You didn’t do the required reading.

This is comedy gold. Sean Hannity is a pretty easy target for fact checking given that his entire persona is bluster and ignorance and his lifeblood is onesided fact free argument.

The fact that people watch this man, trust his opinions, watch him for guidence and reassurance (even if not conciously, infact its almost a certainty) is pretty scary. “I’m not an oil expert” … well what business do you have making any of those statements ?

“Because people believe 90% of the crap I say on my show, what, the rest of reality isnt like that?!”

Getting facts wrong, or further, ignoring them completely and seeking no expert opinion or data is sadly not an isolated trait of media pundits right or left. It presents itself in daily life as I experienced recently.

Ironically, watching a video on peak oil and the shale boom (Chris Martenson interviewing Richard Heinberg) I came accross a comment (comments, on youtube, really, you READ THOSE?)

It went a little like this “Yeah, peak oil is happening/has happend/looks like it will etc … but when your guest talks about climate change he loses all credability”

I had to think about just how dumb this was for a few minutes, but I considered carefully how I reached a conclusion about energy in the future for myself; I read. I read a whole lot, from a wide vareity of people, industry figures, investors, economists, college professors, geologists and career peakists and anti peakists.

When you see someone state that X must be true but that Y coming from the same person must be baloney you wonder how they reached thier conclusions about both X and Y. My only explanation at the time is that they did the required reading on neither X or Y.

If you had carefully considered the multiple sources of opinion, and studied the data of oil decline, energy return etc etc and reached a favourable conclusion of peak oil theory as it applies globally, how could you apply the same rigor to a vastly studied problem such as climate change and say idiotic things about credability when people mention it as a problem in passing ? You cant. You’ve either done the required reading or you havent.

If you have the kind of mind that seeks data and considered expert opinion, not hype, mythos and rhetoric, you can’t get away with not studying multiple arguments and data on reems of different topics.

People get caught out all the time, the key is when emotion is involved, the best example is that of people who deride climate change deniers but wont vaccinate their kids. They cannot see both problems as having considerable factual scientific arguments and data. This could be because the issue with childhood vaccination is un-approachable because its an emotional trigger, or that you’ve accepted climate science without actually seeking raw papers and data. (hence scientific evidence might actually carry little weight in altering your opinions)

The anylitical rational mind fairs better because it knows arguments, whether very uncomfortable ones with conclusions you wont like, or ones you feel positive about because they have conclusions which align with your “self described values“, require data.

But then we’re not all rational individuals are we.


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