation which is what is required. What is required is that lies, obfuscation, misinterpretation and misinformation must be challenged whenever they are encountered. The methods you propose may be all right at an old ladies afternoon bridge party but they will not work when dealing with the despicable people who are denying science and promoting the interests of the fossil fuel industry.

I’m with gws on this.

I’ve noticed that in public forums they seem to scatter like rats when confronted with real simple concise information. That information is also hard to refute.

They will generally dig deeper, which is easier emasculate with a few simple concise words.

For example, I will lead with a comment on “Harper Government” data showing how ice is declining.

Invariably they will show data for one winter month. (I’ve seen that about 5 times now.)

I will then point out that no one has said that the winter ice is melting.  If its -45 in winter instead of -50, you won’t see melt.

At this point anything further they do will look stupid, so they change the subject.

I implore you to watch this video;

Best quote: “I’m not after you, I’m after them.”

Take a page out of marketing.  Keep it simple and easy to read, and target your audience, (which is never the troll.)

gws is going after honest and responsible posters on this thread. I’m not sure what his motives are but he is wrong. For too long we have treated deniers with kid gloves and have avoided confronting their dishonesty and misinformation. That will never work and many of the more prominent climate scientists and their supporters are coming to that conclusion. The deniers are using nasty and possibly illegal tactics in attacking climate science and climate scientists. I have been attacked both by e-mail and by having all my personal information posted on a blog. That information included my phone numbers, both personal and business,  my employer, my address, a map of where my house is located and even a photograph of my house. Would you be supporting the likes of gws if deniers had treated you in a similar fashion?

I have always used my real name on my blog posts and I find that too many people are afraid to do so. Does that not say some thing about the fear the deniers have instilled in you people?

Just recently, hackers broke into the Skeptical Science web site and down loaded all the personal information of posters and private e-mails of those running the web site. They then sent it to a number of denier sites, some of whom then linked to the hacked data allowing anyone to obtain this information. Only Watts had the decency to not link to this data. Does that not tell you some thing about the motives and character of the deniers?

In our case, it wasn’t anti-science deniers on blogs but the freakin’ shorts on stock message boards.  Climate deniers are wussies compared to those guys.

They never were.  If you read what Mooney says, you’ll realize that you will fail.

The target is Joe blow who reads a blog or news article some time later and sees what is getting said.   People won’t read big long posts.  (Hell, mine always languish if they are long.)

gws is descibing precisely this;

You don’t have to win an arguement with them. Ever.  You just have to prove them wrong, and that makes you right in the sphere of public discourse.

Look back..  Windy posted a long diatribe on meteorologists to which I had the following simple and trite reply;

Again, this is another common misconception that can easily fool people.  Meteorologists don’t study or analyze the environment. Its not their job.

What do they know?

Most meteorologists are BSC who do nothing but read out what their met techs tell them.  Right?  Not a lot of science there right?  Even if they did, the best they could hope for is a single graph representing their small portion of the world.”

This is textbook Myth debunking, and frankly what we should be doing more of.

And yes… I think we’re feeding the trolls entirely too much.

I find that in real life many of these myths have actually hit mainstream.  When questioned about it, most folks can’t remember where they heard something.

Screaming long counter diatribes won’t get read outside our little clique.  But one bold sentence, and a simple explanation…  Joe blow will understand what he is reading.

At the very least, I’m saying… shorten our replies.  This is exactly what gws is saying.  Don’t write long arduous replies… be concise, maybe toss in ONE link for further reading.

[I hide my identity because I work in the oil and gas industry.  This is not an industry of sharing and acceptance.]

What I do is to correct wrong information, I don’t care who is saying what, if it is wrong and can be proved wrong by checking the peer reviewed scientific literature I will correct it.

Wrong and dishonest information must never, ever be allowed to go unchallenged. I am a scientist and I cannot stand to see the dishonesty put out by the deniers and will challenge it at every opportunity I get. If that bothers you, too bad.

I get the feeling that gws is pulling our strings a bit, I don’t think that he (or she) has the best of intentions with his or her  posts here.

My point is that people won’t read a long post.

Keep it concise.

Keep it short.

You only have to prove one point concisely to make the rest look like the tripe that it is. (Hint, pick the easiest one.)

Huge numbers of correct facts… PROVE THE MYTH.  (Read the debunking manual.)

If someone provides a list of 5 “facts” showing the first is wrong only shows that the first is wrong. You cannot make the assumption that the others are also wrong unless you show that they are wrong. It seems to me that one of the key building blocks of science is severely lacking in today’s education system. That is logic. I cannot but be amazed at the lack of logical reasoning I see every day both by deniers and those who criticize them. You cannot make the assumption that because some one has made 5 misrepresentations that you have proved them all wrong by showing that the first is wrong. That just does not pass any test of logic or science.

But you are not talking to scientists, certainly not here.

And if you were, well, there’s like 10 on the other side, and you can just email them directly.

Who do you think your target audience is?

I think that the target audience is Jow Blow surfing the net.  You want him to come along and see what you said.  You want it to be credible, easy and bite sized.

Give them links if you want them to read more or get more detail.

I think you’ve confused what is required to win a debate versus what is required to make a scientific statement.  They are wholly unrelated events that have different requirements for success.

In the court of public opinion, the one with the least tar and feathers on himself wins.  gws’s link by the way was a really good read.

Disinformation and dishonesty have to be corrected. I know the DeSmogBlog is not a science blog but that does not give the deniers carte blanche to post anti-science rubbish. As a scientist I respond. If people reading the blog don’t want to understand the science and are only interested in political points that has got nothing to do with pointing out scientific dishonesty.

Politicians can only make informed decisions if they are informed of the facts, scientific or economic or whatever. By leaving disinformation out there with out challenging it only helps the deniers, it does nothing for those who are interested in the truth.

One of the problems scientists face is that everyone now a days wants the 15 second sound bit. Unfortunately, science doesn’t work that way. Too many times scientists have tried that route only to find that what they say can be misconstrued if they take shortcuts in describing their work. That is a fact and some thing we have to live with. Science is complicated and difficult for the lay person to fully understand. We must make the effort to ensure what we say cannot be misrepresented.

This has been an interesting discussion. It shows that most people come to this blog wanting the same thing. However, our different backgrounds some times result in conflicts. This should be expected since these different backgrounds will emphasize different approaches to trying to solve the problems inherent in AGW. My science background leads me to correct scientific disinformation, other people will look at the psychology of the deniers and how to cope from that aspect, others no doubt will use their own background to argue with the deniers.

I hope I have not upset too many with my recent posts.

No offence could be taken.  This is known as a constructive arguement.

In the mean time, I leave you with this comic;

“Common wisdom is that the more counter arguments you provide, the more successful you’ll be in debunking a myth. It turns out that the opposite can be true. When it comes to refuting misinformation, less can be more. Generating three arguments, for example, can be more successful in reducing misperceptions than generating twelve arguments, which can end up reinforcing the initial misperception.”

Schwarz, N., Sanna, L., Skurnik, I., & Yoon, C. (2007).
Metacognitive experiences and the intricacies of setting
people straight:Implications for debiasing and public
information campaigns. Advances in Experimental
Social Psychology, 39, 127-161.

This is all I’m saying.

Once I took logic as a CS major, I always wondered why it was not taught in high school, or middle school also for that matter.

One would think that the teachers of the core curruculum of math, science, and humanities would see the value in having students solve word problems, conduct and write up labs, and compose essays with well grounded reasoning. Yet, we graduate tens of thousands each year who have no idea of sound logic or any idea that there even is a taxonomy of logical fallacies.

While some literates may not read the entire post or comment like most articles & comments in print or online, the better written, structured, highlighted it is, the more will likely be read & perhaps, comprehended & remembered.

Unfortunately, our young are growing up on too many tweets & not enough literate.


re: “You don’t have to win an arguement with them. Ever. You just have to prove them wrong, and that makes you right in the sphere of public discourse.”

Proof is in the mind of the beholder, amigo.  Why does Apple pay mega-oodles on Siri ads over & over & over again?  We already know that Apple’s iPhone technology is superior.  It’s to thoroughly blanket – some might say carpet-bomb – our ever-distracted human consciousness –  so when we think of searching, traveling, eating, buying, communicating, family, friends, sports, stocks, banking, bills, or anything, we think of Apple iPhone.  Can’t live without it.

The same is true of learning a new language, a new song, any subject, including climate change.  Messaging may be everything, but repetition is the only thing.

re: “The lurkers out there (i was not talking about convincing windy) do not usually appreciate the frustration people like you and I experience after years of unfounded attacks by the denialosphere (is that a word?), much less if it is put into name-calling.”

Denialosphere a word? If it communicates your meaning to your reader, why not?

Links accompanied by carefully selected cites & embolded highlights are even better, if only to entice readers to click & explore further.

No doubt, there are still some silent readers out there who might prefer a quiet, less frustrating daily read of science, policy & issues.

However, with sufficient frustration, more voters of this silent reading majority can become enlightened & emboldened to finally speak out on blogs & in email & elsewhere, to friends & family & others, to stand up for science, to defend besieged scientists, & to challenge & expose the deniers & liars who threaten our health, our well-being, & our liberty.

A few years back, we lost a very good & caring man who finally succumbed to his life-long addiction & smokers cancer at the ripe young age of 63.  Had his & our generations been more frustrated & stood up sooner & stronger to the tobacco industry & its legions of deniers, perhaps he would have been able to better know & longer enjoy his grandkids, & they, him.

Neither we nor Dr. James Hansen want our grandkids to wonder, perhaps if grandpa had stood up sooner & stronger to the Koch Brothers et al & their legions of deniers.


“one way to keep composure is to simply repeat the debunking. “

I use it often.

“It is usually very successfully practised that way on realclimate … and the trolls there are few and far.” 

That is because places like Real Climate, Skeptical Science, Tamino, Deep Climate, Rabbet are strictly science. Deniers don’t have a leg to stand on anymore and their arguments are picked apart casually at these places like a praying mantis disecting a spider. Deniers fear those places because they are resoundingly humiliated with science. The science side of things is virtually over for deniers now & they know it.

Whereas places like Desmog are not about the science. It’s about the PR, lobbying and politics of AGW. IMO this is where the fight is now. Public perception.

 ”Don’t debate them, it legitimizes them. Firmly deny them the debate instead.” 

I try, but really, I’m with Ian on this & i remember Poptech’s attempt at smearing Ian. I also remember many others who have received the same treatment. These are not people that are up for pleasant debate. If they can take you out by underhanded or dirty tactics, they will.

When it’s all about the money, that’s what happens. 


The commenters on this thread, apart from the obvious deniers, have acted responsibly and have not used the gutter tactics that he will find at denier blogs such as wattsuphisbutt and Bishop Shill. The tactics used by the deniers on these blogs are slanderous and insulting and are worse than what one will find on a schoolyard playground.

gws, there is nothing wrong with calling a spade a spade and responding in a factual manner to their lies and misinformation. I am disappointed that someone should come on this blog and attack the very people who are exposing these fraudsters for what they are. What is your background and why do you find it necessary to go after honest posters?

Ian and others,
I do not have bad intentions. Based on your explanations I understand now what causes your positions. What has happened to you and others is appalling and should be made public more often. I think that could be more effective in the public arena than a lot of other advocacy.
I already indicated that I am aware of the scientist-being-too-careful-problem. Where I disagree is regarding the means, the tactic. There is not always something wrong with two people wanting the same but using different means to get there. My own experiences so far are simply different, but I expect they could the way yours went quickly. Some of my colleagues are regularly getting hate mail. I have only gotten quirky ones so far.
Still, I advocate to my students and colleagues to become more vocal, but it ain’t easy.
Alright, nuff said. Will move on to another discussion. Did not intend to drag this out …

Ian and others,
I do not have bad intentions. Based on your explanations I understand now what causes your positions. What has happened to you and others is appalling and should be made public more often. I think that could be more effective in the public arena than a lot of other advocacy.
I already indicated that I am aware of the scientist-being-too-careful-problem. Where I disagree is regarding the means, the tactic. There is not always something wrong with two people wanting the same but using different means to get there. My own experiences so far are simply different, but I expect they could the way yours went quickly. Some of my colleagues are regularly getting hate mail. I have only gotten quirky ones so far.
Still, I advocate to my students and colleagues to become more vocal, but it ain’t easy.
Alright, nuff said. Will move on to another discussion. Did not intend to drag this out …

We’re not the only slave to “repetition is the only thing.”