I’ve been involved in great discussion over at Tim Lambert’s blog Deltoid with posters debating the effectiveness and limits of simply debunking the claims of Monckton et.al. Debunking is a valuable and effective tool, but we need other strategies to counter the “denial machine”. I’ve been musing on this for some time as readers know.
One thought I had (aka this weeks crazy idea) is to create a “Denier Database” or “Portal”. In short a “one stop shop” that pulls together everything we know about the denial movement, their claims, tactics and the psychology of denial. It may help us both understand and counter the deniers. Crazy? Perhaps. But I envision a “wiki” that acts as a repository of information that does not address the specific claims of deniers (John Cook’s wonderful Skeptical Science does this), but provides the resources to understand and counter the denial moment. I could bring together content such as:
- Studies on the psychology of denial so we understand it’s basis (there is a great deal of papers out there that could be collated)
- Who the primary players are (again DeSmogBlog and Source Watch does this so links to these and other sources)
- Suggested debating points, examples of presentations (PowerPoint, videos etc.)
- Resource kits/fact sheets for journalists to help them understand how anti-science movements work
There are many great resources out there already, but it takes considerable time and effort to pull them together. However science advocates may benefit from such a tool, and wiki’s lead themselves well to collaborative efforts. I’d also note AGW Observer has a great list of papers on “denial”, which is a great foundation. There are many issues that would need to be hashed out:
- Does it simply replicate existing tools?
- How “secure” would such a tool be, given the denial movement actively attacks pro-AGW sites?
- Should it be an open source project like Wikipedia, or with restricted editing rights?
As I said, it’s just a thought… [readers opinions welcome]