[Thanks to Vinnie Burgoo for pointing out a stupid mistake. I wrongly attributed the Psychology Today article to Professor Lewandowsky. Corrected 29 September 2018]
Barry Woods, in a series of comments at Paul’s article draws our attention to a Climate Change and Philosophy Colloquium at the Hobart and William Smith Colleges, a small, liberal arts college in Upstate New York, which offers the degrees of bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and master of arts in teaching.
The colloquium has already featured: Naomi Oreskes on “Climate Change: What Now?”; Elisabeth Lloyd on “When Should We Adopt New Methods of Attributing Climate Change? Arguments on Behalf of a Causally Based Approach” We’ve met her in company of Lewandowsky and Cook. See here); and Stephan Lewandowsky on “Rational Denial of Undeniable Climate Change: When Gullibility Masquerades as Scepticism.”
It culminates on November 12th with Professor Michael E. Mann on “A Return to the Mad House: Climate Change Denial in the Age of Trump.”
Mann is a pioneering climate scientist who [sic] groundbreaking research… has reconstructed climate history to prove — notably with the “hockey stick” graph — that climate change is human caused… Mann has been recognized with honors and awards including including [sic sic] the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize…
Videos of the Oreskes, Lloyd and Lewandowsky talks are available at the above link.
Take the Pro-Truth Pledge to encourage politicians – and everyone else – to commit to truth-oriented behaviors and protect facts and civility. Join 8751 signers, 87 organizations, 640 government officials, and 878 public figures and take the pledge, demand that your elected representatives do so, and encourage your friends to take it!
Well, I’ve taken the pledge, and I did it on behalf of Climate Scepticism, without waiting for a vote at a plenary session of the Cliscep Collective. Sorry about that guys, but I couldn’t resist the offer:
This is your chance to get the positive public recognition your group deserves for taking the pledge.
Furthermore, I succumbed to their plea for a full confession:
Please share why your group took the pledge and what you hope to accomplish by taking it. We will send your message to those who signed up for the Pro-Truth Pledge Updates.
We aim to inject rational discussion into the arena of climate change by fostering dialogue between differing views on the reality and the importance of, and the appropriate reactions to, climate change, as well as discussion of the philosophical, psychological, and sociological nature of the climate change debate.
Now, I didn’t ask any of my colleagues’ permission about this. I did send them an email a few hours ago, but they have lives to lead, on three continents, and despite the resources of a multi-billion dollar fossil fuel-fuelled climate denial industry, they can’t be always on call. One of us is saving up for a visit to the dentist; others are busy finishing their studies or trying to earn a living. So the responsibility for the pledge is entirely my own; but the chance to explain why we at Climate Scepticism fully endorse Dr Tsipursky’s plea for Truth was too good to miss. Anyone can follow up my pledging and make their own pledge (or not) and add their own comment at their site.
What I’ve signed up to is this:
I Pledge My Earnest Efforts To:
Verify: fact-check information to confirm it is true before accepting and sharing it
Balance: share the whole truth, even if some aspects do not support my opinion
Cite: share my sources so that others can verify my information
Clarify: distinguish between my opinion and the facts
Acknowledge: acknowledge when others share true information, even when we disagree otherwise
Reevaluate: reevaluate if my information is challenged, retract it if I cannot verify it
Defend: defend others when they come under attack for sharing true information, even when we disagree otherwise
Align: align my opinions and my actions with true information
Fix: ask people to retract information that reliable sources have disproved even if they are my allies
Educate: compassionately inform those around me to stop using unreliable sources even if these sources support my opinion
Defer: recognize the opinions of experts as more likely to be accurate when the facts are disputed
Celebrate: celebrate those who retract incorrect statements and update their beliefs toward the truth
Who could quibble with that? For example, take my last pledge: to “celebrate those who retract incorrect statements and update their beliefs toward the truth.” Of course I celebrate the retraction of Professor Lewandowsky’s Recursive Fury paper with its many hundreds of incorrect statements. What a shame he had to make more incorrect statements about the reasons for its retraction.
Careful readers may note that I have also pledged to:
Defer: recognize the opinions of experts as more likely to be accurate when the facts are disputed.
Well, I’ll swallow that one, even though I know that my opinion of what constitutes an expert may differ from that of fellow-pledger Stephan Lewandowsky. But that’s no problem, because we’ve both pledged to:
compassionately inform those around [us] to stop using unreliable sources even if these sources support [our] opinion[s].
Me: Stop using unreliable sources, Stephan.
Lew: Who, unreliable?
Me: John Cook, for example.
Me: You asked John Cook to post your Moon Hoax survey on his SkepticalScience blog in July 2010, and he said he would, but he didn’t. Then, when you pre-published your “Moon Hoax” paper, which falsely claimed that it had been published at Cook’s website, he kept mum. Barry Woods and I revealed the mistake in early August 2012, but by then you’d already hired Cook to work on your (later retracted) “Recursive Fury” paper, designed to portray Barry and me and scores of other people as paranoids incapable of rational thought. Late in September 2012, when you asked Cook why he hadn’t included material about the (non) appearance of his survey at SkepticalScience in his list of conspiracy theories compiled for your follow up paper, he gave an evasive answer. He was less than frank with you, and went on to take a doctorate under your supervision, which is how he became a professor at George Mason University. Drop him, Professor Lewandowsky, before he lands you in it again.
And again and again.
your friend, Geoff.
Dr Tsipursky has publicised his findings that signing the Truth Pledge has been proved to make people more truthful, demonstrated in two peer review studies, at Psychology Today, whose website lists four sections, the first two of which are labelled “Find a therapist”’ and “Get help.” Unfortunately my ancient browser won’t let me access these.
From the Tsipursky article I learn that, of his two papers demonstrating the effectiveness of taking his truth pledge, the first one is based on a survey of 24 informants. The second one “… to address the weakness of the first study’s reliance on self-reporting… sampled 21 people…”
Those are not big samples. I hope we get a bigger sample reporting on their reactions to the Truth Pledge in comments here.
The Pro-Truth Pledge project is a project of Intentional Insights which is:
an educational nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit devoted to promoting science-based truth-seeking, rational thinking, and wise decision-making.
It was founded by Dr. Gleb Tsipursky, a behavioral science expert and consultant on decision-making and social and emotional intelligence, and Agnes Vishnevkin, who holds an MBA in Nonprofit Management from Brandeis University and has more than 10 years of experience in fundraising, grantmaking, strategic planning, and social enterprise.
They have an advisory Board of ten experts, including:
August E. Brunsman IV, member of the Humanist Society and humanist celebrant performing nontheistic ceremonies and services.
Felicia Winfree Cravens, who promotes truth via her Unfakery Facebook page. She founded the Houston Tea Party Society in 2009… Felicia is also a seventh-generation Texan, and mentions it to the point of being obnoxious.
Susan McLean who is a grant writer and prospect researcher in Northern California. Her interests include geology, hiking, and humor. Her master’s degree in mass communication makes imperious people respect her expertise, while her bachelor’s degree in art frightens no one.
Lorenzo T. Neal who is the senior pastor of the New Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Jackson, MS.
Peter Singer, named by Time magazine in 2005 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
and Stephan Lewandowsky, who is a cognitive scientist at the University of Bristol in the UK. His most recent research interests examine the potential conflict between human cognition and the physics of the global climate, which has led him into research in climate science and climate modeling. Professor Lewandowsky has contributed around 50 opinion pieces to the global media on issues related to climate change “skepticism” and the coverage of science in the media.
Great people, great people. Happy to sign up with them. Peace and love.