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Category: Assertion

Climate Communications: Climate media coverage lacks facts, say researchers

Climate Communications: Climate media coverage lacks facts, say researchers

Two professors took a look at how the media has reported on the topic of climate and found that almost all news reports leave out critical and basic facts about climate. A corollary is that instead of reporting facts and the use of logic that supports anthropogenic climate change, most turn to propaganda methods such as appeal to authority, fear, name calling (“deniers”), get-on-the-bandwagon and so on. Incredibly, as I was writing this post The Nature Conservancy sent an email fundraising solicitation which illustrates the point: the first sentence of the email makes 4 demonstrably false claims to create fear about changes in climate. “Factfulness” teaches us how to detect when we are being misled – this turned out to be classic example of a charitable organization making exaggerated claims not supported by reputable science organizations (IPCC, NOAA, The Royal Society).

This post may be the first of several on how climate communications has been badly bungled by reliance on propaganda methods, rather than sticking with facts and logic.

Pseudo news: “More Utah women are graduating with STEM degrees, but not at the same rate as men”

Pseudo news: “More Utah women are graduating with STEM degrees, but not at the same rate as men”

A pseudo news story – one of many – proclaims not enough women are in “STEM” fields. This conclusion depends on how you define “STEM” fields. By leaving out many fields of “science”, they are looking primarly at “TE” – technology and engineering only. When all “S” (science) and “M” (math) are included, the discrepancies are not nearly as large. The root issue, though, is that many fields have a dominant gender – but this issue is ignored in favor of focusing exclusively on women in “TE” fields (while pretending this group is “STEM”). For example, about 90% of nurses, which employs millions of workers, are women – yet “health science” is typically excluded from the charts and data tables used to show us that women are not studying “STEM” – because they mean “TE”.

Fear is a powerful motivator in propaganda messaging: How its used to sell third party solar

Fear is a powerful motivator in propaganda messaging: How its used to sell third party solar

Third party companies offer to install solar PV arrays on your home and promise to save you money on your monthly electric utility costs. Bloomberg found they use a mix of false assertions, lies, cherry picking and fear as sales methods, to persuade homeowners to sign up and lease the solar PV system for decades. Over time, the lease costs increase such that the homeowner spends far more in the future, while the third party company collects large government subsidies. Few homeowners understand what they got in to. When they go to sell their home, the lease is transferred to the buyer – in effect, TPO solar PV arrays become a dead weight on the home’s future sales potential, particularly to informed buyers who understand the game.

The role played by propaganda in the public discussion of the #ACA #ObamaCare-Did you know the ACA has a pre-existing condition waiting period?

The role played by propaganda in the public discussion of the #ACA #ObamaCare-Did you know the ACA has a pre-existing condition waiting period?

Propaganda messaging played and continues to play an enormous role in the public’s view on the Affordable Care Act a.k.a. ObamaCare. For example, Democrats have made pre-existing condition exclusions the centerpiece of their 2018 public commentary on the ACA.

Yet, never explained is that most Americans already had protections against pre-existing condition exclusions – it was the individual market that did not have protections (details in the post). Further, contrary to what you have been led to believe, the ACA does, in fact, establish a pre-existing condition waiting period. The ACA did not eliminate pre-existing condition waiting periods (see post for details).

The propaganda messaging used the methods of Fear, Assertion, Lying and What You See Is All There Is and has been extraordinarily effective. The Republican opposition has been clumsy and largely counterproductive with utterly ineffective propaganda messaging of its own.

(This is a major update to a previously posted item on this topic – formatting, editing and a better explanation of the propaganda methods used have been done to improve the previous post and make it easier to understand.)

Fear and false assertion used to market a government law

Fear and false assertion used to market a government law

Obamacare was judged unconstitutional by a Federal judge today. In response, a number of politicians made comments such as this one: “Today’s ruling is an assault on 133 million Americans with preexisting conditions”. That claim, however, is false. It is not well known but HIPAA (passed in 1996) provided protections for many, and about half of the U.S. states enacted various protections against pre-existing condition exclusions. This was hidden by design. By implying (falsely) that 1/3d of the U.S. population would be denied health insurance, the method of fear is used to create political support.

Are social media posts badly misinformed? Probably

Are social media posts badly misinformed? Probably

In light of the survey finding most voters are badly misinformed on well known and popular public policy issues the same is likely true about social media posts. It is likely that more than half of political or policy oriented social media posts are incorrect. But depending on who makes the posts, and how many followers they have, their incorrect posts can be influential – and plant non factual and illogical constructions in the minds of their targets.

Part 8: Is Denmark a socialist country?

Part 8: Is Denmark a socialist country?

This blog analyzed a popular social media propaganda post that was widely distributed in 2016. The poster encouraged viewers to share if you wanted the U.S. to be just like Denmark. Nearly all the claims about Denmark, however, were false. Yet the poster was widely shared. Another popular meme is that Denmark is a socialist country and we should be just like Denmark. Except Denmark is not a socialist country – and that is according to the Prime Minister of Denmark.

Political propaganda drops all pretense of logical thinking #ACA #ObamaCare #MedicareForAll

Political propaganda drops all pretense of logical thinking #ACA #ObamaCare #MedicareForAll

“Faithfully executed, as the Constitution requires, the ACA was working and insurance markets were stable” – Andy Slavitt, former head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2015-2016. During the period from 2014 to 2016, the average premium went up by 106% according to the CMMS, and in 3 states average premiums went up by over 200%. This, he says, is a “stable” market. And he was in charge during most of that time frame. Prices continued to rise…

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