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Climate Hustle

Video of Chuck Kutscher debunking climate skeptic arguments

Posted on 16 February 2012 by John Cook

The following is a video presentation Debunking Climate Skeptics by Chuck Kutscher from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and chair of the 2012 World Renewable Energy Forum in Denver in May. The talk was presented at the Colorado State Capitol in a January 2011 workshop for members of the state legislature. 

Note - another cool presentation at the workshop was Key Evidence for Climate Change by climate scientist Caspar Amman. You can also download PowerPoint slides of all the presentations given at the workshop.

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Comments 1 to 11:

  1. Nice plug for SkS at the end! And Kutscher's a very good communicator, good presentation.
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  2. Great presenter. Great plug for John and SkS. Great quote:

    Yeah, I'm preaching to the choir but, y'know what? The choir isn't doing enough!" [48' 38"]
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  3. Excellent presentation, but how come it has only had 341 views in the 6 weeks since it was uploaded?
    The 'choir' are definitely not doing enough, so get out there and spread this link:

    We have to cancel out the Denialist machine with their own tactics, be more active in fora and expose this organised and cynical obfuscation of the Truth.
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  4. Dr. Kutscher should be invited to give his presentation to every state legislature and to the U.S. Congress.
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  5. Wow! Great presentation! He hit all the major denial points. I've been looking for something like this. ... I'd love to show this at work for a lunch & learn. It ought to turn some heads. ... I'll definitely be posting on facebook! Thanks, John, for posting. And, thanks andylee for youtube link.
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  6. I found that a blogger by the name of Pierre Gosselin posted rebuttals to my presentation. See Blogger Rebuttal

    He indicates that he is an American with a B.S. in mechanical engineering, works in Germany and has an interest in meteorology. I honestly did not find his rebuttals helpful in improving my presentation. For example, there were the typical attack on Mann's work and a reference to urban heat island effects. Both have been thoroughly addressed in the peer-reviewed literature and yet continue to crop up on skeptic sites. Similarly, the fact that the sun is not the culprit has been proven in many peer-reviewed journal articles. There were also the personal attacks and name-calling: questioning how I ever got my Ph.D. (for the record, a portion of my dissertation work was published in the respected, peer-reviewed ASME Journal of Heat Transfer) and calling me an "armageddonist." I guess that's stronger than "alarmist." (He also called me "slippery." )

    I will continue to point out to people that if you call attention to something that is genuinely alarming, then you're not an "alarmist." Further, my research work and most of my presentations focus on solutions, so while "doom and gloom" makes for a nice label, it's not representative of my position. I believe that a combination of renewable energy, nuclear power, and land use changes can help us avoid the worst effects of global warming, and I was a co-author of a peer-reviewed journal article (in Environmental Science and Technology) along with Jim Hansen and two others describing the various solutions. I only put together the rebuttal to skeptic arguments in response to a special request by our local state legislature representative.

    Mr. Gosselin also refers to my presentation as "populist." I think that's fair. I was presenting to a general audience, and I believe it's important that we present the science in a way that is both accurate and understandable. I welcome any suggestions on how to better and more accurately present my points from unbiased viewers who understand climate science. I continue to find John's Skeptical Science web site extremely valuable in that regard.

    Chuck Kutscher
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  7. ChuckK: Not to worry. Gosselin's very first point is already false:

    “Well-heeled misinformation campaign.” That’s bogus. Most of the doubt arises from privately run blogs with little or no money (Climate Audit, WUWT, etc.)

    Apparently Mr. Gosselin cannot spell H-e-a-r-t-l-a-n-d.

    After that oops, why bother reading any further?
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  8. Frankly, I'd like to see that presentation - inverted.
    Rather than showing the distortion then the facts, show the facts then the dustortions.
    The community spends far to much time explaining the errors in what TVMOB, Watt$, McIntyre and the other stooges say - and to little time exposing their corruption.
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  9. Chuck Kutscher
    I think you can safely ignore this Pierre Gosselin, there's really nothing worth our time in his "rebuttal". The wording of the title (armageddonist, alarmism) already shows the ascientific nature of his rambling and the propaganda-based style. Let's ignore him.
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  10. ChuckK @ 6, thanks for providing the link, I found it most entertaining. Apparently, 'debunking' consists of expressing factless opinions and ad homs. The comments are hilarious.

    Have no fear, your reputation is only enhanced by such 'debunking'.
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  11. Quite well done Dr. Kutscher! You do well by focusing far more on the correct information, rather than the long-debunked arguments. My only suggestion would be to put a visible disclaimer on the skeptic argument slides indicating that the information presented has evidence that discredits it.

    Something like this (in red font?):
    ** This statement has been shown to be false by at least three lines of evidence.

    I think having such a statement would do well, but maybe avoid just a simple label of "false" or "red herring". I noticed that climate contrarian blog readers seemed to latch onto the "Climate Reality" project's use of "red herring" in a negative way.

    If you haven't checked out the Debunking Handbook, that is where I got my suggestion from. Also a well done piece of work, with great references.
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