[GWSG] Defusing misinfo; H2O #2; Greenland's future; What We Owe the Future; COP 15 on biodiversity; imagining support

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Tue Aug 30 10:15:18 EDT 2022

1. Arguing with a misinformed person is usually unproductive and may even fix them more firmly in their position. Arming them to recognize logical fallacies, though, can protect them from the next piece of misinformation. Nieman Labs is piloting a series of 5 brief videos illustrating basic fallacies. The technique was the backbone of my course on the rhetoric and ideology of global warming. We would read up on fallacies and then look for valid and invalid arguments in, say, Crichton’s State of Fear, a 2004 piece of climate propaganda. (I don’t believe the novel contains a single valid argument.) Then we would try to pick on Flannery’s The Weather Makers, which argues carefully.  https://climatecrocks.com/2022/08/29/is-there-a-vaccine-for-misinformation/

2. Water scarcity is emerging as a major national issue—second to carbon, in Jay Familglietti’s estimation. https://www.propublica.org/article/colorado-river-water-shortage-jay-famiglietti?utm_source=sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dailynewsletter&utm_content=river-links

3. According to a study in Nature Climate Change based on satellite observations of ice loss in Greenland 2000-2019, we are due for a minimum of 27cm (10.6”) of sea level rise from Greenland alone by the end of the century, and up to 78cm (31”) if the melting experienced in 2012 becomes the norm. When the other sources of sea level rise in the world are taken into account, “There is growing support in the scientific literature for multi-metre levels of rise within the next 100 to 200 years.” Controlling emissions can still moderate the rise. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/aug/29/major-sea-level-rise-caused-by-melting-of-greenland-ice-cap-is-now-inevitable-27cm-climate

4. Oxford philosopher William MacAskill has published an engaging book, What We Owe the Future, which helps us imagine the future of the human species and how even small changes we can make today will resonate for countless numbers of people over vast stretches of time. Prospective sea level rise is certainly one resonating condition we can influence. The urgency of climate action is greatly spurred by a little accurate imagination.  https://smile.amazon.com/What-Owe-Future-William-MacAskill-ebook/dp/B09N3D7QSQ/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3O4N8CPQESD2F&keywords=what+we+owe+the+future&qid=1661860493&s=books&sprefix=what+we+owe+the+future%2Cstripbooks%2C137&sr=1-1

5. COP 15 on biodiversity meets in Montreal in 100 days. It is being chaired by China and will set targets for a range of issues including the treatment of invasive species and the use of synthetic biology. The general topics are conservation, sustainable use, and the sharing of genetic resources. The biodiversity COPS are distinct from the climate COPs. Imagine how significant biodiversity COP 15 will be to the future of life on earth, for better or for worse.  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/aug/30/what-is-cop15-and-why-does-it-matter-for-all-life-on-earth-aoe

6. Support for an array of climate actions is about double what Americans think it is. The study was done last spring by Indiana U and Princeton, using Yale’s figures on the actual support. The support we imagine for an action can influence whether it is taken or not. Perhaps the wide support for the Inflation Reduction Act will dispel the perception of disfavor, including that generated by those who wish to interrupt climate action (see item 1 and think Fox etc.).  https://grist.org/politics/americans-think-climate-action-unpopular-wrong-study/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=daily

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