Friday, 4 June 2010

How to be an anthropogenic global warming skeptic

How to be a denialist

Martin McKee, an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine who also studies denial, has identified six tactics that all denialist movements use. "I'm not suggesting there is a manual somewhere, but one can see these elements, to varying degrees, in many settings," he says (The European Journal of Public Health, vol 19, p 2).

  • 1. Allege that there's a conspiracy. Claim that scientific consensus has arisen through collusion rather than the accumulation of evidence.
  • 2. Use fake experts to support your story. "Denial always starts with a cadre of pseudo-experts with some credentials that create a facade of credibility," says Seth Kalichman of the University of Connecticut.
  • 3. Cherry-pick the evidence: trumpet whatever appears to support your case and ignore or rubbish the rest. Carry on trotting out supportive evidence even after it has been discredited.
  • 4. Create impossible standards for your opponents. Claim that the existing evidence is not good enough and demand more. If your opponent comes up with evidence you have demanded, move the goalposts.
  • 5. Use logical fallacies. Hitler opposed smoking, so anti-smoking measures are Nazi. Deliberately misrepresent the scientific consensus and then knock down your straw man.
  • 6. Manufacture doubt. Falsely portray scientists as so divided that basing policy on their advice would be premature. Insist "both sides" must be heard and cry censorship when "dissenting" arguments or experts are rejected.

6 comments:

Budgieboy said...

What a dick.

When exactly are you getting kicked for touch again?

Long overdue.

Dick.

mojo said...

Mmm ... basic rule, is however if you have the statistical nouse & the ability to critically assay, is to go to source.
If you do not have the ability to do that, then you go to your points ... croc of nonsense really.

Andrew said...

How to be an AGW supporter : )

• 1. Allege that there's a conspiracy. Claim everyone who opposes your view is backed by big business and oil companies while failing to declare the vast sums of government money you yourself are dependant upon.
• 2. Use fake experts to support your story. "Denial always starts with a cadre of pseudo-experts with some credentials that create a facade of credibility.This is why the IPCC puts up a railway engineer as its lead expert" says Seth Kalichman of the University of Connecticut.
• 3. Cherry-pick the evidence: trumpet whatever appears to support your case and ignore or rubbish the rest. Carry on trotting out supportive evidence even after it has been discredited like the Mann Hockey Stick or the Briffa siberian tree ring data , or the Himilayan Glacial retreat or any number of examples to numerous to mention.
• 4. Create impossible standards for your opponents. Claim that the existing evidence is not good enough and demand more. If your opponent comes up with evidence you have demanded, move the goalposts while all the time refusing to make your own research available for peer review and blocking publication of dissenting views.
• 5. Use logical fallacies. Hitler opposed smoking, so anti-smoking measures are Nazi. So label opposition as deniers, resort to name calling and broad labels while refusing to debate the facts.
• 6. Manufacture doubt. Falsely portray scientists as in consensus so that basing policy on their advice is vital. Insist "both sides" must be heard and but censor "dissenting" arguments or experts.

Anonymous said...

Consensus is an unscientific notion taken from soft sciences like political science. There is no possibility of a consensus in physics or why continue. The dilemmas and contradictions are where the growth of knowledge occurs. Moreover, the moment a scientist believes his own hypothesis, he's a dead duck as a scientist.

Andrew said...

Hmmm...funny... the failure to put up my post kind of supports my view... and here Craig Ellison said you were a good chick

FijiDave said...

Andrew is spot on.

What a load of bilge.

AGW - Al Gore's Weather