Laws of denialism: The facts-to-rage ratio

7 03 2009

An interesting analysis on denialism from the latest Annals of Improbable Research (Mini-AIR):

2009-03-05 Global Warming Nutshell Sheet, and the F/R Ratio

Investigator Grover Winthrop composed a handy “in-a-nutshell study sheet” for scientists who are confused by the great debate about global warming.

Winthrop writes: “People tell me there’s a debate about global warming. Yet these days I don’t meet any any competent scientists who see it as a debate. So here – for my colleagues – is a guide to what people mean when they tell us there is a debate:

  1. Global warming is not happening
  2. It causes no problems
  3. It’s not caused by human engineering
  4. Whatever problems it causes are easily solved by engineering.

“What we are seeing here,” enthuses Winthrop, “is the birth ofsome new kind of logic. It’s fascinating.”

Investigator Daniele Ramos, too, has been fascinated by reports that there is a debate. She alerts us to a simple tool she uses to analyze the debaters’ arguments. Ramos writes: “The arguments I’ve heard and read (saying there’s no global warming problem) nearly always have a very low F/R ratio. The F/R ratio – the ‘Facts-to-Rage ratio’ – was invented (I think) by the journalist Josh Marshall. As soon as I find myself in a discussion with someone whose argument has a very low F/R ratio,I relax and simply enjoy the spectacle. It does wonders for my stress level.”

Does this mean global warming deniers are spouting “hot air”.

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