This week I, Marcel and several others in the skeptosphere received a proposal to cooperate on research by sociologists of the University of Nottingham and the Vrije Universiteit:
I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the VU University Amsterdam. I received your name from Pier Vellinga who suggested that you would be a good person to speak to about climate change in the Netherlands.
Climate change is socially complex but we already know the answer
It is about ‘studying climate change as a socially complex issue’. Now the CLimate Change department of the Sociology Group of the University of Nottingham launched this website ‘Talking Climate.org‘, which is a classical piece of ‘how to pour The Message in the heads of the Unwilling’ and to cure those suffering from ‘denial disorder’. It states:
The evidence for climate change is so overwhelming (…)that you might expect the facts to speak for themselves. Unfortunately they don’t – which means that using the most effective methods for communicating climate science is critical.
Now the researcher stated she was new to the climate-field. So forgive her. But to my opinion this hardly is a starting point to objective research, but the typical value-laden pseudoscience that typifies the Climatists: the large body of ‘experts’ circling around the small group of actual true climate scientists who gather data and test hypotheses.
The climatists are the large body that have forced true scientists to overstate certainties in predictions on their soft branch of science and contributed to politization. The study of an open system with multiple variables acting upon eachother at the same time, does per definition not lend itself for overcertain claims about ‘overwhelming evidence’.
Those overcertain claims are needed if one wants to enforce climate-onlye-policies that people would normally discard as uneconomic. However, the questions that I asked to send in advance are not of the worst kind. I invite everyone here on Climategate to formulate their own answerto the questions
I want to interview you because I see you as a key stakeholder of the climate change debate in the Netherlands. I will interview key people from climate research, policy, media, and activist groups in the Netherlands. The outcome of my research will be a nuanced description of climate change (as a debated issue) in the Netherlands. Specifically, the data I collect will serve as a case study which I will use to contribute to organizational communication research on processes of stakeholder communication.
Here is a list of questions I wanted to ask you:
How do you define or perceive climate change?
Other people refer to you as a climate change skeptic. How do you define yourself, in terms of your stance on climate change?
What is the most pressing issue or problem currently climate change [skeptics] are trying to address?
What kinds of actions does that require? Who is involved in that action?
What aspects of the climate change debate do climate change [skeptics] most overlook?
Why are these aspects overlooked?
What do you do to influence/cooperate with policy makers? What have been some of the challenges in this influence/cooperation?
What do you do to influence/ cooperate with climate scientists? What have been some of the challenges in this influence/cooperation?
What do you do to influence/ cooperate with climate activists or NGO’s? What have been some of the challenges in this influence/cooperation?
Who are the main audiences or stakeholders of your work?
How do you communicate to those audience or stakeholders?
What past events do you think have significantly impacted the climate change debate today?
What events occurring in the world today worry you, in terms of shaping the climate change debate?
What future events occurring in the world do you foresee having an impact on the future of the climate change debate?
How does the national culture of the Netherlands influence how climate change is responded to?
How is the geography of the Netherlands influence how climate change is responded to?
How are people in the Netherlands affected by climate change?
How do you think the general public in the Netherlands perceives climate change? Why?
What do you hope the Netherlands does in the future to address climate change?
Could you recommend anyone else that we should also interview?
I will give a five-blog answer that summarizes my position, and why i believe ‘climate change’is not about climate but risk perception.
The first blog will be a summary of my position. The second part will be on the role of common sense, the third part on cultural and financial pollution of current science practice. And the last part will be about the blind spot among some scientists for their own political preconceptions, so that unjustly the climate debate is framed as a science versus nonscience issue, while actually we see a clash of worldviews dressed up as a science-debate. To those familiar with the creationism-evolution-struggle this is familiar terrain.
Finally I will decribe the case Pier Vellinga, to personalize my theory on the role of post-Protestant Iconoclasts of the protestgeneration ’68 in popularizing all kinds of unfalsifiable sciences based on (closed) systemsthinking, to enforce a childish (no financial accountability) ‘give everything to the poor’-agenda, also known as Agenda 21, mostly by inflating the importance of risks in the environmental arena for the daily life of Western Civilians.
For the research of Amanda Porter: I wish her good luck and hope she brings a fresh approach to the debate.