Getting “clocked” on climate
You have to be really careful with what you say on ABC radio. You never know who’s listening! This week on Ramona Koval’s The Book Show the Australian novelist Kate Grenville gave us an insight into her support for, but lack of knowledge of, Global Warming … er … Climate Change.
Grenville started by saying that “I don’t like being bullied” then went on to say that she recently “nearly clocked” a climate sceptic in the National Library coffee shop. “I almost came to blows” she said. “I found myself inarticulate…I need to read more to try to…understand this stuff.”
Well, yes Kate, if you are going to get violent about an issue, yes, it would be a good idea to “read more to understand this stuff”. And a good place to start for a “public figure”, as you call yourself , might just be a DVD entitled The Psychology of Climate Change Communication prepared by New York’s Columbia University. The DVD was put together by CRED (Columbia’s Center for Research on Environmental Decisions) and is a "must have" for those who don’t quite understand the mechanics of climate science, but are faithful exponents of climate theories. I believe, but I don’t understand, sort of thing.
That’s a bit like living in the Middle Ages and being a true English Christian, but not having an English language Bible to read so you can check the actual text. Before the 16th century there wasn’t any Bible written in English. You just trusted in what you were told. Then William Tyndale (1494-1536) translated The New Testament into English in 1524 and was hunted down for his trouble. He was tried for heresy in Brussels, strangled, and his body burned in the public square. Sort of beats being “clocked” by Kate.
But back to The Psychology of Climate Change Communication. It is listed on their website as a guide for scientists, journalists, educators, political aides and the interested public and is designed to spin the message. There are great training sessions on the DVD, things like — Tap into Social Identities, Address Scientific Climate Uncertainties, Translate Scientific Data into Concrete Experiences and, wait for it, Beware of Overuse of Emotional Appeals. The last one, as you may have noticed, is rarely used — at least by Al Gore, Kevin Rudd, Penny Wong and Tim Flannery. The DVD is written by Debika Shome and Sabine Marx — yes, Sabine Marx!
There’s great stuff for the beginner; why not try What is the Infinite Pool of Worry or How to Avoid Numbing an Audience to Climate Change (yes, that’s Numbing, not Dumbing), or the Now verses the Future Frame and the even more challenging Combining the Now verses the Future Frame. Then, for the garden lover, there is the chapter Michigan Cherry Growers and Climate Uncertainty or, if you are an outdoor type try Lobster Fishing in the Florida Keys. For the internationalists there is Ugandan Farmers’ Wives and Nonverbal Group Participation. That’s a must.
What The Psychology of Climate Change Communication shows is that climate-realists have been asleep at the wheel. While realists have been combing the science, weighing the facts, discussing the pros and cons and trying to rationally examine and discuss the opposing arguments, the warmists were playing us like fools. They realised very early that the main game wasn’t the science — it was the psychology. The fear, the scare, the politics, the media control and the determined effort that any scepticism or questioning of their position was met with silence. The idea of “the science is settled” is an excellent example of the intellectual arrogance involved.
The key aspects of this two-decade long campaign was to: confine the science to a select group, peer-review in-house, embroider the data, convince the body-politic, control the media and scare the living daylights out of the public. Well done, people.
Oh! If you are visiting that great temple of learning, the National Library, and drop into the coffee shop, don’t get involved in a climate-change debate with a lady with a great mop of red hair … you’re likely to get “clocked”.