How to Talk to Your Republican Dad About Climate Change

August 21, 2013

Mother Jones environmental reporter Kate Shepherd, on how to communicate climate to someone who, well, does not “give a shit”.  I’m not sure of the event, but the crowd sounds like they are well lubricated.

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14 Responses to “How to Talk to Your Republican Dad About Climate Change”

  1. omnologos Says:

    does the Pope organize courses on how to talk to atheists?

    • livinginabox Says:

      “does the Pope organize courses on how to talk to atheists?” – An reverted and dishonest analogy, that implies that atheism is a religion.

      Atheists are genuinely sceptical about religion. Catholicism is a religion, which offers no evidence (like any other religion, it relies upon faith alone). If a religion could prove the existence of a god, then I doubt there would be many atheists. The trouble is, nobody ever has. Given the claims that god is both omniscient and omnipotent and his complete inability to dream-up a convincing and unambiguous demonstration to convince doubters, it seems very unlikely that he exists.

      Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. – Carl Sagan

      A true sceptic is persuaded only by evidence. True sceptics know that anthropogenic climate change is a reality, from the preponderance of evidence. Evidence that comes from multiple independent and reliable sources.

      Climate change deniers (self-styled skeptics) are strongly related to the religious mindset of creationists and those who take the bible as literally true. They pick and choose the science that agrees with their beliefs, but reject the inconvenient science that challenges their world-view.

    • jcl64 Says:

      Which is the heart of the matter here. As long as denialists keep up their religious belief that the science is wrong, its really about giving people enough time to become atheists and actually embrace the science in this matter (as well).

      Problem is that no matter what you believe in, the physical realities will come and remind us who is boss after all. No doubt a fair believe of religious people will say it was all part of the prophecy.

      I don’t oppose religion per se. But I put life higher than religion, while unfortunately for many religions (including climate deniers) life is below religion. As long as a religion messes with my chance to live (as well as my kids), the religion has no right to exist.

      • omnologos Says:

        Apols for eliciting knee-jerk reactions

        What I’m saying is that like the Pope isn’t qualified really to explain how to talk to atheists,;likewise MJ isn’t the place to go to understand how to talk to “Republican dads”.


        • “Apols for eliciting knee-jerk reactions”

          If your aim here is to win friends and influence people, comments like this aren’t going to get you very far!

          “What I’m saying is that like the Pope isn’t qualified really to explain how to talk to atheists,;likewise MJ isn’t the place to go to understand how to talk to “Republican dads”.”

          About the Pope: like all priests, he was trained in seminary to persuade atheists and followers of other religions to the faith. Not sure what you mean by “qualified”, or why you think he wouldn’t be. On the contrary, he is a very persuasive man indeed – intellectually coherent, great listener, great communicator, and charismatic to boot. Every pronouncement, as he is aware, is heard by atheists and other non-Catholics, and is in part intended to persuade them.

          The point of her presentation is not to invite your Republican dad to get a subscription to Mother Jones, but to talk to them on the subject of what’s important to them. They don’t have to stop being Republican dads – that’s the whole point. It seems to me that we need more of this – less tribalism and a lot more searching for common ground.


  2. […] Mother Jones environmental reporter Kate Shepherd, on how to communicate climate to someone who, well, does not "give a shit". I'm not sure of the event, but the crowd sounds like they are well lu…  […]

  3. climatecode Says:

    Well, I don’t suppose the Pope spends much time on it, but the Roman Catholic Church does “organize courses on how to talk to atheists”, and so do other churches. Of course. What a strange question.

    • omnologos Says:

      that’s only meaningful as a way of proselytizing or in order to recognize each other -not sure which you’d prefer for Mother Jones?

      Sarcasm aside if MJ knew how to talk to Republican dads, those dads would be reading MJ already. It’s a basic law of journalism.


  4. Q: How do you talk to omnologos?

    A: Why would anybody want to?


    • Not exactly a living embodiment of the presentation.

      Brother Omnologos: don’t you realize that your typical comment (including the ones in this thread) antagonizes people? Wouldn’t you rather join in finding common ground? Otherwise what’s the point? Why waste your precious time?

      • omnologos Says:

        Stephen – in all these years I have found maybe one or two people willing to “engage” – and just the once I even found a common ground. It was a few weeks ago, when the one commenter discovered I am not the cartoonish Evil Denier that so many dream skeptics all to be (tellingly, few ever bother to figure out what I would be a denier of).

        And I must have collected a record number of negative points too.

        I am not sure there is any point in me trying not to “antagonize” people. They see me as the “antagonist” whatever I write – you can see higher in the thread that when I made a point about the limits of papal reasoning, two atheists sprung up as if I had said the exact opposite ;)

        This means I am kind of free to write, as long as I don’t overdo any insulting.

        ps I am not wasting my precious time. There is a lot to learn by trying to engage with people who see me as the enemy. It is also immensely more entertaining than sitting in virtual rooms where everyone agrees with each other. That said, when there is a glaring logical hole I allow myself to respectfully point it out.

        pps The warmist community has spent many years gazing at its own navel – if that’s not a mistake I don’t know what is – and the idea of going to Mother Jones to learn how to talk to republicans is just another episode of the same sorry saga. It didn’t work, it doesn’t work, and it won’t work.

        • MorinMoss Says:

          I think you should consider all the negative points you’ve earned as a badge of honor – you’ve certainly gone out of you way to earn them and most of us believe in rewarding hard work.

          And, much like Rand Paul at the NAACP, you can use it as street-cred when you run for office as President of KnowItAllia.

          I’ve seen multiple posts by you about “expanding the discourse” or some such but if you think this Mother Jones effort is doomed, then you should have realized long ago that expressed hope is not only doomed but already stillborn.

          At least in North America, reaching an agreement with the rightwing means adopting their current position in its entirety and THEN compromising with whatever further concessions they demand.

          The 25th anniversary of Hansen’s speech to Congress has come and gone and we’ve made precious little progress.
          Somehow, and I’ll withhold speculation as to why, the election of a half-black, center-right Democrat has widened a political rift to the point of creating a separate reality.

          We can’t wait for political leadership in this, er, climate. The passionate will have to keep pushing and force the “leaders” to follow.

          • omnologos Says:

            next time you agree with me (on MJ) feel free to use fewer words

            as for American politics if you think the Republicans are the problem, you’re part of the problem – go on then, get that party’s membership for yourself too :)

          • MorinMoss Says:

            You want fewer words from me?

            Here are two – Watch This


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