We are handing deniers a winning narrative - how can we be so dense ?
I love to read the blogs of the denier-fighters in the morning, none more so than Mike at Watching the Deniers, a denier-fighter from down under in Van Denier's Land .
He's an ordinary guy like me, with a day job and all, trying to find out the time to peck out his assaults on the deniers and offer his support for the climate believers.
And I try and find time occasionally, very occasionally, to read the blogs of the deniers.
But I don't ever - EVER - write about the denier bloggers.
He does - I don't. Mike & Mike : yes, we disagree.
But not on climate change, but rather on the tactics we bloggers might use if we really want the world to take some action on global warming as soon as possible.
I save my small poisoned penmanship to poke at the big guns of denial : those key hired hands of denial , aka the libertarian advocacy think tanks.
Here is why.
We already have the ordinary public (ie the unsophisticated), all be it weakly, on our side.
In Nova Scotia, even the most rural illiterate have heard about global warming and are always ready to half-seriously blame any heat or storm event upon it.
We have public science on our side - the peer-reviewable active climate scientists are 97% (or better) for us.
(True, weathermen-cum-climatologists are frequently against these newly visible basic research type of climate scientists, because until recently even an ugly guy could always get laid in a small town, if a woman recognized him from his TV weatherman job : he was a Star !
Sheer envy, over this transfer of status to new climate experts, lies behind 99% of the bile against climate change among the significant percentage of old fashioned weathermen who claim to disbelieve climate change.)
But this aside, we have public science as well as voters on our side.
We have TV on our side - here I disagree profoundly with Jim
Hoggan of DeSmogBlog. In his chapter , Manipulated Media in his great book Climate Cover-Up, Jim says the shift from a reading culture to an visual and oral culture has hurt us denier fighters.
I, by contrast, think that the relatively small percentage in the past who actually enjoyed reading are still around, still reading, still enjoying it.
The others prefer TV, yes, but we must recognize that TV in 2012 is not the TV of 1952.
The growth in cheap, light video camera equipment, satellite transmission, the internet's YouTube, the growth of national TV news networks in every third world nation - all this means any and every storm in the world is likely to flash before our eyes and ears rather than be something only an astute reader of the New York Times used to read on page 53 , paragraph 12.
We do have more and more powerful storms than we did 60 years ago - but we can only demonstrate this truthfully in some long complex journal article that only scientists in that area could understand and believe.
Lucky for our side, we don't have to.
Because those same denier-oriented TV networks we love to hate, in an increasingly competitive news market, hype any and every bit of dramatic news video ---- and storm disasters top that list.
So - ironically - the Murdochs of this world are converting voters into believers on their companies' TV news, regardless of how many unread OP ED columns in their newspapers claim its all baloney !
What we don't have on our side is popular science (and about half of the educated classes: the rich half.)
Only one group among the many people that makes up the denier
classes can provide credibility in that area of popular science for deniers.
Big corporations and the super rich have no credibility, nor do industry lobby groups, nor do denier politicians. Not on science, for sure.
Frankly, nor do denier bloggers.
Peer-reviewed scientists who blog are respected - as peer-reviewed scientists, academic historians who blog are respected - as academic historians, professional journalists who blog are respected - as professional journalists.
Blogging is something we all feel we can do and about half of us have seemed to have tried it at least once : it gets no respect.
Denier bloggers get no respect when they blog, either, even if they were once well known scientists before they went off the rails.
It is only when big money hand-delivers them a lot of cherry-picked snippets of facts and a bundle of money and asks them to write a book around those snippets and assuring them it will get a real publisher, a round-the-world book tour, guest speaker talks-at-seminars and interviews with the biggest media, do they become respected --- as "authors".
When we ordinary (non-expert) people with day jobs and no hidden funder become denier-fighter bloggers and then proceed to engage only other bloggers (who happen to be deniers), outsiders see us both as just typical hot-air-driven loudmouths.
We are momentarily equal to the much richer/full-time deniers - yes.
Yes, momentarily equals in outsiders' eyes - equal loudmouths: denier bloggers and their blogger opponents.
But our bun fight with the denier bloggers is irrelevant to our main aim.
That main aim is taking down the only credible group the deniers have in the real war, which is always over popular science.
(Popular Science I define as the whole world wrestling over the meaning of published science's results: in this case, the meaning of their results regarding global warming.)
That group is the libertarian advocacy think tanks.
Only they stand at the nexus between (A) the super rich foundations together with the big corporations and their industry lobby groups and (B) the individual bent scientists who happen to blog, but who are mainly useful when trotted out at think tank seminars and conferences - not as hand-to-hand bloggers fighting us out in the blogosphere.
We bloggers-cum-denier-fighters need new tactics.
We need to highlight, not hide, how unfunded we are, how we work elsewhere unrelated to climate change and only blog in our spare hours.
In our spare bedroom. That we are not experts. That we don't live inside the Beltway or inside the Triangle- that we are nobodies from nowhere.
And that we are davids, in a tremendously unequal fight with well funded, well connected, huge think tanks located in Snottyville and just filled with snotty Yale and Harvard grads.
But - but - despite that, in our spare time and in our spare bedroom we checked the math on their latest glossy report damning climate change - and the math is wrong .
Wrong, wrong, wrong - there on page 17 !
Because while bloggers are dissed as bloggers, we are respected as people who can sometimes scoop the world media on facts and stories.
Now we have a narrative the mainstream media reporters can run with, over the bodies of the people who actually own their outlets:
Little david brings down rich snotty GOLIATH with a tiny slingshot filled with inconvenient facts.....