Who are you?
Why does the world need yet another climate-change blog?
Climate Nuremberg aims to be Skeptical Science, but for adults.
Are you even qualified to have a position?
Yes. Climate science is exquisitely multidisciplinary, which means everyone from an actuary to a zoologist can understand it.
I got my Jack of All Trades from Sydney University in 2000.
I then paid my way through a Masters of None by slinging hash—an Americanism by which some readers will probably assume I mean “working as a short-order or ‘fry’ cook.”
Tell us a bit about your philosophy as a science communicator.
The public communication of science is hard (and probably pointless), since the majority of the public is incapable of ever understanding the first thing about science.
Like most science communicators I’d have to name William of Ockham as a personal inspiration. He was, of course, famous for saying (whilst shaving) thatentia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem,
which means something like, “Only disclose things [entia] on a need-to-know basis.”
Astute readers will notice that despite being English himself, he spoke to himself in Latin, the English of the Middle Ages. This was no accident: Ockham had a real instinct for communicating, including to himself.
Hence our policy at Climate Nuremberg of using English. Science communication is, after all, about speaking your audience’s language.
Which is English, we’ve found.
You may also have heard of Einstein’s Razor. I’m equally indebted to the wisdom of this tool (notwithstanding its likely apocryphality):Man muß die Dinge so einfach wie möglich machen—aber nicht einfacher.
—A. Einstein, Zitate, Sprüche und Aphorismen.
In other words, “One must make things as facile as possible—but no more facile.”
Why was my comment redacted?
You started out fine, but from your second paragraph on I got the feeling you weren’t taking the exercise entirely seriously. (Is that an unfair assessment?)
Please put yourself in Climate Nuremberg’s shoes. We’ve invested literally uncountable amounts of keystrokes and science to bring you one of the world’s most elaborate climate parody resources, only for you to treat it as a big joke.
Forget the sheer hurtfulness of it; think about the cause for a second. Let’s just say the sort of attitude you displayed wouldn’t help the narrative. Not one bit.
We encourage you to keep commenting, but please try and treat the science with the earnestness it demands, OK?
Do people actually take this site seriously?
Yes, but not to the extent we’d hoped.
We’ve analysed the threads by tone and it turns out only about 80% of first-time commenters seem to believe this is an honest-to-god, alarmist website.
You’re kidding. How could anybody be so irony-blind?
Whoa—don’t get all judgy! Several factors are at play.
The simplest one is that on the Internet, readers don’t actually read anything writers write.
They scan. And once a given text has activated either of the 2 known climate-rhetoric schemata (Affirmative or Negative), it becomes all too easy for the reader’s brain to start missing or actively suppressing the little deviations from the template that a satirist includes in order to be… well, satirical.
Such blindness to detail isn’t necessarily a bug in the reader’s neural software—you could even think of it as a tribute to her built-in powers of noise correction and tolerance—but it does make it a lot harder to get subtleties across to her.
Another thing nobody likes to talk about, because it isn’t funny, is that parody and satire come from a place of respect, even affection. You can’t take the piss out of people whose mentality you can’t relate to, at least on some level.
We all have someone in our lives who’s a climate believer—a mother, a brother, a friend, a colleague—and hopefully we’ve figured out by now that it’s not really their fault. It doesn’t mean they’re stupid, gullible or immoral. It only means they never learnt how science works, which is hardly an indictment of them. After all, 98% of the population has never been taught.
They haven’t even been taught that they need to be taught!
They’re invariably under the impression that the scientific method is some kind of birthright of all modern citizens, and that anyone can piece it together from snippets remembered from high school and the movies. Just try questioning a person’s understanding of how science works: they’re guaranteed to take this as a personal insult. For some reason, people can quite easily handle the truth that they don’t know how (say) Icelandic grammar works—they’re usually fine with this reality, because, after all, they’ve never studied the subject—but if you dare suggest they might not know how science works either, they’ll deny and confabulate til they’re blue in the face.
Much of what we satirise, therefore, is the pseudoscientific language the climate movement has employed to fool our scientifically-untrained loved ones. To us, of course, this language barely even seems scientific enough to deserve the name pseudoscience. It’s beyond ridiculousness. Over the last twenty years They™ have become increasingly shameless, stretching the limits of what anyone would’ve expected muggles to believe scientists sound like. Who would have thought, in 1988, that a “scientific” belief movement would get away without even bothering to name the hypothesis it “believed” in? Who would have thought it was possible to convince the scientifically-untrained majority that there was something called the (sic) science, and that if you didn’t accept certain alleged policy corollaries thereof, you were a “denier” thereof? The sheer audacity of the catastrophic/dangerous AGW scam makes it a classic fit for Poe’s Law. A writer has to try very hard to make it sound sillier than it already does.
Last but not least, many of our readers are American.
What else would you like to know?
I’ve forgotten what I was going to ask but it wasn’t as interesting as what you’re talking about. Could you just keep talking?
Sure… I guess. Bit weird, but OK…
As denialists, we’re cursed to watch well-meaning people getting conned every day, and be powerless to help them.
But no matter how disappointing and frustrating it can be, we know the victims of the con are not bad people (necessarily), or even stupid people (necessarily). Christopher Hitchens was a believer, as far as I can tell, but he’s pretty much the last person I’d suspect of voluntarily electing to be wrong if he could at all help it. He just lacked a specific piece of knowledge that very few people possess, and he was quite open about it: he didn’t know how science works. And considering how much he did know, that’s hardly blameworthy. Not everyone has time to do a science degree.
By contrast, believers seem completely incapable of explaining the huge swathes of the community that disagree with them without positing either bad faith, stupidity, mental illness (“denial”), Medieval science-rejectionism, or some other insulting conjecture.
I’ve yet to meet a believer who can explain why I’m not a believer except by assuming I’m not rational. (Have you?)