The Overton window and its relation to reality

The Overton window and its relation to reality
The Overton window and its relation to reality

This figure by Michael Tobis should have been published when the IPCC AR5 was released as a reminder of how skewed the public discussion of climate change really is. But I had forgotten about it and it took a twitter conversation/debate between Steve Easterbrook and Richard Betts to jog my memory.

3 thoughts on “The Overton window and its relation to reality

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  1. Incidentally, is it just me or does it seem telling that Richard Betts needs to go back 6 years to find an example of ‘alarmism’ in the mainstream media? (And is that example, in the scheme of things, not all that alarmist or dumb?)

    1. Nope, it’s not just you. He had four examples, but provided no explanation of what was wrong with any of them. I looked at all four and failed to find them substantially alarmist, at least not obviously so, then responded with my reasoning. That took several tweets for each. His response again avoided the substance, instead suggesting that such a quantity of tweets might be interpreted as ranting. He then returned to what he seemed to think was still a good example, a 2009 study extrapolating a possible 300,000 annual added deaths due to climate change (a number he seemed to think ridiculous on its face, but I observed amounted to only about 3% of global deaths), and asked me if the number was verified. I said no, but pointed out that the study noted right up front that there was no means of verifying the extrapolation. There could well be something wrong with the methodology, but it sounds like Richard wasn’t going to take the time to consider those details, preferring instead to rely on an argument from personal incredulity. Not too respectable IMO.

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