Sorry I’ve been incommunicado for the last couple of weeks. A family matter I’d rather not discuss here has occupied most of my attention and I’ve had very limited internet access as well.
“And there’s good research suggesting that, in such situations, a very large fraction of a naive audience […] remembers the bunk rather than the debunking.”
I’m calling bunk on this latest blanket assertion until I see for my own eyes what the “good research” actually says in detail — I’d guess the solution isn’t to discard the story, but simply to devote less attention to the bunk itself (it’s bunk after all) and more attention to the debunking.
And in any case, in between yourself and Kloor throwing out all sorts of excuses for not changing the way you do things, aren’t you missing a really big picture?
Let me put it this way:
The public has a need — indeed, a right — to be aware that
(a) there’s a climate inactivist noise campaign out there;
(b) it’s very well-funded, very calculated, and very deliberate;
(c) it uses morally (and sometimes legally) dubious tactics; and
(d) we have evidence to show for it.
It’s not just about debunking random pieces of bunk. It’s about shining the light on the entire noise campaign, and calling it as it is. I don’t see what purpose is served by not talking about it.
History will record the climate bunk as one of the principal characteristics of our time. Why won’t the press touch it? That’s one of the biggest questions around.