Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Twitter / RogerPielkeJr: What about the climate issue ...
What about the climate issue leads otherwise sane academics to condone noble cause corruption? asks
Alaska Airlines ramps up its use of solar power -
Alaska Airlines is testing solar-powered passenger ramps.
If the weather doesn’t cooperate, the solar ramps can be plugged into an electrical outlet
Keith Olbermann: Current TV Co-Founder And Former VP Al Gore Was a ‘Clod’ - TVNewser
“When you’re working for somebody whom you admired politically, who turns out to be a clod,” says Olbermann, referring to Gore, “the scales fall from your eyes. Sorry. Al underdelivered. I mean that’s just simply the case. I don’t want to dwell on it, but it’s true.”
Record low temperatures set, tied Aug. 14, 2013
Antigo tied a record with 36 degrees (set in 1964). Stevens Point's low of 36 broke a record, as did Rhinelander and Merrill's lows of 24 degrees.
Ottumwa reaches new record low » Local News » The Ottumwa Courier
This has been a cool summer for Ottumwa. In July, the city saw a three-day streak that set a record low temperature for each date.
So what is the best available scientific evidence, anyways? | Climate Etc.
It is a different ballgame, however, if your objective is to change the minds of the people in your audience, to support your view on the science and/or policy. This seems to be the objective of ‘climate communication’, which seems to me to be a euphemism for policy advocacy whereby the ‘best available scientific evidence’ leads to self-evident policy prescription. So there is a not so subtle distinction in a scientist stating his/her opinion about policy simply for the purpose of clarifying what the scientist thinks, versus trying to change someone’s mind about the science with the objective to spurring them them to taking action on the self-evident policy.

So why does ‘climate communication’ seem to be failing? Here is my take. Dan Kahan seems to think that rational people are able to identify the best available scientific evidence, i.e. they know it when they see it (sort of like pornography). I say that identifying best available scientific evidence is difficult even for scientists if the uncertainties are large. What rational people are able to to do is to identify BS (see BS detectors). Overconfidence, failure to present evidence that does not support your thesis, dismissal of skeptics and skeptical arguments, appeal to consensus, advocacy, etc. all can act to trigger someone’s BS detector. Its about trust; without trust, expertise does not equal credibility.

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