Element Descriptor

Denialists gonna deny. Knowing how, and what to do about it – how and when to engage, when and why not to – will save you a lot of aggravation and morale tokens. Not knowing this means you’ll be stuck to tar babies all the time…

Level descriptors

You know the basic moves they make, the basic responses it’s worth making, and – crucially – when to stop expending energy.You are able to refute denialist memes as quickly as they pop up, while simultaneously advancing the case for urgent action on climate change and justice, without breaking a sweat.You are able to refute current and emerging denialist memes, with a light touch and gentle/firm mockery, without coming across as arrogant or exhausted.You can cheerfully cut through the Gish Gallops and the fog of nonsense to expose the logical fallacies, cherry-picking and general stupidity/evil of deniers, without giving them the attention they crave.

Element Overview Essay

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The reason that groups are often bad dealing with climate denial is that they have an “information deficit model” where they think that the denier and other people just need more information in order to change their opinions, and they don’t understand anti reflectivity. The consequences of responding to climate denial badly, can be quite severe. You perpetuate the idea that there is any scientific debate about the existence of anthropogenic global warming, which is a stupid and dangerous idea that you should not be perpetuating.

Consequences? You waste your time and energy that could be spent better on other things, probably. And you waste the time and attention of your supporters and allies who are having to pay attention to an attention thief.

The solutions to dealing with dealing with climate denial is where possible “do not feed the trolls”.

And I think you should feel free to delete idiotic WordPress comments or to allow one and to respond with a link to a relevant explanation of the meme or means that and tropes that are being used. But you’re under no obligation to engage further.

Have some pithy, funny, simple, vivid explanations of what’s going on. But don’t fall in love with those because it’s a Gish Gallop and, you are going to be stuck with repeating these memes endlessly and that does all of these things that I’ve just described. 

And attention suck,  a time suck a bandwidth suck, a morale suck. Ultimately, there are a small number, mostly old white men, and old libertarians who have painted themselves into a corner and now cannot save face and admit that they were wrong. These people are to be at best treated with compassion or ignored. But in either case, don’t let them live, rent free in your head, or on your website, or in your Twitter feed or anywhere.

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