How Can We Stop Global Warming?

 

Strange Facts and Questions about Global Warming ACADEMIA and the CLIMATE EMERGENCY ITS THE LIFESTYLE, NOT THE SCIENCE Sceptics and Deniers Contact the Author, Michael Tuckson References and Acknowledgements Short CV For Beginners and the Bewildered COPENHAGEN and  AFTER BLOG WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW My Sitemap
 

 

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An Independent, Global and Flexible Approach: This site has no national, political or scientific sub-theory bias. It is regularly Updated and Improved.

 

Sceptics and Deniers  

(Updated: 18 February 2010)

 

(See also Copenhagen and After Blog)

www.stopglobalwarming-newstrategies.net 

 

Dr. Michael Tuckson

 

A proportion of people, both humble and very senior, are sceptical or deny that either warming is occurring, that it is significant, that it will continue to warm, or that it is due to net greenhouse gas (GHG) and related dust emissions . Given that the evidence for warming and climate change has become increasingly difficult to ignore (see one of the many glaciers that are melting),

 

Chacaltaya Glacier, Bolivia, melting 1940-2005.

 

the sceptics and deniers have switched to focus on the cause of warming, claiming that it is solely part of natural cycles. Such ideas have been promoted by extreme free market supporters who hate government , the fossil fuel and tobacco corporations who hate environmental science and the regulations or incentives that stem from it, religious fundamentalists who attack all science, and a few others, and are now spread by certain mega mass media and millions personally who have listened without understanding. The anti-government and anti-science corporations fund "think tanks" and more directly indulge in greenwash projects and advertising. What is largely pernicious misinformation can be answered carefully by objective evidence and theory that is widely corroborated......Basic GLOBAL WARMING Information. The occasional mistake or distortion that has been found and flogged for all its worth on the internet and some of the private mega media does NOT invalidate the work of tens of thousands of scientists who labour day in day out to understand nature and humans interaction with it. Further evidence is found in other pages, including...... Emissions, Concentration and Temperature  Let us not forget who the senior deniers are, when eventually populations realize that their utterances are lies that have led to the deaths of millions and misery for tens of millions others.

 

Its Not the Science

 

That they only attack those sciences that may lead to changes in their wealth and lifestyle shows clearly that the criticism is bogus. If its the quality of science that is at stake they should attack all science, including such subjects as astronomy,  plate tectonics, thermodynamics, organic chemistry, genetics, ecology and so on. Let them especially attack those applied sciences such  the geology of oil and mineral exploration, aeronautics, and electronics, on which their lifestyle depends.

 

That they confine themselves to climate science shows that the attacks are a misguided attempt to preserve their wealth, investments, employment, income, lifestyle and status. It is misguided because carbon pollution, together with surface earth system inertia, feedbacks, tipping points and irreversibility, could take themselves, if they are young, and their children, grandchildren and other descendents to misery and death. Their lifestyle will be temporary.  On the other hand, if they were to embrace the science and the change strategies, they and their family could participate in the change, experiencing only some temporary inconvenience. As it is, they are helping to condemn their families, and everyone else, to eventual catastrophe.   

 

Saudi Farce

The best denier story came just before Copenhagen from Saudia Arabia whose representative announced that because of the leaks or hacking of the East Anglia emails, global warming must be natural, not human. He then went on in similarly astounding fashion to announce that even so, Western nations (presumably not including rich resource nations like Saudia Arabia) must fund the adaptation by poor vulnerable nations. The West, that didn’t cause global warming as it is natural, must fund its solution, whereas Saudia Arabia that has accumulated vaste wealth through oil exports has no responsibility.

What we can see here is a fossil fuel dependent nation showing its illogical denying face with false solidarity with the vulnerable poor. Saudi Arabia and other fossil fuel exporters pretend various degrees of denying while raking in billions of dollars at the expense of the vulnerable. Their position is similar to the fossil fuel exploring, extracting, processing and retailing corporations around the world that fund other deniers, except that they will claim that Saudia Arabia has as much responsibility as the West, presumably nil if warming is natural.

Real Sceptics and Deniers

 

We might make a distinction between routine scientists, real sceptics and deniers. Another category is the short-termers. Real sceptics are those people who like to take a contrary point of view to test the scientists, or just see what appear to be weak spots and ask questions or make reasonable claims based on a non-specialist analysis. These people should be more than welcome, and in fact can help keep the specialists on their toes. Most have some scientific training. Some scientists themselves tend to fall into this category or practice scepticism from time to time, or at least appear to as they have come up with a new hypothesis or theory. Some however, tend to grade into the denier's category. The deniers on the other hand, are worth distinguishing, are more dogmatic, often anti-science, hardly transparent, often deceptive, have political and financial agendas and usually have weak analytical skills, for whatever reason. Most deniers call themselves sceptics thus confusing the issue. The most insidious deniers are paid by the fossil fuel and related corporations, including some among the mega-media.

 

The short-termers are those people, common on other issues as well, such as company finance, who only analyze and plan for the short-term, often influenced by the electoral cycle of 3-5 years. Global warming requires short-term ( up to 10 years) medium term (10-50 years) and long term (>50 years) analysis and planning. The most important weakness of the short-termers is that they ignore surface earth system feedbacks and irreversibility.

 

Deniers, whether or not they call themselves sceptics, are either ideologues or bankrolled, or both. Naomi Oreskes has explained that some are extreme ideologues who originally worked for the Marshall Institute supporting SDI (Strategic Defence Initiative) against the opposition of several thousand scientists in the Cold War. When the cold war ended they fell back on the corporative free market ideology as a cause to defend against scientists asking for regulation to fight acid rain, the ozone hole and then global warming. In all three environmental cases they have tried to sow distrust of science, falsely claiming a high level of scientific discord that didn't exist, and in all three were proved wrong.

 

Other deniers funded by the coal and petroleum corporations and even tobacco companies famous for misinformation on the health effects of tobacco (Monbiot,/... Chp 2 and blogcatalog.com/politics/discuss/entry/) a practice that has weakened the reputation of these companies to the detriment of the genuine scientists and engineers who work for them. I would like to see the genuine people speak out against the practice and/or change their employment. Unfortunately many former fossil fuel scientists that are geologists call themselves just scientists when opposing global warming theory. Dave Rado and many friends (BBC online 21-7-08) challenged a deniers programme on a British television station providing a 176 page critique.

 

Hoggan and Littlemore (2009) 'describe the devious activities of all the "think tanks" such as the Heritage Foundation, the Heartland Institute and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, that were set up in the USA and Canada in the last few decades. These organizations that now would be better called denier tanks are not devoted to thinking widely, but specifically to thinking about how to attack government programmes that might slightly disadvantge the corporations that fund them.

Ansgar Kiene, Kidscall campaign manager (interviewed by Islamonline.net) said that Exxon Mobile, the world's largest publicly traded international oil and gas company,  between 2000 and 2003 spent USD8,793,450 (nearly nine million USD) on so-called think tanks, that in return, denied global warming!   

Denier tanks are certainly not interested in supporting science, only white-anting the perception of its results, starting with widespread opposition to SDI (star wars) moving on to the ozone hole, acid rain, and when they were shown to be wrong there, took on global warming. They hire fairly intelligent people from a wide variety of backgrounds, but who are only occasionally practicing scientists. These soul sellers, who tend to have worked for several of these organizations, set about to dispute the popular perception of climate science, not obviously by just claiming it is wrong, but subtly, by sowing doubt, again and again, using obscuring language, targetting the small town media, suing government when it tries to inform the public, and indeed using any underhand tactic they can think of. And government is indeed either too weak to fight back or has been bought by the same companies that set up the "think tanks". The deniers are paid handsomely for their work. Patrick Michaels is reported to have been paid $165,000 for running a newsletter.

 

As Oreskes has receently pointed out, the deniers used a an effective scientific method to spread their falsehoods. They tested public relations ideas derived from previous campaigns with a limited public and then used them more widely. Natural scientists however have insisted in publishing in peer-reviewed journals using high jargon and obscure diagrams, that hardly anyone reads.

 

Apart from funding think tanks, the polluting corporations and their allies fund greenwash projects such as a film about nature, a line of trees, a wind turbine or two, or an addition to the school environmental curriculum. They then spend much more advertising their great green effort, without of course any statistics that would show its measely significance.

 

The deniers regularly claim that there is a conspiracy to close the peer-reviewed journals to their articles. Could a denier point to an actual article that has been rejected for all of us to assess? The peer-reviewed journals are not the only ones hard to penetrate. Have you tried submitting an opinion piece to the daily press or their online equivalents and even the government media online. They are closed to all but a privileged few, notably the journalists, some senior politicians and corporate people, and a few others. Even comments beneath the online articles do not get published if at all telling about the media. I have placed a piece on my blog on this site that was rejected by The Australian. I have had several other pieces, including a form of summary of this website, rejected by major media. So there deniers, you are not the only ones.

 

Poor Understanding or Lack of Empathy?

It is important to distinguish between those who are real sceptics, deniers, short-termers and other foot draggers because of poor understanding, and those who fully understand the future but totally lack empathy with younger people in their community, organization, clan or perhaps even their family. A combination is also likely, involving people who have a limited understanding and limited empathy. Some may partly understand and have empathy only for their own children, believing that they and further descendants can survive using wealth, power and force. If deniers are simply intellectually indoctrinated, evidence may change their mind, but if they lack empathy for future generations they will not be interested in evidence. It will be necessary to try to reduce their influence or power.  As the situation becomes more desperate this contest is likely to become violent.

Transparency

On the other hand, scientists who cheat should be exposed and eliminated from their field of science. In the 1800s a hoaxer tampered with a contemporary skull and claimed to have found an ancient human species. Several decades ago a geologist who wrote a new theory of the structure and formation of the Himalayas was found to have moved key fossils to a different part of the structure. More recently, a geneticist was found to have lied about the cloning of a species. The geologist and geneticist both lost their jobs. If after an open review, climate scientists are found to have really lied about their data or manipulated processes, they must also go, but if it was an in-joke, informal banter and usual politics, then after a promise of changing procedures, the deniers should recant. After all, deniers’ lies funded purposefully by corporations are so well documented (Hoggan and Littlemore, 2009) we don’t need a hacker to discover them, although equal access to company emails should be offered to demonstrate sincerity. This event is leading many to call for even greater transparency in scientific research, a worthwhile development whatever the truth of the East Anglia event.  That most biophysical scientific research is peer reviewed has nearly always been an adequate check, but in view of the latest issue and the high political pressure that climate scientists work under, largely due to the financially bankrolled deniers, greater transparency would benefit everyone.

 

Perhaps we can expect a progressive hacker to expose even more fully the murderous deception of the old fashioned corporations. It has been estimated that 300,000 die from global warming annually, many hundreds of which are in the USA. Much of the blame lies at the feet of the fossil fuel and related corporations in the USA. We can expect this annual death toll to soon rise into the millions and then the tens of millions, and if nothing significant is done, then the hundreds of millions, including millions in the USA.

 

Nevertheless, despite what ever happened at East Anglia, I am confident that almost all climate scientists are working honestly, as can be seen by the highly self critical and team based approach many use. Also remember that there is a degree of international and inter-organizational competition to produce new revelations and theory, with many teams covering more or less the same ground, so that by repetition, any deviation from the facts will soon be picked up by another team. This might not be seen as a lie but as a weakness in measurement technique or as an unexplainable unusual case, or just a mistake. Scientists who first analyzed temperature data from satellites made such a mistake. The information was jumped on by sceptics and deniers without realizing that it was a mistake, not a real problem requiring a new explanation.

 

Lack of peer review is a problem with self-financed websites such as this one and most of the media. Most of this website is not a blog that is totally new each day as in a newspaper, but an evolving website. If anyone is inclined to offer a scientific or social affairs review it would be gratefully received. Although this website depends very largely on other’s primary research, the facts, interpretations and proposals could usefully be critiqued. In this self-financed effort, with help from friends, deniers lack the opportunity to claim that I am crying wolf in order to rake in millions.   

What are They  Denying?

Before I discuss deniers further, it is well to make clear generally what they are denying. The main point is that the globe is warming, could warm faster and is warming very largely due to human interference. In some past millennia, sea levels have risen at up to 4 metres in a century. This doesn't just indicate the rate that coastal land could be intruded by the sea, but the degree to which storm surges, droughts, heat waves, fires and other afflictions will affect humankind. We do not know at what rate the ice will melt and the sea level will rise, but this rate is possible, and we are adding GHGs and other pollutants to the atmosphere much faster than occurred in the natural past. The graph in the Basic Global Warming Information webpage showed that the sun is not an important change agent at the moment and other research has shown that cosmic rays are not causing the formation of clouds in a way that could increase warming.

In the future climatically more fortunate regions of the world such as Canada or New Zealand, the children and grandchildren may survive, even with mass immigration, but down the procreative line, even there, the dangers grow. In the less fortunate regions such as the Mekong delta, southern and Sahel Africa and the Caribbean, not to mention the southern USA, the existing adult generation are already suffering. Today, worldwide, about 160 million people live within 1 metre of sea level and one billion live within 25 metres. 3 million years ago when temperatures were 2-3 degrees warmer than at present, sea levels were 25 -35 metres higher. It is technically possible to still avoid, not all, but the worst of climate change and sea intrusion by good government policy and citizen cooperation. Although many nations, organizations and individuals have been foot dragging for more than 20 years, we can still save most of humanity from a dreadful future, but we must act now.

In his book Storms of My Grandchildren, James Hansen gives the best explanation I have seen of the steps leading to temperature spikes in geological history, most famously the one called PETM 55 million years ago, and thus of the potential for the ultimate uncontrollable disaster. The figures are approximate, but that's natural science. The main uncertainty appears to be in the timing rather than the occurrence. He describes three main stages of increased degradation based on situation similar to "pollution-as-usual". Firstly, a marked increase in storm strength will threaten several tropical and temperate regions, including the east coast of the USA. This will also cause major drought in drier regions. His second stage, and this is where the irreversibility really starts, is in the collapse of the ice sheets at a rate that will cause several metres of sea level rise in a century. He points out that the combination of the first and second stage could lead to such chaos that "world governance" would probably break down. In the third stage we are finished off. When the global temperature rises 2-3 degrees, there is a chance of a sudden change in ocean circulation, resulting in a warmer current flowing over continental shelves containing the massive volumes of methane ice buried there. The methane ice would experience a relatively sudden melting and thus methane emission through the sea to the atmosphere. This would cause an equally sudden rise in atmospheric temperature of an extra few degrees, causing climate change so severe that it could wipe out most of humanity. Remember we are nearly at 1 degree now, so to face the risk of total catastrophe requires another 1-2 degrees, and that's included in the Copenhagen deal.

Andy Clarke of Reading, UK suggested that the deniers don't believe the sea level will rise as they think all the water from the melting ice will run off the side of the earth.

Developed countries must lead, and thus need five things urgently: a moratorium on all new fossil fuel projects, a strong carbon tax, a massive tree planting programme, a programme to retrain workers in the fossil fuel industry, not necessarily in green energy, and a movement for job-time sharing. Support should also be announced for worker relocation and for new industry in the fossil fuel towns. When the tax really starts to bite we will need job-sharing to cope with temporary reduction in total employment time. Give the coal miners a break. If the carbon tax does not include livestock methane we need a separate tax on conventional livestock, not including kangaroos. Livestock farmers can grow timber and crops.

A Developmental Theory about Deniers and Idlers

Deniers come in two forms: science deniers and social change deniers. Revealingly, many combine these two approaches: "its not warming, and even if it is, our economy will be destroyed by the so-called solutions". Although they started some years ago by just denying global warming, when the evidence became obvious to one and all, they added the retort that it was natural and was impossible to stop. When the evidence grew that the natural influences were minor, they said the warming was hardly important. And when they realized that it was widely recognized as important they criticized the mitigation strategies as too expensive, ineffectual or self-destructive. They see even raw data such as temperature or sea level readings as a threat. James Hansen relates an occasion when the GW Bush regime tried to stop him just putting temperature data on his website. Moreover, the same politician hid some of the satellite images of the melting Arctic from public view. More recently they have claimed the science is a fraud. The fraud idea, based partly on the hacked emails, didn't come out of the blue, but is part of what might be called the denier virus. Denial has systematically adapted to progress in scientific and mass understanding. Scientific progress has given rise to more and more desperate attempts to destroy it.  Even if the renewable and other green industries take off, the deniers will be out there claiming its a mistake or an allusion. They may start to make fun of efforts to stop it. If we fail to combat the scourge they will never accept any blame, but accuse us, saying they told us the strategies wouldn't work, eventually dying out with age. The next generation will be too busy trying to survive. When the writing is on the wall and the fossil fuel and related industries are forced to close, the job queues outside renewable energy companies will be massive.

Deniers are most prominent in the USA and the other former white colonies, Canada, Australia and in part, South Africa. Now that Canada has decided to exploit its tar sands, we can note that all four of these nations are rich in fossil fuels. India and China, the leaders among the growth countries are similarly endowed. The fossil resources, along with their recent intrusive history and high materialism, makes the former white colonies susceptible to denial. We have to understand as well as suggest. More on history and geography is presented in ......Taking Responsibility 

Clearly the senior denial industry is motivated by short-term profit and income. Although they appear not to care two hoots about the future, we must ask are they simply callous or also selectively ignorant? We still don't know the extent that the influential or powerful deniers that own or are paid by the fossil fuel and related industries are selfish, even towards their own children and grandchildren (or have no descendants) to what extent they are poorly aware of, or misunderstand, the seriousness of the up-to-date scientific and human affairs projections, and to what extent they do not understand the variety of socio-economic change strategies on option. There must be another type, the wealthy person who accepts and largely understands the up-to-date science and strategy options, but does nothing to support change, caring nothing for community, culture or nation, believing his descendents can do well.

Poor Education

Our education systems, including the mass media, have not done well in presenting effective explanations, James Hansen, Al Gore, George Monbiot, Mark Lynas and others excepted. We have to realize that, given the weak teaching of integrated science in secondary and tertiary schools over the past 60 years, most senior corporate and government staff have very poor understanding of earth and human systems. When presented with complex arguments about Earth inertia, palaeo-climatology or the potential for fraud in carbon trading, most probably switch off. Denial is partly a result of our weak schooling and the weak if not negative continuing education offered by the mass media, as well as the weak to non-existent government programmes in adult education for families.

The language used in the online comments columns indicates that most deniers, or at least those online, are not highly schooled or otherwise educated. Even many of the denier leaders appear poorly educated, certainly in science, and probably in social science. Did you know that one fifth of USA adults cannot find their own country on a map of the world? The followers and some independent deniers have seen the threat to their material lifestyle or ideology, and the complicated science, and decided they don't want to know, let alone understand.  Moreover, they may resent attempts to educate them, having had poor home, school or other experiences. Face-to-face discussion rather than formal education would be best. This implies millions of us will have to get involved. Perhaps explanation, not so much of climate science or even the future of human affairs, but of alternative green jobs with free retraining and relocation assistance is more useful in these cases. But the rest of us must pay for the change within nations and internationally for poorer nations.

Even many of those wishing to stop global warming resist learning complex theory and just want to be told "which letter to post or tree to plant". If the progressives can't learn the background they cannot discuss effectively with the deniers. Individual letters are more effective than mass mailings per person. The letters should suggest a quiet personal meeting.

We have now a democracy of the ignorant masses voting for faces and charm, with a smattering of ideas. This is a huge and urgent challenge for those wishing to lead.

Other Reasons

A range of other factors support these influences. Some of the denial is driven by fear of foreign actions, or inactions. Some are motivated by a religious opposition to any natural science that contradicts the Bible, and that includes all of palaeo-climatology beyond Jewish history. Others have long opposed government interference in their life, and scientific research all too often leads to government policy and regulation. Some may partly innocently block out poorly presented information overload while others may deny reality as they feel hopelessly inadequate to the task. Increasing many are becoming bored by the debate. Some may persuade themselves that they are doing their best, while making trivial contributions. Some of the powerful may have been indoctrinated by the propaganda they funded. Some scientists who think of alternative ideas become wedded to it, rejecting all contrary evidence. What is clearest is that the powerful wealthy deniers believe that they will not suffer personally, at least in the immediate future.

The climate crisis is not a problem like poverty, lifestyle disease or perhaps drugs, where under most circumstances the wealthy can avoid any problems, but is more like nuclear war or perhaps a virulent contagious disease where in the long run the wealthy are likely to survive perhaps a couple of years or decades longer than the poor. When the callous wealthy understand that, they are more likely to listen.

Be careful of greenwash, the increasingly common practice of companies headed by resistant or denier CEOs and politicians in govermnet who pretend to be contributing to a sustainable system by some trivial project such as planting a few trees around their office. I know of a bank that suggests at its ATM machine that you may wish to stop global warming by declining to take a receipt. Many people in Thailand have been persuaded that using less plastic will stop global warming. There is an online company that has two websites with quite different names, one that claims to be green and one that doesn't, so the greenies think they are onto a good thing. Please email me if you come across a good example. mtuckson@stopglobalwarming-newstrategies.net

A Sequence Hypothesis

The typical case of senior denial is probably some combination of reasons in sequence, involving a personality with low empathy and high assertiveness, an initial strong reluctance to change one's highly material lifestyle and/or ideology, perception of short-term self-interest, a weak knowledge of complex natural and social systems, a reluctance to spend time learning, realization that a proper understanding requires considerable effort, attraction to simple ideas that doubt the truth of complexity, a realization that others may take advantage of any emission reduction action one carries out, further blocking out of any new worthwhile information, reinforcement of these ideas by others in similar situations, jumping on any small opposition evidence, listening attentively to leading deniers, feigning ignorance in the face of children's questions, perhaps weak empathy for the children or grandchildren, perhaps a willingness to suffer later if one can enjoy life of ease now, actively searching for denier arguments, leading to the adoption of a denier ideology, and finally deciding to offer funding to think tanks, or perhaps speak out. I wonder if the typical case in summary is not a combination of entrapment in high materialism, callousness and ignorance, with mutual reinforcement over time.

Can we help?

Idlers

Among the potentially influential and powerful who are not deniers and are concerned for the future, many are idle, perhaps perplexed, apathetic or even depressed. Some may want to help but believe that they are totally occupied with work, expecting action from the government, while others have no idea how to help and yet others are just lazy.  A large number that more or less believe the science, unfortunately at a low level, but don't think it is important enough to act, and continue to enjoy their old lifestyle and pollute. Yet others are well aware of the science and many strategies, care about future generations, but do not want to lead, believing that government must lead. Some of these inactive non-deniers must be susceptible to well presented and appropriately focused education on science and strategy combined, probably best either face-to-face or in the form of documentaries with a personal theme.

Spreading the Pain

It would be a serious error to just expect employees in the fossil fuel and related industries to suffer alone as most seem to expect. We have to consider how hard it is to change both mind sets and lifestyle addictions. The progressive amongst us have to offer help to those whose industries we wish to whither and die. A computer expert or medical specialist will not be able to just tell the coal miner or refinery worker to accept the misery of unemployment. They will have to offer part of their consumption to the miner by way of accepting job-time sharing and higher taxes that are then redistributed for not only retraining, but also relocation, and then a new job, perhaps assembling solar panels. The pain must be felt throughout the nation, if not throughout the world. The sooner we start the easier it will be.

It's a matter of your lifestyle versus the misery or even death of your descendents.

Strategies

The first strategy is to study the Earth and human systems of climate change. This increased understanding becomes the basis for approaching others. Those who understand the science should seek out as senior deniers as possible, privately. If you do not know any, try the Hierarchical Strategies Some emphasis should be put on inertia, feedback, tipping points and irreversibility in surface Earth systems.

People at all levels in the apparently more advanced nations such as Germany, Sweden and Japan must try to communicate firstly with the former white colonies to explain what most of the rest of the modern world understands. Because we must communicate across seas, deserts, mountains and languages, the contribution of bilingual people is important. I suggest those in advanced thinking nations write letters to the provincial newspapers in the USA, Canada, Australia as a start.  Mention likely negative effects in the region targetted and refer to this or other websites. It appears to be in the less educated more rural regions where denial is strongest.

If those with massive coal and oil deposits do not follow, they may eventually be persuaded by consumer, sport and trade boycotts, if not climate change and sea intrusion itself, but then it will be too late.

It is unlikely that anyone can change the minds of the most committed deniers. What we must do is approach those who are a little uncertain with better letters, videos or films and face to face discussions. Probably much of the better media effort is ineffective as it doesn't address the main denier arguments directly, with sufficient evidence, together with social solutions, and may omit the emotional personal touch. Videos must be spot on and emotional, telling an effective individual story. Many of the recent spate of climate change videos have not been well focussed. Prominent ex-deniers such as the Southern Baptists should be given more support to speak out. Also we need more from the "intelligent" side of business to come out fighting for sense.  We all know famous business people who surely cannot be deniers but who have remained largely silent.

Better videos explaining the temperature-concentration and emission relationships, the production consequences of temperature rises, surface earth system inertia, feedback processes, tipping points and irreversibility are needed to show government ministers, other powerful politicians and those at and near the top in corporations and unions (see sub-page on Leadership and Education.....Leadership and Education.

Try ........Hierarchical Strategies

Challenging the Deniers 

If we fail in quite dialogue and using advanced multimedia, do we not need to challenge the worst influential and powerful deniers to public face-to-face debate, even at the risk of giving them some credibility. A filmed critique at the hands of a competent climatologist would do them no good. A video in which a list of names, organizations and funders of people who were invited but declined to come, accompanied by good science and change strategies could also be effective. Such a "debate" took place between environmental journalist, Professor George Monbiot and mining geologist, Professor Ian Plimer on Australian ABC in December 2009. Plimer could not answer Monbiot's questions. We should have more of these interactive exposes if all quieter avenues fail. (no acute in software!)

It may be that the courts could be an effective forum for a science-denier debate if a suitable case can be brought against the fossil fuel, transport and construction corporations. A case was brought and dismissed by an inuit village that is being undermined by warming, but this might be appealed. In the former white colonies the media and congress/parliaments have failed to provide an effective debating platform, partly as events are short and arguments peiecemeal. A court case can however amount to a sustained debate, with real and feigning experts cross examined. A panel of judges would be preferable to a jury as denying ideology could bias it by chance. The weakness of the media and the congress/parliaments have not been sufficiently exposed on this issue, let alone the queue of other issues inadequately covered. Perhaps parliaments could set up a special court-like debating event that would be covered comprehensively by the media, voluntarily, or if necessary, by time purchase.

If the old fashioned powerful do not care, then youth in some "developed" and major developing nations will have to act if they are to be certain of avoiding major inconvenience or misery. If concerned citizens everywhere can collectively consume less fossil energy we can bring change, but are we capable of sufficient mutual education and communication? Or we can try to change the minds or the power of the influential and powerful deniers in the conservative industries. The children and grandchildren of influential and powerful deniers may be important in the education and persuasion process.

There seem to be two main social strategies that are possible: educate the fossil powerful or educate the mass. In the latter case, educate the masses to vote and otherwise pressure for change and/or collectively consume less fossil energy, whether or not consuming more renewable energy, as well as support trees.

Action may eventually involve specific boycotts of countries and companies and "direct action" against fossil fuel corporations, but we appear to be someway from the conditions in which this could work. Where progressives gain sufficient power they can help build appropriate energy industries and entice the fossil fuel workers by offering viable alternative lifestyles.

All this is crying out for rapid sociological-pyschological research. One approach would be to study the regional, occupational, age, gender, wealth etc distribution of people with various denying and idling characteristics. This would help us focus our educational efforts and methods.  Books by Drew Weston and Thomas Frank on the US political condition appear useful.

 

Answering Real Sceptics

 

A small number of people, both humble and very senior that have spent time considering it, may be honestly sceptical that either scientists agree, that warming is occurring, that it is significant, that it will continue to warm, or that it is due to net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, or have been persuaded by them. Most of the doubts can be answered fairly simply for people with an open mind. Taking into account the disputes discussed on the home page, almost all climatologists agree with most of the mainstream theory; the opposition comes almost entirely from non-climate scientists, often non-scientists, including economists, and very often people with little scientific or other analytical schooling. See also ... Basic GLOBAL WARMING Information and

 For Beginners and the Bewildered

 

Significant warming in early and late twentieth century is well documented; thermometers in urban areas tend to be in relatively cool parks; and temperatures around cities are also rising. Data from each site is weighted to reduce local influences.Ocean temperature oscillations do create some uncertainty in short-term predictions over periods of a few years. But as was shown on the Basic Gobal Warming Information webpage, oceanic oscillations do not prevent the rise of average decadal global tempearutres. Modeling of twentieth century climate shows that for three multi-decade periods of warming, cooling and warming, only simulations that include natural and human influences can account roughly for the actual temperature changes (Peter Stott and team, 2000).

 

Carbon dioxide rises in earth history do indeed usually follow warming, that is because changes in earth-sun geometry cause the initial temperature change that is then amplified by GHG feedbacks.  The lag is a few hundred years and is due to ocean inertia or the time taken for the ocean to fully circulate its heat. The influence of solar activity and cosmic rays has been shown to be far less than that of carbon emissions on warming in the last 40 years, while the influence of the oceans is oscillating, not causing a systematic rise in temperature. Nevertheless, even if a small proportion of contemporary warming is natural, the warming contributed by net GHG emissions must be curtailed to save humanity from a disaster. The future trajectory of solar influences is not known confidently, but becuase solar radiation is at a long-term low now, it is likely to rise.

 

That the nature and strength of the evidence changes from time to time is part of the normal scientific process. Science is not a set of facts, but a process of research in which the results develop, based always on previous ideas and results, offering up new, usually better or more accurate ideas and results over time.   

Those influenced by deniers or the short-termers should realize that the longer we wait to alter our systems, the harder it is to change and the harder we fall.  As Greg Craven has said, the risk of inaction if the science is largely right is far greater than the risk of the action if the science is partly wrong. 

 More on deniers and sceptics can be found in..... COPENHAGEN and AFTER BLOG

 

Read General Acount .....New Strategies to Stop Global Warming

 

Read relatively academic account.....Climate Science and Strategies

 

Read introdution to various social conditions and strategies...Social Conditions and Strategies

 

 

Copyright  © 2009 Michael Tuckson. All Rights Reserved 

 

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Language Links Above

减缓气候变化的新对策  

NUEVAS ESTRATEGIAS PARA MITIGAR CAMBIO CLIMATICO

วิธีหยุดโลกร้อน 

Các chiến lược mới để làm giảm nhẹ sự thay đổi khí hậu      

Semi-Random Slogans

Invite a denier to lunch

Eat less meat every day

Form a small climate group

Inertia will kill us, twice

Holiday on bicycles

Learn how to plant and nurture trees

Drain your rice fields sometimes 

Auction caps 

Grow and store carbon 

Write to a newspaper in a denier region 

Help the employees, not the fossil fuel owners

Read a book, not a newspaper, on the bus

350 not 450

Study tropical forest protection

Why are most deniers men?

Carbon tax before cap and trade

Look for a home closer to work

Write a new page for this website

Oppose lobbying

Put a new slogan on your bicycle or bag every day 

Study the latest climate science first

No air-conditioning before lunchtime

Drink just a little cow milk

Study Earth's thermal inertia

Learn how to teach

Send parts of this website to a politician

Grow and store carbon in houses 

Organize exchanges with Asian universities 

Grow crops not livestock

Rationing is equitable

Study thermal inertia in buildings

Practice dialogue, not argument

Behaviour before technology

Make a bicycle path plan

Don't use concrete

Drive a much smaller car

Study the denier claims

1.5 not 2.0

Don't use trees for offsets

Work with a bilingual person 

Eat even less meat every day

Support better democracy

Do deniers care for their grandchildren? 

Paint your roof white

Oppose advertising by polluting companies

Consume less, save money

Form an international group 

Help a politician to learn

Making cement emits CO2.

Education must be global 

Grow and store carbon in the soil

Fans, not air-conditioning

Lobbying is bribery

Study growing algae

Improve the school curricula

You can't read driving a car

Find dated photos of glaciers

Study which companies bribe political parties 

How do you entice a denier to want to learn?

Share your job with an oil driller

Plant trees to absorb carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere

Have you tried Tahini dip?

What do deniers understand?

Dress less formally in the heat

Design a more tempting commuter bus

Get to know a denier's children

Pay tax to fund retraining

Less clothing, not fans

Eat kangaroo meat 

E-commute

Improve the university curricula

One is enough

Interview a climate scientist on video

Insulate your home

Open a wind turbine factory in a coal town

Study Earth feedback processes

300 not 350

Wheat is safer than rice

Take men's fashions up, and women's down

Use a condom in emergencies

Share some job-time

Protest forest destruction

Wear a cotton coat

Study tree plantations

Eat just a little cheese

Get to know a denier's grandchildren

Why do the rich want to grow?

Put on an extra jumper when its cold outside

Offer a new job to a coal miner

Adopt two

Join an NGO today

Political bribes, not donations

None is enough

Holiday close to home

Invest in a diverse plantation

Wear less in the heat

Talk to migrants about emailing home

Make compost

Promote eco-tourism for locals

Read more of this website

Ask a politician have they read James Hansen

Eat less cream

Jumpers are cheaper than gas

Arrange a climate debate

Build a thick-walled house

Study how to turn moderate deniers

Study fast growing trees

Hand out appropriate leaflets at railway stations

Study your local energy organization

Learn about the delights of veganism

Study Chinese

Practice walking

Shirts are enough in hot weather

Support rapid research on how to turn deniers

Try an IUD

Asians make blankets from cotton and kapok

Get to know your neighbours

Recycle jumpers and coats

Holiday by mass land transport

Drink red wine, not milk

Support rapid research on capturing CO2 from the air.

Hand out leaflets at bus stops

Men's legs are beautiful too

Talk to local government about recycling biological waste

Keep a stock of morning after pills

 

Adopt another one

When will the USA go metric?

Write and publish leaflets

Holiday on a sailing ship

Start a course on climate change and solutions

Exercise periodically when its cold

Farmers now support the Green party

Give a talk at the local school

Chocolate's great with soya cream

Climate crisis not climate change

Share a car with your neighbours

Study tipping points and irreversibility

Email government ministers

Form a climate group with your neighbours or friends

Read Climate Cover-Up

Study palaeo-climatology

Soon meat becomes less tempting

Improve your foreign language skills

Adopt a baby girl 

Write an article for your local newspaper

Read Storms of My Grandchildren (after reading some climate science such as on this website)

Take plastic packaging off at the shop

Climate emergency not climate crisis

Ask you government to make a good video on the climate emergency

Move your company to where your workers live

Invite your favourite denier to a vegan lunch

Ask the supermarket to turn off half the lights

Study carbon taxes in more than one nation

Join yours with other climate groups

Shop at dimly lit shops

Email people you know abroad

Ask a climatologist to explain the various! meanings of CO2e

Plant and nurture trees in your garden till its full

Learn about biochar

Study the bus routes in your town or city

Support James Hansen for the Nobel Prize for physics, peace or whatever.

Protest new oil exploration

Install a solar thermal hot water heater

Shop for food where the fridges have lids or doors

Plant 10 trees a month in neighbours' gardens and in parks

Ask your adult children what they think

Write a better letter to the newspapers

Organize a demonstration outside coal company offices.

Where are the Nobel prizes for Earth and social sciences?

Form a climate group at work

Give a talk at a school in a coal town

No children is best

Buy a glass of wine for a denier

Start an NGO

Support honest and intelligent politicians

Study short-term GHGs

Join a good political party

Give a talk at a school at an oil town

Study hire-purchase for solar panels

Stake out a coal energy factory

Don't export coal or oil

Work in a vulnerable area

Invest in geothermal

Live with a farmer family in the holidays and help them plant trees

Build a sailing ship

Give talks at the local town.

Hand out leaflets at another station

Video a debate

Move to a swinging seat in time for close elections

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
 
 

 Michael Tuckson

The website author and publisher, December 2009.

 

Easy Summary

 

We must try to understand up-to-date climate science coming out over the last few years that warns of possible disaster. Ice shelves and sheets are melting much faster than before. Global temperatures are rising, with oscillations due to ocean oscillations. Natural causes are minor compared with pollution. This understanding must be spread by advanced adult education, especially among the powerful. As many readers as possible must spread understanding.

 

Denier leaders are funded by the fossil fuel, tobacco and similar corporations and/or are ideologues. Their arguments are always against, not considering pro and con, as with real science. They rarely call for better understanding, just attempt to confuse. None are climate scientists. Their motivation is salary and weak government, not salary and discovery. Either they do not care about their descendants or they do not understand the probable future.

 

We must put more emphasis on the short-term greenhouse influences such as methane. Carbon dixide must be captured from the atmosphere. Also we must lead with behaviour change before appropriate technology spreads. Birth control is important in some regions. Job-time sharing and retraining can reduce any unemployment resulting from mitigation measures. Mitigation must be coordinated globally by government and citizens in modern sectors. City pairing could be useful.