Five Questions

You can’t talk about everything with everyone.  That’s just not how people are.

Charlie Martin notes that there are five signs to look for to know if you can or can’t talk with someone about climate change.


5. Are they willing to question the “accepted” values for actual warming?

The apparent mismatch between the modeled values and the measured values for temperature lead to the next question. The number of interest is the global average surface temperature, or GAST. One argument that comes up sometimes is that this is not even a meaningful number, but that’s wrong and kind of silly. The Earth has a surface, every point on it has a temperature, and the average of that temperature can be computed. Of course, we don’t have thermometers on every point on the Earth’s surface and we aren’t recording the temperature for every thermometer we do have. But that just turns GAST from a measurable value into a statistical quantity, with an error interval.

The whole thing is worth a read.

And it occurs to me – we need a similar scale to judge whether it’s worth trying – or possible – to discuss guns.

It’s a concise but useful list:

Do perpetrators ever find their way into the story?  If they describe “gun crime” without ever putting someone at the trigger?  If they realize that a gun without an evil person to use it is an inert object, while an evil person without a gun is an evil person who’ll switch to fertilizer, trucks,knives, gasoline or planes, you might actually have a shot at a conversation.

Do they realize what has actually happened with crime rates?   If they still think that crime rates are rising, you’ll be in for a tough slog.

Will they examine their own chanting points?   When you point out the fact that Universal Background Checks can not, logically, affect crime in any way?

Do they use the phrase “Right to be Safe?”: If they believe there’s any such thing, there’s going to be a failure to communicate.

Do they know the difference between security and security theater?  If they natter on about magazine sizes, without mentioning gang violence,

If you can get 2-3 of those to break right, you might have a shot.

You might also have a miracle on your hands.



3 thoughts on “Five Questions

  1. while not 100% reliable, you can generally get by asking two lead in questions. Do you think tax rates should be higher or lower? Do you agree with taxpayer-funded abortion? If the answer is to those indicate you’re talking to a standard dfl liberal, when you can Nod, smile, talk about the weather. You get a decent response, it might be worth continuing to try.

  2. It isn’t nice, but since you cannot have any conversation whatever with a Global Warming True Believer, you only get one question, which should be: What PROOF do you have that a manmade climate catastrophe will appear 100 years from now? There is none, only a prediction, no more valid than “The end is near,” and how many times has THAT been proven wrong?

  3. The shift in the pH of the oceans is what convinced me, years ago, of the certainty of global climate change. Measurements of temperature and sea level now and in the past are complex and subject to greater error than pH, which can be measured anywhere, with very little noise. Determining ocean pH in the past is also more easily arrived at through looking at what rocks were created when, and knowing how pH affects that chemistry. All biochemistry, and therefore all life, is deeply dependent on pH. So even if all of the temperature modeling was hooey, changes in the ocean pH would still be a deeply serious problem.

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