reply to post by The_Liberator
I have been doing these debates for 2 years now and in that time I have never ever ever EVER (as in not once) seen a "denier" change his
It really depends on how far gone they are along the skeptic <----------> denier scale. I have seen a handful of skeptics change their minds. And
that's because they were true
skeptics though - able to process all the information with scrutiny, but more importantly with humility and
objectivity, rather than ideology.
You're absolutely right about the projection thing Lib. Most of the hardcore deniers I meet always end up telling me the same story: How they used
believe in global warming, but then found out it was full of lies and hidden agendas, at which point they proceed to tell me how I just can't
see this truth because I'm so emotionally brainwashed by my "beliefs".
This tells me a number of things:
1. They don't really know a lot about AGW to begin with.
So most likely they got their education from An Inconvenient Truth. And so they
were the ones who got emotionally sucked in by Al Gore's
sentimental droll. I can just see them all sitting there: eyes watering up, heart strings being tugged as they watch that poor polar bear swim around
with nowhere to go *sob*.
What this means though is all of their
experience and knowledge about this subject is tied to emotion, not ours. They really have a hard time
understanding that some of us actually got "indoctrinated into the AGW cult" by studying much more boring parts like the
math and science
2. This emotionally vulnerable state is why they all get sucked into denialist propaganda so easily.
Those of us who entered the subject from a "skeptical" state to begin with, take the same lucid approach when dealing with the other side of the
fence. That's why it doesn't take long for us to see who's actually being totally full of sh** here.
But for the textbook climate denier - their emotional state leaves them ripe for the picking:
Denier puppet master: "Al Gore lied!"
Denier puppet: "NO!"
Denier puppet master "YES! He's being sued in British court to prevent the film from being shown in the classroom because it's just political
(Never mind the fact that he won that case
and the film was determined to be "broadly accurate").
The trap is set. Because these people were never real skeptics to begin with, and because they now find themselves in an emotionally confused state
thanks to all this he said she said - they get easily sucked in and appeased by the "easy answers" the denialists feed them:
"climate's always changing", "CO2 is the air we breathe", "temperature leads carbon therefore CO2 is an effect and not a cause"
So when you try countering with logical but complicated answers like explaining the carbon cycle to them or how feedbacks work - all this does is take
them back to that emotionally confused state. And they really don't like it!
So instead they just project all of their loopy psychodrama onto you:
just can't see the truth because you're so blinded by your emotional attachment to polar bears!!"
So yeah, arguing with a full blown denier is pointless. All the facts and critical thinking in the world can't help them, because it just takes them
back to their confused unhappy place. And they just can't get past it, other than to fall back on the easy answers - no matter how wrong they
I think malcr's advice is pretty solid, but it needs to be applied to those climate skeptics who are actual
skeptics - not wasted on the ones
who have crossed the event horizon into blissful, arrogant ignorance.