Climate change forum section?

Should Metabunk have a climate change section?

  • Yes

  • No


Results are only viewable after voting.

mrfintoil

Senior Member.
I know there are several excellent blogs out there that address the climate change topic. Sites such as ScepticalScience and RealClimate are doing a good job debunking a lot of misconceptions of climate science. However, they don't provide proper forums for discussion. Comment sections yes, but comment sections are usually hard to keep track of and are not very handy for proper discussion. And you can't really create a topic of your own if you want to discuss something in particular.

For example, I recently discussed alleged science corruption within climate science and was presented with this article from "doubter" blog Joannenova with the title "BOM admits temperature adjustments are secret".

BOM is the Bureau Of Meteorology in Australia by the way, but my point is, when I wanted to look deeper into the claims made on Joannenova I couldn't find any rebuttal or commentary of the article. But with a proper reading of the report that allegedly slams BOM's practices, actually praises BOM's practices, and the thing about BOM's dataset being "not replicable" got more to do with the lack of user-friendly tools to manage the complexity of the data in question. That is not the same thing as being "not replicable" in the literal sense. Also, all of BOM's data and methods are freely available on their site.

I think it would be a good thing to have a dedicated section to discuss and address claims such as this.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
The only problem i see with it is that this site has a lot of liberals on it, so liberal-bunk or "exaggeration" in cc news will go undebunked. And i think putting all teh debunks in one seperate section would highlight that.

quick example: i googled "climate change" to see if anyone ws even still debating the CC issue (i havent really heard much about it from either side lately), and theres a new guardian article with this graphic. note: i didnt really read the whole article
cc.JPG

If a conservative paper posted this graphic people at MB would probably point out the "uncertainty" factor in grey.

Anyway, i dont think a seperate forum is a good idea with this topic.
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
I assume you're refering to the red hashmarks? It's not "liberal" to point out that it's silly to run a line from the 5th percentile to the 95th and treat it the same as a known baseline. It's math.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
It's not "liberal" to point out that it's silly to run a line from the 5th percentile to the 95th and treat it the same as a known baseline
i cant tell if youre saying my example is a good example or a bad example :)
 
The only problem i see with it is that this site has a lot of liberals on it, so liberal-bunk or "exaggeration" in cc news will go undebunked. ...

I wish that climate change had not become politicized. It's ludicrous that we have such a thing as liberal climate science and conservative climate science. It's as silly as having liberal herpetology and conservative herpetology.

So I get your point, but that doesn't seem like a good reason to discourage discussion. There are always going to be some issues undebunked, just because nobody is inspired to take the effort.

The bigger problem is that climate science is really complicated. How many members here are competent to understand or debunk the research? I mean, sure, it's easy to debunk faulty climate change memes, or biased alarmist/extremist articles in the popular press that selectively report or misrepresent the evidence. That's valuable, and I've done it myself on my own blog. But having a serious critique of climate science research here would be like having a serious critique of herpetology.

So I'm of two minds on the benefit of a separate forum section.
 

Inti

Senior Member.
I've been tempted to suggest this. Two things held me back. First, I got into arguing with flat earthers as a light relief from debating climate change. And I thought that sites like Real Climate and Skeptical Science did a good job, partly because they attract some fairly how power professional expertise.

I understand your point about discussion @mrtinfoil, but I suspect that most of us are considerably more amateur as climate scientists, and I'm not we could draw in many experts who already have those blogs on the one hand, scientific and academic forums on the other, and places like the Guardian comments on the third hand. (!)
 
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Inti

Senior Member.
I wish that climate change had not become politicized. It's ludicrous that we have such a thing as liberal climate science and conservative climate science. It's as silly as having liberal herpetology and conservative herpetology.

So I get your point, but that doesn't seem like a good reason to discourage discussion. There are always going to be some issues undebunked, just because nobody is inspired to take the effort.

The bigger problem is that climate science is really complicated. How many members here are competent to understand or debunk the research? I mean, sure, it's easy to debunk faulty climate change memes, or biased alarmist/extremist articles in the popular press that selectively report or misrepresent the evidence. That's valuable, and I've done it myself on my own blog. But having a serious critique of climate science research here would be like having a serious critique of herpetology.

So I'm of two minds on the benefit of a separate forum section.

I'm not sure we really do have that kind of political polarisation within climate science. For instance, there are a significant number of climate scientists like Kerry Emanuel who are strongly conservative in their politics, but have no truck with politically motivated pseudoscientific.

I know that there are overstated claims that go beyond the science, but let's not give any credence to a false equivalence. The vast bulk of the bunk is on the denialist side, because that is where there is a powrful drive for motivated reasoning.

Personally, I held back from accepting the AGW argument wholeheartedly precisely because I could see how it played to my political prejudices. Retrospectively, I think I was mislead into believing that there was a real scientific debate about the core issues long past the time when hat was no longer true.

It might be that Metabunk would end up focusing on grass roots denialism, below the organismal level of the GWPF or Heartlands; looking at and responding to thoSE who follow the banners of that kind of denialist front line bodies.
 

Inti

Senior Member.
i cant tell if youre saying my example is a good example or a bad example :)
I'm a bit unclear what you mean, either, deidre. It's true that error bars tempt people into false arguments like "if we don't know everything, with absolute certainty, we don't know anything. And climate change deniers tend to think that all the error bars are on the dowe side.

I suspect that debunks would split between fairly technical issues, where there are real live differences in the science, and addressing the more knownothing end of the spectrum and debunking specific claims. I'm not sure what the unique selling point of Metabunk would be in these two zones over, say, Realclimate in the first type and Skeptical Science in the second.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I suspect that debunks would split between fairly technical issues, where there are real live differences in the science, and addressing the more knownothing end of the spectrum and debunking specific claims.
If you guys want to debunk something related to CC bunk, then do it. There's nothing stopping you now.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I'm not sure what the unique selling point of Metabunk would be in these two zones over, say, Realclimate in the first type and Skeptical Science in the second.

I try to keep a very narrow focus on very specific claims of evidence, and explain or debunk them in a readable and useful way. The example in the OP "BOM admits temperature adjustments are secret" seems like a reasonable one, in that you could counter it with quotes from the actual report.

However it is very complicated, and easy to get sucked into nit-picking debates.

I don't think there's a need for a new forum until we actually get people here debunking specific claims that are not covered elsewhere. So just stick it in "General Discussion" if you've got something.
 

mrfintoil

Senior Member.
I don't think there's a need for a new forum until we actually get people here debunking specific claims that are not covered elsewhere. So just stick it in "General Discussion" if you've got something.

Yeah, my intention was to deal with narrow, specific claims like in my example. I had in mind a sub-section in the Science and Pseudoscience section maybe. But perhaps not.

The only problem i see with it is that this site has a lot of liberals on it, so liberal-bunk or "exaggeration" in cc news will go undebunked. And i think putting all teh debunks in one seperate section would highlight that.

Not necessarily, but I get your point. I usually discuss climate science from time to time and over the years I have noticed that some sources, usually sensationalistic media or "activists" who wish to promote their latest book, tend to deal with exaggerations or overly simplify the actual science. I can only speak for myself but I usually don't let such things pass completely unnoticed. But still, fair point.
 

Auldy

Senior Member.
Yeah, my intention was to deal with narrow, specific claims like in my example. I had in mind a sub-section in the Science and Pseudoscience section maybe. But perhaps not.

+1

Be a good way to have all the threads/claims together.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I had in mind a sub-section in the Science and Pseudoscience section maybe
i think it would still also be hard to get people to that section. it doesnt seem to me that people actually search the site by looking through the forums (but this is just my impression of course). i think your best bet for now is to be sure to title your debunks for googlability.

But yes, i only 'discuss' Sandy Hook debunks here on MB as deniers tend to gish gallop and not provide evidence on other venues, it's nice to have the Posting Guidelines for constructive discussion of the specific claim.
 

tadaaa

Senior Member
I have always got the impression (rightly or wrongly) that metabunk wanted to avoid the climate debate - my reasoning would probably be along the lines that is it too political and polarised.

to be clear I mean politicised by the "sceptics" - who are not really interested in the science, indeed all the their main claims have been thoroughly debunked, to the point where they rarely make a "claim" these days.

as the OP states there are plenty of places where the climate is discussed, so whilst I am quite passionate about the climate change / AGW debate (and became interested as a direct of a post on this forum - potholer's demolition of Monkton) I am probably not that keen on a dedicated sub forum

but if a single "claim" is made on a specific point then it should be subject to the full rigour of metabunk
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I have always got the impression (rightly or wrongly) that metabunk wanted to avoid the climate debate - my reasoning would probably be along the lines that is it too political and polarised.

It's more that it's covered very well elsewhere.

One of the reasons why I very rarely debunking anything to do with politics is that there's already thousands of people desperately trying to do just that, including many people who are highly skilled at it (journalists, fact checkers, campaign operatives, other politicians). There's just generally no need.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
You can't make a reasonable guess as to whether someone believes in chemtrails by political affiliations alone. Climate change is different.
 

Spectrar Ghost

Senior Member.

That's better than I expected.

Perhaps a better phrasing would be that denial of AGW becomes more prevalent the further right you go. I am aware that many republicans do believe that AGW exists, but they are, by that count, 150% more likely to deny than a democrat.

My views may also be colored by the fact that both my father in law and uncle are Republicans and vociferous deniers.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
My views may also be colored by the fact that both my father in law and uncle are Republicans and vociferous deniers.
on an upnote, the stark political divide in this country on major issues is proof positive that the government is hopelessly inept at spreading effective propaganda. see, every heat trapping cloud/contrail has a silver lining. :)
 

Critical Thinker

Senior Member.
In Summary: When scientists reviewed the studies that were published in scientific journals that created doubt about man-made Climate Change (that have been relied on by Climate Change deniers as their 'evidence' that 'we don't know for sure that man-made Climate Change is a fact') the result was that upon review
the 3 percent of studies denying climate change is man-made and has found that every single one of them was flawed.
and that
"Every single one of those analyses had an error – in their assumptions, methodology, or analysis – that, when corrected, brought their results into line with the scientific consensus."


From IFLScience: Scientist Slams Climate Change Deniers In Brilliant Viral Post

The overwhelming consensus on climate change in the scientific community is that it's real, and it's man-made. The most commonly-cited figure is that 97.1 percent of scientific studies support the view that climate change is caused by humans.
Even though this is an overwhelming consensus, it has still left room for climate-change deniers to claim that maybe the 2.9 percent are right.
"Today, the global warming alarmists are the equivalent of the flat-Earthers," Ted Cruz famously said a few years ago.

"But over the last 10 years, at least 38 papers were published in peer-reviewed journals, each claiming various reasons why climate wasn't changing, or if it was, it wasn't humans, or it wasn't bad. They weren't suppressed. They're out there, where anyone can find them."

She explained that she and her colleague decided to try and recreate the results from theses studies, which was published in Theoretical and Applied Climatology.
(Published: 20 August 2015)

(I was unable to find a more appropriate thread to post this, and I have read Mick's explanation as to why

It's more that it's covered very well elsewhere.

It was news to me about this study that reviewed the data of the deniers which found that their studies/analyses were all flawed, which is why I believe that this should have a place in these forums.)
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
It was news to me about this study that reviewed the data of the deniers which found that their studies/analyses were all flawed, which is why I believe that this should have a place in these forums.)
When I say it's covered very well elsewhere I'm referring to things like the study you cited. It was a 2015 paper, reported on in the media at the time, then repopularized with Hayhoe's post, which was shared 7,000 times on Facebook, then IFLS's post about the shared nearly 100,000 times. Even the paper itself has 3,300 Facebook shares.

Metabunk would be a drop in the ocean there, which is why I tend to focus more on the esoteric topics that the mainstream largely ignores.

That said, I've been thinking that we probably need to cover the entire spectrum a little better, even if that includes popular mainstream topics. People expect me (and other debunkers) to have a position on (and be familiar with) things like JFK, Vaccines, Climate Change, etc. So ignoring it can leave a cap in the conversation that undermines the rest.

I noticed this years ago when Joe Rogan asked me about JFK, and I had to say I didn't really look into it (and gave the same excuse as above). But I think my somewhat glib dismissal of JFK, without being very familiar with the topic, work against me later - because it removed some common ground.

I was reminded of this again in my recent podcast with Truther Stian Arnesen:
Source: https://youtu.be/klnr7CzsuQc?t=3699

At 1:01:39 we discuss something like this topic. And I somewhat resolved to focus more on the less extreme topics.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.

that article, as well as the quotes they chose from her, is an excellent example of how not to convince people. I was rolling my eyes just from the headline and the picture. How is that post 'brilliant'? It's just some random woman i never heard of saying stuff.

there aren't even any examples in that article. so the article is just saying stuff too. It is not an example of "sharing science", it's an example of unsupported crowing.

1578847039643.png
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
that article, as well as the quotes they chose from her, is an excellent example of how not to convince people. I was rolling my eyes just from the headline and the picture. How is that post 'brilliant'? It's just some random woman i never heard of saying stuff.

there aren't even any examples in that article. so the article is just saying stuff too. It is not an example of "sharing science", it's an example of unsupported crowing.

IFLS is essentially a clickbait site. I'd ignore any of their headlines, and most of their articles. But they can still point to good stuff though.

The examples are in the supplementary material of the actual paper.
https://static-content.springer.com...7-5/MediaObjects/704_2015_1597_MOESM1_ESM.pdf

Unfortunately to most people (me included, on brief perusal) it's not going to be convincing, as it just sounds like some scientists arguing with other scientist, and so the climate contrarians will continue to pick who they want to believe (i.e. the 3%, who this study essentially debunks, but if you trust the 3% you will ignore the debunking)
 
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