by Judith Curry
A few things that caught my eye the past few days.
The Quadrant has an article Warmists can’t stop themselves. Subtitle: Climate alarmists’ tactics — exaggeration, misrepresentation, smear and scorn — have hurt the movement more than helped it. No surprise there. Cultist are always the last to recognise the folly of their ways. Excerpt:
However it is characterised, the current tactics of climate alarmists in public debate are doing nothing to restore their credibility, serving only to make themselves look ever more foolish and untrustworthy.
If they are really as certain as they profess to be, the best thing they could do at this point would be to shut up. If they are right, reality should prove them so soon enough. And if the science is settled, as they claim, there is no need for more research anyway. Of course they won’t do anything of the sort. Shutting up would mean giving surrendering all that flattering attention and funding they have come to accept as their just due.
So, in all probability the show will continue, not as a debate but as a farce, with the lead characters making ever-bigger fools of themselves until the public tires of paying the bills and finds something better to do with its tax money.
Greenpeace has a very insightful article The story of how greens became energy enemy number one. The article is about the failure of the ‘enemy’ narrative in the climate debate. Excerpts:
The problem for climate change is that it simply cannot compete against enemy narratives. In climate change the enemy is really everyone, the victims are everyone (although we like to think it is people far away and in the future) and there is no deliberate intention to hurt. What is more, there can be no restoration of the status quo because this is a permanent and worsening condition.
Campaigners try their best to build an enemy narrative, bringing in oil companies, organised denial, the Koch brothers, governments, Jeremy Clarkson as their set piece villains. Maybe, as Bill McKibben argues, you cannot have a movement without an enemy. But I would suggest that this is a dangerous game to play. Climate change will never win with enemy narratives. Once unleashed, they take on a life of their own and come back to bite us and we will find ourselves written in to replace our chosen enemies. As climate impacts intensify there will be a lot of confusion, blame and anger looking for a target and enemy narratives provide the frame for scapegoats.
The best chance for climate change to beat enemy narratives is to refuse to play this partisan game at all. We are all responsible. We are all involved and we all have a stake in the outcome. We are all struggling to resolve our concern and our responsibility for our contributions. Narratives need to be about co-operation common ground-and solutions need to be presented that can speak to the common concerns and aspirations of all people.
Environmental Research Letters
An interesting article entitled The influence of political ideology on trust in science. From the abstract:
In recent years, some scholars, journalists, and science advocates have promoted broad claims that ‘conservatives distrust science’ or ‘conservatives oppose science’. We argue that such claims may oversimplify in ways that lead to empirical inaccuracies. The Anti-Reflexivity Thesis suggests a more nuanced examination of how political ideology influences views about science. The Anti-Reflexivity Thesis hypothesizes that some sectors of society mobilize to defend the industrial capitalist order from the claims of environmentalists and some environmental scientists that the current economic system causes serious ecological and public health problems. The Anti-Reflexivity Thesis expects that conservatives will report significantly less trust in, and support for, science that identifies environmental and public health impacts of economic production (i.e., impact science) than liberals. It also expects that conservatives will report a similar or greater level of trust in, and support for, science that provides new inventions or innovations for economic production (i.e., production science) than liberals. Analyzing data from a recent survey experiment with 798 adults recruited from the US general public, our results confirm the expectations of the Anti-Reflexivity Thesis. Conservatives report less trust in impact scientists but greater trust in production scientists than their liberal counterparts. We argue that further work that increases the accuracy and depth of our understanding of the relationship between political ideology and views about science is likely crucial for addressing the politicized science-based issues of our age.