Lessons on Persuasion from Jesus, Shakespeare, Lincoln, and Lady Gaga: a Book Review

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:46 PM GMT on November 21, 2012

Share this Blog
40
+

With a name like "Language Intelligence: Lessons on Persuasion from Jesus, Shakespeare, Lincoln, and Lady Gaga", a book with a title like that compels one to pick it up and see what the heck the author is talking about. And Joe Romm's new book on how to communicate doesn't disappoint--it's a thoughtful and compelling look at the techniques used by some of history's great communicators to help persuade. Joe Romm is author of the climateprogress.org blog, the most visited climate change blog on the Internet, and the main blog that I use to stay current on climate change and energy news. Romm defines Language Intelligence as "the ability to convince people of something both intellectually and emotionally, at both a conscious and unconscious level." He goes on to say, "If facts were sufficient to persuade people, then experts in science would rule the world. But facts are not, and scientists do not. We filter out all the facts that do not match our views." At the heart of great communication lies great story telling, and Romm give us these tips on how to tell a story people will want to read:

- Write a great headline: Newspaper readers read 56% of the headlines, but only 13% of the stories are at least half-read. Headlines are even more important on-line, since they are what show up on Google searches and tweets. An example of one the most re-tweeted headlines Romm used in 2011: "Mother Nature is Just Getting Warmed Up: June 2011 Heat Records Crushing Cold Records by 13 to 1" (Romm uses a pun and personification to help create an eye-catching headline.)

- Short words are the best words.

- Slogans sell.

- If you don't repeat, you can't compete. Repetition and rhyming help people remember your message.

- The golden rule of speech-making is: "Tell 'em what you're going to tell 'em; tell 'em; then tell 'em what you told 'em."

- Repeated distortions and smears are as effective as repeated truths, so beware of these sorts of attacks.

- If you want to de-bunk a myth, you need to focus on stating the truth, not repeating the myth.

- If you want to be more noticed and remembered, use more figures of speech (metaphors.) Examples of metaphors I've used include comparing our melting Arctic to the attic of a house that is on fire (Earth's attic is on fire: Arctic sea ice bottoms out at a new record low) and comparing the impact of global warming on extreme weather to the impact steroids have on a baseball slugger (Extreme events of 2011: climate change a major factor in some, but not all).

- Create an extended metaphor when you have a big task at hand. Countless books and articles underscore that extended metaphors are at the core of human thinking.



Video 1. National Center for Atmospheric Research scientist Dr. Jerry Meehl uses a metaphor to explain how climate change's impact on extreme weather is similar to how steroids affect a baseball slugger's ability to hit a ball out of the park.

At 183 pages, the book only took me about two hours to read, and I was very glad I did. It was very entertaining and informative, and anyone involved in public communication can learn from this book. I give it my highest rating: four stars out of four. Language Intelligence: Lessons on Persuasion from Jesus, Shakespeare, Lincoln, and Lady Gaga is $9.67 from Amazon.com.

Have a great Thanksgiving Holiday, everyone, and I'll have a new post for you on Friday.

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 312 - 262

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11Blog Index

This looks a bit impressive..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:



Beryl at landfall:



Even if those winds were being reported at that level, the satellite signature was less than stellar, and I am relatively certain that the surface to flight-level wind ratio was a bit lower than normal.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19119
Quoting KoritheMan:


That was reported several hours before landfall, after which northerly shear kicked in.



Look at the precipitation swath relative to the storm track. Good enough?






Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15749
Quoting KoritheMan:


That was reported several hours before landfall, after which northerly shear kicked in.



Look at the precipitation swath relative to the storm track. Good enough?

Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

There is some evidence to support Beryl briefly being a hurricane right before landfall, but it will likely end up not enough for an upgrade.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

80 to 85 knot flight-level winds as found by recon, and as reported by doppler radar.


That was reported several hours before landfall, after which northerly shear kicked in.



Look at the precipitation swath relative to the storm track. Good enough?
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19119
I'm not liking this again. A supercell storm.




Loop
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15749
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It wasn't exactly surprising. The low pressure area was given a high chance for tropical cyclone formation on September 2, and the outlook stated that "only a slight increase in organization could result in the formation of a tropical storm." Operationally, the NHC did not think it would last long enough to warrant a name...and it only lasted for 24 hours.

As for Jose, it should be noted that the Tropical Cyclone Report states that, "the convective organization of Jose only barely met the standards necessary to consider the storm a tropical cyclone." The storm did have convection just before and as it was named, but strong vertical wind shear got rid of that quickly.


ok... tnks
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:

Like?

80 to 85 knot flight-level winds as found by recon, and as reported by doppler radar.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This is Beryl right before the center makes landfall. While it would be cool to have a May hurricane hitting the US, I don't think Beryl will be upgraded to one.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 123 Comments: 7886
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


How come last year we had a surprising unmanned storm added?? No one said anything about it.
Look at Jose again.

It wasn't exactly surprising. The low pressure area was given a high chance for tropical cyclone formation on September 2, and the outlook stated that "only a slight increase in organization could result in the formation of a tropical storm." Operationally, the NHC did not think it would last long enough to warrant a name...and it only lasted for 24 hours.

As for Jose, it should be noted that the Tropical Cyclone Report states that, "the convective organization of Jose only barely met the standards necessary to consider the storm a tropical cyclone." The storm did have convection just before and as it was named, but strong vertical wind shear got rid of that quickly.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Area of interest in the Bay of Bengal north of Sri Lanka.. South Indian Ocean.South Pacific.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


Central Pac... It's not impossible like you said
The Central Pacific? Considering they use the same list every year (or at least until they exhaust the names on a particular list, which takes awhile), I think you've grossly confused the terms "east" and "central".
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19119
@ 297...unnamed storm I meant...

there is something wrong with the blog...I can't quote or fix a comment
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

There is some evidence to support Beryl briefly being a hurricane right before landfall
Like?
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19119
Unsettled Central Pacific.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

There is some evidence to support Beryl briefly being a hurricane right before landfall, but it will likely end up not enough for an upgrade.

There are no plans to add any operationally-unclassified tropical cyclones in post-season analysis. The May invest did not sustain convection for a sufficient amount of time.

Don't expect any real changes for Nadine except perhaps an earlier post-tropical cyclone transition.

Ernesto will be bumped up some in intensity based on land observations and satellite intensity estimates.

Not sure on Michael.

Sandy will be upgraded to a major.


How come last year we had a surprising unmanned storm added?? No one said anything about it.
Look at Jose again.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

There is some evidence to support Beryl briefly being a hurricane right before landfall, but it will likely end up not enough for an upgrade.

There are no plans to add any operationally-unclassified tropical cyclones in post-season analysis. The May invest did not sustain convection for a sufficient amount of time.

Don't expect any real changes for Nadine except perhaps an earlier post-tropical cyclone transition.

Ernesto will be bumped up some in intensity based on land observations and satellite intensity estimates.

Not sure on Michael.

Sandy will be upgraded to a major.

Thank you Mr. I have friends at the NHC. Though I do agree with what you said.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 123 Comments: 7886
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


I just don't see why it stopped intensifying after it reached 110 mph...he was doing well...That just does not fit in for me...
absolutely, Sandy for major

Also I expect that Invest we had in May to be classified bringing the season to 20 storms...ughhh!!!

There is some evidence to support Beryl briefly being a hurricane right before landfall, but it will likely end up not enough for an upgrade.

There are no plans to add any operationally-unclassified tropical cyclones in post-season analysis. The May invest did not sustain convection for a sufficient amount of time.

Don't expect any real changes for Nadine except perhaps an earlier post-tropical cyclone transition.

Ernesto will be bumped up some in intensity based on land observations and satellite intensity estimates.

Not sure on Michael.

Sandy will be upgraded to a major.

Gordon will remain a 95 knot Category 2.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


Central Pac...

That would suck for Hawaii, but be interesting to watch from afar.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 123 Comments: 7886
Quoting KoritheMan:

In which basin?


Central Pac... It's not impossible like you said
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


oh ok...I want to see Alpha and Beta next year I missed those
???
In which basin?
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19119
Quoting KoritheMan:

Exactamundo.


we shall see
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:


Because it's fun. Perhaps you should loosen up. Live a little.


oh ok...I want to see Alpha and Beta next year I missed those
???
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Quoting AussieStorm:

Global warming and El Nino could help those chances.
Possibly. I don't think we know enough about how global warming is going to alter the planetary circulation/jet stream patterns to make that claim with any degree of certainty, however. The waters will warm, but what else might happen?
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19119
Quoting wxchaser97:


I don't believe Beryl will be upgraded to a hurricane. Sandy should be upgraded to a major hurricane. I am iffy on Gordan becoming a major though.


I just don't see why it stopped intensifying after it reached 110 mph...he was doing well...That just does not fit in for me...
absolutely, Sandy for major

Also I expect that Invest we had in May to be classified bringing the season to 20 storms...ughhh!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


the most Important one... SANDY right Kori??
Exactamundo.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19119
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


yes...like we get to the w name every year.???.. why do you even bother for this?


Because it's fun. Perhaps you should loosen up. Live a little.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19119
A little more than a week left for this rather unexpected active season...I don't expect any other surprise
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
I read on NY times after Sandy came about the issuance of warnings or not...they didn't go deep into it...
They said that currently NHChas been working on the analysis for Isaac...I think it would be up in a couple of weeks guys...

Post analysis I'm interested for...

Beryl - for hurricane
Ernesto - for cat 2
Gordon - for major
Michael - for 115 mph
Nadine - for being tropical when declared otherwise after becoming subtropical
Paul
Calotta
Miriam
Fabio
Isaac

the most Important one... SANDY right Kori??


I don't believe Beryl will be upgraded to a hurricane. Sandy should be upgraded to a major hurricane. I am iffy on Gordan becoming a major though.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 123 Comments: 7886
I read on NY times after Sandy came about the issuance of warnings or not...they didn't go deep into it...
They said that currently NHChas been working on the analysis for Isaac...I think it would be up in a couple of weeks guys...

Post analysis I'm interested for...

Beryl - for hurricane
Ernesto - for cat 2
Gordon - for major
Michael - for higher than 115 mph
Nadine - for being tropical when declared otherwise after becoming subtropical
Paul
Calotta
Miriam
Fabio
Isaac

the most Important one... SANDY right Kori??
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This is the 5th run in a row at least of a snow system in SE MI, this time 3-4".
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 123 Comments: 7886
Quoting KoritheMan:


Low but not impossible. Certainly a better chance than in the Atlantic. In addition to 1985, we've reached the 'W' storm in the East Pacific one other time, 1992.

Global warming and El Nino could help those chances.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15749
Quoting KoritheMan:


I didn't say they did, so I retain my five bucks.

Or you and me could bet again...
...but we know what happened the last time.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 123 Comments: 7886
Quoting KoritheMan:


Low but not impossible. Certainly a better chance than in the Atlantic. In addition to 1985, we've reached the 'W' storm in the East Pacific one other time, 1992.


yes...like we get to the w name every year.???.. why do you even bother for this?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


Give up the $5...low chance of happening


Low but not impossible. Certainly a better chance than in the Atlantic. In addition to 1985, we've reached the 'W' storm in the East Pacific one other time, 1992.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19119
Quoting KoritheMan:


Apparently it's already happened? Dammit, now the joke's not as fresh.


Give up the $5...low chance of happening
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


if we ever get to the W name..I doubt it...


Apparently it's already happened? Dammit, now the joke's not as fresh.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19119
Quoting KoritheMan:
I suddenly have the irresistible urge to see 'Waldo' appear on the 2015 list for the East Pacific so I can do a "Where's Waldo?" joke. Five bucks says the NHC does it too.

Link


How about this? (NOT a real advisory)

...THE BIG QUESTION NOW IS...WHERE'S WALDO? WELL, WALDO IS CURRENTLY LOCATED 515 MILES SW OF MEXICO AS A STRONG TROPICAL STORM. THE STORM HAS STRONG CONVECTION, WITH BOTH RED AND WHITE BANDS APPEARING IN AND AROUND THE CDO ON THE RBTOP IMAGERY. HOWEVER, WALDO HAS NOT BEEN EASY TO LOCATE, AS MICROWAVE SHOWS THE ORGANIZATION IS NOT THAT GREAT IN THE CORE...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

The NHC doesn't control tropical cyclone names, so you'd lose that five bucks.


I didn't say they did, so I retain my five bucks.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19119
Quoting KoritheMan:
I suddenly have the irresistible urge to see 'Waldo' appear on the 2015 list for the East Pacific so I can do a "Where's Waldo?" joke. Five bucks says the NHC does it too.

Link


if we ever get to the W name..I doubt it...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
And it's on Like Donkey Kong



SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING - SOUTHEAST QUEENSLAND
for DAMAGING WIND and LARGE HAILSTONES
For people in parts of the
LOCKYER VALLEY,
IPSWICH CITY,
SOUTHERN DOWNS and
SCENIC RIM Council Areas.
Issued at 2:36 pm Thursday, 22 November 2012.
The Bureau of Meteorology warns that, at 2:35 pm, severe thunderstorms were detected on weather radar near Oakington. These thunderstorms are moving towards the north. They are forecast to affect Maryvale by 3:05 pm.
Damaging winds and large hailstones are likely.
Emergency Management Queensland advises that people should:
* Move your car under cover or away from trees.
* Secure loose outdoor items.
* Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees.
* Avoid using the telephone during a thunderstorm.
* Beware of fallen trees and powerlines.
* For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500.
The next warning is due to be issued by 3:40 pm.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15749
Quoting KoritheMan:
I suddenly have the irresistible urge to see 'Waldo' appear on the 2015 list for the East Pacific so I can do a "Where's Waldo?" joke. Five bucks says the NHC does it too.

Link


Dora was fun as well. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:
I suddenly have the irresistible urge to see 'Waldo' appear on the 2015 list for the East Pacific so I can do a "Where's Waldo?" joke. Five bucks says the NHC does it too.

Link

The NHC doesn't control tropical cyclone names, so you'd lose that five bucks.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:




is tis a nor'easter, clipper?? Not another one
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:
I suddenly have the irresistible urge to see 'Waldo' appear on the 2015 list for the East Pacific so I can do a "Where's Waldo?" joke. Five bucks says the NHC does it too.

Link


201 2
Aletta a-LET-ah
Bud buhd
Carlotta kar-LOT-uh
Daniel DAN-yuhl
Emilia ee-MILL-ya
Fabio FAH-bee-o
Gilma GIL-mah
Hector HEHK-tor
Ileana ill-ay-AH-nah
John jahn
Kristy KRIS-tee
Lane layne
Miriam MEER-yim
Norman NOR-muhn
Olivia uh-LIV-ee-uh
Paul pall
Rosa ROH-zuh
Sergio SIR-gee-oh
Tara TAIR-uh
Vicente vee-CEN-tay
Willa WIH-lah
Xavier ZAY-vee-ur
Yolanda yo-LAHN-da
Zeke zeek
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15749
I suddenly have the irresistible urge to see 'Waldo' appear on the 2015 list for the East Pacific so I can do a "Where's Waldo?" joke. Five bucks says the NHC does it too.

Link
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19119
266. beell
of sea level rise...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
step by step ... inch by inch ...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CybrTeddy:



Reminds me of the blog during hurricane season once someone brings up Global Warming.


GLOBAL WARMING!!! Slowly I turned.............
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23721
Why don't instead of spending billions on wars, we spend those billions on upgrading infrastructure including highways, the power grid, and sewer systems?

And give NASA and NOAA a few billion more while you're at it too.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
262. vis0
Very good reading.

BTW Earth has 2 attics and 2 basements...sadly some use most of it as an outhouse.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 312 - 262

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11Blog Index

Top of Page

About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.