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

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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

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262. vis0
4:13 AM GMT on November 22, 2012
Very good reading.

BTW Earth has 2 attics and 2 basements...sadly some use most of it as an outhouse.
Member Since: December 15, 2006 Posts: 262 Comments: 593
261. AussieStorm
4:09 AM GMT on November 22, 2012
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:

Mount Tongariro Eruption. Source: TVNZ

A Geonet webcam at Mt. Tongariro has captured spectacular footage of yesterday's eruption, which lasted approximately 5 minutes, ejecting an ash column and plume some 3-4 km above the Te Maari crater. There have not been any reports of injuries or damage, beyond a light dusting of ash falling near the volcano.



Link


Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15962
260. CaicosRetiredSailor
4:04 AM GMT on November 22, 2012

Mount Tongariro Eruption. Source: TVNZ

A Geonet webcam at Mt. Tongariro has captured spectacular footage of yesterday's eruption, which lasted approximately 5 minutes, ejecting an ash column and plume some 3-4 km above the Te Maari crater. There have not been any reports of injuries or damage, beyond a light dusting of ash falling near the volcano.



Link
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6069
259. CybrTeddy
4:01 AM GMT on November 22, 2012
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Went to Nea’s Thanksgiving Party last year. Didn’t work out well with the pies…




Reminds me of the blog during hurricane season once someone brings up Global Warming.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24553
258. AussieStorm
4:01 AM GMT on November 22, 2012
Quoting Dakster:


Sewers are the other 900lb gorilla in the room. Another 3-4 billion to fix those aging pipes. Already had some 'blow-outs'... Avoid the brown sea cucumber in the ocean.


Link
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15962
257. Dakster
3:57 AM GMT on November 22, 2012
Quoting mitthbevnuruodo:


got that right...between sea and salt grit on roads here, a BIG problem here is rust on the undercarriage. And likely part of why nowhere near as many classic cars about here as the US.

Bit scary that particular prob though...would make me worry having the tides come up from the sewer!


Sewers are the other 900lb gorilla in the room. Another 3-4 billion to fix those aging pipes. Already had some 'blow-outs'... Avoid the brown sea cucumber in the ocean.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10655
256. VaStormGuy
3:36 AM GMT on November 22, 2012
Reading back a few pages... Faux News? Really? Nobody but the Tea Party believes the lies they spew.

To be fair...MSNBC isn't much better from the other end of the political spectrum either.
Member Since: October 30, 2012 Posts: 1 Comments: 83
255. Grothar
3:19 AM GMT on November 22, 2012


Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27125
254. GeoffreyWPB
3:17 AM GMT on November 22, 2012
Quoting KoritheMan:


I checked your weather expecting to see 65-70F. I was about to call you a wuss, until I realized "Hey wait, it actually is cold."


Lol..Born and raised here Kori. 50's is jacket weather.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11520
253. GeoffreyWPB
3:14 AM GMT on November 22, 2012
Happy Thanksgiving to all members of WU! Of course, I want to be the first...

Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11520
252. KoritheMan
3:13 AM GMT on November 22, 2012
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Took the pup for a walk. It is chilly out there! (Lake Worth, Fl.)


I checked your weather expecting to see 65-70F. I was about to call you a wuss, until I realized "Hey wait, it actually is cold."
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 602 Comments: 21231
251. Grothar
3:13 AM GMT on November 22, 2012
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27125
Quoting wxchaser97:
The last 4 GFS runs have all shown accumulating snowfall in the 162-168hrs time frame in SE MI, 6z and 18z showed the most. This isn't fantasy land and snow could happen, especially with a more negative NAO.

18z at 162hrs:


06z at 168hrs:

I don't like that idea.. not enough snow for me :(
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wxchaser97:
The last 4 GFS runs have all shown accumulating snowfall in the 162-168hrs time frame in SE MI, 6z and 18z showed the most. This isn't fantasy land and snow could happen, especially with a more negative NAO.

18z at 162hrs:


06z at 168hrs:


How do atmospheric conditions look to be setting up for this winter. With the NAO and other factors.. how do they compare to recent years? Anyone?
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I thought I would share this.....

Scott McPartland
Well this takes the cake...just received this email from some nut job woman about my appearance on BBC3. What's alarming is that there really are some people that believe this crap:

hello:
i viewed your coverage of Sandy on hulu tonight, having been a new york resident for 55 years, until 10 years ago.
as an aware, conscious citizen, i am aware of things like HAARP.

underground news reported a 7.7 earthquake up in alaska at the inception of sandy, where the haarp machine is located. it is said to have been caused by them and they were interacting with sandy to direct her course and fury.

the cold front you talked about directly from that geographic location was what forced Sandy's path straight into new jersey and staten island, not to mention the hurricane (thomas?) off shore that blacked her retreat.

what do you know about haarp's interaction with sandy? are you still free to discuss it or not?

since all major media is gov controlled, no one will hear a word on this subject. living in asheville now, the minute i heard 'super storm' and nyc, i KNEW haarp was involved, which means gov turning against it's people.

this is supposed to be a BY THE PEOPLE society, not an AGAINST THE PEOPLE.

thanks for listening.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15962
Took the pup for a walk. It is chilly out there! (Lake Worth, Fl.)
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11520
Last night was the fourth night in a row when there was ice fog persisting after about midnight to around 9 am, reducing the visibility to less than 100 metres (~300 ft). Interestingly, this pattern of fog extends all the way to Chicago. Further west, places in South Dakota, just ahead of a cold front, are experiencing temperatures 30F above normal--and widespread accumulating snow is possible across South Ontario before the end of the month.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
But maybe not for long.

Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15962
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
58 now in WPB!:)


Happy Birthday.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27125
Quoting WoodyFL:


I wouldnt worry, i've never seen gro get mad at anybody


How long you been on?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27125
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Evening Wood. Long time...no see.


hi, Geo. Just lurking.
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58 now in WPB!:)
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Quoting Dakster:


All in good fun Grothar...


I wouldnt worry, i've never seen gro get mad at anybody
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
All quiet on the Western front.

Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15962
Went to Nea’s Thanksgiving Party last year. Didn’t work out well with the pies…

Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11520
Quoting mitthbevnuruodo:


got that right...between sea and salt grit on roads here, a BIG problem here is rust on the undercarriage. And likely part of why nowhere near as many classic cars about here as the US.

Bit scary that particular prob though...would make me worry having the tides come up from the sewer!

I guess it really does show how low above sea level Florida is. A little bit higher sea level can make sea water come out of storm water drains inland.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15962
Quoting Dakster:


All in good fun Grothar...


:)
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27125
Quoting Dakster:


They are working on fixing it, but it is going to cost a couple of billion to fix it.

Bad news for drivers is that it is SALT water that they are driving thru, not really good for the underside of vehicles.


got that right...between sea and salt grit on roads here, a BIG problem here is rust on the undercarriage. And likely part of why nowhere near as many classic cars about here as the US.

Bit scary that particular prob though...would make me worry having the tides come up from the sewer!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


I think that remark deserves a twit.


All in good fun Grothar...
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10655
Quoting AussieStorm:
This is crazy.



John Morales @JohnMoralesNBC6
TIME LAPSE of constant problem that seems to get worse every year in Miami Beach. Tidal flood comes up through drains http://ow.ly/fufW5


They are working on fixing it, but it is going to cost a couple of billion to fix it.

Bad news for drivers is that it is SALT water that they are driving thru, not really good for the underside of vehicles.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10655
Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:
The best and most powerful "metaphors" are inspired, and come from a place far beyond the complete understanding of the writer or artist who uses them.


Sounds deep.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 602 Comments: 21231
231. etxwx
Oooops...

Japan's new nuclear-proof robot gets stage fright

YOKOHAMA, Japan | Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:39am EST
(Reuters) - A Japanese robot designed to withstand high levels of radiation and extreme heat at damaged nuclear plants such as Fukushima froze on Wednesday on its first public demonstration. Despite being home to the largest number of industrial robots in the world, Japan did not have a device capable of entering the damaged Fukushima nuclear facility after last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami. Instead, Japan brought in U.S. robots to survey the extent of the damage inside the reactor buildings. Toshiba Corp unveiled Japan's own nuclear-proof robot on Wednesday, a four-legged device able to carry up to 20 kg of equipment and capable of lifting itself up if it falls over on uneven surfaces and amid debris.

During the demonstration, the robot experienced a case of stage fright. The shuffling Tetrapod locked up and suddenly froze after it tried to balance itself, forcing technicians to carry it away.

It is the second time such Japanese robotic technology has experienced problems. Last October, a crawling robot developed by the Chiba Institute of Technology lost connection with operators and was abandoned inside Fukushima's No. 2 reactor building.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WoodyFL:
Im not a big fan of al Gore, but that thing has been going around for years. If you tell a story tell the whole story. Heres a part and a link to the article.


Link


Evening Wood. Long time...no see.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11520
229. yoboi
Energy Comparisons Between Al Gore's and President George Bush's Homes-Truth!


Summary of the eRumor:
Descriptions of two homes, one an energy-consuming mansion and the other an energy-conserving ranch house. The eRumor says the energy-consuming one is that of Al Gore who is the champion of the environment. The other is President George Bush's Texas ranch.

The Truth:
The comparisons are fairly accurate, according to published reports.

An investigation by the Tennessee Center For Policy Research published in February, 2006, focused on Al Gore's 10,000 square foot house in Belle Meade area of Nashville. The former senator and former presidential candidate has been a leading voice for the environment and energy conservation. His global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth won an Oscar for Best Documentary for 2006. In the film he urges consumers to conserve energy by reducing the amount of electricity used at home.

Using figures from the Nashville Electric service, the report says that Gore's house used 221,000 221,000 kWh of electricity in 2006, more than 20 times the national average of 10,656 kWh. The report says the gas usage of Gore's home is high as well and that Gore spent more than $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills in 2006.

An article in Cowboys And Indians magazine focused on the 4,000 square foot Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas. It paints an entirely different picture than that of the Gore mansion.. George Bush is described as saying that when he bought the property, he wanted something in middle America so he could "stay in touch with real Americans." Architect David Heyman was asked to design the single story home. Bush said he wanted everything on the ranch to blend with the environment. The passive-solar house is built of honey-colored native limestone and positioned to absorb winter sunlight, warming the interior walkways and walls of the 4,000-square-foot residence. Geothermal heat pumps circulate water through pipes buried 300 feet deep in the ground. These waters pass through a heat exchange system that keeps the home warm in winter and cool in summer," according to the article. "A 25,000-gallon underground cistern collects rainwater gathered from roof urns; wastewater from sinks, toilets, and showers cascades into underground purifying tanks and is also funneled into the cistern. The water from the cistern is then used to irrigate the landscaping around the four-bedroom home. Laura Bush insisted on the use of indigenous grasses, shrubs, and flowers to complete the exterior treatment of the home.."

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Quoting yoboi:



thanks did not know bush jr's house used less electricity than gores with same square footage....


What's your source for the Bush usage? I couldn't find him mentioned in the Snopes article.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The best and most powerful "metaphors" are inspired, and come from a place far beyond the complete understanding of the writer or artist who uses them.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
225. etxwx
With S. Korean carbon market on horizon, reforestation project kicks off in border village
By Kim Hyun, Contributing writer

GOSEONG, South Korea, Nov. 22 (Yonhap News Agency)
Excerpt: - With waves of colorful autumn hills, tall and shiny Mongolian oaks and neatly tended vegetable farms, this remote village of border county Goseong, Gangwon Province, is emblematic of bucolic charm, but it has an eerie edge. Military trucks occasionally pass by and a bankrupt ski resort stands idle along with closed rental shops and restaurants.

So it adds another twist to the rural atmosphere that Korea's first-ever forest-based climate change project kicked off in this village, named Heul-ri, in October. There lies an abandoned cattle farm, now full of shrubs and weeds, which will be transformed into a forest that generates income for residents and carbon credits for industry, according to the so-called "afforestation and reforestation clean development mechanism" (A/R CDM) jointly operated by SK Forest Co., a Hwaseong-based major forestry company, and the state-run administrator Korea Forest Service.

The reforestation project commenced a month before a landmark climate change law took effect in Asia's fourth-largest economy as its latest green growth initiative. The Act on Allocation and Trading of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, effective as of Nov. 15, mandates cuts in gas emissions starting in 2015 and subsequently will create an official market for credits for carbon emissions at the national level. Carbon credits produced in clean development mechanisms, like the one in Heul-ri, can become money.

With no precedent A/R CDM case yet in Korea and the gloomy outlook of carbon trading markets around the world, the project operators put an emphasis on its research potentials rather than on commercial values. If successful, the case in Heul-ri may serve as a springboard for making inroads into reforestation in North Korea, as its geographical proximity means similar vegetation.

"This project is more of a symbolic one," said Kwon Min-soo, manager of SK Forest's business team that will implement and finance the 75-ha project over the next 60 years with government support. "Our financial team was against it, because there's little or no business prospect in itself."

The project operators chose this area for their clean development project because Goseong is considered one of the poorest counties in Gangwon Province, mainly due to its location. A large swath of the county is tied to the demilitarized zone bisecting the South and the North, effectively blocking any possibility of large-scale development.


More details on this project here.
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224. yoboi
Quoting WoodyFL:
Im not a big fan of al Gore, but that thing has been going around for years. If you tell a story tell the whole story. Heres a part and a link to the article.


Link



thanks did not know bush jr's house used less electricity than gores with same square footage....
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Quoting bappit:
Dr. M's blog post talks about headlines and narratives.

A headline tries to plug us into a narrative. The storm names that TWC is trying are attempts at developing headlines for their narratives.

Headlines do not have to be truthful to work. If they get us to respond with curiosity, that's enough.

I didn't even read Dr Masters blog, cause it doesn't interest me that he's doing a book review. IMHO, he just did a blog for the sake of doing a blog.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15962
Im not a big fan of al Gore, but that thing has been going around for years. If you tell a story tell the whole story. Heres a part and a link to the article.


Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Dr. M's blog post talks about headlines and narratives.

A headline tries to plug us into a narrative. The storm names that TWC is trying are attempts at developing headlines for their narratives.

Headlines do not have to be truthful to work. If they get us to respond with curiosity, that's enough.
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220. yoboi
NASHVILLE (AP) — Al Gore, a leading voice in the fight against global warming, is being called a hypocrite by a conservative group that claims his Nashville mansion uses too much electricity.
A spokeswoman for Gore said the former vice president invests in enough renewable energy to make up for the home's power consumption.

Gore's documentary filmAn Inconvenient Truth, which chronicled his campaign against global warming, won an Academy Award on Sunday.

The next day, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research put out a news release saying Gore was not doing enough to reduce his own consumption of electricity. The group disputes whether global warming is a serious problem.

"We wanted to see if he was living by his own recommendations and walking the walk," said Drew Johnson, president of the think tank, which pushes for conservative economic issues.

Utility records show the Gore family paid an average monthly electric bill of about $1,200 last year for its 10,000-square-foot home.

The Gores used about 191,000 kilowatt hours in 2006, according to bills reviewed by The Associated Press spanning the period from Feb. 3, 2006, to Jan. 5. That is far more than the typical Nashville household, which uses about 15,600 kilowatt-hours per year.

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Happy Thanksgiving to all.

GFS in the 8 day period is showing a changeover from rain to snow from the Ohio Valley to the Northeast. Tis the season and with the negative NAO forthcoming I hope the east coasters get their wish this season.

Link
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218. yoboi
www.dieselbombers.com/6-7l-performance/53533-how-do -i-get-my-truck-smoke-more.html


interesting what people are doing
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This is crazy.



John Morales @JohnMoralesNBC6
TIME LAPSE of constant problem that seems to get worse every year in Miami Beach. Tidal flood comes up through drains http://ow.ly/fufW5
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15962
216. yoboi
Quoting AussieStorm:

Current time is.........

11:45am Thursday the 22nd of November 2012



thanks i wanted to call an old friend there..
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Quoting yoboi:


what time is it over there?

Current time is.........

11:45am Thursday the 22nd of November 2012
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15962
Quoting Neapolitan:
You're clearly missing the point. Of course Fox would avoid airing a story on truthful scientific research that suggests that Fox avoids airing stories on truthful scientific research. And that means I had to search elsewhere.

As my kids would say: "Well, duh." ;-)

I'm finished with the pies (save for a few touches), and now the three dressing loaves are in the oven. I also just started the first rise on the dough for eight dozen Parker House rolls. In an hour or so, I'll unbag the turkeys, truss them up, and set them to chill/dry overnight in preparation for going in the oven in the morning. Then I'll form the rolls and cover them for their second rise. After that, a quick ride around the neighborhood to drop off the pies I'm not sharing with family. Then back home to bake the rolls, have a beer, and write my to-do list for tomorrow. The home stretch is in sight!

Serious Question for ya mate!

Do you think people that watch only FOX News are stupid?

Are you using gas or electric to cook your turkey? Is it to cold to walk around your neighbourhood to drop off those pies? Is your car electric or a hybrid?

Serious answers only please and try not to reply with back handed insults also.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15962
213. yoboi
Quoting AussieStorm:

You wanted to get your point across so much you said the same thing twice.


Slow down, we ain't finish technically with the 2012 season yet.


what time is it over there?
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Quoting hurricane2013:
Why don't we just discuss ENSO & the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season? Because the setup this year seems to be interesting. For the first time since 2004 I can say that we are in a very weak "Modiki".
Quoting hurricane2013:
Why don't we just discuss ENSO & the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season? Because the setup this year seems to be interesting. For the first time since 2004 I can say that we are in a very weak "Modiki".

You wanted to get your point across so much you said the same thing twice.


Slow down, we ain't finish technically with the 2012 season yet.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15962

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

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