Thanksgiving Dinner: How to Talk to “Drunk Uncle”

We’ve been there, most of us. Thanksgiving dinner, lots of family including many you don’t see very often, and at some point somebody says something so terrible, you feel like you have to respond. Maybe it’s about global warming, and you’re a young climate activist (thank you!). Here’s my advice.

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Young people: you have a voice. You have power.

Yes, you do have a voice and you do have power — but only if you use it.

If you don’t, the world you grow up in will be a terrible place. If you do, there is no limit to what you can accomplish.

Don’t save the world for me, or any of us old folks. Do it for yourselves. I’ll do what I can to help … but don’t count on “adults” getting it right. We’re the ones who screwed it up.

Challenge to Michel

Reader “Michel” expressed his opinion that when it comes to climate science, “… this mysterious beast you call a denialist. They don’t exist, at least not in the way you mean.” A bit later, he asked me “… if you really do believe informed disinterested good faith dissent exists, cite some examples …”.

The first two words of my response were “Here’s one:” I didn’t avoid the question, I didn’t ignore it and hope it would go away, I answered it.

Then I asked him about Martin Durkin, producer of the “film” The Great Global Warming Swindle. I pointed out his behavior and his actions, and I asked michel, basically, “Does this qualify as denial?”

We’ve heard nothing in response. There a many possible reasons. Perhaps he’s been so busy at work he just hasn’t had time to respond. Or perhaps, the example I cited was such a clear-cut case of denial in action, that rather than deny that it was (which would make him look foolish) or admit that it was (which would make his assertion that they don’t exist just plain wrong), he simply cut and run, ducking the question. This much is for sure: he hasn’t answered the question.

Michel, you don’t owe me an answer. You owe it to yourself. If you don’t, you will always know that when the going got tough, you got going — for the exit.

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Cycle Change: Arctic Sea Ice Edition

After my last post, a reader asked:

What’s most noticeable about this is the massive change in variability since 2007. Could you do some analysis of that?


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Arctic Sea Ice

Since 1979 we’ve been measuring the extent and area of sea ice in the Arctic using satellites. This is what we’ve found (data from NSIDC, the National Snow and Ice Data Center):

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Challenge to Anthony Watts — and to myself

I’m going to try a new policy. We’ll see how it works out.

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Crash Override

I’ve recently read a book which opened my eyes, and impressed me with a level of enlightenment and self-awareness I haven’t seen since I watched the film “Gandhi” (I’ve watched it at least 20 times). The book is Crash Override by Zoë Quinn. I recommend you buy it and read it.

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