Posts by BenWilson

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  • Hard News: To be expected, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    I mean, there was no way Labour was ever going to buy the “let’s have a formal pre-election alliance” deal on offer

    How would you know for sure until you made the offer? It's worth a try.

    to act as if the rejection is a grand insult is, frankly, precious.

    It would be, if that's what's happening. I don't see it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8015 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: To be expected, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Given the view that it’s apparently an absolute no-brainer, I’m trying to find someone who has actually been saying so all along. Still looking.

    Presumably you're talking about major bloggers rather than commentators, but I said it month ago. But saying it "all along" wouldn't be that rational, if you mean for years. The polls could move heaps by then, and the whole predication of the arrangement could change.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8015 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Language of Climate,

    But I also believe that there is not enough good evidence to say conclusively that it is or it isn’t.

    So if I asked you to put a probability on a yes answer to question 1, you'd say 50:50, 50%, 0.5?

    That doesn't make you a level 1 denier. Perhaps a level 1 skeptic, if we want a label for it. It's almost the same as not having an opinion on question 1.

    I’m aware that this answer will probably derail the conversation right there.

    Not really, it puts you in a box. People might not want to discuss that particular question. I certainly don't, it's been done to death. People aren't going to stop debating on your account, they just won't debate with you, on this question. There's an awful lot more to this chain of questions, and some people might be interested in questions further down purely hypothetically, others might have solid beliefs about them. As I see it, the answer that you have given pretty much is saying that you aren't much interested in the subsequent questions.

    Which is a statement about you, not the debate. I'd expect it to just go around you now, unless you take an interest in the other questions. If you do, remember that they are conditional. By engaging those questions, you have already accepted the premise (the "if" part). You can do that in good faith. Or not. Your choice.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8015 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Language of Climate, in reply to Farmer Green,

    So I deleted my whole answer (a couple of minutes after I had posted it) , and suggested that clarification was needed. Ben obviously agreed.

    You were lucky I saw it, because just saying “not precise enough” wouldn’t have enabled my post*. The point you made about the historical range enabled me to clarify the question.

    Can you answer it now? If you can’t, then can you clarify why you can’t, so the question can be reframed? I know it might seem like I’m trying to pigeonhole you, and that would be because I am. But it’s equal opportunity pigeonholing – everyone’s going to end up somewhere. I can understand why George thought you refused to answer it. You can disabuse him right now. Or I’ll be starting to agree with him.

    I’m not even attempting to fight the points here – I’m stepping back one and asking for people to declare what their position is.

    *ETA: Also, as a point of netiquette, it also made my post contextless, which was annoying for me. When you take something away on this site, the norm is to put <redacted for x reason>. Use the preview button, if you just want to proof read things - if you post, then people can only presume you want to make the point.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8015 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Language of Climate,

    I should have emphasized:
    1. If so, do you believe that the climate is currently changing in a way that is out of the ordinary for the planet?

    I'm not asking about whether the climate itself is ordinary, but whether the rate at which is changing is. If C is the average climate, I'm asking about C'(t) (if you remember any calculus). The steepness of the gradient of the change. Or anything else about the way in which it is changing, that might seem out of the ordinary. For instance, you might expect some quite rapid rises during a period of extreme sunspot activity, but since we're not in such a period....etc.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8015 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Language of Climate,

    It should be clear that people further down the rung, but not all the way to the bottom, might still vehemently disagree with people further up, agreeing strongly with people further down, on points relating to the earlier questions.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8015 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Language of Climate, in reply to Farmer Green,

    I wonder if part of that framework has to deal with how the words are appropriated to one side or the other, and how to reverse that appropriation.

    I'm suggesting to unappropriate, rather than to reappropriate. The words themselves, if laid out with sufficient precision, should not be battlegrounds.

    The easiest way I can think of to achieve that is to use different words, that carry no particular connotation. They are merely markers that showed how you answered a series of questions. Those particular questions are something I consider a work in progress. Obviously a big part of even answering them would be to define the terms used in them. There could certainly be one asserted right at the start:
    0. Do you believe the climate changes at all?
    Almost everyone is going to answer Yes to that. It gets that out of the way, though, and pigeonholes a particularly extreme kind of denier. And the second question becomes:
    1. If so, do you believe that the climate is currently changing in a way that is out of the ordinary for the planet?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8015 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Language of Climate, in reply to Moz,

    Possibly, although Bart’s point about the extremes being loudest militates against it.

    And that is true, but doesn't remove all usefulness from seeking to increase clarity. Indeed, it's giving in to that, and playing the same game. I don't see the need for Bart vs FG, in a rhetorical debate where they talk past each other. I don't want to see either of them leave. If FG goes, we don't even have a dissenting opinion, although I can say I'm a level 4 skeptic myself. But it's not something I put a lot of time or thought into, and certainly don't want to carry on such a debate alone against scientists and Green Party advocates.

    The call from Russell was

    So, again … is there a better way of talking about this? There must be.

    And I'm suggesting that YES, there is. If we talk with greater precision, and in good faith, we may make more progress.

    Religious debate, for instance, can get very deep and detailed when people at least attempt precision. The world's not divided into Atheists and Theists at all, even if they dominate the oxygen supply. The same could and should go for this debate.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8015 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Language of Climate, in reply to Farmer Green,

    From there on it was downhill ; very entertaining.

    Well, let's try not to do that here. That is what I understood Russell to be asking for, a framework in which discussion could progress. I wouldn't have bothered with such a lengthy analysis otherwise, being busy and all. I don't even think those questions are sufficient at all, didn't feel at happy with it. But it's a start. At the very least it means we can say with some clarity what our actual position is without restating every part, every time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8015 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Language of Climate,

    I was thinking that the cascading questions I gave earlier might give us a framework for more precision in labeling positions. A pure denier is a "level 1 skeptic". They deny climate change is even happening. I'd put FG as more like a "level 4 skeptic". He denies that we should do much about it, although I'm not sure if it's as simple as that. It seems to more be denying that we aren't already doing something about it, which will probably be enough. A Humans Can Adapt skeptic. Remember, he is actually a farmer who IS doing something about it, although I think his reasons aren't to prevent climate change, but more about sustainable agricultural practices, and pollution.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8015 posts Report Reply

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