Cool dudes

by Judith Curry

So, who are the “cool dudes”?   Well, if you are reading this post, odds are that you are a “cool dude”.

Cool dudes:  the denial of climate change among conservative white males in the United States

Aaron McCright and  Riley Dunlap

article in press, Global Environmental Change.

The article is unavailable online, but I received a copy of the article and the press release via email.  From the press release:

Research Highlights

  • Conservative white males are more likely than other Americans to report climate change denial.
  • Conservative white males who self-report understanding global warming very well are even more likely.
  • Climate change denial is an example of identity-protective cognition.
  • System-justifying tendencies lead to climate change denial.
  • Climate change denial increased from 2001 to 2010.

Abstract

We examine whether conservative white males are more likely than are other adults in the U.S. general public to endorse climate change denial.  We draw theoretical and analytical guidance from the identity-protective cognition thesis explaining the white male effect and from recent political psychology scholarship documenting the heightened system-justification tendencies of political conservatives.  We utilize public opinion data from ten Gallup surveys from 2001 to 2010, focusing specifically on five indicators of climate change denial.  We find that conservative white males are significantly more likely than are other Americans to endorse denialist views on all five items, and that these differences are even greater for those conservative white males who self-report understanding global warming very well.  Furthermore, the results of our multivariate logistic regression models reveal that the conservative white male effect remains significant when controlling for the direct effects of political ideology, race, and gender as well as the effects of nine control variables.  We thus conclude that the unique views of conservative white males contribute significantly to the high level of climate change denial in the United States.

Selected Findings

Our results indicate that:

  • 29.6% of CWMs but only 7.4% of all other adults believe that the effects of global warming will never happen
  • 58.5% of CWMs but only 31.5% of all other adults deny that recent temperature increases are primarily caused by human activities
  • 39.1% of CWMs but only 14.4% of all other adults do not worry at all about global warming

These differences are statistically significant, and they hold up in multivariate analyses when controlling for the separate, direct effects of political ideology, race, and gender and for the direct effects of nine other relevant variables.  Further, the differences are even greater when comparing the denialist views of those CWMs who report understanding global warming “very well” (confident conservative white males) with those of all other adults.  For example:

  • 48.4% of confident CWMs but only 8.6% of all other adults believe that the effects of global warming will never happen

In conclusion, we find that CWMs are significantly more likely than are other Americans to espouse denialist views about climate change.

Some excerpts from the article:

High consequence risks such as human-induced climate change are central to the current age of advanced modernity. Because of the mounting political and economic stakes of dealing with climate change, this global environmental problem has become extremely controversial in the US, and American efforts to deal with it have provoked a significant degree of denial—both of the reality of climate change and of its status as a problem deserving amelioration. 

JC comment.  The above is the first para in the paper.  It is the only place where they come close to defining climate change denial.    Do you know anyone that denies the reality of climate change?  I sure don’t.   Many people on their “denier” list probably also agree that the problem deserves some attention.  It seems that “denier” really means people that don’t support emissions targets.  This whole group of sociologists working in this area seems not to have given much thought to what actually characterizes “deniers.”

Even casual observers of denialist activities likely notice an obvious pattern; with rare exceptions (e.g., Sallie Baliunas), the most prominent denialists are conservative white males.1 This is true for contrarian scientists (e.g., Patrick Michaels and Fred Singer), media pundits (e.g., Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck), think tank representatives (e.g., Joseph Bast and William O’Keefe), and politicians (e.g., Senator James Inhofe and Representative Joe Barton). Within the ranks of elites, climate change denialists are overwhelmingly conservative white males. Does a similar pattern exist in the American public?

JC comment:  I guess the authors have never heard of Joanne Nova and Donna Laframboise, Ann Coulter, not to mention Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann.  Others?  Perhaps Joanne and Donna cannot be categorized as “elites.”  But the fact that they are  not says something also.

A burgeoning body of literature on the social bases of climate change concern in the American public has emerged in recent years. Such studies have analyzed the direct effects of political ideology, race, and gender, typically finding that self-identified liberals, non-whites  and females  are more likely to express concern about global warming than are their conservative, white, and male counterparts, respectively. The analysis presented below is the first to (a) consider the intersection of political ideology, race, and gender and (b) explicitly examine climate change denial.

From the section on “Theoretical rationale”

Specifically, our research question is this: Within the U.S. general public, are conservative white males more likely than other adults to espouse climate change denial? In answering this question, we engage two bodies of scholarship. We draw upon a recent theoretical argument in the risk perception literature— the identity-protective cognition thesis (Kahan et al., 2007)— that explains the ‘‘white male’’ effect, or the atypically high levels of technological and environmental risk acceptance among white males. We also draw upon recent work in political psychology on the system-justification tendencies of political conservatives, which lead them to defend the status quo and resist attempts to change it. We believe the integration of these two arguments—the latter about conserva- tives and the former about white males—provide theoretical justification for what we call the ‘‘conservative white male’’ effect.

We propose that variance in risk perceptions—across persons generally, and across race and gender in particular—reflects a form of motivated cognition through which people seek to deflect threats to identities they hold, and roles they occupy, by virtue of contested cultural norms. This proposition derives from the convergence of two sets of theories, one relating to the impact of culture on risk perception and the other on the influence of group membership on cognition.

Integrating the insights from identity-protective cognition and system-justification tendencies, we offer two complementary reasons for expecting conservative white males to be more likely than other adults to endorse climate change denial. On a specific level, conservative white male elites in the conservative movement and the fossil fuels industry have sent a consistent message—via conservative talk radio, television news, newspapers, and web- sites—to the American public for approximately twenty years: climate change is not real and thus does not warrant ameliorative action (e.g., Lahsen, 2008; McCright and Dunlap, 2000, 2003, 2010; Oreskes and Conway, 2010). This message, which is unmistakably associated with conservative political and media elites (Wolcott, 2007) and fossil fuels industry officials (Gelbspan, 1997), is remarkable for its constancy over the years and its sharp divergence from the claims emanating from the scientific community. To the extent that conservative white males in the general public view their brethren within the elite sectors as an in- group, then we expect that the former also will tend to reject the global warming claims of the scientific community, the environ- mental movement, and environmental policy-makers. In short, they will espouse climate change denial to defend the information disseminated within their in-group and to protect their cultural identity as conservative white males.

More generally, conservative white males are likely to favor protection of the current industrial capitalist order which has historically served them well. Fiscally conservative white males have disproportionately occupied positions of power within our economic system, controlling stocks and flows of various forms of capital and benefiting from ample amounts of prestige, status, and esteem (e.g., Massey, 2007). Given the expansive challenge that climate change poses to the industrial capitalist economic system, it makes sense that conservative white males’ strong system- justifying attitudes—triggered by the anti-climate science claims of the conservative movement (McCright and Dunlap, 2010)—may drive them toward climate change denial.

The parallel dynamics of identity-protective cognition and system-justifying attitudes also suggest that heightened emotional and psychic investment in defending in-group claims may translate into misperceived understanding about problems like climate change that threaten the continued order of the system. In the context of this study, we thus expect a positive association between conservative white males’ self-reported understanding of global warming and their climate change denial. Further, we expect that the subgroup of conservative white males who self-report understanding global warming very well (which we will term ‘‘confident’’ conservative white males) will be even more likely than other conservative white males who self-report understanding global warming less than very well to espouse climate change denial.

From the results analysis section:

To explore our assertion of an association between confidence and denial, we extended the analyses reported in the top part of Table 2. Our confident conservative white male dummy variable identifies those conservative white males who self-report under- standing global warming very well. The baseline group for this variable includes not only all adults who are not conservative white males but also the conservative white males who self-report understanding global warming less than very well. We replicated our comparisons with this new dummy variable, and the results are reported in the bottom part of Table 2. Compared to their respective counterparts in the top part of Table 2, each of the Gamma values in the bottom part of the table are stronger. In other words, the relationship between conservative white male status and climate change denial is stronger among those who are most confident in their understanding of global warming.

The results of the likelihood ratio tests (1 df, x2 distribution) in Table 6 indicate that the confident conservative white male dummy variable improves model fit more than does the conservative white male dummy variable. Further, for each denial indicator, the odds ratio for the confident conservative white male dummy variable is greater than the one for the conservative white male dummy variable. For example, while conservative white males are 1.43 times more likely than other adults to believe the effects of global warming will never happen, confident conserva- tive white males are 3.39 times more likely than other adults to do so. Thus, confident conservative white males are much more likely than are other adults to report climate change denial. Building  upon the results presented in Table 3, the patterns revealed in Table 6 further suggest that climate change denial is a form of identity-protective cognition, reflecting a system-justifying ten- dency.

JC comment:  you think that this relationship would give them a clue about what “denial” is actually about.

It is also important to note the effects of the other social, demographic, political, and temporal variables we employed as controls in our models. Age generally has no effect on climate change denial, but older adults are more likely than are younger adults to believe there is no scientific consensus. Lesser educated adults are more likely than are their more highly educated counterparts to believe human activities are not the primary cause of recent warming and that there is no scientific consensus. Adults with higher socioeconomic status (both educational attainment and annual income) are more likely than are their lower SES counterparts to believe the media exaggerates the seriousness of global warming. Employment status and parental status have no direct effect on climate change denial. For each of the five denial items, more religious individuals, people unsympathetic to the environmental movement, and self-identified Republicans are more likely to express climate change denial than are their respective counterparts. Finally, climate change denial has increased over the time period between 2001 and 2010.

From the conclusions:

The positive correlation between self- reported understanding of global warming and climate change denial among conservative white males is compelling evidence that climate change denial is a form of identity-protective cognition, reflecting a system-justifying tendency.

Our results relate back to earlier work on the political mobilization of conservative elites and organizations in the US to challenge climate science and policy . Conservative think tanks, conservative media, corporations, and industry associations (especially for the fossil fuels industry)—domains dominated by conservative white males—have spearheaded the attacks on climate science and policy from the late 1980s to the present. The results presented here show that conservative white males in the general public have become a very receptive audience for these efforts. When mobilized, these conservative white males may constitute a key vector of climate change denial in their own right via their online and offline social networks and through participation in various protest and campaigning events.

Since the mid-1990s, organized climate change denial has diffused from the US to other Anglo nations with established conservative think tanks that promote free-market conservatism and front groups promoting industry interests, most notably Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand . This spread of climate change denial has been driven to a significant degree by key actors—and their resources, strategies, and tactics—in the U.S. climate change denial machine. Throughout these Anglo countries organized denial seems to be dominated by politically conservative white males, and this suggests that a similar conservative white male effect might be emerging in the general publics of these nations with regard to climate change denial. Clearly the extent to which the conservative white male effect on climate change denial exists outside the US is a topic deserving investigation.

JC conclusion:  This article is notable primarily for coining the term “cool dudes” in the context of climate change “denial.”    My main reaction to this is to question how social scientists, who actually study this, can be so clueless about the whole thing.  Perhaps someone needs to develop a demographic and behavioral theory about social scientists who write about climate change “deniers.”    I look forward to the reactions of the “cool dudes” to these ideas.

617 responses to “Cool dudes

  1. Looking at views on Climate Change from the perspective of sociology should be really interesting. It’s surprising that people haven’t gone in and looked at the variety of views of skeptics (Sky-dragons, Lukewarmers, paleoclimatology-skeptics and more) and the range of alarmists who vary from conservative free market folks to people who think that this means that Capitalism has to end now.

    Unfortunately no one has done this with any care. Cool dudes might be an amusing phrase and hopefully someone will start a blog with that name but this is so shallow it is really quite sad.

    • Just for clarification: You’re biggest problem with this “study” is, that they use the terms denial, denier and denialism, isn’t it?

    • Sorry, Steve X, but my experiences do not match your conclusions.

      I was a left-wing liberal, a Greenpeace member who supported the most liberal Democrats, until I belatedly discovered that they were manipulating experimental data and observations to support their agenda.

      Only recently did I discover that reality is not kind in exposing deceit of both left-wing liberals as well as right-wing conservatives since 1972.

      Now as Western societies face the brink of economic collapse, I offered Nature the opportunity to publish this historical review (1945-2011) of events that brought us here.

      http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/20110722_Climategate_Roots.pdf

      http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/20110722_Climategate_Roots.doc

      I do not like the conclusion. Conservatives and liberals will not like the conclusion either. But the events offer no more pleasant one.

      I doubt if Nature’s editor will accept my offer, but I made it in good faith.

      With deep regret,
      Oliver K. Manuel
      Former NASA Principal
      Investigator for Apollo

      • Since 1972 global elites have used global climate change as a common enemy to unite nations and avoid global nuclear warfare.

        As an unexpected consequence of deception, world leaders and their scientific advisors were diverted from developing the Sun’s real energy source – neutron repulsion – and squandered resources and talent in pursuit of fusion – the imaginary energy source of the Sun – instead of developing reliable fission reactors powered by neutron repulsion.

        See Kent Clizbe’s “Willing Accomplices”

        http://www.willingaccomplices.com/

      • ferd berple

        Political correctness = end of free speech.

        Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

        It does seem rather strange that science assumes that the core of the sun is made of hydrogen. What about the heavy elements in the sun? Why would then not sink to the core? Where is all the waste from fusion? Why does it not dominate the core?

      • Yes, Fred, “political correctness” produced “consensus science,” produced “end of free speech” and “Climategate” to announce
        a new tyrannical world government.
        [Kent Clizbe, “Willing Accomplices” (2011)]

        http://www.willingaccomplices.com/

        Thanks to input from members of the nuclear industry and a former CIA agent, the historical (1945-2011) review was revised, Kent Clizbe’s book referenced, and major conclusions highlighted in red in the abstract:

        http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/20110722_Climategate_Roots.pdf

        http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/20110722_Climategate_Roots.doc

        In his autobiography, Fred Hoyle also questioned why the scientific community suddenly adopted the Standard Solar Model of a Hydrogen-filled Sun – after agreeing that the interior of the Sun is mostly iron (Fe) until the end of WWII [Fred Hoyle, “Home is Where the Wind Blows” (autobiography)].

        Perhaps the vaporization of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 impacted the evolution of scientific information.

    • Mr. Steve X, We live today in very interesting times where views from this economic/money scientist (who is currently in charge of the US Federal Reserve), are taken seriously by the ‘White Washed’ (pollsters) who try to convince us – “And that’s the way it is…”.

      http://preparednessdaily.com/2011/07/ben-bernanke-says-gold-is-not-money/

      Is Ben a conservative, free market white guy? Do you think he supports Man-Made-Global-Warming? What are his world views? Does that matter? What do you guess is the bigger threat to our nation & the world at this point in time, money or CO2? Let’s get real people…

    • Steve X says:

      “… and the range of alarmists who vary from conservative free market folks to people who think that this means that Capitalism has to end now.”

      Really ? Do alarmists whom are other than dyed in the wool “progressives” actually exist ? (Honest question, not a rhetorical one). While their opposition seems to be pretty diverse, I was under the impression that the alarmist camp was a monoculture.

      I have seen many diverse lukewarmers, but have yet to see even one free market type who can look at Tijlander and say “It is not upside down” or “It doesn’t matter”, everyone who uses that “logic” seems uniformly progressive.

      Is this not true ? Counter examples ?

    • I have seen a lot of comments on this site by posters who I suspect are laissez-faire (government hands off) ideologues, but I have never seen a comment by anyone who thinks capitalism “has to end now” or ever. But if I ever do, I will consider the nut as wacky as those ideologues.

  2. Everything written in this article could be applied to any group of people who share an opinion. What it fails to do, as usual for literature that ia critical of “deniers” is examine what it is that is being denied and how credible that denial is. Calls to consensus and authority do not count as science!

    • andrew adams

      Judith also make the claim that the authors do not properly characterise “deniers”, but the paper cites the following –

      29.6% of CWMs but only 7.4% of all other adults believe that the effects of global warming will never happen
      58.5% of CWMs but only 31.5% of all other adults deny that recent temperature increases are primarily caused by human activities
      39.1% of CWMs but only 14.4% of all other adults do not worry at all about global warming

      Therefore the “deniers” are presumably people who believe that humans are not the primary cause of recent warming, that the predicted effects of global warming will not actually occur and do not worry at all about it (or some combination of these views).

      • So they are in fact not climate change deniers, but catastrophic anthropogenic climate change deniers.

        Quite a difference there.

      • andrew adams

        Did you not think that’s what they meant?

      • Not in the slightest.

        For a social scientist, i’ve never seen such sloppy use of terminology.

      • andrew adams

        Really? Despite the fact that they specifically referenced polling data which mentioned the human influence on GW? And, more to the point, the fact that the whole debate around climate change is centred on the questions of the extent to which humans are responsible, the likely consequences and what we can do to prevent it?

      • I don’t even think they are aware that there is a difference. These are social scientists, avid devourers of pabulous concepts like “identity-protective cognition “. They are strangers to critical thought, as the entire paper (as reported by JC) attests. The beauty is that this sort of pap will live on in the blogosphere, and will make ever more embarrassing reading for its authors long after the CO2 craze has gone the way of the Hula-Hoop.

      • ferd berple

        “58.5% of CWMs but only 31.5% of all other adults deny that recent temperature increases are primarily caused by human activities”

        On the contrary, I fully intend to pull my weight to prevent AGW. I pledge to use no more fossil fuel energy in any given year than does Gore or Pachauri.

        Seriously, if I use more, tax me on the excess. But if I use less, then I deserve a rebate on my taxes. After all, these are the leading examples, the shining light as it were, to reduce fossil fuel energy use to fight CO2 pollution. We are talking actual usage. No paying someone else to eat your CO2 sins.

        If I use less than they do, then I deserve to get money back from the government for doing my part. As does everyone else who uses less. Anywhere on the earth, and the UN and IPCC should foot the bill. Which works out to about 7 billion -2 people.

        Do as I say, not as I do. Eat less, so there will all the more for me.

    • I considered myself fairly left wing until getting involved in the AGW debate. Now I am becoming more conservative because of my scepticism and not more sceptical because of my conservatism – have they mixed up cause and effect???

      • eddieo,
        The implications of how faith based social movements operate and seek to dominate the public square has strong implications in more areas than politics.

      • There’s something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear. There’s a man with a gun over there, telling me I’ve got to beware.

        The velvet glove over the iron fist from which his trigger finger sticks doesn’t fool those looking down the bore. The caliber of these people is clear.
        ========================================

      • When you allow a bit of light to shine in through one window, it shows some of the piled up garbage near the others, too.
        :)

  3. Way too long to read the whole thing. I did notice they had a confident conservative White male dummy variable, that’s sort of funny.

    Are you sure it’s not a joke thing?

  4. “Do you know anyone that denies the reality of climate change?”

    Yes, I know many. They are believers in AGW. They even changed the meaning of the words climate change.

  5. Rick Bradford

    The notion that political Conservatives tend also to be climate conservatives is hardly a ground-breaking discovery.

    It is the other side of the coin whereby Leftists, through their hatred of the status quo and their emotional need to be changing things and ordering other people around, rush around as though their hair were on fire demanding the wholesale destruction of the Western economies in the name of ‘saving the planet’.

    Vaclav Klaus categorizes this as a battle of freedom vs control, and he is in a good position to judge — but then he’s a CWM as well…..

  6. My main reaction to this is to question how social scientists, who actually study this, can be so clueless about the whole thing.

    Wasn’t it the other side that considered science secondary to political propaganda?

  7. Cool dude – I love it!

  8. Steve Crook

    I’d have thought that few ‘deniers’ actually look at this site. Most of the people here accept that there’s something going on, and just want to see the science done right. My skepticism started because I couldn’t see how tree rings could be used as a *reliable* proxy in determining past temperatures.

    The more I looked, the more I worried.

    Finally, the Joe Romms of this world have done more to *push* me into the sceptic camp than the Anthony Watts have *pulled* me.

    • Gary from Chicagoland

      I agree with Steve, the more I researched global warming, the more errors I found in the basic scientific method. I do not depend on any money grants or jobs related to AGW, so this allowed me to think independently. I am highly educated in science, so I already knew walking into this issue how to find the answers to my questions. I also happen to be male with some money in my pocket, which tends to make me more conservative. I guess this makes me a “cool dude” now.

      • Gary,
        Think of this ‘paper’ as a guide for the AGW believer on how to pretend skeptics are less than human.

      • jorgekafkazar

        Yes, hunter, it’s the G-rated version of the 10-10 video. More to come.

  9. The article is available
    here (however possibly paywalled)

  10. I’m not a conservative, nor am I an american. Chances are, I’m not a cool dude.

    However, the pseudo-psycho-nonsense pervaded by the condescending tone gets to its offensive status from the moment it is framed as “scientific”.

    You are basically right in your comments, dr Curry, by saying that they should have understood better what is going on with these statistics. The biggest gap between what I see as “warmers” and “deniers” is really just about politics and visions for the future. The former want draconian policies, the latter want less government. This is about politics!

    And yet, they discuss their political differences in the scientfic field as if the science determines the policy. Thus in this context, if science says there is a catastrophe, left politics should take charge. If not, the right wing policies should be porsued. No wonder leftists believe denialism is a product of corporate brainwashing and rightists believe global warming is a left-wing scam to “take over the world” in a socialistic agenda.

    What is really going on in these statistics is that the political and ideological framework of these different groups determine what they perceive as a threat. For leftists, the threat is unopposed, laissez faire capitalism that will wreck the globe to pieces for its own chaotic and irrational processes, and GW is the biggest example of this phenomena. Capitalism must be therefore tamed and be pointed out that there are limits to its exploitations of the ecossystem. For right-wingers, the threat is big government and the bureaucratization and oppressive nature of socialism. Statists always trying to find out ways to make citizens abide to their bureaucracy and taxes, and catastrophes are just the ticket. Catastrophism must therefore be treated with intense skepticism and scrutiny, for it is a “loophole” for power-hungry bureaucrats.

    And there are lots of people caught in the middle, who are just mildly left or right, who care about the scientific dialogue, etc.

    One thing that strikes me in all of this is how this dialogue and the dynamics of Science being a “left thing” and Denialism being a “right thing” (not saying that it is so, but how it is perceived), more than creating a huge hole between people who call themselves “reality-based” and the ones they denigrate as anti-scientific, “lunatics”, “wishful thinkers”, etc., is that it shows that the right wing has simply no solution for the global warming crisis possibility.

    That is, unlike the left wing, which does have and porsues their own policies to end global warming (irrespectively of its efficiency or lack thereof), the right wing does not have or at least have not proposed thus far a right-wing solution to this problem, since all “solutions” are apparently state or federal-based, that is, they are “solved” by the very institutions the right wing wants to minimize. I think they should re-think this limitation. Grant the possibility of danger (the horror!) and try to get some ideas on how to solve the potential problem. RIght wing ideas.

    I mean, why not?

    • Grant the possibility of danger (the horror!) and try to get some ideas on how to solve the potential problem. RIght wing ideas.

      I mean, why not?

      I’ve been saying this to Right wingers and conservatives for a while but haven’t had any takers. Those who responded simply rejected the hypothetical, rather than proposing solutions for it.

      One such case involved a conservative Right-leaning person who asserted that climate sensitivity must be around 0.5 deg C/2xCO2 and therefore didn’t represent a problem. He viewed research pointing to ~3 deg C climate sensitivity as part of a UN plot to control the global economy. When challenged with the hypothetical you suggest he actually stated that the UN would be perfectly correct in taking control of the global economy if that were the case, which is why (he concluded) it can’t be the case.

      There does seem to be a severe lack of confidence that right-wing, free market approaches can produce a workable solution for these issues, which is why conservative political groups have mainly adopted the practice of attempting to undermine the underlying science rather than address policy.

      • “There does seem to be a severe lack of confidence that right-wing, free market approaches can produce a workable solution for these issues”

        Paul S, I think it is true that statists invariably express lack of confidence in freedom-based economic activities. That’s what makes them statists.

        Andrew

      • No, it is Right-wingers/conservatives themselves who don’t appear to believe free market approaches can solve this particular issue.

        But please prove me wrong and deal with the hypothetical proposed by Luis.

      • “No, it is Right-wingers/conservatives themselves who don’t appear to believe free market approaches can solve this particular issue.”

        I’m a right-winger and none of my contemporaries that I am aware of have abandoned their free-market support. Do you have any examples of any right-wingers who have?

        Andrew

      • It appears you’re not getting the point. I’ll try to restate it:

        Hypothetically climate change represents a dangerous problem over the next few centuries. I have put this hypothetical to a number of Right-wingers/conservatives over the last couple of years and not one of them even attempted to describe a way that a free-market approach could deal with it adequately. One of these even said straightfowardly that, given the hypothetical, it would be correct for a highly centralised/statist solution to be instated, controlled by the UN no less.

        It is in this light that I suggest Right-wingers/conservatives don’t have much confidence in the ability of a free-market approach to deal with anthropogenic climate change.

        But again, if you can point to propositions based on the hypothetical I’m all ears/eyes.

      • Paul S,

        We right-wingers like to operate based on realities. If you can clearly define a hypothetical problem rather than presenting ambiguities like “dangerous” (what specifically is the danger?) I’ll present a free-market hypothetical that addresses it.

        Andrew

      • Come on, he presented a good question, you are nitpicking over technicalities. Give us at least a framework on how a right wing policy would go on solving this hypothetical problem.

      • Paul S,
        You could have stopped at ‘hypothetically climate change represents a dangerous problem over the next few centuries.”
        You describe in that one sentence the reason to not only take no mitigation action, but why no mitigation policy will work.

      • So the right wing solution is to say “everything will work out by itself just fine”.

        Hmm. Why do I get the feeling that this is akin to not solve the problem at all?

      • Luis,
        You miss the answer, and it is plain sight.
        Not one of the AGW community policy initiatives have worked, nor will they work.
        It is not possible to do something today to control the climate in 10 years, much less 100.
        That you come back to cheap shallow caricature descriptions of the situation is, I guess, a manifestation that you really have no understanding of the issue.

      • Bad Andrew,

        It’s a hypothetical. Take ‘dangerous’ to mean ‘strongly detrimental to optimal living standards.’ Most of the time the people I ask talk in terms of numbers i.e. 3 deg C climate sensitivity to them represents ‘dangerous’, with business-as-usual emissions meaning about 4 deg C global average temperature increase by 2100, 60cm – 1m sea level rise etc.

      • Paul S,

        Now you are missing my point. What is the “danger” that needs to be avoided? An ambiguous change in living standards? The free market already addresses that. And people can build their homes and businesses farther back from the water. Anything else?

        Andrew

      • Bad Andrew

        I answered your point directly. What is ambiguous about ‘strongly detrimental to optimal living standards’? Ok, try another: a decrease in the availability of natural resources which sustain life/an increase in the scarcity of important natural resources.

        Your solution is for hundreds of millions of people to abandon their homes and cities (a lot of people live by the coast)? You really think that’s going to be economically helpful?

      • “You really think that’s going to be economically helpful?”

        Yes, people wanting/needing to build stuff means lots of jobs and lots of market activity.

        Andrew

      • Paul S –
        I answered your point directly.

        No, you didn’t.

        What is ambiguous about ‘strongly detrimental to optimal living standards’?

        “Optimal living standards” is far less than precise. It depends on who you are, where you live, what condition you’re used to, what conditions you require for to provide food, shelter, etc. – and more. And the optimal conditions you require are NOT the optimal conditions others might require. IOW – that phrase is nonsense.

        a decrease in the availability of natural resources which sustain life/an increase in the scarcity of important natural resources.

        That’s inevitable when one is talking about 100 years in the future. And nothing you or anyone else can do at present will have any effect on that decrease/scarcity.

        In fact, your basic assumption is that we (the US) can do anything – so you nmeed to watch this –

        Your solution is for hundreds of millions of people to abandon their homes and cities (a lot of people live by the coast)? You really think that’s going to be economically helpful?

        No – the solution is to allow the natural migration of coastal facilities/cities and populations that will take place over the next 100 years or more. The necessary adaptation to evolving”conditions” will happen without the massively disruptive and expensive mitigation that you apparently favor.

        It’s the “do-nothing” option, Paul, because you don’t know what to do because you don’t know what “conditions” will evolve in which directions. And that you are willing to deprive those in the future of the option of making their own decisions (and mistakes) is nothing short of arrogance to the point of hubris.

        You need to read Matthew Kahn’s book titled “Climatopolis: How Our Cities Will Thrive in the Hotter Future”. He has a lot better handle on the future that you expect than you seem to have.

        You also need to learn something about history. Your entire premise is faulty from a historical standpoint. Which means that it’s also faulty from a future standpoint.

      • Given an expanding population, needful of the energy in the hydrocarbon bond, the value of that bond will rise until its value as structure exceeds its value as energy. Then the market will seek alternative energy, and we’ll just have to get along without the paltry warming contribution of CO2 in an increasingly chilly world.

        Perhaps the hydrocarbon bonds structure can help shelter us from the cold.
        =========================================

      • Paul S,

        I have a hypothetical for you. Suppose a bunch of criminals in leadership positions tried to deceive others by perpetuating a hoax called Global Warming. What would you do?

        Andrew

      • Bad Andrew,

        If I knew that was definitely the case (that being the hypothetical) I would reject the idea that global warming is happening. Am I the only person who knows it is a hoax in this hypothetical world? It would be quite difficult for it to propogate if everybody were to know.

      • That difficulty just shows the magnitude of Steve McIntyre’s accomplishment. We thank you for that acknowledgment, even though it may have been unconscious.
        =======================================

        ========================================

      • Bad Andrew, that symmetry that you allude to was already covered in my post up up up there.

        I don’t think we have reached a good way to deal with potential problems either way, though. The only thing we managed to create is a fillibuster technique to stop progress in any of those concerns.

      • Steve McIntyre’s been trying to propogate a hoax?

      • Paul S, yes, I see I slightly misinterpreted your comment. But please, why don’t you tell us? Is Steve propagating a hoax?

        Nope, he’s propagating the exposure of a hoax, one which almost everybody believed, including himself.
        ===================================

      • There is a clear solution, proposed many, many times: adapt. The best preparation for adaptation is maximizing of wealth and resources. One of the huge lacks and failures of the statist position is that when pressed they admit that the actual effectiveness of mitigation will be quite low. Ergo, we’ll have to deal with (adapt to) their projected warming anyway. But mitigation will have drastically reduced ability to do so, partly by deflecting so many resources, and partly by directing attention away from adaptation, and mostly by simple global impoverishment.
        So statist mitigation achieves the worst of all possible outcomes. As usual.

      • Jeff Nelson

        I’m wondering if either of you guys have ever actually met a conservative.
        To say that conservatives have no “plan” or cognitive ability to even accept a possible threat is silly. Let’s clear up three misconceptions about conservatives: 1. We actually embrace massive change- we replaced horses with cars, gas lights with lightbulbs etc. 2. Conservatives don’t like top-down change for the simple reason that it doesn’t work. You will not find an alternative to coal by committee and subsidy, you will find it by engineering and brutal darwinian marketplace. 3. Conservatives recognize that all change is born in demand- which comes only from wealth,. If you have no one with the ability to purchase, you have ability to change.
        As for this study? Note that these people call themselves “scientists” and this is is a “study” in a “journal” and it is indeed clueless. What does that tell us about the quality of modern “science” and journals?

      • To say that conservatives have no “plan” or cognitive ability to even accept a possible threat is silly.

        I’m not saying this is a general trait applying to all facets of life. I’m not even saying this applies to all conservatives. Many people who self-identify as conservative have also pragmatically decided that some form of regulatory framework should be put in place to deal with this specific issue.

        All I’m saying is that people who believe no regulatory action should be taken have thus far been unwilling to describe how free markets alone could tackle the hypothetical problem of dangerous anthropogenic climate change.

      • We’re getting closer, but I think you misunderstand your conservative friends. I’ll give you a hypothetical where I would agree to “some form of regulatory framework”:
        There is broad acceptance, built via trial by fire in the marketplace, that Design A works well, is safe and is cost comparable to fossil fuels. Based on this, the policy need is to speed up deployment of Design A. I would agree that the government should then work tirelessly to change it’s regulatory framework to pre-approve and limit obstructions to Design A and encourage Design A via reduced taxes.
        You can probably guess that I think nuclear is “Design A” at this point – though there is a good argument for natural gas. Interesting, isn’t it, that conservatives are in favor of the regulatory plan I outlined above for Design A, but liberals are adamantly opposed to it. Is that because liberals are incapable of accepting “change” or is it because they believe AGW is interesting only so far as it is politically useful? I believe the latter.

      • I actually didn’t realise you were talking about nuclear. Pretty slack of me. I don’t know about liberals in general but most people I know who are concerned about climate change and self-identify as liberal also pragmatically support development of nuclear power.

        There are certainly liberals who have the same kind of ideological blindspots on other matters I see in some conservatives on this particular issue. Most liberals who reject nuclear power look at the health risks and don’t realise the choice isn’t ‘dirty nuclear vs. bright clean future’ but rather ‘dirty nuclear vs. much dirtier coal’ or ‘dirty nuclear vs. less electricity’.

      • I hear that a lot- that liberals, especially the climate concerned, have turned the corner and now support nuclear power. It’s not true. There has been a net decline in the number of nuclear power stations in the US since this issue reached national and international prominence. And, in Europe, the recent political trend is to not only prohibit nuclear construction, but to tear down the existing plants.
        Conservatives are fighting against this trend, but are losing badly to anti-science liberals and the climate concerned is largely silent on the question (with George Monbiot and Mark Lynas being notable exceptions who are currently being attacked by the environmental movement for their heresy).
        In short, if you really are climate concerned, we’re doomed and it’s your side’s fault.

      • I hear that a lot- that liberals, especially the climate concerned, have turned the corner and now support nuclear power. It’s not true.

        Oh. Ok, I’ll call everyone and let them know that they actually don’t support nuclear power development after all.

        There has been a net decline in the number of nuclear power stations in the US since this issue reached national and international prominence.

        How have you concluded that this is due to the actions of liberals? I would suggest the huge start-up costs and rise of NIMBYism are factors which hold more relevance.

        In short, if you really are climate concerned, we’re doomed and it’s your side’s fault.

        What side are you talking about? If someone is blocking solutions that I favour how are they on my side?

      • Paul S They gave you concrete examples. You dodge, which you took exception to in the above discussion on what conservatives are proposing. Then after making a substantive response with what has been reported in the media and by the US Energy Department about nuclear, you escalate your unreason with sarcasm. The paint that the action of liberals statement is the equivvalent of the denier paid shill of the article.

        We did not set up the sides, nor did you, it was the article’s authors. You should try heeding your own words and stay on subject and address substantive statements when they are made. YMMV.

      • Jeff Nelson

        If there existed a consensus with liberals to build nuclear power plants they would have been built, not dismantled. Conservatives have always supported the construction of nuclear plants- they work and they cost as much or less than coal, what’s not to like?
        The green movement in conjunction with the liberal caucus of Congress not only happily takes credit for killing nuclear power, but boasts of it.

        “If someone is blocking solutions that I favor, how are they on my side?” I’m not the guy you need to say this to. Please staple this sentence to your declaration in favor of nuclear power and send it to the members of Congress who are blocking the solution. The fastest way to identify those is by looking at a list of congress persons favored by Greenpeace, WWF, and Concerned Scientists, or you can just google “Progressive Caucus.”

      • Paul S –
        hypothetical problem of dangerous anthropogenic climate change.

        That’s one of the problems with what you write. You want others to provide concrete solutions for your undefined (and undefinable) hypothetical problem when you can’t provide viable solutions. FYI, Cap and Trade, carbon taxes, solar, wind and hydro are no “solutions”.

        As for nuclear, would you like access to my Facebook page? I’m a hiker – most of those on my Facebook page are hikers – and liberal/progressive – and anti-nuclear. As are the organizations they belong to and support. Your view on this is ….twisted(?) At best.

      • There are certainly liberals who have the same kind of ideological blindspots on other matters I see in some conservatives on this particular issue. Most liberals who reject nuclear power look at the health risks and don’t realise the choice isn’t ‘dirty nuclear vs. bright clean future’ but rather ‘dirty nuclear vs. much dirtier coal’ or ‘dirty nuclear vs. less electricity’.

        I think some of you haven’t actually read what I’ve said. The idea that I’ve said zero liberals reject nuclear power can’t be supported by a proper reading of my actual statements.

        What I took exception to was Jeff Nelson’s unilateral claim of ‘Not true’.

      • Paul S,
        Regrettably, here in Australia the proponents/advocates of carbon tax as the economic intervention/response to alleged AGW are opposed to nuclear energy. The CSIRO, previously a respected scientific organisation, recently published a document on the future energy in Australia which omitted ANY mention of nuclear power, demonstrating quite clearly how politicised it has become and how its integrity has been compromised.

      • To say that conservatives have no “plan” or cognitive ability to even accept a possible threat is silly.

        I accept that point. But I don’t see anyone in the right wing acknowledging that there “might” be a problem. Now why is that? Clearly the ideology is coloring one’s conclusions, from the left to the right. And what would that ideological reason be, from the right? They say it all the time: they fear the socialist take-over. I don’t see this reason as being very rational, if one is not denying the politics, but the science itself.

        Now, if you tell me, “no, I don’t trust these people because Mann et al, Gavinesque manipulations, climategate, Jesus paper, etc.”, I’ll say ok. That’s a much more reasoned point. However, the paleo studies have little consequence to the present / future studies, and so its “reasonability” only goes so far. Even accepting all these shenanigans took (and still take) place, I don’t see yet a reason to discard climate worries.

        Other possibility is to say that the climate community is heavily populated by climate worriers and activists, and therefore we should just distrust them prima facie.

      • It’s a fair question, the best way to answer it is with an analogy.
        I’m the conservative CEO of a company in Washington DC. My chief of accounting rushes into my office at noon and says “Jeff, it’s too complicated to really explain, but if you aren’t in Los Angeles tomorrow by noon for a meeting this company is doomed!”
        Now, at this point, I’d like to know more about why I need to be in LA, but this lady is the expert, so I’m taking the pragmatic approach of going online to book my flight for this evening.
        “Good lord, Jeff,” she yells. “You can’t fly to LA, you must walk!”
        “But,” I reply, “it’s not possible to walk to LA in 24 hours.”
        “You have to walk, it’s the only way, you deny the problem because you’re a stupid Republican!” she shouts.
        So, at this point, as a conservative I know that my financial officer does not really believe I need to be in LA tomorrow at noon (otherwise she would not oppose action that gets me there on time) and by advocating a policy (walking) that just isn’t going to happen (I ain’t walking 3,500 miles) I’m not convinced this person sees a real problem at all. So, I’m going to start demanding explanations and audits like never before and the nastier the responses the deeper I’m going to dig (or the readier I’ll be to simply ignore the obviously non-existent issue).

      • This is utterly different, Jeff. In your analogy, you have no reason to discard the chief of accounting’s worry. Being a good CEO, you’d have to trust her (if she misled you for a day or more you’d fire here afterwards).

        Your skepticism only rises when she tells you a very silly thing to do. But then here the analogy breaks, since most scientists have very different opinions on how to “solve” the climate problem, and most of them even state that they are not specialists on that issue.

        Now, you might say, most solutions being presented are outright shenaniganish. I’d agree, for instance cap and trade. This does not mean the problem does not exist, but that the pool of solutions we are offered are terribad.

        This is not what we are said by the right wing. We are not said “Look, I am open to the possibility of CC. But your solutions stink“. No, what we are said is “These scientists are crooks see climategate, and the planet is just FINE” and they get applauded for such a silly statement.

        I’d argue that this is too part of the problem (and I recognize it is only a part, since the demonization of skeptics and rightwingers by the warmers or leftists is also a big problem).

      • Luis, the IPCC in their works ARx, and in the meetings Cancun and Copenhagen did propose solutions and lack of solutions as Jeff satirized. I agree and Jeff agreed that does not mean that solutions don’t exist. The point is that the solutions such as cap and trade are what is being proposed, and that the proposals do have a definite effect on the relationship of business and government in a direction that is necessary because of the proposals not the problem. That is the self enforcing CWM that should have been examined by the paper. A better question for a better paper would have been can what the CWM want to agree to be used to stop climate change. But alas, that was not the paper. Speaking of applauding, Luis did you catch the video from Copenhagen of the standing ovation given to the speaker who confirmed the communist take over of business is what the IPCC Copenahgen was about? Chavez I believe.

        Thanks for the Friday laugh Dr. Curry.

      • You couldn’t possibly imagine the utter, the insanely godlike size, the sheer galactical scale of complete disinterest whatsoever to what Chavez and his cronies say, applaud to or point their fingers to. As far as I’m concerned, they could believe that the moon was made of cheese and applaud that as well.

        Now, to your serious point, of course one can criticize the measures being proposed and used right now. One may fall victim to the shenanigans of those like Joe Romm, etc., but if your criticism is policy, and you give good mathematics on why all the measures proposed thus far are just ludicrous, then that’s a reasonable statement. But this is a separate question.

        What you hint at and what this study may also show is that what people perceived as being asked is if whether Global Warming as a “whole package” that includes the scientific conclusion that AGW is true and the current policies being proposed/actualized are good. In this case, a person might have doubts over the first one but being able to see the difficulty of the second (and the left’s incompetence at them). I also feel this all the time. For instance, when someone asks me if I “believe” in Global warming, I also feel as if I’m being asked if I am “with the troops to do something about it in this way or another” or not. They are separate questions, but we are irrational mammals and these social studies should account for these little things.

        The devil is in the details (and these morons are like elephants in china plate stores).

      • Jeff Nelson

        Here’s the point of the analogy/satire. If I’m not qualified to evaluate the science, my only metric for evaluating the level of the problem is the seriousness of the proposed solution. The 20+ year history of non-stop demand for a patently unserious “solutions” has led me to conclude that either the problem isn’t serious or it needs to be taken far out of the hands of the “climate concerned.”
        If you claim an extraordinary peril and then couple it to a silly solution one of two things will happen- people will ignore you or people will question you closely. You are lucky that the latter is still happening. That – the grilling and auditing in our little story – has led me to discover the hockey stick controversy along with some very real questions about the science- specifically the sensitivity of the climate and the attribution of the recent warming. I’m still unable to say who’s right in that debate but I can tell you I’m disinclined to believe I’m stupid for asking or am somehow mentally impaired by partisanship because I doubt I can walk to LA in 24 hours.
        Just out of curiosity, if you were the CEO in our little story- would you go to LA based on the info you had or would you require more information before going? If you made the choice to go right away- would you fly to get there by noon, or start walking even though you knew you wouldn’t get their by noon and the mission would fail?

      • Luis,
        My reasons for ‘not doing anything’ are as follows
        (a) the monopolistic funding of CAGW by governments eager to find new taxes
        (b) the malfeasance of IPCC as documented in the IAC review of IPCC’s processes.
        (c) I have little confidence in IPCC’s unvalidated computer models which are based on many assumptions some of which have already been proven to be incorrect. Others have demonstrated that such ‘curve fitting’ exercises have little predictive power.
        (d) the lack of integrity of many ‘climate scientists’ on the CAGW side attempting to stifle all opposing views, marginalising and suppressing publications by scientists with counter evidence – pal review etc..
        (e) the emerging scientific evidence that IPCC has very likely overestimated the climate sensitivity (for example see Roy Spencer’s recent publication)
        (f) the demonstrably economically damaging and environmentally ineffective ‘solutions’ being proposed
        (g) coming from a medical background, I am familiar with the admonition ‘primum non nocere’ i.e. first do no harm. It is my view that the proposed ‘solutions’ are extremely harmful (to our economy, our freedoms, our choices, our standards of living) and will compromise our ability to adapt if that is what may be needed in the long run.
        (h) the precautionary principle is nnot a valid argument as it can be applied to any conceivable disaster e.g. we must spend billions of dollars to prevent the next asteroid impact – astronomers tell us it is only a matter of when not if. If an asteroid impact wiped out the dinsoaurs what chance will we have?

      • This is troublesome, because it means that the right wing solution to the problem is to deny its very existence. And they could well be right, I do want to believe that to be the case, and that’s why I lurk in all these blogs and stuff to see the new findings of failure by the climate community (and I haven’t been disappointed in that query), but even despite this challenge, even the hardcore skeptics like Lubos etc. will tell you that some warming *is* to be expected.

        Now imagine the hypothetical that there is a world where there is an actual problem. In this world, half of the population abides to the notion that because their ideology is unable to solve the problem, and that to solve the problem they would have to temporarily deny their ideology, they prefer to deny the problem. This means that the right wingers have a blind spot in their rationality. Now we can be lucky and we could be in a world where this problem doesn’t actualize. But the blind spot still exists.

        I’d rather live in a world where an hypothetical problem of this magnitude wouldn’t be denied for the ideological uneasiness, but rather because of evidence.

        (I know I’m slightly exagerating, and that there is some counter evidence. But still)

      • Luis,
        Write a book about that world, and it can on the shelf next to all the other fiction books written about such a world.

      • I am not only denying the existence of the problem, I am even doubting that it is a problem rather than a blessing!
        So am I denying the blessing then? Why would I do that out of ideological uneasiness?

      • My concern is that people believe it is a dire nasty stuff *or* a blessing, etc., not due to different evidence per se, but derived from ideological sources. If one is team blue, he will believe X to be the case, if one is team red, he will believe Y. There is too much ideology on facts, that’s all I am saying.

      • Luis, the basis of the scientific method is for the theory to have “proof” before advancing in acceptance do it not?

        Alarmism isn’t based on proof at all. It was always the statist left-wing agenda that influences its acceptance.

        Speaking of blind spots……

      • In a field where “proof” will always be circumstancial and highly indirect, phenomena doesn’t stop from happening just because it is hard to see. The precautionary principle holds. Don’t you agree?

      • Luis Dias –
        The precautionary principle holds. Don’t you agree?

        No. The precautionary principle is based on fear, nothing more. If X might happen then we MUST protect against X – and Y – and Z – and….. ad nauseum, ad infinitum.

        Of those who advocate massive, disruptive, expensive action against climate change that is uncertain, unprovable, speculative and, if real, unstoppable – how many are equally concerned about earthquakes, tsunamis, meteor strikes, terrorism, hurricanes and tornadoes? All of which are more certain than the imagined destructive effects of climate change.

        Paul S expects a temp increase of 4 degC, but cannot produce evidence to support that fear. And yet he expects me to believe it because he expects and fears it. Sorry, but I don’t live in the same fear-filled world that he lives in. So my view of the precautionary principle is that it’s foolish because whatever conditions one takes precautions against are simply NOT the conditions that will occur.

        Example – I spent considerable time (actually years in total) preparing contingency plans for the failure modes for a number of different spacecraft. You might think this is a direct application of the precautionary principle. Many of the program managers certainly seemed to think so, but they were wrong. Of the literally tens of thousands of possible failure modes I planned for, not a single one ever happened in the way that we planned or in any way that was amenable to resolution by the procedures that we wrote. But those of us who were professionals knew that was the case – and still we planned for and wrote procedures for as many failure modes as we could imagine. Why? Because the <planning process taught us about the many possible options that were available to resolve the failures that DID happen. Without that planning process, we would have wasted a LOT of time resolving those failure modes and would have “lost” a lot more spacecraft – unnecessarily.

        Now allow me to put this in different terms – what we did was to plan for flexibility in our responses. IOW – adaptation to the conditions AS THEY EVOLVED. This is analogous to what should be happening wrt possible climate change. But what’s being proposed is top down rigid mitigation policies that would preclude the flexibility required to meet changing conditions. There’s one spacecraft program for which the management insisted on precisely that kind of operation – and after launch, that program produced more problems (many of them unresolvable) as the rest of the NASA fleet combined. That program was then, and still is, a problem generator that has devoured resources and diverted effort from other important programs. In the same way, the presently proposed CC mitigation policies would create as many problems as they would solve and would also devour resources and divert efforts from more effective solutions – most or all of which will come from the private sector – if it’s allowed to happen. That, after all, IS the business of the private sector – meeting the needs of the present. And it’s been doing that for 12,000 years, sometimes in partnership with government but rarely or never when forced into subservience to government. The notion that it’s incapable of fulfilling that purpose now is incredibly shortsighted and stupid.

        I will recommend for you what I recmmended for Paul S – read Matthew Kahn’s book “Climatopolis”.

        And watch this –

        And then come back and tell me what you think we should be doing. I’ll be interested, but sceptical (as always).

      • Good post Jim,

        The very basic “you have to prove agw false” is about as basic an anti-science posture that could be imagined. It’s rarely questioned by the climate “scientist”. Science is about proving things, not guessing and asking people to disprove a wild claim.

        The quackery grows across the board in many fields, I suspect because of credential inflation over the generations. You produce 500% more PHD’s and you give them computers second rate ideas grow at least at that rate. It over shaddows the good work that is also growing. Regardless the “prove us wrong” is so weak it’s an outrage such an argument is supported by the consensus.

        Another pinhead idea is “carbon compounding” which gets to the classic Gavin’s claim that 40% of co2 is from human production. Since 97% of co2is natural how does it get to 40% of total? Carbon compounding over centuries. The CO2 cycle might be only a few weeks for air and the sink isn’t defined but alarmists are perfectly comfortable with this wild guess the co2 from the 1940’s is like magic still in the air. Totally medievel logic but again a consensus standard.

      • tempterrain

        Jim Owen,

        You seem to dispute the idea “If X might happen then we MUST protect against X…”

        Well its all about risk assessment of course, but risks do have to be calculated and decisions made. I’ve just been watching a TV program about the Amazon, and apparently there is a little fish there which can swim up a stream of urine and lodge itself in a person’s anatomy in quite a painful fashion. It maybe only happens in a percentage of cases, and you can call me ‘risk averse ‘ if you like, but I have made a mental note that if there is the slightest possibility that I’m anywhere near that little fish……..

      • So you’ve stopped urinating? Congratulations on coming up with an excellent example of what’s wrong with the Precautionary Principle.

        (twas sorely tempted to abbreviate it “PP”)

      • tt –
        You seem to dispute the idea “If X might happen then we MUST protect against X…”

        OK – if you want to personally protect against X, then do so. But don’t expect me to join you – and don’t try to force me to do so. Now, as I said last night –

        Of those who advocate massive, disruptive, expensive action against climate change that is uncertain, unprovable, speculative and, if real, unstoppable – how many are equally concerned about earthquakes, tsunamis, meteor strikes, terrorism, hurricanes and tornadoes? All of which are more certain than the imagined destructive effects of climate change.

        So – what are you doing about those particular incarnations of X? And while you’re at it, what are you doing to protect against alien invasion, teen pregnancy, the spread of AIDS and rampant idiocy? All of which are more certain and to be more feared than the purported effects of climate change.

      • I had seen that video by dr. Muller before, and I agree it is a good choice.

        From what I gather from your remarks, the best policy action is to manage any crisis as they unfold, and not try to do a revolution in the systems because of some relatively unfounded fears.

        This is problematic, since the notion of “relatively unfounded fears” is annoyingly subjective, and you’ll have leftists completely dazzled at the thought that what is happening in CC is not “real” nor a “big damned threat to all mankind” (I wished I could link a video of Bjorn Lomborg in Bill Maher’s show and contrast his views with the bedazzlement of Maher and guests (otherwise intelligent people like Rushdie)).

        But I like your answer. Thanks

      • Luis, if I can make one other point.

        Let’s assume for the moment that climate change is very bad news, if the climate changes then all of the worst fears will come true. In answer to this we develop a new form of power and spend billions to convert all power generation over to this amazing new source. (The new source also removes CO2 from the air and reduces levels to 280 ppm.

        What would happen? Would the climate stop changing? No. The climate would still change and we would have to manage the problems as they present themselves. Do lots or do nothing, adaptation is the only sensible policy.

      • Luis –
        Disagree. The past 30 years, are filled with now almost forgotten catastrophic predictions which have failed to materialize. I’m not talking about whackjob theories, I’m talking about those made by well respected scientists, who made thier case in a valid (although ultimately incorrect) manner. Some things that come to mind our studies claiming global food shortages, malthusian dystopias, depletion of vital and supposedly irrepaceable natural resources.

        Now note, these in no way mean AGW can not turn out to be true. But what we can learn from this history is that our brightest minds have a penchant for imagining a big change on a global scale, but ultimately overwhelmed by the complexity of reality, and the unknowns of the future and even the true state of the present. In many of these cases, we were wise to be cautionary of the precautionary principle.

        Now I’d diagnose myself as a lukewarmer, and realize the case for AGW is compelling, but only shakily confirmed. And yes, we’re probably not going to get a ‘smoking gun’ scientific result within the time frame needed to act on the issue. However, the key is to get to a point where we know where we stand, without fooling ourselves. Everyone here knows that there’s alot of deliberately misleading results coming out of climate research, and we can’t have these Mannian “witnesses with no credibility” influencing the decision. The climate community needs to tell the jury to disregard everything they heard from those types, then we can properly assess the risk and make a democratic decision, which isn’t going to please everyone, or even neccessarily be the correct one, but that is how you ultimately get action.

      • John Kannarr

        “This is troublesome, because it means that the right wing solution to the problem is to deny its very existence.”

        I don’t consider myself a “right-winger” but I am a libertarian. I do consider your claim to be a straw man. It may represent your view of what others who disagree with you are doing, but I don’t believe it is accurate at all. As a libertarian, though, I believe in individual freedom. As such, there is no single libertarian solution to the problem you posit (CAGW), because free men will make their own choices and act in ways that seem to them to be the best response to any situation. For some it might be to move, for others to buy more air conditioning, for others to see a tremendous opportunity to search for new, more efficient ways to generate the power that their fellow men will need to deal wth the situation. In freedom, each person will develop their own approach to deal with the problems they face. There is no single “solution” to the posited CAGW – that is the approach assumed by those who believe that only a super technocrat or politician can make the right decision for everyone, and it is an approach that the history of every planned economy and socialist dictatorship has proven by experience to be totally unworkable, and ultimately disastrous.

        Now turn the question around, and ask what would a libertarian advocate if it were known that there was severe GW occurring and that no part of it was in fact caused by the actions of men. What would be any different in rational men’s responses? They would each try to solve the problem in ways that seemed best for their individual situations and capabilitiers and options. Some would indeed try to find ways to ameliorate or even alter the general situation for others as a benevolent and likely as a business opportunity. Some would certainly try to study the natuiral causes of the GW and see if man could change the parameters, modifying his environment if possible, and adapting to changing conditions if not. There would still be no single statist solution that could or should be imposed on everyone else.

        Either way, a libertarian would never have the arrogance to assume that he had the right to impose his answer on others.

      • ‘Although sometimes characterized by his critics as a “conservative,” Hayek always maintained that he was in fact an old-fashioned liberal, a believer in individual liberty, constitutionally limited government, and the free market of ideas and of goods. A progressive society must always be open to innovation, at the same time that it rests on a stable foundation of rights and rules of just conduct. He entitled the postscript to The Constitution of Liberty “Why I am not a conservative.” While friendly to many conservatives, Hayek pointed out that the conservative “has no political principles which enable him to work with people whose moral values differ from his own for a political order in which both can obey their convictions. It is the recognition of such principles that permits the coexistence of different sets of values that makes it possible to build a peaceful society with a minimum of force. The acceptance of such principles means that we agree to tolerate much that we dislike.”‘

        Security: Part of this protection of the ordering forces of the free society will of course be their protection from outside enemies (or possibly internal insurrection). For Hayek, the government clearly has an essential role in defence, which requires it to have certain coercive powers, both in the raising of funds to pay for defence, and even in the recruitment of an army in times of emergency. However, provided that the government itself is bound by general rules in these respects, Hayek does not see any major cause for alarm.

        Policing is another function which the government will have to ensure is done if the free society is to endure. Making sure that the general rules of conduct are observed may again require some coercive powers by government, not just in the form of punishment, but also in the raising of funds to pay for policing.

        And there are other dangers which can extinguish the social order, and whose effects can be minimised only be deliberate organisation of people: dangers such as storms, floods, earthquakes, epidemics and other natural disasters. The prevention of some disasters (such as fires and epidemics) or the rebuilding of social and market relations after them may well require a government which does not only have compulsory powers to organise co–ordinated action, but has the resources at its disposal to overcome the problem

        Hayek therefore concludes that:

        ‘The task of government is to create a framework within which individuals and groups can successfully pursue their respective aims, and sometimes to use its coercive powers of raising revenue to provide services which for one reason or another the market cannot supply.’

        http://www.adamsmith.org/images/uploads/publications/hayek-his-contribution-ed-4.pdf

        There is nothing particularly alarming in a libertarian setting the agenda in certain regards – I suggest the Lomberg priorities in the Millennium Development context and a LSE Hartwell 2010 Paper framing.

      • tempterrain

        John Kannarr,

        What is the libertarian solution to a “tragedy of the commons” type problem?

        I can guess that if the “common” was land, you could privatise it.

        But what about, say, fish stocks in the ocean? Fish swim around, so there wouldn’t be any point owning an area of sea if your neighbour was going to overfish his area and deplete your stocks too.

        Doesn’t there sometimes need to be governmental control?

      • tempterrain, The ‘Common’ has already been privatized, through the structured indebtedness of ‘the people’ around the world. You don’t need to worry though, the original owner said he still has the deed. He Comes complete will governmental control. Please read Isaiah, 9:6 for more information. Enjoy the first day of the week too.

      • John, that’s too much ideology for my brain. Doesn’t work.

        Imagine the following scenario. There is this world where a thousand people live. They increasingly learn that, because of their BAU activities, they are warming up their tiny globe where they live. It’s a libertarian globe, so everyone gets to do about it whatever they feel about it. Fine and dandy, and you’ll even get a good start, since people on libertarianland (this new tiny globe’s name) are actually sensible and will try to do the best they can about it.

        This will be true for 900 people. But not for the last 100. The last 100 will deny the problem, deny the precautionary principle, etc., and will not only continue their BAU, but because the rest 900 forfeited doing so, they are able to “conquer” the entire market with their advantageous practices, rising their own “warming activities” as they do so.

        In this tiny globe, the world will warm up and there’s no one who will stop it. Call it the “tragedy of the commons” or call it the problem of the prisoner’s dillema. I don’t see how anarchy is a solution to this problem per se. Behind all your rationale, I sense a deep faith that if you just give Freedom(tm) to people, their creativity will just skyrocket and the world will have magical technologies which will solve the problem, and you take this almost like a given.

        Not that I don’t like those dreams.

      • ..the world will warm up and there’s no one who will stop it.

        This is just blind faith in the vested interests of a climate establishment steeped in data hiding and other sabotaging of the science process.

        I don’t see how anarchy is a solution to this problem per se

        It isn’t. But until there is some adult supervision of the climate establishment, we have no way of knowing if there is actually a problem, and hence knowing how much wealth we should sacrifice dealing with it.

      • This is just blind faith in the vested interests of a climate establishment steeped in data hiding and other sabotaging of the science process.

        No, it was a conceptual story that tried to show the problems inherent to the “libertarian solution” to the tragedy of the commons. Did you even read it, or just skimmed it in trying to get the nasty soundbytes so you could bring your strawmans? I’m good at that game too, you know, just keep flirting with me like that and you’ll see.

        It isn’t.

        Thank you. That’s what I wanted to hear. That’s an adult statement, where at least you are aware of the limits of libertarianism. I was somewhat concerned that this limitation wasn’t obvious.

      • No, Luis, your categorical claim that that the world definitely is going to worm up, is indeed nothing more than blind faith in politically tainted science.

        And I notice you almost immediately contradicted your own equally silly claim that I was unaware of the tragedy commons issue. You also failed to give any indication of what strawman you allege I introduced.

      • This is troublesome, because it means that the right wing solution to the problem is to deny its very existence.

        No, what is troublesome is the pretence that there is a problem in the first place. Produced
        – by those with a vested political interest in the ‘solution’,
        – using other peoples’ money, and
        – making heavy, unapologetic and ongoing use of fraud and secrecy, and presenting this charade as ‘science’.
        That’s what’s really troublesome.

      • Punksta,

        There are many problems – famine in Africa…

        There are many solutions.

        Cheers

      • Chief, I meant what is troublesome in this regard, ie the area of climatology. So Yes of course there are also problems elsewhere.

      • Climatology be buggered.

        In the longer term – the energy problem is one dimension of a problem involving development, agriculture, health, education, population and the environment.

      • tempterrain

        Energy itself isn’t the problem. Rather it is the emission of large quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere.

      • Try as I may, I still cannot detect a significant point of difference between us here. Energy is indeed a far-reaching and big issue.

      • You do realise, Punksta, that your reply is a direct confirmation of that sentence of mine? I was being a little caricaturalistic (since being honestly fair and nuanced about things would create a thesis, not a blog comment), but you fell right into it. Come on.

      • Yip, your advanced caricaturalistism got me Luis.

      • tempterrain

        Luis,

        Yes, you are absolutely correct in your analysis. I recently came to the same conclusion myself when ‘debating’ the issue with so-called climate sceptics. Although the thrust of their arguments were superficially scientific it was pretty obvious that their underlying motivations were political.

        For this reason, Judith is probably wrong to divide up threads into technical and political/sociological. Unless we have the complete background of any author, both political and scientific, then we aren’t going to make any progress.

        Maybe we won’t anyway and we’ll just have to fight it out.

      • Paul S,
        Tell us why we should have any confidence at all in left wingers coming up with anything that works?
        Doing nothing is often the best policy.
        You are simply setting up a set of phony choices and then blaming the one trying to answer your phony scenario for not coming up with the answer you like.
        I took a charming young co-worker who is openly talking about her lefty politics to a lunch meeting yesterday, and was told by her that, among many other immature things, that Republicans are inherently evil because they are not willing to give up more money to help. When I pointed out that that the stats show Conservatives give far more to charity than liberals, she ignored that by saying conservatives only give to help each other. Then she went off on Tea Party people, saying that they are all hypocrites who are on welfare and don’t work so they have the time to go rally all of the time. I asked her where was a rally taking place right now for out of work tea partiers, and she answered to the effect that somewhere in some redneck town. I have never been to a tea party rally, disagree with the tea party approach on many things, but she did not sound credible. I later googled up a Gallup poll showing that the tp is actually as well educated as most of America, is well employed and is middle class, not on welfare. Then welfare was redefined as getting a mortgage deduction.
        You,like my young colleague, are the ones unwilling to deal with reality or evidence you do not like.
        Instead, you spend a great deal of time creating phony issues and tests and then railing against people who do not play the way you wish.
        I enjoy working with this young woman because she is actually pretty good at her job and I can tolerate her pov, however mis-focused. What I see on the left, however, is not anything like tolerance towards conservatives.
        Yet who bleats on about tolerance when they get a hard time?

      • You are simply setting up a set of phony choices and then blaming the one trying to answer your phony scenario for not coming up with the answer you like.

        I haven’t set up any choices. I’ve provided a hypothetical scenario and asked for solutions. It wasn’t a question of them not coming up with an answer I liked. They refused to come up with any answer at all.

        Tell us why we should have any confidence at all in left wingers coming up with anything that works?

        This is exactly why I ask people the question. Many people seem dismayed by a perception that ‘socialists’ and ‘lefties’ are driving policies that tackle climate change. If that’s the problem simply table an alternative course of action that isn’t socialist or lefty.

      • Paul this is getting utterly bizarre. Why should anyone seek to answer your hypothetical question if they think the premises are unrealistic? First, it is by no means clear that global climate is warming at a rate likely to cause serious harm in our children’s lifetimes – this is, quite simply, a matter of opinion and there are no sound physical theories that prove it. Second, it is demonstrable that the proposed mitigation strategies are hugely expensive and ineffective at reducing emissions, let alone affecting the climate. For instance, UK emissions policy has forced much of our rather efficient steel industry to relocate to India where the same production entails higher, not lower emissions and huge subsidies have been paid to the manufacturers. It is a matter of simple arithmetic that cap-and-trade maximises rather than minimises emissions, incidentally making a lot of money for people like Goldman Sachs that you liberal lefties are supposed to despise.
        So yes, doing nothing is a far superior option. As the old saying goes, don’t just do something, stand there!

    • When does a theory become consensus with “maybe” at it’s core? No math or physics for the most part. No lab experiments. Nothing but a conclusion that was ahead of all research or studies.

      Maybe we should build a 125 trillion dollar global space defence system because maybe we are due fo a big impact. It’s happened before hasn’t it?

      Your logic is seriously flawed.

      • Clearly, my thought process is not the same as the IPCC’s so if you use my reasonings as attempted defenses of the IPCC process then of course they will fail as such.

    • Luis and if I read correctly Paul S contend that

      “”the right wing does not have or at least have not proposed thus far a right-wing solution to this problem, since all “solutions” are apparently state or federal-based, that is, they are “solved” by the very institutions the right wing wants to minimize. I think they should re-think this limitation. Grant the possibility of danger (the horror!) and try to get some ideas on how to solve the potential problem. RIght wing ideas.

      I mean, why not?””

      I will give a short answer, but keep in mind I am a liberal. It is hard to get past the anti-government stance and understand what the conservatives are saying abut this possibility. There is a reason and that reason is risk management.

      A conservative approach to risk management is when one does not know if a proposed problem is real, one conserves capital in order to maximize the liklihood of affording a solution if the risk is real. So the first problem and why you get the answers you do, is that if someone is in business, they usually understand the basics and basis of a risk assessment. If you mean hypothetical, it means hypothetical, and thus a good answer is to do nothing because the world’s economy is growing and humans are getting more capable and richer. The solution to this hypothetical is that the solution already exits and we are already doing it. Otherwise, they are correct in asking YOU for what you are trying to ask. Remember, the precautionary principle is a rhetorical device, not a risk management device, because it does not count the cost of doing something that is wrong, and wastes money.

      One can see the sense of this by proposing a hypothetical problem of global warming that is catastrophic, and further that ONLY nuclear will keep the CO2 low enough to prevent this and allow us to develop the eventual solution. In fact, the solution is so expensive and time intensive that if we spend money on ineffecient and expensive technolgy, like wind and solar, we doom the human race to catastrophe.

      The above hypothetical illustrates that you are as much blinded by your expectations as are the conservatives you are taking to task. You have made a logical error that even though somehow you do not know the specifics, yet you can demand specifics.

      This is why the conversations break down so often. Where as the conservatives see capitalism as a resource, others see it as the problem. But truthfully, both Luis and Paul S contend a hypothetical CO2 catastrophic warming problem by CO2. They are not the same problem. Stating that capitalism, rather humans, as the problem is also incorrect.

      • That’s a very good answer, and in a reply somewhere above inside this enormous tree (the formatting of this blog isn’t exactly “good”) I also stated “Give us at least a framework on how a right wing policy would go on solving this hypothetical problem.”

        Your reply was giving me the kind of answer I was looking for. It is still an incomplete account of the thought process, but I can somewhat fill in the gaps. As far as I can understand the point, the difficulty on putting a number on the actual risk we are facing is enough reason to discard the theory.

        If the problem is “Risk Assessment” and if that perspective also incorporates ideology, that is, ideology inevitably colors one’s perception of the best risk strategy, then I can see how this affects one’s perception of the whole science. What may seem a problem to a lefty, may not be as problematic to a right winger. (We could add that the left usually perceives the ecossystem as this fragile thing to which humans have also very fragile basis, while the right usually perceives these things as darwinistically chaotic and self-correcting and adaptive – I myself am unable to not see the downfalls of both perceptions)

        However, the problem of risk assessment as seen by the right wing is that it works very well in a system where multiple errors and “collapses” are accepted as part of a darwinian system, and they all contribute for a better system overall. The market works like that, and they blew away the ideological competitors in the last century. But when we have a sole planet, shouldn’t the equations be somewhat different? What works in millions of parts within a system will work in the system itself?

      • My reply is near the bottom Luis. It got sent there by the gods of window’s electrons. LOL. I also answered your other post. Martha makes unintentionaly, I assume, comments that Dr Curry responds to that highlight my contentions about the “other” side. I, myself, see a myriad of sides. YMMV.

      • Pedro Oliveira

        When the left has become more conservative than the conservatives? Because that’s what your answer implies…

      • An answer to the first part is located below, the second part needs a separate answer.

        Luis you say: “But when we have a sole planet, shouldn’t the equations be somewhat different? What works in millions of parts within a system will work in the system itself?””

        NO!!. How can the equations be different if they are correct. Your argument replaces reason with prejudice. You are prejudiced that our sole planet is somehow special. Go to a good astronomy book or site and see just how large existence actaully is. Your statement is a belief about “not working.” Perhaps you should consider some humans believe that things can work out. This working out does not mean that a deity is in charge by the way. Just that we can answer what we can. Perhaps AGW, CO2 or whatever you want to call it has a solution! In fact consider that the claim for us doing something is that it can work out. Then consider that others may have an answer different from yours that can also work out. Then you can see that the reasons for disagreement are not irrational as has, all too often, been portrayed.

      • I do consider this planet “special” in the sense that we still don’t have much of a choice of any other to flee to. Of course, in a bird’s eye view, the equations are “still correct”, and if our planet is doomed, many other planets will also be “doomed”, and thus the only surviving civilizations will be the ones which have tackled with these issues in the sufficient manner so to survive and thrive beyond them.

        In this regard, the equations are “still correct”. But likewise, if you are head of a company, you don’t get to say that your strategies and plannings are all fine, “because the market will sort it out”. That kind of CEO will bring down the company in a nanosecond. To say that the equations are fine may be a good assurance to the galaxy’s civilizations in general, but I don’t see how it is a “good thing” to us.

        So yeah, I’d say that the fact that we cannot really choose a planet to live makes the equations slightly different, that seems patently obvious to me, what I am asking is “how much” and “how so”, since that’s the part that eludes me somewhat.

        And sure, many things will perhaps work out ok, and solutions will be found. I was asking a more metaquestion if you will.

      • Luis,
        see my post above

    • Seems to me conservatives (among others) are pretty much in favor of the expansion of nuclear power. Of course the absolutists and alarmists disqualify nuclear as a solution despite the fact that of the three major nuclear reactor accidents (Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and Fukushima) only Soviet-era Chernobyl had any measurable impact on public health.

  11. Hector Pascal

    I got as far as this: “We draw theoretical and analytical guidance from the identity-protective cognition thesis explaining the white male effect and from recent political psychology scholarship documenting the heightened system-justification tendencies of political conservatives.”

    I’d count myself as a centrist by European standards. That would make me a leftist in the US. It’s curious (to me) that resisting fakery, quackery and a naked state power grab should find me in bed with US conservatives. There you go. How was it for you sweetie?

  12. Alexander K

    Perhaps I should be flattered that the authors define me as a ‘cool dude’ even though I am 70+! but the article is a wonderful example of the phrase ‘Sociology is an extremely obscure and skewed glimpse of the supremely obvious’.
    Like Judith, I know no-one who denies that the climate changes but I also know no-one who thinks that Man is causing extreme or catastrophic changes either.

  13. WOW. Seriously.

    I’ve never been a huge fan of social ‘science’, this hardly helps.

    It is possibly, one of the most poorly written, assumption riddled, methodologically compromised pieces of junk that i have ever had the misfortune of reading.

    I have trained first year students that would have done a better job than these tow. I’m literally struggling to get across the abject nature of this ‘paper’.

    Frankly, it’s a work of art.

    • Labmunkey, as (I would hope) a well trained social scientist myself, I am deeply embarrassed by this awful piece of analysis. You have expressed my reaction perfectly.

    • And then the sociology majors working at Burger King wonder why sociology majors are the butts of so many jokes.

    • Labmunkey,

      you are absolutely correct. As you say

      Frankly, it’s a work o fart.

  14. “Perhaps someone needs to develop a demographic and behavioral theory about social scientists who write about climate change “deniers.” I look forward to the reactions of the “cool dudes” to these ideas.”

    One must understand how most social science works in order to understand this article. (1) identify the ideological position you want to advance, (2) gather data with (1) in mind, (3) interpret data in a manner to support (1), (3) claim validity, (4) move on to the next item on the social justice list.

  15. Alexander Harvey

    Hi Judith:

    “Do you know anyone that denies the reality of climate change? I sure don’t. ”

    What do you mean by that?

    Do you really not know one such? Perhaps it depends on what you imply by the word “know”?

    **********

    Let’s see. Is there anyone here who denies the reality of climate change?

    I would be pleased to be informed that everyone here accepts the reality of climate change.

    Alex

    • I guess, everybody here accepts that (the physical) climate changes (due to cycles of nature, external forcing of the climate system and so on). The questions are, whether the anthropogenic influence is real, whether it is a problem and whether we should care at all about the changing nature of (the physical) climate.

      • Alexander Harvey

        Another good question is what Judith means by the “the reality of climate change”.

        Without that being certain, the question seems meaningless.

        Alex

    • If someone denies stuff like the ice ages, and that some decades are warmer than others, well I don’t know of any such people.

      • Alexander Harvey

        Judith

        Is that indicative of the the strength of your argument, that to accept that the climate does change from season to season or from decade to decade or that there were ice ages is to accept the reality of climate change?

        Do you accept AGW as part of the reality of climate change?

        Alex

      • You need to define your terms. Your question is too simplistic.

      • Agreed. You’re fishing Alexander; be specific or drop the point.

      • Alexander Harvey

        In absense of certain knowledge as to what Judith considers to be and not to be part of the reality of climate change. I can but ask.

        Right now I cannot say whether Judith thinks that AGW is part of the reality of climate change. I suspect that see does, in which case I think that she must know some that do not think that AGW is part of the reality of climate change.

        Alternatively she may not think that AGW is part of the reality of climate change. So I asked if she accepts that it is. I think that is specific enough for now.

        Alex

        Alex

      • My point is that you need to distinguish anthropogenic climate change from the broader issue of climate change. Nobody denies climate change, whereas people may deny anthropogenic climate change.

      • Dr. Curry,
        This paper is at least partially a result of accepting the term ‘climate change’ as the popular name for global warming.
        Another foundational support for this sort of dreck is the acceptance of term ‘denier’ for ‘skeptic’.
        Once a meaningless, ambiguous phrase like ‘climate change’ was accepted to help the AGW community skip over the pesky lack of warming, it allows for other failures in thought and communication.
        Once skeptics are dehumanized as ‘deniers’, it is OK to talk about the alleged pathology that makes them less than human.

      • Alexander Harvey

        Judith,

        Whether you know anyone that denies the reality of climate change depends on what you include in that reality. If you include AGW as part of that reality that materially affects the question. Do you not include AGW as part of the reality of climate change?

        Alex

      • “If you include AGW as part of that reality that materially affects the question.”

        No, that has nothing to do with the question; nor are you saying anything meaningful or even what you probably think you are saying (and trying to bait Dr. Curry with).

        Do you deny all the ice ages this planet had before there were people burning anything? Do you deny the wild swings in temperature this world has gone through? Do you deny the Cretaceous Warm Period where tropical sea surface temperatures were 17C warmer than today? Do you deny the Late Devonian some 380 million years ago where average temperatures rose 8C above what we have today at the same time that CO2 levels fall sharply compared to the similarly hot Early Devonian (416 mya)? Do you deny that both periods aforementioned were teeming with more life and biodiversity than we have now? Do you deny the ice core data which shows wild swings in temperatures of multiple C on the order of decades and centuries? Do you deny that all these wild climate events happened before we were around?

        We are in an interglacial period that has gone on for an average length of time and at an average temperature compared to all the interglacials previously. Do you see anyone denying these huge shifts in this planet’s climate? That biomes have appeared and disappeared over our land masses, species come and gone dramatically, and that the world is in constant motion, and thus constant change? No one is denying that, and Dr. Curry is completely right in her statement: no one denies the climate changes, day to day, epoch to epoch.

        What people disagree with is that the human race has the ability to be more than a drop in the bucket compared to the crazy swings this planet manages all on its own. We are like an ant thinking that since we started to gather up twigs and clear the land around our nest, that the sudden clear cutting of the forest around us must have been our doing. This is what people take issue with: that humanity has the power to change the climate to the decree that AGW computer models say we will; and that it is all OUR doing rather than the planet doing what it’s done throughout its entire history. And that WE must do something about it, instead of letting the planet do its own thing and just hanging on for the ride by adaptation. I see Paul S above talking about the “dangers”, but what dangers? In what -quantifiable- sense?

        Really, Alexander, if anyone is a denier of climate change it is you, and anyone else who would say that -all- climate change we see now, or that the reality of climate change, is due to human activity (and maybe we are having an effect that’s noticeable, that’s what science is currently trying to discern; but the multi-billion year history of this planet says what we think is “notable” is nothing compared to what it’s already done and will do all by itself again). For to say such absurd, insane things is to deny all of geology and geological history of this planet and its climate. Maybe you just know nothing of history, but only what you’ve been told by the AGW movement in regards to the last 50 years, and thus robbed of any sense of perspective. In which case, I hope this extraordinarily brief run through of but a handful of Earth’s notable geological periods has helped. And in any case, I hope this has enlightened you to the issues currently being discussed, and to what Dr. Curry was referring. You seem like you have a good intellect, so don’t let it go to waste on rhetoric.

      • Alexander Harvey

        Ged,

        it seems that Judth’s justifies her assertion on the basis that denying the reality of climate change is limited to denying that the climate has changed.

        That seemed to be is a narrow reality.

        Below she has since stated:

        “Very few on this blog deny that humans contribute to climate change.”

        So perhaps she thinks that some here do deny that. If that be so, her postion above is decided on whether she thinks that a human contribution to climate change is part of the reality of climate change. I suspect that she does think that is the case.

        As for your comments you seem to be attacking either views I do not hold or making statements against which I have not argued.

        I have no idea what Judith included in the phrase; “the reality of climate change”. So I asked. Perhaps she will reply, perhaps not. If she does include AGW as part of that reality then I think that there are people who have denied that reality on this blog, whether or not that constitutes “knowing” them.

        Perhaps she made a mistake.

        Alex

      • when i am referring to anthropogenically forced climate change, i say those words or the shorthand AGW. i use climate change to mean a change in climate (without reference to cause)

      • Alexander Harvey

        Thanks Judith,

        I shall know in future that the reality of climate change is just that climate changes and that all the rest of climate science is not part of that reality, in your terms. Which is fair enough.

        It is a narrower reality. If asked I would respond that it is much more than that, as I would include the science and its implication that we can and do act in ways that change the climate either directly or by modification of the biosphere including its domestication.

        We have a point of difference. Your statement that I queried followed the section that included the following:

        “29.6% of CWMs but only 7.4% of all other adults believe that the effects of global warming will never happen.”

        I think that the none zero values equate to people’s opinions being at odds with the reality of climate change, not least on the basis that global warming has occurred and it has not been without its effects. If these people have been made aware of that warming, of the effects both apparent and as implied by the science then they do not accept a significant part of what I must view as the reality of climate change. I do not know what to deny means if it is not implied by non-acceptance.

        If they accept the warming but not the effects then I must view that as a non-acceptance of part of the reality of climate.

        These percentages sound somewhat high and without knowing the preamble it is difficult to judge what question people thought they were answering or how they judged it best to respond based on an understanding of the purpose and effects of the polling.

        Here on your blog people do express positions such as that CO2 induced global warming (a subset of climate change) is a fraud, and that AGW is a baseless theory. These are positions that I, and I thought you, must consider to be at odds with the reality of climate change. So I queried your usage and you have cleared the matter up.

        Alex

      • Alex,
        The analysis is based on data from Gallup’s annual environment poll, where the question relevant to “will never happen” is

        ‘‘Which of the following statements reflects your view of when the effects of global warming will begin to happen—they have already begun to happen, they will start happening within a few years, they will start happening within your lifetime, they will not happen within your lifetime, but they will affect future generations, (or) they will never happen?’’

      • Alexander Harvey

        Thanks Pekka,

        Given that range of choices I must infer that “never happen” excludes “already begun to happen”. So I must view that as a non-acceptance (to deny) the reality of global warming by both mine and Judith’s definitions. (If I have understood her correctly which I may have failed in doing) once again.

        A before people might think that global warming is happening but say it will never happen if they are savvy enough to know that there is a link between polling and policy. To act in that way would seem to meet a Hoofnagle criterion for an act of denialism, by use of a (rhetorical) tactic. I think that answering a Gallup pool can be seen as taking part in a debate.

        Alex

      • Alex,
        I’m never comfortable with polls, not when reading, how they are interpreted, nor when asked to answer myself. When I’m asked to answer, I cannot avoid thinking, how my answer will be interpreted. Very often I conclude that all alternatives are totally misleading, and I stop giving answers.

        In this case the question doesn’t state anything about the reason of the warming, but my guess is that almost everybody interprets it as AGW. But then comes the more difficult question: How strong should the warming be to be considered as happening? Is it enough that it non-zero, or should it be at a level that creates a risk?

        It’s always possible to compare successive polls. Questions like the above change seldom the temporal trends, but they may cause misinterpreted differences between various groups. Absolute values are most suspect or difficult to interpret.

      • “I shall know in future that the reality of climate change is just that climate changes and that all the rest of climate science is not part of that reality, in your terms. Which is fair enough.”

        Alexander,

        It is part of the reality. “Climate Change” is what’s narrow (and Orwelian). Real climate change includes also any anthropogenic climate changes. Anthropogenic local warming (UHI and co.) for example is VERY likely true.

      • Judith

        Your distinction between “anthropogenic climate change”and the broader issue of “climate change” is very pertinent.

        As you say

        Nobody denies climate change, whereas people may deny anthropogenic climate change.

        I believe there is another pertinent distinction, which may even be more important, i.e. that between “anthropogenic climate change” and the premise of “poptentially catastrophic anthropogemic climate change”..

        This is more fundamental than simply being a disagreement on the degree of AGW.

        Most people would agree than humans have changed climate on a local or even regional basis.

        Some might even agree that these changes have combined to have a global impact, i.e. that humans have changed climate on a global basis.

        But, in view of all the uncertainties involved, it takes a giant leap of faith with no supporting empirical evidence to believe that AGW, caused principally by human CO2 emissions, has been the primary cause of 20th century warming and that it, thus, represents a serious potential threat to humanity and our environment.

        And this is precisely the premise which is being sold under the name “AGW” and which is opposed by most of the “cool dudes”, which I know.

        Max

      • Judith,

        Isn’t the hockey stick climate change denial?

      • I mean the handle of course.

      • Alpha Tango

        Excellent point.

      • Yet, alarmism is built with dozens of such straws. All the while claiming the “science” supports them and those who disagree are “anti-science”.

  16. I wonder if they ever examined:
    Why TV weathermen are on the frontline of the climate change debate

    Or explored “education” of CWMs, especially the # years postgraduate?
    I wonder if 31,000 degreed scientists counts as “evidence”?

    • Faith is the hope of things unseen.
      Faith in AGW means you don’t need evidence and can do what we see believers do so well: simply ignore it

  17. Your wonder if they read any other polls/surveys? e.g.
    Joe Bast summarizes surveys in You Call This ‘Consensus’ on Climate Change?

    CliSci2008: A Survey of the Perspectives of Climate Scientists Concerning Climate Science and Climate Change 2010 D. Bray & H. von Storch
    Citing: Bray, D., 2010: Consensus among climate scientists revisited.– Environmental Science and Policy. Environmental Science and Policy 13 (2010) 340 – 350.

    Results also suggest rather than a single group proclaiming the IPCC does not represent consensus, there are now two groups, one claiming the IPCC makes overestimations (a group previously labeled skeptics, deniers, etc.) and a relatively new formation of a group (many of whom have participated in the IPCC process) proclaiming that IPCC tends to underestimate some climate related phenomena.

    • Davic,
      This paper, like the phony drowned polar bear paper, is part of the new virtual academia that produces peer reviewed papers that require no actual evidence, but only the correct ‘framing’ to convince the peers.
      So why would the authors waste their valuable time reading anything, when the point is to get the paper written quickly and delivered to the pals to review?

  18. People’s perceptions on global warming warming or on any complex issues are not based if systematic logical inference from best scientific knowledge.

    More often than not people have a stronger view on the conclusions than on the arguments used to support them. Often this is fully justified, i.e. people have indeed been able to collect information that supports their view on the conclusions, but at the same time they don’t know nearly enough on the details on the supporting understanding. The details are known by the experts, the conclusions may be understood by a much wider population.

    Discussion on the AGW is very much influenced by attempts to rationalize the overall view at a level of detail unreachable by the person presenting the argument. In those cases he is usually wrong on the argument, but that doesn’t prove that he would be wrong on the conclusions (on which he may equally well be right or wrong). This happens certainly on both sides of the argumentation.

    The numerical results of the study appear plausible, but so what? Similar results might be obtained by some other classification for the strongly alarmists views.

    • You need to unwind the history to understand the cause-and-effect. I don’t think that this was (very) politically controversial back when it was a purely scientific issue. That didn’t last long. The environmental movement jumped on this fairly early, and started pushing policy initiatives. Then it became politically controversial. Only then did people start letting their political predispositions influence their perception of the facts. And that goes on both sides, btw. Very few progressives are open minded enough to consider the possibility that the “consensus” isn’t rock solid, because they want to believe that it is.

  19. The smug little authors lost it at ‘denial’.
    The rest is a waste of bandwidth.
    But it is typical of ‘progressive thinking’, that the world’s problems are the result of those pesky white men.
    What a deceptive pseudo-academic pile of crap.
    I look forward to their discussion of the solution to dealing with the problem demographic they have identified.

    • i love your name-calling. very nice. and your last sentence …

      • ob,
        The faux paper being discussed does much worse.
        Calling the paper ‘used cow food’ is more polite, but is not as clear as calling it ‘bs’.
        I choose to be clear.

  20. Oops.
    The AGW community’s decision to use the Orwellian phony label ‘climate change’ when what they mean is ‘climate crisis caused by CO2′ is in no small part behind the little minds that produce this sort of crap paper.
    But then that was the reason the new name chosen.

    • Inadvertent climate modification preceded this article title, which used both terms simultaneously:

      “Climatic Change: Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?”

  21. From a political viewpoint alone, none of this should be at all surprising. Let’s drop race and sex from the equation and look just at “conservative” vs. “liberal”

    Conservatives typically do not believe the government is the best place to address change. Government, according to them, tends to be inefficient and slow. Liberals typically believe government to be the best place to institute change as it is the only institution that can actually force compliance.

    Now, to combat AGW will require dramatic change (according to the “believers”) in the way we do things. Only government can effect that level of change in the time required (again, according to “believers”). Conservatives scoff at the idea that the government can do it and that if it even tries it will be much, much more expensive than if the markets drive the change (at a much slower rate).

    Could it be that liberals look at AGW through the lens of their beliefs? They fundamentally are drawn to government changing things, so a theory that shows government having to change things fits right in their philosophy. Conservatives distrust government so anything that increases government is, according to their philosophical bent, is not to be trusted.

    On a side note, aren’t men more conservative than women? Aren’t whites more conservative than minorities? If so, then the single determining characteristic here is “liberal” vs. “conservative”.

    • Ironically of course Dr. Lindzen is a Democrat and liberally inclined as well, not type “A” moonbat but still a democrat. There are many paradox parties on the ground. Generally, I agree with the sterotypes but there are scaling issues in the AGW movement history. It started as academic, eco-green in fighting on campus and in research areas. It’s directly descended from the late 60’s “Population Bomb” and “Zero Growth” cultures and there were many model ideas to regulate carbon even before global warming became code. Many young people and general public parties have no idea of the left-wing fingerprints and roots.

      More shocking is that many never think about the U.N. as an instituition designed to promote socialism and wealth redistribution. It’s largely anti-western and certainly anti-American. There was a time when most on the left would admit as much but the promise was it would improve over time. Sadly, the American left sank to a similar level not the U.N. rising to a higher one. Certainly the world has made progress but old guard statist culture is alive and well among the leadership class the U.N. represents.

      I think you would be surprised how many people who vote democrat really don’t care about this issue at all and cynical of the claims. This is clearly the elite, higher educated liberals pine over. It’s big on campus and linked to the Earth Day, Peter Paul and Mary boomer crowds who would be far less effected by the Pea rations (or is that Pee rationing?) being proposed as a New World Order. Clearly everyone associated to Green subsides know the long-term plan of who and how the subsides as going to be fleeced. AGW is very much motivated by word the cultural left likes to defame others with; “greed”. So there are many nuances in in the sub groups of “conservative and liberal”.

  22. Ah, the latest in the “disagreement is pathology” study series.

    It seems that “denier” really means people that don’t support emissions targets.

    Indeed…just like those supporting “no regrets” policies are those delaying “meaningful” action on climate change.

    I guess the authors have never heard of Joanne Nova and Donna Laframboise, Ann Coulter, not to mention Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann.

    Having gone off the reservation, those listed become honorary “CWMs”.

    My main reaction to this is to question how social scientists, who actually study this, can be so clueless about the whole thing.

    Perhaps there’s a paper in that :)

  23. As a CWM I think it is important to point at that we are correct on most issues. :)

  24. Dr. Curry,

    I seem to have tripped the spam filter with a couple of posts…not sure why. You can delete the second.

  25. Rob Starkey

    This is the type of article that makes me not want to come to this site. Imo it is an example of promoting prejudicial behavior. That is only allowable because it seems to disparage white males vs. other racial groups.

    • I think it’s a case of exposing the nonsense which confronts anyone seeking informed, rational, sensible policy in the climate area. No one here seems to be buying this dreadful paper.

      More broadly, it seems quite common to find that CWMs are a legitimate target of attack, others not. Part of the decline of Western civilization?

  26. Dave Ropeik has a good post (i.e. a thought provoking post) on “cool dudes”

    http://bigthink.com/ideas/39500

    • Rob Starkey

      You would think it is a good post since you apparently like to promote prejudical behavior.

      • Rob,

        You’re better than this. Calm down, re-read the commentary and think. Posting about the paper does not equal agreement with it. Discussion about the weaknesses of it, the blatant bias in it, is far better than ignoring it.

      • Gene

        If someone were to write a paper that poorly summarized the behavior of Black Male Americans in a prejudicial manner you would likely find it reprehensible. Such a paper would not be generally distributed and discussed such as this has been. Why is this different?

      • Such a paper would not be generally distributed and discussed such as this has been. Why is this different?

        Cowardice on the part of those who should call it out. I agree that the hypothetical you proposed would be reprehensible. I agree that the paper that this post discusses is equally reprehensible. The answer is to point it out and show how ridiculous it is.

    • So Cs – conservatives – who tend to be Hierarchical, feel threatened not by the facts of climate change but by what the solutions to climate change might do to the way society operates. They cherry pick the facts to support a view that will preserve the social order they prefer, and defend that view fiercely, because it’s about way more than climate change. It’s about protecting their identities, the tribe, their safety. Powerful stuff.

      But it’s not just CWMs who do this. We ALL do. We all bring our subjective views on how society should operate to the subconscious process of coming up with our opinions on many issues. Egalitarians see climate change through the lens of their tribal preference for a social operating norm that is more flexible, more fair (as they would put it), less bound by hierarchies of class, so they are ‘believers’ in climate change rather than ‘deniers’ precisely because the solutions to climate change will necessarily shake up the status quo.

      Well put.

      • To expand on this a bit…what’s missing from both the “Cool Dudes” paper and Ropeik’s post is the realization that while our cultural viewpoints influence us, that doesn’t necessarily mean they control us. The paragraphs I quoted from Ropeik’s post seem to imply that he may get that; the authors of “Cool Dudes”, not so much. Turning disagreement into pathology is dangerously close to de-legitimizing an entire viewpoint. When the brush used is as broad as theirs, that’s a dangerous thing.

    • Jeff Nelson

      Ropeik’s argument gets conservatives completely wrong:
      “Well, the solutions to climate change are going to take all kinds of government ‘butting in’, all sorts of adjustments to the economic status quo, interventions that will mean new winners and losers, changes to who’s where on the economic and power ladder, and to a hierarchist (i.e. conservative), that means somebody else’s sort of society – the society of “Egalitarians” who want things flexible and fair, not rigid and bound by class and hierarchy – is going to prevail.”
      Garbage. Conservatives happen to know that any “action” that actually reduces emissions will take place in the construction and deployment of things- something that the stealy-eyed capitalists actually do very, very well. What they fear is government “action” on AGW that does nothing to reduce emissions – ie a big carbon tax used to build a $30 billion annual UN slush fund for “developing” nations, which just happens to have been the exact proposal on the table in Copenhagen. They also fear subsidizing “losers” to make them appear to be “winners.” This always ends badly because the subsidies are unsustainable. A lot of investors in wind/solar are about to lose a lot of money in Europe. Money they would not have lost if they’d been allowed to build nuclear plants

    • Dr. Curry,
      Just what is good about it?
      That Dave, like the authors of the dreck we are discussing, is misrepresenting the argument and calling skeptics ‘deniers’?
      Or that he is, like most AGW believers unable to reflect deeply about what has led him to believe in AGW?
      Dave is likely someone who thinks the Nature editorial was good journalism.

    • Dr Curry, waht is it that you like about this piece? It seems to make the same assumptive errors as the subject of this thread.

      • I like the term “cool dudes”. It should be clear from what I wrote that I think this study is not a good one.

      • ah you misunderstand Dr Curry- my bad for not being more specific. I was reffering to the Dave Ropeik piece.

        Or are you literally just linking because of the title? In which case i’ll be quiet…

  27. Paul Vaughan

    Who are these people who are allegedly denying the existence of terrestrial climate variation? I have not encountered them. Nothing worthwhile to see or discuss here today, so back to work…

    • Paul,
      Think of how counter revolutionaries are always dehumanized first.
      We are seeing nothing different from the AGW community extremists. Fortunately they are not powerful enough to do more than waste a lot of money and mutter, so far.

  28. Wow. Just wow.

    What a pile of utter BS! I actually feel quite offended. Perhaps if we were to replace “conservative white male” with “black” or “muslim” or “jewish”? How would it read then?

    Are these “Knowledge Supremacists”?

    What a horrendous pile of bilge. This article is the ultimate form “ad hominem”. White male effect outside the US? My god.

    Dr curry i really don’t know whether this article should even be dignified with its own thread, rather be used as a demonstration of the extremes to which the name science can be perverted, as a salutary tale, and caution against hubris.

    • And notice how they fabricate a a big conspiracy, as credible as the old favorite conspiracy, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, to make sure everyone knows the CWM’s are not only wrong, but evil.

    • I had the same reaction at first but decided to laugh it off. Perhaps Dr. Curry thought it a Friday joke.

      On the other hand people should get to see what goes on several feeder levels below the NYTimes or MSM. Go take a look at the Huffington Post Climate threads, they do talk about tattoos, criminal trials for “denial” etc.
      You think the left isn’t scary culture all jokes aside?

      I often do use the “Jewish” word substitute test when reading many topics where groups are labeled and vilified. I did it today reading the article before I read your post as well, it is scary and sad. Both sides can be cited but the depth of arrogance and self-importance, the dedication to Utopianism is unmatched by the left. That’s why they dominated 20th century American politics. Emotions win over reason most of the time and it’s never more true than the left and desire for Climate Change villians. Aside from rationalizing a global regulatory scheme it found the likely suspects in the private sectors most likely and pleasing to through to the cultural lefts mob; “big oil and gas” which is modern code for “bosses” if you found yourself shouting to the “masses” on street corner circa 1919 almost any labor union meeting or large city block of unemployed.

      Most conservatives were happy with their private rights and culture and only have grown more political as they are threatened and leftist culture has grown and resurged at a surface level at least. You do notice the writters don’t reference their political nucleus or associations. Like Climate Scientists that are above such reproach but it is close to one for one the same in my book. That one is crude and obvious is no less of an excuse for those who quote the best of intentions and opaque but in fact are more evil. Do realize how much of this noise is actually produced on campus culture everyday on every topic you can imagine through similar “papers”? I worry more about the hidden culture that is understood but never admitted outside the club without self-absorbed qualifications. In short climate scientists are far more dangerous than flame throwers in “Sociology” fields.
      You seem somewhat sheltered if this thread or content surprises you. Go to Climate Depot if you want to see the real warming value structure revealed.

      • “criminal trials for “denial” “: in Australia, it is recognised that the government’s carbon tax etc legislation will drive inflation. But the legislation will make it a criminal offence for traders to attribute price increases to the carbon tax! Move over, Big Brother, here comes Big Julia.

  29. Judith Curry,

    Could you give us your definition of a global warming skeptic and a global warming denier?

    And would you classify me as a denier or a skeptic given that I don’t dispute that we’ve added CO2 to the atmosphere, that CO2 is a GHG, that the earth has warmed, and that CO2 has played a role in some of this warming (my view is that CO2 has played a much smaller role in the recent warming)?

    • I think Dr curry has been quite clear on this- i doubt she’d class you (or i) as a denier. She also in a previous thread (many moons ago), expressed discomfort at the term denier (though still uses it).

      I’d imagine the sky dragon lot fall under ‘denier’.

      • I think Dr curry has been quite clear on this- i doubt she’d class you (or i) as a denier.

        Yes, but I would like to read it from her as well as her comments on what she considers makes a skeptic and makes a denier… :-)

      • I only use the word “denier” in the context of discussing other people’s use of the word. Of those that use the word “denier”, it does not seem to be used in a consistent way, and it most often refers to policies rather than science. Using the word “denier” in an academic publication, I find very distasteful, unnecessary and most often to be used in a context that shows a great deal of ignorance and flawed reasoning.

      • tempterrain

        Judith,

        So you are ‘denying’ ever saying:
        “I reserve the word “deniers” for people that are explicitly associated with advocacy groups that are politicizing this issue…” ?

    • Dr. Curry had devouted vast nuanced threads on this topic. They should be easy enough to find.

      While conciliatory enough to many skeptics it’s enough to be vilified by alarmist mobs. At the same time it supports an irrational set talking points that distract from the basic unscientific nature of AGW debates.

      Denier is a ad hom that is applied when consensus views fail to convince. It’s leftist lexicon as well.

      • tempterrain

        “denier” is a perfectly acceptable English language word. It doesn’t necessarily imply any association with events in WW2, nor is it an “ad-hom”

        Look it up in your own dictionary. You’ll find:

        denier – one who denies
        controversialist, disputant, eristic – a person who disputes; who is good at or enjoys controversy

        de·ni·er 1 (d-nr)
        n.
        One that denies: a denier of harsh realities.

      • tempterrain said:

        “denier” is a perfectly acceptable English language word. It doesn’t necessarily imply any association with events in WW2, nor is it an “ad-hom”

        Lately it seems to have been taken for use in the more pejorative way by “scientist/proselytizer” types; influential writers such as Richard Dawkins are using it , explicitly commenting on how deniers of “Evolution” , ARE to be compared to Holocaust deniers. Notably, Dawkins and his cronies elsewhere mention esteemed scientists with competing nuances the likes of DS. Wilson and EO WIlson as this kind of misleading and untruthful zealot, sowers of ignorance and misunderstanding .

        http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xhneg2_dawkins-compares-creationists-to-holocaust-deniers_tech

        this type of stinking rhetoric is going the rounds…if someone disagrees with you, just lump them in with all other “deniers” – let the chips fall where they may.

  30. The schools of social science are filled almost exclusively with professors who rate themselves as liberal/progressive (and in the US two party system, Democrats).. In my experience, they teach social theories based on liberal/progressive -> ( ranging to ) Marxist/Leninist beliefs — and the majority of their students fall in line. The CWM (conservative/white/male/Republican) is their boogeyman — a priori guilty of all social faults and the cause of all social ills. In this case, these cute kids ‘prove’ that the CWM is responsible for ‘climate change denial’ in the US, using a rainbow of similar ‘studies’ similarly skewed.

    It is impossible to take seriously any ‘scientific’ study that uses the phrase ‘climate change denial/denialist’ — as it identifies the researchers as having a prejudice that they are unlikely to be able to overcome — and probably a pre-determined outcome.

    As Dr. Curry suggests, it shows an almost total lack of understanding of the issues, personalities, and positions taken by the various major players in the climate wars, and the infinitely varying positions and understandings of the general public. Failing to understand this, their work is invalid from the ‘git go’.

    It reminds me of projects I have seen at high school science fairs that makes you wonder where the science teachers were when the project was proposed. Someone could have saved these kids a lot of time and trouble.

    • Kip, I’m with you. Keep in mind Dr. Curry contributed funds the Obama campaign. If you follow the site for a time you will see many of the same patterns in her statements that follow socially liberal people who forced into rational thinking processes. That climate science is a political enclave much like social scientists or people who major in “government studies” is something that be “denied”.

      Dr. Curry of course pays a huge price from within the leftist community for outreach and reasoning but then again this is no excuse for basic support of a “consensus” that has few links to actual science reason. I often think of Rudolf Hess on his flight to England when I read her words and watch how she is treated by climate establishment media.

    • Another thought Kip, you should consider Dr. Curry’s starting point of sort a few years ago;

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_Curry

      A few years ago, I started interacting with a skeptic who somehow passed through my “ignore skeptics” filter. He has an engineering degree and is quite knowledgable. My rationale that “all skeptics are troglodytes” has been tattered, and my view of the climate debate has irreversibly changed.

      End quote.

      Nice rationale for a card holding member of the “consensus” at that time? It’s nice she’s moderated, no tattoos for skeptics advocated here but really we should deny the levels of evil associated to the IPCC and general “consensus” agenda?

      I want moderates to emerge inside the Iranian or North Korean political class but don’t you ever wonder what would have happened if there were Nuremberg Trials for say Gorbachev and the lost forgotten years on the way to the top of the Soviet Union were discussed as opposed to being given the “Nobel Prize”??? Dr. Curry’s moderation is less appauling but appauling none the less given the cover that to this day she gives (gave heavily in the past as well) to an obviously political “consensus” dressed as “science” with politics she likely shares to this day.

      • Actually that statement was not made by me, but by a colleague, who told me that anecdote about a year ago. I started engaging with skeptics circa 2006 over at climateaudit

      • Dr. Curry,
        Until the political donation comment above,I had no idea or interest in who you voted for or supported.
        Maybe part of being a cool dude is to have the confidence to deal with people as they are, and not to worry so much about the personal aspects of someone’s life. More and more I see tolerance from sources far from typical.

      • cwon14, I had always thought that open-mindedness and a willingness to consider alternative explanations were hallmarks of a true scientist. What am I missing?

      • We probably are all missing something. I give JC credit for communication which is outside the consensus protocal of behavior on the one hand. On the other my anecdote about the missing Nuremburg trials for Gorbachev on this thread sums up my conflicts for those who will be forced by histories judgement and progress to explain their contributions to a great evil; The Global Warming and Eco-Extreme movements of the past 40 years. We’re not talking about the niave crowd who didn’t know better here. We’re talking about someone who does know the agenda but chooses to minimize it as she being above it in a “science” capacity. Not to be too harsh but the Albert Spear defence.

        When it does roll over dead, the IPCC regulatory agenda, there will likely be thousands of unemployed would-be climate scientists realizing that the ship has sailed. Millions will wonder how did it ever get this far to begin with? Some knew and measured only how much they said for I suspect very complex human reasons.

        Albert Spear could explain but is that an excuse? It’s no small accident that when people retire from the Warming Agenda they often come out as skeptics with reason and logic revealed. Meanwhile others were drummed out of their careers for standing against the agenda. Still others are married to AGW and the science is abstract but the culture supporting it is not really at all.

        2006? That’s acceptable? Better then never some will say but really? In 2006 people were comparing skeptics to Holocaust Deniers and still to this day. It’s the equivocation about sides that is hard to take but the AGW agenda was always going to fail in the longer term. She has only moderated but hasn’t renounced, she’s considered a double agent by much of the consensus but again this deserves credit?

        Think about it.

      • My comment about social scientists’ liberal/progressive/Democratic upbringing was a commentary on the US ‘higher’ education system, the students it puts out, and the questionable quality of their ‘scientific’ studies.. It was not intended to reflect on Dr. Curry, whose work and blogsphere efforts I admire.

    • Kip,
      It would be interesting to find out why so many lefty extremists are flocking to the social sciences.Is it because it a faux science,and therefor less rigorous?
      I know two professors of sociology somewhat well. One is tenured, the other an Asst. Professor (unless she just made tenure). One uses her bilingual abilities and cultural/family background to push immigration policies in her state. The other studies religion in the public square and academia. I find the politically active one much less interesting than the one studying the second topic.
      But both do seem to seek to avoid doing what the faux paper of this thread do: Use language to define the topic in such a way as to denigrate or dehumanize those they are studying.
      Martha is a prime example of abusing language to reduce, instead of expand knowledge.
      The authors of the cool dudes paper, like Martha,have tortured language- and accepted the results of that torture to guide what passes for thinking on their part. They seem to think they are clever in their dehumanizing of skeptics,but all they actually do is dumb themselves down.

    • The reason for uni Profs, who would need to be fairly bright to qualify for their jobs, being on the left politically could well be explained by:

      http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/unhappy-lefties-tend-to-be-too-clever-by-half/story-e6frg6zo-1225842050686

      If its any consolation to you CWM’s guys, we may be clever than you, but we aren’t as happy! :-)

      • tt –
        There’s a difference between being “clever” and being intelligent – or smart – not to mention “street smart.” :-)

  31. I don’t think highly of this paper, but I am willing to wear the label “cool dude.” I am a highly educated conservative white male who understands the climate science debate very well.

    Some specifics.

    They write: “This spread of climate change denial has been driven to a significant degree by key actors—and their resources, strategies, and tactics—in the U.S. climate change denial machine.”

    This is completely wrong. Climate change denial has been driven by scientists and non-scientists new to the field of climate science who have found the basic arguments for CAGW to be based on flawed data (ie. bristlecone pine series, upside down Tiljander), flawed statistics (Artificial Hockey Stick, Steig 2009) and lack of transparency and tribalism (Climategate) which has prevented the science from being self-correcting.

    In addition, these writers seem to be completely unaware of the growing body of science which indicates a low sensitivity to rising atmospheric CO2 and therefore low probability climate change will be catastrophic.

    These authors lack the domain knowledge necessary to write a persuasive article on the sociology of climate change.

    • Ron, I hear your point but do you really think “lack of knowledge” has much to do with poliitcal postures? It lets the climate establishment and its operatives in the media and political wings off far too lightly. Science is pushed back when obvious political agendas of parties in a debate are ignored. Do you really think the actual science of climate would be settled with pie charts and graph lines?

      It’s the make believe nature that it is “science” with a mathematical equivalence that made the IPCC the threat to the world. Scientific Socialism as Marx could only dream of.

      • If sociologists knew anything about climate science, they would probably be more interested in why climate scientists continue to support embarrassments like Michael Mann. What do these people have in common? Are they all political liberals driven by a desire for liberty-crushing totalitarian government as some of the skeptics keep saying? Why do scientists stand by and allow others in the field to commit acts of academic misconduct without ever criticizing them? An abnormal sociology is at work in climate science. It is undeniable, but not well understood.

  32. The trouble with this
    ‘Advanced Modernity’ is:
    Nobody knows the past.
    ================

  33. If nothing else, this topic helps us get an idea of what Dr. Curry reads.

    Andrew

  34. Would the antithesis of “cool dudes” be “hot mammas”?

  35. Josh just sent me a cartoon, which is appended at the end of the main post :)

  36. One can’t be specific in Orwelian language, by definition.

    Climate change – any climate change, at any time scale and at any time. Even spatial climate change is climate change. When you go from one climate zone to another you will experience climate change.

    Global warming – warming at any time scale and at any time. There’s always global warming (and cooling), depending on time scale, magnitude and significance.

    And so on.

    • Edim,
      But it is made much worse by the actions of evil conservative white men.
      Actually, ‘evil’ and ‘conservative white men’ are, apparently for the authors, redundant descriptives.

      • Everybody is afraid of something. Some people are afraid of ‘conservative white men’, others of ‘communists’, some of ‘muslims’…

      • Edim,
        Good point. Yet to which societies are people immigrating, and from which are they emigrating?

      • People seek happiness. Even those that commit suicide seek happiness.

        People are immigrating to “more developed” and wealthier societies. But things change, just like climate. People may start immigrating to warmer climates.

  37. Cartoon here http://www.cartoonsbyjosh.com/

    or direct to the jpg

    • Oh, that’s good Josh. Big smile here.

    • Josh – another brilliant cartoon.
      It couldn’t have been more topical, seeing that the poley bears have surfaced, so to speak, into the debate again

  38. Dr. Curry,
    By the way, thank you for so clearly calling this paper out.
    Josh,
    You are the best.

  39. “Do you know anyone that denies the reality of climate change? I sure don’t.”

    Do you read your own blog? I know you do, so you must have either a willful blindspot or be unable to make social observations/ compile or interpret the information you observe or gather, since the process of denial of anthropogenic climate change is the dominant process that can be observed on your blog, as evidenced by comments and posts. Why do you pretend it isn’t or why do you wish to ignore this? Or, is it that you now prefer to satisfy your support base and use ‘climate change’ only to mean generally all forms of climate inconstancy, rather than AGW? Probably the latter, since you have learned how ambiguity can make a difference — no matter that the use of this ambiguity has become such a transparently self-amused move in the strategy of denialism. In other words — pointless and quite juvenile, for anyone seriously interested in discussion.

    “This whole group of sociologists working in this area seems not to have given much thought to what actually characterizes “deniers.””

    The sociological literature on climate change, including climate change denial, is vast. Why do you pretend to be even slightly familiar with it? You evidence almost no awareness of it, within or outside the U.S., or why it is denialism – as opposed to denier – that would be what is examined. (Hint: sociologists look at social processes.) McCright and Dunlop happen to have especially examined the partisan split. The role of ‘definition’ emerges dependent on what process is being studied e.g. long-term social implications or literal experience of AGW, but almost all sociologists are looking at how people experience climate change, how they respond or ignore to the environmental and economic challenges, and how they accomplish day –to-day normalcy in the face of disturbing information (in this case, climate change. Location (in society and the world) effects what this social process.

    “the most prominent denialists are conservative white males.1 This is true for contrarian scientists”
    “Within the ranks of elites, climate change denialists are overwhelmingly conservative white males. Does a similar pattern exist in the American public? JC comment: I guess the authors have never heard of Joanne Nova and Donna Laframboise, Ann Coulter, not to mention Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann. Others? Perhaps Joanne and Donna cannot be categorized as “elites.” But the fact that they are not says something also.”

    Judith you seem to think you do not need to make the slightest effort to understand social problems and the language of discussion, outside your narrow frame of knowledge. Why are you so closed to any new learning, and reflection? A (power) elite in sociology generally refers to the ruling elite (especially business and government). Women (including American women) are not ‘elites’ in the familiar sociological sense, since they do not –AS A GROUP – occupy the majority of positions of power and status in society. Relatively individual exceptions, such as yourself and those you mention, are not typically the focus of the study of the development of social processes– although it is very interesting to me, of course, that some women find the identified ideology personally meaningful, and it is a focus of study in gender analysis.

    “My main reaction to this is to question how social scientists, who actually study this, can be so clueless about the whole thing.”
    What else have you read in the literature, again? Almost nothing, but you pretend you have and that you have bothered to spend any time reflecting on it.

    Unfortunately this kind of post is all too common from you, Judith, and it makes it difficult to see this as a blog capable of contributing to anything that is socially meaningful, never mind just mutli-disciplinary. On your blog, it is mostly white conservative males who gather to talk. It is also mostly similar middle class professionals and you share not only an ideology but a self-perception that is influenced by your disconnection from other social groups and that involves thinking you should have more influence than others. The burning question for you, is to make sense of this.

    • Martha, without clearly defining what you take to ‘denying the reality of climate change’ as, your whole post is irrelevant.

      As to is your ad hom.

      • I’m honestly not sure what part of “almost all sociologists [who study this] are looking at how people experience climate change, how they respond or ignore to the environmental and economic challenges, and how they accomplish day –to-day normalcy in the face of disturbing information (in this case, climate change [AGW]). Location (in society and the world) effects what this social process [looks like and therefore what is defined for study]” you find so difficult to understand.

        It’s true, this paragraph wasn’t clear. I have now made corrections to my writing of it, and should also correct Dunlap for Dunlop.

        So does that help? If you want me to state the obvious, sure: generally what is being studied is how people ignore or refuse to accept either the science or the practical social challenges of AGW or participate in addressing it. But if you read any of the literature, you would see that the basic, core science is not being challenged and for good reasons. Most sociologists understand very well, about all the kinds of epistemological and historical questions, relativism and insitutionalization of science that that denialism likes to raise; and still they are generally accepting the core science. Why don’t you read the literature?

        And while you’re at it, maybe you should try to learn what an ad hominem argument actually is, and figure out when someone is making one; maybe then you can progress to why an ad hominem argument (dismissing someone’s opinion because they are demonstrably insincere, inconsistent or untrustworthy due to limits of knowledge, character or whatever) is not always an error in reasoning.

      • Martha, please let us know if you are tenured.

    • martha, I don’t even know where to start with this. Nobody on my blog has ever denied that climate changes. Some have denied that humans are contributing to climate change in a meaningful way. Please point me to a single comment that says climate does not change

      I am fairly familiar with the literature on climate deniers, and I have even had posts on several recent papers. I think most of it is garbage. They fail first and foremost by not putting forward a sensible definition of “denier” and exactly what is being denied. Senator Inhofe does not deny that the climate changes.

      So Michelle Bachmann is not a member of the political elite in the U.S. by the definitions of sociologists? If not, then that is a further argument against this line of research.

      Yes, the majority demographic of my blog is white, male and conservative. I actually interact and engage with them. I have actually developed some understanding of the complexities associated with this demographic, the range and nuances of positions and reasons for their positions. So I will pit my “knowledge” of this demographic in context of the climate debate against the knowledge of any academic sociologist.

      • “Nobody on my blog has ever denied that climate changes. Some have denied that humans are contributing to climate change in a meaningful way. Please point me to a single comment that says climate does not change”

        The first and last part of your sentence is a repeat of what I just noted. I’m well aware of how you are choosing to state this and why. You are very easily amused.

        Beyond playing games, unless you are completely disorganized and have not been paying attention, the majority (not some) of the comments on your blog deny that humans are contributing to climate change – yes, in a way that is meaningful i.e., to the commenter. Again, refusing to acknowledge is called denialism.

        “I actually interact and engage with them. I have actually developed some understanding of the complexities associated with this demographic, the range and nuances of positions and reasons for their positions. So I will pit my “knowledge” of this demographic in context of the climate debate against the knowledge of any academic sociologists.”

        Ever heard of boundaries, or objectivity? And your belief that you should be ‘pitting’ your knowledge of this group ‘against’ everyone else’s, including their own, really just emphasizes the problem you are having.

      • No Martha, you are again incorrect. Very few on this blog deny that humans contribute to climate change. Most say that the impact is likely to be relatively small or that we don’t know the magnitude of the impact. In terms of the “meaningful” part, perhaps you mean “dangerous;” well the IPCC itself has failed to make a very convincing case re “dangerous.” Or perhaps by “meaningful” you mean that they are convinced that CO2 emissions targets are both desirable and feasible. So, my denizens are mostly denying that CO2 emissions targets are both desirable and feasible? “Desirable” is a value judgment, nothing to do with science. Feasible is an engineering and economic and political issue, about which there is a great deal of debate; not a scientific issue. So again my point is that you and the other social scientists continuing with with the denier meme do not understand at all what is “meaningful” to the cool dudes. Calling what is “meaningful” to the cool dudes “denialism” is just bad social psychology.

      • Bill Norton

        Hang in there Judith! The Cool Dudes appreciate you.

        There is a saying that to competently debate a topic, you have to understand both sides of the arguement. Unfortunately, there are many Martha’s out there that will never consider both sides of an issue but will vociferously join the debate anyway. You handled her well.

      • Brava! Brava!

        Standing ovation for this exemplary post.

      • Why am I not surprised to find that Martha is a social ‘scientist’?
        I confess it should have been obvious from the quality of dreck she produces, but still,I would have guessed that a visiting academic would practice a bit of professional courtesy towards a hosting academic. But then in a large fraction of situations social scientists are not really scientists.

      • Judith,
        Of all the blogs I visit, yours is the most interesting, the most tolerant and the most educational. Judging by the overall quality of the debates here I suspect most of the bloggers here have tertiary, and in most cases technical qualifications. The fact that Martha and her friend are given a voice here speaks volumes about tolerance at this site. I can only congratulate you for hosting it.
        Martha, on the other hand, seems to be incapable of understanding the flaws in the (C)AGW argument notwithstanding the scathing critique in the IAC review. It is reason rather than any demographic which guides me to the sceptic side of the debate.

        you are absolutely correct. As you say

        Frankly, it’s a work o fart.

      • Oops! HOW did that happen?

      • Michael Larkin

        Martha,
        Amongst a number of viewpoints, these are a few:
        1. AGW is a hoax.
        2. AGW is real, but insignificant.
        3. AGW is real, and may be significant. Its effects may be
        beneficial or deleterious, or some combination of the two.
        4. AGW is real, and a great threat to humanity.

        Many people categorised as “deniers” in fact lean towards 2. They may or may not be white male conservatives – which in the context of the article and often tacitly assumed on this and other US-based blogs, is interpreted in a US-centric way. In much of the rest of the white world, “conservatives” would be people considered quite left-wing in the US.

        If one’s view is in fact correct, then there may be some merit in what one says. If not, then not. The question I would ask is whether one KNOWS one is correct. Not whether one believes so, and not how many agree. Knowledge and conviction are two different things.

        Who knows the truth about AGW? I have my doubts anyone does, though many are convinced of their particular viewpoint, and I can can understand them wanting to press for outcomes consistent with that. But WHY do people subscribe to one or another option? I suggest that the factors involved are universal and include such things as:

        a. Degree of understanding of the science
        b. Political views
        c. Moral views
        d. Personal aims, hopes and desires (not necessarily consciously articulated)

        How can people who don’t actually know the full truth do otherwise than to arrive at their position by some interaction between factors such as these? My position tends towards 2, but I know I may be wrong about that. It’s pointless, nay impossible, to have a meaningful discussion with anyone who tends towards another viewpoint if they won’t admit they might be wrong.

        Nothing is less congenial to rational discussion than expressions of unchallengeable certainty, high moral tone, and intellectual superiority. It is a mistake, I believe, to imagine that people not really involved in the debate don’t pick up on this. If they detect it, then even if they haven’t a clue about the substantive issues, they are quite likely to become sceptical, if not cynical. Stridency in this debate only increases resistance.

        Study Judith Curry, Martha. She’s developed a little wisdom and humility, and that’s why she’s attracted the admiration, but more importantly the attention, of even those who disagree with her. She’s an effective communicator, because she knows what she doesn’t know and isn’t afraid to admit it.

      • Michael –
        I suggest that the factors involved are universal and include such things as:

        a. Degree of understanding of the science
        b. Political views
        c. Moral views
        d. Personal aims, hopes and desires (not necessarily consciously articulated)

        I woul add to that list-
        e. Degree of understanding of history.

        Many of the “discussions” here have been based on an ignorance of historical weather/climate/economics/politics – among other things.

      • Michael,

        By AGW, I think that you mean Global Warming caused by anthropogenic emissions of CO2.

        The problem I see with your four categories is that it actually oversimplifies the real situation. Roger Pielke Sr has for years presented a compelling case that man is actually affecting regional and local climate in many parts of the world, primarily by a series of land-use issues – deforestation, urbanisation, industrial agriculture, monoculture agriculture, interference with natural hydrological cycles by draining swamps, irrigation etc). If I understand Dr Pielke correctly, he argues that these anthropogenic effects far outweigh the effects of anthropogenic CO2. Further, he argues that the non-CO2 anthropogenic effects could pose significant dangers for that part of the human population affected, for example, be desertification processes.

        The problem with the obsessive focus on CO2 is that massive resources may be being directed to a relatively minor problem, when major anthropogenic factors are by and large being ignored.

      • Michael Larkin

        Mondo,

        “By AGW, I think that you mean Global Warming caused by anthropogenic emissions of CO2″.

        I do indeed. I don’t think I was oversimplifying, so much as confining my points to the matter that most come here to discuss.

        As regards the other anthropogenic issues you mention, I lean to the view that what you say is correct. They do seem to me to be much less open to doubt, and represent the kind of reasons I used to donate every month to Greenpeace until one day I became aware what they were getting up to with AGW.

        By coincidence, just as I was about to pull the plug, a representative gave me a call, can’t remember why, maybe drumming up support or seeking more money. I stopped him in his tracks and told him I wasn’t interested and why.

      • There are immense gains to be made with agricultural soils and ecosystem conservation and restoration. Even in regards to CO2 sequestration. In Australia – I lament that we have lost a generation pursuing the wrong goals.

      • tempterrain

        Yes Martha maybe you should study Judith Curry:

        Judith says she is uncertain. She she’s copped a lot of flak from other scientists. She said that we shouldn’t downplay the uncertainty, we need to understand regional effects, uncertainty, having to do things differently, uncertainty, natural climate variability, the need for robust policy (taking into account uncertainty), low regrets policy, how there should be a new ways of looking at uncertainty, how mean other climate scientists are, how they aren’t thinking about uncertainty enough, etc.

        I’m sure if you have any doubt Judith will clear them up one way or the other!

      • There can’t possibly be a human on our planet as ignorant as you, Martha. Therefore, you have to be a troll. And in Norway, where i’m from, we have a unique way of handling the trolls. Engage them long enough for the sunshine to hit them…

      • tempterrain

        “And in Norway, where i’m from, we have a unique way of handling the trolls”

        Yes I know you do! Its been in all the papers.

      • This comment is objectionably insensitive. I refer you to the blog rules – in this and many other comments.

        You appear to troll through the threads seeking opportunities to make shallow and snarky comment for no particular reason littering the blogoscape with your droppings.

        I think you should go somewhere else where you will be appreciated at all – you are a worthless troll and I would not say that to Martha even.

      • tempterrain

        CH,

        I’m not going to go cry-babying to Judith like you did so you can call me whatever names you like. There is a saying that if you can’t stand the heat, keep out of the kitchen.

        Yes I’m happy to be as insensitive as I can possibly be to anyone using the same kind of nonsensical arguments about “Enviro-Communism” or even those who refer to contributors like Martha as “ignorant” and a “troll”.

        Martha has a much more gentle style of debate than my own. Call me a troll if you like, but there is no need for Jostemikk to treat her that way,

      • Martha is a troll – as are you.

        ‘In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community…’

        She is always deliberately inflammatory and usually extraneous and off-topic. I have offered to engage but now simply ignore her as I generally do you unless you make some egregiously insensitive comment – as above – or attempt in your blundering style to respond to me.

        What you did was use the Norway massacre to attempt to score some sort of imagined debating point – reprehensible at best.

        I refer you to the blog rules again – but I think you should be blocked – you are bringing down the tone of the neighbourhood.

        As for enviro-communist or social democrat – it amounts to the same thing. We are enemies in the culture wars. In the words of Freidrich Hayek in the Road to Serfdom – that ‘democratic socialism, the great utopia of the last few generations, is not only unachievable, but that to strive for it produces something so utterly different that few of those who wish it would be prepared to accept the consequences, many will not believe until the connection has been laid bare in all its aspects.

      • arguments about “Enviro-Communism”

        ie people who seek to advance totalitarianism/communism by adopting green issues, because these to justify more government interference.
        The strong link between CAGW (and green in general), and totalitarian politics, is no accident.

    • IMO, there is an element of tautology in “climate change”.

      • On the contrary, Pooh. Given the vague statistical nature of the concept of climate, and the lack of accurate long term data, it is very difficult to say if the climate is changing, or even what that means. This is one of the fundamental concept confusions. (As an applied analytical philosopher, concept confusion is my field. The climate change debate is a rich harvest indeed.)

      • Rich harvest indeed! A horn of plenty! Two points for your hopper:
        1) If the concept of climate is vague, how can one tell if it changed?
        2) I think you are describing a fertile field for the fallacy of ambiguity.

    • Martha,
      Thank y0u for consistently demonstrating the demntia requied to be an AGW extremist.

    • tempterrain

      Martha is absolutely right.

      Even if the term “anthropogenically induced” is omitted before the term “climate change”, surely that’s what we are all talking about here. It is reasonable to assume that unless specified otherwise it should be taken as read.

  40. More generally, conservative white males are likely to favor protection of the current industrial capitalist order which has historically served them well.

    Well, maybe that’s because ‘sustainable development,’ is seen in many was as the successor to the ‘New International Economic Order’ (NIEO) per the following (what looks to be a UN org) link:

    http://www.cbd.int/doc/articles/2002-/A-00088.pdf

    And where did the phrase “sustainable development” come from? It came out of the Brundtland Report chaired by Gro Harlem Brundtland.

    http://earthtrends.wri.org/updates/node/8

    And who is Gro Harlem Brundtland? She was the first VP of the SocialistInternationl.org organization:

    http://www.socialistinternational.org/viewArticle.cfm?ArticleID=126

    Some NIEO info:

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=X_pLAAAAIBAJ&sjid=1PgDAAAAIBAJ&pg=3455,2793933&dq=new-international-economic-order+tariff&hl=en

    http://news.google.com/newspapers? id=Ojk0AAAAIBAJ&sjid=afUIAAAAIBAJ&pg=5466,3311194&dq=new-international- economic-order+tariff&hl=en

    • The amount of energy reaching the earth from the sun could theoretically support a human population almost a million TIMES greater than the present one. What these sad neo-Malthusians primarily lack is imagination.
      =====================================

      • andrew adams

        Well if that’s true it would seem to indicate that we certainly don’t need to rely on fossil fuels as a source of energy.

      • It’s a bit both humbling and thrilling that humans run on approximately the energy requirements of a lightbulb.

        Yes, aa, a very tiny increase in the efficiency of our use of the sun’s energy, one like Borlaug’s Green Revolution, can sustain a human population much greater than at present, and in a lifestyle to which we’d all like to become accustomed. Now, get busy if you want it.
        ========================
        ==============================

      • Unfortunately, it is not true. The total solar insolation is 89PW and the current energy use globally is 15TW (including 1.4 billion people without access to electricity). So solar energy is only 6000 times more than the current energy use that has to grow. If we only count the continental lands to capture solar energy than the ratio is down to 1800. The land use efficiency of biofuels are well bellow 0.1%. Photovoltaic solar panels can capture 10% of the solar radiation but by the time cloud cover and other obstacles are factored in they probably don’t have more than 1% land use efficiency. At that rate even substituting the current energy use may take up 10% of the continental land.

      • Not so fast.

        The Earth receives 174 petawatts (PW) of incoming solar radiation (insolation) at the upper atmosphere
        The average human uses 100 watts. (100 WPH)

        174 X 10^15 W /100 WPH = 1.74 X 10^15 humans ~ 2 quadrillion people

        Kim’s estimate is within 1 order of magnitude and approximately correct – i.e. we are talking about quadrillions and not merely trillions of people.

        Moreover, you have proved kim’s point w.r.t. lack of imagination. You would halt all advancement in engineering and make do with today’s relatively primitive technologies, ad infinitum. But why stop there? Didn’t all current problems really start when cavemen adopted the use of fire? :)

      • Thank you bi2hs. I made your calculation 40 years ago when I first heard Erlich’s delusion.
        ================================

      • Correction.

        we are talking about quadrillions and not merely 100’s of trillions of people :)

      • We are not living at the top of the atmosphere and the average energy consumption is over 200 W. Numbers given by Balazs are correct.

      • Our atmosphere is still part of the earth.

        Granted, the several quadrillion people sustained by the sun’s energy reaching the earth is a theoretical maximum, practically impossible. But to contemplate that a milllion times more could be sustained illustrates how little of the sun’s energy we actually do use, and wonderfully highlights the lack of imagination of most of the ‘sustainable’ propagandists. They have hitched their wagon on this to something even more fragile than the behaviour of CO2 in the laboratory.

        The energy is there. We will eventually use it. Human culture is adaptable enough, we have the imagination, and we have engineers who can’t help but debunk politicized science.
        ========================================

      • A human can be sustained for 100 W. I hope we don’t figure out how.
        ===========================================

      • In optimal warm climate the energy content of non-cooked food is around 100 W, I have seen the estimate 125 W. Everything else is on top of that. In colder climates people used over 1000 W already 1000 years ago.

      • The 174PW that hits the atmosphere. What gets to the surface is 89PW (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_energy). The 2000kcal/day diet is indeed about 100W. The per capita energy use is 22 times higher which totals to 15TW (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_energy_consumption) for nearly 7 billion people. The energy use in the US is about 10kW per person.
        As far as I understand, plant can utilize roughly 0.1% of the sun’s radiation they receive and commonly accepted 10% is the fraction of energy that could go from one trophic level to another. In other words, a herbivore can utilize 10% of the energy that the plants received and a carnivore can utilize 10% of the energy that the herbivore consumed. At these rate, our planet is fairly crowded already.
        The imagination can’t go beyond fundamental physics. If plants can utilize more than 0.1% of the solar radiation than the 10% efficiency of photovoltaic solar cells is already a major accomplishment that will be hard to beat.

      • Hi Balazs

        It is difficult for me to have a completely unimaginative and humorless conversation about a supposed quadrillion future population. Hence the smilies. Now I am going to tease you, Balazs, and try to make it up to you later.

        Remember the original question was the theoretical upper boundary limit for a sustainable human population based on the amount of solar energy reaching Earth, your arbitrary assumptions of future technologies and diet notwithstanding. The last phrase highlights the second part of kim’s point: the problem of Malthusian creativity.

        The earth’s population is projected to peak at around 11 billion in 2050. Let us agree that a 2 quadrillion population will likely never happen. And if it does, it will be VERY far into the future, say 50,000 years.

        Suppose 50,000 years ago, there was a caveman who calculated the upper limit to 21st century human population. And the physics and math looked good. But the calculations were based on the dimensions and available number of caves suitable for habitation. Because the caveman lacked the capacity to imagine high-rise apartment buildings his upper limit calculation was too low, by a factor of a million. (You see where I’m going with this, don’t you?)

        Likewise there could be the similar error involving a modern person (with the imagination of a caveman) who put limits on the technologies of civilization 50,000 years into the future. One such error might be assuming that the future use of solar power will be restricted to only that which reaches the surface, ~ 1/2 of the total. On what physical basis can this restriction be justified? NONE.

        And why throw in plants and herbivores and low conversion inefficiencies? This is again, is a completely unjustified projection of personal incompetence onto future generations. You assume all waste heat is lost. Yet, supplemental bacterial food sources would not necessarily even require light – recycled waste heat would suffice. Speaking of recycled waste: Japanese Make “Delicious”, Nourishing Steaks From Human Feces. :(

        An Earth with 2 quadrillion people is not my idea of paradise. As a 21st century caveman I just feel it’s too overcrowded. Each person’s share the Earth’s surface – including sea surface – only amounts to a few square feet. That’s why they would mostly live underground, stacked in futuristic ‘caves’. Still, as long as they are happy with that, it’s OK with me. :)

        BlueIce

      • oops, there I go again. The U.N. has projected a peak population of around 9 billion in 2050.

  41. Social “Science” and Climate “Science”, a marriage made in heaven!

    It gets back to the snarky social enclaves liberals tend to gravitate towards. Climate science being among one of the great back waters in all of history. It isn’t that there aren’t some on the left with reason, Dr. Curry being among them but the arrogance and condescension is on full display in the article. If you think the American left doesn’t have fantasies about re-education camps and isn’t devouted to political indoctrination look at the tone of this study. Do you think Glenn Beck grows off the grass? The left creates the backdrop and flaws aside people respond to the logic deficit which is are our times.

  42. Quite frankly, though very clever, the effort to substitute ‘climate change’ for ‘Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming’ has failed. The phrases, which mean different things, are understood by even climate naive people. Martha remains fooled by the conflation, perhaps disingenuously.

    Now that it’s been pointed out, Martha, can you be less naive and stop confusing yourself and others with the conflation?
    ============================

  43. AGW theory isn’t natural science it’s social science and more than likely a mass social delusion too. Facts are facts: GCMs have no predictive ability whatsoever and reasons for that are obvious and undeniable.

    The IPCC has hoisted itself with their own petard when it proclaims that, ‘Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations.’ And now their AGW theory has blown up between their legs because the Earth has been in a cooling trend for a decade.

    The cooling trend, as Dr. Ball points out, is ‘a trend that began in the Southern Hemisphere 10 years earlier.’ Using the IPCC’s own logic and belief as to what is ‘very likely,’ the IPCC thought preached to all of us that there was a ‘greater than 90 percent likelihood’ that global warming was caused by human CO2. The IPCC’s ‘science’ has already been falsified by reality: human CO2 has gone up whereas global temperatures have gone down.

    GCMs fail because the IPCC and the model-makers refuse to admit that changes in solar activity have a significant effect on climate change. They simply refuse to acknowledge that nominally, it’s the sun, stupid. And, that is why GCMs have no predictive ability quite naturally fail validation.

    Nothing the IPCC says can ever make any sense. The IPCC’s understanding of the world is contrary to what nature tells us. That’s why ‘Patchy’ lies about the facts, and why the IPCC prints the lies, and why the Leftists continue to cling to AGW theory while refusing to admit a single fact that is contrary to their global warming alarmist belief system: the truth is not their friend; science is not their ally; and, logic is their enemy.

    “Climate prediction is hard, half of the variability in the climate system is not predictable, so we don’t expect to do terrifically well,” and, “The weather is not predictable beyond a week or two.” (Dr. Jim Renwick)

    Dr. Hans von Storch described the predictions of the global warming alarmists as ‘Quatsch.’ McShane and Wyner demonstrated yet again that MBH98/99/08 (aka, the ‘hockey stick’ graph) is a proven scientific fraud, observing that, “it is hard to argue that a procedure is truly skillful if it cannot consistently outperform noise–no matter how artfully structured.”

  44. Isn’t there a reeducation camp in North Korea they could be helping?

  45. Among the problems with this debate are the fallacies employed. Consider the history: It has been warming lately. -> It is warming globally (GW). -> Humans produce CO2 and CO2 warms the atmosphere (AGW). -> Warming will / may be catastrophic (CAGW). -> It is cooling. -> Climate Change.

    • Downes, Stephen. The Logical Fallacies: Table of Contents. http://onegoodmove.org/fallacy/toc.htm
      “Fallacies of Ambiguity: Cases where a word (or phrase) is used unclearly. There are two ways in which this can occur.
      – The word or phrase may be ambiguous, in which case it has more than one distinct meaning.
      – The word or phrase may be vague, in which case it has no distinct meaning. ”

      “Proof (or detection): Identify the word which is used twice, then show that a definition which is appropriate for one use of the word would not be appropriate for the second use.”

      • Pooh, Dixie

        Caution. Although the link above (“toc.htm”) appears to be safe, Norton Internet Security has reported a virus attempting to download with the subdirectory /fallacy/welcome.htm

    • Joseph, Miriam. 2002. The Trivium: The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar, and Rhetoric: Understanding the Nature and Function of Language. Philadelphia, PA: Paul Dry Books.
      Equivocation: “… occasioned by the ambiguity of a word which symbolizes two or more different terms.” [pg 188]
      Read a bit further to explore other favorites in our climate change discussions, such as affirming the consequent (post hoc ergo propter hoc), arguments to fear, pity, threat, and ignorance.

    • Then there is the implied denigration of the “Cool Dudes” through well-chosen words. Sunstein refers to this under “reputational cascades”.
      Kuran, Timur and Cass Sunstein. 2007. Availability Cascades and Risk Regulation. Research. Social Science Research Network. October 7. http://www.law.uchicago.edu/files/files/364.pdf

    • Finally, it is just barely possible that the “Conservative White Male” has demographic characteristics not considered by Aaron McCright and Riley Dunlap (e.g., experience, education, etc.). It is a shame that the entire article is unavailable. It bodes well to be an excellent training exercise for the “CWM”s.

  46. The paper has a footnote:

    We believe that ‘‘denial,’’ ‘‘denialism,’’ and ‘‘denialist’’ are appropriate terms for the reasons spelled out by Dieltham and McKee (2009).

    There is an error in the reference. The short paper of Diethelm and McKee is available from

    http://eurpub.oxfordjournals.org/content/19/1/2.full

    • Pekka thanks for this link

    • “Denialism” might be appropriate for the belief that the world began in 4004BC.
      But one of the indicators of “denial” used by jokers McWrong and Dunlop is ‘Seriousness of GW is generally exaggerated in the media’!

      Well, their paper is quite entertaining. I wonder if there is a paper on the tendency for lefty sociologists to attack Conservative White Males?

      • Personally I don’t put so much emphasis on the choice of words. When specific statements are made all words must be defined or their meanings implied precisely enough for making the statements as precise as they can be.

        Concerning the subject paper of this thread the authors are in my view free to select any of the words used commonly by some people. All choices have their problems and the meaning must be specified (or implied). I don’t see any difficulties in understanding, what is the meaning the authors have given to the words in this paper. Otherwise I’m not ready to give any judgment on the paper, perhaps I’ll never be as my knowledge on social sciences of this type may be too lacking.

      • Pekka,
        It is easy for you to not put much emphasis on the denigrating terms believers use in dealing with skeptics.

      • ‘Though you might hear laughin’, spinnin’, swingin’ madly across the sun
        It’s not aimed at anyone, it’s just escapin’ on the run
        And but for the sky there are no fences facin’
        And if you hear vague traces of skippin’ reels of rhyme
        To your tambourine in time, it’s just a ragged clown behind
        I wouldn’t pay it any mind
        It’s just a shadow you’re seein’ that he’s chasing.’

        There is power in words Pekka – ‘Richard D. North notes that outright denial by climate scientists of the major points of scientific consensus is rare, though scientists are known to dispute certain points. He says, “It is deeply pejorative to call someone a ‘climate change denier’. This is because it is a phrase designedly reminiscent of the idea of Holocaust Denial …”.

        ‘Denialists are driven by a range of motivations. For some it is greed, lured by the corporate largesse of the oil and tobacco industries. For others it is ideology or faith, causing them to reject anything incompatible with their fundamental beliefs. Finally there is eccentricity and idiosyncrasy, sometimes encouraged by the celebrity status conferred on the maverick by the media.

        Whatever the motivation, it is important to recognize denialism when confronted with it. The normal academic response to an opposing argument is to engage with it, testing the strengths and weaknesses of the differing views, in the expectations that the truth will emerge through a process of debate. However, this requires that both parties obey certain ground rules, such as a willingness to look at the evidence as a whole, to reject deliberate distortions and to accept principles of logic. A meaningful discourse is impossible when one party rejects these rules. Yet it would be wrong to prevent the denialists having a voice. Instead, we argue, it is necessary to shift the debate from the subject under consideration, instead exposing to public scrutiny the tactics they employ and identifying them publicly for what they are. An understanding of the five tactics listed above provides a useful framework for doing so.’

        It is commonly linked to tobacco, HIV-AIDS, evolutionary theory and – at the origins of the term – as equating to a denial of a defining horror of human history. The latter is rightfully a crime in many jurisdictions. The term has a power that should be used in only one sense. Its use otherwise should cease regardless of what puerile justification is given.

      • Hey Mr Tambourine man…

      • The words are certainly important in many forms of communication. When this paper is read with even modest care, it becomes, however, clear that it’s not written as an effective contribution to political discussion on the climate change and that the choice of words has more internal value for the study than power in describing it’s conclusions. It’s really a social science study having it’s relevance as that. Whether we can really learn something new about people’s behavior from those numbers that the authors pick from the poll data is another matter.

        The choice of the word denial is related to their research hypothesis. In my view this choice leads to a circular argument, when they interpret the results to support an explanation dependent on this choice. This is a potential weakness of the study from the point of view of their field of specialty. Publishing a social science study in the journal Global Environmental Change may be interpreted in several ways, but none of the reasons that I can imagine is particularly positive for the value of the paper. One interpretation is that it’s methodologically too weak for being accepted in a good journal of their own field.

      • Pekka,

        It is an attempt to marginalise and demonise the other. It is an old political trick – and not worthy of any serious analysis. As with the term climate denier.

        But there is an added moral dimension to the latter – that I find disturbing and reprehensible. Not as it applies to me especially – I don’t accept it because I don’t reject science at all. Science is to be questioned and challenged – even in the public domain – but that doesn’t imply that science is fraudulent or incompetent.

        I think this term is especially noxious – ‘denier’ should only be used in its original context.

        Cheers

      • Of course I know, how words are used as tools in disputes, and how the meaning of words has changed in this process. Words that have had a much more neutral use have become pejoratives. A related issue is that people are categorized. Some people don’t like being put in the same category with certain others, they dislike that independently of the name given for that category.

        It’s in the nature of this study that it’s based on categorizing. The research hypothesis is based on the concepts of white male effect and identity-protective cognition as its reason. The word denialism fits the spirit of this thinking. The presented interpretation is that the answers tell that people deny the evidence presented by main stream scientists and most main stream media (although not Fox or WSJ). I think that the word deny has indeed the meaning that they interpret the answers to tell.

        The problem for me is that by interpreting the results as proof of denial they assume that they are evidence on the identity-protective cognition. I can’t find anything in the data that would specifically support this interpretation as compared to other plausible interpretations of the unsurprising results of the poll.

    • Alexander Harvey

      Pekka,

      Thanks for your link to Dieltham and McKee (2009).

      They in turn reference the following blog “about page” (Hoofnagle & Hoofnagle) from which they can get their five headings:

      http://scienceblogs.com/denialism/about.php

      I haven’t read it all but it all but it states:

      “Denialism is the employment of rhetorical tactics to give the appearance of argument or legitimate debate, when in actuality there is none.”

      which becomes:

      “[They] have defined it as the employment of rhetorical arguments to give the appearance of legitimate debate where there is none,”

      perhaps a small difference, but why?

      I think that both are clear that it is an activity not a disposition.

      So in their own terms:

      “We examine whether conservative white males are more likely than are other adults in the U.S. general public to endorse climate change denial.”

      is perhaps only decided by whether one group is more likely to endorse the activity of denialists than is some other group.

      Do they achieve this? I haven’t read the paywalled paper so I cannot be certain.

      Alex

      • Alexander Harvey

        Looking through Hoofnagle & Hoofnagle’s “denialism blog” which is apparently the original source (once removed) on which this paper rests for a definition of denialism.

        http://scienceblogs.com/denialism/2008/04/a_history_of_denialism_part_ii_1.php

        I found:

        “A history of denialism – Part III – Global Warming Denialism Category”

        Which is mostly advice to watch a Naomi Oreskes video plus a checklist of the many points to gather from it.

        But thedo also say this:

        “Part III of our discussion of the history of denialist movements is on one that should tie things together and one I hope some of my fellow sciencebloggers will realize speaks to the necessity of challenging denialists on every front.”

        And on their about page:

        “Part of understanding denialism is knowing that it’s futile to argue with them …”

        So they must be challenged without arguing with them, which is a bit tricky unless you go for the messenger not the message.

        Alex

      • Alex –
        unless you go for the messenger not the message.

        Which is precisely what most (but not all) of them do.

        OTOH, I’ve noticed that most of them have no other defense.

  47. Fire Hot, Ice Cold, Climate Change.
    Good social scientists!
    Hey, someone throw these guys a peanut!

  48. The paper has the same merit as George Monbiot stating that Deniers are mainly old people that is zero merit. Although to be fair George was succint in his insults whereas the papers writers used much meaningless drivel to get their point across.

    I am still waiting for the scientific proof that the man made emissions of CO2 will cause dangerous global warming, but I won’t hold my breath?

    • tempterrain

      Stacey, As I’m sure Judith will tell you , science doesn’t do “proof”.

      Its all about evidence, and the most likely explanation etc

      So, you are quite wise to not hold your breath !

      • Science does thesis, analysis and synthesis – it is called the scientific method. Synthesis is especially troubling – as it involves building a new hypothesis following analysis.

        But I think it is proved that global warming ‘while not completely wrong – is unacceptable.’ Climate is a complex and dynamic process subject to abrupt change as a result of multiple feedbacks and little understood thresholds.

      • tempterrain

        “But I think it is proved that……”

        You think wrong. As much as you like to overcomplicate the issue, CO2 is an important non-condensing GH gas without which the Earth would be very cold indeed. Even the arch sceptic Plimer says 18 deg C colder than it is.

        The IPCC say that if the CO2 level is doubled the likely warming will be 3 deg C. Judith thinks the chances of double that are far from insignificant.

      • I don’t recall anyone claiming that CO2 provides 18 deg C of the supposed greenhouse effect. Moreover, the IPCC does not pick a number for sensitivity, just a range. The 3 deg C you refer to includes a lot of positive feedback from water, not just CO2. Making this many mistakes in two paragraphs is not a good sign.

      • tempterrain

        DW,

        You may not recall it, and I don’t like to quote Prof Ian Plimer, but, as I say, he’s the one who said it.

        You are obviously unaware of this paper too:

        “http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/abstract.cgi?id=la09300d”

        “Without the radiative forcing supplied by CO2 and the other non-condensing greenhouse gases, the terrestrial greenhouse would collapse, plunging the global climate into an icebound Earth state.”

        Yes, a doubling of CO2 would increase temperatures by 1 deg if everything else in the atmosphere were to remain the same. But your mistake is to think that everything would remain the same. The above paper shows it can’t be assumed when CO2 is removed and neither can it be assumed if CO2 is added to the atmosphere. That’s your mistake – not mine.

      • I am am speaking here of complex and dynamic systems – which have specific properties in theoretical physics.

        Having consulted Tim Palmer’s Lorenzian Meteorological Office. Climate is a complex and dynamic process subject to abrupt change as a result of multiple positive and negative feedbacks and uncertain thresholds.

        ‘Prediction of weather and climate are necessarily uncertain: our observations of weather and climate are uncertain, the models into which we assimilate this data and predict the future are uncertain, and external effects such as volcanoes and anthropogenic greenhouse emissions are also uncertain. Fundamentally, therefore, therefore we should think of weather and climate predictions in terms of equations whose basic prognostic variables are probability densities ρ(X,t) where X denotes some climatic variable and t denoted time. In this way, ρ(X,t)dV represents the probability that, at time t, the true value of X lies in some small volume dV of state space. Prognostic equations for ρ, the Liouville and Fokker-Plank equation are described by Ehrendorfer (this volume). In practice these equations are solved by ensemble techniques, as described in Buizza.’ (Predicting Weather and Climate – Palmer and Hagedorn eds – 2006)

        The phase space of climate and models is very large – the probability density functions include the potential for both warming and cooling.

        The largest cause of recent warming by far was ENSO related cloud feedback and the planet is cooling for a decade or 3 more as a result of the current cool phase of Pacific decadal variation.

        I have over complicated the issue? You are a drongo.

      • tempterrain

        All your talk of ” basic prognostic variables are probability densities ρ(X,t)…” and ” the Liouville and Fokker-Plank equation….” is, not too fine a point on it all, a rather pathetic attempt to convince anyone else how clever and authoritative you are!

        Obfuscation is, I think, the correct word to describe your tactic.

        Simply put, you are in effect saying that because the Earth’s climate is a complicated system and we don’t know everything, we know therefore nothing at all.

        That’s just not the case.

      • tt,
        But we do know that AGW claims of climate catastrophe are bunk.

      • Tim Palmer is the head of the European Centre for mid range forecasting – as you obviously don’t know.

        What is being said is that climate is a complex and dynamic – and thus has specific properties in theoretical physics. Including phase space.

        ‘The Earth’s climate system is highly nonlinear: inputs and outputs are not proportional, change is often episodic and abrupt, rather than slow and gradual, and multiple equilibria are the norm. While this is widely accepted, there is a relatively poor understanding of the different types of
        nonlinearities, how they manifest under various conditions, and whether they reflect a climate system driven by astronomical forcings, by internal feedbacks, or by a combination of both. In this paper, after a brief tutorial on the basics of climate nonlinearity, we provide a number of illustrative examples and highlight key mechanisms that give rise to nonlinear behavior, address scale and methodological issues, suggest a robust alternative to prediction that is based on using integrated assessments within the framework of vulnerability studies and, lastly, recommend a number of research priorities and the establishment of education programs in Earth Systems Science. It is imperative that the Earth’s
        climate system research community embraces this nonlinear paradigm if we are to move forward in the assessment of the human influence on climate.’

        NONLINEARITIES, FEEDBACKS AND CRITICAL THRESHOLDS
        WITHIN THE EARTH’S CLIMATE SYSTEM – Rial et al 2004

        You are seriously out of your depth and won’t learn to swim.

        google the NAS Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises the Wooods Hole Oceanographic Institute abrupt climate change page.

        But stop just saying it simply ain’t so – nothing could be sillier. .

      • tempterrain

        CH,

        If you have a credible reference that climate predictions are so unreliable to be totally useless, let’s see it. Science isn’t done on the basis of “I consulted Prof X who he obviously knows more than you and he said etc etc etc …….”

        You argument is often put in the form of “they can’t accurately predict next week’s weather so how can they know what the climate will be in 100 years time?”

        It is easier to predict climate than weather. Weather is what happens on a particular day. Climate is what happens over a much longer time.

        A good analogy would be that it wouldn’t have been too difficult to predict that Manchester United would win the English Premier division at football last season. That’s like predicting the climate. However they would have won only about 2/3 of their matches and either drawn or lost the others. Predicting them would have been like predicting the weather.

      • tt –
        It is easier to predict climate than weather.

        That’s an undemonstrated and, therefore, unwarranted assumption.

      • So Tim Palmer is not a credible reference? Rial et al?

        ‘Atmospheric and oceanic computational simulation models often
        successfully depict chaotic space–time patterns, flow phenomena,
        dynamical balances, and equilibrium distributions that mimic nature. This success is accomplished through necessary but nonunique choices for discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupled contributing processes that introduce structural instability into the model. Therefore, we should expect a degree of irreducible imprecision in quantitative correspondences with nature, even with plausibly formulated models and careful calibration (tuning)to several empirical measures. Where precision is an issue (e.g., in a climate forecast), only simulation ensembles made across systematically designed model families allow an estimate of the level of relevant irreducible imprecision.’ Systematically designed model families are too ‘computationally expensive’ to undertake.

        ‘Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable. They echo other famous limitations on scientist’s expectations, namely the undecidability of some propositions within axiomatic mathematical systems uncomputability of some algorithms due to excessive size of the calculation.’

        ‘http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.full.pdf+html

        ‘The global coupled atmosphere–ocean–land–cryosphere system exhibits a wide range of physical and dynamical phenomena with associated physical, biological, and chemical feedbacks that collectively result in a continuum of temporal and spatial variability. The traditional boundaries between weather and climate are, therefore, somewhat artificial.’

        http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/bibliography/related_files/Hurrell_2009BAMS2752.pdf

        You are repeating shallow cliches that we have all heard before.

      • tempterrain

        Weather is chaotic, making prediction difficult. However, climate takes a long term view, averaging weather out over time. This removes the chaotic element, enabling climate models to successfully predict future climate change.

        I think this is just so obvious as to need little or no further explanation from me. I’m sure CH , Jim Owen, and Hunter all know this very well.

        For instance, if you had to place a bet on the temperature on a certain day or the average temperature over a month, for the same given odds, which would you choose?

        You’d have to be pretty dumb to get it wrong!

        If

      • tempterrain

        I’m having to split up my posts as the full version just doesn’t go through for some reason.

        Anyway to continue in a more scientific vein:

        A “chaotic system” is characterised by non-linear dynamics and by extreme sensitivity to initial conditions, but this is not the case with climate. In any case, the behavior of a chaotic system is not totally unpredictable – it will vary around it’s Lorentzian ‘attractor’.

        Weather is certainly chaotic, in that it varies hugely around the climate mean, due to the initial conditions – therefore the ever changing state of sun, wind, rain, clouds, etc. The strange ‘attractor’ for weather provides variability, and the extreme sensitivity to initial conditions: temperature, humidity, clouds, etc., which we know only to a certain degree of accuracy, limits the accuracy of weather forecasts over progressively longer periods of time.

        But climate, as defined as long term averages, is not chaotic. If conditions change, there is an energy imbalance, the climate will change. For instance, if the sun decreases or increases it’s output, there is an energy imbalance, and the climate will cool or warm accordingly. The effect can be quantified using the concept of climate forcing which is equally valid for both natural and anthropogenic factors affecting climate.

        Climate and weather models are often constructed differently. However in principle a weather model could be used to preditc climate by running the program many times with different staring conditions. This smooths the chaotic weather effects – with the output changing from weather to the climate.

  49. Dr. Curry, excuse me for stating the obvious, but the social science threads that you’ve done, and you done many, all seem to have one common thread – they use CAGW as a starting assumption, and then proceed to ask either “why are non-believers so stupid”, or “why are we not convincing 100% of the people”. Is that basically the upshot of all of these threads?

    After a while, this stuff becomes so boilerplate and predictable, you could probably have a few canned responses that would work no matter what they write. Although I have to admit, this one is a bit more creative than most.

    • Yes, perhaps we need a sociological study as to why sociologists, who by definition are not climate science experts, all accept as gospel the CAGW case and the perfidy of those who question it.

      • Faustino –
        But they’re NOT scientists – by their own admission and insistence.

      • tempterrain

        Faustino,

        I’m not sure “accept as gospel” is the best way to describe a general acceptance of a scientific theory, given that so many scientists don’t even accept the gospels as, er, “gospel” :-)

        But anyway, I have only a very hazy knowledge of chromosomes, genes and the part the DNA molecule plays in all this. A genetics expert – I am definitely not! But do I accept it all? Well yes I do. I suppose there are many others exactly like me because it isn’t an easy topic.

        Do we all need to be sociologically studied as to why we are so credulous?

  50. What would be the reverse of this paper’s logic: the use of the term ‘credulism’ as a cloaked, gender-based, racially- and ethnically-charged slur against a subset of society that is characterized by superstition, fear and runaway stupidity?

    I think what seems to have escaped the notice of this paper’s author is that Hot World Syndrome is phenomenon that is limited to Western civilization.

  51. Let me get this straight.

    People who are confident, well educated, not dependent on government, have taken the time to understand the issues proposed by CAGW activists, reject the hysterical predictions of doom and gloom of those activists.

    People who have are less educated, less confident, more dependent on government and don’t know as much about CAGW issues, believe the alarmists’ claims of disappearing polar bears, vanishing glaciers, miraculous hockey sticks, desertification of the Amazon, and accept those hysterical predictions.

    And the former are wrong because they are white, conservative and male?

    Racism, sexism and political pedantry dressed up as social “science.”

    “…Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist at the University of Virginia … studies the intuitive foundations of morality and ideology. He polled his audience at the San Antonio Convention Center, starting by asking how many considered themselves politically liberal. A sea of hands appeared, and Dr. Haidt estimated that liberals made up 80 percent of the 1,000 psychologists in the ballroom. When he asked for centrists and libertarians, he spotted fewer than three dozen hands. And then, when he asked for conservatives, he counted a grand total of three.

    ‘This is a statistically impossible lack of diversity,’ Dr. Haidt concluded, noting polls showing that 40 percent of Americans are conservative and 20 percent are liberal.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/08/science/08tier.html

    Progressives who think conservatives are stoopid. Somebody alert the media.

    (The only thing missing are a couple dozen posts by Joshua complaining about how this article shows how tribal conservatives are. But it’s early yet.)

  52. The use of denier and denial is the equivalent of labeling gays and lesbians perverts. Would that be acceptable in the social science literature?

    Conservatives have been attracted to warming skepticism not because they have any particular scientific leanings, but because they recognize the ‘solutions’ to global warming that have been offered as the typical boilerplate leftist prescriptions for society. Go back to the early 1970s, pre-global warming, and you’ll find the identical language in leftist environmental literature. After the global collapse of communism – excepting China – they see global warming advocacy as leftism in climate clothing. And quite rightly so.

  53. This is why sociology is not a science – they just babble. As a CWM I distinctly resent being multivariately analyzed to distinguish me from nine other variables. Isn’t there a law against this?

    • Kent Draper

      No, there’s a law against the opposite of what you said…… I think :)

    • Arno –
      This is why sociology is not a science

      Yes – their own professional society recently proclaimed that sociologists are not scientists. Big fuss about that one. But this illustrates the point.

  54. I have now looked through the paper reading most carefully the introductory part and the conclusions. Based on that I would say that it’s not primarily a contribution to the climate discussion, but a social science paper that studies, how the previously well known “white male effect” manifests itself in the attitudes towards risks of global warming. The white male effect tells more generally that white males are more willing to accept risks than non-whites and females. It was also known that this effect is stronger in conservatives that others.

    The data used comes from Gallup Organization’s annual environmental poll. The questions were chosen for those polls and could not be influenced bay the authors of this paper.

    • “The white male effect tells more generally that white males are more willing to accept risks than non-whites and females. It was also known that this effect is stronger in conservatives that others.”

      Another way of saying this is that those who are more motivated by fear tend to become progressives. Is it any wonder the progressives market virtually all of their programs using fear? Fear of racism, fear of poverty, fear of climate disasters. Imagine a progressive political campaign that was not based on fear. You’d have to imagine it, because they don’t exist.

      Conservatives coined the phrase “the nanny state” for a reason.

    • Pekka –
      It occurs to me that someone recently used the Gallup poll on a previous thread here – and that after looking at the questions, I told them that those questions failed in any way to define the subject or the pertinent issues. Using the results of that poll means they started with data that was meaningless and then made it more so.

  55. John from CA

    New NASA Data Blows Gaping Hole In Global Warming Alarmism
http://news.yahoo.com/nasa-data-blow-gaping-hold-global-warming-alarmism-192334971.html

  56. Latimer Alder

    I’d rather be a Cool Dude than a Hot Head.

  57. Sociologists perhaps can link the behavioral / rhetorical patterns here to the same sorts of things that happen in other circles… For example, being against “affirmative action” means that you are a racist, or being against gay marriage means that you are hating of homosexuals. Isn’t this sort of argumentation conducted all across the political sphere? It’s got to have been identified or researched before.

  58. Judith

    Don’t know if I qualify as a “cool dude” (hope so), but I am definitely NOT a “climate change denier” (it never stops changing, as far as I can tell). But here are my reactions.

    Your conclusion is correct that these social scientists are “clueless about the whole thing”.

    Your suggestion of a ” demographic and behavioral theory about social scientists who write about climate change ‘deniers’” sounds like a good thing at first glance, but then we would need a study covering those that made this study, etc. ad nauseam.

    I particularly liked this conclusion of the study you cited:

    The positive correlation between self- reported understanding of global warming and climate change denial among conservative white males is compelling evidence that climate change denial is a form of identity-protective cognition, reflecting a system-justifying tendency.

    Huh?

    Max

    • Max –
      The positive correlation between self- reported understanding of global warming and climate change denial among conservative white males is compelling evidence that climate change denial is a form of identity-protective cognition, reflecting a system-justifying tendency.

      I think a more correct conclusion would be –

      The positive correlation between self- reported understanding of global warming and climate change denial among conservative white males is compelling evidence that climate science fails to present a convincing case for future catrastrophic climate conditions and therefore, for the massive sociological and economic disruption that would result from the presently proposed mitigation policies.

    • Max,

      It seems rather a mouthful to have to say “anthropogenic climate change denier” every time, maybe we could shorten that to ACC denier or AGW denier

      You’ve described AGW as a hoax. So, I’d say you certainly meet the criterion, and yes you do qualify as a denier.

      Congratulations.

    • Max,

      PS Max,

      I’m afraid that my side of the argument isn’t immune from a tendency to write in Gobblegook either. You are quite right to pick them up with the quotation

      “The positive correlation between self- reported understanding of global …..

      They do need to take some lessons in how to write in plain English. I’ve had a try at translating this as follows:

      ” Conservative white males claim to have a good understanding of global warming and climate change yet they tend to deny the problem. This is compelling evidence they perceive their position under the current system to be threatened, and they wish to justify both the system and their position within it accordingly.”

  59. S. Basinger

    “The positive correlation between self- reported understanding of global warming and climate change denial among conservative white males is compelling evidence that climate change denial is a form of identity-protective cognition, reflecting a system-justifying tendency.”

    Perhaps this is a general problem with both sides of the debate.

    • S Basinger

      Are you suggesting this?

      “The positive correlation between self- reported understanding of global warming and climate change alarmism among non-conservative non-white females is compelling evidence that climate change alarmism is a form of identity-protective cognition, reflecting a system-justifying tendency.”

      Sounds almost as goofy as the other version.

      Max

  60. Kent Draper

    Are folks getting paid to write these articles?????? We are doomed

  61. This study is a prime example of a “strawman”, for which the authors used “used straw” (direct out of the cow stall)..

  62. As a couple of commenters suggest, the study merely confirms what everyone else has noticed and already recognized as signficant, long before now: ‘the most prominent denialists’ are mostly conservative white males and America is a hub of this denialism.

    This raises quite a few questions — none of which are ‘why are white educated guys so much smarter than any other colour or gender’.

    No, no. While most conservative white males are not climate change deniers, or racists, or sexists, there is considerable observational evidence, confirmed in research, that most climate change deniers are conservative white males. They also tend to be older. And American.

    Hmm. Well, we all know they are not doing it for the money. As this one study strongly suggests, it is (now, anyways) ideological.

    Judith claims she knows more about her own men and their reasons and motivations than perhaps even they can themselves easily explain to the outside world. I hope she will write a heartfelt post, from her own personal experience and understanding, that explains this ideology and what she personally believes happens to men as they get older.

    This may help explain to future generations: 1) why you did it, 2) whether or not you knew you were ruining your professional reputation all over the internet, and 3) who or what (other than Judith Curry, who simply enabled you until you passed away one day of natural causes) could have helped you.

    • I am Conservative White Male and I oppose what is on the table to “combat” climate change because I find it anti human and particularly anti poor. The proposed energy savings and shifting to renewables will work for ~2 billion people, but not for 7-12 billion. The rapid growth of global energy use today is not driven by CWMs driving SUVs, but by yellow, brown and black people wanting to ride bicycles or mopeds. The global energy use has to double or tripple for decades before it can level off and my habit of eating tofu vs. beef won’t matter (actually I like tofu). The faster growth in the developing word is the better, because wealth appears to be the best birth control (apparently men with remote control make fewer babies), so sooner the people in Asia and Africa become rich the quicker the global population will level off. Being rich is the best recipe for adaptation as well. There is considerable amount of literature showing that rich nations responde better to disasters.

      • –>There is considerable amount of literature showing that rich nations responde better to disasters.

        True, true… for example, rich nations can always adapt by burning their filing cabinets full of global warming junk science, much like the elderly in the UK burned books last winter because the price of fuel was unaffordable and because the UK was blanketed in several feet of global warming. Even the rich global warming alarmists were able adapt: like delicate hothouse flowers, they quickly escaped the cold by jetting off to Cancun for margaritas.

      • If there is one essential argument against the Kyoto model it is the total lack of success. I suspect that cap and trade is structurally and politically doomed to failure. But there are immediate ways forward for which a broader consensus may be gained – and that are neglected in the obsession with energy and carbon dioxide. Black carbon, sulphide, nitrous oxide and tropospheric ozone reduction, ecosystem conservation and restoration, economic development and a consequent reduction in population pressures and restoring carbon to agricultural soils are amongst the range of cost-effective actions possible. These actions have indeed multiple benefits. (LSE 2010 Hartwell Paper)

        In the longer term – the energy problem is one dimension of a problem involving development, agriculture, health, education, population and the environment. The need to increase massively energy resources and food supplies in this century must be recognized – while at the same time conserving and restoring ecosystems. And the fact is that to do this will require the availability of cheaper energy supplies. It suggests on this ground alone that great changes in energy development investments are required.

        Modern economic principle is far from laissez faire – but certainly a government sector that is less than 30% of GPD. Good corporate governance (fairness in markets), adequate prudential oversight (is the lesson learnt yet?), management of interest rates (to prevent asset bubbles) and restraint in the printing of money. Democracy, the rule of law, the rights to private property and other individual freedoms are fundamental values of our enlightenment heritage. In the end the resilience of human societies and economies is enhanced where there are multiple nodes of strong economic activity in China, India, Africa etc.

      • Chief,

        How does this fit?

        http://tinyurl.com/3jxcdh5

        Your thoughts?

      • I am ignoring it as much as possible – it will disappear in a puff of smoke.

      • gyptis444 –
        A Bill for an Act to encourage the use of clean
        energy, and for other purposes

        and for other purposes ???

        Scary. Kinda like a 2000 page US healthcare bill of which the Speaker of the House siad “We don’t know what’s in this, so we’ll just have to pass it so we can find out”.

      • CH,
        Your list has been offered up by skeptics on more than one occasion and the believers simply ignore it or reject it.
        They also do not like to think to much about Kyoto/Rio/Jakarta/Copenhagen/Cancun/etc. and the abject failures of each of those conferences.
        Especially do not expect an answer to the question asking for an example of a mitigation policy that could actually work.
        They have no answer to that, and will just repeat themselves endlessly, in a pseudo-scientific rosary or mantra.

    • Martha, this is too funny. Sorry to disappoint, but my “reputation” on the internet amongst Joe Romm, Greenfyre et al. is not something that I worry about. My main concern is scientific integrity.

      • tempterrain

        Judith,

        Your “too funny” comment is being somewhat condescending to Martha, don’t you think?

        She’s making the point that, as I understand her, on the one hand you seem to be criticising the study as “clueless”, but on the other, your comment ” if you are reading this post, odds are that you are a ‘cool dude'” shows you you do accept the validity of the statistics presented.

      • tt –
        Your “too funny” comment is being somewhat condescending to Martha, don’t you think?

        And why do yo think Mothra deserves any more than condescending?

        your comment ” if you are reading this post, odds are that you are a ‘cool dude’” shows you you do accept the validity of the statistics presented.

        Your logic sucks swamp water and your conclusion is s valid as that of the paper in question.

      • Jim Owen,

        Previously, I have argued that certain pieces of gobblegook do need to be translated into plain English.

        But I’m not sure about “your logic sucks swamp water”. I take that to mean that you have some slight misgivings about the correctness of my line of argument? :-)

        I’ve never heard this phrase before in the English speaking world. Is it a form of “pidgin”, would you say?

      • Fair shake of the sauce bottle mate – he’s just comin’ the raw prawn at a bloke who is flat out like lizard drinkin’ at the bloggin’ business.

        I would say it is a colourful colloquialism rather than pidgin – but I don’t know if I can spell it. TT doesn’t think he is a troll? I’m not sure he knows what bridge he is under.

        Jim – keep on truckin’ – I think you are as flash as a dunny rat with a gold tooth.

      • tt,
        You and Martha are competing to see who can be the most inane.

      • “This may help explain to future generations: 1) why you did it, 2) whether or not you knew you were ruining your professional reputation all over the internet, and 3) who or what (other than Judith Curry, who simply enabled you until you passed away one day of natural causes) could have helped you.”

        martha is a brat. its not possible to be condescending to her

    • Martha,
      You really are a jerk.

    • “No, no. While most conservative white males are not climate change deniers, or racists, or sexists, there is considerable observational evidence, confirmed in research, that most climate change deniers are conservative white males. They also tend to be older. And American.”

      They also tend to have higher educational achievement.

      I think the more interesting question is how someone becomes a denier.

      • steve,
        You are in many circles of the AGW community a denier.
        One becomes a denier the same way one becomes a heretic.

  63. If AGW was about science and not politics, then it would not be a Left versus right issue now would it?

    Obviously it’s all political.

    For all of the evolution of man, mastery over the vagaries of nature was as prized as the search for truth for its own sake. But now that the nihilism of the Leftist reached its zenith in the West, what once had value is worthless and truth doesn’t matter.

    Or, stated another way, who do you prefer George Washington or Mao Tse-tung?”

    The answer is simple:

     If you are a Tibetan Buddhist monk, you prefer a God-fearing protector of personal and religious freedom like George Washington.

     If you are a tenured professor in liberal fascist academia, Ward Churchill is more inspiring than Winston Churchill, Mao the mass murderer is your philosopher and Bush-haters Castro and Chavez are comrades.

    • tempterrain

      Wagathon,

      “If AGW was about science and not politics, then it would not be a Left versus right issue now would it?”

      Why not?

      The scientists come out with their evidence and conclusions. Moderate and left-of-centre political opinion largely accepts it. Many, though not all, of those with more conservative and right wing viewpoints reject it.

      Isn’t that exactly where we’re at just now?

  64. The BBC’s Richard Black tried the almost exact same analysis AT Copenhagen December 2009

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/12/cop15_questions_about_sex.html

    Richard could’nt bring himself to mention Donna’s and Jo Nova’ names (lest of course a BBC reader might find their blogs and read them)

    Richard Black got a LOT of criticism for that article (only a few weeks after climategate)

    Richard Black: ” The other is that climate scepticism has psychological roots; that it stems from a deep-seated inability or unwillingness to accept the overwhelming evidence that humanity has built with coal and lubricated with oil its own handcart whose destination board reads “climate hell”.

    As one ex-scientist and now climate action advocate put it to me rather caustically a while back: “I’ve been debating the science with them for years, but recently I realised we shouldn’t be talking about the science but about something unpleasant that happened in their childhood”.

    Perhaps an answer to the gender issue will help illuminate this much bigger and politically significant question.”

    Lots of criticism, especially for repeating the ‘something unpleasant must have happened in their childhood”

  65. I love the emotive language of some of these social studies. It shows passion, objectivity, not so much.

    Im a white male, with right leaning political beliefs(not to be confused with nationalist socialist beliefs, that to this day i cant see how that nationalizing the people is any different to nationalizing the economy, it has more incommon with liberal socialism, than libertarianism/market…ism) not American mind.

    Ive got my views on politics, and science, i base them on my understanding of the subject. Not on some one else s opinion on it. And i personally believe with us increasing atmospheric co2, it will increase the path length out of the troposphere in 15micron… But i have my doubts about some of the climate sensitivity estimates floating around… Now i guess i fall into the category of denier. Id be interested to know, how strongly the various demographics are swayed by peer opinion, over understanding, in their beliefs. I know when i was younger, i was much more easily swayed, by my friends collective views, rather than a reasoned opinion.

    I could make broad sweeping claims about various demographics, from my observations, on how they form their beliefs, but i shall resist ;-)

  66. Has everyone forgottent that politicians have defined ‘climate change’ in such a way to really confuse the debate and of course the public ;) !

    The UK governments definition:

    “Climate Change The process of changing weather patterns caused by the increased number of greenhouse gases in the global atmosphere as a result of human activity since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.”

    ’A guide to carbon offsetting for the public sector’ –Department of Energy and Climate Change

    http://www.realclimategate.org/2010/11/crazy-climate-change-quote/

    And from Jo Nova: ( a female sceptic, shocking – sarc off)

    The inherent bias in the system is so strong that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change actually defines “climate change” as being “man-made”. I kid you not.

    UN: “Climate change” means a change of climate, which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2011/07/climate-change-suspect-must-be-given-a-fair-trial/#more-16311

    Is this because the politicians are in ‘denial’ about the original (naturally) definition of climate and change ;) ! ( sarc off)

  67. tempterrain

    Judith,

    Its not too difficult to define an anthropogenic climate change denier. It would be anyone who disputed the conclusions of the IPCC , and mainstream science, without having the scientific understanding of the subject to back up their argument. Or came to that conclusion first and bolstered that with an attempted scientific justification later.

    They would tend towards political terms in their objections. The thrust of their argument would be that somehow world governments had conspired to create a false problem in order to justify using carbon taxes as a form of revenue raising, using words like “hoax”, “scam”, “boondoggle” etc in the process.

    Incidentally, there is no way that you, yourself, can be described as a denier or even as an AGW skeptic. No-one who thinks that there is a one-in-six chance of climate sensitivity being higher than 6 deg C can be thus categorised.

    “Cimate action” skeptic maybe? Its OK just to take the risk and do nothing much about it, at least for now anyway? If we do the wrong thing now it may turn out worse in the end? Is that a fair assessment?

    Incidentally, the statistics show that CWM are statistically more likely to be deniers. It doesn’t mean that no CW females would feel the same way too. They may even be a few Socialist Black females who would also be saying the same thing. Anyone know of any? But statistically there won’t be many – I dare say.

    I

    • tempterrain

      PS. Judith, you write ” I guess the authors have never heard of Joanne Nova and Donna Laframboise…….”

      That’s a straw-man, or straw-woman, argument if ever I heard one! You know full well you’ve guessed completely wrong there!

      PPS I like your “not to mention Sarah Palin…..” Definitely not! I’d agree with that.

    • tt,
      Your definition of ‘denier’ marks you not only as a resolute bigot, but not really very bright.

      • Not very bright?
        You’ve just said that “Chaucer understood well how easily duped the best and brightest are”
        Well, make up your mind.!

      • tt,
        ‘the best and brightest’ refers to a clique of highly educated, high social status people who make foolish decisions or push loser policies.
        American English is clearly not your first language. What is it, if I may ask?

    • …without having the scientific understanding of the subject to back up their argument. Or came to that conclusion first and bolstered that with an attempted scientific justification later.

      That would describe many of today’s crop of alarmists, who were still in school, and therefore lacking sufficient scientific understanding, when they first formed their alarmist views. And many of whom subsequently went into climatology in order to attempt to justify their pre-conceived conclusions.

    • Isn’t it wonderful how the true believers can totally ignore the IAC review of the IPCC’s processes. That review ( http://tinyurl.com/278faby ) documented irrefutable evidence (from participating IPCC scientists) of political interference, lack of transparency, bias, failure to respond to critical review comments, vague statements unsupported by evidence, use of material which had not been peer-reviewed or critically evaluated, poor handling of uncertainty, and total lack of any policy to preclude conflict of interest. Couple that with Mann’s hockey stick (hide the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age), Climategate (hide the data, hide the code, hide the decline) ans Steig’s creative statistics and tell me how those ‘climate scientists’ have arrived at the truth? Are you just gullible or plain stupid? THE WHOLE PROCESS IS FLAWED.

      And do you really think this will fix it?

      http://tinyurl.com/3jxcdh5

  68. Hi Judy

    I may have got a very relevant comment stuck in your spam filter

    The BBC’s environment correspondent could have amost written that article, he wrote something very similar at Copenhagen maybe they copied him ;)

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/12/cop15_questions_about_sex.html

    Along the lines of why are sceptics men.

    He also recieved lots of (justified imho) criticism for it, especially for repeating, maybe something unpleasant had happened in their (sceptics) childhoods!!!

    Can you dig my comment out, or if it went wrong (commenting on a smartphone) let me know. Labmunkey might remember it, the comments alone are were well worth a look at the BBC, many considered it a new low…….

    • The BBC’s Richard Black could not even bring himself to mention Jo Nova or. Donna Lamframboise by name, just female bloggers..

      Of course if he named them BBC readers might have gone to look at their blogs!!!!

  69. Where to fit in the boffins of Japan who liken Climatology to the science of ancient astrology…? Perhaps, males from a small island-nations? We might confirm this by comparing the opinions of males in Iceland, New Zealand, and the Isle of Man to males in Boston, Detroit, Chicago and NY.

  70. Inquiring minds want to know: Have ‘deniers’ been polled to determine the differences, if any, between male public schoolteachers and male government bureaucrats compared to males who actually work for a living and who are this country’s only hope for ever turning the color of the economy from red to black?

  71. It is difficult to make a meaningful comment without reading the full article. My immediate issue is that anyone who quotes percentages to the second decimal point in this type of research has a questionable grip on data analysis and statistics.
    I tried to find previous articles by Dunlap and/or McCright – if anyone has found anything without a paywall it would be helpful.

  72. I’m I conservative white male. I do not deny the climate changes. I question the assumptions of the cause by the Alarmists, and I fully reject the future projections by same said Alamists.

    One can only deny facts and events, you cannot deny theories, only either accept or reject theories.

  73. Luis:
    The problem is not risk assessment. It is not about ideology. It s about economics. Another hypothetical, to show the difference, is to assume no matter what we do, we are doomed. At that point, and risk assessment would be powerless to stop this thinking: we should just do whatever we please. You continue to associate the fact for humans we measure both risk and costs though we refer to it as risk assessment. In this our words can confuse. Risk assessment is a matrix of cost versus benefits. That is why refusing to allow a hypothetical “we continue to do as we wish and it works out just fine” as a legitimate answer is trying to stack the deck in favor of the ideology that YOU like. I have preferences, but in terms of risk management if I do it correctly, it is not ideology, but assumptions(or hypotheticals) and knowledge.

    This is why the “conservatives” are correct in what they say, and you and Paul S are trying to stack the deck in favor of what you have assumed or believe. NOTE: this is not to say that some if not most “conservatives” are doing the same as you, or you as them. The article that Dr Curry linked reveiwing this same article was correct. Unfortuantely it did not take the knowledge to its logical conclusion: both sides are incredible, meaning “knowingly not credible.” The linked article frames it that although the CAGW suffer the same problems, some how they have a morally or scientifically better argument. This framing IS what most of the real battles are about, and both sides are advocates.
    “”Dave Ropeik has a good post (i.e. a thought provoking post) on “cool dudes” http://bigthink.com/ideas/39500 “”
    where they make a prejudiced but good statement “”The solution is obvious, though hardly easy. We have stop making climate change a zero sum if-you-win-I-lose battle. We have to frame the issue in ways that work within everybody’s underlying cultural/tribal perspectives. We have to realize that answers are more likely to be found, and solutions are more likely to be reached, if the goal is finding common ground, to one of the most serious threats humans – all of us – have ever faced.”” They have assumed it is one of the most serious threats humans – all of us- have ever faced. It is true hypothetically. But the reality of this statement is being challenged.

    We ran out of nesting on your comment:
    Luis Dias | July 29, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    You couldn’t possibly imagine the utter, the insanely godlike size, the sheer galactical scale of complete disinterest whatsoever to what Chavez and his cronies say, applaud to or point their fingers to. As far as I’m concerned, they could believe that the moon was made of cheese and applaud that as well.

    But he was applauded by those people that claim this is the most seroius threat humans – all of us- have ever faced, from the above link. They also wrote the basis of the need of the proposals that you and Paul S have requested. Perhaps you should challenge the assumption that if temperature increases due to CO2 it is bad for humans or the environment. Then at least it would be percieved YOUR sword does not cut in only one direction and that direction reflects YOUR beliefs versus what is actually known.

    • That is why refusing to allow a hypothetical “we continue to do as we wish and it works out just fine” as a legitimate answer is trying to stack the deck in favor of the ideology that YOU like.

      I did no such thing. The statement however is purely ideological and unproven. It is a fantastical statement, and like someone said earlier, for every extraordinary claim, one needs extraordinary evidence. Take the 2008 crash. Those who believe in the sentence I quoted from you will tell us that the problem wasn’t deregulation but rather the fact that the government was still present to distort the market. It’s an unfalsifiable statement, that will never be pleased unless we were to bring about a state of affairs where there was no government at all.

      So to this extraordinary claim, I ask, is it true? And what are our failsafe tools if it isnt? Because from the answer that libertarians gave us to the 2008 crisis, it seems to me that if a given system is bad, they will double down on their belief, and not exactly “come around” to the other side, whatever that is. (reminds me of former communistic parties, who would tell us that the problem wasn’t that soviet russia was communistic, but that it wasn’t enough).

      This is why the “conservatives” are correct in what they say, and you and Paul S are trying to stack the deck in favor of what you have assumed or believe.

      This is a non-sequitur. So you admit that there are two possibilities (either the sentence above is true or it isn’t), therefore the conservatives are right?, sorry I cannot agree with you. I agree more with Ropeik though ;).

      But he was applauded by those people that claim this is the most seroius threat humans – all of us- have ever faced

      So what? This is another non-sequitur. Imagine Hitler saying that Wagner was okay. Does that make Wagner hateful? Bad? Imagine some anti-semitic applauding some work of art, saying that it was joyfully anti-semitic. Should we then condemn the artist for being an anti-semitic, out of nowhere but the ramblings of a lunatic?

  74. tempterrain

    Just as a matter of interest: who on this blog would claim to have liberal/leftish views but would describe themselves as a climate sceptic, and who would have conservative/rightist views but would, broadly, accept the IPCC line?

    I’ll leave aside the gender and race question for now.

    • tt –
      There are a number of them here. But I’ll let them speak for themselves.

      I also know a number of them who are not denizens of this blog.

    • tt,
      Again, why does the lefty world view take to apocalyptic clap trap and science corrupted by social movements like ducks to water?

      • tempterrain

        Its just a failing, I guess. We also believe in such “clap trap” as Evolution, Smoking and Health, AIDs and HIV etc
        I don’t think we’ll ever change.

      • tempterrain

        We also believe in such “clap trap” as Evolution, Smoking and Health, AIDs and HIV etc

        So do most posters on this site who are skeptical of the “dangerous AGW” premise.

        We also do NOT believe in the Easter bunny, Santa Claus, the tooth fairy and dangerous AGW.

        How ’bout you?

        Max

      • tempterrain

        “We also do NOT believe in the Easter bunny, Santa Claus, the tooth fairy and dangerous AGW.”

        I’ll give you three out of four for that! Pity the pass mark is 80%

      • Insert some GOD option and watch all the flame wars blowing out of proportion (now that would be funny to see)

      • Luis said :
        “Insert some GOD option and watch all the flame wars blowing out of proportion (now that would be funny to see)”

        Didn’t IPCC Chair Sir John Houghton already do that ?

        http://john-adams.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/houghton-and-god.pdf

        ““God tries to coax and woo, but he also uses disasters. Human sin may
        be involved; the effect will be the same.”

      • tt,
        So do most conservatives.
        How about the lefties believing in alien abductions, reincarnation, and 911 conspiracies?
        But you are right.
        I doubt if many lefties can really change. They are, to pardon the expression, too reactionary to do so.

      • Most leftists are young, and most conservatives are older.

        I think this has to do with the obvious injustice of not choosing who you’ll be a son/daughter of, and crying for having the same opportunities of everyone else (and this goes on through college to PhD, etc.). Later, when you did have time to win through the opportunities you had and made some strides in your life, it is more probable that you will end up a conservative. Perhaps because you want the money you are investing in your own children to count (and thus the circle is complete).

    • I was a long-term supporter of UK Labour then the Australian Labor Party, I stopped supporting the ALP nationally when the abominable Paul Keating ( I had meetings with him from 1985-90) became PM, and at the state level in 1998 when the useless Peter Beattie (I worked in Queensland PM&C and Treasury) became Queensland Premier. Some of my views might be termed conservative – as a former long-term government economic policy adviser, I’m strongly in favour on both theoretical and empirical grounds of small government, free markets and free trade. In some other areas, as a one-time drug-taking India-travelling hippie, I’m not conservative. I became an atheist at age 13 but believe that what is most important for individual (and societal) well-being is that each individual develops wisdom and understanding based on direct experience rather than mediated religion, i.e. that spiritual development is personal and necessary.

      I became interested in AGW as a potentially serious problem around 1988, and was briefed on it by the IPCC’s long-term chief scientist Sir John Houghton in 1989 or 1990. In 1997 I wrote a cabinet submission which persuaded the (conservative) Queensland government to support the Kyoto Agreement on a precautionary basis while further study was undertaken, and have followed the issue closely since. I’ve become increasingly sceptical in the last decade the more I’ve learned, and don’t see any rational grounds for Australia’s costly and ineffective anti-emissions policies.

      You can label me as a sceptic on CAGW, but it’s perhaps harder to pigeonhole me on an across-the-board basis as conservative or otherwise.

      • Faustino,

        OK, so you were more unconventional and slightly more to the left when you were younger.
        Is that so unusual in old white conservative males?

      • tt,
        You never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
        Take a quick read on circular reasoning. It references your posts as a great example.

    • Old white guy. Libertarian. I broadly accept the IPCC Line.

      1. Humans are increasing GHGs
      1. GHGs cause warming
      2. The true sensitivity of the planet to a doubling of C02 is Highly likely to fall within the range of 1.5 to 4.5C per doubling.

      Your point?

      • Steven,
        My point?
        I’d say it would be that although we are different politically, we are in agreement scientifically.
        There is no reason why we should use a political difference to justify a scientific disagreement is there? That’s as it should be.

    • James Evans

      “Just as a matter of interest: who on this blog would claim to have liberal/leftish views but would describe themselves as a climate sceptic…”

      Me.

      Being on the same side of the fence as neocons is a bit of a first for me. And it’s a bit icky at times. But hey-ho, strange bedfellows and all that. This has nothing to do with politics for me – it’s all about the science.

      • tempterrain

        Well I’m sure there a few others like you , but at the same time I’m sure you are quite a rare bird.

        Just what would you say were the weak points in the science. I hope you aren’t going to tell me its all about “climategate”! Yes I agree that Phil Jones was unwise in some of his choice of words.

        But even if Phil Jones was every bit a bad as your new found friends say he is , he’s really just one person out of many who are saying the same thing.

        So if its all about the science lets hear where you feel the science is incorrect.

      • tt
        How about the following?
        gross selection bias in literature review
        unvalidated computer models based on flawed assumptions
        poor knowledge of aerosols and clouds (physics poorly characterised)
        absent tropical troposphere ‘hot spot’ predicted by IPCC but not found in the observations
        diagnosis by exclusion
        newly emerging evidence of alternative mechanisms
        increasing evidence that IPCC has overestimated climate sensitivity

        I’m sure others could add to the list.

      • James Evans

        “Just what would you say were the weak points in the science.”

        I think the main problem with the science is that there just isn’t enough of it. We know about the properties of CO2, and we know that CO2 levels are rising, but what effect is that having on the climate? The answer to that question seems to be a bunch of rather unconvincing guesswork (arguably from both sides).

        There have been attempts to show that what is happening with the climate now is “unprecedented”, but palaeoclimatology seems to be in a state of utter shambles. It’s a bit of a disgrace really.

        What else is there? A bunch of people (who really should know better) jump up and down and shout every time there’s an extreme weather event.

        Then there are the models. I’m an ex-programmer. I seem to remember that computer programs do pretty much what you tell them to, assuming you haven’t stuck too many bugs in there. If you write a program that draws a graph a bit similar to the global temp graph when your assumed CO2 forcing is included amongst your other assumed forcings, and draws a different graph without the CO2 forcing, all that shows is that you can write a program to do that. The program just illustrates the assumptions that you’ve made about the role of CO2 within the climate system. I find it very odd that people take that as being something meaningful.

        In short, I’d characterise the current state of climate science as “pretty feeble”. But, you’ve got to start somewhere I suppose. Hopefully in a few decades time, when everyone has stopped panicking, we’ll start to get a better understanding of the climate system.

      • The models cannot just be programmed to say anything you want. They are constrained by knowledge of the real world.

        Similarly given what we know about physics it’s not possible to program a model of gravity that shows apples falling upwards.

      • The climate models are engineering style programs and are used to show many what-if scenarios, all based on assumptions that are tweaked, according Pielke, Sr.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/19/pielke-3-on-climate-science-misconceptions/

        And the AGW promoters are abusing these models in significant ways, as he discusses at length.

      • James Evans

        “Similarly given what we know about physics it’s not possible to program a model of gravity that shows apples falling upwards.”

        It’s possible to program a model of gravity to show anything that you want. But I think I know what you’re saying.

        If the climate models made predictions as accurate as those made by models that predict the effects of gravity – then I’d certainly pay attention to the climate models.

    • You might want to look at the back-ground of one of the betes-noirs of your faith, Piers Corbyn. They say he was a Trot at uni, and although confronting climate alarmism can have a powerful effect on a man’s world view, I doubt if he’s turned into a Conservative in the intervening decades.

      • tempterrain

        I think you doubt incorrectly. Many former Trots have given up on the idea of revolution. They must feel very very let down by the working classes. They had all the correct political theory , but would they just weren’t taken at all seriously!

        You might want to take a look at the history of the UK’s Revolutionary Communist Party. They have metamorphised over the years and are now well and truly on the Right of the political spectrum. They run the spiked website. Which is sometimes worth a look.

        http://www.spiked-online.com/

      • And the AGW movement believers will comfort themselves talking about how they had the theory right but those cool dudes and evil oil companies derailed their vision for a perfect society in the same way.

    • In my life, I am considered one of the most liberal. I am a skeptic about the confidence and the methodology used. So I guess that makes me not only a luke warmer, but unconvinced by the sceince (methodology). They don’t make a door broad enough for me not to question the IPCC science as written in WG1. The WG’s are essentially advocate positions and I consider them worthless, or worse.

  75. A brilliant article in The Australian today by Joanne Nova, a non-male, at http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/climate-change-suspect-must-be-given-a-fair-trial/story-e6frg6xf-1226104017991 .

    Nova begins: Governmnets across the world have paid billions to find links between carbon dioxide and the climate, but very little to find the opposite, and that’s a problem.

    Teams of professionals have searched high and low for any possible hint that CO2 poses a threat, and that is all very well, but no one has been paid to find otherwise. CO2 has been convicted without a defence lawyer.

    It is self-evident that any expert in a field will reap more rewards, fame and fortune if their field is critically important. Why would anyone expect such experts to go out of their way to hunt down evidence that might suggest their field ought not be the centre of a global economic transformation?

    When results come in that conflict with catastrophic model predictions, hordes of researchers scour every nook and cranny to find early warm biases, or recent cold biases, and they may legitimately find some. But no one is paid to hunt down the errors or biases leading the other way. The vacuum sucks.

    • Nova begins: Governmnets across the world have paid billions to find links between carbon dioxide and the climate, but very little to find the opposite, and that’s a problem.

      A widely accepted simplification is that science cannot prove anything, it can only disprove. Thus the only way of proving that there is little link between CO2 and climate is to search for the link and fail.

      Concerning this link there’s really not much difference in the choice of research problems depending on the expected outcome. In this respect the statement of Nova is a logical fallacy.

      Where the bias is real, is in the research on consequences of climate change (whatever the reason for the climate change). It appears totally evident that a very large number of research projects have been proposed, funded and reported looking for negative effects of warming. Probably a majority of this research is formulated in the way that risks of negative outcomes are listed without any attempt of determining the net effect. This is certainly not universal as there are also numerous projects that report objectively all expected changes. Most of the strongly biased research is not published in peer reviewed journals – but then most of the references of WG2 are not to peer reviewed papers.

      There is certainly some bias also in the details of climate science proper, and perhaps most evidently in formulation of the final conclusions, as the habit of adding statements almost totally unrelated to the actual results of the paper has become an all-too-common practice. It’s counterproductive that the scientists add such sentences in their papers and emphasize them even more in the press releases. Why can’t they keep to the results of their own study.

  76. It is not true. According to Real Climate (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/07/how-soon-is-now) Willie Soon alone got $1 million from fossil companies in ten years that comes up to a whoping $100K/yr. Evidently, going after Dr. Hansen for the $1.2 million he earned personally besides is $180K/yr salary at NASA is inquisition like witch hunt and harassment (http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/8169053/right_wing_ati_attempts_to_character.html). I would be interested to know however, how Dr. Hansen spends his money while maintaining low carbon footprint.

  77. It would be instructive if the believers who apparently defend the faux paper that started this thread could reflect on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
    Particularly The Miller’s Tale. Chaucer understood well how easily duped the best and brightest are, and all-too-human desires of the educated.

  78. I wonder if the debate about AGW will morph into Anthropogenic Climate Disruption. Is there a trend for papers pointing to the cooling effects of man-made aerosols? Still climate change!!

  79. What we are witness to here is a society and culture where too many hav no appreciation for the concept of honor. We all need a lot you were my niece than Mann and more men like Goernor Palin and Bachman.

  80. This article is a laughable farce. I found it disconcerting that Judith would post such tripe. She redeemed herself, however, in the last paragraph.

    The new “cool” is climate change denialism. Carry on, Dudes!

  81. NASA launches a satellite in year 2005 on a hundred year journey, and you compared its predicted and observed trajectory for the first five years. If you found that the predicted and observed trajectory completely disagrees, will you believe the satellite will arrive at its claimed destination after 100 years?

    That is what the IPCC is telling us regarding its GMT projections as shown below.

    http://bit.ly/p9Cwqr

  82. What a paper! I can’t imagine running into the authors at a cocktail party and being able to restrain a snicker: funny funny pretend science. .

    I knew there was a reason I landed in the “denier” camp: more conservative white males! What a delicious grouping.

    Poor Martha. I suspect her brow is furrowing badly these days. Lighten up, Martha. This really *is* ridiculous! ….Lady in Red

    • L i R,
      Can you imagine Martha at a cocktail party?
      My bet is she is invited to a lot more parties the first time than the second time.

    • tempterrain

      M’Lady,

      So you’re a “snickerer” eh? Well I’m not too sure that a whole cocktail party full of “snickerers” would be too enjoyable an experience. It’s polite to laugh if someone tells a joke of course, but I’ve normally found that intelligent comment to be more effective than “snickers” and giggles when I myself may have made a comment with which they might wish to disagree. Lightening up is all very well but sometimes rational argument is what is really required.

      • tempterrain and LiR

        The lead article here is so totally absurd that it is laughable.

        A polite lady might “snicker” at the sight of the authors at a cocktail party, but I would have a hard time holding back guffaws of belly-laughter.

        Max

  83. Alexander Harvey

    It seems fashionable to suggest linkage from appearance in the construction of a conceit.

    Reading the Martin McKee paper that provides the definition for denialism, one does not get far before the stated commonality of the modes of reaction that they characterise as denialism are linked to four cases, AIDS, creation in 4004BCE, cancer, and climate change.

    The conceit being that any commonality in peoples reaction to these issues is a commonality between the people. From some commonality of response is conjured an apparent similarity of cause and that becomes the linkage and a metaphor stretches down the chain. So all who adopt that mode of response or witness its adoption by others for whom common cause is proclaimed are metaphorically branded with each other.

    Were it I on the receiving end I would be peeved and I expect that is the intention or at least an additional satisfaction.

    If I need to spell out the differences between the causes for the response to AIDS/HIV and cancer/smoking, or between climate change/CO2 and a specific year of creation, I would but it shouldn’t be necessary. Were I on the receiving end I would not need this explaining.

    It seems popular to believe that this sort of behaviour is clever and effective. This is to completely ignore the last twenty years.

    The method by which this missive comes to you is not without effect. This medium kills the message.

    I refer to the cybernetic death of narrative.

    I have read much recently of people who believe that they are getting the narrative wrong or the framing wrong and if they could just get these right then they would prevail.

    It is not that the narrative or the frame is wrong but that narrative and framing are wrong. They are dead concepts, we killed them. They are ghosts from a previous millenium. We don’t do narrative, we don’t have frames.

    It was not difficult to notice the impact that the medium had on truth it was an early casualty. It became trivial, incidental, flexible, unreliable. But so did deception and this was perhaps not so sudden or obvious. Without the benefit of deception we lose the metaphor and without metaphor we lose the woof and warp of the canvas on which narrative is painted.

    This medium is still developing which is to say that we are developing. Free from framing and deaf to narrative we have attained another individualism, the personalisation of reality.

    No longer passive to persuasion, I am a reality shopper in the pix & mix section.

    How we obtain and assert these privileges is an expression of our individuality.

    We have broken Pandora’s Box.

  84. “Since the mid-1990s, organized climate change denial has diffused from the US to other Anglo nations with established conservative think tanks that promote free-market conservatism and front groups promoting industry interests, most notably Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.”
    ————-
    As evidenced by foreign organizations representing about one-fifth of the Heartland Institute’s recent conference sponsors. Apparently, laissez-faire lunacy is not just an American affliction.

    http://climateconference.heartland.org/about-2/sponsors/

    • M Carey

      It is the climate models that are stupid!

      http://bit.ly/p9Cwqr

      • M Carey

        Do you notice the observed GMTs are even less than projections for CO2 held at the 2000 level?

        Did you see that?

        The climate models are no good!

      • The sooner you face up to the fact Hansen’s 1988-2020 scenarios are beating the hell out of no-change scenarios, the sooner you can start wasting time denying something else.

      • Girma, you have shot yourself in the foot again. Your chart shows the IPCC projections beat the skeptic projection by wide margins, which I’m sure was not your intention Perhaps you should give up on charts.

      • For 130 years, almost ALL the GMT data was bounded by an upper and lower boundary lines as shown in the following graph.

        http://bit.ly/nicmt9

        The GMT data will be bounded by the extension of these boundary lines in the next decades as shown in the following graph.

        http://bit.ly/p9Cwqr

      • This means that all IPCC projections would be WRONG!

      • Nebuchadnezzar

        Nice use of the conditional ‘would’.

        My question is, at what point would your projection be WRONG?

      • I would be wrong if IPCC projection of 0.2 deg C per decade matches the observation for the next decade.

        My projection for the next decade is a maximum rate of only 0.06 deg C per decade, which is parallel to the upper boundary line shown below.

        http://bit.ly/p9Cwqr

        Most likely, I expect cooling trends similar to those after the 1880s and 1940s as shown below.

        http://bit.ly/nicmt9

      • Well, your boundry projection is not faring well against the IPCC projections. Perhaps you should revise it.

      • Did you notice the observed temperatures are BELOW projections if CO2 emission had been held at the 2000 level?

        My projection is for a global cooling in the next couple of decades to a value of about 0.13 deg C by 2030. IPCC projection for 2030 is a GMT of 1 deg C.

  85. And, all of the Leftists that participate in the global warming hoax will continue to use just as much energy as the rest of us. They’re like 9/11 terrorists. Et tu Brute?

    • tempterrain

      9/11 terrorists eh?

      Well I’m not sure if I’ve ever come across any of us “warmists” hi-jacking a plane full of passengers and flying the whole lot into a tall building. I think there was a motion, about doing something similar, at our annual AGW conspiracy conference last year, but I think the balance of opinion was against the idea. The carbon footprint would have been too large.

  86. ‘29.6% of CWMs but only 7.4% of all other adults believe that the effects of global warming will never happen

    Yes – I think that climate is complex and dynamic and subject to abrupt change from multiple feedbacks with unknown thresholds.

    58.5% of CWMs but only 31.5% of all other adults deny that recent temperature increases are primarily caused by human activities

    Recent temperature increases were overwhelmingly (by an order of magnitude) the result of ENSO cloud feedbacks.

    39.1% of CWMs but only 14.4% of all other adults do not worry at all about global warming’

    See answer 1 – I tend to be more worried by a 10 degree C fall in many places in as little as a decade.

    64% of all Australians don’t believe in a carbon tax

    I have rarely heard such nonsense. Companies are to pay a carbon tax and everyone is to be compensated for higher prices. The companies can offset the tax with carbon credits on coal fired power plants built in China and India as ‘clean development mechanisms’.

    This is in the spirit of the classic children’s tale of The Magic Pudding. The story is set in Australia with humans mixing with anthropomorphic animals. It tells of a magic pudding which, no matter how often it is eaten, always reforms in order to be eaten again.

    What is the conservative agenda? Capitalism depends on the rule of law and a functioning civil society. Modern economic principle is far from laissez faire – but certainly a government sector that is less than 30% of GPD. Good corporate governance (fairness in markets), adequate prudential oversight (is the lesson learnt yet?), management of interest rates (to prevent asset bubbles) and restraint in the printing of money. Democracy, the rule of law, the rights to private property and other individual freedoms are fundamental values of our enlightenment heritage. Not even remotely negotiable – to be defended with bodies and bullets if need be.

    So if they want solutions they should look at integrating the Lomberg priorities with the Millennium Development Goals in a 2010 London School of Economics 2010 Hartwell Paper framework.

    What is to stop the right taking back the policy initiative? Nothing at all if the delusional musings of pissant liberals is anything to go by.

    I think I’am in a majority – you beauty – let’s vote on it.

    • tempterrain

      Do you really mean that “64% of all Australians don’t believe in a carbon tax” ? There were quite a few who “didn’t believe” in a GST either but they still do get charged 10% extra at the shops.

      Maybe you mean “64% of all Australians don’t like the idea of a carbon tax”? I’m not sure I do either. I’d have preferred a cap and trade scheme. But I dare say if Ms Gillard gets her way we will all have to believe in one.

      Because it will exist.

      • I know what I mean – 64% believe that it is totally pointless.

        70% of Australians don’t believe in Julia Gillard.

        If it gets up – it will be dismantled.

      • tempterrain

        CH, You may think you know what you mean but that’s not the same as explaining clearly what you mean. In any case what you think you mean isn’t correct. 64% don’t believe that “it is totally pointless”.

        Australians did vote for a Cap and Trade Scheme in 2007 but they didn’t get one. They didn’t vote for a Carbon tax in 2010 either but it looks like they will get one. Going into all the details of the the machinations of Aussie politics would be fairly boring , but I think it can be seen that politicians of both major parties haven’t carried through with what they said they would after the two elections.

      • http://www.couriermail.com.au/business/three-quarters-of-australians-expect-to-be-worse-off-under-carbon-tax-galaxy-poll/story-e6freqmx-1226069721673

        75% in June considered that it would have a minor or no effect on the environment.

        The other statistics speak for themselves as well from multiple sources.

        As usual – you are absolutely wrong on all and every count. Go back to leaving piles of s.. on the bloggoscape – it is all you are good for.

      • tempterrain

        “75% in June considered that it would have a minor or no effect on the environment.”

        They are absolutely right. I’d count myself as part of that 75%.

        If you divide up the world into blocks of 25 million people then, a change of behaviour by any of those blocks, individually, will have no more than a minor effect. But of course if all the blocks are added….

        This argument is a bit like me saying I don’t need to pay my train fare because my contribution is so tiny compared to the total fares that would be collected in the crowded train, that the railway authority just wouldn’t notice.

        You could argue that others aren’t paying their fare either. But someone has to make a start somewhere towards getting a viable system in place.

        PS It would be much challenging, and fun, if you were able to come back with witty and humourous remarks and put downs. Crude insults don’t make you seem quite as clever as you’d like everyone to think you are!

      • I have no intention of having a polite debate with you. I have no witty or humourous remarks to waste on someone with no wit and no humour.

        As for taxes elsewhere – the developing nations would be very poorly served to invest in expensive energy when there is such a pressing need for development. It is a delusional state of mind to imagine that they might be so unmindful of the extreme needs of their peoples – and the legitimate claims to economic development. People come first every time.

        As I have said – we are enemies and every thing you say is at odds with my most deeply held convictions.

        You understand nothing about science – you are both simplistic and arrogant. Your politics are a nightmare and your economics come from playschool. Whether I am clever or not is neither here nor there – but my wisdom and compassion surpasses that of a pissant misanthrope such as yourself.

    • BEFORE THE ELECTION

      Prime Minister Of Australia: “There will not be carbon tax under the government I lead”

      Treasurer of Australia: “Certainly what we reject is that this hysterical allegation somehow we are moving towards a Carbon Tax”

      http://bit.ly/pHNQPM

      AFETR THE ELECTION

      http://bit.ly/nQjHEp

      • They are a minority Government now relying on 3 independents and a green – all of whom will be tossed out in the next election. They are a by-election away from decimation at the polls. It will be a generation if ever before Labor is elected again.

        The Australian electorate will not tolerate being lied to.

      • Hear, hear. The political lies are in keeping with the IPCC lies on which Government policy is based. Now we are expected to pay through the nose for the ‘luxury’ of having Gillard and the greens tell us what is good for us. The polls are definitive. Gillard and co are not listening. The Chief’s analysis is absolutely right!

      • If only Americans could stand up the same way.
        Good luck in an early election.

  87. Vaughan Pratt

    Commenting on this article without first having read the Kahan et al (2007) article it cites, http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=995634 (look ma no paywall), is like breathing on the moon without having remembered to bring a spacesuit.

    • Vaughan:
      Many thanks for the link. What I find intriguing/troubling in the Kahan et al study is (1) the relatively small % of variance explained (< 30 % for Environment, < 40% for Guns, <25% for Abortion) despite 15 to 31 possible explanatory variables ; (2) the distortion of effects by showing graphs without a zero on the y-axis; (3) no information besides scale reliability on the actual distribution of scores on the key scales – hierarchic/egalitarian and individual/communitarian; (4) there are no measures of how much information and how accurate the information is that an individual has on each risk area.
      The last concern begs the question as to what exactly are the authors exploring? Are perceptions of risk a group process or an individual process? In short, I have the same methodological reservations about this study as I do the Dunlap and McCright and the Yale Group's Survey.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Are perceptions of risk a group process or an individual process?

        I think you’re spot on with this question, Bernie. But the 2007 paper is bit dated by now. You might find Dan Kahan’s 40 minute talk at Cambridge, UK in December more current, see

        http://www.sms.cam.ac.uk/media/1083337;jsessionid=24318FACA80319A17E5841ADF99EDF23

        Kahan’s focus there is on cultural predisposition, the tendency to be predisposed towards your pre-existing beliefs and skeptical of views contradicting them. Since the debates about climate change, abortion, vaccination etc. have gotten enough exposure to stabilize opinions, his talk focuses instead on nanotechnology, about which most people have no prior conceptions. This makes it easier to study how people grow into their perceptions of risk as they are exposed to the issues, and therefore easier to test theories of cultural predisposition.

        One fascinating outcome was that, after carefully examining the credentials of an expert and then reading the expert’s assessment of some risk, people judged whether the person was an expert not based on the person’s credentials but on whether they agreed with the person’s assessment. The result was that everyone felt that all the experts supported their side of the matter, not because that was the case but because they had subconsciously judged the experts supporting the other side as not experts, their credentials notwithstanding. “What you believe depends on who you believe.” (minute 34:30) Saying otherwise creates an “identity threat” and people “push back.” See the pilot study on perceptions of nuclear power at 35:50, which Kahan describes as having a “different resonance” from global warming because of its beneficial outcomes. Kahan also suggests that the more scientific information you provide for a proposition, the less people are likely to believe it if that proposition threatens their identity.

        Since that talk the research supporting it has appeared in the article by Dan Kahan, Donald Braman, and Hank Jenkins-Smith, “Cultural cognition of scientific consensus”, to appear in Journal of Risk Research. Although that will be behind a paywall, in the meantime you can for the time being find a preprint at

        http://www.ts-si.org/files/SSRN-id1549444.pdf

        Very interesting stuff.

        I’m not sure what this has to do with your question, though I suppose it could mean that perceptions of risk are both a group process and and an individual process. We all try to arrive at what we believe to be the right answer, which is clearly an individual process. But since the questions most in play are also the questions that are hard to answer even collectively let alone individually, we are also heavily dependent on the judgments and opinions of others, making it a group process. Furthermore cultural predisposition and the dismissal of experts you don’t believe as being non-expert would I guess tend to create a certain inertia making it very hard for people to switch to the other side, since not only are they absolutely convinced they’re right but the experts all seem to support them.

      • welcome back Vaughan!

      • Vaughan:
        Again thanks for the links. I have just skimmed the next paper. It seems to use the same methodology and my issue with the earlier study was about the methodology and essentially the anthropomorphing of these groups. I understand the tactical value of treating groups as if they were individuals for purposes of communicating messages – pretty girls to sell beer to young guys, etc – however, this research seems to target how individuals process information. The unit of analysis needs to be the individuals, the design should be experimental, ideally with non-naive subjects. I suspect, but do not know, this is why Mary Douglas was critical of the methodology (see acknowledgements in the working paper to which you kindly provided the link. My reading of Aaron Wildavsky’s work – especially, But Is It True, is that he believed that more critical thinking on the part of individuals – despite their tendencies to cultural Groupthink – would lead to more informed citizens and better decision-making. He would admire Lomborg and despise Gore.

      • Vaughan:
        I re-read your response and think my above response does not address the point that you raised. Clearly in areas that we have little personal expertise in, but yet we need to make a choice or decision we tend to rely on information that comes from others. In this sense there is a “group” contribution. However, I would still argue that any choice that I make is my choice and to understand how I make that choice one surely needs to either ask me or examine how I make choices under varying circumstances. In the Kahan type of methodology, the interesting results are not those that conform to the hypothesis based upon how a particular group decides, but how those who do not conform process the same information. In the famous Milgram experiments, it is not those who obey who are interesting but those who chose not to obey. The experiments after all are designed to create a specific effect. However, there is little research done on these “outliers” and such follow up is almost impossible to undetake when the research is survey based. Again, this is one of my takeaways from Wildavsky.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        any choice that I make is my choice

        This sounds like a free will or determinism issue. Kahan seems to be attributing a certain degree of determinism to people, you are pointing out that they have free will. I would have difficulty arguing against either of you.

        If the answer were free will, one would expect diets to work better than they do. One can point to many aspects of our behaviour over which we have less control than we would like, and in some cases less control than we imagine we have, such as driving while drunk.

        But if the answer were determinism, we would emphasize rehabilitation of criminals over deterrence and retribution, which doesn’t seem to happen in practice. In court a plea of insanity amounts to a denial of free will, and a so-called crime of passion is a weaker form of such denial, but except for those two the law makes a presumption of free will.

        (When I took freshman philosophy, a three-trimester course at U. Sydney in 1962, we had a choice of one out of four essay topics for the year’s main essay: “can machines think?”, “free will or determinism?”, and I forget the other two. I found the free will or determinism question much more interesting than the can machines think question. I argued then that free will had to amount to more than mere mental coin tossing and therefore had to include an element of determinism. Today I would answer the question “free will or determinism?” with “free will and determinism.”)

      • Vaughan:
        Many thanks for continuing the dialogue. My college roommate was Dean at the MacQaurie Business School and lives in the next bay from Bondi. Sydney is indeed a beautiful location – but then Palo Alto is pretty nice too.
        I think my point is still primarily methodological – the unit of analysis needs to be the individual and we need more process indicators rather than outcomes or states.
        I used to design surveys and psychometric scales for a living – I know there strengths and limitations. I have significant reservations with the scales for egalitarianism, etc. Have you tried answering them for yourself and see if they make sense and where you would fall? Many of the questions are as complex as your first year philosophy essay options and you get to Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree. For the basis of research on decision-making I am not persuaded.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Bernie:

        My college roommate was Dean at the MacQaurie Business School

        Not the one discussed at

        http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/history/2006/09september.htm#16scieno1

        by any chance? ;)

        the unit of analysis needs to be the individual

        Would you say this is less the case for Kahan’s approach to his analysis than in your approach to your analysis? What is not individualistic about his approach that you would do differently?

        I have significant reservations with the scales for egalitarianism, etc. Have you tried answering them for yourself and see if they make sense and where you would fall?

        I look at such scales from the perspective of a physicist: each of them measures something, and the question is (or should be) what applications does any given measurement have? The ability to perform mental arithmetic, to predict the outcome of a chemical process, to tell whether someone is withholding a crucial part of a story, to drive through a hairpin bend at 200 kph, these are all useful abilities for certain purposes. My reservations are not with the scales themselves but with the uses they’re put to, particularly when there is an obviously better scale for a given use.

      • Vaughan:
        I did not see any mention of my room mate on the link you provided or did I miss something?
        Wrt to the unit of analysis, the issue for me is whether the researchers include variables that might explain individual differences as opposed to first assuming that membership of a group is a more powerful explanatory variable. For example, in researching attitudes towards risk on a particular subject it makes sense to me to ask about how much information they have wrt to the subject at hand – for example, for nuclear power do you know anyone who has worked with nuclear power or nuclear medicine; for guns, do you or do you know someone who has a legal firearm; similar question would apply for abortion. A related variable might be familiarity or knowledge of the issues, e.g., “have you read/seen anything recently related to benefits and risks of nuclear power?” “Ownership of firearms?” “Benefits and risks of abortion?”
        This type of “individual difference” variable that might have immediate impact on cognitive processes associated with risk assessment should be controlled for, IMHO, before gross group membership variables are added into the mix. Does that help?

      • Vaughan Pratt

        The deans I’m aware of prior to Robert Widing are Robert Spillane, John Hewson, Roy Green, Richard Dunford, and William McGaw.

        Your concern for variables is an excellent one, Bernie, since any bias in a variable correlated with the parameter you’re trying to measure/estimate could throw off the measurement. (But not for uncorrelated variables, for which bias can have no impact.) The same concern applies to countless experiments conducted by psychologists, such as the famous ones by Kahneman and Tversky in the early 1980s. Not being in that business myself, I’ll have to defer to the judgment of those who are as to whether the reported outcomes of these experiments mean anything. I take it you’re claiming they don’t.

      • Vaughan:
        We are running out of space! I think the Kahneman and Tversky experiments were powerful, elegant and productive – though I still believe detailed debriefing of experimental subjects (along the lines of bulding expert systems) is called for with these types of experiments. The Kahan et al experiments however look at a different class of variable.
        As for the primary issue for this thread, which I take to be how to communicate effectively with “skeptics”, I would start by simply asking pretty well-informed academics and blog opinion leaders like Roy Spencer, Richard Lindzen, Steve McIntyre, Anthony Watts, etc., what would persuade them that immediate drastic action is needed to curtail CO2 emissions. A similar approach with opinion leaders on the other side should prove interesting. In large part, such interactions help convince Judy that Steve McIntyre was not anything like how he was portrayed by the folks at Real Climate and was in fact what he said he was.
        By the way, I have almost finished Gardner’s Future Babble. It is worth a read, if for no other reason than his commentary on Paul Erhlich.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        I would start by simply asking pretty well-informed academics and blog opinion leaders like Roy Spencer, Richard Lindzen, Steve McIntyre, Anthony Watts, etc., what would persuade them that immediate drastic action is needed to curtail CO2 emissions.

        Nothing would, because they don’t accept the argument made by climatologists that our continuing to emit CO2 during the coming century will raise the global temperature some 2 °C above its present level while dissolving much of the carbonate in the ocean . Neither does the majority of the active participants in this blog.

        But even if one could convince them of that, one would then have to convince them that such a decline in coolth and carbonate would be sufficiently detrimental as to be worth doing anything at all about, let alone anything “drastic” however one defines that term. This is much harder, because there are obvious benefits to warming that need to be balanced against its downsides, making the question of risks considerably more complex than that of mere temperature elevation and carbonate depletion. For the latter I know how to extrapolate the publicly available data on my own, but I have no idea how to go about the former and depend on others for insights and answers.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        By the way, I have almost finished Gardner’s Future Babble. It is worth a read, if for no other reason than his commentary on Paul Erhlich.

        Seems to me Gardner is the one looking silly. He excoriated Ravi Batra’s “The Great Depression of 1990″ — while it was true Batra called that shot a decade early, Batra himself may have been responsible for some of that delay by temporarily dampening the “irrational exuberance” that finally made his prediction come true starting in 2000. What’s your own forecast on that score: is the world likely to bounce out of this in three years time? (This is less obvious in Australia, which is doing very well compared to the world in general right now.)

        Likewise Paul Ehrlich called his shot early, but today it’s clear we’re facing a crisis not just in food but also in water, fuel, and environmental pollution. While Gardner waxes euphoric about how well fed everyone is today, the Oracle Education Foundation paints a grimmer picture at

        http://library.thinkquest.org/C002291/high/present/stats.htm

        The Economist is not known for alarmist tendencies, and traditionally has sided with Gardner as to how well people are doing, but lately they’ve changed their tune, see

        http://www.economist.com/node/10566634?story_id=10566634

        World population was 6 billion in 1999. The US census bureau expects it to hit 7 billion next April, see

        http://www.census.gov/population/popclockworld.html

        When would you expect it to hit 10 billion? In 2050 (by linear extrapolation), earlier (because growth has historically been not just exponential but superexponentiall), or later (because by then we’ll have exhausted the resources available to support 10 billion people)?

        I do agree with Gardner’s fox-hedgehog distinction, and one could fault my own analysis of Batra and Ehrlich’s clairvoyance by saying I was trying to turn these obvious hedgehogs into foxes. That would be true, but it is how I look at all predictions: if the predictor sounds like a hedgehog by being more precise about the prediction than is reasonable given the relevant variances, I ask what would the prediction look like after taking those uncertainties into account.

        This bears for example on bets made on Intrade.com such as

        http://www.intrade.com/v4/markets/contract/?contractId=707800

        where people are 98% certain that “Global Average Temperature for 2019 [will] be 0.2 degrees celsius (or more) higher than for 2009″. Those people are hedgehogs, and at those odds I would bet against them, not because I don’t expect the outcome myself at even odds but because the year-over-year variance historically has been much too high to warrant it at odds of 50 to 1. It would not be at all surprising if the year 2019 was sufficiently cooler than its neighboring years for those hedgehogs to lose their bet.

  88. Come to think of it, until I noticed that CAGW orthodoxy was starting to be espoused by CWMs, and not just by the usual progressive suspects, I never really paid it that much attention to the carbonista. I just assumed CAGW was yet another grant-driven gravy train that would peter out, like its predecessors when some fresher-minted scare became available for the catastrophe-monkeys to groom each other with. But seeing the likes our own appalling Malcolm Turnbull falling for it raised the alarming prospect that the “action” sought by the warmists might actually become a reality, and I began to take a real interest. Thankfully Climategate came along, and flipped the pawl of the ratchet. Since then it has operated in the reverse direction, with the results that this dreadful piece of pseudo-science implicitly laments.

    By the way, has anyone yet worked out who the sainted CRU leaker is?

  89. This looks like an attempt by (tax-funded?) far-left global warming truebelievers, to try and say conservative white males are as a whole stupid, whereas liberals, women and non-whites are clever.

    We could as well draw exactly the opposite conclusion of course, noting that as the predominant breadwinners, they are the ones with their feet on the ground.

    Any remaiming doubt that these are not unhabitants of the loony-left, is removed by their comment that CAGW would affect “capitalist” economies. Socialist factories etc would not be affected, it seems.

  90. By the way, has anyone yet worked out who the sainted CRU leaker is?

    I don’t think so. What is perhaps needed is a statue to the Unknown Leaker, with “In gratitude” somewhere on the inscription. Ideally situated on the grounds at UAE.

    • Perhaps we already have one?

      All that’s needed is to move it to Norwich…

    • Poirot immediately gets to work, scanning the UAE list of employees for anyone with Belgian surnames ….

      • Alors, ze name MANNekin eez clearly suss – pair’aps some kahnd of code? Eef so, eet must not be divulged, particularly to any naughty pairson ooz surnom beegin with “Mc”. Eet could be worse zan we sought! Ah must report to ma superieurs immediatement, and demand from zem anuzzer grant, so I can pairsue ma enquiries ad nauseam, as we policemen ‘ave eet.

      • The Unknown Leaker was not a thief. He returned to the public some of the information it had already paid for, that the fraudsters were withholding in an attempt to disguise their fraud.

    • I wouldn’t trust anyone who admires a thief. I figure he might have a faulty moral compass.

  91. “Conservative white males are more likely than other Americans to report climate change denial.”
    ______

    They also may be older than white males in general. I suspect many are past age 60 and are too set in their ways to accept anything new or different.

    • Yes older white males are likely to be considerably less gullible and craven, having seen other scares and scams come and go before,

      • Nah, fuddy duddies are as likely to be saps as anyone else, perhaps even more so, because the mind starts deteriorating.

      • So you’re an early starter, eh ?

      • I am right in the peak brain power band. But I do find myself rationalising information retention.

        As in McLuhan – the internet is an extension of my brain. I dread the day that the internet becomes self aware – it will decide that life is 99% sweating and grunting and 1% blogging rather than the other way around.

      • My wife says I am becoming more and more forgetful. I find my forgetfulness very convenient.

      • Yeah that’s right, (younger) people with less exprience of scams are more likely to sniff scams than (older) people with more experiene of them.
        After all, it’s well known to politically-correct and politically-paid climate scientists that anyone of 60 is just as fuddy-duddy as any addled 100-year old, and will have long forgotten the times they had the wool pulled over their eyes in the past.

      • Fuddy Duddies see scams were scams don’t exist. You won’t find many young men who are conspiracy theorists. They are too preoccupied with sex to have time for such foolishness. That’s practically all some of them think about. I wish I were younger.

    • There was no linear age effect in the poll data studied, not in the full sample, nor in subsamples of CWM and Confidenc CWM, but there were some age effects in details. The paper has one paragraph on the influence of other factors:

      It is also important to note the effects of the other social, demographic, political, and temporal variables we employed as controls in our models. Age generally has no effect on climate change denial, but older adults are more likely than are younger adults to believe there is no scientific consensus. Lesser educated adults are more likely than are their more highly educated counterparts to believe human activities are not the primary cause of recent warming and that there is no scientific consensus. Adults with higher socioeconomic status (both educational attainment and annual income) are more likely than are their lower SES counterparts to believe the media exaggerates the seriousness of global warming. Employment status and parental status have no direct effect on climate change denial. For each of the five denial items, more religious individuals, people unsympathetic to the environmental movement, and self-identified Republicans are more likely to express climate change denial than are their respective counterparts. Finally, climate change denial has increased over the time period between 2001 and 2010.

      A number of regression coefficients are listed in the tables of the paper.

      • Thank you Pekka – sincerely and with not a trace of anything but admiration – for being your usual self.

        :-)

      • Pekka,
        All this paper is in reality is a great example of circular reasoning.
        No wonder the AGW faithful seem to like it so much.

      • I haven’t seen much evidence on what people think on the paper itself.

        Instead i have seen evidence on, what people imagine about a paper that they don’t know much about.

      • Pekka,
        The choice of the term ‘denier’ is a game stopper for any credibility the authors may be seeking.
        I would not read a white supremacist pamphlet describing their in depth studies of American ethnic or political communities, and I see no need to read the equivalent by a pair of neverwuzzer academics.
        Until the AGW community can get over its denigration and bigotry towards skeptics, they really have no way to deal with the issue.
        The persistent inferences among many self-declared progressives that ‘Republican/conservative = bad’ is predictable, false and annoying. Yet here is a nice peer review academic paper shoveling exactly that horse poop in a new variety. It is no more informative that the drool Martha posts here on any given day.

      • It’s clear that you wouldn’t accept the paper, whatever word they would use instead of denier.

        For those, who are ready to accept the paper otherwise, the word is not likely to be a problem. Many of those not disturbed by the word may still consider the paper to be of little value.

      • Pekka –
        For reasons that hunter and I have given elsewhere, the paper isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. Their basic data is worthless and the conclusions are patently ridiculous.

        Denier is just one more reason to consign it to the round file.

      • You can hardly claim that I defend the paper, but I’m amused by your passionate need to condemn it.

      • Pekka –
        There’s little or nothing there to get passionate about. Disgusted, yes. Passionate, no.

      • PP,
        I generally am very dubious of anything that applies or seeks to impose identity politics based on gender, age, or race. Especially something that uses Orwellian tactics to re-define people or their beliefs as prima facia evidence they are either good or bad.
        There are plenty of strong AGW believers who are basically good people, for example. They are just misguided on climate. That AGW believers tend to be people who claim they understand science, and confuse with accepting authority claiming to be scientific with being scientific is not a function of their politics, but a fallacy easy to fall into.
        This crap paper turns that on its head, and as Dr. Curry and others have pointed out, is based on false assumptions about nearly every point they seek to make.

  92. There is no free-market solution to the hypothetical danger of CAGW, since there is no feasible way for citizens to have property rights in the atmosphere. It is effectively owned by governments, since governments decide what can and cannot be done with it.

    (This explains why CAGW thinking is largely driven by those with totalitarian motives, and questioned by those who lack them).

    • No, it explains why free-market worshippers regard CAGW the same way as creationists regard evolution.

    • Only in the view of liars with totalitarian motives (the backbone of CAGW belief), who use clever tricks like trying to associate skepticism with Holocaust denial.

      • tempterrain

        Holocaust, or the murder of millions of Jews, Gypsies, and political dissidents by the Nazis, denial is just one possible type of denial. Its not the only one.

        I could make a long list of ‘denials’ if you like. They aren’t all particularly bad either. I know a mother with a severely disabled daughter who is quite convinced, against all reasonable expectation, she will be cured one day. I think her denialism is the other thing which keeps her going.

      • tempterrain

        Sorry should be “only thing which keeps…”

    • A “free-market worshipper” being someone who thinks people should be allowed to run their own lives. The opposite of a totalitarian, who sees inherent good in some people controlling other people’s lives as much as possible.

    • And if there is any parallel in climatology to creationism, it is with alarmism rather than skepticism, since this is what calls for groundless faith in the pronouncements of those who stand to gain so much by the pronoucements being believed. CAGW-truthers, the modern-day purchasers of snake-oil.

  93. The worship of markets? Capitalism depends on the rule of law and a functioning civil society. Modern economic principle is far from laissez faire – but certainly a government sector that is less than 30% of GPD. Good corporate governance (fairness in markets), adequate prudential oversight (is the lesson learnt yet?), management of interest rates (to prevent asset bubbles) and restraint in the printing of money. Democracy, the rule of law, the rights to private property and other individual freedoms are fundamental values of our enlightenment heritage. Not even remotely negotiable – to be defended with bodies and bullets if need be.

    I get a bit bored with evolution – why does it always get raised as an example of – what? – the intellectual superiority of the Godless progressive?
    Evolution doesn’t need God? Utter nonsense – evolution like any other science can say nothing about God. I’m not sure even that the space/time continuum needs evolution – time itself is a mystery. What is the obsession with evolution as an organising principle? What does it matter – other than in breeding fruit flies? I think it contains a deep, dark and very tedious rationale for atheism – an essential value of the Godless progressive. But I wish they would just shut up. Do I bring up my religion – 4th dimensional Manicheanism – all the time?

    They are not only very boring muesli munchers – but have bizarre ideas of social organisation and religion.

    • CH,
      But the progressives in their persistent need to mis-define nearly everything they deal with have recast capitalism as a free-for-all no rules mess.

    • Chief –
      Those very boring muesli munchers need evolution to differentiate themselves from those who believe in God and might try to proselytize them. The justified fear is that they have no defense against proselytization. So – they claim that evoluton disproves the existence of God and justifies atheism.

      But they fail to realize that Darwins thesis was embraced by Christians when it was published – and for another 50 years afterward. It was only in the 1920’s in the US that a small sect decided that evolution was incompatible with the Bible and broke away from the larger churches. Those larger churches (Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, etc) still have no argument with evolution. But the atheists MUST demonize them along with the anti-evolutionists in order to distract attention from the weaknesses of atheism, one of which you point out above – that there is no conflict between religion (or God) and evolution except in the minds of those who maintain the fiction that there is.

      They think of evolution as a weapon – and fail to realize that its only a Nerf sword. As with nearly everything else, their grasp of reality is extremely tenuous.

      • CH had it nearly right (a good achievement for him) when he nearly said

        “Evolution doesn’t need God …….. evolution like any other science can say nothing about God.”

        That would have been right.

        Why “nearly”? For some inexplicable reason he included the words “utter nonsense” in there.

        Evolutionary theory can be used as a justification for atheism because the need for God is removed. Up until the time of Charles Darwin the only explanation of our existence was in the theory of Creation. So, naturally the church was able to use that in its own justification and many present day evangelicals are still unwilling to give up that monopoly.

        Did the church initially embrace the theory of Darwinian Evolution? Not really. At best the initial reaction was mixed. Bishop Simon Wilberforce, for one, argued strongly against the theory.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reaction_to_Darwin's_theory

        It may be a statement of the obvious, but most critics who use the example of Evolution when criticising climate sceptics are saying that just as Evolutionary theory cuts right across the religious beliefs of fundamental Christians, so in the same way does an acceptance of the the problem of AGW cut right across the political beliefs of those who are of a libertarian inclination.

        Punksta , for once, put the argument very well when he said :

        “There is no free-market solution to the hypothetical danger of CAGW, since there is no feasible way for citizens to have property rights in the atmosphere. It is effectively owned by governments, since governments decide what can and cannot be done with it.”

        So, if advocates of a completely free market, with minimal government interference have no solution to a problem , what can they do? They could change their political opinion, of course. But, that’s like asking someone to stop supporting a particular football team and change to another! Human psychology just doesn’t allow it.

        The other other option is to deny there is really a problem.

      • tt –
        Why “nearly”? For some inexplicable reason he included the words “utter nonsense” in there.

        Your reading comprehension problem is showing again. Go back and read that passage again — S-L-O-W-L-Y.

        BTW – Wilberforce was ONE man – the CHURCH – or rather CHURCHES – had little or no problem with the concept.

      • Wilberforce was actually a Bishop within the Church of England. Besides him there people like Richard Owen:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Owen

        He and his allies reportedly had sufficient influence to ensure than Darwin never received any official honour , a knighthood or whatever, during his lifetime in recognition of his scientific achievement.

        Its true that Creationism largely took hold in the US in the early 20th century, by which time the Church establishment in Europe had largely come to terms with Darwin, but to suggest that it previously had “little or no problem” in giving up such concepts as Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark, the literal truth of at least the first three books of the Old Testament, is a bit of a stretch.

      • tt –
        to suggest that it previously had “little or no problem” in giving up such concepts as Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark, the literal truth of at least the first three books of the Old Testament, is a bit of a stretch.

        And once again your reading comprehension problem is showing.

        First because I said no such thing. And secondly because giving up those concepts was unnecessary.

        And once again your ignorance of religion and religious practice and doctrine has you up to your neck in the quicksand of dumb assumptions.

    • tempterrain

      CH had it nearly right (a good achievement for him) when he nearly said

      “Evolution doesn’t need God …….. evolution like any other science can say nothing about God.”

      That would have been right.

      Why “nearly”? For some inexplicable reason he included the words “utter nonsense” in there.

      Evolutionary theory can be used as a justification for atheism because the need for God is removed. Up until the time of Charles Darwin the only explanation of our existence was in the theory of Creation. So, naturally the church was able to use that in its own justification and many present day evangelicals are still unwilling to give up that monopoly.

      Did the church initially embrace the theory of Darwinian Evolution? Not really. At best the initial reaction was mixed. Bishop Simon Wilberforce, for one, argued strongly against the theory.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reaction_to_Darwin's_theory

      • In my Church – 4th Dimensional Manicheanism – we have mixed feelings about evolution. Where it is useful in what is to us a consciousness of a fleeting moment in a 3 dimensional existence – it is acceptable but cannot
        be considered to be a fundamental theory.

        As Saint Albert says – ‘since there exists in this four dimensional structure [space-time] no longer any sections which represent “now” objectively, the concepts of happening and becoming are indeed not completely suspended, but yet complicated. It appears therefore more natural to think of physical reality as a four dimensional existence, instead of, as hitherto, the evolution of a three dimensional existence.’

        Creation doesn’t consist of a 3 dimensional world evolving through the 4th dimension. God and the universe are 4 dimensional – as in some sense are we. We have a sense of the oneness of the cosmos across time and space, the experience of the numinous in forest and coral reef, the love of the sweetness of a child and a knowledge of good and evil. I don’t know about the need for God but we were born with the knowledge of God.

        It is a cosmos where light and dark struggles across all time and space. There is ultimate horror side by side with ultimate grace. Ultimately light triumphs in a perfectable cosmos. It requires only that we become beings of light – and our light will ripple out through space and time. ‘There is light within a being of light, and they light up the whole world. If they do not shine, they are darkness.’

      • tempterrain

        In my Church – 4th Dimensional Manicheanism

        Do you have any links to info on this Church?

      • It has its roots in the 3rd Century AD Manichean religion – and is a synthesis of Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Buddhism. It is the basis of the religion of the Order of the Jedi Knights.

        Through I treat it light heartedly – there are spiritual dimensions in the personal relationship with God that are a fruit of the Reformation. Which was a decisive event in the course of the Enlightenment.

        ‘The Renaissance, Reformation, and the Enlightenment were times of change and reform.

        We see the creation of the Protestant Church as a reaction to Catholic church corruption. Martin Luther will nail his 95 Theses (complaints) on the church doors in Wittenberg Germany.

        This is also a transition period where the spirituality of the Middle Ages gives way to the Humanist movement. This new focus on the physical realm brought about the rise of and development of great scientific innovation, literary and artistic development.

        Enlightened thought will lead to further liberation for women and a movement to educate. The fathers of Enlightened thought will inspire revolutions in America and France.’

        It is informed by science rather than challenged by it – we love St Albert of the mysteries of the space/time continuum.

        “The only reason angels can fly is that they take themselves so lightly.’

  94. I find it interesting how little we hear from conservative sociologists.

    • I think that species is extinct or nearly so. There are universities that will not accept conservatives into sociology curricula.

  95. The proof used to be in “the Pudding”, now it’s in the math/statistics. Yes! One can not do anything without reverting to the ‘math/statistics’ of whatever, if one is going to appear to be knowledgeable about pretty much anything under the Sun. Soooooo… CWM must therefore appeal to LBF’s and versa vicea too, since everyone knows that opposites attract. I’ve gotta remember that somehow, the next time I’m reincarnated.

  96. Important Question to bloggers:

    Has not global mean temperature oscillated for the last 130 years between an upper boundary and a lower boundary lines that are 0.5 deg C apart as shown in the following graph?

    http://bit.ly/p9Cwqr

    Just ignoring the persistent global warming trend of 0.06 deg C per decade for a second, does not the above statement mean that a global cooling or warming of 0.5 deg C is natural?

  97. sorry

    Important Question to bloggers:

    Has not global mean temperature oscillated for last 130 years between an upper boundary and a lower boundary lines that are 0.5 deg C apart as shown in the following graph?

    http://bit.ly/nicmt9

    Just ignoring the persistent global warming trend of 0.06 deg C per decade for a second, does not the above statement mean that a global cooling or warming of 0.5 deg C natural?

  98. I was a true believer until I started to examine the science. I just came over it accidentally, but once one goes through the hokey stick and the various science breaks it contains, starting from statistical breach continuing through removing of non-convenient results (hiding the decline 1 and 2), hiding data, FOI refusal, hiding methodology and ending with climategate emails it is enough to deeply mistrust “their” science and theory.
    Whitewashes and calling names “denier” made it worst. It just diggs the line deeper whilst they are the true deniers of climate change. Hokey stick – as somebody pertinently in the blog said – denies any natural climate change. They deny any natural climate influence, claim only “anthropogenic catastrophic climate change” exists and hide it under “climate change” “climate disruption” labelling as people realised that warming stopped.
    Do I came to this conclusions because of my race and gender?
    Is this the dialogue that they seek? Calling skeptics “cool dude” will not change my opinion on “their” science, it is just another name calling that deepens the trench even further.
    When I read “denial” it already turns visceral inside me, another gratuitous insult for not accepting watermelons postmodern science without proof (sorry it had to be).
    This is another attempt at splitting the skeptics and isolating the “bad white conservative males” from the other “progressive”.
    Thank you Judith for your courage and integrity! I admire how you can stay cool and face all these insults and stick to the science and keep an elevated discussion. It is great to have you, Joanne Nova, Donna Laframboise and many others who fight for science and integrity.

    • I was a global warming denier and conspiracy believer before I recovered from the concussion.

      • Interesting, Mariah, never heard of such uncool dude. Joking aside, I have many questions to you, may I ask what were you denying? “Global warming denier” what is this? What conspiracy were you believing in? Do you believe a catastrophe is coming on us? How will this catastrophe look like and when will it come?
        Did something made you conclude that the science of the hockey stick is correct?
        And here the most important question: how do you define scientific methodology – should the raw data and the algorithms be made available so that the results can be reproduced? Do you agree with this?

      • That’s too many questions for a person recovering from a concussion, so I’ll just answer one. No, I do not believe a climate catastrophe is coming on me because I don’t think I will that long.

      • This is why I asked only “one important question” that you failed to answer yet. Unless you answer that one – how do you define scientific methodology, there is no use to continue discussion, sorry.

      • Well, why didn’t you say so. The scientific method is the method scientists use. My wife is always using it to null my hypotheses.

        But why do you call the scientific method the scientific methodology? Do you like to use as many letters as possible?

      • If you don’t like Lars’ use of English, why not try conversing with him in his native language? No doubt your Danish, Norwegian and Swedish are immaculate, so you won’t have to suffer the indignity of having him correct you.

      • Well good for your wife.
        You said: “The scientific method is the method scientists use”. That’s a circular argument that is implying that all scientists use always a scientific method and all method scientist use is scientific method.
        To clarify what I mean see following link:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_methodology

        it would be desired that all scientists use the scientific method. Hope we can clarify any spelling issues and can agree on it? I am not a native english speaker so, sorry for the extra 5 letters, I hope you are able to get over it and understand the meaning, wikipedia has a redirect for it see above.
        Do you agree that we should accept only scientific work and results done according to the scientific method?

      • No, I wouldn’t go that far. There’s lots of work I will accept that’s not scientific work and wasn’t done according to the scientific method. I had some excellent home-made beer recently that a neighbor brewed by accident. Yes, I know that’s not what you mean, but it’s in return for your “That’s a circular argument that is implying that all scientists use always a scientific method and all method scientist use is scientific method.” I suspect you know I didn’t mean the scientific method is the ONLY method scientists use or is a method used only by scientists.

        I have never seen a good concise definition of the scientific method. I suppose if I were asked to try define it in as few words as possible I would say it’s a method for seeking knowledge, but that doesn’t tell anyone much. There are lots of lengthy descriptions of the scientific method, but I haven’t found one I think is best.

        Science, as you implied, is more than just the scientific method. Originality and creativity are also important. Science isn’t necessarily neat and orderly. When asked how he worked, Einstein is reported to have said “I grope.”

        But let’s get back to your question, which was ” Do you agree that we should accept only scientific work and results done according to the scientific method? Sure, unless you are the one who gets to decide what is scientific work and which results have been done
        according to the scientific method.

        BTW, I was just being snarky with the “do you like using as many letters as possible” question. Your English is excellent. I think you write better than most Americans.

  99. People appreciate wisdom, pure science, honesty, etc., etc., etc.. People will believe a wise person, a scientist, an honest person at the drop of a hat (for you kids, that means PDQ). It’s true. Really! It may be a childish, stupid gene we just always have as long as we live. Soooooooo….

    Why are CWM’s (really, anyone at all with two or more brain cells to rub together) so mistrusting of people who tend –these days– to advocate and support AGW? Perhaps there’s something missing. Perhaps there’s a lot missing. Perhaps they detect, with one of their other primative genes, that these sleezy, slimey, snake-like people only want something from them, and what they’re doing is selling, or worse.

    When the hair on the back of your neck rises you do not have a childish reaction of trust, or acceptance, or security. I really doubt that being CWM has anything to do with it at all You don’t let anyone into your Inner Circle you don’t trust. Now why is that?

    • I propose three alternatives:

      1. What you say is true and they have valid reasons for that.
      2. What you say is true, but the reasons are not valid and they have been misled to the mistrust, possibly by well planned campaigns.
      3. It’s not true that so many mistrust the climate scientists.

      The choice of yours.

      • Michael Larkin

        Oh, Pekka, for God’s sake. If there are well-planned campaigns, why would they be restricted only to the sceptical side?

        As to it not being true that so many distrust climate scientists, just look at the number of sceptical blogs out there.

        You may rationally argue that the distrust isn’t warranted, but not that only a few distrust.

      • “If there are well-planned campaigns, why would they be restricted only to the sceptical side?”
        Especially since the AGW community drones on incessantly about communication strategies and tactics.

  100. By wording the question in such a way that anyone that doesn’t think like the authors must be “abnormal”, deniers can then be treated as though they are a disease to be eradicated.

    Didn’t we already try this before on homosexuals? Or was it Commies? Or maybe it was Witches. Seems familiar somehow.

  101. Nobody on my blog has ever denied that climate changes….Please point me to a single comment that says climate does not change

    Judith – this is a rather silly line of argumentation, IMO.

    When people say that others “deny climate change,” it means that they “deny” that the climate is changing in ways that are anomalous. Of course everyone accepts that the climate changes – in the sense that it varies. No one who accuses others of being “deniers” is accusing them of saying that the climate never varies. At best, this is a straw man, at worst, you seem to be disingenuous here.

    • Joshua –
      No one who accuses others of being “deniers” is accusing them of saying that the climate never varies.

      That’s not true at all. Most of those who use the word intend exactly that meaning – regardless of the beliefs or previous words/claims of the person being called a “:denier”. If you haven’t figured that out, you’re not nearly as intelligent as I believed you to be. I have been called a denier too many times in too many discussions by too many people for too many dumb reasons to give your statement any credence.

      Moreover, since nobody has yet demonstrated that the climate is changing anomalously you’re having your own silly line of argumentation here.

      Yes, there may have been some warming over the last 150 years – but is there any reason to believe that that warming, or any part of it, is anomalous? If so, please provide evidence. Note please that in the historical/paleo record there is nothing in present day climate performance that is either unique or unprecedented. Therefore it cannot be termed “anomalous”.

      As you say – climate changes. And Judith’s statement is true unless you can provide evidence to the contrary.

      • That’s not true at all. Most of those who use the word intend exactly that meaning – regardless of the beliefs or previous words/claims of the person being called a “:denier”

        So you’re saying that when someone calls someone else a “denier,” they’re accusing that person (the denier) of not believing that there have been ice ages, or times when the Earth was considerably warmer, i.e., times when the climate was different?

        I haven’t seen such usage. I don’t believe that anywhere near most commonly, those who use the term “denier” believe that “deniers” fail to accept that the Earth’s climate has been significantly different in the past. What I’ve seen is that when people call someone a “denier,” they’re saying that the denier refuses to accept what they (the accuser) consider to be facts about anthropogenically forced climate change.

        Whether I can prove the validity of claims about anthropogenic cliamte change is not germane to Judith’s argument. Judith suggests that the term is being used to mean that someone (the denier) denies that the climate ever varies – and then states that she knows of no one who doubts that the Earth’s climate varies. That seems to me like a straw man argument. I have never seen the term being used in that way. If you could provide me with an example, I’d appreciate it.

      • Joshua, when someone says “climate change denier”, it seems to mean what you believe it means…denying an unnatural, anomalous warming.

        However, you then argue about ice ages, saying it would be disingenuous or unfair to attempt to attribute by statement, a disbelief in that kind of climate change ( ice age kind) to either the one making the charge of denier, about the denial, or to attribute that kind of denial to the denier.

        Again, my understanding of the situation is that CAGWers often deny significant events (MWP) that deniers might believe, and also deny climate change ( of the ice age kind) , in any case – they automatically take those or any possible climate changes as within natural variability ( obviously ). This, their logic says, is the real. the natural, the unchanging climate as opposed to the changing climate

        That, essentially, is a position, then which holds that climate changing big time is climate UNCHANGED.

        Your notion cuts both ways.

      • Perhaps we need to call the before and after:

        “The Unchanged Climate Change”

        to

        “The Changed Climate Change”

      • We deny the alarm. The Big Bad Wolf is actually a great big wonderful Shepard Dog.
        =====================================

    • Joshua,
      Let me try to explain clearly what I am saying about ‘climate change’.
      When we build a park, or even declare a region a national forest, we start immediately to impact it. We suppress fires, whether they are caused by humans or not, for instance. We call that a natural area, but it still significantly impacted by humans.
      The eco-system is not pristine.
      But the environment of a wilderness area or a park can and usually does thrive.
      The climate is impacted by many forcings.
      CO2 is one.
      The question is not if we are impacting the climate. The question is are we impacting it dangerously?
      The global warming promoters realized that implicitly when they renamed global warming cliamte change. Trenberth acknowledges this by trying to reframe the null hypothesis so as to avoid the issue.
      If we are not impacting the climate dangerously by way of CO2,then we are insane to spend trillions to attempt to mitigate CO2.
      And if we are not at grave peril from CO2, then why are we wasting so many resources and time on worrying about it?

      • Why would mitigating CO2 require spending trillions?

        Where would money spent mitigating CO2 go?

      • m. Carey,
        You guys are promoting mitigation.
        Now you ask me to explain it?
        Your concussion was worse than you thought.

      • If you believe attempting to mitigate CO2 would require trillions, you should be able to explain how it would cost trillions. Otherwise, readers may think you just make things up.

        And since money spent doesn’t just disappear from the economy, you should be able to give your thoughts on where those trillions would go. Otherwise, readers may think you can’t think

        If you can’t address these points, perhaps you could entertain readers with your wit.

      • M. C,
        If I am wrong about what your side is saying, please enlighten me and show me links showing mitigation cost projections.
        This is not your best series of postings, M.C.

      • You didn’t addressed my points and you didn’t entertain me with your wit. So after all this time, I get nothing.

      • how it would cost trilions? well only 243 billions in 2010 and rising:

        http://joannenova.com.au/2011/06/clean-energy-investments-just-a-tiny-243-billion-in-2010/

      • Those are costs to the people who made the investments, not costs to me.

      • Q/ “Where would money spent mitigating CO2 go?”

        A/ From public purse to private pocket

      • M. carey. Sorry to hear about your concussion. The trillions you’re searching for will be spent on green taxes by ordinary people. In the UK people already pay more taxes on long haul flights than the airlines charge for the flights. You can check this by going to any UK airline online and trying to book a flight. It’s not consistent but in my experience the tax on flights is more than the cost of the flight. Then we have the tax on carbon dioxide ( you have to know the world’s gone mad when the start taxing the breath we exhale) which is ostensibly there to cap carbon usage. Then you have the extra energy bills for the subsidies for the completely useless “clean” energy sources. Where will the money go? It will go to carbon dioxide trading companies, it will go to the executives of the renewable energy companies, but mostly it will go to China. It will all be wasted in the west by governments going to war which seems to be a particular penchant for the US and the UK, or by making people like Al Gorg disgustingly rich..

        So worried are the main protaganists of AGW about the emissions of CO2 that Michael Mann holidays in Hawaii and Al Gore uses private jets. They don’t intend to stop doing this, they intend to stop you doing it.

        Just to put it in perspective for you, to waste a trillion dollars on climate change would require an avarage tax on the world’s billion wealthiest peopl of $1000/annum. It will be trillions and China will be the major beneficiary.

      • You don’t explain how you know it’s trillions, you don’t explain how you know the $1,000/annum, and you don’t explain how you know China will be the major beneficiary. You confuse carbon tax with cap and trade, you don’t understand CO2 we exhale is already a part of the carbon cycle, and you seem to think tax monies disappear from the economy. Nevertheless, you at least tried to address my points, which is more than hunter did.

      • Yes, tax monies do not entirely disappear from the economy. The average wastage factor of government is probably around 50%.

      • OK, money not spent on women, booze, and gambling, is wasted, but wasted on what?

      • hunter –

        I fail to see how your post relates to my point. You seem to feel the need, in response to my point, to restate some larger argument about the foolishness of “warmists.” I’m not arguing about what you do or don’t believe.

        To repeat – Judith is saying that the term “denier” is being used to accuse someone of believing that the Earth’s climate never varies, and then she says that she knows of no one who believes that the Earth’s climate never varies. I fail to see why she is saying that she knows of no one who believes something that no one says that anyone believes).

      • Joshua –
        Just as a drive-by (I won’t be back here) – why does it matter? To you or anyone else?

    • No Joshua. You don’t understand. It’s essential not to speak Orwelian. The public is misled by the Orwelian speak.

  102. Nah, a “free-market worshipper” is someone who embraces an economic model American never had, although it came close during the 19th Century before the public got fed up with robber barons and monopolists, children employed in mines and mills, unsafe work places, snake oil medicine, and other free-market practices.

    Free-market worshippers are gullible enough to believe America will regress to an obsolete economic model. Like most ideologues, they are romantic saps.

    • a “free-market worshipper” is someone who embraces an economic model American never had, although it came close during the 19th Century before the public got fed up with robber barons and monopolists, children employed in mines and mills, unsafe work places, snake oil medicine, and other free-market practices.

      Typical totalitarian drivel. These issues are more than adequately addressed by market principles, ie consensual social interaction.

      Free-market worshippers are gullible enough to believe America will regress to an obsolete economic model. Like most ideologues, they are romantic saps.

      Common talk amoung rabid socialists and ‘progressives’ whose agenda is to crush freedom. America has been steadily regressing as it becomes ever more totaliarian, but there is there is no inherent reason the slide cannot be stopped before it becomes the United Soviets of America.

      • China’s State-directed capitalism is kicking our butts, and you want the government to do nothing. I guess market worshippers won’t be satisfied until the Chinese have used their freedom to buy the entire country in a free-market. But real Americans know market worship is anti-American, and won’t let the market worshippers sell the country out.

      • Sure, real Americans are state-worshippers, looking everywhere for reasons to stamp out consensual social relations, and replace them with state coercion, happy to accept any old excuse for more taxes etc (hence the interest in the CAGW idea produced by the corruption-riddled state-funded climatology establishment).

      • Segregationists and sexists would agree with you about the state coercion. Go back about 150 years, and the slave owners also would agree with you.

        People looking for an excuse for being losers can always scapegoat the government and taxes, but the truth is they would be losers anyway.

      • Segregationists and sexists would agree with you about the state coercion. Go back about 150 years, and the slave owners also would agree with you.
        Obviously not – slaveowners and segregationsists clearly wouldn’t, they crucially needed state aggression to enforce slavery and segregation. Just like the racial socialism in South Africa known as ‘apartheid’ did. And those who would have the state enforce integration etc, are just as fascist as those would have the state forbid it.

        People looking for an excuse for being losers can always scapegoat the government and taxes, but the truth is they would be losers anyway.

        I see, so somone who has been mugged or extorted is a ‘loser’ now.

      • You’re saying that Apartheid was anything to do with socialism?
        If so, you’re either crazy or you just don’t know what you are talking about. Or both.
        You may not have been around in the 70’s and 80’s when there were demos against apartheid, especially when the South African sporting teams were touring overseas.
        I can tell you that all protest was, almost entirely, from the left of the political spectrum. The catch cry of the right was that politics should be ‘kept out’ of sport.
        For example: you wouldn’t find the likes of Mrs Thatcher upsetting the South African government. Take at look at the section on apartheid in

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Premiership_of_Margaret_Thatcher

      • You’re saying that Apartheid was anything to do with socialism?

        Well of course it was – state control of racial relations, overriding people’s own choices. Equals racial socialism.

        The cry of the right to ‘keep politics out of sport’ was incoherent – they were the ones putting it (ie racial socialism) in in the first place.

      • This is just nonsense. All you are doing is equating anything the State does to socialism.
        A state may be socialist or it may not. South Africa under apartheid was definitely not.
        Socialism was effectively banned under their 1950 Suppression on Communism Act. Anything, and anyone, including people like Nelson Mandela, even remotely to the left being deemed Communist.

  103. No use trying to squirm your way out of being unkind to Girma. Your rude remark came right after his post. If you asked Girma how he feels about your remark, he probably would try to be nice by saying he doesn’t think it was directed at him.

    • M. C,
      I found the comment.
      My comment was directed at you. Good luck with healing from your brain injury.

  104. I read the paper (which is available online) but not all comments above. The paper uses standard methods and standard data, and the style of writing is as taught in graduate school.
    Contrary to Judith’s opening statement, the authors do define “denial”. In fact, they use five alternative definitions:
    1. Global warming will never happen.
    2. Recent warming is not caused by humans.
    3. There is no scientific consensus.
    4. Seriousness of global warming is exaggerated by the media.
    5. Global warming is no reason for concern.
    The paper finds that politically conservative people and males are more likely to agree with each of the five statements, while race plays a significant role only in the media statement.
    The stuff about “identity protective cognition” and “system-justification tendencies” is speculation; the authors do not test for this, indeed cannot with the data used.
    It strikes me that the editors allowed the authors to create a lot of hullabaloo about a fairly pedestrian study, but the empirical core of the paper is sound.

    • Richard, these statements are part of the Gallup environmental poll. The authors then label these particular questions as “denial belief.” I do not regard this as any kind of coherent definition of denial, they simply put a label on some of the gallup questions. If someone argues that the seriousness of global warming is exaggerated by the media, they are deniers? Like this?
      Northeast Braces for Temperatures Near Boiling Point
      No scientific consensus about what exactly? Accepting the authority of the IPCC to speak for climate science? Even the IAC stated that WGII did not do a good job of establishing confidence in “dangerous” climate change, are they deniers also?

      • If one takes the paper purely as a study in sociology, then it doesn’t matter, what is the truth on various statements on climate, but the content and nature of information available to the population does matter as does the role of various routes in spreading this information.

      • But does it make sense to call someone a denier because they think the media coverage is exaggerated? Not to me.

      • It’s quite possible that the authors do wish to give their contribution to the climate discussion. In that case the choice of the word may indeed have an intentionally pejorative meaning.

        One can read the paper also from the alternative viewpoint, where the choice of word is linked to their research hypothesis, i.e. their hypothesis is that the issue being studied is about the mechanisms of denial. That may be a bad hypothesis, and making that may lead to bad sociological science, but in that case they are not calling people by names, but they are classifying a phenomenon.

      • Judith, I’m with Pekka on this.
        I read papers like this as follows: Table 1: definitions. Table 2: descriptive statistics. Table 3: univariate results. Tables 4 & 5: multivariate results.
        That is, I skip all the text (because I think that most sociologists are pretentious twats, and skimming through the paper these authors confirm my prejudice).
        The empirical results stand, however.

      • Forgot to say: I am a 60% denier according to their definition. There is no consensus. The media is hysterical. I don’t loose sleep worrying about climate change. I think that climate is changing. I think that that’s mostly because of us humans.
        I don’t like to be called a denier. I too lost relatives in WW2. I think that people who deny historical atrocities are despicable.
        But their bad choice of words aside, the results are as they are.

      • Yes, I am 60% denier by this definition also (but hardly a cool dude). I don’t see any problem with their empirical results, but I have problems with their interpretation and conclusions

      • I’m 100% dude, 60% cool dude, so 20% cool.
        You’re 0% dude, 60% cool dude, so 120% cool!
        Seriously, within-group variability is typically larger than between-group variability (R2 < 31%), so the fact that you share some beliefs with a particular group does not make you a member.

      • Richard seriously, how many people are seriously labeled denier, yet they are less than 100% denier. You could do a study.

        Andrew

      • Andrew, seriously, both sides have engaged in a smear campaign with little regard for the truth.
        This particular study is disturbing because it plays the race card, even though they only find that whites and blacks view the media differently.

    • Richard,
      Thank you, it is for the first time that I see a clear definition of what is a “climate change denier”!

  105. Gllad to find cool dude humor is nice and sharp. Vukcivic and Josh cartoons, Kim’s insight on ‘advanced modernity,’ conservative
    white sceptics who make sense.
    (in my opinion:-))

  106. So let me get this right. Doing some basic arithmetic on the data presented we get;

    37% of all adults believe that the effects of global warming will never happen

    90% of all adults deny that recent temperature increases are primarily caused by human activities

    53.5% of all adults do not worry at all about global warming

    57% of confident adults believe that the effects of global warming will never happen

    Sounds reasonable.

  107. I think Dr. Curry could do a post on the use of language in Climate Science stories in the media. Would be very interesting to explore.

    Andrew

  108. Interesting to see, the chinese are cool dudes 79% at least:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2011/04/nearly-80-of-chinese-people-are-skeptics-world-wide-poll/

    as well as most of the human race see link above:
    “(CNSNews.com) – Most of the human race does not see global warming as a serious threat, according to a Gallup poll released last week that surveyed individuals in 111 countries….”

  109. Vaughan:
    You noted in response to my suggestion as to how to understand how to communicate effectively with skeptics:
    Nothing would, because they don’t accept the argument made by climatologists that our continuing to emit CO2 during the coming century will raise the global temperature some 2 °C above its present level while dissolving much of the carbonate in the ocean . Neither does the majority of the active participants in this blog.

    I am surprised that you would so unequivocally claim something that is not in evidence and take a position that essentially says “there is no value in talking to these people”! Did I read yo correctly?
    I have a different viewpoint. As I read it, Spencer, Lindzen and McIntyre are all interested in a robust, rigorous and empirical determination of the net feedbacks associated with any change in the radiation energy balance triggered by increased levels of CO2. I assume that those trying to incorporate physics into the GCMs would also be committed to adjusting their models based upon more precise and accurate determination of these same feedbacks? Am I wrong?

    • Vaughan Pratt

      Oops, nearly missed your “reset back to the margin”.

      I am surprised that you would so unequivocally claim something that is not in evidence

      Nothing is in evidence that one closes one’s eyes to.

      and take a position that essentially says “there is no value in talking to these people”! Did I read you correctly?

      No you did not. I’m perfectly happy to talk to them, far more likely is that they would see no value in talking to me.

      I have a different viewpoint. As I read it, Spencer, Lindzen and McIntyre are all interested in a robust, rigorous and empirical determination of the net feedbacks associated with any change in the radiation energy balance triggered by increased levels of CO2.

      At the risk of shaking if not stirring two metaphors, feedbacks are at the heart of the machinery of climate science. Understanding them is the holy grail of the subject. But just because you haven’t found the holy grail yet doesn’t mean your religion is at a standstill. If a bowler sends a ball my way along a helical orbit, I don’t need to understand how he pulled that off to know exactly where to hit it, I just extrapolate the helix and position the bat accordingly.

      If you have a quote that would support your statement that Lindzen is seriously interested in determining feedbacks, I would find that very useful, since for the purposes of prediction I’m not in the slightest bit interested in feedbacks myself. They’re irrelevant to robust extrapolation of the data to date. This is because the data has (have?) those feedbacks already built in, whence they’re not needed for prediction, only for understanding the underlying processes.

      I assume that those trying to incorporate physics into the GCMs would also be committed to adjusting their models based upon more precise and accurate determination of these same feedbacks? Am I wrong?

      You’re right and they’re wrong if they claim prediction as their end goal as opposed to science. When it comes to prediction, as distinct from understanding the science, determination of feedbacks is a red herring.

      • Vaughan:
        First, why do you assume that they – both Lindzen et al and the GCM model builders/advocates – would not be interested in talking to you If you were part of a study on decision-making, risk perceptions and how scientific disputes get resolved?
        Second, if it is a matter of extrapolation how do you tell whether your prediction model is accurate or not – you can after all be beaten through the air or off the pitch or by guile? (Just ask the Indian batsmen!) You seem to be advocating a form of dustbowl empiricism when it comes to prediction? Moreover, what is it about the current perceived trend that is cause for concern?

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Bernie, all three questions are good ones. First, if they and I were officially part of such a study then of course that would change things.

        Second, my methodology is to train my model on data from one period and test it on another. When trained on 1850-1980 it makes a prediction for 1980-2010 that would have been dismissed by all in 1980 as wildly nonsensical alarmism yet which turned out to be spot on.

        To your point about uncertainties, if the extant trends in either CO2 or methane were to shift significantly it may well throw my projections way off. While that didn’t happen over the past century and a half I consider it highly likely for the second half of this century and I therefore don’t set much store by my projections or anyone else’s beyond 2060. As with all projections they’re merely the model’s best guess and as such entirely subject to the vagaries of the future.

        Third, I’m the wrong person to ask about cause for concern as it’s a complex question at the boundary of ecology and economics that neither my abilities nor my training has equipped me to answer and I’d just be going out on a limb I don’t feel confident about—in Gardner’s terms I’d be a hedgehog.

      • Vaughan:
        Your reservations about your projections makes you fox-like.
        I saw your PP presentation of your model. Do you have a working paper or article version?

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Thanks. Still writing it up, nothing ready to distribute yet, beyond what you’ve seen already. Hopefully soon.

  110. I thought English is Lars’ native language. If not, he writes much better than some natives I know. Apparently, I give Lars more credit than you give him.

  111. I think the study says more about the “warmers” than the “deniers” (hate both terms). Maybe it’s an irresistible proposition for many people in the world to blame the problems of the world on “wealthy white guys”.

  112. In a democracy, an elected government just tries to carry out what the majority of voters think they want. I suppose it’s possible for a democracy to be evil, but the U.S. and South Africa were not true democracies during those times because Blacks were excluded from the political process.

    Your following statement is one of the best examples I’ve seen of libertarian sociopathy.

    “And those who would have the state enforce integration etc, are just as fascist as those would have the state forbid it.”

    It’s a statement that makes me thankful most Americans regard libertarians as nutters.

    • Your following statement is one of the best examples I’ve seen of libertarian sociopathy.
      “And those who would have the state enforce integration etc, are just as fascist as those would have the state forbid it.” .
      No, the above ludicrous miscategorisation of yours is just an example of totalitarian sociopathy, a transparent attempt to glorify some preferred strain of fascism.

    • Your following statement is one of the best examples I’ve seen of libertarian sociopathy.
      “And those who would have the state enforce integration etc, are just as fascist as those would have the state forbid it.” .

      No, the above ludicrous miscategorisation of yours is just an example of totalitarian sociopathy, a transparent attempt to glorify some preferred strain of fascism.

  113. Chris Mooney has a post on the cool dudes article at desmog

    http://www.desmogblog.com/what-s-conservative-white-men-and-climate-change-denial

    Mooney doesn’t seem to understand the difference between Rush Limbaugh and the dudes who are technically educated and scientifically literate.

    • That’s the problem for many AGW believers. The world has never had so many people who are technically educated and scientifically literate in relevant fields. It’s unprecedented.

  114. Prog, thanks for stopping by. I like your blog, I’ve added it to my blogroll

  115. JC says

    Do you know anyone that denies the reality of climate change?  I sure don’t.

    I regulary stumble over cranks, who claim on TV or in the internet that there was no global warming for the last 10 years. You don’t?

    The ones I saw on TV very much resembled the CWMs or “cool dudes” You thankworthy gave an excellent description on this blog

    Best regards,
    Marcus

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