Ironic impact of activists

by Judith Curry

Canadian researchers report people hold negative views of political and social activists, and their unwillingness to associate with such people dampens the likelihood of changing their behavior.

The ironic impact of activists:  Negative stereotypes reduce social change influence

Nadia Bashir, Penelope Lockwood, Alison Chasteen, Daniel Nadolny, Indra Noyes

Abstract. Despite recognizing the need for social change in areas such as social equality and environmental protection, individuals often avoid supporting such change. Researchers have previously attempted to understand this resistance to social change by examining individuals’ perceptions of social issues and social change. We instead examined the possibility that individuals resist social change because they have negative stereotypes of activists, the agents of social change. Participants had negative stereotypes of activists (feminists and environmentalists), regardless of the domain of activism, viewing them as eccentric and militant. Furthermore, these stereotypes reduced participants’ willingness to affiliate with ‘typical’ activists and, ultimately, to adopt the behaviours that these activists promoted. These results indicate that stereotypes and person perception processes more generally play a key role in creating resistance to social change.

Published online by European Journal of Social Psychology.  [link] to abstract

The Pacific Standard has a post on this paper, titled Environmentalism? Perhaps. Environmentalists? Ewww! Excerpt:

In one [study], 140 Americans…read an article about climate change and “the need for individuals to adopt sustainable lifestyles.”

For one-third of the participants, the writer was described as a stereotypical environmentalist…. Another third were told he was an atypical, less-abrasive environmentalist…. For the final third, his profile did not mention environmental activism at all.

After reading the article, participants were asked whether it inspired them to do more recycling, or otherwise take more eco-friendly actions.

“Participants were less motivated to adopt pro-environmental behaviors when these behaviors were advocated by the ‘typical’ environmentalist, rather than by the ‘atypical’ environmentalist or the undefined target,” the researchers report.

Via Meadia sums it up this way in an article entitled Greens Are Their Own Worst Enemies:

Did you catch that? If the author was just described as an environmentalist, it made readers less likely to live “sustainably” than if the author was unidentified.

Our pointing out this story isn’t about directing snark at clueless greens. The truth is that the world needs smarter environmentalists—people who understand that mass migration to sustainable communes isn’t a viable solution, who understand that society isn’t about to voluntarily retreat to an 18th-century lifestyle or curtail economic growth. These environmentalists exist. Bjørn Lomborg, for one, has as solid a grasp of policy as he does of science.

The world deserves a smart green movement, capable of effectively advocating for sustainable development. It doesn’t have one, and that’s a shame.

Society of Environmental Journalists

Two weeks ago, the SEJ held its Annual Conference in Chattanooga, TN.  The program for Friday highlights this session:

Climate Change and Media Coverage: Have We Blown It? Have We Blown it? The impacts of global warming have been a concern since about 1988. How well has the media done in reporting on this issue? How can it do a better job in the future? Many critics have accused mainstream media of confusing the public by reporting this topic as if the small (and often industry-funded) ‘skeptics’ were as credible as researchers representing the scientific consensus. This phony balance between real scientists and skeptics appears less common now,” the event’s pamphlet reads. “But many people say that journalism is still doing society a disservice, by under-reporting and downplaying the seriousness of the threats of global warming. We’ll look for lessons and advice from people who follow this issue closely.”

The panel includes: Daniel Grossman, contributing editor, National Geographic News Watch; Katherine Bagley with InsideClimate News; Peter Dykstra with Environmental Health News and The Daily Climate; Joseph Romm with ClimateProgress.org and the chief science editor of the Showtime TV series, “Years of Living Dangerously.”

Well yes, I think they have ‘blown it’ in terms of climate change communication, and the stridency and arrogance of the environmental message seems to have hurt rather than helped.  Joe Romm’s latest project “Years of living dangerously” is a Celeb-studded documentary uses scientists, everyday Americans to tell less inconvenient truths.  Romm’s 8 part documentary is scheduled to air next April.  From reading this write-up in EENews, it seems like Romm’s inconvenient truth is that there is little link between weather disasters and climate change.

JC comments

The article by Bashir et al. is very insightful.  Environmental activists such as Romm who are seeking ever more convincing methods to convince a mostly disinterested public to adopt the energy policies he espouses based upon the environmentalists’ dangerous climate change argument are unlikely to succeed based upon Bashir et al’s arguments.  Romm is banking on the likability of his characters; this may not work too well since probably all of his characters are identifiable as activists.

Bashir et al.’s arguments also have implications for activist scientists, see these previous threads:

Tamsin’s growing influence in the UK MSM seems to be tied to her likability and explicit lack of policy advocacy.  But apart from the issue of effectiveness in communications, scientist activists/advocates risk the perception of their scientific integrity.  To me this seems to be a lot to risk, especially for an activity that may be reducing their influence on social change.

247 responses to “Ironic impact of activists

  1. “stridency and arrogance of the environmental message”

    Those of us who think that the threats are (often) exaggerated by alarm oriented persons should be grateful that the propagandists do such a poor job of reaching out to non-fanatics.

    • Left vs. right is the real cause and effect underlying AGW theory–e.g.,

      “… the environmental movement was hijacked by political and social activists who learned to use green language to cloak agendas that had more to do with anti-capitalism and anti-globalization than with science or ecology. I remember visiting our Toronto office in 1985 and being surprised at how many of the new recruits were sporting army fatigues and red berets in support of the Sandinistas.

      “… they were extremists who confused the issues and the public about the nature of our environment and our place in it. To this day they use the word industry as if it were a swear word. The same goes for multinational, chemical, genetic, corporate, globalization, and a host of other perfectly useful terms. Their propaganda campaign is aimed at promoting an ideology that I believe would be extremely damaging to both civilization and the environment.”

      ~Patrick Moore, Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout…

    • I agree. Alarmists destroyed their own credibility.

  2. “They are basically blaming every change they see on global warming, even the return of a species that was native to the Atlantic for millions of years.” ~Dr. Patrick Moore, Co-founder of. Greenpeace

  3. … the small (and often industry-funded) ‘skeptics’ …

    These journalists should do some actual reporting and expose the industry-funding and its sources. Or admit that they couldn’t find any.

  4. “Environmental journalists” = oxymoron.

    • Unbiased Journalists may also be an Oxymoron. I rarely if ever read two sides of a story from any news media organization.

      • Forget about unbiased and two sides. On subjects I know enough about I never see a complete story told by journalists. Somewhere in the reporting process, salient information always gets omitted or distorted. Either the writers are out of their depth or editors chop indiscriminately — or, most likely, both. Sadly, the public gets most of its information from these sources. So even if they reject the activists, they still are being misled.

  5. This is not news to anyone here of course. Just go to the Denizens thread and search for Realclimate.

  6. And as the earth continues to refuse to warm, their cries become ever more shrill, and thus ever more ineffective. I’m feeling a little schadenfreude-y today!

  7. Small wonder that people are skeptical about consensus scientists when they totally ignored the possible contribution of heat emissions and blamed CO2 for the total ills of the world today.

    • Do your arithmetic. Heat emissions warm local “bubbles” and affect thermometers, but are far too small to have global impact.

    • David Springer

      Piffle. I emit heat in your general direction.

    • ,,,blamed CO2 for the total ills of the world today

      Yes right. They’d be No Obama and no Obamacare if CO2 emissions had been better controlled!

  8. When Bill Mckibben howls that tropical storm Irene has a middle name and the name is “global warming” he reveals himself for what he is, a propagandist. People aren’t stupid. But McKibben must be.

  9. “Nadia Bashir, Penelope Lockwood, Alison Chasteen, Daniel Nadolny, Indra Noyes

    Abstract. Despite recognizing the need for social change in areas such as social equality and environmental protection, individuals often avoid supporting such change. Researchers have previously attempted to understand this resistance to social change by examining individuals’ perceptions of social issues and social change. We instead examined the possibility that individuals resist social change because they have negative stereotypes of activists … ”

    Seems self-explanatory to me.

    And, what about all those fudges? We have “areas such as” – WTF does that mean? Then “individuals” (who?) often (how often, and under what circumstances) … I’m losing the will to live here.

    What rubbish.

    • Note that they equate “environmental protection” to “social change”. Think about that one for a minute, and the implicit admission in there.

  10. I think the underlying psychological mechanism has less to do with stereotypes than with a general and necessary skepticism of over-eager sales people. Knowing to be skeptical when you’re clearly being sold something is a necessary survival skill in modern societies. And the key is trust. Trying too hard and being dishonest is counterproductive because it destroys trust.

    • I believe that you are completely correct.

    • + 99

    • There’s a subtle distinction. An over-eager salesperson isn’t necessarily earnest, just persuasive. That’s bad enough, but I think people have a particular defensive reaction to true believers. They are an order of creepy about the hyper salesman type.

      Sometimes the line’s not clear. Sometimes private companies start to resemble cults, such as Amway, Apple and Starbucks. Those are they ones I run away from. They have an extra serving of creepy.

      • Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Yahoo – all NSA a$$ kissers – the cult of totalitarianism.

      • “The National Security Agency is harvesting hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail and instant messaging accounts around the world, many of them belonging to Americans, according to senior intelligence officials and top-secret documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

        The collection program, which has not been disclosed before, intercepts e-mail address books and “buddy lists” from instant messaging services as they move across global data links. Online services often transmit those contacts when a user logs on, composes a message, or synchronizes a computer or mobile device with information stored on remote servers.

        Rather than targeting individual users, the NSA is gathering contact lists in large numbers that amount to a sizable fraction of the world’s e-mail and instant messaging accounts. Analysis of that data enables the agency to search for hidden connections and to map relationships within a much smaller universe of foreign intelligence targets.

        During a single day last year, the NSA’s Special Source Operations branch collected 444,743 e-mail address books from Yahoo, 105,068 from Hotmail, 82,857 from Facebook, 33,697 from Gmail and 22,881 from unspecified other providers, according to an internal NSA PowerPoint presentation. Those figures, described as a typical daily intake in the document, correspond to a rate of more than 250 million a year.”

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nsa-collects-millions-of-e-mail-address-books-globally/2013/10/14/8e58b5be-34f9-11e3-80c6-7e6dd8d22d8f_print.html

  11. Willis Eschenbach

    “Industry funded skeptics”? Really? They’re still trying to peddle that bogus notion? And they claim that they are journalists?

    If so, they are failed journalists, as even the most trivial digging reveals that the idea of “industry funded skeptics” is a sick joke. The overwhelming majority of influential skeptics don’t get a dime from “industry”. Steve McIntyre, Ross McKitrick, Roger Pielke Jr., Tim Ball, myself, Richard Lindzen, Joanne Nova, Donna Laframboise, Anthony Watts, Roy Spencer, Warwick Hughes, John Christy, Benny Peiser, Bob Carter, Lord Monckton … where’s that industry funding? I could use some.

    The perpetuation of this nonsensical claim proves beyond a doubt that no one going to that conference is an actual journalist.

    w.

    • Keep up the good work! As Mark Twain said: “Its easier to fool people than convince them that they’ve been fooled”

      • I fer one have a negative stereotype of activists …
        Paul Erlich, Jim Hansen, Bill McKibbin, David Susuki,
        old Uncle Tom Cobbler and all, and all, old Uncle Tom
        Cobbler and all. Tra la.

      • I always refer to him as Samuel Clemens but his quotes are good ones.

      • Beth

        I think you might have meant uncle Tom cobley? Widecombe fair to which he rode his grey mare continues to this day and is just a few miles from me on dartmoor

        Tonyb

      • I’m disappointed in Beth she forgot Gore.

      • How about Rachel Carson, Maurice Strong, George Soros, and Michael Oppenheimer?

      • Tony yes, I hit an ‘r’ instead of ‘y,’
        Cobley of Widecombe Fair fame or er infamy,.
        and the list as pointed out’s too short … Al Gore
        and oh so many more. Activist alchemists all,
        transferring airy nothin’s inter gold.( $$$$$$$$$$)
        bts

    • These days it is not industries per se, but rich anonymous individuals who have likely profited from them that put money into the Heartland Institute, Cato Institute, etc. But things have changed, and nowadays in the US at least, who cares about funding skeptic organizations or scientists when you can directly “fund” the elected politicians.

      • And which do you dislike, Jimmy old bean … the “rich” or the “anonymous” ?

      • Tough to argue that you’re not funded by oil money when all you have is a donate button to audit your numbers.

      • *** cough Al Gore cough ***

      • ianl8888, it is not the whole 1% that are bad for the country, only those that distort the system by getting people elected to forward their causes at the expense of the rest of the electorate. A political system that was immune to money influence is the ideal that a democracy should aim for, but perhaps I am asking too much.

    • You only ranked fifth? Fake modesty.

  12. Possibly, activists are perceived as having stronger motivation (and thus more likely) to be biased, so that what they say is treated with more suspicion.

  13. Go find Dilbert for Oct 1 and 2, 2010 and everything will be clear

    • The Dilbert from 05 Oct 2010 is almost as applicable. You realize how much time is consumed once one links into Dilbert???

  14. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Andrew Dressler and Gerald North remind us  “If you are skeptical of the science of climate change, then you almost certainly oppose the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, and support gun rights.”

    Here Dressler and North are pointing to a path forward for public acceptance of climate-change. The nations of the European Union have implemented “ObamaCare” in many variants … and *none* of those nations have *ever* gone back to unregulated healthcare markets.

    The reason is simple: ObamaCare-type systems have consistently provided better outcomes, at lower cost, with greater coverage, and fewer hassles and for this reason ObamaCare-type systems are *hugely* popular with the electorates of every nation (as are Reagan-style Montreal Protocols, for that matter).

    So in the event that:

    • Land-temperature warming resumes while ice-melt and sea-rise persist, and

    • ObamaCare proves popular, and

    • Pope Francis’ church advocates long-term sustainability,

    then the scientific, economic, and moral foundations of climate-change skepticism all will be addressed, eh Climate Etc readers?

    Result  The scientific, economic, and moral foundations of climate-change denialism are destined to diminish and disappear; the result will be a renaissance of rational conservatism, in the US and around the world.

    This outcome is both likely and good, eh Climate Etc readers?

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    • How are the nations of the EU doing in paying for to benefits that they have promised to their citizens? Please loonk at their long term prospects of balancing their budgets and what rate of unemployment that would be necessary to achieve a balanced budget in each EU nation.

    • Fanny:-

      Don’t confuse the promises made about ObamaCare with the practices that are in ObamaCare. For example, the CBO estimates that $716 billion will come out of Medicare to fund this thing. As a senior citizen, hard for me to see the better outcome. And with our Medigap premiums going up 30-40%, hard to buy the lower costs, too. And what about the acceleration of the trend to have fewer full-time/more part-time jobs? Fewer hassles? – with the IRS doing the software? And it’s by no means clear that there in fact will be greater coverage. What about all the companies big and small who have dropped health insurance? If I’m a reasonably healthy 25-55 year old, I may figure that it’s cheaper for me to pay the penalty (not due until 2015, anyway) and cash for any medical problems that come up.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      In coming years ObamaCare/RomneyCare/HillaryCare will evolve, and supposing that it evolves toward choice-driven market-driven conservatism-driven SwissCare, with its better outcomes, lower costs, greater coverage, and fewer hassles, then this evolution would be a huge victory for American conservatism.

      Are there *any* alternative options on the horizon, for American conservatism large-scale wins?

      As far-right opposition to ObamaCare/RomneyCare/HillaryCare fades — and (as seems likely) the land-temperature ‘pause’ ends too — will far-right climate-change denial also fade (as it has in Europe?).

      Many scientists foresee that the big-picture answer is “yes”.

      Prediction  American conservatism is on the verge of a vigorous decadal renaissance that will be initiated by conservatism’s rational embrace of ObamaCare-as-SwissCare combined with conservatism’s rational embrace of Hansen-Francis sustainability principles.

      Will American conservatism recognize and grasp these opportunities? That is a key question!

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      • Interesting how fan replies to him/herself. Probably a lively debate

      • pokerguy | October 14, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Reply

        ” On guns, I would ban assault weapons tomorrow.”

        Surely you are aware that the 2nd Amend. has nothing to do with hunting. Remember King George pokerguy? Would you have denied George Washington his canons? Give that right up today pokerguy, wait what they ask for next.

      • “Give that right up today..”
        Fine Bob. Have it your way. I can’t think of a more tedious waste of time than trying to reason with a gun nut. My intent was to show Fan that her self-serving stereotypes are just that…Warmists want it to be about politics because they’re losing on the science.

      • IC/LEI cities with Armoured Personnel Carriers. Be prepared!
        ===================

      • pokerguy, I am surely not a gun nut, to use your words. But what made the US exceptional amongst all other nations was that little phrase about our endowment of inalienable rights. You are born with rights pokerguy, no mortal man can confer them to you. The right to be free, absent threats from tyranny, requires you to maintain those rights. Look at the IRS scandal, which is truly frightening as a direct threat to free speech. Give an inch pokerguy, and they’ll take a yard. Where will it end?

      • I figure that by having ‘well-regulated’ and ‘shall not be infringed’ in the same sentence, the founders intended us to argue about it rather than shoot each other over it.
        ===================

      • @Bob…not a gun nut….

        Bob, I have no problem with someone keeping a gun in the house for protection. My problem is with automatic weapons, which I see no practical reason for. The “slippery slope” argument doesn’t wash with me. And if you think the revolution is coming for which you must be prepared, I think you’re out of your mind. Just mvho, of course.

      • The militia was to be well regulated. The right to keep and bear arms was not.

      • Yep, kk, well drilled, to cut down the incidence of friendly fire casualties.
        ===========

    • “If you are skeptical of the science of climate change, then you almost certainly oppose the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, and support gun rights.”

      Crap. Crap. And more crap. My attitude on A.C.A. is wait and see. On guns, I would ban assault weapons tomorrow.

      They make it about politics, because they know it furthers the divide, and because they’re losing ground with each non-warming year.

      • Yes, I agree on C. C. A m c. About the other, I’ve seen enough already, and let’s ban assault.
        ==============

      • We don’t ban assault until after Fan’s taken care of.

      • “We don’t ban assault until after Fan’s taken care of.”
        Oh man, that made me laugh. But maybe just a bit of good
        ‘ol fashoned Bush and Cheney style waterboarding might do the trick.

      • Harold probably wouldn’t pass a background check, but is in the 10% that opposes them anyway.

      • Harold, “We don’t ban assault until after Fan’s taken care of.” I don’t find that funny at all.

      • The NRA used to teach Hunters Safety courses to interested students in Junior High Schools. After the education participants finished up by bringing a borrowed rifle to local high school that had a a gun range for the ROTC. Obviously, American society has changed quite a lot in the relative few decades since that time compared to 200 years before then.

      • I remember that Wagathon I took a course and got my Hunters Safety card as they were called in OR. many moons ago.

      • David Springer

        There was a firing range and gun training classes in the basement of my high school in western New York State circa 1970. Not sure if it’s still being used. My father was an instructor. I joined the Marine Corps in 1974 and in basic training fired “Expert”. It’s not exactly rocket science. The usual reason given for failing to get the expert qualification is an irrational fear of their own weapon which people who are accustomed to owning and handling them do not have. A well-regulated militia would be difficult to assemble in time of need if the able bodied men in the population were all afraid of guns.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Subsidized far-right forums that (1) fervently oppose ObamaCare and (2) fervently deny the reality of AGW include RedState, PJMedia, and (surprise) WUWT, and many more.

      Individual opinions are more variable, needless to say … still the association is strong.

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    • Fanny, you have to know only one thing about Dessler and North, i.e. they still defend Mann. Result – zero credibility.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Bob keeps it simple: “Fanny, you have to know only one thing about Dessler and North, i.e. they still defend Mann. Result – zero credibility.”

        Bob, what happens when a person “knows only one thing” … and that one thing is just plain wrong?

        Because climate-change hockey-sticks are ubiquitous, and the hockey-stick blades are getting longer.

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      • Fanny, I suppose you understand why you are subject to ridicule. I was referring to MBH 98 and 99. Do you endorse this work Fanny? Do you endorse Marcott’s stick, Fanny. C’mon, Fanny, put your cred on the line.
        About those meds?

      • A hockey stick is characterized by two features: A flat handle and a blade.

        MBH98 is a hockey stick. Newer reconstructions are not.

        It’s also important to understand that the “blade” is uninformative. You can fit virtually any shape including a sine wave using the proxy data.

        The predictive part of the hockey stick is the handle. MBH98 had a flat handle.

        Newer reconstructions do not, although the agreement between the newer reconstructions is surprisingly good. Note this ensemble includes Mann 2008 EIV.

        It’s also interesting that people were sold on the “reproducibility” of the older reconstructions. They had virtually zero correlation between each other (and with newer reconstructions including Mann 2008 EIV). And that was “good”. People were “sold” on the reproducibility.

        The irony is rich.

      • Carrick, Huh

    • Matthew R Marler

      a fan of *MORE* discourse: and *none* of those nations have *ever* gone back to unregulated healthcare markets.

      The US does not have an unregulated health care market, so that’s empty. However, the EU have liberalized and permitted the sale in the market of extended insurance plans to provide more care to those who can afford the private insurance.

      According to a poll I read yesterday, almost 80% of Americans want Obamacare postponed (that’s likely necessitated by the many snafus anyway) or repealed outright. The relevance of support for Obamacare is certainly not obvious; is belief in “climate change” (that is, strong belief in CO2 as they intend) confined to the people who didn’t read the Congressional Budget Committee report on Obamacare before it passed, or other groups of people who don’t bother to add and subtract?

      • When people are told about individual parts, they are very popular. Fox TV (of all places) has this item. Quick read it before they take it down.

        http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/09/30/five-reasons-americans-already-love-obamacare-plus-one-reason-why-theyre-gonna/

      • ” Matthew R Marler | October 14, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Reply

        a fan of *MORE* discourse: and *none* of those nations have *ever* gone back to unregulated healthcare markets.

        The US does not have an unregulated health care market, so that’s empty. However, the EU have liberalized and permitted the sale in the market of extended insurance plans to provide more care to those who can afford the private insurance.”

        I think for Fan, regulated is same word for taxed. One thing Obamacare does is tax a person if they don’t buy health insurance.
        So really what Fan is actually saying is how often does a government stop taxing it’s citizens.
        The old saying of the certainty of death and taxes.

      • Jim D. If the people in power realized that transparency of certain issues would actual help their cause, perhaps they wouldn’t pass things without reading them.

        And to be clear, I blame all administrations.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: When people are told about individual parts, they are very popular. Fox TV (of all places) has this item.

        That is correct, or at least in line with the rest of my reading. But it was the whole law that was passed, and it is bad on the whole. That report depends in part on omitting the parts about who pays, what it will cost, who gets to freeload; and it depends on omitting information about actual changes since the law passed: who has been exempted (700 organizations), what has already been postponed (the employer mandate), who has lost insurance coverage outright, and how much more people are paying who are keeping the insurance that is more expensive than it was.

      • The reason that no country has gone “away” from socialized medicine is simple. Government grows, it does not shrink. It has nothing to do with that is better.

      • ” Government grows, it does not shrink. ”

        Hence too 90% of the CAGW argument.

  15. The critical mass of the global warming AGW theory and the global warming alarmism movement has given wings to liberal fascism in America. “The peace movement had been mainly Western-based and anti-American in its leanings. Many of its members moved into the environmental movement, bringing with them their neo-Marxist, far-left agendas.” ~Patrick Moore, Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout…

    Global warming is not a problem. It is Eurocommunist solutions to the non-problem of global warming that is so fearsome. It is time to put away the crystal balls. “Greenpeace,” according to Patrick Moore, “became increasingly senseless as it adopted an agenda that is anti-science, anti-business, and downright anti-human. This is the story of our transformations.”

    “Poverty,” says Moore, “is the worst environmental problem. Wealth and urbanization will stabilize the human population. Agriculture should be mechanized throughout the developing world. Disease and malnutrition can be largely eliminated by the application of modern technology. Health care, sanitation, literacy and electrification should be provided to everyone.” Unfortunately, the environmental movement, “abandoned science and logic somewhere in the mid-1980s, just as society was adopting the more reasonable items on our environmental agenda,” and as Moore observes, it is ironic: “this retreat from science and logic was partly a response to society’s growing acceptance of environmental values. Some activists simply couldn’t make the transition from confrontation to consensus; it was as if they needed a common enemy. When a majority of people decide they agree with all your reasonable ideas the only way you can remain confrontational and anti-establishment is to adopt ever more extreme positions, eventually abandoning science and logic altogether in favor of zero-tolerance policies.” (See, “Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout,” by Patrick Moore)

  16. We all too often use our own prism of biases to view how we think others will react. While the Bashir paper is interesting, in my case it is too reinforcing of my own biases. So it makes me naturally question it.

    So I continue to watch and study and perhaps find out if he is indeed correct, and I am just another “average” person.

  17. Steven Mosher

    I suppose someday we might discuss the optics of the debate.

  18. People are turned off by fanatical fundies? Really?

  19. Greens are also opposed to windfarms and hydro dams, nuclear power too, so don’t just put them on one side of the clean energy debate.

    • On the other hand they put feminists in the same category as environmentalists, so what about those pesky civil rights activists, slavery abolitionists, colonial tea-tax rejecters, too. The term “activist” is too sweeping to be useful.

  20. Here are two [1,2] references to catastrophic climate changes before the Industrial Revolution and the release of large quantities of CO2 from industry.

    [1] Stuart Clark, The Sun Kings: The unexpected tragedy of Richard Carrington and the tale of how modern astronomy began (Princeton University Press, 2007) 224 pp: http://www.amazon.com/books/dp/0691141266 http://www.bookslut.com/nonfiction/2007_07_011472.php

    [2] I. G. Usoskin, B. Kromer, F. Ludlow, J. Beer, M. Friedrich, G. A. Kovaltsov, S. K. Solanki and L. Wacker, “The AD775 cosmic event revisited: The Sun is to blame,” Astronomy & Astrophysics Letters 552, L3 (2013): http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201321080

  21. “What did I tell you, Stan! We saved some baby cows from being eaten and now we’re no good dirty goddam hippies! “

    • The problem is, there’s no such thing as a harmless hippy. The giggling stoner hippies become drum circle hippies, and they become the dreaded college know-it-all hippies.

      http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/154822/college-know-it-all-hippies

      • Or they turn into middle aged neurochemists; I was a damned good hippy, hair down to my waist and an extensive knowledge of various herbs and their derivatives.

      • Dude pass the doobie. So was I until the Air force got a hold of me.

      • David Springer

        Ahem. You’re wrong, Harold. Some of them become United States Marines and then go to college on the GI Bill and become computer scientists. Pot smoking and giggling the whole time. The uptight arseholes who eschew weed more often than not become abusive alcoholics. I’d rather be a giggling stoner if it’s all the same to you.

  22. Despite recognizing the need for social change in areas such as social equality and environmental protection, individuals often avoid supporting such change. Researchers have previously attempted to understand this resistance to embrace groups like, Morbidly Obese Nude Atheists for Drug-Induced Sex with Puny People.

    • ‘Morbidly Obese Nude Atheists for Drug-Induced Sex with Puny People.’

      Don’t knock David Appell’s support group, the more time he spends there, the less time he spends here,

  23. Even if the people chosen were truly a statistically random sample of the population (unlikely), the very small sample size makes the results for the three categories statistically identical. This survey is bad science.

  24. OT, but a great thing happened today. Gene Fama, U of Chicago, won the Nobel Prize in econ. A disciple of Milton Friedman, perhaps the most gifted economist of all time.

  25. Hank Zentgraf

    My frustration with environmental activists is that they are not interested in the cost side of the cost/benefit analysis. I was interested in buying a Toyota Prius until I read a report that showed that the energy required to manufacture the original Toyota Prius was significant and would take 12 years of operational energy savings to “pay for” the energy investment. In a “sustainability” forum in Boulder Colorado, I was scolded for presenting this report. I was hoping for a reasoned rejourner. What I got was “parenting” . I am one that now steers clear of environmental activists.

    • what did you buy instead and how many years did that take to “pay for” the energy investment?

      • I was not clear in my note. The issue was the energy to produce the extra electrical and mechanical components in the Prius vs a standard car. The energy to manufacture those extra components required 12 years of driving to justify. I didn’t have to make any other comparisons.

    • The Prius driver, only a bird in a guilted cage.
      ===========

      • They are actually quite dangerous for cyclists, you have almost no idea that you have one behind or worse, along-side, as they are so damned quiet. I have had one overtake me and the first thing I knew was the shadow. I never wear earphones and I could not hear it.

      • Don –

        You seem to like careful epidemiological studies. Which can you link to that show the higher Prius/bike accident rate as compared with other automobiles?

      • White bird,
        in a golden cage,
        on a winter’s day,
        in the rain.

      • Oops. I meant Doc, not Don. Sometimes I do think that you all look alike, however.

    • Yes, it only saves downtown pollution. You buy it for that reason if the city’s pollution is an issue for you.

    • California is spending nearly $15 million to build 10 hydrogen fueling stations, even though just 227 hydrogen-powered vehicles exist in the state today.

      http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-energy-subsidies-20131014,0,1024399.story

      • There’s a Honda Clarity a couple of blocks over from where I live. We’ve had a hydrogen station near us for a number of years. Also a Tesla dealership and service center. I’m in the belly of the beast.

      • So Ca spending $66,000 per car.
        How much CO2 do they imagine they could possibly save?
        We aren’t talking about operation cost to run them and all it’s doing
        filling up some cars, which could have been natural gas instead of hydrogen.

        It seems that the natural of these vehicle is it will be low yearly mileage.
        So expensive toys.

        And of course corruption of government.
        No doubt the govt wastes far more tax dollars, but promoting
        their corruption seems like a bad move.
        It’s: “We waste globs of your tax dollars, but here is a showcase
        of how much we don’t care about it.”

  26. Certainly some more effective dudes are needed to communicate the science and the uncertainties. Whatever works I am all for. With the threat of 10 meters sea level rise by 2200 it’s not time to be idle.

  27. This so-called psychological study is about about a credible Lewkovsky or whatever he’s called.

    Take a text on any subject and present it a coming from an invested political activist, a middle of the road person or simply fail to report anything about who is writing, the result of how it is received is bloody obvious.

    We mistrust people who have a declared, vested interest and are naively trusting of those about whom we know nothing (and those reported to be scientist).

    My God, these people need PhD degrees and peer-reviewed literature to come out with such banalities?

    If someone writes an article about the wonderful benefits of a free market economy and is identified as being: a member of a right-wing, lobbyist think tank; someone who organises cheese and wine parties in favour of free-markets or someone about whom we are given no background , do we need a psychologist to tell us how it will go down?

    So what does this study tell us? That those who have been conned by the IPCC into believing that the world is about to end before their children grow up would do better to organise cheese and wine “social events” or pretend to be disinterested observers with no personal interest in the situation?

    Yeah, right. Like the civil rights movement changed America by being quite, docile and well-behaved. Never admitting that the fact they had darker than average skin colour meant they were activists, for fear that others may be less influenced by what they said.

    I’ve seen some HS published in climate literature but this takes the biscuit.

    It’s worrying how many that claim to be ‘sceptics’ are applauding this paper in a very unsceptical way because it pleases their own personal biases.

    • The irony is that this is just exactly why so much effort has been put into vesting an interest, bogus though the interest, hopeless though the effort may be, in skeptics.
      ====================

      • could you run that again, with less sub-clauses? I lost track of the point you were trying to make.

      • The everweening interest of skeptics is curiosity. It’s completely undreamt of by the conspiracy crowd, who project their own devotion to less licit interests.
        ==========

      • I was curious the day I was born. Sometimes I think its a curse because I try and read everything which obviously and intellectually ( for me anyway) can’t be done. But I ponder well.

    • Pedro Oliveira

      The main difference is that those civil rights activists from the sixties had actual grievances against the status quo. Warmists are just wet dreamers.

    • Right-wing lobbyist and think tanks host cheese and wine parties to promote capitalism? You mean, with their own money? That is amazing. I wonder if it will catch on — you know… the idea of actually devoting your time, energy and personal resources to provide something of value that other people will want so much that they are willing to pay their own money to have it. It does not sound like the kind of economic system that will get the lazy people vote, does it?

    • Greg: So you’re arguing that the result is both robust and obvious. OK. I tend to agree, but many in the green world lack the self-consciousness to notice this phenomenon. BTW, many free-market “activists” actually enjoy the upsetting effect they have, happily turning everybody off of their cause in order to make themselves feel smart and superior. You to war with the army you have, as someone once said..

  28. It may have been more interesting if the had framed the choice as : scientist playing at being political activist; NGO with nine figure annual budget at its disposal and private blogger on shoe-string budget.

  29. Political Junkie

    Many of you may not know that this is the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. The home of McIntyre, McKitrick, Laframboise and Ball has a lot to celebrate!

    We also got a very special gift for Thanksgiving – Ezra Levant ( of SUN TV ) spends a full hour carving a whole bunch of new holes for David Suzuki, exposing him as a rapacious fraud and a phoney with a gigantic carbon footprint.

    It takes Ezra too long to make his points, but the sheer pleasure he takes in destroying St. Suzuki is a joy to watch.

    • See it at Hilary Ostrov’s ‘ The view from here.’
      David Suzuki, some myths exposed, the usual real estate
      and chasin’ the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

  30. Inactivism seems to have its share of ironic impact:

    • Willard, you might be correct. Cuccinelli would be great for Mann. On the other hand it may mean only that northern VA is populated with rent-seeking bureaucrats whose intent is to maintain the tax-payer funded gravy train. What doth the French intellectual say?

  31. “A lot of environmentalists are stuck in the 1970s and continue to promote a strain of leftish romanticism about idyllic rural village life powered by windmills and solar panels. They idealize poverty, seeing it as a noble way of life, and oppose all large developments. James Cameron, the multimillionaire producer of the most lucrative movie in history, Avatar, paints his face and joins the disaffected to protest a hydroelectric dam in the Amazon.” ~Patrick Moore

  32. Too much countertop activism (?) on TV:

  33. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    pokerguy sensibly opines: “Bob, I have no problem with someone keeping a gun in the house for protection. My problem is with automatic weapons, which I see no practical reason for. The “slippery slope” argument doesn’t wash with me. And if you think the revolution is coming for which you must be prepared, I think you’re out of your mind.”

    Summary of TeaParty Positions

    TeaParty on Gun Control
    •  Obama Won’t Confiscate Guns?? Are you Blind???
    •  Chinese Communist Party Demands Obama Disarm Americans
    •  Recall Petitions Begin for Dems Who Supported Gun Control

    TeaParty on ObamaCare
    •  ObamaCare The Worst Thing That Has Happened Since Slavery
    •  ObamaCare Will Question Your Sex Life
    •  ObamaCare Nightmare: Hospitals Cut Thousands Of Jobs

    TeaParty on Climate Change
    •  Obama Quietly Handing Over Billions to UN in Name of Global Warming
    •  Gore Blames Hurricane On You
    •  Obama Will Use Nixon-Era Law To Fight ‘Climate Change’…

    Sound familiar? The TeaParty folks live in a world (that they perceive as) filled with *near-term* threats. Of which the worst is the USA having a Commie/Muslim/Progressive President!

    The TeaParty’s fears are strong and urgent, which is the common-sense reason why the engaging the TeaParty in discussions of climate-science is futile.

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

  34. Fascinating:

    curryja | September 20, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Yes, I have stepped up my ‘activism’ regarding advocacy for integrity in climate research.

    So, I guess you reject the argument of these authors, and thus have decided to step up your activism so as to be more eff…..

    Oh, wait.

    The article by Bashir et al. is very insightful.

    Oh. Now I understand. You have stepped up your activism because it is ineffective.

    Makes perfect sense!!

    • John Carpenter

      heh, yeah… ‘activism’ vs activism… sorta like ‘skeptics’ vs skeptics. I get it.

    • John Carpenter

      Seriously Joshua, you don’t think your comment is a bit of a ‘misrepresentation’ of what JC was saying? I recall you being a bit more serious about how some denizens habitually ‘misrepresent’ your comments… of which I agree does happen to you… that you would not pull the same thing on JC.

      • Hey John –

        Sure, my tone wasn’t exactly all peaches and cream, but I really don’t see how I misrepresented Judith.

        Are you saying it is because of her use of single-quotation marks? I thought about that, actually, but I don’t really understand what her use of single quotation marks connoted there – so maybe I missed something.

        Here’s what I believe I have seen:

        Judith started with a broad criticism of activism. I felt from the start that here definition of activism was selectively self-serving. I find her distinction to be ambiguous (similar to her distinction of “normative” science), and usually essentially another way of saying “people I don’t agree with.” Judith expressed disdain for activism among scientists only on one side of the climate wars. She spoke specifically of rejecting the act of writing editorials because that would be the work of activists.

        Judith next sort of moved into quantifying different kinds of activism, with some of it being OK and some of it being not OK. I don’t see the distinctions she draws there as being meaningful, or at least I find them to be selectively applied. But in this middle stage, she still denied her own activity as activism.

        In the next stage, along with writing an editorial, she also acknowledged being an activist, although still distinguishing her own activism from that of others; again, however, the only “activists” that she seems to distinguish herself from are those that that she disagrees with about the science.

        I mean seriously, you tell me – what are the objective criteria that we could use to distinguish Judith’s self-admitted activism from that activism that she disdains – other than her disagreement with the opinions being expressed?

        Further, look at the following example:

        “I view my job a little like a legislator, supported by the taxpayer, to protect the interests of the taxpayer and to minimize the role of government.”

        Can you figure out why Judith hasn’t decried that kind of activism? Do you think it is purely random that kind of activism has escaped her criticism?

        I could understand a ‘misrepresentation’ comment toward those that have done so to you… but since when has JC ever ‘misrepresented’ anything you have said?

        Not in a willful sense (which is clearly different than what I have noted with some of my much beloved “skeptics). I think that there have been a few times when Judith has misconstrued and as a result misrepresented what I have said. There have been a couple of times when I have clarified her misunderstanding (which could well have been from my ambiguity), but I can’t ever recall her acknowledging those clarifications.

        If I have done that here, in a similar fashion (misrepresented as the result of misconstruing), I will acknowledge the clarification.

        I acknowledge that I am “motivated” to “misrepresent” what Judith argues (when she’s not focusing on the science, in particular), and so I am open to input with it comes in good faith from someone like you. Can you clarify how you feel I have misrepresented her here?

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua. Of course u don’t see how you misrepresented Judith.
        It’s your bias showing.

      • John Carpenter

        “Can you clarify how you feel I have misrepresented her here?”

        Ok Joshua. When I see JC use single quotes ‘activism’, I liken it to her saying it tongue in cheek. As a tongue in cheek way of using it, she is not really admitting to being an activist, rather she is behaving in an ‘activist’ fashion.. Haha. More importantly, note the context in which she uses the term. To advocate for integrity of climate science… rather than a political policy where ‘activism’ is more closely associated. I feel you misrepresent her by placing her usage of calling her own behavior as ‘activism’ (tongue in cheek) in juxtaposition with her calling the Bashir et al paper as insightful (where activism behavior was identified as a negative) and using that juxtaposition in a way to suggest her communication is therefore not effective, misrepresents her true ideas of activism.

        You have identified three phases of JC’s ideas of activism. The chronology appears to be correct. Your interpretation of it is different than mine. Where I see JC identifying ways in which she feels scientists should be wary of being ‘activists’ in the political/policy front of the climate debate and where I see her turning the idea of ‘activism’ on its head and in turn call herself an activist for the integrity of the science…. You see her using ‘activism’ as a double standard.

        Look, I don’t pretend I am not biased in the way I tend to agree with the representations of JC any more than your admission of being biased in ways that you at times might misrepresent what she says (perhaps just to be a bit snarky… Look, I like to do it too sometimes, it’s hard not to when certain opportunities present themselves). But given the three phases you identified, which of us has it right? Naturally I think I do.

      • The context is a bit larger than that, John:

        I agreed to this [op-ed in Rupert Murdoch’s The Australian] one for several reasons. First, an opportunity to write a 2000 word op-ed in a venue that I greatly respect [i.e. Rupert Murdoch’s The Australian] is a rare opportunity. Second, I was asked to write about the science and issues at the climate science-policy interface, which I regard as of the utmost importance.

        Yes, I have stepped up my ‘activism’ regarding advocacy for integrity in climate research. The world needs a heavy dose of this as we prepare to receive the IPCC’s report.

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/20/the-ipccs-inconvenient-truth/#comment-383527

        The context is the climate science-policy interface, John.

        In that context, we need a heavy dose of this tongue-in-cheek “activism”.

        Wait.

        Why would we need a heavy does of this tongue-in-cheek “activism”, again?

      • Interesting response, John

        So you are pointing to the use of single quotes, and as such your explanation does make some sense to me. I took her acknowledgement at face-value, precisely because she seemed to previously draw the line between activism (without the single quotes) and non-activism by the act of writing an op-ed. As such, I saw her as acknowledging that she has, as she said, stepped up her activism. Keep in mind that her response about stepping-up her activism was in direct response to my question to her about a switch in orientation about writing editorials as a criterion for identifying activists.

        More importantly, note the context in which she uses the term. To advocate for integrity of climate science… rather than a political policy where ‘activism’ is more closely associated.

        Well,yes, that is one of the distinctions that Judith makes. But I don’t see it as being a valid one. I think that everyone here sees themselves as advocating for integrity of climate science. I think that is the motivation of everyone here, basically. However, I think that the arguments that people make in pursuit of that motivation are affected by biases – as described by motivated reasoning (here the differences between motivation and motivated reasoning are important).

        Further, how could we construe her activities, in writing editorials and in testifying before Congress, as fitting within some consistent definition of activism? Aren’t they, clearly, in effect, and in this politicized context, intrinsically political? Isn’t advocating against some policies indistinguishable – as being inconsistent with integrity in climate science – advocating for other policies?

        Keep in mind, I have no problem, none whatsoever, with Judith’s activism, per se. But I think that the attempts to distinguish between activism and science, or good activism and bad activism, are merely rhetorical devices that flame the climate wars. The real problem is biased reasoning. Activism may well be a sign of biased reasoning, and that is why many people react negatively to activism. But activism does not equal bias, and there is no such thing, objectively, as non-activism, with the possible exception of passivity. And activism plays an important and invaluable role. But if you’re going to attack activism, then you shouldn’t do it selectively, IMO, particularly when you engage in it yourself, IMO. Instead, what I think makes more sense is to criticize bias, and I applaud Judith’s focus on criticizing bias even if I criticize her for her selectivity in doing so. Criticizing bias is what skepticism is all about, IMO (as distinguished from “skepticism”).

        Where I see JC identifying ways in which she feels scientists should be wary of being ‘activists’ in the political/policy front of the climate debate and where I see her turning the idea of ‘activism’ on its head and in turn call herself an activist for the integrity of the science…

        Being wary of activism makes sense to me. To the extent that Judith is doing that, I agree with her. I don’t see Judith simply arguing that being wary of activism is called for. I see her as arguing against activism itself, and doing so selectively – either by finding a false distinction between activism and non-activism, or using ambiguous criteria to distinguish between different kinds of activists – even while being an activist herself.

        So that’s the larger argument. As to the specific argument related to my post, yes, whether or not I “misrepresented” her argument would be contingent on whether her use of ‘activism’ in her previous comment was tongue-in-cheek, as indicated by the use of single quotes. If she was, in fact, saying that she was not an “activist,” by virtue of what she sees as a distinction in her focus from that of others, then her views towards this paper could, conceivably, not be contradictory in a sense. If that was the case, I didn’t understand her use of the single quotes, and as such, I “misrpesented” her argument. Mea culpa.

        But that would bring on more questions. For example, can we see in this paper a distinction between the effectiveness of the kinds of “activism” that Judith criticizes and her own activity that I see as being “activist” (but she sees as being ‘activist’ with single-quotes to connote non-activism)? Are her activities therefore not subject to the effects that the paper describes?

        Next, is the following “activist” or ‘activist’ (single quotes)?

        “I view my job a little like a legislator, supported by the taxpayer, to protect the interests of the taxpayer and to minimize the role of government.”

        Would such “activism”/’activism’ not be subject to the effects that the paper describes?

      • John Carpenter

        Willard, do you see a difference between scientists advocating for specific CO2 mitigation policies based on statements of high confidence of attribution where many of those same scientists are in charge of writing the Assessment Reports used to advise policy making vs scientists advocating for the integrity of science by presenting the science in less confident, less attribution certain terms where policy makers would have to look at the complexity of the problem a little harder? The former group has the power to influence policy makers more than the latter in this case… no? If you identify yourself with the latter, would you not ‘advocate’ for a ‘heavy dose’ of that message. Would you not consider trying to turn the idea of conventional ‘activism’ on its head to make your point?

      • John –

        Would you not consider trying to turn the idea of conventional ‘activism’ on its head to make your point?

        Not to speak for willard – but assuming that there is a clear distinction as you describe (which I have some questions about), I do not see it as a distinction between activism and non-activism.

      • Thank you for your question, John.

        Of course I see a difference. In the former case, I see scientists advocating that we do something about climate change. In the latter case, I see scientists advocating that we KILL the IPCC while waiting for God knows what and promoting stereotypes about scientists belonging to the former case.

        In both cases, I see activism. The object of this activism may differ in both cases, but only because there’s an asymmetry between the establishment and its contrarians.

        Special pleading has to stop.

      • John Carpenter

        Joshua,

        “Isn’t advocating against some policies indistinguishable – as being inconsistent with integrity in climate science – advocating for other policies?”

        Well, yes and no. Yes, advocating against some policies is more or less indistinguishable from advocating for others. No, I don’t see JC advocating for any one particular climate policy over any other.

        “I see her as arguing against activism itself, and doing so selectively – either by finding a false distinction between activism and non-activism, or using ambiguous criteria to distinguish between different kinds of activists – even while being an activist herself.”

        I agree she argues against certain types of activism and that it could appear as ambiguous in the distinction. I think I see the distinction she makes between different types of activism. You don’t.

        “But that would bring on more questions. For example, can we see in this paper a distinction between the effectiveness of the kinds of “activism” that Judith criticizes and her own activity that I see as being “activist” (but she sees as being ‘activist’ with single-quotes to connote non-activism)? Are her activities therefore not subject to the effects that the paper describes?”

        No. I see a distinction between advocacy for a single, specific, proscriptive policy, such as aggressive CO2 mitigation, as the solution to the problem vs advocacy for more pragmatic, no regrets, non specific or prospective policies as potential solutions to the same problem. IMO, where I think JC agrees advocacy becomes negative is when it becomes too proscriptive and no reasonable choices are given to the solution to the problem as opposed to advocating for more choice and open discussion of how to solve the problem…. I.e. advocating for more participation in problem solving rather than advocating there is only one solution. I think JC is making this distinction by arguing the IPCC is essentially too proscriptive by indicting man made CO2 as an overly simple, done deal reason for climate change. As an alternative to this ‘negative’ she advocates it is a more wicked problem, not simple and difficult to ascertain a high confidence attribution as to the reason due to an unmeasured strength of natural variation.

        Ok I admit I’m starting to write like crap now… If you can understand what I am trying to say, good. If not, I can’t fix it now. Too tired and losing focus. Maybe more tomorrow.

      • Most folks missed the key issue

        “We instead examined the possibility that individuals resist social change because they have negative stereotypes of activists, the agents of social change. Participants had negative stereotypes of activists (feminists and environmentalists), regardless of the domain of activism, viewing them as eccentric and militant. ”

        So the question IS NOT “does Judith advocate?” Of course she does.
        The question is do people have a negative stereotype of scientists who advocate for integrity. Do people see Judith’s persona as eccentric and militant. My guess is no. Now of course Joshua and willard would like to make this about whether or not judith advocates and whether or not there is a colorable difference in her brand of advocacy.
        That question is not answered by blog comments or by attempts to either justify or undermine a distinction. Its a factual question.

        Joshua, Willard. We have an emprical study that indicates but does not prove that when feminists and enviromentalists advocate for their positions that they turn people off. And its suggested that the cause of this may be due to the perception of the activists character relative to other other people. They are seen as eccentric and militant. In short, if you study rhetoric for example you would know that having an audience that identifies with you can be central to convincing them

        Now, here is the question for you. Lets grant that your null: there is no difference between Judiths advocacy for integrity or advocacy to kill the IPCC and a greenies advocacy to get rid of all humans.
        Lets grant that. Do you have any empirical evidence that her type of advocacy, advocacy by a scientist for the integrity of science, has the same effect on people. Its an easy test to set up to decide whether there really is a difference.

      • John and Joshua have certainly taken blog discussion (of quote marks and other possibilities) to new heights of introspection. :)

      • ….and Willard has got entangled in this and is seeking a way out?

      • John –

        Thanks for the thoughtful response (11:52). I got what you were going for, and I have to give a response some thought. I don’t have time right now. Check back later.

        After all, sometimes it does take some time to figure out how to confirm my biases. :-)

      • > The question is do people have a negative stereotype of scientists who advocate for integrity.

        Not exactly. The question is about typicality:

        [I]ndividuals do not avoid affiliating with and adopting the behaviours advocated by all activists. Indeed, although participants reacted negatively to the ‘typical’ activists, their willingness to affiliate with and adopt the behaviours advocated by ‘atypical’ activists and undefined targets did not differ. This suggests that it is not mere membership in an activist group but rather the degree to which an activist conforms to
        group stereotypes that influences perceivers’ reactions. Whereas individuals may avoid affiliating with and emulating activists who seem to conform to activist stereotypes, they may be more receptive to activists who defy these stereotypes by coming across as pleasant and approachable.

        Also note that in both the case of feminists and environmentalists, one of the traits was activism. A “typical” (a theorical concept here) feminist is “Man hating (145), lesbian (133), unhygienic (95), angry (89), behaves like a man (87), unattractive (84), liberal (79),
        ambitious (73), loud (72), activist (72), etc.. A “typical” environmentalist is “Tree-hugger (151), vegetarian (124), hippie (124), liberal (111), unhygienic (91), militant (89), eccentric (85), activist
        (82)”, etc.

        Also note that the authors also extrapolate these findings from these two spheres of activism to all kinds of activism.

        ***

        Therefore, the question is if this op-ed, Judy’s in general, and op-eds that start with KILL THE IPCC come as pleasant and approachable.

        Mileage varies, I suppose.

      • Hey John –

        Don’t know if you’ll still see this:

        No. I see a distinction between advocacy for a single, specific, proscriptive policy, such as aggressive CO2 mitigation, as the solution to the problem vs advocacy for more pragmatic, no regrets, non specific or prospective policies as potential solutions to the same problem.

        Sure, that is a distinction. But I don’t see it as a distinction in kind so much as it is a distinction in the target of the advocacy. Also, I think that your description is a bit like greasing the skids to get to a certain destination. Aggressive C02 mitigation is not really a single, specific prescriptive policy, and not everyone who advocates aggressive CO2 mitigation does so to the exclusion of other policy objectives. Certainly, there are many who feel that without aggressive CO2 mitigation we are locking us into a relatively high probability of significant climate change and a lesser but real probability of very dramatic climate change – but isn’t that a discussion that we need to have as an exploration of risk analysis in the face of uncertainty? Do we really want to ridicule that position, or run the risk of supporting the notion that such a consideration is not important? Yes, that perspective needs to be located within the full spectrum of positions, and yes, if it is the only perspective heard that is a problem, and yest, it is a good question to ask whether or not aggressive advocacy the best way to promote that discussion. That isn’t the approach I favor (which is stakeholder dialog in a rather specific organizing structure), but I’m not going to denigrate people for being activist because: (1) it is absolutely their right, (2) activism has been at the root of many important developments in our society, (3) distinguishing between activism and non-activism is not easily done and, (4) people use anti-activism as a weapon, on both sides, in the climate war based on a fallacious argument that somehow there is a clear distinction between “doing science” and “activism.”

        IMO, where I think JC agrees advocacy becomes negative is when it becomes too proscriptive and no reasonable choices are given to the solution to the problem as opposed to advocating for more choice and open discussion of how to solve the problem…. I.e. advocating for more participation in problem solving rather than advocating there is only one solution. I think JC is making this distinction by arguing the IPCC is essentially too proscriptive by indicting man made CO2 as an overly simple, done deal reason for climate change. As an alternative to this ‘negative’ she advocates it is a more wicked problem, not simple and difficult to ascertain a high confidence attribution as to the reason due to an unmeasured strength of natural variation.

        Those all seem like perfectly fine arguments to me. Again, I think it is a bit of an inaccurate caricature, but I fully agree that increased discussion and participation from different stakeholders and those of different viewpoints, a more open exploration of uncertainty, are very important considerations. IMO, that is the way to gain buy-in and investment in synergistic, win-win outcomes.

        The problem I have is when advocating for better advocacy becomes, IMO, counterproductive – perpetuating same ol’ same ol’, feeding into the zero sum gain lunchroom food fight. That is the main effect that I see from a tribalistic view towards advocacy.

        Ultimately, I think that we could probably agree that it would be very hard for either of us to see Judith’s advocacy/’advocacy’ in the same light. So, IMO, what becomes the most important measure is to evaluate the outcomes. What is the result? What is the impact? Does it make problems worse? Does it improve the situation? Does it do nothing at all? We might also have a hard time reaching a common perspective on that, also, (it is certainly filled with opportunities for confirmation bias) but I think that is probably an important, if not more useful, focus.

        So I think that is the more important conversation – as opposed to how to define advocacy and the validity of Judith’s distinctions.

    • John Carpenter

      I could understand a ‘misrepresentation’ comment toward those that have done so to you… but since when has JC ever ‘misrepresented’ anything you have said?

      • Are you looking for a food fight, by any chance, John?

        You have to admit that there’s a tension between what Judy does from one op-ed to the next.

      • John Carpenter

        Not looking for a food fight Willard. These are real questions for Joshua. I see no tension between JC’s posts, but I can see how those who seek such tension can create it. In general I dialogue just fine with Joshua and am not looking to fling jello. I think we have a mutual respect for one another’s opinions. Joshua has made it clear on many occasions that denizens tend to misrepresent what he says. That such misrepresentations are typical of ‘skeptical’ arguments. That ‘skeptical’ arguments, as such, misrepresent the truth in ways that make them ‘skeptics’ rather than skeptics. I agree with him on that point. However, I find it no more effective as an argumentative tool than he does with certain ‘denizens’ than when he decides to use it himself.

      • John –

        However, I find it no more effective as an argumentative tool than he does with certain ‘denizens’ than when he decides to use it himself.

        This is undoubtedly true. But then, the question for me would be, when someone is intent on misrepresenting what I say, then what would be an effective argumentative tool? When I engage in willful, rhetorical “misrepresentation,” (and of course I do so at times), I have no illusion that it is effective in any meaningful sense.

      • Willard, You have to admit that there’s a tension between what Judy does from one op-ed to the next.”

        What tension would that be Willy – that Judith is a world-class scientist whose positions are evolving relentlessly to expose the shortcomings (as well as some mendacity) of the IPCC Climatists?

      • Admitting having stepped up one’s advocacy with the release of AR5. Writing an op-ed suggesting that we kill the IPCC. Finding the article by Bashir et al. about stereotyping of activists very insightful. Handwaving toward Tamsin’s non-commital approach and likeability.

        What’s up with that, Bob: don’t you find any tension there?

      • Matthew R Marler

        joshua: when someone is intent on misrepresenting what I say, then what would be an effective argumentative tool?

        repost what you wrote, quoting it exactly, and showing how it has been misrepresented. The people who misrepresented won’t acknowledge error, but all the lurkers will appreciate the truth.

      • Willard, “What’s up with that, Bob: don’t you find any tension there?”

        No tension to speak of. Judith is a humanitarian – the IPCC is on the world stage with Pachuri acting as chief “Tummler”. It is only right that it should be put out of its’ misery before all of the IPCCs players start tummling.

      • > It is only right that [the IPCC] should be put out of its’ misery

        This humanitarian gesture sounds somewhat different than Tamsin’s noncommittal approach, don’t you think?

    • At this point, I mostly feel sorry for ‘ol Josh. How sad his life must be.

      • Is activism effective or not, Poker?

      • Willard is getting angry! How will we blame the Koch Brothers when everyone recognizes that the Soros-funded Joe Romm is the problem!?!
        Ooh, ooh, I know! I know! We’ll pretend Romm is an activist instead of a paid staffer of the self-identified political organization The Center for American Progress!
        This is precisely the problem- No, Willard, nakedly partisan political activism masquerading as environmentalism is not effective. In fact it’s designed to be ineffective as environmentalism (but freakin awesome politics). If the solution to AGW is something other than progressive policy, CAP will pay Joe Romm to deny it until they pay him to find a new hobby horse to use to drum contributions and whip up the sophomoric. This has happened so relentlessly repeatedly that anyone with a measurable IQ knows to ignore the nonsense.
        The headline on the Canadian study should be: Humans learn from history, aren’t idiots after all!

      • Thank you, Jeffn. Res ipsa loquitur.

      • I remember when Joshua lectureed tamsin.

        “Where is your evidence that it has “damaged the trust in the science” on any meaningful scale? I’d say that the evidence is that most of those who don’t have “trust in the science” didn’t all along, or are predisposed to not trusting in the science because of their own orientation. They would not be somehow won over by less advocacy on the part of climate scientists. The advocacy has caused some to have less trust, perhaps, but perhaps it has given others more trust. I’s say that in the end, the outcomes you describe are insignificant. Or perhaps you have some concrete evidence otherwise?”

        well, we have some evidence. Limited to be sure. It comports with what a few of us here think. It’s better if scientists dont explicitly advocate for a given policy decision. They can advocate for better science, or for better science education, but when they advocate for certain policies…

        Kinda like edward Teller being such a hawk.

      • > Where is your evidence that it has “damaged the trust in the science” on any meaningful scale?

        This group of studies is not about trust, but about group identification:

        [E]ven when individuals have perceptions of social issues and social change that are conducive to change (e.g. favourable perceptions of feminism), they are often still reluctant to identify with those who advocate this change (e.g. feminists; Aronson, 2003).

        Our emphasis. What scientists say matters less than how they say it.

        ***

        Now, which kind of group identification obtains when one sloganizes with INTEGRITY ™ – KILL THE IPCC and INTEGRITY ™ – IT’S A DISEASE, again?

        Considering the authors’ finding, how would that be conducive to change?

    • Well, she doesn’t wear funny hats and get arrested. That might be one difference.

    • There’s much in the present situation that’s bad for the advancement of the science. Judith declares herself as an activist against that. This blog is, however, not a good place for getting that message trough as very few people here are as interested in what’s good for climate science as they are of it’s policy implications.

      On the other hand climate science and atmospheric sciences more generally would be a much smaller field without it’s policy connections.

  35. Climatology replaced science with histrionics.

  36. Perceived Sacrifice is probably the key characteristic that Politically Independent folks are evaluating for an activist cause. Unlike the eco-movement, we do have activists from Civil Rights to Women’s Suffrage who have had an impact with the “public”/electorate.

    If I could try to speak for the public, I’d say that the stereotypical eco-activist enjoys the thing itself, likes the adventure does not really avoid the discomfort that comes with their mission. In contrast,MLK wouldn’t be thought to enjoy going to jail. If the general public sees people putting in a sacrifice from themselves to the cause, and the cause is not considered overly win/lose, I think you can generally win people over.

    • His murder by an insane white man changed everything. Absent that MLK had to know his potential discomfort would be nothing like that faced by Ghandi. The federal government was on his side.

    • The old idea of ethos as part of the persuasive trinity along with logos and pathos. If you pay a price for your advocacy or seem to speak against self-interest, your ethos is higher. An economist could build a signaling model with a separating equilibrium in which activist credibility/sincerity is uncertain and only credible/sincere activists find it rational to engage in costly (to them) forms of persuasion. Setting yourself on fire, for instance, bespeaks a level of sincerity hard to reproduce by jetting off to expense-paid conferences of like-minded people in pleasant cities.

  37. Dear Judith,

    You have posted 15 very interesting and thought provoking posts in the past 2 weeks. But little on impacts of AGW.

    Could I request a series of posts on impacts and the damage function. What do we know about the impacts of GHG emissions – and I don’t mean in terms of degrees of temperature change; I mean in economic costs and benefits or some other widely accepted and universally applicable measure that can be used to compare impacts per CO2-eq concentration.

    At the moment I am under the impression:
    1. we have a very poor understanding of the impacts of AGW
    2. The downside consequences of AGW have probably had far more attention than the benefits; so the few impact studies that have been done to date are likely to give a biased result
    3. sea level rise is a trivial consequence in economic terms
    4. ecological effects of AGW are trivial compared with habitat destruction caused by other activities of man
    5. the possible increase in extreme weather events would be far better addressed by adaptation than by mitigation policies

    So, what is the best state of knowledge of impacts of AGW?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Peter Lang asks “What is the best state of knowledge of impacts of AGW?”

      Peter Lang, it is a pleasure to answer your question with an all-business assessment that is rational, definite and dispassionate!

      How insurance companies calculate
      climate-change catastrophe

      “Our business depends on us being neutral. We simply try to make the best possible assessment of risk today, with no vested interest.

      I personally wouldn’t invest in beachfront property anymore.

      And if you’re thinking about it, I’d calculate quite carefully how far back you’d have to be in the event of a hurricane.”

      The insurance-business assessment is rational, definite and dispassionate, eh Peter Lang?

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Insurance companies? Really?

      • FOMD,

        I wonder why Al Gore and Australia’s ex-Climate Commissioner didn’t take any notice when they bought mansions near sea level?

        Do you really think your quote sounds dispassionate, or perhaps you are incapable of understanding what dispassionate means?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Peter Lang asks “I wonder why Al Gore didn’t take any notice when [he] bought mansions near sea level?”

        It is a pleasure to answer your many thoughtful questions Peter Lang!

        Al Gore’s age is 65, and so his actuarial life expectancy is about 13 years. Thus Mr. Gore need only concern himself about decadal sea-level fluctuations.

        Longer-term investors assess risk-levels very differently, obviously.

        These considerations are pure common-sense, of course!

        What is your next common-sense question, Peter Lang?

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • If I wanted to optimize returns from people purchasing insurance policies would I give a factual statement of risk with policy costs equivalent to probable payouts, or, perhaps, slightly overstate the perceived risk to encourage people to purchase a policy that is more expensive than absolutely required?

  38. Peter, ask a journalist. Or perhaps the “many people”: “But many people say that journalism is still doing society a disservice, by under-reporting and downplaying the seriousness of the threats of global warming.” Surely the journalists and the “many people” wouldn’t take a stance without a full knowledge of all impacts, costs and benefits?

    • Faustino, which Peter is your comment addressed to?

    • Faustino, I get it now. I missed the connection the first time.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Faustino wonders “Surely the journalists and the “many people” wouldn’t take a stance without a full knowledge of all impacts, costs and benefits?”

      It is a pleasure to answer yet another question Faustino (and it’s commendable that denialists ask so many fine questions!).

      Answer  Leaders and advisor share a responsibility to avoid (what the USMC calls) analysis paralysis.”

      This is common-sense, eh Faustino? What is your next question?

      Peter, ask a journalist. Or perhaps the “many people”: “But many people say that journalism is still doing society a disservice, by under-reporting and downplaying the seriousness of the threats of global warming.”

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Fan, I’ve never been afflicted by analysis paralysis. I’ve also been a journalist, so I know the answer to my sardonic question to Peter Lang.

  39. the way people ignore what comes from the ”environmentalists” the same way people ignore what comes from the BBC and Australian national broadcasters

  40. Joseph O'Sullivan

    From the post and responses, I wonder if anyone here knows an environmentalist in person or someone who works for an environmental group. I also wonder if anyone here knows what policies the environmental groups advocate for.

    it would make for more intelligent comments and more constructive dialogue if you were familiar with the environmentalist community.

    • Joseph O’Sulivan,

      I know many. Almost all have a religious like zealotry about their belifs. This video might enlighten you:

      • Irony is an attitude befitting
        to the human condition. Consider
        Socrates, proclaimed at Delphi
        as the smartest man in town,
        Socrates, who said, (allegedly)
        ‘I only know that I know – nothing.’
        Then should we heed the direful
        warnings, claims of certainty
        by modern … er … ltterati,
        other than with irony?
        And in our human musings
        concerning Heraclitean flux,
        human and other transience,
        a lovers’ kiss,
        two lights above the sea,
        the last post,
        shifting of continents,
        can certainty or permanence
        be regarded more appropriately
        than – with irony?

        Serfs workin’ in the fields think about these things.
        Beth – the – serf.

      • Ooops!
        But somewhere in the mix, uncertainty, containment and evilutionary change, yer hafta allow fer wonder.
        jest a serf.

    • I am all too aware of “the environmentalist community”, not least from some old friends of mine from university days who have not modified their views on a single issue of significance since they formed them at age 18 or thereabouts.

      That’s their choice, but sclerotic modes of thought and refusal to admit that you might be wrong about anything does not make for interesting companionship. We still catch up now and then, but soon run out of things to talk about, since everything is “settled” in their mindset, and I am too polite to start a brawl by questioning anything.

      In later years, I have found friends among people who actually do what the hippies claimed to espouse – “question everything.”

      • Agreed Johanna. An open mind is uncommon and most welcome when one finds it, but lets all hope that this will be a shared trait.

      • I agree with Johanna also. It’s just amazing to me how people that I disagree with are uniformly rigid and sclerotic, and the people I agree with could all belong to the mental Cirque du Soleil

    • Joseph, I echo Johanna. Most of my friends have very different views from me on many issues, and for example sign “pro-environmental” petitions which I find of no merit. Many, probably most, of those who comment here seem to have a wide background and keen interests, and will be familiar with the “environmentalist community” and their policies. Indeed, that is a major motivation for our involvement here and on other policy fora, because we believe that all too often policies pursued by environmentalists are ill-based and harmful.

    • “I also wonder if anyone here knows what policies the environmental groups advocate for.”

      Nope. I for one have never seen pictures of dead polar bears,

  41. FOMD, here’s one for you and you and other dingbats (although I doub’t you’ll get the message)

  42. How ridiculous this piece is, in 1896 Svante Arrherious calculated the effects of doubling CO2 without computer, taking into account earlier work by Joseph Fourier and John Tyndall. We know that GHG affects and warms planet’s atmospheres, we know that ENSO, AMO,PMO, solar radiation variations etc. effects trend, stadium waves et al, but the principle of warming holds. All the latest scientific works on climate science does not disprove this, just diffuses and makes it more complex, but the early basic principle holds. We know that CO2 and Methane concentrations are steadily rising, thanks to an imbalance created by man . All so called activists are saying is it is about time we eased back on fossil fuels. Judith Curry must know that that is a good idea with all her academic training and knowledge that USA gave her. We have had a good run with coal and oil, but folks it will not last for ever and is screwing up our fine balance. Wake up call time to change.

  43. redskylite “How ridiculous this piece is, in 1896 Svante Arrherious calculated the effects of doubling CO2 without computer”

    And that’s where it should have stopped. Few would dispute the warming indicated by basic physics that Arrhenius [sic] used. The problems start when you triple it because of _assumed_ feedbacks that nobody can actually find physical evidence of.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Greg states [incorrectly] “Few would dispute the warming indicated by the basic physics that Arrhenius used. The problems start when you triple it because of  assumed feedbacks that nobody can actually find physical evidence of  paleo-calibrated feedbacks.”

      Mis-statements by Greg, link by FOMD!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Arrhenius realized that because the world’s surface is dominated by ocean, the relative humidity would stay constant, so he included the water vapor feedback. Some people today don’t realize this, and Callendar ignored this, but don’t blame Arrhenius.

    • And that’s where it should have stopped. Few would dispute the warming indicated by basic physics that Arrhenius [sic] used

      He actually came up with different figures in the range of 1 to 6 degC. Which is surprisingly close to current thinking.

      But, with all due respect to Arrhenius, that was really just a matter of luck. He wouldn’t have had all the information at his disposal which is necessary for an accurate calculation. Even today there is a level of uncertainty, of course.

    • Forecasting a range of 1 to 6 degrees is virtually useless.

  44. Interesting.

    So in these pages I have read that “activist” greens have been so effective in scaring “the public” into irrational fear about nuclear energy, that they have successfully undermined a powerful industry that comprises powerful corporate entities that would better society (and make a profit too) through the Panglossian Power Law of the market system.

    And yet, in these pages I have also read that “activists” turn people off, create a diametric and counterproductive blowback, and destroy faith in science.

    So, I guess from a “skeptical” perspective, there’s no reason not to eat your cake. After all, you can eat it and have it too!

  45. Many critics have accused mainstream media of confusing the public by reporting this topic as if the small (and often industry-funded) ‘skeptics’ were as credible as researchers representing the scientific consensus

    More elephant-in-the-room ignoring.

    Flatly ignores that the “scientific” consensus is itself little more than (alarmist) advocacy, with precious little credibility, since 97% of them are in the pay of government, the very organisation that stands to benefit handsomely from pubic acceptance of Dangerous AGW.

  46. lemiere jacques

    i think , , activists are often anti…something, anti oil or coal for instance but by experience,people do know that oil or coal is first a good thing…
    acivists are more successful when they try to create new fear, nuclear power ;, gentically modified organism, or cell phone induced cancers…
    Of course, they a re more successful too when they can blame big companies because for some curious reasons, people are able to blame oil exploitation and complain about gas prices at the same time…
    People can agree with the idea of “the society should be be more sober” but disagree when it comes to the point they should be more sober.

  47. The study “The ironic impact of activists: Negative stereotypes reduce social change influence” involved unfortunately small numbers of “undergraduate students”. For purposes of example only, I will admit to having been an undergraduate at UC Santa Barbara in the late 1960’s (with everything that implies). Nearly every psychology and sociology experiment done at the University was done using “undergraduate students” like me, who made their weekly spending money volunteering for these PAYING opportunities. I will admit that many of my friends and acquaintances may have taken their responsibilities to science less seriously than they should have — and many others felt it was their duty to spoof the study to fulfill their role as agents for change. Others were just so stoned out of their minds while taking the surveys or participating in experiments that the results could have been anything. Hey, maybe today’s students in Canada are different….but I don’t think so.

    The US results for environmentalism with 140 American participants recruited online were also of people who signed up to be paid for their service….and I have serious questions about using anonymously recruited subjects whose identities and demographics can not be verified. That aside, at least 140 subjects is twice the size of the other cohorts and more likely to be diverse (not all undergrads at the same university).

    Studies such as these only offer us a chance to see what subjects might want to investigated seriously–we mustn’t consider that these tiny studies offer us any kind of ground truth on the issue.

    It has been discussed extensively here how blatant exaggeration and sexing up claims of eminent disaster by some activists have harmed the Global Warming movement — so we have some supporting anecdotal evidence.

  48. I think the real reason such activists repel normal people is that they resemble Oscar. http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/sesame-street-magazine-declares-oct-15-national-grouch-day-article-1.1486562

    Sesame Street magazine has named October 15 “National Grouch Day” in honor of the lovable green frown-faced puppet, reports E! News.

    “A Grouch’s mission in life is to be as miserable and grouchy as possible, and pass that feeling on to everyone else,” a statement on Muppetedia explained. “Only then will a Grouch feel in touch with his or her world and be happy.”

    The Muppet himself sings about his grumpy existence in the “Grouch Anthem,” explaining how grumps everywhere should stand up for their grouchly rights. He adds: “Don’t let the sunshine spoil your rain. Just stand up and complain.”

  49. So what have activists ever done for us?
    How about??

    They abolished slavery
    They campaigned for democracy and achieved universal suffrage..
    In many countries they achieved national independence.
    They’ve successfully overthrown despotic regimes.
    And don’t forget things like pay rises and maternity leave!

    • So what have activists ever done for us?
      How about??
      They abolished slavery ….. maternity leave

      … and, in our own era, produced Climategate and other exposes of self-serving, systemic fraud and bias in government climate science.

  50. Pingback: Rethinking climate advocacy | Climate Etc.