Monday, December 7, 2009

How Not to Take on Climate Change Deniers

His first words are, "Perhaps I ought not to have accepted the invitation." Gregory Norminton tells the story of appearing at The University of St. Andrews in England to debate climate change. As he explains, his confrontation with the opposition's distortion of known facts turned him into "a bug-eyed fanatic," a mirror image of his foes. We, too, recently confronted a denier at a local meeting and felt the same kind of extreme frustration. What to do? Mr. Norminton speaks:

I can now offer the following hard-won tips for anyone considering debating climate change deniers:

  1. Don’t.
  2. If you must, consider ingesting some form of tranquiliser.
  3. Study the stagecraft of Bernard Manning.
  4. Be up-to-date: know your Aristotle!
  5. No matter the provocation, avoid Nazi analogies like the plague.
  6. Bring plenty of friends.
  7. Just don’t.
Not hopeful.


Canada Guy said...

At some point, we will have to approach climate change denial the same way we approach holocaust denial. The deniers could end up causing the death of millions if they prevent action from being taken. Free speech is not an absolute right.

bca said...

Canada Guy, thanks for the conviction. We appreciate your passion. We wanted to take a wee break and share the sense of frustration we experience. It is no joke. We fear that the urgent action required by climate change is being subsumed in the anxiety of the world-wide recessive economy. Even though the science is irrefutable, we are fighting an ancient battle between progress and delusion. Remember, the US has a woman named Sarah Palin who is actually being considered presidential. These are strange times. Thank you for your tenacious voice.

Canada Guy said...

Thanks bca. Yes, it is definitely frustrating. All we can do is keeping trying and not give up. Sometimes it gets depressing how badly we are treating our planet and our fellow human beings. I just hope we can change before it's too late.