Our Ignorance is Breathtaking – We Should be Humble

Donna Laframboise at nofrakkingconsensus.com has a great post with links to a TED Talk by Swedish global health professor, Hans Rosling. Please take the time to watch the video. Very entertaining and enlightening.

Cheers and Happy Holidays.

Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

We humans consistently miss the big picture. The world is improving dramatically, but our brains are addicted to worry and fear.

Last week’s edition of Nature includes a highly readable article about Swedish global health professor, Hans Rosling. He makes fantastic videos that help us see the world more clearly. (I’ve written about some of them here and here.)

Embedded in that Nature article is a remarkable TED talk, filmed in Berlin two years ago. The first 10 minutes are eye-popping.

Using multiple choice questions, Rosling demonstrates that most of us are wildly misinformed about big picture trends. Since each multiple choice question has three possible answers, a chimp choosing at random would get the correct answer 33% of the time. But humans routinely score worse than the chimp.

Rosling begins by talking about those who perish due to natural disasters. Over the past century, he asks, has the…

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About Bob Tisdale

Research interest: the long-term aftereffects of El Niño and La Nina events on global sea surface temperature and ocean heat content. Author of the ebook Who Turned on the Heat? and regular contributor at WattsUpWithThat.
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4 Responses to Our Ignorance is Breathtaking – We Should be Humble

  1. chaamjamal says:

    Our advances in science and technology have corrupted our ego to the point where we are unable to say “we don’t know” and to the point where we feel not only that we can do so but that it is our duty to micromanage nature. Here are some examples of “don’t knows” that have been magically converted into certain knowledge.

    1. no evidence that atmos co2 level is responsive to fossil fuel emissions

    2. no evidence that warming can be attributed to fossil fuel emissions

    3. Statistical fudging in climate science to make ignorance look like scientific knowledge

  2. Wim Röst says:

    It is great looking at the FACTS of Hans Rosling. His message ‘what we think that is bad, mostly isn’t bad but on the contrary is very positive’ is correct, looking at the facts from reality. For his graphics he used all available reliable facts and they all point upward.

    The question remains why human beings are reacting that strong on negative news and why they all easily ‘believe’ the negative point of views, even when ‘facts’ would give a different perspective.

    The answer is given by Peter H. Diamandis in the book “Abundance – the future is better than you think”. At page 33 he writes “… our early warning system evolved in an era of immediacy, when threats were of the tiger-in- the-bush variety”. During the last hundred thousand or more years, the consequences of ‘not reacting’ were clear: who didn’t directly react on fear (= trusted too much), didn’t survive. And his genes were lost for the generations to come. Therefore, we (the descendants of the survivors) are all build to react first (and strongly) on ‘danger’.

    FEAR STOPS THINKING. Therefore, everyone who wants to influence the masses first points at a ‘danger’ or, even worse, ‘a possible danger that isn’t controllable by people in the street’. And starts to ‘prove the danger’ with talks and/or virtual reality. After feeling some kind of ‘fear’, people will react by a ‘stop thinking’ and ‘follow the leader’ pattern. That’s what we have seen in the ‘Global Warming Hoax’ as well.

    Politicians and others exploit this fear. A good example is this little video, an excerpt from the Inconvenient Truth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-SV13UQXdk

    In the video, the real facts were omitted. For example: the Netherlands (as shown in the video) would ALREADY have been drowned for hundreds of years when there wouldn’t have been dikes. And the expected 20 cm of sea level rise this century is easily to overcome by raising the dikes with another 20 cm.

    I may recommend the book ‘Abundance’ to everyone. When we leave ‘fear’ behind us, near endless possibility’s will wait us in the future. It is realistic to have us lead by ‘facts’ and ‘possibiltity’s’, because facts show that in reality, all isn’t that bad as people think it is. On the contrary.

    To watch the video’s of Hans Rosneft is a very good start.

  3. Alec aka Daffy Duck says:

    Hi bob…
    Off topic, happened to see this:

    Published 14 December 2016 • © 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd
    Environmental Research Letters, Volume 11,Number 12

    A connection from Arctic stratospheric ozone to El Niño-Southern oscillation
    [skipping to part of their conclusion…
    ” A negative ASO anomaly cools the Arctic stratosphere, strengthening the stratospheric circulation. The downward propagation of a negative stratospheric geopotential height anomaly, which reaches the surface as a negative NPO anomaly in about one month, initiates a positive VM phase over the North Pacific. The evolution of the positive VM anomaly reaches the equatorial Pacific and strengthens an El Niño event when other conditions for its occurrence are ripe. The high-latitude stratosphere to troposphere pathway and the extratropical to tropical climate teleconnection take more than a year and a half. A positive ASO anomaly would have the opposite effect, and has the potential to strengthen a La Niña event via the same pathway. …”

  4. Bob Tisdale says:

    Thanks, Alec. Interesting paper. Need to digest more of it.

    Happy holidays.

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