Emily Atkin Has No Time for your Climate Denial BS

March 21, 2021

Going thru my interview with Emily Atkin, who edits the great climate newsletter Heated.

I’m working on a piece about the crossover between climate denial and the tsunami of Bullshit that is swamping our democracy.

Above, Atkin mentions congressional hearings, and the endless nattering of fossil fuel tools, which made me think of the clip of Scientist Richard Alley handling Dana Rohrabacher, on ice ages and “earth wobbles”. (which are real, just not responsible for current warming)

3 Responses to “Emily Atkin Has No Time for your Climate Denial BS”

  1. J4Zonian Says:

    Great video of Atkins. I can think of 200 places I could have used it in the past year, and 30 people I could have used it on, added a polite, or at least neutral, completely factual debunking and then said nothing more, knowing the impact would be infinitely greater than any of the crap they were spreading.

    The problem is one I’ve described often.

    Once the lie is there, nothing can erase it and everything we do reinforces it. If we ignore it and let it stand uncontested it’s a tacit agreement. If we’re polite we elevate their nonsense to the level of an actual factual debate; if they’re jerks and we descend to their level it’s a shit pile no one healthy wants to wade into, so people stop reading about climate, energy etc.–especially the comments. That’s better than nothing, maybe, but it deprives us of a chance to educate and inspire. (Others, that is; the troll will almost never be convinced by facts or anything else we can do online. Only in psychotherapy can they confront the cause of their hallucinations or high-stakes dishonesty, professional or hobbyist. If they’re polite and we let our anger with their intransigent insanity show, we look unreasonable in comparison, as bizarre and superficial an interpretation as that is. One perp can post a Gish Gallop, or s/he or a jackalpack of them can post a series of comments amounting to a meta-Gish Gallop. We can never catch up; for every lie we laboriously debunk with facts, charts, graphs, numbers, citations, and explanations, they singular or they plural can drop a dozen more lies in the pile.

    According to Cook, et al. (Have you checked out the Cranky Uncle app?) we can immunize people against lies prophylactically, but that’s an all-consuming, never-ending job that can never be enough. We can point out the techniques of deception as they happen, but that’s another struggle against a Gish Gallop, supported by billions of dollars and thousands of professional denying delayalists, which is always a crap shoot, in more ways than one.

  2. Mark Mev Says:

    I wanted to punch my computer every time Pat Michaels started talking during that hearing. Now I know why: https://www.desmogblog.com/patrick-michaels

  3. smithpd1 Says:

    The video of Rohrabacher vs. Alley was really frustrating. First, Rohrabacher did not listen and kept interrupting. Second, Alley’s arguments were ineffective. Alley could have pointed out at the Milankovitch cycle explains the past history, but it does not explain what is happening now because the Milankovitch cycle is past the interglacial thermal maximum, so the Earth should be cooling. Then Alley could have pointed out at the CO2 greenhouse effect was the dominant warming mechanism, by far, and given quantitative estimate of that versus the various natural mechanisms, which tend to be cooling. But he didn’t.


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