Mason scientist develops game to arm users against climate change ‘fake news’

From cartoonist to that’s Dr. Cartoonist to you!~cr

News Release 3-Dec-2019

New game builds resilience against misinformation; ‘inoculates’ users against fake news on climate change; gamifies critical thinking

George Mason University

IMAGE: New Cranky Uncle app uses gamification to debunk fake news on climate change. Credit: John Cook, Cranky Uncle(tm) app

IMAGE: New Cranky Uncle app uses gamification to debunk fake news on climate change. Credit: John Cook, Cranky Uncle(tm) app

A George Mason University scientist is developing a mobile game that will teach users to defend themselves from ‘fake news’ on climate change.

ProfessorJohn Cook, an expert on misinformation with Mason’s Center for Climate Change Communication, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to enable development of the game, “Cranky Uncle,” for iPhone and Android phones.

Cook has spent over a decade studying different ways to counter misinformation. He is now combining his research into inoculation, critical thinking, cartoon humor, and gamification, into a mobile game.

“Misinformation does great damage to society,” said Professor Cook, a member of Mason’s Institute for a Sustainable Earth. “An essential solution is making the public more resilient against fake news. But how? Gamification is a powerful approach that can potentially reach many millions of people.”

In the game, players are mentored by a cartoon Cranky Uncle who is dismissive of climate science. As they learn to recognize the flaws in Cranky Uncle’s arguments, they gain points. This is based on a behavioral technique called active inoculation.

“Before becoming a scientist, I drew cartoons for a living, “said Cook. “So, imagine my delighted surprise when after a decade of research, I discovered that cartoons were a powerful tool in countering misinformation.”

Cook has tested a prototype of the game in various college classes. “My students appreciated the combination of humor and real-world examples, while I appreciated how engaged they were in learning how to critically think,” said Professor Melanie Trecek-King at Massasoit Community College, Massachusetts. “Learning how not to be fooled is empowering.”

The crowdfunding page is at https://advancement.gmu.edu/crowdfunding-crankyuncle and more information is available at http://crankyuncle.com.

###

Websites: http://crankyuncle.com http://skepticalscience.com

Biography

Dr. John Cook is a research assistant professor at George Mason University, founder of the Skeptical Science website, and lead author of a crowd-funded study finding 97% scientific consensus on climate change. He has spent the last decade researching how to counter climate science denial. His PhD into cognitive science found that inoculation, for explaining the techniques of denial, is the key to making the public resilient against misinformation. His research has explored critical thinking and cartoon debunkings (dusting off his skills as a former cartoonist). He is now testing how mobile games can increase critical thinking in classrooms.

About George Mason University:

George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls 38,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the last half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility. Learn more at http://www.gmu.edu.

About the Center for Climate Change Communication

The Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University develops and applies social science insights to help society make informed decisions that will stabilize the earth’s life-sustaining climate, and prevent further harm from climate change. Learn more about our research and expertise at https://www.climatechangecommunication.org/

About the Institute for a Sustainable Earth

The Institute for a Sustainable Earth at George Mason University connects members of the Mason community with others across the Mason community-and with other communities, policy-makers, businesses and organizations-so that, together, we can more effectively address the world’s pressing sustainability and resilience challenges. Learn more at http://www.ise.gmu.edu

From EurekAlert!

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152 thoughts on “Mason scientist develops game to arm users against climate change ‘fake news’

  1. “Misinformation”?

    He’s not teaching people to resist “misinformation”, he’s indoctrinating people with the warmist agenda. If he was truly concerned about combating misinformation, he’d be a climate skeptic.

    • This is why they dumb then down in the public schools so they can play games on their smart phone in College and pretend they are finally getting an education.

      4 years, a smart(?)phone, and a cracker jack box diploma is all it takes to get a college degree. Sadly 60% of those graduates can’t find Mexico on a map but they are absolutely certain the reason it is hot there is because of climate change and John Cooks Angry Uncle App.

        • Scientist: “You’re gonna hit the ground in 6 seconds.”

          Cranky Uncle: “Get back to me when you have more data.”

          6 seconds later:

          Scientist: “You’re gonna hit the ground in 6 seconds.”

          Cranky Uncle: “That’s what you said last time.”

          Scientist: “You were slowed down by natural variation. This time it’s real.”

          • Exactly.

            35 years ago: “In 25 years your town will be beachfront property due to rising ocean levels!”

            Today: “In 25 years your town will be beachfront property due to rising ocean levels!”

            Still waiting.

    • Yes, memorizing rationalization and talking points, by rote, without actually bothering to think about them – he’s training a new batch of Ocasio-cortez clones.

      • And with proper clothing frostbitten extremities shouldn’t curtail the touch-screen’s utility too much during Winter blackouts.

      • Exactly, let’s start one. Crowd source funding should be a breeze.

        The Center should rate sources and aps based on proper Peer Review.

        I don’t want to jump the snark but suspect Cook’s game will be rated propaganda / zero confidence – not for intelligent viewers of all ages.

    • Exactly, the irony of John Cook developing a game to arm users against ‘climate change fake news’, wouldn’t he be arming users against himself?

  2. They have a big concern to fear skeptical thoughts, even developing games, not beliebeble.
    😀
    Scientific arguments, that doesn’t exist so far, wouldt be better 😀

  3. It appears that the James Mason Sustainability site and their Sustainability Scoop webpages do not have a comment section for readers to provide feedback or to provide data supporting or countering their information. I find that the lack of a public comment sections on any media site generally indicates they are fake news or have a hidden agenda.

    I hope you can prove me wrong with data and links.

  4. If his game actually does teach critical thinking skills, the unentended consiquince of that could be more skeptics. I don’t think that’s what he intends.

    • Exactly.

      In 11 Years, 9 months, 29 days, when the world is arguably better than it is today (poverty lower, less people starving) and world sea level has only gone up a frightening 1 inch with CO2 @ 500 PPM (Thanks China and India), there will be millions more “Climate Skeptics”.

      • Must suck to spend all that time and energy to get a PhD in Psychology and your career as a bad cartoonist is still your better asset.

      • …..And to be consistent with his history of sleight of hand in Climate Science, he is touted as a “Scientist from George Mason University.

        One must read a lot deeper to discover his PhD is in “cognitive” science; i.e. a psychologist.
        Clearly a disciple of Edwin Bernays who wrote a book on how to influence public opinion (e.g. buy war bonds) and titled it after the new term he invented “Propaganda”.

        (Edwin was dismayed at what Goebbels did with his theories and in a subsequent book re-branded his research with another term he coined, Public Relations.)

        • Exactly. He is quoted as the first reference at the NASA climate consensus website, and people believe he is a climate scientist. AFAIK he’s never studied physics or chemistry so claiming to be a scientist is a bit…fake.

          • He studied how to Photoshop his head into old Nazi photos. He’s good at that. Everything else, not so much.

  5. if he was honest the lady in the window would say “you’ll hit the ground in 3 to 250 seconds but we have no idea why you are falling” …

    • It’s a straw man fallacy. We assume that it’s intended that the cranky uncle is going to hit the ground hard. ie. gravity works. The uncertainty about when he hits the ground is irrelevant.

      For global warming, the uncertainty matters big time. We’re being asked to destroy the free world’s economy based on very uncertain apocalyptic conjectures.

      It’s a straw man fallacy because the cartoonist presents the skeptic argument as though uncertainty is irrelevant. That’s not what the skeptics are actually arguing (and that makes the cartoon’s argument a straw man). The skeptic argument is that the outcome is by no means certain. In fact, whatever warming happens will probably be beneficial. That’s less uncertain than the apocalypse.

      • Indeed. It’s not the accuracy which is in question, it’s the whole hypothesis.

        You can’t be accurate by using the wrong equation.

      • There is a great deal of uncertainty about what metric is, let alone what the value is.

        If the one falling has only three inches to tumble, the timing is irrelevant.

        What’s amazing to me is the length to which Cook will go in his persistent misrepresentation of what others think, see and understand.

        I don’t understand why he is called a scientist. Psychology is not a science. It is a collection of techniques, many dubious and others useful. Perhaps his former profession has been auto-corrected in error: lampoonist was intended.

        • He’s not a Psychologist either. he was awarded a degree of some kind because of his association with Lewandowski, or something.

    • There is insufficient information given in the cartoon example, as is usual for the CAGW-infected.

      Is he in Earth’s gravity or some other planet? There are plans to occupy the moon/Mars.

      Is he only under the influence of gravitational forces (e.g. merely stepped off of a roof) or were there other forces acting on him (e.g. he was thrown – perhaps by XR>)?

      How long has he been falling?

      What is the height of the building?

      Why 12-15 seconds if ‘the science is settled’?

      No doubt there are other questions that should be considered

    • Another way of looking at this example is “You will hit the ground in 12 to 15 seconds… but I am not going to try and save you”

      It is a bit like that joke where a group are sightseeing in a helicopter over a major city when suddenly the fog rolls in. Lost, and with radio not being able to help them they carefully fly between the buildings. Suddenly a large building looms out of the fog, and through the window they see a group of people looking back at them.

      “Where are we?” they write on a piece of paper.

      “In a helicopter” comes the reply.

      The original punch line was “Oh, Microsoft HQ! So the airport is to our left” because the answer was technically correct but utterly pointless in context, just like the help function in MS Word.

      In the context of the cartoon being told you have 12 to 15 seconds is (possibly) correct, but the important point is you are falling from building. Unless the falling person has a self rescue device that takes 10 seconds to deploy (and hence the 12 to 15 warning is important) the guy is still falling without hope of rescue and being a snark in return is completely the correct answer.

      Surprised this Doctor Cook doesn’t know this. For a clown fish he isn’t that funny.

        • Just an old helicopter.
          And while GPS tells you where you are, sometimes it doesn’t tell you what else is there at the same time as you. Only Radar or looking out of the window does that.

        • A woman in a hot air balloon realizes she is lost. She lowers her altitude and spots a man fishing from a boat below. She shouts to him, “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”

          The man consults his portable GPS and replies, “You’re in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above a ground elevation of 2,346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude.

          She rolls her eyes and says, “You must be a Republican!”

          “I am,” replies the man. “How did you know?”

          “Well,” answers the balloonist, “everything you tell me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to do with your information, and I’m still lost. Frankly, you’re not much help to me.”

          The man smiles and responds, “You must be a Democrat.”

          “I am, replies the balloonist. “How did you know?”

          “Well,” says the man, “You don’t know where you are or where you’re going. You’ve risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise that you have no idea how to keep, and now you expect me to solve your problem. You’re in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but, somehow, now it’s my fault.”

    • To be analogous to the climate debate, the lady should be stating that he is going to hit the ground in -2 to +3 seconds. (Or if Dr Frank is right, -20 to +30 seconds.)

      With these more applicable facts, and not knowing that he is already falling, how could one even state that he IS falling.

      Now which fallacy is the right answer?

    • Yep, commieBob December 5, 2019 at 12:10 pm

      It’s a straw man fallacy. We assume that it’s intended that the cranky uncle is going to hit the ground hard. ie. gravity works. The uncertainty about when he hits the ground is irrelevant.

      https://www.google.com/search?q=4+universal+forces+in+nature&oq=4+universal+forces&aqs=chrome.

      Gravity is the weakest force. The weak human, bound by weak nuclear forces, smashes on the ground.

      Doesn’t matter to the Universe; even the solid ground, too bound by weak nuclear force, nevertheless stays nearly unimpressed:

      Atoms in Molecules are bound by magnitudes greater forces – Atoms and Molecules “survive”.

  6. About SKEPTICAL SCIENCE.COM

    “The abuse and censorship does not pertain to simply any dissenting commentator there but to highly credentialed and respected climate scientists as well; Dr. Pielke Sr. has unsuccessfully attempted to engage in discussions there only to be childishly taunted and censored, while Dr. Michaels has been dishonestly quoted and smeared. The irony of the site’s oxymoronic name “Skeptical Science” is that the site is not skeptical of even the most extreme alarmist positions.

    John Cook is now desperately trying to cover up his background that he was employed as a cartoonist for over a decade with no prior employment history in academia or climate science.

    Thanks to the Wayback Machine we can reveal what his website originally said,

    “I’m not a climatologist or a scientist but a self employed cartoonist” – John Cook, Skeptical Science”

    It looks like he’s embracing his ignorance in science to attempt to make his cartoonist, not scientific, “credentials” sound good.

      • Jay
        The joke in Silicon Valley is that the alternate description of an unemployed person is that they are a ‘consultant.’

    • He’s nothing like any kind of climate scientist.

      John earned his PhD in Cognitive Science at the University of Western Australia in 2016. link

      He’s a propagandist who has found a way to cash in on the CAGW gravy train. In that regard, he should be forbidden from calling himself a scientist because scientists are supposed to be interested in the truth.

        • If your local bartender listened to his patrons, he just might be far wiser than most psychologists. I can’t say it’s worth a PhD, but there ya go.

        • I did not complete my university degree but after many years of labour in the real world, have a PhD* anyway

          * Post hole Digger

      • From Wikipedia (apropos, I think)
        “The cognitive revolution was an intellectual movement that began in the 1950s as an interdisciplinary study of the mind and its processes. It later became known collectively as cognitive science.[1] The relevant areas of interchange were between the fields of psychology, linguistics, computer science, anthropology, neuroscience, and philosophy.[2] and cartoons…They used approaches developed within the then-nascent fields of artificial intelligence, computer science, and neuroscience. ”

        OK, OK I confess–I put in the “cartoon” part! But it fits.

      • There is no such thing as a “climate scientist”. They’re all dedicated to fudging past temperature records to match their dodgy computer models. No sort of scientist at all.

    • If there is a link to that quote please post it as it is pure gold. The number of people who claim Cook is a climate scientist because he is quoted at NASA is remarkable.

      BTW, I was banned from Sks for stating interglacial periods are warmer than glacial periods.

  7. Misinformation? The dear Dr doesn’t have a clue.

    Before I became a scientist …

    It took me a lifetime to be a scientist. And now I’m retired I sometimes wonder whether J really am. And mr Cook made the quantum leap in a few month? Really? Methinks he is deluding himself.

    • Science, in general, has a replication crisis. Psychology, surprisingly, isn’t as bad as some fields. Only half the published research findings are obviously wrong.

      Ironically enough, it seems that one of the most reliable findings in psychology is that only half of psychological studies can be successfully repeated. link

      Because of an oversupply of PhDs and the resulting desperation to publish, the value of their work has become highly suspect.

      They don’t make PhDs like they used to.

  8. He must be from the Dr. Goebbels school of thought. His main schtick appears to be the use of straw man “logic”.

  9. New game builds resilience against misinformation; ‘inoculates’ users against fake news on climate change; gamifies critical thinking

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    WUWT, Id est qui!

  10. Yeah…

    “an expert on misinformation”

    Kinda like how a drunk is an expert on how to get drunk?

    Think I’ll still take the word of a weatherman and a “retired mining engineer”, among others with real science backgrounds, over a bad cartoonist with a media degree.

  11. OK, I must admit I’m a little shocked. I have found myself in agreement with John Cook, not just once, not twice, but THREE TIMES!

    1. “Misinformation does great damage to society,” said Professor Cook, a member of Mason’s Institute for a Sustainable Earth. “An essential solution is making the public more resilient against fake news.”

    AGREED! It is essential that we make the public more resilient against the fake news of the non-existent “climate emergency.”

    2. “So, imagine my delighted surprise when after a decade of research, I discovered that cartoons were a powerful tool in countering misinformation.”

    AGREED! Just check out JOSH’s cartoons – excellent at lampooning the ridiculous “climate crisis” bullshit!

    “Learning how not to be fooled is empowering.”

    HOW TRUE! Learning not to be suckered into voting oneself into poverty to pursue a non-solution to a non-problem is indeed empowering!

  12. Using an example of a falling object where known physical principles covering force of gravity, wind resistance, velocity and distance have trivial uncertainty as an analogy for climate change/global warming where major fundamental processes and and physical forces are not even remotely understood just shows how desperate they are to avoid talking about the real science. They try to divert people’s attention from vast uncertainty to something that most people would understand as fairly certain. If they really believed climate change/global warming was settled they might try to argue based on the objective data that settled it, but then they would find they have essentially empty pockets. This is science corruption, this is organized lies, this is nothing but propaganda.

    • Andy Pattullo – Excellent!

      “Using an example of a falling object where known physical principles covering force of gravity … as an analogy for climate change/global warming …” –> excellent formulation of the fallacy.

      This is why I harp on the fact that we are not actually measuring the ‘greenhouse gas’ property of CO2.

      With the Theory of Gravity, we didn’t define how it works, but we measured how it behaves with such precision that we were able to derive a set of Laws that allowed us to determine the planet Neptune exists before it was ever seen.

      With the CAGW Theory, we’re told exactly how it theoretically works, but we’ve been unable to measure its behavior in any meaningful way. This leaves us with no ability to derive any tools of reason (Laws, Axioms, Postulates, formulae, etc). CAGW is an unreasonable theory.

      • Love it.

        Back to the roots, science is not about “explaining”, it is about taking measurements, trying to define some basic rules that can be used to predict future.

        I don’t care what gravity “really is”.

        • I think it would be neat to find out what it really is, and then maybe control it on a small scale. Anti-grav vehicles would be SO cool.

    • Good points. In addition note that the formula for distance fallen is 1/2gt^2, or slightly more than 16 times the number of seconds. The woman in the window would have to be over 2300 feet above the ground if the falling man started falling from that elevation.

      Perhaps not the best example for what they are trying to communicate?

      • I’d say that John Cook’s understanding of gravity is about equal to his understanding of climate science. i.e. completely zero.

        And besides; they present a red herring themselves because the argument isn’t about gravity, is it. It’s about an increase in radiative feedback caused by the increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. They present one argument in place of the real argument, then pretend that one aspect of of gravity is equivalent to the whole of atmospheric science. It’s a false equivalence fallacy.

      • The 1/2gt^2 is true if there was no atmosphere 🙂 So the things are even more complicated 🙂

        • I looked into this blankly, until I understood 5m/s2 equals 16 ft/s2. Not 256 times seconds squared, but 16ft/s2 times t squared. I must change to cartooning.

          How much will the eigentime differ? Can’t bother to check myself.

  13. How does it handle that hot spot in the atmosphere that was the main con played on youth in schools? And how does it handle global warming causes cold from the John Holdren case files? And how does it handle long run natural cycles like the AMO or multi-cycle sun output changes? Or more fundamentally does it only use straight lines and hockey stick upturns in place of polynomials?

  14. Does he have a cartoon illustrating the fallacy of Straw Man arguments?

    We all know and regret that a lot of people say stupid things they think challenge the man-made climate change hypothesis. Their foolish comments don’t diminish the valid challenges.

  15. Basically this is the tokamak of climate science and that’s as far as they get with cartoon science.

  16. Everybody who watches or listens to the BBC need to defend themselves from ‘fake news’ on climate change.

  17. John Cook has a BSc in physics from The University of Queensland. He became known through his very dodgy research into scientists and their attachment to climate alarmism, coming up with the wholly discredited 97% which is the go-to defense of the climate alarmist who has lost all the other arguments to us realists. I have not been able to find that he has a PhD. I don’t think he does but he is a scientific bottom-feeder who has managed to find a job with a regular income. He started the Skeptical Science website which is hopeless. This is his latest venture as cartoons are clearly easier than ‘real’ physics.

    • Cook has a Bachelor’s degree in Science from the University of Queensland, and a PhD in some sort of Psychology from the University of Western Australia. His supervisor was Lewandowsky, and he has published a couple of papers with him on the “supposed” psychology of climate ‘denial’.

  18. “..A George Mason University scientist is developing a mobile game that will teach users to defend themselves from ‘fake news’ on climate change….”.

    This guy is making a very ignorant and faulty assumption here that the climate science at issue here (or at least the “science” that he believes) is infallible and unquestionable. That isn’t so much science as it is a political or religious doctrine as far as I am concerned. The believers in such doctrines treat them as though they are infallible. But they never are, and that is why I have a personal philosophy of questioning someone whenever he or she is trying to sell me a doctrine. It is why I am politically independent.

    Creating a cellphone video game to further indoctrinate the true believers only adds to the idea that the climate alarmist narrative is largely a cult. The cult certainly doesn’t want to lose any members if it can avoid it.

    Some people in this world (academia) deserve to be in the unemployment lines more than anywhere else.

    • some local kids made a game called crossy road
      they made millions I gather
      stuffed if I can see why but they did.

      so I would say thats cook big goal in this
      because the climate faithful WILL download the app and schools etc will aprove it.

  19. I had such high hopes when I read the headline, but those hopes were dashed to smithereens when I read the name John Cook, the John Cook associated with that propaganda site.

    Regards,
    Bob

  20. So when he photo shopped himself,in uniform,what kind of “misinformation” was he sending?
    Cooky Boy should hold up a mirror.
    For he is the “misinformation” of which he speaks.
    Does he believe his own BS?If so Cook is more evidence of the Cult of Calamitous Climate.

    Of course scamming gullible people about the weather is as old as spoken language.

    Heap big storm,Gods angry at you.
    Reward me and I will deflect Gods Wrath.
    And thus was born State Religion.

  21. Sad, George Mason has sunk this low to call a cartoonist a scientist. This is what counts for climate science along with Greta, Bill Nye and Al Gore.

  22. I have never met anyone who rejects climate science because the so called “scientists” aren’t being precise enough.

  23. John Cook…

    The abominable John Cook?
    The John Cook who dresses up in his pictures with nazi uniforms?
    The John Cook who collaborated with Lewandowski to falsify an alleged 97% consensus by cherry picked chicanery?
    The source of massive amounts of misinformation regarding all parts of science?

    It’s time to end all Federal financial awards, grants, guarantees to James Mason University and to prosecute their malicious climate fraudsters.

      • My mistake, Michael.
        Thanks for the correction.

        I crossed brain thoughts with some research I was reading about James Madison’s writings and apparently had ‘James’ on the brain.

  24. It wasn’t until the last part of the article that I realized the game was alarmist. Statements like “game that will teach users to defend themselves from ‘fake news’ on climate change” are clearly in the skeptic camp.
    I think a good game for smart phones would start with the following premise: Earth’s climate has been going along doing its thing, which is changing, then comes the industrial age of mankind, and suddenly some people believe that mankind is changing the climate. It’s a hypothesis, which requires that the burden of proof falls on those making the hypothesis, which is you the player. You have all the time you need; no ad hominem attacks, no bleeding heart stories, just facts please; for every climate scientists that refutes a potential finding, the game starts over from the beginning. Ready, set, go!

  25. Do they have a picture of a man looking at a alcohol thermometer and declaring that the temperature is 75.2481 degrees Fahrenheit?

  26. It appears that George Mason hasn’t bothered to settle on an agreed-to definition of what science is. Failing that, just as is the case with gender self-assignment these days, anyone can declare himself (herself, it the same) to be a scientist. George Mason is to blame here for not knowing the difference!

  27. “Professor John Cook, an expert on misinformation with Mason’s Center for Climate Change Communication,”

    Now that is some refreshing honesty.

    • Yeah, I laughed out loud when I read that Cook was described as an expert on misinformation.

      Cook is an expert at creating misinformation. The 97% Lie is his creation. One big pile of disinformation.

  28. Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection. IPCC’s climate policy is redistributing the world’s wealth. We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are determined to destroy this system under all conditions.

  29. I have people in my office that saw and believe this clip from CBC last night, informing us that climate change will cause the price of food next year to increase by $12,000 for a family of four.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/thenational/climate-change-driving-up-food-prices-in-2020-1.5385000. Here’s the full report. https://www.cbc.ca/news/thenational/climate-change-driving-up-food-prices-in-2020-1.5385000

    What utter nonsense.

    My sister is an MD, and doesn’t believe in CAGW. I’m thinking that’s possibly due to the fact that neither her, nor her partner have ever owned a television. The other 99% of Canadians, or at least those that can’t recognize fake news when they read it or hear it, are exposed to the BS flowing out of the CBC and CTV. Both organizations are a disgrace. CNN and the BBC equally so.

    If I was to ever win a big lottery, I’d hire the WUWT group, 20 or 30 of the people that post here, and sue both organizations for distributing outright lies.

    None of my colleagues believe there is a climate “crisis”, but 100% believe we are causing a small warming trend because of anthropogenic C02 emissions. They won’t even consider looking at WUWT. The “Science is well established,” I’m told, “no need to see any more arguments.”

  30. What an abomination! What a fraud!
    This professor has no expertise in the field of climate science. His “information” combating denial is merely propaganda against any critical questions about the field. There is MUCH to be questioned in a field that cannot connect itself to any of the other basic sciences and stay within their framework.

    When the asks in the cartoon what the fallacy is, he deliberately overlooks the one not mentioned, how this example could possibly pertain to the climate. Besides, what are the assumptions here ( and there are a few).

    Let me give you an example. what if there is only one more floor to go before the ground? What if the situation was occurring in Venice and there is water below? What if the experiment is occurring on Pluto?

    See for the last question there is pertinence? DID YOU GET THE ACCELERATION CONSTANT CORRECT, or gid you just presume the constant is a = g ?

    Now ask yourself… why does anyone expect to take average global changes (additive changes) from a presumed baseline in CO2 concentration on one axis, and deltas in world degrees Celcius on the other axis (again and additive change) show that they are both rising (roughly, at best), draw a regression analysis line through it, and find themselves justified in contriving a “climate forcing constant” out of it, and then spend the last forty years having to revise that number to account for the discrepancies in the data as it comes in, and expect anyone to call that “good science”, when they can’t even get a constant that’s… constant?

    Worse still how can one expect to justify the correlation in the first place when there is no known linear relationship between (when is (CO2 + delta CO2) directly (linearly) proportional (to t + delta t), anywhere in the annals of physics or chemsitry?). Deosn’t that problem bleed over completely into invoking the notion of a forcing constant in the first place? Anyone look at relationships like Ahrrenius’ equation, and know that the relationship between temperature and concentration is patently not linear? (not a Ph.D. in cognitive science, I’ll wager).

    Finally, why can’t the known, physically observable constant called the molar absorptivity constant (epsilon) in the Beer-Lambert equation can’t be used up front, because it IS, after all an immutible physcially isolatable constant that can be measured for each part of the three CO2 infrared absorption manifolds? Of course, this would require that “climate science” follow the rigors of all the other real sciences, which cannot be allowed to happen if the movement if to survive politically.

    This isn’t denial. These are legitimate questions which MUST be addressed, because in the real sciences these questions can’t go unanswered before drawing real conclusions about the relationships between phenomena, that would otherwise be completely independent (and uncorrelated, rendering the whole concept of climate forcing meaningless).

    One can’t ignore all this and expect to be taken seriously.

    But somehow, propaganda artists like this Cook character, are taken seriously, after all he has pull at a university, and cartoonish humor for children who have no defenses against this stuff, and a website to bolster his amazing “science”, doesn’t he? It astounds and saddens me.

  31. No wonder John has achieved his doctorate just like his mentor doctor Lew, to be able to reduce such a complex “coupled non-linear chaotic system” to the simple analogy of gravity is ‘almost awful in its profundity’.

  32. John Cook confuses ‘science’ with his Zombie passion for the CAGW argument game.

    When observations kill a theory, computer modeling and manipulating the temperature record cannot bring it back to life.

    CAGW is a dead theory. Debate will not bring it back to life.

    The Paleo record does not support CAGW.

    The idiots have hidden the fact that what we are experience now high latitude warming with more warming in the Northern hemisphere, correlating with a solar cycle change) has happened cyclically before.

    The past warming events all of which were followed by cooling events were not caused by atmospheric CO2 changes.

    The paper quoted below notes there has been 342 natural warming periods, all of which were followed by cooling periods, in the last 250,000 years in the Antarctic Peninsula ice sheet data.

    The periodicity of the southern hemisphere warming and cooling is the same as the periodicity of the northern hemisphere warming and cooling which requires a global periodic forcing function. (it is the sun).

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/davis-and-taylor-wuwt-submission.pdf

    Davis and Taylor: “Does the current global warming signal reflect a natural cycle”

    …We found 342 natural warming events (NWEs) corresponding to this definition, distributed over the past 250,000 years …. …. The 342 NWEs contained in the Vostok ice core record are divided into low-rate warming events (LRWEs; < 0.74oC/century) and high rate warming events (HRWEs; ≥ 0.74oC /century) (Figure). … …. "Recent Antarctic Peninsula warming relative to Holocene climate and ice – shelf history" and authored by Robert Mulvaney and colleagues of the British Antarctic Survey ( Nature , 2012, doi:10.1038/nature11391),reports two recent natural warming cycles, one around 1500 AD and another around 400 AD, measured from isotope (deuterium) concentrations in ice cores bored adjacent to recent breaks in the ice shelf in northeast Antarctica. ….

    As this paper notes the highly precise periodicity of the past climate changes points to a forcing function outside of the earth (it is the sun).

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2003/2003GL017115.shtml
    Timing of abrupt climate change: A precise clock by Stefan Rahmstorf

    Many paleoclimatic data reveal a approx. 1,500 year cyclicity of unknown origin.

    A crucial question is how stable and regular this cycle is.

    An analysis of the GISP2 ice core record from Greenland reveals that abrupt climate events appear to be paced by a 1,470-year cycle with a period that is probably stable to within a few percent; with 95% confidence the period is maintained to better than 12% over at least 23 cycles. This highly precise clock points to an origin outside the Earth system; ….

  33. An expert on misinformation , never a truer word said this person has shown time and again their abilities in offering misinformation often know as total BS . Indeed its an area were they can be consider to be ‘world leading ‘
    But I do have to challenge the cartoonist claim, for there are limbless gibbons who have a better claim to ability in this area than Cook.

  34. There needs to be a CONSUMER WARNING message on the app:

    Use of this product may reduce your ability to think critically. Extended use may make you more susceptible to lies and scams. Do not operate machinery while using this product. Not safe for children who intend to become mature thinking adults. The Surgeon General has determined that this product will NOT inoculate you against diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, chemical substances, and sheer stupidity on your part. Not safe for pets. Avoid using if you experience smugness, over-confidence, and feelings of elitist superiority (you’re already too far gone for it to have any effect). Don’t blame us when reality slaps you up side the head.

  35. Nothing riles me up more than “Professor John Cook”. The guy was a failed cartoonist with zero skills or knowledge. Yet gets promoted well beyond his ability and hailed a saint. This is equivalent to calling a 16 year old school dropout a science expert.

    But I do agree with his title: Professor John Cook an expert on misinformation. That is exactly what he is.

    • “This is equivalent to calling a 16 year old school dropout a science expert.”

      I saw what you did there. How dare you?

  36. Professor John Cook, an expert on misinformation with Mason’s Center for Climate Change Communication

    I think it’s really intended to say:

    Professor John Cook, an expert on disinformation with Mason’s Center for Climate Change Communication.

    This is how wiki refers to disinformation:

    Disinformation is false information spread deliberately to deceive. ………………….. The English word disinformation is a loan translation of the Russian dezinformatsiya, derived from the title of a KGB black propaganda department”

    That describes Mr. Cook’s job very nicely.

  37. I’m declaring the extreme alarmists members of the Climate Obligatory Orthodox Church. That would be the CO2 Church. The Earth will not be burning, only those heretics who fail to repeat the dogma. Hence, “obligatory orthodoxy” is a key tenet of the faith.

  38. “Before becoming a scientist, I drew cartoons for a living, “said Cook. “So, imagine my delighted surprise when after a decade of research, I discovered that cartoons were a powerful tool in countering misinformation.”

    Wow, what a eureka moment that must have been! On the scale of human achievements I put it right up there with reading a Dilbert cartoon about climate change.

    • Makes one wonder why political cartoons have been so popular ever since printed media was invented. But no, John Cook discovers something unique and interesting, never been noticed before, ever!

  39. I assume this is the same George Mason University where a climate scientist crook was stealing money from his grant money by hiring relatives & donating to his own charity. Compounding the felony, he was also colluding with groups conspiring with states’ attorney generals to restrict constitutional rights of US citizens who resist the myth of climate change.

    Yea! Rah! George Mason!

  40. So Cook has finally managed to find a way to make money from cartooning. After abandoning his career in Astrophysics (his reported PhD having been wound back to a BSc) because of disenchantment with lab work, he attempted for 10 years to sell on line cartoons by subscription https://www.trektoday.com/news/070601_04.shtml while his wife supported them with web design work.

    George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication looks like a well funded venue to monetize his Psychology PhD, aquired after his hookup with Stephan Lewandowski. Is it the first academic institution to openly target a political demographic with the Katherine Hayhoe led republicEn program.
    https://www.climatechangecommunication.org/republicen/

  41. Name that fallacy!

    97% of climate scientists agree there is climate change. We are the only difference from before, therefore, we caused it and must do all we can to fix it NOW!
    A. Equivocation
    B. Appeal to Authority
    C. Bandwagon
    D. Single Cause
    E. Impossible Expectations

  42. ALARM BELLS…. ?stabilize the earth’s life-sustaining climate? Can you do that? I thought climate always changes. and is desirable. I guess they figured out how to control the sun.
    and prevent further harm from climate change? Really? That can be done? We must be living in Paradise!

  43. Climate change is real, irregular, unpredictable, and spectacular.

    Climate change forced by carbon dioxide emissions is a fraction of a fraction of a fraction, not viable.

  44. Mobile game…

    Wow.

    Does this guy know you can play Fortnight on your phone now?

    Does this guy know that the ‘gaming industry’ competes with the ‘movie industry’ in terms of audience and financial turnover?

    I think I can say with confidence that 97% of people will laugh at this.

    • Yeah but he can put it on his CV, some activist will give him an award, and his career will advance…

  45. Also, for a Cartoonist he doesn’t seem to understand the basic principles of comic design.

    In the example given the two speech bubbles touch with no clear divider. That is comic shorthand for ‘Both these people are talking in unison’.

    The intent of this panel is that the window woman has said one thing, and falling guy has replied, but under comic conventions this is not what is being shown.

    Sloppy.

  46. “So, imagine my delighted surprise when after a decade of research, I discovered that cartoons were a powerful tool in countering misinformation.”

    What better way is there to spread fake science than with the fake reality of cartoons?

  47. “Professor John Cook, an expert on misinformation…”

    Well said. John Cook has firsthand experience, being one of the most prolific purveyors of misinformation on climate change.

    He is lead author of the fabulous “97% consensus” hoax. His paper claimed 97% of studies of climate science endorsed the view that human emissions are the primary cause of warming. In fact, it was 8.25%.

    Of the 11,944 that they sampled which mentioned global warming or climate change, only 986 explicitly endorsed the view that humans are the main reason for global warming. The vast majority, 7,970 papers (67%) took no position. He just counted the papers that explicitly endorsed (986) and explicitly rejected AGW (24). 986 of 1010 is 97%. He ignored the other 10,934 papers because, well, no plausible reason was ever given. Inconvenient truth, perhaps. Cook is a master of cherry-picking and torturing data to advance his story.

    Have a look yourself like I did.

    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/024024;jsessionid=8EDD19163A68F5120D7C97B307B875A6.c1.iopscience.cld.iop.org

    Lecturing us on the

  48. Surely the first thing that would cross the mind of even the worst student is “How the hell is the uncle managing to defy gravity?”.

    Ah, but then I realised the cartoons are not aimed at anybody with critical thinking, they are aimed at indoctrinating children.

    “Give me the child for the first seven years and I will give you the man. “.

  49. for the “misinformed” above. John Cook does have a PhD, in psychology.. Professor Stephan Lewandowsky was one of his supervisors… (I’ll leave it at that..) 😉

  50. 15 seconds is an 1100 metre drop..

    worlds tallest building is 828 metres

    So we’re in Bullshit town before we even start….

  51. Remind me, does PhD stand for Doctor of Philosophy or Phu*ki*g Dope? Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference. Sometimes its easy.

  52. “Misinformation does great damage to society,” said the biggest peddler of misinformation on the planet.

  53. Of course this came from John Cook. He loves to diagnose skeptics as having mental disorders, but is completely off the reservation himself and doesn’t even realize it. He is delusional beyond any hope of getting him back to reality.

  54. The example shown on the phone is unrealistic, because if the falling man is to hit the ground in 12 to 15 seconds, he would be from 2,304 to 3,600 feet above the ground, which is taller than any existing man-made building on Earth. Maybe Dr. C(r)ook should redraw the building as the edge of the Grand Canyon, but maybe I shouldn’t give him any ideas.

    This cartoon app should be called “Climate Change Disinformation for Dummies”, since only the lowest quintile in IQ could be fooled by such garbage, on a lower intellectual level than Greta Thunberg.

    The app does give a good idea for the skeptic side–the choice for “Cherry-Picking”, in which the AGW scaremongers are experts. Draw your hockey stick, and don’t let the Medieval Warm Period hit you on the way out.

    • Yes, but as they say in the PR business (spent some time there before I lost all my humanity):

      It doesn’t have to be right.

      It just has to be repeated.

    • On his website, there is a forum which gives an interesting view of the ideas of his crowd. Regarding the surface stations project, someone suggested that instead of posting photo evidence that a station is poorly sited, the person should do “scientific” work (read: computation on guessed numbers) instead: for example recover the power data of A/C and somehow compute the amount of heat that was ejected to the temperature sensor and compute the local temperature without the heating.

      And everybody thought the idea was great!

      As a rule:
      People who never did any scientific work (as opposed to “solving” silly school “problems”), who went to school with the teacher doing ridiculous modeling (let’s assume a ball is sent in the air and there is no air friction…), and who have very little math background (they know how to do a division but hardly know when to do a division), tend to systematically overestimate the power of “science” and what they believe is “math” (which to them is throwing arbitrary numbers in a formula).

      At that point I think school is strictly negative in term of intellectual structuration for most people.

      • “(they know HOW to do a division but hardly know WHEN do a division)” (my emphasis).

        Very good point, and same with averages and means.

        Here in Ontario the teacher’s unions are on a war footing fighting a conservative government that was elected on the heels of 10 years of liberal government’s deficit spending (i.e., cut backs are looming).

        On talk radio and online, the government is hyping the average teacher’s salary ($90,000) which can be reached after 10 years on the job).

        Of course, the teacher’s pets (i.e., MSM) try to remind people that averages don’t tell you anything sometimes.

        I called into the local talk radio show and asked “does this apply to world temperatures as well?”

        For some reason, they didn’t put me on the air…

  55. Maybe there is a copying error (excusable because the author of the drawings has no scientific qualification): it isn’t 12 s or 15 s, it’s 10^12 s and 10^15 s.

    Which still makes no difference as the guy will be naturally dead before.

  56. https://www.omnicalculator.com/physics/free-fall

    Omni free fall calculator says:

    Gravitational acceleration 9.80665 m/s²

    Initial velocity 0 m/s

    Height 1,103.248 m

    Time of fall 15 sec

    Velocity 147.1 m/s

    Check out:

    The man in the “mobil game scetch” falls from a building, Height 1,103.248 m, Time of fall 15 sec –

    maintaining a conversation with one and the same guy in said building.

    passably credible for Charles Rotter / ~cr!

    __________________

    Charles Rotter is right, for green believers there’s a lot of suspectible things “passably credible”.

    So what’s the need for a game to arm users against climate change ‘fake news’, a new game building “resilience against misinformation.”

  57. A pigeon and a dove arrange a date.

    On Saturday at the clock tower at 12:00.

    The pigeon is sitting before 12:00 on the minute hand of the clock.

    At 12:30 she slides from the clock, landing on the place bevor the clock tower – here comes the pigeon!

    “Why do you come late, I’m waiting!”

    The pigeon answers “Such a beautiful day, I decided to take a walk.”

    ____________________________________

    Man Plans, and God Laughs | Psychology Today.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=man+plans+god+laughs&oq=man+plans+God+&aqs=chrome.

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