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dimreepr

Greta Thunberg

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8 hours ago, MigL said:

And her voting ineligibility means she shouldn't be able to affect her Government.

Wait till MigL finds out that she is also trying to affect other governments!

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1 hour ago, iNow said:

The point is how this wedge between us gets inserted into the conversation and refocuses the topic completely. Then the result is we argue for days and days and pages and pages about the messenger, forgetting and ignoring the message itself.

We wind up wasting time tribalizing against one another and doing nothing to address the core issue even though most of us largely agree about the importance of the message itself. The trolls started it, then we helped them continue it (and not just here).

It’s happening everywhere online and across topics (climate, brexit, us politics, Hong Kong, the list goes on and is too long to type...) and follows the same “algorithm” or syntax each time. It reminds me a bit of a husband catching his wife cheating by seeing a text message she received on her phone, then spending the next month arguing about how inappropriate it was for him to look at her texts... all while the cheating and infidelity continues. 

Exactly !
And the reason is because the message is delivered in a way that involves our emotion, not our critical thinking.
This thread is not about AGW, and nobody ( on this forum at least ) contests the problems caused already, and that will be caused in the future, by AGW.

As INow mentions above, appeal to emotion resulted in Brexit.
Appeal to emotion resulted in support/election of D Trump.
Appeal to emotion caused Nationalism/Fascism and continues to cause anti-Semitism/racism.
How long do you want me to make this list ?

We might all agree with the message, but I thought we were supposed to value critical thinking above all else on a Science Forum.

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I have to disagree with you slightly there.

Failure to engage us emotionally will result in failure to act. It’s a basic tenet of human psychology. We can hope to be rational fact based actors, but we’re not. If we don’t care, we don’t act. If we’re not engaged emotionally, then we don’t care.

Emotion is the driving force here and is required. It’s why we take care of our kids and source food and seek shelter from the storm. Emotion is crucial to all of this and is not something to be discarded in search of some unattainable Vulcan ideal. 

Emotion shouldn’t blind us to any facts, of course we agree there, but it’s clearly necessary to trigger a response based on those facts. 

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31 minutes ago, MigL said:

As INow mentions above, appeal to emotion resulted in Brexit.
Appeal to emotion resulted in support/election of D Trump.
Appeal to emotion caused Nationalism/Fascism and continues to cause anti-Semitism/racism.
How long do you want me to make this list ?

And appealing to emotion is the only effective way to counter those.

Quote

We might all agree with the message, but I thought we were supposed to value critical thinking above all else on a Science Forum.

On the forum, perhaps. But if you want to persuade the general public, then standing on a podium and reading scientific papers is just jot going to work. The IPCC has been doing this for three decades with little effect.

 

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2 hours ago, MigL said:

Exactly !
And the reason is because the message is delivered in a way that involves our emotion, not our critical thinking.
This thread is not about AGW, and nobody ( on this forum at least ) contests the problems caused already, and that will be caused in the future, by AGW.

As INow mentions above, appeal to emotion resulted in Brexit.
Appeal to emotion resulted in support/election of D Trump.
Appeal to emotion caused Nationalism/Fascism and continues to cause anti-Semitism/racism.
How long do you want me to make this list ?

We might all agree with the message, but I thought we were supposed to value critical thinking above all else on a Science Forum.

I think you are mixing up the essence of the message with the delivery. In the other cases appeals to our basic nature were made, yes, but they were also not based on well-established facts and science. Here, we do have an idea what is going to happen and thoughtful non-emotional arguments have been torpedoed successfully by specific groups such as the Koch brothers. I am not sure about the long-lasting effects of this campaign. However, we are well beyond fact gathering, that has been done to death. This part is about what we are going to do and if only one sides appeals to emotion, well you see where we are at on all these examples. One could argue that we should do away with all that and just be reasonable. But clearly that is not happening, nor has it in human history, I'd bet.

It is just one of the things not only scientists struggle with. Just having the facts is rarely enough. You also need a pitch. It does not matter whether you look for investors, try to convince a funding agency  or appeal to the public.

I will say that I am quite surprised at the level of attention she got and even more, the vitriol she earned. It does show that she hits the nerve of the time, it seems. 

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4 hours ago, CharonY said:

I am not sure about the long-lasting effects of this campaign.

Good point. Current leaders gets older and will be replaced. Will future leaders, young today, be inspired by the message, the delivery and/or the messenger? Enough to make a difference in the long run?

 

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23 hours ago, Phi for All said:

Also a note that she's at about the same place on the autism spectrum as Mark Zuckerberg, Isaac Asimov, and Andy Warhol.

Not to mention, I suspect,  a fair fraction of the members of this site.
Interesting aside about people with autism.
Good luck trying to get them to act. It doesn't generally go with the condition (I'm not saying it's impossible- just think about Daryl Hannah)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daryl_Hannah#Political_activism

So, the claims that Greta is working from a script controlled by the (inevitably mysterious) "others" seem a bit fishy.

 

 

21 hours ago, mistermack said:

Or having sex for money with Prince Andrew. 

Not sure how that squares with the forum's rules on abuse. (Unless it's personal testimony- which seems... unlikely).
In any event, it's not relevant.

Yes there are prostitutes who are under 16. They are pretty much definitively not in a position to make their own decisions.

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3 hours ago, Ghideon said:

 Will future leaders, young today, be inspired by the message, the delivery and/or the messenger? Enough to make a difference in the long run?

I think the lengths climate action opponents and obstructionists have been going to to undermine trust and confidence in science based expert advice - including attack anyone that can cut through their interfering noise is indicative of how vulnerable they are to growing popular opinion that does have confidence in it being capable of turning government policy. I do think that we will either see good policy overwhelmed by misinformation and ignorance and serious climate action made ineffective, with all the downsides that will haunt humanity beyond the lives of people now living, or else we will see the issue treated with a lot more seriousness  - even enough seriousness that people will accept that some sacrifice, rather than holding to "no regrets" policy that depend on taking action being cheaper than not taking action to be supported.

I think the issue is approaching a political tipping point; I would like to think that when the tide turns the Doubt, Deny, Delay politicking will cease to have potency and, without that constant source of misinformation and doubt we will see a level of popular support grow strong enough to make a real difference.

Whilst I think leaders throwing it back to the voting public was a means of delaying decisions and avoiding responsibility - an unforgivable abrogation - the same people are showing they are not above claiming unthinking populism driven by extremists (anything but the science) is behind that continuing growth of public concern, concern that is on the cusp of forcing them to action - and turn to claiming that therefore they should not base policy on what the public thinks it wants. Any surprise people, young and old, who do take the expert advice seriously are getting angry? But the young do have more to lose and more to endure.

I don't think Greta was necessarily especially insightful in choosing to keep calling for world leaders to have policy consistent with that advice - it is kind of basic and obvious. But it is a simple, direct message that is difficult to argue against - which is why there is so much effort to make the argument about something else. Her youth for example. Her associations with Environmental Activists or anyone deemed "extremist" for example.

Whatever her personal views on what appropriate policy should look like they will be used offensively against her, and by implication, the whole climate "movement". Doesn't like nuclear? We don't need to look beyond this forum for how that argument degenerates into deadlock by re-framing the debate along entrenched Left vs Right lines - although I understand Greta has not expressed outright opposition to nuclear or claimed it has no place.  Which won't matter; just look at how her calls for policy consistent with the science degenerate into claims her taking the science seriously is evidence of being influenced by partisan extremists!

Getting angry that policy is not consistent with the science (that is advising us of a problem of extreme, real world seriousness) looks like righteous and appropriate emotion to me.

I think that the absence of clear commitment to solving the problem and not any specific policy and technology options are the fundamental cause of anxiety - that is turning to legitimate anger.

Edited by Ken Fabian

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14 hours ago, mistermack said:

From Wikipedia, made me smile : 

"In August 2019, Thunberg sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Plymouth, UK, to New York, US, in a 60 ft racing yacht equipped with solar panels and underwater turbines. The trip was announced as a carbon-neutral transatlantic crossing serving as a demonstration of Thunberg's declared beliefs of the importance of reducing emissions. France 24 reported that several crew would fly to New York to take the yacht back to Europe. "     

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greta_Thunberg    

The hypocrisy of demanding climate activists go all stone age or else they have no right to call for change is another kind of rhetoric that should be called out for the misleading nonsense it is. No-one should have to go stone age to expect their governments to take seriously a problem they already know is serious. And would these same critics take anyone who uses no modern technology and does go 100% emissions free any more seriously because of it? I seriously doubt that - because, quite frankly, those critics are hypocrites!

As an analogy it is like a nation being invaded but the government will not take calls for nationwide responses seriously - won't even accept that there is any invasion - except from people fighting on the front line, using their own resources. But just as governments have Intelligence and other agencies to tell them if an invasion is real they have science agencies telling them the climate problem is real; it's seriousness is not based on how we think concerned people should act in response, it should be based on the expert advice, directly.

If we take the self appointed hypocrisy police seriously we could end up thinking that by the simple expedient of not caring people are magically absolved of all responsibility for their emissions. I think that in any knowing better but doing it anyway stakes, climate activists using electricity and driving cars and using air travel whilst advocating for the kinds of change that lead to zero emissions electricity, cars and air travel are not worse than those who don't care. And a lot less worse than those who seek to undermine public confidence in climate science in order to prevent those kinds of changes or to advance the very activities that make global warming worse.

I'm not convinced that Environmental advocacy has done us any great favours by making personal lifestyle choices and voluntarily going without stuff the principle response to the climate problem. Whilst reducing emission by every possible means, including voluntary sacrifices, is desirable and arguably, may ultimately be essential, I don't believe that advocating going without stuff is going to win the necessary levels of support - or properly reflects what that advocacy is trying to achieve.

Ultimately the whole point of addressing the causes of climate change is to prevent enduring and irreversible loss of economic prosperity; forcing people to go without stuff is a false and misleading caricature of what mainstream climate activism is about. No-one should have to dress up their activism with personal sacrifices - even though most people who do take it seriously do make some personal efforts, if only for the sake of their own self esteem and sanity.

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19 hours ago, MigL said:

Exactly !
And the reason is because the message is delivered in a way that involves our emotion, not our critical thinking.
This thread is not about AGW, and nobody ( on this forum at least ) contests the problems caused already, and that will be caused in the future, by AGW.

As INow mentions above, appeal to emotion resulted in Brexit.
Appeal to emotion resulted in support/election of D Trump.
Appeal to emotion caused Nationalism/Fascism and continues to cause anti-Semitism/racism.
How long do you want me to make this list ?

Yes, appealing to emotion can be a very effective tool for persuading people.

 

19 hours ago, MigL said:

We might all agree with the message, but I thought we were supposed to value critical thinking above all else on a Science Forum.

That doesn't mean that it is valued elsewhere.

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14 hours ago, Ken Fabian said:

The hypocrisy of demanding climate activists go all stone age or else they have no right to call for change is another kind of rhetoric that should be called out for the misleading nonsense it is. No-one should have to go stone age to expect their governments to take seriously a problem they already know is serious. And would these same critics take anyone who uses no modern technology and does go 100% emissions free any more seriously because of it? I seriously doubt that - because, quite frankly, those critics are hypocrites!

As an analogy it is like a nation being invaded but the government will not take calls for nationwide responses seriously - won't even accept that there is any invasion - except from people fighting on the front line, using their own resources. But just as governments have Intelligence and other agencies to tell them if an invasion is real they have science agencies telling them the climate problem is real; it's seriousness is not based on how we think concerned people should act in response, it should be based on the expert advice, directly.

If we take the self appointed hypocrisy police seriously we could end up thinking that by the simple expedient of not caring people are magically absolved of all responsibility for their emissions. I think that in any knowing better but doing it anyway stakes, climate activists using electricity and driving cars and using air travel whilst advocating for the kinds of change that lead to zero emissions electricity, cars and air travel are not worse than those who don't care. And a lot less worse than those who seek to undermine public confidence in climate science in order to prevent those kinds of changes or to advance the very activities that make global warming worse.

I'm not convinced that Environmental advocacy has done us any great favours by making personal lifestyle choices and voluntarily going without stuff the principle response to the climate problem. Whilst reducing emission by every possible means, including voluntary sacrifices, is desirable and arguably, may ultimately be essential, I don't believe that advocating going without stuff is going to win the necessary levels of support - or properly reflects what that advocacy is trying to achieve.

Ultimately the whole point of addressing the causes of climate change is to prevent enduring and irreversible loss of economic prosperity; forcing people to go without stuff is a false and misleading caricature of what mainstream climate activism is about. No-one should have to dress up their activism with personal sacrifices - even though most people who do take it seriously do make some personal efforts, if only for the sake of their own self esteem and sanity.

+1 great post, just one caviat; I'm not sure we don't have to fundamentaly change our attitudes to the economy at the same time. Not going back to the stoneage but advancing to a new age, not space age but new age, and I'm not convinced technology will have enough time to provide the answer.

Our history is littered with examples of local cultures over extending through technology but ultimately failing, because of it; the difference today is our local culture is global.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/mar/14/nasa-civilisation-irreversible-collapse-study-scientists

Quote

Noting that warnings of 'collapse' are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that "the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history." Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to "precipitous collapse - often lasting centuries - have been quite common."

 

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23 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

I'm not sure we don't have to fundamentaly change our attitudes to the economy at the same time. Not going back to the stoneage but advancing to a new age, not space age but new age, and I'm not convinced technology will have enough time to provide the answer.

I think there is a lot going on at the moment that will contribute to the evolution of the economy. Small sale at the moment, but it will grow. So, for example, there are improvements in recycling technology. These aim to make ore and better use of recycled stuff. Also, the EU is planning rules to make it easier to repair equipment, rather than throwing it away and buying a new one. I think there has always been the idea that if you do that, then business cannot sell as much. But there will be a growth of new business doing the repair work (either as a service or on a trade-in basis).

There need to be more radical changes as well. I have seen passing mentions of various ideas from economists, but it is not my field so all I can say is that people seem to be thinking about it!

(But this is getting off topic!)

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