Apr 6Liked by Emily Atkin

Emily, You rock! This piece alone is worth the price of admission. I will spread it around, far and wide. Thank you for all your continuing good work on behalf of this planet.

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Apr 6Liked by Emily Atkin

If you haven't already done so, please read Harry Frankfurt's "On Bullshit," his 2005 synopsis of the central debilitating theme of modern culture. Far from being an exercise in frivolity or satire, the book strikes to the heart of why our society is so screwed up. Without meaning to, the author identified the primary culprit in virtually every one of today's ills.

Here's a quote from the Princeton University Press synopsis of the book:

"He argues that bullshitters misrepresent themselves to their audience not as liars do, that is, by deliberately making false claims about what is true. In fact, bullshit need not be untrue at all.

Rather, bullshitters seek to convey a certain impression of themselves without being concerned about whether anything at all is true. They quietly change the rules governing their end of the conversation so that claims about truth and falsity are irrelevant. Frankfurt concludes that although bullshit can take many innocent forms, excessive indulgence in it can eventually undermine the practitioner’s capacity to tell the truth in a way that lying does not. Liars at least acknowledge that it matters what is true. By virtue of this, Frankfurt writes, bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are."

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Apr 6Liked by Emily Atkin

"It’s like if the world’s greatest hit man started investing in hospitals, and took out an ad claiming he’s “advancing murder solutions.” Sure, hospitals can prevent murder. But if you’re still going around shooting everyone, your relatively small healthcare investment doesn’t matter."

Some might think this is too dark of an analogy, but it really isn't. Mass murder and biological destruction is what we are facing with climate change, especially at the higher degrees.

Really thank you for using this type of analogy instead of something lighter! I think it is immensely important, in every way we can, to really illustrate what climate change does and what the people are like who are causing it.

Also I know this is outside the scope of a lot of domestic climate journalism, and you are all doing so much already, but I'm really curious as to how fossil fuel companies in other countries talk about climate change and their responsibility for it, and whether they are using the same tactics you write about. Does any of that change with countries where fossil fuels are largely state owned or nationalized? That kind of stuff.

UAE hosting COP28 got me thinking about that kind of stuff and also the broader, maybe even harder, challenges we have when states are almost entirely based on fossil fuels for revenue.

Thank you so much for the article as always!

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So much misinformation! Thanks for pinpointing this particularly nasty aspect. Paltering really makes it hard for the real truth to surface. Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning!

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Of course every business provides facts in this way it’s called marketing information. To think this will change is dangerously naive. It’s hard for our natural resource and energy producers to do anything right in this woke culture that is more religion than science. What we should be doing is moving to energy independence and drill more rather than pay the real bandits like opec. Until we have nuke power we will need fossil fuel so .get used to it and get over it.

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Thanks for the new vocabulary word. In my NSA days we simply called these "true lies".

This theme must be "in the air" because I just wrote something that also discusses a "true lie" or palter.

Climatologist Michael E Mann: 'Good people fall victim to doomism. I do to sometimes' The Guardian 02/21


"Doom-mongering has overtaken denial as a threat and as a tactic. Inactivists know that if people believe there is nothing you can do, they are led down a path of disengagement. They unwittingly do the bidding of fossil fuel interests by giving up."

“What is so pernicious about this is that it seeks to weaponize environmental progressives who would otherwise be on the front-line demanding change. These are folk of good intentions and good will, but they become disillusioned or depressed and they fall into despair.”

“Too late” narratives are invariably based on a misunderstanding of science. If the science objectively demonstrated it was too late to limit warming below catastrophic levels, that would be one thing and we scientists would be faithful to that.”

“But science doesn’t say that.” - Dr. Michael Mann

Really, Dr. Mann?


Then why do 4 out of 5 Climate Scientists think warming will be 2.5C or HIGHER?

Top climate scientists are skeptical that nations will rein in global warming

A Nature survey reveals that many authors of the latest IPCC climate-science report are anxious about the future and expect to see catastrophic changes in their lifetimes.


Of the scientists who responded to this poll, 88% think global warming constitutes a crisis and nearly as many said they expect to see “catastrophic impacts of climate change in their lifetimes”.

Just under half said that global warming has caused them to reconsider major life decisions, such as where to live and “whether to have children”.

More than 60% said that they experience anxiety, grief, or other distress because of concerns over climate change.

Michael is parsing his words very carefully. It hinges on what he means by “catastrophic”. If you don't know that, his statement that “scientists would say something” is a misleading “true lie”.

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Super helpful analogies!

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I like the ExxonMobil-as-hit-man analogy because it gets to the heart of what both are: murderers. They're killing the planet and threatening all life on it. Full stop.

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I'd never heard or forgotten this term. It's everywhere.

Like the news reports of nth public meeting where some contractors, gas folks, "consumer" representatives, etc., are quoted saying, "Those burdensome building energy codes will increase construction costs by $10,000 per house."

Without anyone found to note that the codes will decrease new home utility costs by $1000 per year and more in the future. Which was figured out with years of metering and monitoring and field testing and listed in innumerable studies or reports, but the authors and their allies are somehow not quoted or not attending these meetings. And if so, somehow portrayed as technocratic minions of the deep state.

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