Climate psychology’s consensus bias

by Andy West

Climate psychologists have for years now puzzled over public inaction on climate change and also what makes skeptics tick (or sick), apparently making little progress on these issues.

Their lengthening list of possibilities includes plausible candidates that are nevertheless weak or narrow in scope – attempting to stretch them to match survey data always causes a conundrum of some kind to be exposed – and the implausible such as conspiracy ideation, which appears not stretchable to the data at all.

I believe the systemic error behind the puzzlement of climate psychologists is readily identifiable. The error is that the climate psychologists do not perceive that a culture dominates environmentalism. A culture based upon misinformation about the certainty of catastrophe (from CO2). A culture which enforces a Consensus, as strong cultures do, upon scientific endeavor that is nowhere near mature enough to have reached consensus without enforcement.

The climate psychologists come in two groups, which I call the Bad Cops and Good Cops, and who intentionally or not end up policing the Consensus. Both appear to view climate change as essentially flat fact, purely settled science, not as a culture.

I’m sure we all know the archetypal bad cop. Psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky’s ‘conspiracy ideation’ papers (‘Moon hoax’ and ‘Recursive Fury’) that link climate skeptics to generic belief in ‘way out there’ conspiracies, have generated a great deal of traffic in the climate blogosphere and the media. Not least regarding pretty much inarguable challenges to their detailed methodology and data collection, the legitimacy of such approval procedures as occurred, and even the ethics of the papers; essentially the entire validity of these works. Indeed ‘Recursive Fury’ was eventually withdrawn from the journal Frontiers of Psychology on ethical grounds. My posts AW1 to AW3 at Watts Up With That describe the likely route of Lewandowsky into the cognitive-dissonance avoidance which appears to be driving his psychological policing of climate orthodoxy. This avoidance stems from much reasonable work on cognitive bias, largely prior to his jumping off the deep end in the climate domain, which if applied to this domain shows that the CAGW Consensus absolutely has to be soaked in bias.

So much for our archetypal bad climate cop. What about good climate cops? Just like real cops, these are the ones who don’t work backwards from a gross assumption of guilt for the crime, who don’t end up force-fitting the evidence while loudly proclaiming “he did it, bang him up!” (The ‘crime’ in question being psychological dysfunction expressed within the climate domain). The ones who actually try to figure out what the data about public attitudes is telling them, the ones with a reasonable approach, the ones who can still be surprised, the ones who do actually want to investigate this ‘crime’, rather than simply pinning it on the guys who everyone ‘knows’ are bad and loudly proclaiming that ‘result’ to the public (thereby ‘saving’ everyone from further bad influence). One such good cop is Dan Kahan. And indeed, our good cop expressed surprise at the results of a survey that was part of his investigation. I was alerted to this surprise by a Climate Etc post, which I followed back to Dan’s post What is going on inside their heads? (DK1) on the blog at the cultural cognition project, which post is in turn the main source of my ‘good cop’ analysis here.

Dan’s surprise comes from a noble attempt to separate identity from knowledge in a survey crafted to gather what he hopes are genuine public attitudes to climate change, on the basis that the wording of questions in many previous surveys caused respondents to identify with and promote ‘their side’, rather than reveal what they truly think about particular aspects of the climate debate. See some detail on this new approach at another of Dan’s posts (DK2). He says towards the end of DK1: ‘The thing to be explained took me by surprise, and I don’t feel that I actually have figured out the significance of it for other things that I do feel I know.

So what caused this surprise? What needs to be explained? Well unlike in the UK, in the US mainstream politics is split over attitudes to climate change. And the split is ugly, as Dan himself notes. However in his DK2 survey regarding scary climate possibilities, which is theoretically geared to eliminate identity issues (the main one here being political allegiance), the responses of both the Republicans and Democrats are very similar. The response differences are reduced to ‘trivial’, Dan says, the big majority of both groups believing all the scary possibilities. Dan claims this implies a common attitude, a ‘widespread apprehension of danger’ in both the Democrats and the Republicans.

Part 2 comes from direct questioning about whether the world is warming ‘mostly because of human activity such as burning fossil fuels’, or ‘mostly because of natural patterns in the Earth’s environment’. As expected, this head-on style questioning invokes identity issues and so yields responses that differ significantly due to political allegiance (Republican / Conservative or Democrat / Liberal). Respondents perceive this question as a political one and so respond accordingly. Yet the more science-aware the responders are (established by other questions), the wider the gulf is between the two political groups. Science-aware Republicans / Conservatives almost all answer ‘natural patterns’ whereas science-aware Democrats / Liberals almost all answer ‘human activity’; the gulf between these two is nowhere near so large for the science unaware, to the extent that there is even a small overlap. Dan says: ‘…these citizens—the ones, again, who display the highest degree of science comprehension generally & of the mechanisms of climate change in particular—are also the most politically polarized on whether global warming is occurring at all.’ Note: the science questions come in an Ordinary Science Intelligence survey (DK3) and an Ordinary Climate Science Intelligence survey (DK4).

Dan then logically adds part 1 to part 2 and comes up with ‘what needs to be explained’. He expresses this in DK1 by quoting a question from one his audience at a lecture, as the man’s question perfectly expressed his own puzzlement: ‘How, he [the member of the audience] asked, can someone simultaneously display comprehension of human-caused global warming and say he or she doesn’t “believe in” it? In fact, this was exactly what Yoshi and I had been struggling with…’ Hence the title of Dan’s DK1 post: ‘What is going on inside their heads?

While clearly unsettled about this apparently bizarre contradiction, Dan bulls on and attempts to explain this contradiction in psychological terms. He comes up with four possibilities, which he names FYATHYRIO (F*ck you and the horse you rode in on), Compartmentalization, Partition, and Dualism. Well I’m not going into detail on each of these, follow them up at DK1 if you’re interested. Suffice to say that while these are all effects that can be found somewhere in society, each only occurs for a small minority within extremely specific circumstances, and there is no evidence at all that these circumstances could apply across such a wide and varied swathe of the population expressing skepticism on climate change. This is still more the case in countries like the UK, where all the three main political parties fully back climate change policies to combat CO2 emissions, yet public skepticism (which therefore is necessarily far less tribal, much less aligned to particular political parties that is) is nevertheless still rife. While Dan’s surveys cover the US only, even within this more tribal subset case he is turning over very small stones indeed to try and discover a psychological profile for his culprits. Adding panto to good cop / bad cop metaphor, I was tempted in my original reading to shout “its behind you”.

To be fair to our good cop, he rapidly rules out 3 of his 4 possibilities, settling uncomfortably on Dualism. He uses the example of a religious medical doctor (I think based on a real case) to illustrate what happens in this effect. The doctor does not believe in evolution, yet he simultaneously uses the theory to achieve success in his job (for instance in stem cell research). This apparently grave mental contradiction can work without the doctor becoming schizophrenic or being otherwise impaired (and even unaware of his bizarre position), as long as the domains of his social and religious life remain strictly separate from his career domain. While no doubt this effect could occur outside of religion, would anyone like to guess what the odds are of about half of America’s science-aware population being subject to this same kind of effect regarding their belief in climate change? That’s probably tens of millions of people (the Commerce Department claims that about 15 million US residents hold a STEM major, and to be merely ‘science aware’ must be a very much larger figure indeed). This ‘dualism’ is after all an extraordinary condition; one that requires a strict maintenance of specific circumstances, plus I think also a pretty damn unusual developmental path to arrive at. To his credit, I don’t think that in his heart Dan really believes in this answer anyhow. He says: ‘But I do not feel particularly confident about this account—in part because even after constructing it, I still myself am left wondering, “But what exactly is going on in their heads?”

A number of commenters at DK1 have attempted to point out to Dan that his investigation is flawed and / or that he’s chasing the wrong scent. And Dan is very accommodating and eminently reasonable in reply. He’s a good cop after all, and it seems a hard working one too. He makes some useful points, such as the fact that the science literate in a debate (or those possessing other forms of literacy or critical thinking) can magnify a disposition to fit the evidence to cultural predispositions. (This would appear as a symmetrical motivated reasoning effect for both sides, although in various ways the climate debate is far from symmetrical).

Yet he constantly slips very politely away from any suggestion that his own bias, or indeed possible bias within Consensus science generally, could have materially affected either his suspect list or the basis of his investigation. For instance in reply to several folks, Dan says: ‘…whether the evidence is “clear” or “unclear” etc. doesn’t affect any of the inferences I’m drawing on… maybe the problem is that people don’t understand what I’m drawing inferences about (public opinion formation– not whether the evidence supports human-caused global warming or whether scientists are biased, etc).’ To Paul Matthews pointing out that there isn’t any contradiction implied by science aware Rep/Cons rejecting the views of [orthodox] climate scientists on Global Warming, Dan’s main response is that he doesn’t think this ‘plausibly explains the patterns of public opinion I am examining’. He also admits that there are (maybe many) possibilities that could explain the data, but in reply to commenter Paul says (among other things): ‘The puzzle — if there is one– is a consequence of the thing to be explained being the opposite of what one would have expected.’ But what one expects depends upon one’s biases and assumptions.

As a pre-cursor to looking at his results, I figured to check what bias or ambiguity may exist in Dan’s survey questions, which might possibly have tilted respondents results in some way. (If so, there may be nothing to be done about that in retrospect, no analytical fix, but it’s always good to be aware). In DK2 / DK4 some of the questions are meant to be wrong, but ambiguity in the wrong questions could potentially still be a problem too. For instance ‘false’ is the appropriate response to the question ‘If the North Pole icecap melted as a result of human caused global-warming, global sea levels would rise.’ While this is technically the right response, there have been many scare stories about sea level rise due to melting ‘in the Arctic’ or ‘in Greenland’. How many folks wouldn’t be able to distinguish between ‘the North Pole’, and ‘the Arctic’? Especially when the term ‘icecap’ is rarely used for sea-ice, as ‘Rob’ points out. Maybe a bit too ambiguous even for a science comprehension test. In practice this ambiguity truly may not matter in the context in which it is set; given a big majority of both camps believed all the scare stories whether they were true or not, the responses would likely be very similar. Likewise for a question incorporating a core value that one is trying to explore in the first place: ‘human-caused global warming will result in flooding of many coastal region’. Dan’s appropriate response is ‘true’, but this response is really only true if human caused global warming is sufficient of a problem, which is what the entire debate and the entire scientific effort is still engaged upon finding out. Given the context and the DK2 / DK4 results that did occur, I wouldn’t expect a big impact, yet the latter issue reveals a mindset that might bring bias to more critical parts of the investigation.

Indeed there’s a bigger problem with the main (directly phrased) question in DK1: ‘[is the Earth] getting warmer (a) mostly because of human activity like burning fossil fuels, or (b) mostly because of natural patterns in the Earth’s environment?’ While various surveys in recent years have used almost this exact same wording, and indeed until a belated acceptance of ‘The Pause’, (a) was the only officially available line, it’s hard to forgive Dan for not digging deeper and understanding that much of the real debate in fact centers upon the relative weights of (a) and (b). Especially after that acceptance, when the much greater role of natural patterns (up to ~50:50 weighting) is a front runner in the various mainstream offerings trying to explain why the real-world failed to get warmer over the last ~15 to 18 years, as projected by climate models. The absence of an option (c) no-one knows yet, will surely increase polarization and the ‘identity defense’ nature of responses, which may have dominated anyhow yet now we won’t know that.

This all suggests that Dan’s instruments are somewhat weighted off centre, constructed using parts from orthodox climate science . For instance in DK4 he seems to suggest that the ‘decreased rate at which temperatures increased’ over the last 15 years, is still supportive re the Consensus position, rather than a rate that’s on the edge of invalidating the models, not to mention is effectively zero (within statistical significance and across multiple temp series, with some data ‘paused’ for more years than 15). These are the very same models from which the conclusion of serious danger regarding AGW were drawn. This is a hint that Dan’s subsequent analysis may biased this way too. On the upside and despite an orthodox framework, Dan has tried to tempt equally those of either affective orientation (i.e. skeptic or orthodox) into the wrong answers (another device that may help to separate knowledge from identity defense).

Despite all this there is some great data here, especially on the ‘science aware’ people, albeit we need to look at it within the context of other surveys. And indeed focusing so intensely on the left/right political polarizations makes the effects we see through that particular lens appear more important than they are. The place of those effects within the whole context will be better fixed by looking through other lenses too. In this respect at least, Dan’s plan to remove political identity seemed good. Appendix 1 looks at the results of a few other surveys, which rank Global Warming within other environmental issues, and also within all US National issues of importance. This is a way of diluting left/right identity challenge within a larger context, and assessing the true importance of Global Warming to the respondents. And it is clear that the strong majority support from Democrats regarding belief in man-made Global Warming (typically in the 60-85% range), drops to minority support (typically 20-45%) regarding the mandate to make it the top priority, causing this ‘ultimate’ issue to sink very low or dead last on all priority polls. Republican figures shrink much less (typically 10-15%), though far less believe in man-made GW in the first place. But it is the Democrat loss of resolve that largely drives the collapse in support for action on Global Warming.

This provides a very strong clue about what’s going on that can be used in analysis of Dan’s results, as executed in Appendix 2. This analysis finds that the assumption of an independent culture inspired by the concept of climate change, i.e. one not spawned from left-wing or right-wing politics, provides a much better fit to Dan’s survey results. This culture has an interaction, a relationship, with both political left and right, but in the US at least its alliance with the left happens to be far stronger (causing more cultural steering here than for the Republicans). The large percentage drop in Democrat responses (depending on what questions are asked) mentioned above, represent those in alliance with, but not personally committed to the belief and cause of man-made Global Warming. These ‘shifters’ only ‘believe’ when their party allegiance calls upon them to believe. The analysis in Appendix 2 rests upon only mainstream cognitive bias mechanisms, not anything unusual such as ‘duality’. No common ‘widespread apprehension of danger’ is found, but a widespread lack of faith in climate science pronouncements, is.

It’s easier to visualize the cultural landscape on a diagram. Here’s a tentative one I knocked up for this post, with suggested figures for the present US scenario taken from the quoted polls in Appendix 1 (which figures are pretty fuzzy anyhow as different polls show quite some variance). It’s for concept not accuracy, though may have representational problems I haven’t thought about yet…

Slide1

 

It sinks in rather more when looking at this map that CAGW has adherents on the political right too; cultures will wow and woo anyone they can. I haven’t yet checked surveys for other countries, but in some (e.g. the UK), the slope of the left to right rising lines should be much shallower, with climate culture and alliance encompassing much more of the right. The Consensus narrative on climate change is officially supported by the UK Conservatives, although there are probably a few more rebels than on the left. But the same generic principles hold. Those in the ‘alliance’ band are the respondents who shift allegiance depending upon the questions asked, per above and explanations in Appendix 2. Note that the right has a few shifters too. In the US these can’t be defending their identity in terms of simple party allegiance; they may be in alliance due to other social drives. E.g. falling to peer pressure about seeming stupid or uncaring on this trendy / moral issue, or expressing more complex political motives, e.g. from the Republican left wing and not wanting to seem like a ‘tea-party dinosaur’, maybe even leveraging climate change as a platform to ‘modernize’ local Republicans (see GOP deeply divided over climate change).

This suggests that at least some shifters on the left may also have more complex motivations, which likely are not fully conscious. The lack of trust arrow on the left (it won’t necessarily be contiguous in this representation, hence the dashed part), taken from the Rasmussen survey (see Appendix 2) about falsification of global warming data, must penetrate very deep into shifter territory, suggesting that many Democrats allied to climate culture not only don’t believe all the scary stories, they even believe some of the science is deliberately fixed. Their alliance is simply to further a personal social / political agenda in some way.

Note: According to Dan’s data, if we could visualize the graph separately for the science unaware and science aware folks, as indicated by the colored arrows that show which way the slopes tilt, they would be shallower for the former and steeper for the latter. See Appendix 2 for more context. ‘Innate’ in the ‘innate skeptics’ refers to the instinctive protections that can be triggered against misinformation and cultural bulldozing, Lewandowksy’s key to accuracy, see AW1 to AW3 for reference.

With typical insight and brevity, Judith Curry captures a big part of the implication from Dan’s data with a single sentence: ‘The issue is this: the public sees a vociferous debate about climate change in the media and on blogs, and people that are actually paying attention to science see reasons to question the consensus.’ But Dan doesn’t see this skepticism as valid. Recall that summary of his puzzlement Dan gave, of ‘what needs to be explained’, as expressed by one of his audience at a lecture: ‘How, he asked, can someone simultaneously display comprehension of human-caused global warming and say he or she doesn’t “believe in” it?’ Dan is rebranding skepticism as disbelief. He comes to the conclusion that the science aware Rep/Cons are culturally steered and so trapped in ‘dualism’. I think this is key to Dan’s investigation veering off course. The above assumption of disbelief comes in turn from assuming that the (science aware) Dem/Libs must be ‘right’ in the polarized chart in DK1, essentially pinning them to an absolute truth that he personally believes exists. Everything else in the investigation had to flow backwards from this fixed position. This is pretty much bound to cause puzzles and inconsistencies, and ultimately ends up with the same result as the bad cop, i.e. with the entire psychological case essentially turned upside-down. I guess a difference between the bad and good cops is that the latter don’t know that they’re policing the Consensus, are unaware that they’re under its influence. But CAGW culture is effectively steering Dan’s investigation.

In comments Dan summarizes his assumption about puzzling Rep/Con behavior as a ‘knowing disbelief’, thus showing that he thinks the subjects in question have access to an absolute knowledge, which contradicts their disbelief. But there is no such knowledge. At the opposite pole, neither does overlapping knowledge provide any absolutes confirming the Dem/Lib belief. As Professor Judith Curry points out in comments regarding the DK1 survey question on Global Warming (i.e. is it man-made or natural): ‘I don’t know how to answer this question. Given the inadequate evidence (lack of knowledge about solar impacts, inability to adequately model the network of multidecadal internal variability, etc) my current best assessment is 50-50. And this is something I have studied carefully for the past 5 years and have published papers on.

A good psychological analysis ought to be (at least somewhat) robust to where the truth lies regarding disputed scientific pronouncements. Whether these eventually turn out to be right or not, psychological effects can occur independently of real-world constraints, potentially for several generations while once nascent science spreads to mature and accepted science, or alternatively withers in the face of better theories. Yet I think Dan’s interpretation completely falls apart if one does not pin the Dem/Libs to an absolute correctness. By this act he has effectively ruled out the (genuine) uncertainty that is providing the platform for the potentially amplified cultural positions of both political camps. I happen to believe that by virtue of alliance to CAGW culture, i.e. the culture of belief in the certainty of catastrophe, the science aware Dem/Lib pole is far more culturally driven than the equivalent Rep/Con pole. But to some extent the truth can float in my analysis, certainly from an outcome of the Consensus ending up dead wrong, to the position of the Luke-warmers and somewhat beyond; this just means different strengths of bias have arisen as culture has outstripped science.

Essentially the culture of the certainty of catastrophe that was triggered by CO2 worry, has long ago outstripped the constraints of current science. Hence its psychological influence shows now, whatever degree of veracity eventually turns out to be present within those worries, from none to significant to an increasingly unlikely major percentage. And so we come to the generic, to the underlying flaw in Dan’s investigation. Not acknowledging the strong cultural nature of the Consensus will result in seeing apparent behaviors from the data that seem peculiar to say the least, including Dan’s highly unlikely proposal of ‘dualism’. Further, not acknowledging that despite an alliance with the left (stronger in some countries than in others) this culture has its own independent drivers, which have not grown out of the left / right spectrum, will create still more apparent oddities. This culture will serve its own interests and will flirt or spat with all other major players, e.g. religions, if any advantage can be gained, or indeed even with the political right (in which it has some dedicated adherents even in the US) if in some country or period this move offers a better deal than that with the left. The UK Conservative prime minister’s promise of ‘the greenest government ever’ is a real example; a deal that helped him get into power and then benefited climate culture in return.

An unrecognized cultural dimension explains puzzles raised in many of Dan’s comments. For instance in reply to ‘Evan’, Dan says: ‘Therefore I wouldn’t infer from polarization on any particular issues that it is one on which the evidence is unclear. On the contrary, I’d conclude that if the issue has that quality, then an inordinately high number of people will continue to think the evidence is unclear no matter what.’ Well if a strong culture is not involved, of course! But this is exactly what strong cultures do best, they maintain enforced consensuses about the unclear and the unknowable. And because Dan himself is influenced by this culture that is enforcing a consensus, then his inferences (via weighted instruments and biased analysis) are affected by the (same) cultural bias as in the (orthodox) scientists.

In other text below that led from a DK1 comment, Dan says: ‘But I don’t see skeptics grappling in the earnest—even obsessive, anxious—way that climate-change policy advocates are with the task of how to promote better public understanding. That seems weird to me. After all, there is a symmetry in the position of “believers” and “skeptics” in this regard. They disagree about what conclusion the best scientific evidence on climate change supports, obviously. But they both have to confront that approximately 50% of the U.S. public disagrees with their position on that.’ This is not weird at all! It is the strong climate culture that fosters anxious and obsessive behavior, as many insistent cultures do. Those who are not (or who are much less) influenced by this culture, will overall exhibit much less of these behaviors. Nor are the positions really symmetrical in regard of climate culture; an apparent rough symmetry on core questions that challenge identity is an artifact of the big Dem/Libs alliance. In truth climate culture has a very long way to go indeed to become invulnerable and dominant in the US; the alliance could let it down at any time. This is very likely to result in anxiety from its cultural adherents. And promoting ‘better public understanding’, especially when conducted through deliberately emotive campaigns (see AW2), is usually tantamount to promoting climate culture rather than promoting science. Those outside of a culture do not communally and systemically try to project their anxieties, like these Ozzie environmental scientists and their Scared Scientists colleagues do.

And recall Dan’s comment from above: ‘The puzzle — if there is one– is a consequence of the thing to be explained being the opposite of what one would have expected.’ By which he means that he would have expected the Rep/Cons to become less polarized as their science awareness rises, not more so. Yet with a strong (climate) culture in play, one expects more polarization with more awareness. The more aware on one side are drawn into defense of cultural orthodoxy; the more aware on the other side have better ammunition with which to oppose orthodoxy. The Dem/Libs are on the side of orthodoxy, which may or may not be shown (when cultural bonds are eventually shrugged off and true science returns) to hold some truths, yet whose currently enforced ‘truths’ are more a narrative / social feature than a scientific one.

The climate psychologists make complex twists and turns in order to avoid looking at rampant bias effects in the Consensus. Regarding what should be happening, Judith Curry is once more right on the money. She says in DK1 comments (in reply to Evan): ‘Bingo Evan… Claiming a scientific consensus with extremely likely confidence level seems ludicrous, given these ambiguities and uncertainties. Dan should focus some effort to understand exactly why so many scientists actually believe this (i.e. what are they thinking and how are they thinking).’ In practice this kind of belief has been rather well understood by overlapping disciplines (including psychology and cultural evolution) essentially for decades. But the climate psychologists are all embedded in the climate culture, which blinds good cops and bad cops alike. In Dan’s case it seems rather ironic that a failure to even consider the effects of a strong (climate) culture, should occur within the online investigation at a site called ‘the cultural cognition project’. And not only is climate culture obvious, it is also self-admitted (see AW2, including the Appendix).

There is no big puzzle in Dan’s data. The effects shaping the climate culture are not at all unusual and frequently occur across whole societies or major portions thereof. Some of these (cognitive bias) effects as detailed in literature from Lewandowsky and colleagues (mainstream stuff largely prior to his very controversial and contested conspiracy ideation papers), are discussed with respect to the Consensus in AW1 to AW3. Considering the authors, this literature cannot possible be subject to skeptic bias.

The material in these Lew and Crew papers is very much in tune with material at the cultural cognition blog, at least as discovered in my brief sorties there. For instance the clip below from Dan, which I found from a link in the comments at DK1 (my number references added): ‘Cognitive-dissonance avoidance will steel individuals to resist empirical data that either threatens practices they revere [1] or bolsters ones they despise [2], particularly when accepting such data would force them to disagree with individuals they respect [3]. The cultural judgments embedded in affect will speak more authoritatively than contrary data as individuals gauge what practices are dangerous and what practices are not [4]. And the culturally partisan foundation of trust will make them dismiss contrary data as unreliable if they perceive that it originates from persons who don’t harbor their own cultural commitments [5]. This picture is borne out by additional well-established psychological and social mechanisms.

I couldn’t agree more! Applying this to the climate domain, we find: [1] In just one example of many, empirical evidence on ‘The Pause’ was acknowledged very late and very grudgingly, even then with implausible caveats that (in so many words), “it doesn’t really make any difference”. This powerful resistance is because the data gets very close indeed to invalidating the climate models (a core scientific ‘practice’ underpinning climate orthodoxy itself). Plus [2] it bolsters the arguments of the despised skeptics and bolsters the despised practices (e.g. fossil fuel consumption) that are opposed by climate culture. [3] A very wide range of environmental topics are tied to the central narrative of imminent (on decadal to one century scale) catastrophe, and accepting skeptical data upon any of them these days, has come to be seen by climate culture as a betrayal of (depending upon country and affiliations), government leaders and policy, many celebrities, scientific leaders and bodies, moral leaders (the Pope may be the latest), even one’s children and one’s grandchildren plus most of the life on Earth and the planet itself. This is a far more cogent barrier to acceptance than mere disagreement! [4] Climate cultural judgments based on misinformation about the certainty of catastrophe are underwriting dangerous practices that are draining economies worldwide, increasing the price of energy (causing consequent poverty and excess deaths), plus enabling the bio-fuel debacle. The latter is both harming the environment and also hitting the poor by pushing up the cost of food production (hence yet more hardship and a potential increase in starvation). Meanwhile the practice of emitting CO2 is defined as very dangerous, when there isn’t yet evidence that the danger ranks (relative to all the other dangers we face anyhow), or even has net downsides (there are upsides to increased CO2 and warmth and some economists for instance argue this side up). And [5]; Could there be a better description of how the culturally biased Consensus network treats skeptics? Including (once) respected scientists who are brave enough to offer data that challenges the Consensus line in any way.

A failure to acknowledge the climate culture results in these kind of concepts (with which psychologists are very familiar), from ever being applied to the Consensus in their analyses.

At the beginning of this post I said: ‘The ‘crime’ in question being psychological dysfunction expressed within the climate domain’. I say dysfunction because, while we all have ‘behavior’, even the good cops are arriving at the conclusion that there must be something ‘wrong’ with skeptics, i.e. behavior that is abnormal. Our example bad cop calls it conspiracy ideation and many bad cops and some good ones too implicitly compare skeptic behavior to the (abnormal) denial of the Holocaust, via their use of the ‘denier’ term. Our example good cop has plumped for dualism. Yet the endless search for this crime is vain. There is no abnormal behavior, so there is no ‘crime’. While investigations remain rooted in the bias of climate culture, itself driven by emotive misinformation on the certainty of catastrophe, they will nevertheless keep on searching and turn up only more puzzlement. Meanwhile despite best intentions, the good cops are propagating almost as much myth as the bad cops. They are both just a short step away from saying that the skeptics are crazy; an accusation made throughout history at those who don’t share blind bias.

It’s worth noting that there isn’t abnormal behavior within the Consensus either; cultural hi-jacking and the enforcement of consensuses is practically as common in humans societies as sleeping and eating, and certainly more common than the common cold. All the climate psychology cops need to do is to turn around; it’s behind you!

Appendix 1:  Evidence from other polls on attitudes to climate change [Appendix 1]

Appendix 2:  An analysis of poll results [Appendix 2]

Note:

My time is pretty pressured so it’s taken me quite a while to get this cranked out, some months after the Climate Etc post that alerted me (September 2014), which itself was after the featured Dan Kahan posts (June to August). I haven’t revisited Dan’s investigation to see how it’s going lately, so this is essentially a snapshot in time, yet not I think with diminished relevance for that. Unless Dan has had a St. Paul style revelation in the interim, I guess the same principles exist and hence my same disagreements. I’ve read very little Dan Kahan material indeed before this time; have to say in peeking at the Cultural Cognition Project while putting this together, I’ve become very impressed with the huge efforts he’s investing in this area plus his deep knowledge, despite I think that in the climate domain those have both been seriously deflected by cultural bias. In an attempt to stay focused and also to make best use of my available time, I’ve stuck mainly to absorbing DK1 / DK2, many of the comments there including all of Dan’s, plus more briefly the support at DK3 / DK4 and a couple of other pages as linked. I had to resist following up most of his many very interesting and spider-like links that are so tempting to explore at the Cultural Cognition Project.

Andy West : www.wearenarrative.wordpress.com

JC note:  This article was submitted via email.  Andy’s previous Climate Etc. post is CAGW Memeplex.  As with all guests posts, please keep your comments civil and relevant.

505 responses to “Climate psychology’s consensus bias

  1. Anything is possible once you get rid of the scientific method.

    • We’ve had 18 years 3 months no warming according to RSS. NOAA and GOSS terrestrial data are fiddled like mad to keep the IPCC scam alive

      If the Enhanced GHE were correct, atmosphere thermalising global mean 157.5 W/m^2 ‘Clear Sky Atmospheric Greenhouse Factor’, the absorption depth, say ~30 m max, would have mean temperature near 0 deg C. You prove this by a simple S-B equation (16 deg C surface): Air temp. = 4th root (238.5/0.75/5.6704E-8).

      That should be compared with the ‘Last Glacial Maximum’, ~10 deg C! It has never been near 0 deg C for 444 million years. The bottom line; no positive feedback CO2-AGW. There could be a no feedback version except for another factor; the water cycle reduces it to zero – exactly zero because that’s the way the thermodynamic system has to work. The known fall of atmospheric humidity over the past 60+ years is experimental proof.

      A decade ago, Hansen was interviewed about ‘Surface Air temperature’, the first 50 ft. He stated NASA had made a few measurements but modelled the global mean: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/abs_temp.html

      Was that when they realised they had failed but decided to bluff it out?

  2. daveandrews723

    The politics surrounding the man-made climate change debate does not interest me. The science interests me.
    As a layman the thing that has fascinated me is the speed with which the revolutionary theory that a rise in CO2 levels presents catastrophic consequences for the earth has been declared “settled science.”
    Where is the scientific method in all of this? Where is the logic? Where is the evidence?
    It seems the CAGW proponents have become cult-like.
    That is the scary part to me.
    I believe this will go down as a very dark period in the history of science, when many scientists turned into advocates and believed the ends justified the means.

    • Someone (sorry I have forgotten who) put it very succinctly recently : They went straight from accusation to sentencing without a trial.

    • As Al Gore’s former U.S. Senate pal, Timothy Wirth, observed, representing the U.S. as Clinton-Gore administration’s undersecretary of state for global affairs at the U.N.’s 1992 Rio de Janiero Climate Summit: ” We have got to ride the global warming issue. … Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.”

      ——————————————————————————–

      Summit Chairman Maurice Strong agreed with Wirth and his policy priorities. “We may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrialized civilization to collapse,” he said.

      From a post at Forbes by Larry Bell.

      It was never about the science.

      Abe

    • Ottman Edenhofer, co-chair of the IPCC Working Group III:

      First of all, developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community. But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.

      It was never about the climate.

      Abe

      • There’s something happenin’ hair.
        What it is, ain’t exactly clair.
        There’s a man with a sun over air,
        Tellin’ you, you got to bewair.
        ====================

    • Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, second Term

      “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history”, Ms Figueres stated at a press conference in Brussels.

      “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the industrial revolution. That will not happen overnight and it will not happen at a single conference on climate change, be it COP 15, 21, 40 – you choose the number. It just does not occur like that. It is a process, because of the depth of the transformation.”

      It was never about the carbon.

      Abe

    • daveandrews723,

      If you skim over Andy West’s article and replace the word culture with the word religion you’ll find that indeed the backbone supporting the global warming scare is definitely a cult-like phenomenon. Up until the American Revolution, all cultures we know of had a religion, a belief system, as part and parcel of it’s societal construct. What the Aerican Revolution introduced into the world of societal organization was the concept that the rule of law based on reason could be used to unify distinct cultures, along with their concomitant belief systems, into a nation that would be stronger than the whole of it’s pats.

      If you go through the Federalist Papers, you may find some emotive appeals contained within the arguments presented there. But for the most part, the case for Independence and the form of government to supercede Monarchic Rule, is case founded on reason.

      Reason is the foundation of the scientific method. Without reason, science in no longer science. It becomes just another one of the many historical belief systems used to empower the ruling class with the intent of manipulating the masses into subjugation.

      It was only two months ago that I stumbled onto a video that put forth the skeptic side of the AGW meme. Before that, I had no idea there was even any doubt that global warming was a fact. Since then, I’ve found that, as I mentioned in my prior responses to your comment, although the science is intriguing, complex, and intelectually stimulating, thae fact of the matter is the science is just the icing on the cake.

      Or, as a wise old lady once asked, “Where’s the beef?”

      The beef is in the politica.

      Abe

  3. Thanks, Judith.

    This from Korhola’s dissertation (featured four posts back here at Climate Etc.) is also relevant:

    “Climate change cannot be solved by means of technology or science, because it is largely a product of *culture* and a pain of our hearts.”

    • AndyWest2012,

      Thank you for this offering. I’ve been puzzled for my entire short time studying this topic (CC) and about why I’m so puzzled. This offering is confirmational bias that I’m puzzled but unfortunatetly offers little clarity. This is no commentary on the offering, but is much so on the topic.

      • Curious George

        You should consult your pastor/priest/imam/guru – take your pick. It is clearly a subject of faith, not facts.

      • Curious George,

        None of those resources were available so went to my fortune teller. They, being startled, immediately dropped their crystal ball. It shattered, releasing all the encapsulated CO2. No definitive reports regarding any known effects. Will report back if/when more is heard!

    • Woof, thanks. I missed ‘a pain of our hearts’ the first time around.
      ===================================

      • Let’s see, climate angst, climate angina, angina political, emotional infarct, alert attack, paralytic stroke of madness.

        Gotta be something in there. Continue the necropsy.
        =========

      • I think it’s heartburn. A condition of the gut that we just mistook as a condition of the heart ;)

  4. Maybe this is an interesting contribution that I ought to be reading. Maybe it could tell me something about the psychology of climate psychologists.

    But having sampled the first few paras, I think I’ll wait for the movie and hope it has English subtitles

    Is it really impossible for people to write on this topic in understandable prose? A delusion that the fewer people can understand it the more erudite it must be?

    Or is really just a whole bunch of dingos kidneys (*) on all sides of the climopsych discussions? Pseuds talking to other pseuds?

    The world is anxious to know……

    *Douglas Adams, H2G2

    .

    • daveandrews723

      Well said. I, myself, had never heard of a “climate psychologist” until I read this. I thought it was tongue in cheek.

    • Agreed, Douglas. At 5,992 words this article is just too long. It’s the same as a 40-minute speech. This is a blog, not a parliamentary debate. If he can’t say what he has to say in 10 minutes, it’s not worth saying.

    • Here’s the deal: your eyes are bleeding, looking for taillights ahead as you drive through the fog. You know you’re not alone. You feel you’re prepared and safe as can be expected under the circumstances, and you really don’t care who’s ahead, but you feel so much better knowing where they actually are ahead so as to gauge your own behavior accordingly. Seeing others through the fog is a comfort that even allows you to draw close. But then, there’s trepidation with every passing of those ahead, on the road, when again as far as you can see ahead, there’s nothing to see but blind fog. And then, some scientists come along and tell you that, even without actually seeing anything, they can provide you with some very strong clues about what’s going on up ahead, based on an analysis that you can use and rely on with comfort. Now, these scientists are not fellow drivers and they’re not with you or following you, nor are they up ahead of you, warning you of their existence or your proximity to them. They are independent of your experience and are inspired by their own concept of the world as it is and ought to be, “i.e. one not spawned from left-wing or right-wing politics,” but rather an alliance, “personally committed to the belief and cause of man-made Global Warming,” and this alliance commands your allegiance to their beliefs if you want to feels safe driving on their road.

    • Yes, this is an interesting contribution, and yes, you ought to be reading it. Though I admit I skimmed quite a bit.

      • Hi Jonathan

        I got as far as

        ‘the likely route of Lewandowsky into the cognitive-dissonance avoidance which appears to be driving his psychological policing of climate orthodoxy. ‘

        and decided I have better things to do with my remaining years. I can honestly say that ‘cognitive-dissonance avoidance’ is rarely a hot topic in the Dog and Duck.

        Cheers

      • He certainly took more words than I would have done, but I can agree with most of it.

        The ‘nice cops’ like Kahan are actually only a short step away from being serious skeptics themselves. But they are hindered by their starting assumption that ‘skeptics must be wrong’.

        As Andy West alludes to, examining and refining their questions is probably the best place for them to start. Instead of just calling people deniers (or dualists) they should more precisely ask themselves and skeptics what, if anything, is actually being denied.

  5. I grew up around fundamentalist christianity and I see many analogues to fundamentalism in the CAGW camp. So I would take it a step further than just calling it a ‘culture’ and call it a religion. (perhaps your definition of culture includes religion tho…..)
    $0.02

  6. “Climate psychologists”. This is it, right? We’ve reached it. We are finally at Peak Silly. Unless there are going to be climate dog-walkers and climate bakeries.

    Now researchers will have to get their funds and get published the old fashioned way: writing unread and unreadable theses on things like Marxian Interpretations of Post-Derridan Gender Post-Structuralism.

    But there can’t be any new ways left to combine “climate” with senseless academic bloat. It’s all been done.

    • I’m surprised you’re surprised; after all the massive social phenomenon we see was never about what may or may not be genuinely happening within the climate. And those psychologists delving into the climate arena have essentially ended up policing the Consensus, and have done this for years already. Like Lewandowsky (bad cop) and more recently Kahan (good cop), and many others.

      • I agree, it would be very strange indeed if there wasn’t a branch of psychology looking at climate change related issues. What I find curious is that they assume that there’s something odd about sceptics rather than accept they just don’t have the mental tools to understand us.

      • It’s all about growing that climatariat, I suppose.

        We can’t delve very far down into the hot ball called Earth. There are no traffic jams of researchers in the deep hydrosphere, so no delving there. It’s often hard to get someone called a climate scientist even to open a window and look out, let alone glimpse at a tide gauge. Actual climate change (the stuff that has happened) just disrupts the more important Deep Narrative of climate change (ie stuff that has not happened), so actual climate change is treated like a vegetarian at a BBQ…

        But we have surveys. And climate psychologists, to pound and cook the vague lumps of push-polling and speculation into something called “data”.

        And now climate dog-walkers.

      • “Those whom the gods would destroy, they first
        make mad, or with recursive fury, at least imply
        same.”

    • P.S. there is already a ‘Dog Walkers guide to Climate Change’!

      http://visualizingclimatechange.ca/dog-walkers-guide/

  7. A religion that is welcome in otherwise secular schools…though..the CAGW proposed has no credible solution…no saving miracle..just approaches to feel better about the coming catastrophe. But most religions tend to be more open to discussion than the “science is settled” mentality. Someone should examine the importance of controlling the terminology. “Denialist” comes to mind.

  8. I’m collecting only evidence that supports my thesis that confirmation bias is a problem with climate science.

  9. This is beautiful –

    ==> “The error is that the climate psychologists do not perceive that a culture dominates environmentalism”

    Notice anything missing?

  10. The small warming and large greening that man can do is all to the good. The culture of climate catastrophe was built on fear, guilt, greed and the lust for power, and is unsustainable.
    =======================

  11. Andy West says, “In truth climate culture has a very long way to go indeed to become invulnerable and dominant in the US; the [‘Dem/Lib’] alliance could let it down at any time. This is very likely to result in anxiety from its cultural adherents. And promoting ‘better public understanding’, especially when conducted through deliberately emotive campaigns… is usually tantamount to promoting climate culture rather than promoting science.”

    I believe the author has missed another alliance of convenience in the facilitation of the climate culture that dominates the reasoning process, irrespective of the teachings of the scientific method: the Western Academia/the UN alliance – a shogun marriage of convenience grounded in their opposition to the despised, foundational principles of Americanism.

  12. Nothing that a few billion more years of evolution won’t solve.

  13. I read an article recently on entomology psychology by a guy with a name similar to this author’s, so I am excusing myself from perusing this un.

  14. As I don’t have sufficent evidence for the anthro portion, but do have sufficient evidence for warming I’m labeled a “skeptic”. Since I didn’t establish the “rules of engagement” this label frames me differently than I perceive myself. To address this, and to modify the narrative, I propose a change in label to “analytic” for those of us in the same boat. I also like the associated synonyms as opposed to those associated with “skeptic”.

    • Danny,

      I too accept that the 20th-century warming trend was real, although I think the raw data in the instrument record is not accurate enough to allow us to see in detail exactly what has gone on. As for the anthro portion, humans must cause some warming but I suspect it is too small to worry about, or possibly even measure.

      This does leave me, as a ‘sceptic’, lumped in with both Slayers/Sky Dragons (physics cranks who get in a lather about the greenhouse effect) and with people who think the entire instrument record has been deliberately falsified, usually in order to advance some sort of one world government agenda.

      I’d much rather have a different label, but take the divisions too far and we all end up in a group of one anyway. Good luck with trying to create new labels this late in the day!

      One thing the Climate Wars have taught me is that in a fight, you don’t get to choose your allies any more than you do your enemies.

    • One of the many things that the psychologists and sociologists have been incredibly slow to grasp is that there is a wide range of views. For example, AFAIK, there is not a single paper in the social science or psychology literature that mentions the term lukewarmer.

      Thus, the academic field, by “lumping and labelling”, has itself contributed to division and partisanship. At last, a couple of weeks ago, a paper by Amelia Sharman came out showing some awareness of this problem.

  15. What a survey should include.

    1. Is warming occurring at all.
    2. If yes to 1, has warming been occurring since the LIA?
    3. If yes to 2, is man-made warming distinguishable from warming since the LIA?
    4. If yes to 3, how do you know man-made warming is distinguishable from warming since the LIA?
    a. Read it in a science paper.
    b. Determined by my own calculations.
    c. Heard a scientist say it was distinguishable.
    d. Other
    5. If yes to 1, will warming cause a catastrophe?
    6. If yes to 3, should measures be taken to limit CO2 emissions?

    … etc.

  16. Why is this subject so difficult for some people to grasp?
    1. I accepted the early reports of CAGW as I had no first-hand reason to doubt them.
    2. I got curious and started to look at the science myself.
    3. I found a lot of the presented evidence was much weaker than claimed.
    4. It emerged that some of the most high-profile science was being twisted for career/political reasons, both consciously and unconsciously.
    5. Instead of self-correcting, as scientists should, the ‘main stream’ climate scientists circled the wagons around Mann et al.

    As far as I know, this is a pretty typical process for a sceptic/denier/lukewarmer/whatever.

    What is going on in my head?
    “I have taken the time to look at the science, and I understand it, and the scare stories don’t stack up.” No need for any cognitive dissonance at all.

    https://jonathanabbott99.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/my-path-to-catastrophic-global-warming-skeptisism/

    • It is difficult for them to grasp because the social science and psychology communities take no notice of what sceptics themselves say. They would rather rely on what “experts” in their own field (like Oreskes and Lewandowsky) say.

      There is a paper coming out soon that addresses this, and mentions your blog post Jonathan.

      • Paul,

        That sounds very interesting.

        For the record, I should say that it is also possible to read and understand the science and decide CAGW is a real threat – no need for hoaxes, conspiracies or political machinations.

      • No, it’s not possible to read the science and conclude that CAGW is a real threat. It’s not. The science fails to close so many obvious gaps that it is not possible to exercise any normal logical process and get to CAGW. At the most, the science might be read to suggest that lots and lots more work needs to be done. And only then if one were strongly disposed to want to believe in CAGW.

        Logic, the kind still used in the real world, does not support a scientific view of CAGW. At all.

    • Jonathan –

      ==> “Why is this subject so difficult for some people to grasp?
      […]
      As far as I know, this is a pretty typical process for a sceptic/denier/lukewarmer/whatever.”

      How are you quantifying your labels? What evidence do you have that your experience is anything other than an outlier? One of the most un-scientific patterns of reasoning that I see in the climate wars is the tendency towards projecting one’s own views into a larger phenomenon and/or more generally, generalizing from unrepresentative sampling.

      This, in itself:

      ==> “2. I got curious and started to look at the science myself.”

      Clearly distinguishes you as an outlier. Why would you be trying to generalize from an outlier?

      Interesting, don’t you think? Try reading Kahan in order to find evidence related to that ubiquitous pattern.

      • Joshua,

        I think that my experience is “pretty typical” based on other sceptics/whatevers saying similar things. Paul Matthew’s post here contains other examples:
        https://ipccreport.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/converts-to-scepticism/

        Of course, this is all anecdotal, but I’m not claiming any absolute truth here. Just explaining my personal experience.

        Next, you claim I’m an outlier for looking at the science myself, which I am in terms of the general population but it puts me smack in the middle of the herd for anyone engaging in the climate debate, which includes everyone posting here.

        Finally, why should I read Kahan when his central premise appears to be based on his believing that people like me simply don’t exist.

      • Jonathan –

        ==> “Just explaining my personal experience.

        Actually, you weren’t just doing that. You were asking why scientists don’t generalize from your personal, anecdotal experiences, to explain a larger phenomenon.

        ==> “Finally, why should I read Kahan when his central premise appears to be based on his believing that people like me simply don’t exist.”

        I don’t think that’s accurate (and if you hadn’t read him or interacted with him, then how would you know?). I think that you are projecting yourself, emotionally, into his analysis of the data about the public more generally.

        IMO, he appropriately considers you an outlier. He’s quite clear that trying to generalize from the group that you have just stated that you use to understand the larger patterns of phenomenological mechanisms, is rather precisely an example of the problems being described.

      • Joshua,

        You said “Actually, you weren’t just doing that.”
        Yes, I was. I was responding to the point raised in the post that Kahan seems unable to accept that people with my experience and point of view even exist, because I have seen evidence of other alarmists/whatever holding similar views. I said nothing at all about “…why scientists don’t generalize from your personal, anecdotal experiences”.

        “I don’t think that’s accurate…” If you think the summary given in the post is not a fair reflection of Kahan’s writing, then please post up some quotes to demonstrate this.

        “I think that you are projecting yourself, emotionally…” Christ, you really are a stuck record sometimes, aren’t you? Does it ever occur to you that sometimes a sceptic/whatever holds an opinion on something that they have reached through rational thought processes, without any psychological projection of what other people think they think?

        “IMO, he appropriately considers you an outlier.” I’ve just demonstrated that in this context I’m no such thing. If you disagree, please explain why.

        By the way, I’m curious. Leaving me personally aside, do you think that people who think in the way I claim to think actually exist?

      • Jonathan –

        I’m going to skip the first part of your comment because, IMO, it would only be repeating the same arguments. I’ll speak to one aspect of the first part of your comment — That comment about “emotion” wasn’t referencing the process by which you have reached your views on climate change, but what I see as you projecting yourself into Dan’s evidence related to how cultural cognition affects “skeptics” generally. The “emotional” qualifier was poorly chosen – but what I was going for was that you were displaying the very same identity-defense behaviors that Dan describes. You were identifying personally with the general phenomenon he describes even though he obviously, has never presented evidence w/r/t your process, personally.

        Along similar lines…

        ==> “By the way, I’m curious. Leaving me personally aside, do you think that people who think in the way I claim to think actually exist?

        That kind of depends. Do I think that anyone in particular might be free of cultural cognition biases? Not unless I have more information about that individual. Do I believe that there are people in the world who approach a particular issue, if not all issues, with controlling for cultural cognition biases? Sure. Of course.

        I have no way to judge whether you think as you say that you think. And, IMO, it doesn’t matter. You’re an outlier. I’m not questioning whether it might be true for you. I have no way of judging. It might be. It might not be. No one says “Yeah, I hold the opinions I do because my views are biased,” yet obviously, many people hold biased views. What’s interesting to me are the larger phenomena – not what the process is for particular individuals.

      • You are particularly insufferable.

    • Appendix 2 of this post describes a pretty similar path to skepticism; along with the opposite path, to climate orthodoxy, and how likelihood for each path will be weighted to initial cultural alignment (though one cannot predict the path for any single individual). Explains the extreme polarization of the ‘science-aware’ on both Republican and Democrat sides, though Kahan does not see it this way.

      • ==> “Appendix 2 of this post describes a pretty similar path to skepticism;”

        Where is your evidence that “look[ing] at the science” is anything that somehow describes any significant portion of those who fall along one side of the climate change divide as opposed to the other – and thus is somehow associated with (let alone part of a causal mechanism) as Jonthan describes for any group other than, potentially, an outlier?

        The vast majority of the public who identify with a position on climate change have not “look[ed] into the science,” let alone understand the science at any level of sophistication.

        Most people (at least in the U.S..) just get their news about climate change from media sources, and filter their choices about that information in accordance with ideological orientation, evaluate the “expertise” of those sources in accordance with ideological orientation, or filter the information itself in accordance with ideological orientation.

        If you call that “look[ing] into the science,” and think it is similar to what Jonathan is describing, then think you are mistaken.

        By virtue of being here, Jonathan is an outlier. Trying to generalize based on his own experiences is, sorry to say, fundamentally unscientific (and quite beautifully unintentionally ironic).

        That isn’t to say that his own experiences should be useful as the foundation for further investigation. If a pattern exist for him, it may well be reflective of a larger pattern. But if you don’t then take the next step to check your own tendency toward confirmation bias – and collect data in a carefully controlled manner – you think it’s cool to instead ask why researchers don’t generalize from you experience in the same manner as you do yourself????

        Really?

      • Joshua | January 30, 2015 at 1:48 pm

        The evidence is not mine, it is Dan’s. His survey covering all those from *both* political camps who have passed his ordinary science literacy tests and climate science literary tests (so not outriders) shows a polarization far greater than the science unaware. Dan is mightily puzzled by this, see his posts. But he comes up with the theory of ‘dualism’ (of Rep/Cons) as a potential explanation. Pretty unlikely over such large numbers; would need very specific developmental profile for all of them. Much more likely explanation is that the paths to knowledge are different (on average), weighted by initial cultural starting position. The skeptic path is similar to that JA describes, the orthodox… well maybe it was your path :) This is a commonly accepted process and result (outside the climate domain) as long as one identifies a culture being the driving force. But Dan does not consider that there is such a thing as a climate culture; he perceives this as only as settled science, merely flat fact, so is not applying principles of cultures that he would apply elsewhere.

      • Steven Mosher

        you might say that Dan is interested in the characters ( identity) but doesn’t see the plot–the path.

      • Steven Mosher | January 30, 2015 at 4:56 pm |

        Nice. Nor does he see the climate cultural chorus, in which he is singing.

      • ==> “Nor does he see the climate cultural chorus, in which he is singing.”

        ???

        His evidence speaks to participants on both sides of the great climate divide.

        I think he does think that the phenomenon of cultural cognition is probably less operative among scientific experts within their fields. With that, I am inclined to disagree – I see no particular reason why that would be the case.

        However, tho things about that. (1) I am frequently told by “skeptics’ that engineers are largely excluded from the influence of bias within their field of expertise (which I find implausible) and, (2) I think that for scientists as well as engineers, the methodology of their process has mechanisms which functionally help reduce the influence of bias. Those mechanisms are far from 100% effective, but they should be taken into account when someone argues that a strong majority of experts are either stupid or consciously or unconsciously biased. Again, because of the ubiquity of cultural cognition and the imperfectness of the bias-control mechanisms, that can’t be ruled out, IMO. But for me, if I can’t evaluate the work of the experts on its own merits, I gotta consider probabilities.

      • Joshua | January 31, 2015 at 7:28 am |

        His evidence is gathered from *all* sides in a tussle of multiple cultures, but he has not acknowledged one of them, the chief one for this domain in fact. And given he’s either a full adherent or heavily influenced by climate culture, he doesn’t recognize its major effects in his analysis, or indeed that he’s promoting a cultural truth as a scientific truth within that analysis (hence singing in the choir). His output will not ‘speak to’ all sides if he is blind to one of them, although its input is there in the data despite biased questions.

        When challenged by the fact that scientists are humans too, who therefore may be influenced, Dan responds (to Ronan Connelly): ‘On “scientists are people too”: What you are saying seems plausible to me. But so too does the proposition that scientists, even though mere people, would not be meaningfully affected by identity-protectiv [sic] cognition when they are making “in domain” professional judgments.’ This comment shows that Dan has completely failed to grasp the scale of the issue. Strong cultures can not only shift mere judgmental boundaries such as those enclosing professional domains, they can shift the entire social topography, including much deeper social characteristics such as values and even morals and also the law that enforces these. CAGW is busy shifting all those as we speak, and whole mountains of small-scale professional judgments have for decades now been bulldozed via noble cause corruption and emotive bias and other effects into supporting the primary culture. Dan has at various points called for independent evidence that might counter his stance, yet history is replete with cultures that support a consensus on the unknowable or [in hindsight] the outright wrong, and such cultures have fielded entire armies of experts who shot down any opposition, to the extent that one can conclude this is a very normal symptom of society. All religions, Lysenkoism (a component of Stalinist culture) and Eugenics, are just some examples. My favorite is the culture of the Lambayeque, which enforced the consensus that via man-made mountains (constructed with enormous effort), the elite of their society could predict and control El-Ninos / La-Ninas. Needless to say the big flaw in this culture did eventually become rather obvious; after disastrous floods caused by the above phenomena it was not at all good to be one of the elite. ‘The Pause’ is rather similarly stretching the credibility of the current climate elite and their models (despite some increase in sophistication of technique since the days of the Lambayeque). And not to mention that even mere professional elitism, a far weaker force than a full culture, managed to retard the acceptance of Continental Drift for several decades. A lack of early evidence for or against did not cause scientists to remain cautious and undecided; the geological community poured scorn upon Wegner’s work and actively resisted advancement of the theory, effectively enforcing a consensus that it must be false. Many domain experts in this period were indeed meaningfully affected by peer pressure.

        Whether there is or isn’t man-made warming that we may or may not have to do something significant about is not the point. The point is that culture is driving the wagon and not science, and until it lets go of the reigns, what a majority of the public or scientists or anyone else thinks is only a cultural truth, not a scientific one.

      • Once again, Andy – I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that the strong majority of experts in the field of climate change are wrong in their conclusions because of their cultural biases. I think that the influence of cultural cognition/motivated reasoning is very pervasive and very strong in all of us, because it is a fundamental piece of our psychological makeup and rooted deeply in our cognitive processes of reasoning (pattern-finding)..

        But what I find predictable, as well as kind of amusing, is that “skeptics” (as well as “realists”) find all kinds o’ ways to identify it in the reasoning of “the other” even as they find all kinds o’ ways of excluding themselves from the same mechanisms of bias. And of course, also ubiquitous (on both sides) re the kinds of identity-aggressive and identity-defensive behaviors that are a tell for cultural cognition.

        sameolsameol.

      • Joshua | January 31, 2015 at 8:24 am |

        I don’t exclude *anyone* from these mechanisms, including me of course. They are absolutely ubiquitous, a legacy or our evolutionary past, and have had significant net advantages in that past (which is why these cognition mechanisms are still with us). BUT… that doesn’t mean all cultures are positive, some are very negative indeed (and they all vary depending where they are in their developmental trajectories too), AND… it doesn’t mean every cognitive situation is symmetrical. Skepticism has negative memes for sure, but it doesn’t have mass co-developed ones, reams of heavily defended orthodoxy, cultural mouthpieces and massive emotional outpouring etc etc. In short, skepticism is not (today) a culture, and CAGW certainly is. You cannot tell this if you were an alien from Mars interviewing only 1 typical guy or gal from each camp. It would seem symmetrical. You can only see this at the big social picture level.

      • Andy, NiV and I over a year ago posited that one need to separate the science from the cultural in surveys. I tried to point out to Dan Kahan that reaching a scientific opinion that TCS is about 1.7C and ECS about 2C is possible. And that the IPCC in its methodological assumptions could be challenged on these assumptions. One is the very definition/assumption of using 30 year average which was has been used in a manner to exclude pseudo cycles of 66 years and the 1000/2000 year pseudo cycles. The problem is that there is a culture promoted by the IPCC which rules out heresy which is actually scientific skepticism. The best example of this culture is http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2013/04/12/3735095.htm by Dana Nuccitelli and Michael E Mann. They review Knutti, R., Hegerl, G. C., Nature Geoscience work, yet do not recognize that the science they linked to indicates CS can be as low as 1.2C. Since the actual science has results this low, persons should realize that it is a matter of methodology and assumption for any scientific particular value. The difference, as measured by the year humans need to go from more 50% adaptation to more than 50% mitigation, between 1.2C and 3.0C is about 2400 AD versus 2050 AD, based on simple assumptions using the 2050 IPCC benchmark.

      • Heh, John, one might wonder at a cultural bias against considering a low sensitivity.

        My Gawd, what if they find out AnthroCO2 is beneficial? They might deride us!
        ================

      • John Pittman | January 31, 2015 at 9:51 am |

        A valiant attempt, though I don’t think you are going to make any headway with Kahan by quoting any physical science of any kind at him.
        Given he appears to be immersed in the climate culture himself, he will merely translate your well-founded skeptical opinion to ‘disbelief’, and himself take current orthodoxy (e.g. Man & Nucci) to be scientific truth.

        The first step is to convince that there *is* a climate culture (given the rampant cultural effects all around us, one wouldn’t think that should be too hard!). Then we’d get to discuss the level of impact that this culture has had upon the science. The fact that Kahan’s own puzzles and survey data are better explained by the presence of a climate culture, would surely be a better persuader for him than any argument about physical science within wide uncertainty bands.

      • Andy

        I don’t think Dan can see the climate culture.
        I’ve tried a number of ways of exposing it by
        Stepping on the thin green line.

        The funniest one is my definition of lukewarmer.
        It is constructed to match the ipcc but with a
        Different name.

        People in the climate culture go crazy. And you can even trick them into rejecting exactly what the ipcc says just by using a different name for it.

      • Steven Mosher | January 31, 2015 at 11:38 am

        Though the blindly convinced apply their own logic and intelligence, ultimately they’re working from a clumsy orthodox canon, which makes them vulnerable to being tripped up in this manner. But I find your news rather depressing. If there is no means by which Kahan and his ilk can be liberated from their blindfolds in order to see climate culture, we will be in a very unhealthy place for a long time. Whether the climate warms or cools, swiftly or slowly, cultural narratives could dominate science for another generation, or possibly even many generations. Ironically, this also means that some incorrect minority counter-narratives will also get more inertia than they otherwise would.

    • k scott denison

      Jonathan, I agree that I also followed the process you laid out… perhaps that gives poor Joshua some of the proof that it’s not only you.

      • Scott –

        I don’t follow the reasoning of mosher’s response at all. As is often the case, I don’t agree with him/think that his analysis was shallow.

      • Sorry –

        I mixed up the nesting…now I see that you weren’t referring to mosher’s response.

        Anyway, It is clear to me that Jonathan isn’t the only one who claims that their views were derived from an unbiased process of weighing the evidence, and I have no way to ascertain what is the full picture for any particular individual.

        But I do think that the claim made by many “skeptics” – that the association between “skepticism” (when looking at the broader public) and political orientation is somehow just coincidence, or results because conservatives are just more willing to look at the science in an unbiased manner, to be implausible.

        When you look at Kahan’s evidence, you see that the pattern that plays out applies to other scientific issues where people become “identiffied” with one side or the other, and it doesn’t play out with issues that aren’t polarized across an ideological framework.

        IMO, the mistake that “skeptics” sometimes make is to think that the evidence shows that they only think the way they do because of their political orientation. I don’t think that’s the case. The mechanism of causality is more complicated than that, IMO. IMO, political orientation as well as views on climate change are both influenced by biases that result from group identification. That is why you can see groups do a 180 in their positions on political issues – such as conservatives did w/r/t the “individual mandate” which was an idea that went from one that had support from mainstream “conservatives” to “tyranny” in the matter of a couple of years (we can find similar switches with libz). That’s why in Bush v. Gore, we saw the different sides of SCOTUS suddenly switch in their orientation on states’ rights.

      • And btw – one of the more interesting aspects of situation with cultural cognition is that it predicts that both side of the climate wars divide would argue that it explains the opinions on the other side but not on their own. And sure enough, that’s what we see. Partisans on both sides of the divide think it doesn’t apply to them.

        sameolsameol.

      • Joshua,

        The fundamental flaw with your assessment of me is that you’re assuming I’m right wing. I’m not. My scepticism/whatever goes dead against my cultural grain.

        Because CAGW is so politically polarised in the US, Americans assume they can carry this over to the rest of us.

        It happens in the other direction too: at WUWT I got accused of being a commie for suggesting Anthony was reading too much into something, I forget what it was now.

      • Jonathan –

        ==> “The fundamental flaw with your assessment of me is that you’re assuming I’m right wing. I’m not.”

        You keep repeating the same error. I am assuming nothing about you, or any other particular individual that I don’t know anything about.

        You keep projecting yourself, as an individual, into my discussion of the larger dynamic.

        The only aspect that I am describing relative to you, personally, is w/r/t what you have shown now, repeatedly, and you have done yet again, where your strong identification with one side of the discussion biases your reasoning – in this case, leads you to think that I’m making assumptions about you that I haven’t made.

        Once again, there are certainly outliers. There are some who might not fit ideologically within the broader association between ideology and views on climate change. In my experience it is rare – but that experience I have is with outliers (e.g., “skeptics” on blogs). But the point is what the data show, and they show an overwhelming association (in the U.S. at least) between ideological orientation (and group identification) and views on climate change. Your own experiences aren’t terribly useful for understanding that larger pattern They might reflect some typical pattern or them might not. The evidence and common sense, IMO, suggests not. I could be convinced by data that show otherwise, however – but have yet to see any. Instead, what I see is people who call themselves “skeptics” making evidence-free arguments (or arguments trying to fallaciously generalize from anecdotal data) in an unskeptical fashion (by not even trying to control for obvious biases like sampling bias).

        Not sure how many other ways I can say that.

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua the decision to call him an outlier
        Is not trivial.
        Counterexample would be the right term.

        Explaining the counter example is critical.
        Calling him an outlier looks like an unbiased decision.
        It’s not

      • Joshua,

        You started off by using me as an example of someone who is blind to his own cultural bias, and now you are claiming you were only speaking generally. I suspect that we are simply talking past each other now. Never mind.

        Mosher, bless him, gets it.

      • ==> “Calling him an outlier looks like an unbiased decision.”

        If he’s here, he’s an outlier. It’s amusing just how much difficulty some “skeptics” have accepting that reality.

      • I suspect that the truth of the matter is something in between.
        In climate science which is an observational science there will always be types of ambiguity not not found in lab science.

        In the face of ambiguity (see the paper on they saw a protest) people will resolve the ambiguity in pragmatic ways. One of those ways is by preserving their identity.

        For example. Take the explanation of past temperature. The best explanation is a combination of forcings that include ghg.
        However we can’t exclude the proposal that something else caused it.
        A perfectly rational objection.
        A member of the climate culture comes to this and makes the pragmatic decision to accept the best explanation. His identity is preserved.
        A skeptic comes to this and refuses to make that pragmatic leap of faith. He doesn’t have to.

        Now both have followed the evidence.
        Both have looked at the evidence.
        Faced with the ambiguity or uncertainty one
        Chooses to resolve it with one pragmatic choice.
        The other doesn’t.

        Did their identity determine their beliefs or their way of processing the information. Only in the narrowest of senses. Each followed the science. Is either one more rational?

        Another fun place to see the climate culture at work is in people’s reaction to climategate.

        And lastly I’m always amused by the reaction of my leftist friends in Europe who are confused by right wingers in the US who are challenging authority.
        On their view right wingers should support AGW because we are authoritarian.

      • “Wouldn’t you say that makes it worse than we thought?”
        No you don’t.
        You can say that it’s happening and at least the data is consistent.
        But ‘worse than we thought’ is contradicted by evidence:

        The water vapor effect hasn’t even kicked in properly yet. It’s a dry heat.
        That’s probably wrong.
        In the seasonal response, water vapor responds within a month.
        Some, Dessler comes to mind, say that water vapor has responded.
        The warming rate we observe probably DOES include whatever water vapor feedback will occur already.

      • Joshua,

        The “emotional” qualifier was poorly chosen – but what I was going for was that you were displaying the very same identity-defense behaviors that Dan describes. You were identifying personally with the general phenomenon he describes even though he obviously, has never presented evidence w/r/t your process, personally.

        Nor canhe. For the same reasons that you, Joshua, stated further down:

        Anyway, It is clear to me that Jonathan isn’t the only one who claims that their views were derived from an unbiased process of weighing the evidence, and I have no way to ascertain what is the full picture for any particular individual.

        There is no way that you, or I, or Dan, can get inside of another persons head to determine whether that persons decision making process is based on political bias or otherwise. This leaves all of us to examine the statements people make within the larger context ot their culture, along with any other statements they make. That was the whole purpose of Dans paper.

        What Andy is saying in the article above to rebut Dans conclusions is that there are people like Jonathan, myself included that have actually looked at the scientific evidence as presented by the IPCC etc. and found that evidence to be wanting. So much so, that we have decided, based on that examination, that we’re skeptical of the conclusions that the IPCC etc. have reached.

        As far as Dan is concerned, this finding in his own study is illogical because the science, as he himself sees it, is accurate and the conclusions reached by the scientists promoting that science are therefore believable and acceptable. In the face of this contradiction between Dans convictions and the results of the study, Dan proposes that in order to resolve that contradiction, he is forced to posit a cultural socio political bias operating in the recesses of Jonathans brain, as well as my brain. And, as well as any other brain that is so disposed.

        Now, when you say that Jonathan is an outlier, Jonathan is right in saying that, according to Dan, he is not. According to Dan, Jonathans position is not a viable position.

        Furthermore, when you say that Jonathan is just projectng the behavior that Dan describes in his study onto others, all you’re doing is using dans faulty argument. An argument that is faulty for the very reason you gave, and I’ll quote it again:

        “Anyway, It is clear to me that Jonathan isn’t the only one who claims that their views were derived from an unbiased process of weighing the evidence, and I have no way to ascertain what is the full picture for any particular individual.”

        Neither you, nor Dan, nor I, have any way of knowing what’s going on in someone else’s head. It’s all just conjecture. And if Dan can be allowed to posit that we are basing our skepticism on cultural socio political bias, then Dan, and you yourself, must be ready to accept that you too are subject to similar cultural socio political biases.

        I hope this clears it up for you.

        Abe

    • Jonathan

      From your dubious account of coming to doubt :

      “However late to the party compared with many regulars at WUWT, I could now see fully both sides of the argument ”

      I doubt that you or anyone could fully see both sides of the argument especially by reading wuwt.

      I challenge this assertion. I challenge you to explain the other side of ” the” argument. You can’t.

      Lets just focus on three questions.

      1. How much warmer is it now than in the LIA?
      Cite the consensus argument as depicted at wuwt.
      What is your position on the amount of warming.

      2. What are the causes of the temperature change from
      The LIA to today.
      Cite the consensus argument as given at wuwt
      How do you explain the change if any in temperature
      3. What will happen to the temperature in the future
      Assuming c02 doubles.
      Cite the consensus argument as given at wuwt
      What do you think will happen.

      Now if you learned the consensus argument some other place you can also link to those specific papers.

      In short you never learned both sides.

      If you did… Prove it

      • “I challenge this assertion. I challenge you to explain the other side of ‘the’ argument. You can’t.”

        I have asked the consensus acolytes here repeatedly, since this blog started, to do the same . I have offered to do the same in return, and even go first.

        And never a single taker.

        The so called science realists around here are incapable of critical analysis…of their own positions.

      • Er … didn’t the Hockey Stick cru want ter git rid of the
        LIA and the MWP.? And isn’t it up ter the’ dangerous
        CO2 warming’ theorists ter present testable data fer
        positive feedbacks that support their theory? Climate’s
        such a cussed-non-linear-muchos-multi-system-coupling
        -inter-active-regional- variable-black-swan-kinda’ -bemusing
        -don’t-know-process-should’nt-punt-on-one-throw-of the-
        dice-costing-$$$$$$$$$$$$$-from-the-pockets-of-plebs.
        Tsk! There I go hype-apostro-phating-agin. (.

      • Mosher,

        I have no idea why you always get so upset when I mention my story. Is it something about me personally, or does the idea that people like me exist offend you in some way? Whatever it is, it sets you off every time.

        I don’t claim that one can get a balanced view of the ‘consensus view’ from WUWT. The point I was making was that after years of reading about global warming in the MSM, New Scientist, etc I had found information from the ‘other side’ as well. I rarely bother with WUWT any more as a lot of the commenters are nuts.

        If, every time we disagree with each other, we demand the other one ‘proves’ their knowledge, we won’t even have enough time left to pop to the supermarket. I could just go and Google some stuff now on any subject you name and post it up, and what would that prove?

        If I have ever posted anything that suggests I am ignorant, please remind me.

      • Jonathan

        Mosh asked much the same questions over at WUWT yesterday to which I responded as follows;

        “Mosh says

        “There was an LIA. It is getting warmer

        The question is not whether it has warmed .7C or .8C or .9C

        The question is;

        A) how much of that warming is due to man
        B) what future warming can we expect.”

        —– —— —

        Despite the errors and uncertainties it is undoubtedly (and unsurprisingly) getting warmer since the LIA.
        It has probably warmed by somewhere around Mosh’s estimates.

        He asks two good questions in A and B)

        There is a C) however, which is much more interesting.

        C) Is this modern warming unusual, or merely part of a cyclical trend of rising and declining temperatures that can be traced throughout the Holocene?

        tonyb

      • Tony,

        I saw that comment by Mosher and really thought it hit the nail on the head. That’s the frustrating thing: Judy says she’s at about 3 on the ‘consensus scale’ and I guess Mosher is too, and I’m about 2.5. But based on no evidence (for he can’t know what goes through my head) he decides I’m full of BS.

      • nottawa rafter

        Tony
        I’m having a hard time following Mosher’s logic. I thought absence of the LIA was a warmist view brought on by the flattening of the HS. I have seen him allude to the LIA as if skeptics don’t believe it. If one’s hypothesis is natural variability as the dominant factor, then the LIA fits with the MWP and the entire skeptics line of reasoning At times Mosher’s logic baffles me.

      • Jonathan –

        FWIW, I don’t follow the reasoning of mosher’s response at all. As is often the case, I don’t agree with him/think that his analysis was shallow.

      • Nottawa

        Mosh appears to be inconsistent on a number of things which is what makes him interesting, together with the insights he brings and his undoubted diligence in constructing a temperature record.(which is not to say I always agree with him)

        I think the original questions he asked at WUWT and the addition of my question C) are good ones.

        We need to know if the current period is unprecedented and if so what has caused it. I don’t think it is (although its relatively uncommon) but why its been warming for several hundred years, what caused the temperature crash into the LIA from the MWP, (or indeed the MWP, Roman and Minoan warm periods in the first place) remain unanswered by physics.

        tonyb

      • WUWT posts articles from a wide range of sources. You speak of it as if Anthony writes all the posts – he doesn’t. Right now there is a post about how receding Iceland glaciers will cause volcanoes. Not exactly the stuff of “deniers.”

        The difference isn’t what material gets posted so much as the slant on how it is discussed. It is, after all, a skeptical blog, so that is to be expected.

      • Jonathan.
        You simply can’t give an account of the AGW argument. Admit it.
        Or do it.
        Neither can garym

      • It’s easy, moshe; man’s contribution to warming will only be net beneficial, and the greening a great boon.

        Now Catastrophe, a diversion, I admit, is unveiled by the tremendous social wrenching it would require, to be a machine facilitated psychotic construct.
        =======================

      • The skeptics have dismissed the idea out of hand that global warming is because of a 40% increase in global CO2. What can you do? There is no discussion until they accept this as even a possible reason for the warming to record levels.

      • Jim D is up to the old sneaky trick, beloved of precommitted alarmists, of mislabelling skeptics as deniers – a type of strawman.

        He knows full well there a very few deniers who think CO2 just should be ignored, but loads of people sensibly skeptical of hired government scientists/scientivists (who love hiding data etc) telling govenment exactly what it wants to hear – ie that we need more government and taxes.

        Having no answer to skeptics, he chooses to misrepresent them.

      • Notta

        The point about the LIA is simple.
        And after repeatedly pointing it out I have yet to get a taker.

        Step one. A skeptic will question the temperature record. It a fraud. It’s been adjusted. You can’t trust it before 1950. The global temperature doesn’t exist.
        Etc etc etc.

        Step two. I assert the skeptic is denying the LIA.

        Step three. Skeptic asserts the LIA was cooler than today.

        Now we have the skeptic making a positive assertion of knowledge.

        What’s changed. The burden of proof. And so we can ask several questions. Hey I thought a global temperature didn’t exist. What’s it mean to say the LIA existed. And we can ask.. Hey if the current record is a fraud how do know the past was Colder..
        Colder than a record you don’t trust?
        How much Colder?
        How’d you figure that out?
        Where’s your math
        Where’s your method?
        How’d you calculate the errors??
        Is it really Colder.. Everywhere?
        Did you measure the LIA or just estimate it.

        Now of course no skeptic has answers.
        They have a belief that the LIA was Colder
        But they can’t show the science they used to
        Make this decision.
        They point to a book. A work of art. A diary.
        But they never show you the science they did.
        Zero scientific method to establish this belief.

        So I ask. Is it warmer? Did the LIA exist?
        How much warmer? How’d you figure that out.
        Show me your work.

        They can’t cause they haven’t done the work.

        Tony comes close. But even in his work he repeats a mistake that skeptics criticize Mann for.
        Correlation screening.

      • Tell me how cold it would be,
        Jim D,
        Without what man’s put in the lee?
        It’s windward we ought to see.
        ==============

      • JimD, “The skeptics have dismissed the idea out of hand that global warming is because of a 40% increase in global CO2”

        Pretty much. Most will admit that the 40% increase in CO2 has had some impact but is not the “cause” of all the warming. . Now why would they think that?

        Initially, CO2 was estimated to “cause” about 1.5C of warming per doubling, “all things remaining equal.” That has been revised to about 0.8C to 1.2 C of warming “all things remaining equal”.

        Water vapor amplification as a worst case was initially estimated at 2xCO2 impact or 4.5C per doubing of CO2. Even with a 2x amplification that would be 2.4 to 3.6 as a “worst case” using the new estimates and the same initial logic.

        Newer energy balance approaches have the “expected” range pegged at ~1.6 C with less entirely possible. So the range of expectation is constantly being reduced while the warmist rhetoric continues to heat up.

        Both sides have selective memories. Warnists prefer to remember the worst cases. Skeptics prefer to remember the warmist mistakes.

      • Mosher,

        The consensus is basically as outlined in AR5. We both know what’s in it.

        You haven’t answered my question about what evidence you have that leads you to doubt my sincerity.

      • kim, if warm is good, hotter is better, right?

      • Jim D, paleontology shows that the upper limit of benefit to the biome from warming has not been tested. Harm is revealed with any cooling.
        =========================

      • captd, that resistance to saying the majority of the reason for the warming is CO2 is purely political. Science easily accounts for the warming with CO2 and other GHGs, even Lewis and Curry, yet the skeptics prefer to restrict themselves below a politico-psychological barrier of 50% attribution which then allows themselves to oppose any change in emissions.

      • Jim D has it back to front. The entire Consensus is political – funded by politics, with those political institutions standing to benefit from the bought and paid for alarmism. Cheered on by those of totalitarian persuasion, who want more government for its own sake; critiqued by those who want proper and independent argument of the need for more taxes and government.

      • Mosh

        I have ‘correlation screening?’ Is it something I can get treated on the NHS?

        Amongst the numerous instrumental records, crop records, vine records, manorial records, church accounts of alms in cold weather, books, paintings etc etc we have the very useful evidence of glacier change.

        This link leads to a graph I created utilising thousands of NH glacier records derived from first hand observations, such as direct accounts of farmers forced off their land or villagers retreating as the ice descended. We also of course have scientific evidence.

        E Roy Ladurie did a great job in bringing such accounts together and such as C Pfister continue to examine historic glacier changes in a scientific manner.

        Here is my interpretation;

        https://www.dropbox.com/s/i9qkeglbck7h2fc/revised%20glaciers.docx?dl=0

        The first graph shows glacier advance and retreat over the last 1000 years graphed against extended CET. The second graph shows CET and the Hockey stick which sails along serenely at much the same temperature level as glaciers advance and retreat.

        This should be seen as a broad representation, as undoubtedly there were cold and warm years (and decades) that would have short term impacts on the glacier state, but if we follow Lambs maxim that ‘we can understand the tendency but not the precision’ the graph has some merit in determining the reality of the LIA and the warmer periods surrounding it.

        The LIA itself is often portrayed as one montonic 500 year period of cold lasting from around 1350 to 1850. However, it seems to have been comprised of pulses of cold (and great warmth) and would be better termed The intermittent Little Ice Age.’

        I would be writing an article about it at the very moment if you weren’t distracting me, for which, much thanks.

        tonyb

      • kim, humans tend to do not so well GDP-wise or lifespan-wise in the warmer parts of the world, and many others would like the sea level not to rise much more.

      • Mosh

        Well, I had to look up ‘correlation screening’ and here is part of the explanation

        ‘We obtain asymptotic expressions for the mean number of discoveries and the phase transition thresholds as a function of the number of samples, the number of variables, and the joint sample distribution. Interestingly, the phase transition threshold is determined by a local measure of mutual information between pairs of variables, defined by a cross-sectional Bhattacharyya affinity.’

        Now, by extraordinary coincidence, last night in the pub all the talk by the regulars was about ‘cross sectional Bhattacharyya affinity’. Several people came to blows about it and the police had to be called..

        tonyb

      • Monk, it comes down to the scientific question. Can CO2 account for the warming we have seen since we emitted 40% more CO2 than the natural level? Scientists say yes, and you even need aerosol cooling effects to bring it down to observed warming. Skeptics say no way, not even half. That is a big gap and a form of denial.

      • ‘Scientists’ hired by government, who lie and cheat so as to deliver the answer government wants (as the continuing failure to sack or even reprimand the Climategate crooks conclusively shows).

        And the ‘science’ will only start being settled when the models achieve success with out of sample data. Aerosol and other hindtuning is not science, it’s science fiddled to serve politics.

      • Let’s stipulate that it has warmed about .9C since the LIA. How much of that warming was caused by increased water vapor that resulted from increased CO2; the so-called positive water vapor feedback? Anybody got any evidence for the alleged positive water vapor feedback? If you don’t have evidence for the strong positive water vapor feedback, your dangerous warming from AGW theory stinks very badly.

        Nothing from huffpo will do, jimmy dee. Your Dear Leader says not to go there anymore for your disinformation. He will supply that directly from WH Disinformation Center.

      • The higher the sensitivity the colder it would now be without man’s help, and we’ve just rebounded off of the lows of the Holocene. Was the rebound predominately natural or anthropogenic? You had better pray to Gaia that the rebound was primarily natural, else, if man has done the heavy lifting of warming, we are running out of fuel.
        ===================

      • The skeptics have dismissed the idea out of hand that global warming is because of a 40% increase in global CO2.

        Here’s where you demonstrate the biggest (IMO) fallacy in your thinking. In the main post, the whole “global warming” thing is identified as a cultural phenomenon. A series of essentially religious beliefs that work together to incent an apparent urgent need for certain types of action. A memeplex.

        But that memeplex is highly defensive, in the sense that anybody who questions any of its core tenets places themselves outside the pale; being a supporter of the “global warming” thing memeplex requires supporting all of its core tenets.

        The same is not true of “skeptics”. Since anybody who questions any of the tenets is an enemy, as their behavior makes clear, you’ll find the opposition all over the board as far as opinions. Most skeptics, AFAIK, have notdismissed the idea out of hand that global warming is because of a 40% increase in global CO2.” Many, perhaps most, would center their PDF at a much lower proportion than all, but there are some who don’t have PDF’s (i.e. think in terms of one single value), some whose PDF is lower than the IPCC’s, some who accept pretty much the IPCC’s PDF but reject the political/socio-economic “solutions” favored by the blob, some who think other things. Unlike those who have accepted the memeplex, those who reject it cannot be held responsible for what others who reject it think or say.

        For that matter, while I would include myself in the group with a much lower PDF, I also think there are other risks from CO2, I think the downside of increasing energy prices far outweighs the risked downside from even sudden climate change, and I think the problem is relatively moot anyway because there are low-cost approaches involving incenting R&D that would combine with existing trends in technology costs to solve the problem without it.

        Many people think that raising the price of energy will have an unfortunate effect way out of proportion to, say, the added costs to gross products, etc. Whether or not this is true, the insistence on raising the price of energy is one of the tenets of the “global warming” thing memeplex, and suggestions to limit action to those that don’t raise the price of energy appear to render those responsible “deniers”.

      • Don M, the faster warming has been over the land and Arctic where there isn’t much water vapor. Wouldn’t you say that makes it worse than we thought? The water vapor effect hasn’t even kicked in properly yet. It’s a dry heat.

      • JimD, “captd, that resistance to saying the majority of the reason for the warming is CO2 is purely political.”

        Not really. A lot of skeptics don’t give a fig about either political party. It is more about the “science” or lack there of.

        Stott is one of the Paleo/oceanographic scientists that pointed out that inconvenient lag of CO2 to temperature. Paleoclimate though is an evolving science. You have some idjits that ASS-U-ME they have it all figured out and others that persevere. Stott is endeavoring to persevere so the past keeps changing a touch one revision at a time.

        So you could put the Mann’s and Marcott’s in the pseudoscience pigeon hole along with just about anyone that thinks theirs is settled science.

        Paleo is pretty interesting btw. The “bugs” used for thermometers seem to have a bias toward survival. Because of that UK’37 reconstructions tend to have about half of the variance that is likely. They smooth past climate then the Mann’s and Marcott’s smooth it a bit more then before long there never has been much climate variability. That makes everything “look” unprecedented” when you compare with real thermometers.

      • captd, if you want to look at paleo, the best analogy is that the warm periods followed increases in CO2 due to tectonic volcanic periods, and cooling followed the CO2 draw-down from mountain-building episodes. Through most of paleoclimate it is plate tectonics driving CO2 driving temperature. We’ve done our own imitation of these geological effects with the fossil fuel release of CO2 from deep in the earth. It’s nothing new, just faster and more immediate.

      • JimD, CO2 appears to be a pretty weak climate factor. Most of the variation in CO2 appears to be biological with ocean temperatures producing about a 1/3 of the variation. Solar, Volcanic and glacials all appear to get intertwined and most strongly correlate with oribital cycles. In almost every case CO2 lags temperatures.

        There is a lot of science that is going against your simplistic version.

      • Paleo shows us that changes of hundreds of ppm are not a weak effect on global climate by any stretch of the word.

      • Steven Mosher

        No Jonathan.
        Pointing at a text that post dates your conversion doesn’t support your narrative.

        Prove you understand the other side.

        Answer my questions. That will be a good start.

        I bet you never understood the argument you rejected

      • Steven Mosher

        Jonathan the evidence I have to doubt your account is the lack of your ability to
        A. Give the arguments
        B. Cite specific sources where you learned it

        My sense is that you never really understood the argument you rejected.

        Prove you did

      • JimD, “Paleo shows us that changes of hundreds of ppm are not a weak effect on global climate by any stretch of the word.”

        If you don’t bother figuring out cause and effect you can paint any picture you like.

        It has been pointed out to you on a number of occasions that changes in ocean circulation due to opening of the Drake Passage and the closing of Panama had huge impacts on both climate and atmospheric CO2. CO2 had no significant impact on the changes in the ~41ka to ~100ka glacial cycle rates. There is a crap load of climate change where CO2 is playing follow the leader. Ignore it all you like since you are definitely in the mainstream of climate science :) Climate politics is your niche JimD.

      • Mosher,

        You’re an intelligent man, so why are you asking such a stupid question?

        ‘Prove you understand X.’

        I’m not new to the internet. I’ve played this game before, and it never works. Especially when, as in this case, the problem is unbounded. It is meaningless, no two people will ever agree on what it really means, or what a satisfactory answer could look like. You’re usually smarter than this.

        In deference to the gallery, I will explain a bit more on where I am coming from. In the 90’s and into the 00’s, there was a steady stream of articles in The Times, New Scientist, National Geographic etc. all explaining global warming – the greenhouse effect (the real one, not the blanket analogy), the effect of aerosols and volcanoes, the anthropogenic C02 fingerprint, the unprecedented warming since c1975, the computer models, etc etc.

        Was I reading peer reviewed papers? No.
        Was I reading explanations of the consensus science? Yes
        Was I understanding them? Yes

        Then when I got suspicious I started reading criticisms of the consensus science.

        Did I understand the criticisms? Yes
        Did I read defences of the consensus science? Yes
        Did I go and read some of the peer review papers? Yes

        In the end, which made better scientific sense? In the main (but by no means always), the criticisms.

      • Jim D | January 31, 2015 at 11:30 am |

        “captd, that resistance to saying the majority of the reason for the warming is CO2 is purely political.”

        Look at the 2D cultural graph halfway down the head post. The bottom of the left hand ‘CAGW Allegiance’ zone may be well over 80% on the evidence of some surveys. The biggest block of support for the majority of warming being due to man (via CO2) is political. When the majority of Dem / Libs are not called upon to defend their identity or support their party, they don’t believe this narrative about dangerous man-made warming either. They are in alliance with climate culture as a political expediency.

        There is too much focus on left / right in the US, and not enough on the independent culture of climate (which is more obvious in countries where the mainstream political system is not so split). In turn this has led to a focus on cultural resistance from the Rep / Cons, but NOT on major cultural alliance from the Dem / Libs, and the fact that it is the Dem / Libs who change their position much more depending upon whether their identity is challenged or not. The Rep / Con position is much more constant whether or not their identity is challenged in a similar manner.

      • Jim D
        “resistance to saying the majority of the reason for the warming is CO2 is purely political.”

        What Jim is trying so hard to obfuscate here, is that SUPPORT for saying the majority of the reason for the warming is CO2 is purely political. We live in an era of the totalitarian welfare state, and giving the state yet another reason to tax and regulate, fits neatly into that mindset.

        But given that, his comment does make some sense. Realising that the whole CAGW thing is 99% politically driven, and in particular an attempt to foist more politics on us, people opposed to more politics being imposed for its own sake are resisting it.

      • Little jimmy dee titters:

        “Don M, the faster warming has been over the land and Arctic where there isn’t much water vapor. Wouldn’t you say that makes it worse than we thought? The water vapor effect hasn’t even kicked in properly yet. It’s a dry heat.”

        That’s your evidence for positive water vapor feedback, yimmy? Most of the world is covered by water and there is water in soil, trees, butterflies, swimming pools, kitchen sponges etc. but the positive water feedback hasn’t kicked in yet?

        You can’t find any evidence of the alleged positive water vapor feedback.

        Does the AGW theory say that water vapor feedback is delayed by a half-century? Whole century? If that’s all you got, your dogma is busted, yimmy.

      • Don M, these other areas have less thermal inertia and respond faster than the oceans. This is why the land warms up more in the summer.

      • Your arms are waving but you aren’t saying anything, yimmy. Where is the evidence that water vapor is a positive feedback to increased CO2? Don’t those weather stations that tell us the temperature has gone up by a whopping .9C in the AGW age keep track of water vapor? Balloons, aircraft sampling the air, satellites? What about rain gauges; water cycle reacting to CO2 and temperature? They have those gauges on land cause it rains on land. Did you know that, yimmy? It actually rains on the land cause they got water vapor over the land.

        Where is your little chart that shows the CO2 increasing, the temperature increasing and the freaking water vapor water increasing similarly? Just similarly, yimmy. That’s all I am asking. Go back at least to 1940. No BS this time, yimmy. We are starting to wonder about your honesty. That’s a charitable understatement.

      • Don M, it turns out that cloud positive feedback is doing some of the work .possibly aided in albedo by the sea-ice loss. Water vapor matters more for the equilibrium than transient sensitivity. See Kyle Armour’s paper on time-varying effects in sensitivity as different regions respond at different rates. It is not as simple as you think when considering transient effects.

      • That’s just more armwaving BS, yimmy. Where is the data on the alleged positive water vapor feedback? It’s supposed to be big, yimmy. That’s what is supposed to scare us. Where it at? Show us something. Is it hiding out in the deep ocean abysses?

  17. Pingback: Climate psychology’s consensus bias | We Are Narrative

  18. This is one example where the social science’s overwhelming liberal bias really holds them back. They are mostly incapable of understanding the thinking so their responses are ineffective.

    Is Social Psychology Biased Against Republicans?
    http://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/social-psychology-biased-republicans

  19. If anything, there is an extremely deep-rooted culture of reality avoidance at work within the community of scientists and environmentalists and other commentators who maintain that man-made climate change is significant and dangerous (on various optional timescales). This manifests in its most extreme and perverse form when that community, via shrinks and social scientists, actively sets out to prove that it is in fact sceptics who are immune to reality, whether because they are labouring en masse under the spell of cultural bias or they are similarly universally afflicted by some set of psychological abnormalities.

    I think the individual reasons for avoidance of facts amongst CAGW advocates are many and varied but they are expressed quite uniformly and very stubbornly within the framework of the cultural mindset. My experience with scientists advocating significant anthropogenic influence on the climate is quite different from that of the more activist (and less well informed) majority, but the outcome is exactly the same: a stubborn refusal to come to terms with what the real world is telling us and with what an increasing body of ‘alternative’ climate science literature is indicating, i.e. that natural influences upon climate change are very likely to have been significantly underestimated in the haste to attribute anthropogenic CO2 to a ludicrously brief period of ‘accelerated’ global warming.

  20. This idea of dualism was made really popular by President Bill Clinton. Everyone (that is MSM and partisans) really praised Clinton and admired him for his ability to compartmentalize (ie. Depends on what the meaning of the word is is). Did he perform a great service by making all those promises to his minions while at the same time signing into law 7 out of the 10 of Gingrich’s contract with America all the while demonizing him. Pure political genius some say.

  21. Climate psychologists have for years now puzzled over public inaction on climate change and also what makes skeptics tick (or sick), apparently making little progress on these issues.

    Wow!

    The Climate psychologists think we skeptics are crazy.
    They should be analyzing the Alarmist Consensus side.

    Any, so called, scientist, who is not skeptic, is crazy.

    • Any Climate psychologist, who is not a skeptic, is also crazy.

      • I got all this with the first paragraph. I do hope some of the Alarmists read Climate Etc and someday start to actually think outside the Consensus Box. They have blinders on big time. When Actual Data and Model output disagree, there is something major wrong or missing from the Models and that means there is something major wrong or mission from the Consensus Theory.

  22. Social science should probably try to understand this particular “nuance” to the debate:

    AGW != CAGW.

    I would say about 95% of all social science articles on climate change I have read take the above as a given fact. They assume AGW = CAGW and then examine the causation of brain damage.

    Many times it is very simple: Tolerance for risk.

  23. First reaction: WTF is a Climate Psychologist?

    Second reaction: This is a long convoluted post, but it’s snowing outside and I have nothing better to do.

    Third reaction (after reading the post): Andy West has nailed it! I intend to read it again and do some follow up.

    Thank you Andy for taking the time to do this work and thank you Judith for the post.

    • Thank you for persevering Mark :)

      • It is a good article, but you really do need to do a reduced version.

      • JA, Judith already and wisely edited me down :) The problem at the smaller end is that, in dealing with a complex position from Kahan and surveys that are subtle to interpret, folks just say ‘you simply stated that and did not deduce it!’ I’m trying to show at least some of the working.

      • Andy, that’s fine. But a version reduced to a dozen paragraphs would gain a much wider circulation, and you could link back to the longer version.

      • Interesting article and conclusions, thank you. FWIW, you might try the approach I was taught as an engineer (and have taught many others). Take this draft. Print it. Take a red pen. Force yourself to draw a red line through 50% of the words without impacting the content. It can be done. If you can’t do it, ask for help. Take the result and repeat. They don’t call me “red pen Ken” for nothing!

      • k scott denison, as an economic policy adviser I often had to prepare one-page briefs on even the most complex and far-reaching issues. At State government level, none of the advisers at Cabinet meetings would understand what lay behind the brief, so were not competent to advise on it. So the quality of the brief had to be extremely high to convey the main issues, the impacts and the relative merits of policy options. It can be done, but I never thought it sensible.

      • Andy,

        While I understand and appreciate the need to edit, and simplify I think that your post stands on it’s own. Too often we want everything distilled into a sentence or a paragraph or a single page. When we get to a certain point in our careers we think that we don’t have the time for the details and we want someone else to do our thinking for us. In this case, I appreciate the challenge of having to think my way through your analysis.

    • I saved more than half of it for later viewing prolly tonight.

  24. “Climate psychologists have for years now puzzled over public inaction on climate change and also what makes skeptics tick (or sick), apparently making little progress on these issues.”

    Perhaps some evidence would be a help.

    Currently, there isn’t any – very much the opposite in fact.

    As far as I can see, not a single one of the dire prognostications of the CAGW brigade over the past three decades has come to pass.

    Where’s the tropospheric hot spot? Where’s the water vapour driven feedback? Where’s the disappearance of ice at the poles? What happened to snow becoming “a thing of the past”? Where is the increase in hurricanes and tornados? Why has cyclone energy dropped?

    And now, it’s stopped warming altogether – it may even be cooling, despite the ongoing increase in CO2.

    As for climate models? Don’t make me laugh!

    Here is the United Nations My World survey covering over 7.100,000 correspondents worldwide. Climate change cones flat last, 16th of 16 causes for concern: http://data.myworld2015.org/

    Seems there are a hell of a lot of sceptics out there!

    Now the NASA OCO 2 satellite data makes a complete mockery of NASA’s previous computer game model of global
    CO2 distribution, it’s not coming from the Northern hemisphere as would be expected in northern winter, but from the Southern hemisphere.

    Here’s the satellite data:

    Here’s the “model” output:

    Just how these people have the damn gall to ask questions like that is a source of increasing mystery not just to me, but to most other people as well.

    So all in all, I suggest that as far as “climate psychologists” are concerned, their motto ought to be “physician, heal thyself”.

    It’s not the AGW sceptics that are the deniers now, it’s the Warmists.

    .

    • ==> “It’s not the AGW sceptics that are the deniers now, it’s the Warmists.”

      Careful there, catweazle, Judith and many other “skeptics” get very concerned when the term “denier” is used. They are deeply offended, on principle, to people comparing others to holocaust deniers (as opposed to McCarthy, Stalin, Pol Pot, Machiavelli, Lysenko, Muslim extremists, and my newest favorite, Ghengis Kahn – with a little jihadi thrown in for extra flavor).

      William Happer:

      Has there ever been a movement in human history that did not present itself as an ethical cause? Ghengis Khan supposedly informed his victims: ‘I am the punishment of God. If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you!’

      In this report Andrew Montford summarizes the unexpected outcomes of
      a modern cause, the jihad against atmospheric carbon dioxide.

      • This denier has no problem with being called a denier.
        This skeptic has no problem with being called a skeptic.

        I have a huge problem with anyone telling me, specifically, what the reasons I have to be a denier or a skeptic.

        They almost always get that part wrong.

      • PCT –

        ==> “I have a huge problem with anyone telling me, specifically, what the reasons I have to be a denier or a skeptic.”

        Although that seems a bit too dramatic for my tastes (I mean really, does it matter if someone wrongly projects a motivation onto you w/r/t your opinions on climate change?) – I agree with the sentiment.

        A big problem in the climate change discussion is that people (on both sides) assume “motivations” w/o evidence. This applies to “realists” who say that the term “denier” is just descriptively accurate (where the use of the term requires some in-depth knowledge of how their interlocutor is thinking) as well as for “skeptics” when they use the term “alarmist” or even the term “denier” (as I see more and more often days, including from Judith).

        IMO – pejoratives should be avoided – because, IMO, identity-aggressive and identity-defensive behaviors reveal an entirely unscientific reasoning processes – and we’d be better served by scientific (evidence-based) reasoning.

        I note, however, that you get identity-related responses from both sides of the great climate change divide – as while “realists” might call you a “denier,” “skeptics” try to throw you under the bus – because they feel a need for identity-defense against your scientific views.

      • Jushua wrote:

        A big problem in the climate change discussion is that people (on both sides) assume “motivations” w/o evidence.

        You just nailed it! With or without evidence, often the evidence is the same but it it understood differently.

        Many of us Skeptics are not really Skeptics. We have Consensus, with a small group or just with ourselves and we are not open to the traditional consensus group and we are not open to other skeptics with different theories.

        I have almost as much trouble getting skeptics with different theories to listen to me as I do the traditional consensus groups. Our last climate study seminar went from 8:45 am to 5:30 pm and I was allowed about 15 minutes of John Nielsen-Gammon’s last session.

        We then had a climate study workshop on the following afternoon with a small group that went really well. The right people were there and the wrong people were not there.

        I am working on a new page for my website and information for posting that came out of that workshop.

    • @catweazle666

      Your two graphs of the modeled CO2 and actual OCO-2 data are not strictly comparable. The OCO-2 is the average distribution over the period Oct 1 to Nov 14. Here is the instantaneous model output for the middle of that period: Oct 23.

      The difference is not so dramatic. It will be interesting to see though what data OCO-2 returns from Nov 14 onwards; whether it diverges markedly from the NASA model output for NH winter.

      • Note that 385 ppm is rendered in red, while 395 ppm is rendered in a subdued shade of purple. Very misleading bit of propaganda, this.

    • Sorry, tried copying NASA video URL at current time. try once again:

      • No, sorry, doesn’t work. You’ll need to run the video manually.

      • The video worked for me. Again I say …

        Note that 385 ppm is rendered in red, while 395 ppm is rendered in a subdued shade of purple. Very misleading bit of propaganda, this.

      • Fantastic video.

        Now, we can watch the CO2 really well and we can use that to easily prove the alarmist climate models provide more and more extreme alarmist temperature predictions that never come true.

        Temperature does not follow CO2, in the actual data CO2 most often follows CO2, just as basic physics says it should. The partial pressure of any gas in the atmosphere is a function of the amount of the gas and ocean temperatures. CO2 has, in the past, followed ocean temperature, sometimes, but not during many other times.

        Fantastic!

      • Note that 385 ppm is rendered in red, while 395 ppm is rendered in a subdued shade of purple. Very misleading bit of propaganda, this

        Yes, misleading, but who cares. They show more and more and more and more CO2 that does not match with more warming.

        Every thing they present to support their alarmism tends to work against them. Life is good!

    • Almost by definition, skeptics are not deniers.
      Almost by definition, people who have consensus must be deniers.
      They never consider any other possibility.

  25. Curious George

    Sciences proliferate faster than rabbits. Complexity science. Climate psychology science. Baseball psychology science. Baseball coach psychology science. Baseball coach psychologist’s psychology science.

  26. Thanks Andy.
    I always appreciate your take on things.

  27. John Smith (it's my real name)

    I’m reminded of a story

    Medieval guy is in traffic court
    “why were you speeding through the King’s wood?”
    “a friend told me he saw a demon there last week”
    “oh, very well, no fine, you are free to go”

    if 100% believe it, it still doesn’t make it so

    “climate psychology”?
    this issue has, in fact, made us stupid

  28. if I understood this it basically boils down to “We are right and we know we are right therefore anyone who thinks we are wrong must have some kind of mental illness. So how do we treat their mental illness?” Personally I think the only reason they are debating this mental illness idea and how to treat it is that they can’t start dragging people who don’t agree out into the street and shooting them instead.

    • Perhaps it’s no coincidence, but that was the exact reasoning used in the USSR to commit dissidents to mental institutions and “treat” them for mental disorders. “As the Soviet system is the best possible system there can be, clearly anyone who disputes that is mentally ill”.

      Of course, the climate alarmists have now progressed beyond demanding psychiatric treatment, there have been several calls for climate sceptics to be executed, by a certain Professor Parncutt a year or two ago, and last week in the Guardian a certain “Bluecloud” called for us to be publicly beheaded.

      Desperate or what?

    • We live in the best of times, now, they can’t burn us at the stake just because we disagree. They can still ruin the careers of people who disagree, but they cannot burn or shoot them.

  29. My wife has had a cursory glance at the article.

    Her answer to the question ‘why don’t people believe climate scientists’ is very simple.

    “They lie”.

  30. anthony thompson

    The certainty on the alarmist side – and hence their belief that scepticism must have a psychological basis – arises because they have confused mathematical “modelling” with “science”. They cannot understand and attack sceptics for being anti-science when in fact the scepticism is anti-supine-belief-in-models. Alarmists see supremely clever and sophisticated models and assume that, because they are so clever and sophisticated, they must be good representations of the real world. They do not hear the rat in the wainscot. Gnawing at their work is the fact that the assumptions about feedbacks that are central to the models are just guesses – no understanding as to how the feedbacks actually operate and no evidential audit trail.

  31. From appendix 2:

    a Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American Adults shows that 69% say it’s at least somewhat likely that some scientists have falsified research data in order to support their own theories and beliefs, including 40% who say this is Very Likely. Twenty-two percent (22%) don’t think it’s likely some scientists have falsified global warming data, including just six percent (6%) say it’s Not At All Likely. …Republicans and adults not affiliated with either major political party feel stronger than Democrats that some scientists have falsified data to support their global warming theories, but 51% of Democrats also agree.’ Hat-tip WUWT. Wow. 51% of Democrats also agree. This is strong support indeed for row 2 in Andy’s column of the table above; a shared mistrust of scary climate science.

    Well now, there’s a conclusion in search of an argument.

    If you’re going to base your opinion (about beliefs in trust of climate scientists and institutions of climate science research), why don’t you use polls that investigate that question directly – rather than make assumptions from from data without validating whether they measure what you claim.

    You might want to actually look at what Dan offers by way of evidence, or the data from Gauchat – whose data shows that over a period of decades, “trust” in science shows a clear signal of greater drop in trust among a subset of conservatives (which is consistent with data that shows that Tea Party types are an outlier even among Republicans w/r/t views on climate change). BTW, Dan presents a pretty compelling argument against Gauchat’s conclusions.’

    In point of fact, that poll that you refer to tells us little. It isn’t longitudinal, it doesn’t ground the information about climate scientists with reference to views about trust in priests, or plumbers, or grave-diggers, or “skeptics” for that matter. It doesn’t dig into what the implications of “at least somewhat likely” means.

    • And relatedly and in a funny coincidence –

      W/r/t how polls reflect public views related to “mistrust”

      http://www.culturalcognition.net/blog/2015/1/30/grading-the-2014-version-of-pew-study-of-public-attitudes-to.html

      • I think Willis’ initial thoughts on that Pew pole (at WUWT) prompt a few worthwhile questions about how we might interpret its results ;)

      • Yes, well, Willis tried to leverage that Rassmussen poll in a similarly unanalytical manner. Doesn’t exactly speak well to his take on polls.

        It’s interesting how many times “skeptics” return to that poll, despite it’s obvious weaknesses, and despite that rather often they question the very act of using polling data to inform perspectives about the public’s take on climate change.

      • Joshua | January 30, 2015 at 7:17 pm |

        Polls are the only practical way to inform said perspectives. I think what skeptics object to is analysis that fails to see obvious cultural effects, due to heavy influence from the very same (climate) culture. Not to mention consequent propositions such as millions of science aware Americans are suffering from unusual behaviors like ‘dualism’. A short step away from ‘those who don’t agree with us must be crazy’. No side is crazy in this; the cultural effects (which outside the climate domain are wholly familiar territory for psychologists) have occurred down the ages and constantly move populations. Explanations rooted in the absolutely normal are much more probable.

      • Joshua | January 30, 2015 at 7:17 pm |

        I answered this but it’s stuck in moderation. Must have used a bad word. May take a while to come out…

      • Andy –

        I’ll check back later…Need to back off now, before Judith lowers the moderation hammer. She’s been rather touchy of late.

  32. Wow, what a great post.

    Yes, the psychologists and sociologists don’t perceive “the culture”, because 97% of them are themselves part of that culture – loosely speaking the middle-class, leftish, I’m-concerned culture.

    There is a marvellous quote from the late Robert Phelan (one of the 3% of sociologists able to think outside the box) on this at WUWT, which I think summarises one of the main points you are trying to make in this post:

    “It’s ironic that Professor Kahan and his colleagues are perfectly correct in their estimation of the importance of cultural cognitive systems in determining views on a variety of issues with scientific inputs, but then fail to turn that mirror on themselves. They start from the position that the consensus must be correct, without examining the cultural presuppositions and intellectual history behind that consensus.”

    • Thanks Paul, and you’re right on regarding Robert Phelan’s comment too, which somehow I managed to miss when it was made but I’ve now located at WUWT.

  33. Seems to me this long post could be summed up for the jury pretty easily.
    For those within the CAGW consensus, the science is settled. Therefore there must be psychological defects that prevent sceptics from agreeing. Climate psychologists seek those defects.
    Their problem is that reality is showing the science isn’t settled. In fact every year it gets more unsettled, whether pause or Artic ice or polar bears or snow or accelerating sea level rise…. The cognitive defects are inside the consensus, not outside.

    Further comment. The unsettled consensus reactions seem of three general sorts so far. True denial (Mann’s there is no pause False Hope piece in Sci Am 4/2014). Frantic and increasingly silly excuses (Trenberth’s suddenly hiding heat, Solomon’s volcanos). Data ‘tampering’ and worse (for ‘tampering’, NOAA NCDC 2014 switch from Drd964x to nClimDiv; for worse, the 2013 Marcott affair hockey stick in Science). All examples covered in Blowing Smoke. ‘Tampering’ or worse is, of course, not a cognitive defect. It is what immoral folks will do to stay on the climate gravy train and is quite rational. Gavin Schmidt’s 2014 hottest ever by 0.02C PR, misleading by omitting that the measurement error is about 0.1C and GISS calculated a 62% chance the proclamation is not true, was this months best example.

  34. The believe-in vs factual-acknowledgment dichotomy doesn’t seem so mysterious to me, and I think it undergirds this entire mess. In lay discussions, the two are customarily conflated; probably that is the source of the illusion of mystery. And alas, said mystifying conflation follows the (unscientific) lead of the more hysterically-minded among those who fancy themselves to be communicators of “science”. Doubly alas, it aligns perfectly with the mass-media policy of turning every conceivable report into a screeching headline (a.k.a. yellow journalism after a paper once printed on that color) – or, more aptly nowadays, into content-free clickbait.

    The believe-in branch – a.k.a. “culture” – has become inextricably entwined with the meme that “we” (often everyone but the speaker, who will continue indefinitely to consume vast quantities of jet fuel to frivolously and unnecessarily transport his or her physical body to “conferences”) “must” immediately rush into rash, radical, impoverishing “action” (such as forgoing travel, living in unhealthy freezing or sauna-hot spaces, self-imprisoning within walking or at best cycling radius, forgoing the evil “carbon footprint” food du jour, etc.) lest the world come to a crashing end (oh, the horror, some utter fools who bought Florida swampland will eventually find it wetter than before.) So when one says one “believes in”, one is likely to be heard as endorsing that “must” unequivocally and unboundedly.

    But alas yet again, science simply has nothing whatsoever to tell us about that “must”. It can only tell us the tradeoff between using X amount of fossil fuels for the sake of Y socioeconomic benefit – and not even that until it develops to where the model projections aren’t all over the map. But whether to accept or reject said tradeoff itself, with its (now extreme) uncertainties, is entirely a matter of value judgment. It turns on culture and idiosyncratic personal preference (for example quasi-worship of “species”); not in any way whatever on science. Thus it should come as no surprise at all that science seems largely ineffectual as a club to bash the political arguments into submission.

    That is, when all is said and done, science is utterly silent on “ought”/”must” questions. Such questions clearly include such weighty matters as, hypothetically, whether the societal “we” ought to impoverish ourselves to “preserve” a strain of temperature-fragile earwigs that happens to bear pincers 200 microns longer than the rest.

    Simply see the conflation of science and the “must” for what it is, and the political mysteries vanish. The political conflicts over “action” are of course unresolvable and thus remain.

  35. The New York Times is headlining a poll today that they claim shows big majorities want action on global warming:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/31/us/politics/most-americans-support-government-action-on-climate-change-poll-finds.html?emc=edit_na_20150130&nlid=66104773

    Except (thanks internet) they make the mistake of giving us the actual poll, where we learn that people were asked about five government actions:
    increase taxes on electricity: 74% oppose.
    increase gasoline taxes: 63% oppose
    Give Tax breaks to nuclear power: 61% oppose (just six years ago 54% of people supported this, thanks environmentalists!)
    Give tax breaks to coal with CCS: 68% percent support this even tho it doesn’t exist.
    Give tax breaks to solar, wind, and hydro: 80% support. They don’t ask if people support writing government checks to windmill and solar panel owners, just if we should give them tax breaks.
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/01/29/us/politics/document-global-warming-poll.html

  36. I am sure that none of the social scientists doing research on climate change cognitive dissidence have spoken to my children.

    If I say anything “Climate”, to a person, they say: “Oh Dad” and go on to something else. They aren’t interested in discussing climate change, CO2, etc. If a social scientists were to ask them about earth’s climate changing because of man’s hand? They would say yes, of course. And they do their part like recycle, walk, ride bicycles, buy locally and?… drive their SUV. To a person, they all have SUV’s because? SUV’s are the type of vehicle that does the most things they need.

    Those children who live on the West Coast earthquake proof their homes, but don’t insulate their attic choosing instead to leave the gas furnace and electric heaters on when it is 52 degrees outside. This Christmas and New Years they left the Christmas lights on all night as a substitute for the outdoor lights they otherwise leave on during the non-holiday times.

    What I am trying to point out by using my family as representative of saying one thing about climate change and functionally doing another like buying SUVs, heating when it is cold outside yet not insulating their home’s attic, is that their cognitive dissidence does not cause them any pain at all.

    I believe it is the social scientists that study climate change cognitive dissidence are feeling the pain of human reality, and still haven’t figured out that humans are very hard to pigeon hole, at least cognitively.

  37. Most of human evolution took place in small clan like groups.
    Cohesion to the group was a highly selected for trait – loners did not succeed.
    It is thus in our DNA to approach problems from group think.
    Being human means being irrational.

    • Except if you’re a “skeptic.”

      A comment of mine from the Kahan post that Andy linked – I think it pretty much explains why social scientists are so confused about “skeptics.”

      “Scientific literacy” is associated with “skepticism” among “conservatives” (using that imperfect term for now) because they are unbiased; an unbiased view of the science means that one can see that there is no evidence of any real risk of ACO2 negatively affecting the climate.

      “Scientific literacy” is associated with belief that ACO2 does pose a risk among “liberals” (using that imperfect term for now) because they are biased; the only reason that they think that there’s evidence of a risk of significant impact on the climate from ACO2 is because they allow their political orientation to affect their reasoning.

      See how simple that is?

      Among “conservatives” greater understanding of science means increased clarity in reasoning – hence the association between greater polarization and greater scientific literacy for that group.

      Among “liberals” greater understanding of science means decreased clarity in reasoning – hence the association between greater polarization and greater scientific literacy for that group.

      The basic mechanism of “motivated reasoning” – you know, how identification mixes with fundamental components of cognition and psychology to influence how people reason – only works with “liberals.” “Conservatives” are immune to such influences.

      And all that identity-aggressive and identity-defensive behaviors that are so abundantly found among “skeptics.” That’s just coincidence. Don’t think, in any way, that those behaviors can support a conjecture that motivated reasoning is at play among “conservatives.”

      Identity-aggressive and identity-defensive behaviors only indicate motivated reasoning among liberals.

      Once you see that human psychology and cognition are completely different among “conservatives” than among “liberals,” everything comes into focus – and you can see how simply all of this can be explained.

      • Most of the emotion comes from the ‘back end’.

        Those advocating action fear catastrophic results ( a fear which politicians gladly promote and exploit ).

        Those advocating in-action fear government abuse ( a fear which other politicians gladly promote and exploit ).

      • I get a little tired of this constant characterisation of climate change “belief” as a liberal versus conservative dichotomy. I realise that the policy implications for CAGWs existence or non-existence can fall along that political divide, but this deep division on the issue is primarily an US phenomenon.

        I myself would characterise my general political views as “liberal” or “progressive”, yet on the face of current evidence, there is no scientific support for CAGW and only limited support for AGW. I certainly don’t think that CAGW driven policies are justified. Yet if I were living in the states I would vote for Obama, as vehemently as I disagree with his approach to climate policy.

        Furthermore, most of my friends with whom I discuss this issue are very left leaning as well. We deplore the characterisation of the left as somehow wanting a communist centralised world government or that it is philosophically inclined to controlling peoples lives or implies big government. I think that’s just as nutty as those in the face of the evidence trying to extend the CAGW meme and the policy implications that stems from it.

        It is simply a question over the line drawn between individual responsibility and collective responsibility. Nothing more than that.

        Most of my progressive left leaning mates are as skeptical of manmade climate change as I am. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t think a) the threat of manmade climate change has been grossly exaggerated, or b) we need to wean ourselves off fossil fuels anyway.

        We argue about the value of renewable replacements for FF. In my opinion, they costly, invasive to the environment, and instead of helping us become less dependent on FF, they are making us more dependent on FF than ever. But amongst my 40 something very liberal friends, it’s only those who have not really looked into the issue of climate change that repeat the standard line. Most of my friends have come to the same much more nuanced view as I have.

        I know this is proof of nothing, but still….I get very irritated in this US centric characterisation of the debate falling along political lines. That might be the case in the US but in switzerland, Australia, and UK, I just don’t see it.

      • Agnostic,

        I get very irritated in this US centric characterisation of the debate falling along political lines. That might be the case in the US but in switzerland, Australia, and UK, I just don’t see it.

        It’s very strongly the case in Australia. Support for CAGW, carbon pricing, Agenda 21, renewable energy, anti-nuke is very definitely a Left aligned ideology – although there are, of course, supporters from across the spectrum of political persuasions.

      • Agnostic | January 31, 2015 at 5:16 am |

        A reasonable point. The post points out that CAGW is a culture in its own right, which is *not* spawned from left / right politics and has different relationships to the political left and right in different countries. Not to mention varying relationships with religions in different regions too. I’m from the UK, where all 3 main political parties officially support CAGW, but skepticism is still rife (yet consequently less politically tribal). See the 2D cultural diagram halfway down the post. The scenarios in different countries will be reflected by differing gradients and positions of the CAGW Culture and CAGW Alliance lines.

      • @Peter Lang,

        I’m Australian myself, and while I note views on CAGW do fall along similar political divides as the US generally, it is not nearly so severe. By “liberal friends”, I am talking about mostly my Australian friends I went to school or uni with. All I can say is that (anecdotally anyway) they nearly all liberal in their political outlook, and somewhat skeptical of CAGW. So while I agree that what you hear from the main parties fall along left/right divide as in the US, it is much complex than that amongst the voters – at least voters of my age anyway…40s-50s.

      • Agnostic,

        Now I remember you, I think. Am I correct that you wrote an excellent article some time ago in which you quoted your father’s excellent letter to Prime Minister Julia Gillard about CAGW and carbon pricing (from memory). Your father is/was a highly experience civil engineer. Do I have all that correct?

        I may have misunderstood what you mean by “liberal”. I thought you were referring to it in the American sense, as distinct from the Australian small ‘l” liberal sense. Your support for Obama suggested you were using it in the American sense.

        Anyway, leaving aside the definition of ‘liberal’, about half my friends support the Left side of politics. Many/most of them are very strong believers in anything the Labor and Greens Parties say. They oppose all policies of the Liberal Party (i.e. conservative), and have a deep hatred for the Prime Minister and many of the senior ministers. They simply hate and oppose virtually everything they stand for (I am not overstating this). They can’t accept that the country cannot afford the polices the previous Labor-Greens government committed us to and locked in enormous increases in government funding forever.

        That’s my Left leaning friends. But I was drawing on much wider information than just my friends. I’d refer you to the Left wing media and assess the message (Left ideological propaganda) they are continually transmitting. The ABC is Left and advocates Labor and Greens policies from the top of the organisation to the bottom. There is no one at any level providing a conservative perspective. You have to watch the hated and ridiculed ‘Bolt Report’ to get any sort of balance for the ABC.

        Then there is the main stream newspapers. The Fairfax papers (Sydney Morning Herald, Age, Canberra Times, and regional papers through Australia) propagate much the same message as the ABC. There is no proper balance for the Left wing propaganda. They don’t provide both sides.

        Then there is the academics’ extreme Left ‘The Conversation’. And Cricky, Guardian, New Matilda, and a whole host more. The Left dominates the media landscape in Australia. It’s one big propaganda machine. There only balance comes from the Australian (By far Australia’s best newspaper).

        All the ideologically Left media outlets (propaganda agencies) promote CAGW. Their is a never ending stream of scare stories. And who do they turn to to get a sound bite each time: Senator Milne (Leader of the Australian Greens), Tim Flannery (Climate Commissioner, extremist scaremongerer who said the dams would never fill again, and anyone who can tell scare stories and claim they are an “authority on climate science”).

        It’s a joke. I reckon Australia is at least as bad and possible much worse than the US.

      • @Peter Lang

        Yes – it was my father that wrote the letter. And yes, I am using “liberal” in the American sense….I should have made that explicit since the “liberal party” are the Conservative party in Australia.

        I don’t disagree that the left dominates the media in Australia, and I do think there should be more balanced. I have to say Australia’s prime minister does not need a lot of help to be the object of ridicule he seems to be.

        I am really speaking wrt CAGW. Those same people who utterly despise Tony Abott and the liberal party in Australia more generally also express quite reasonable skepticism regarding CAGW. Some repeat the consensus/media line, but amongst my thinking friends their views are a lot more nuanced regarding the issue than you might imagine from the media.

        And it irritates me that the issue is parcelled up along the politically divide a if it were a given, or a natural extension of political views. It’s not.

        CAGW in the first instance is a scientific question, the implications of which is political. Politically progressive people, those who beleive in social justice etc etc, are not inured to reasonable questioning of the established view of CAGW, or logic and reason more generally.

        Frankly, skeptics that conclude that the global warming “scam” is a conspiracy of the “left” trying to establish a “world government” or redistribute wealth through global warming policy have drunk the same kool aid as those alarmists who refuse to look at the observational evidence and address the entirely reasonable objections to the consensus view.

      • Agnostic,

        We agree on CAGW but we are poles apart on what is genuinely progressive as opposed to what those who would like to be called ‘Progressive’ claim is progressive.

        IMO, the best thing for humanity by far is economically rational policies (including cheap energy). Anyone who argues against that – as Labor and the Greens do – is not a genuine ‘Progressive’. They are a ‘Retardants’. And that is what Labor in Australia is and what Obama is in the US – they are retardants. They are retarding progress.

        I am interested in policy not personalities. But I can’t avoid comment on this:

        I have to say Australia’s prime minister does not need a lot of help to be the object of ridicule he seems to be.

        Yes, Abbott has made some slips. But they are not really bad policy stuff ups like Labor-Greens did. And they are not comparable with the bungles of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard before him. Too many causes for ridicule to mention. Were you making similar comments each time they made their massive stuff-ups? The news media generally brushed over them or praised them – think of Julia Gillard’s disgraceful, dishonest, divisive, repugnant, lying ‘Mysogeny’ speech for just one example. And Rudd’s, continual bullying of staff, advisers, senior public servants (like head of the Defense Force) etc. How quickly we forget, eh?

        Those same people who utterly despise Tony Abott and the liberal party in Australia more generally also express quite reasonable skepticism regarding CAGW.

        That may be your experience among your friends. But it is not generally the case. There are many poles that demonstrate the Left are strongly aligned with and believe in CAGW. Read the Conversation articles and the ABC The Drum to get a sampling.

        And it irritates me that the issue is parcelled up along the politically divide a if it were a given, or a natural extension of political views. It’s not.

        I disagree. I think it is definitely a Left-Right thing. The Left grabbed in in the US, UK and here as a means to win. Do you remember Rudd leading up to the 2007 election: e.g. “Howard just doesn’t get it”. Actually, Howards was dead right. Rudd and Labor and the Left were wrong. What’s more this has been the case since 1991 in Australia. Labor and Greens have been scaremongering about the disaster ahead if we don’t stop our CO2 emissions. CAGW is definitely a Left thingy.

        CAGW in the first instance is a scientific question, the implications of which is political.

        From a policy perspective, CAGW is an economic question, not a scientific question.

        Politically progressive people, those who beleive in social justice

        I strongly disagree that those on the Left (i.e. who call themselves progressives) support policies that are better able to improve human wellbeing, life expectancy, education, security, health, standard of living etc than the conservatives. I suggest history shows the opposite is the case. The conservatives grow the pie making everyone better off. The Left focus on trying to divide the pie more equally, but they don’t understand the consequences of trying to make everyone equal. As a result they retard progress.

        Frankly, skeptics that conclude that the global warming “scam” is a conspiracy of the “left” trying to establish a “world government” or redistribute wealth through global warming policy have drunk the same kool aid as those alarmists who refuse to look at the observational evidence and address the entirely reasonable objections to the consensus view.

        That’s true. But you are looking at the extremes. There is no doubt that the Left support policies like:
        • Kyoto
        • Legally binding international agreements with penalties for non-compliance
        • Carbon pricing
        • Enforcement mechanisms
        • More regulations
        • Bigger bureaucracy to run it all
        All this is the opposite of ‘progressive’. It’s retarding progress.

        How much do you understand about Agenda 21? That is far Left and disasterous, IMO.

      • I tried posting this earlier but it hasn’t appeared. Hopefully this works:

        @Peter Lang:

        We agree on CAGW but we are poles apart on what is genuinely progressive as opposed to what those who would like to be called ‘Progressive’ claim is progressive.

        This is what is so maddening about debates like these. What you think progressives are saying and what they really think and say are different things. Would you say that your views are compatible with the the ‘Tea-Party’ movement, or some quasi-religious moralising over abortion, immigration, social welfare, gay rights, womens rights, etc etc?

        economically rational policies (including cheap energy). Anyone who argues against that – as Labor and the Greens do – is not a genuine ‘Progressive’

        I couldn’t agree more, but couldn’t agree LESS that you characterise Obama as a retardant? Overly ambitious perhaps but not a retardant.

        WRT stuff-ups:
        Were you making similar comments each time they made their massive stuff-ups?

        Most definitely YES! Julia Gillard’s Government was spectacularly woeful, and most of my ‘progressive’ friends thought so too. But they disliked Abbott more, because regardless of his policies, the views he espoused and were associated with were most definitely not the ones that represented their views or attitudes. And I gotta say – I agree with them. Australia is very poorly served with politicians ATM IMO.

        That may be your experience among your friends. But it is not generally the case. There are many poles that demonstrate the Left are strongly aligned with and believe in CAGW. Read the Conversation articles and the ABC The Drum to get a sampling.

        I have encountered these views, but amongst my colleagues – those whose views I know – fall into 2 categories wrt CC: Those who know only what they have been exposed to in MM, and those who have thought about it a little more deeply. But neither group are particularly politically active and don’t get involved in political blogs. Why should their reasonable (regardless whether you think they are correct or not) views regarding immigration, welfare, health care, indigenous rights, gay rights, tolerance, fair trade, environmental concerns, equality, and many others be tied to the consensus view of CAGW. Of course many will ‘believe’ in it – but so do many politically conservative people – but it is not a given.

        The implications over making rash policy decisions over CAGW is exactly against ideals of the ‘progressive’ opinion as I understand them to be. It does not take very much for that line of reasoning to become apparent. The disadvantaging of the poor and those societies trying to drag themselves out of poverty is for me, aligned as I am to liberal values of social justice, an absolute no-no. Cheap energy is the key. Fossil Fuels ultimately MUST be replaced with something cheaper, cleaner, safer, and more abundant. My father agrees with this – and he is a retired mechanical engineer with BP. Incidentally, he also is a Labour voter.

        I strongly disagree that those on the Left (i.e. who call themselves progressives) support policies that are better able to improve human wellbeing, life expectancy, education, security, health, standard of living etc than the conservatives. I suggest history shows the opposite is the case. The conservatives grow the pie making everyone better off. The Left focus on trying to divide the pie more equally, but they don’t understand the consequences of trying to make everyone equal. As a result they retard progress.

        I quite vehemently disagree with this. Each political perspective create unintended consequences. One of the consequences of conservatism is actually the reduction of liberty and choice. One of the consequences of Socialism is rather than lifting people out of poverty it can trap them there.

        Dogmatically sticking to the line that small government is better and business is more efficient is quite provably false everywhere you look, but especially if you look outside the narrow confines of the english speaking world. Big business can be unbelievably and astoundingly inefficient….and in fact the firm my wife works for has brought in communist style policies with subsequent complete lack of motivation for any individual to achieve.

        I’m sorry but history is not on your side with this argument – not at all.

        That’s true. But you are looking at the extremes. There is no doubt that the Left support policies like:

        But so does the right. Peter – these policies are a political consequence of bad scientific advice. It is NOT a left vs right question. Conservative parties all throughout Europe have all supported these policies because they were acting on scientific advice. I would argue, that regardless of your political inclination, or even you were personally skeptical, you had a duty to act on them. All governments of ALL political persuasion should have called for greater due diligence given the scale of societal change being called for.

        Characterising them as right vs left is leaving reason to side with a faction whose other views might not be shared with those who would otherwise see it. That’s what leads to the polemic – “I don’t want agree with you on this issue because you are wrong about everything else.”

      • Agnostic wrote:
        “And it irritates me that the issue is parcelled up along the politically divide a if it were a given, or a natural extension of political views. It’s not.”

        But that’s just what Andy West’s article is saying!

    • Groupthink is often the most rational option.

      • I’m thinking that the unit of thought only occurs only in an individual brain ( at least until scary AI arrives ).

        Concepts can be shared, but cognition still occurs one brain at a time.

      • I was thinking along the lines of a cavalry charge, where the troops line up, draw their sabres and all proceed in the same direction.

      • We’re in great shape.

        Acting as an individual, which one of you today is in the mood to take that hill? – General Halftrack.

    • I hate this but have to agree.
      For most travesty’s in humanity one need look no further than the baggage of our biology. The conflict of this and our more evolved side (culture, intelligence, compassion, etc) is the great understated driver of everything.

    • Lucifer, as one who as always been perceived as “different,” I can confirm that the ingroup-excludee division continues. But the people who appreciate me are linked by their discernment rather than their herd mentality!

    • The division IS political :
      – those (totalitarian-leaning) people who want more government for its own sake, and so see the manufactured consensus as supporting that aim.
      These are the CAGW truebelievers, accounting for virtually all professed belief in CAGW.
      – those who demand solid reasons for more government – the skeptics. And are not inclined to just take the word govenment’s own hired hands.

  38. Hi, Andy. Suppose I asked you if you believe in communism. On one level you’d answer yes, because it existed/exists. On another level you’d probably answer no, that you do not believe in it as a viable, beneficial political philosophy.

    When people are asked if they believe in “global warming”, many hear the implicit question as “do you believe in global warming and all that it implies ( reported/projected catastrophes)?”. A significant number will answer yes, and no.

    I suspect that a lot of the skepticism about the reported/projected catastrophes is rooted in peoples’ life experience. Few complicated changes in life are all good or all bad. Think of marriage as an example of a complicated change – is marriage all good or all bad? Or, is marriage a complicated mix of things beneficial and things not so great. That mix (good and bad) is what people expect from a complicated change like global warming. What people actually hear from science is a chorus of “all terrible”, some of it ridiculous.

    That uniform chorus of doom weakens the credibility of climate science in many peoples’ minds, especially science-literate people. The lopsidedness of reported global warming effects has the markings of a sales effort, not science. The lopsidedness triggers peoples’ BS alarm.

    • davidsmith –

      ==> “When people are asked if they believe in “global warming”, many hear the implicit question as “do you believe in global warming and all that it implies ( reported/projected catastrophes)?”. A significant number will answer yes, and no.”

      You should, perhaps, read more of Kahan’s work. You might find it interesting. One of his basic arguments is that asking someone if they “believe” in climate change (similar to a question about whether someone “believes” in evolution), is generally interpreted as the question, “Who are you?”

      The answer to the question, in general, tells you more about who someone is as opposed to what they believe. In fact, you can infer little about what someone believes or knows about climate change from asking the question as to whether they believe in climate change.

      • Hi, Joshua. An interesting exercise is to think about how people would respond if the topic was another complex issue: fracking. I think we’d find a large group (let’s call them E) whose belief in the evils of fracking exceeds their actual knowledge of fracking. E’s “BS alarm” is triggered by the oil industry’s history of all-good portrayal of energy exploration when the reality of exploration is a mixed bag.

        One-sided portrayals of the consequences of complex issues, whether global warming or fracking, undermines the credibility of the presenter.

        At work, people sometimes come to me with a proposal to make a big change like, for example, replacing a large software system with a different kind. If they present the change as all-good then my BS alarm is triggered. life has taught me that complex changes are rarely all-good or all-bad. I ask the presenters to tell me three things the old software system does better than the proposed system, because the odds are very good the old system does some things better than the proposed system even if the new system would be, on balance, good. If they cannot answer then I send them away to do their homework and, importantly, I’ll be skeptical and probing of anything they present in the future. I think we see this in climate science.

        So, I’d like someone to point me to three peer-reviewed science papers which report a benefit (ecological, social, economic, whatever) from a warmer world. Only then will I begin to attach credibility to the reported and forecast impacts of climate change.

      • Joshua, have you wondered why Dan does not ask questions that are both unambiguous as questions and that will yield unambiguous answers?

        Do you, joshua, think it because he cannot or will not?

    • davidsmith651, your point about implicit questions is well made, and runs through much of this post. Joshua (and Dan Kahan) is right too regarding the fact that many questions come down to ‘who are you?’. The trick to figuring out what folks really think is to use various means to dodge the identity part of those questions and get at the kernel of real knowledge inside each respondent. Kahan tries a method to do this, but doesn’t get what he expects. In part because his survey questions are biased to a culture, and further it is not even one of the cultures he’s trying to eliminate. He thinks that there are only two in the game, but there are three; dem/lib culture, rep/con culture, and climate culture. Despite left/right surveys aren’t the best tool for seeing the 3rd player (even in the US where the climate issue is tribal), there’s enough leverage to see it, and see that its presence explains the otherwise puzzling results Kahan gets.

      • This bi-polar view of the world is wrong. There is an entire spectrum of gray in between. And it’s really shades of a plethora of colors combined in one individual. When you start out with invalid assumptions, invalid conclusions follow.

      • Heh, the spectrum of grey is the elephant in the room. Lukewarming, and net beneficial will soon be the new consensus.

        And it’s about time.
        ==============

      • All this time wasted on psychology and sociology. It’s pretty boring.

    • Doc –

      ==> “Joshua, have you wondered why Dan does not ask questions that are both unambiguous as questions and that will yield unambiguous answers?”

      Some of the questions are ambiguous. Some of his questions result with ambiguous answers..

      (1) I don’t know that he “unambiguous as questions and that will yield unambiguous answers?” I haven’t gone through all of his polling data to make such a determination – maybe you have, since you make such a statement, but I’m not inclined to just take your work for it and I’m guessing that you’re being a bit hyperbolic there. Anyway, if we try hard enough, I’m pretty sure we could find ambiguity in virtually and question and the resulting answer. Why look at the poll that Andy use to draw conclusions from in his analysis (in the appendix). The ambiguities in that poll should have jumped out an bit him in the a$$ – but for some reason seem not to have. And I’ve seen that poll used by “skeptics” many times to justify their conclusions despite huge-a$$ed ambiguities. At least, in my experience, Dan generally tries to address the ambiguities in his polling. Not that it would justify Dan’s work if he didn’t, but I think it’s hilarious that “skeptics” keep going back to that Rasmussen poll even as they try to discount polling data by pointing to ambiguities.

      (2) At some level, the potential ambiguity of the questions/answers doesn’t matter – because the ambiguities are for everyone. The existence of ambiguities doesn’t change the fact that pattern exist in the answers, patterns that are associated with ideology.

      Anyway, I found Andy’s criticisms (to the extent I could follow them, which wasn’t very far) along those lines to be vague and not very compelling.

      Maybe you could elaborate. How do you think that the ambiguities in Dan’s questions/resulting answers support conclusions that are in contrast to his – not w/r/t individual “skeptics” or even outlier groups, but with the mechanisms in play w/r/t public opinion more generally?

      • Sorry –

        That should be “I don’t know that he always relies on ambiguous questions or questions that yield ambiguous answers across the board as you (perhaps?) suggest – or even predominantly.

  39. Matthew R Marler

    Andy West: In Dan’s case it seems rather ironic that a failure to even consider the effects of a strong (climate) culture, should occur within the online investigation at a site called ‘the cultural cognition project’. And not only is climate culture obvious, it is also self-admitted (see AW2, including the Appendix).

    A few other people have noted the asymmetry: exploring cultural/psychological mechanisms for disbelief among skeptics, while ignoring cultural/psychological mechanisms for intense belief among believers in the consensus (despite well-documented holes in the science.) Nothing I have read has addressed the asymmetry as thoroughly as this essay.

    Andy West has tried to distinguish between “skepticism” and “disbelief”, but I don’t think the distinction stands up under scrutiny. There are some true believers who try to adopt a “skeptical” stance by exploring limitations of the scientific knowledge that supports the belief, but the really penetrating questions of a “skeptical” nature come mostly from “disbelievers”, or the people called “lukewarmers”.

    • despite well-documented holes in the science

      Who decided there are “well-documented holes in the science?”

      • When scientific predictions don’t come true, it exposes holes. Karl Popper’s falsification. Try a list starting with the pause, polar bears, and sea level. If you would like a longer and more referenced list, see essays Extreme Extremes, cAGw, and Credibility Conundrums.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Joseph: Who decided there are “well-documented holes in the science?”

        Consider some of the literature on the so-far unexplained facts that the Global Climate Model projections are running high and the surface temperature has remained nearly constant for about 15 years. You wouldn’t deny that they are holes in the knowledge would you, or deny that they are well-documented?

      • Consider some of the literature on the so-far unexplained facts that the Global Climate Model projections are running high and the surface temperature has remained nearly constant for about 15 years.

        And the scientists who do research believe that short term fluctuations means there are “holes” in the theory.?Or does it mean models don’t capture the short term variations very well? I think I may discussed with you before the research done that finds that when models runs capture the variation associated with the ENSO cycle the models do a much better jobs of simulating the actual temperature. Anyway I don’t think we can assume that this a “hole” in the science just because you or a few others on the skeptic side say so.

      • So Rud you are the one that decides that these are holes in the science? Can you answer my question? I am not an expert on these subjects but I have heard from numerous source that the things you are not “holes” in the science. I tend to agree with them and not you.

      • correction that should read “things you mentioned”

  40. Couple comments:

    First, I would suggest that the inability to perceive the effects of cultural bias are a classic case of denial.

    A very wide range of environmental topics are tied to the central narrative of imminent (on decadal to one century scale) catastrophe, and accepting skeptical data upon any of them these days, has come to be seen by climate culture as a betrayal of […] even one’s children and one’s grandchildren plus most of the life on Earth and the planet itself. This is a far more cogent barrier to acceptance than mere disagreement! [4] Climate cultural judgments based on misinformation about the certainty of catastrophe are underwriting dangerous practices that are draining economies worldwide, increasing the price of energy (causing consequent poverty and excess deaths), plus enabling the bio-fuel debacle. The latter is both harming the environment and also hitting the poor by pushing up the cost of food production (hence yet more hardship and a potential increase in starvation).

    Once they’ve become identified with the narrative, changing their position would involve accepting responsibility for the many “dangerous practices” and “hitting the poor”, a fertile ground for denial.

    A very wide range of environmental topics are tied to the central narrative of imminent (on decadal to one century scale) catastrophe, […]

    I’ve made a fairly detailed study of the early days of Christianity, especially the mission of Paul and his fellow apostles. What I think I see is a pattern of receptivity to his apocalyptic message among people who already felt a sense of impending doom. That sense of doom was justified: in 68CE the Imperator Nero “committed suicide”, touching off civil war and the “Year of the Four Emperors”

    The suicide of emperor Nero, in 68, was followed by a brief period of civil war, the first Roman civil war since Mark Antony’s death in 30 BC. Between June of 68 and December of 69, Rome witnessed the successive rise and fall of Galba, Otho and Vitellius until the final accession of Vespasian, first of the Imperial Flavian dynasty, in July 69. The social, military and political upheavals of the period had Empire-wide repercussions, which included the outbreak of the Batavian rebellion.

    These events followed on the Jewish Rebellion in 66, an event with enormous importance to the Jews and “God-fearer”s Paul was proselytizing. It makes sense to me that many of these people could see the trouble coming, probably unconsciously, and felt a sense of impending doom that made them receptive to Paul’s end-of-the-world message.

    If we reason by analogy (keeping in mind the caveats), we might suppose that people who are receptive to the “climate catastrophe” meme are responding to an unconscious sense of impending doom due to some other social trend. Given the high correlation between “liberal/radical” ideology and acceptance of the “climate catastrophe” meme it would make sense that they are foreseeing something that “liberal/radical” people would regard as a catastrophe while most everybody else doesn’t.

    With this hypothesis in hand, we can speculate just what about the future is really making (some?) “liberal/radical” people feel threatened?

  41. Skeptics can’t grasp why only 97% of the climatologists receiving funds agree with the conclusion they are paid to endorse.

  42. I don’t recall, were these climatically polorized people equally politically polorized on other issues?

    What were the trends for the two groups on other issues?

  43. Schrodinger's Cat

    I think the psychologists are looking at the wrong population. In any other branch of science the modellers would have serious doubts about their understanding and assumptions. The psychologists should be wondering why there is any consensus in a field with so little understanding and so much uncertainty and so much divergence between theory and observation.

    They should study the data fiddling, corruption of peer review, intimidation of those who question the science and ask why scientists should do this.

    They should ask why the establishment, centres of excellence and respected bodies at the pinnacle of the scientific profession should actively support what is going on.

  44. There is a certain entrenchment going on between both sides and that is a carryover from a variety of issues broader than climate. Much like a build up of grievances between spouses, tension has accrued over the years and the players are having difficulty admitting they are wrong or the other side is right. Scoring one against the opposition and chalking up a gotcha are certainly part of the dynamics.

    The fact that Dan has misinterpreted so badly how skeptics see the world and how they may have come to their conclusions based on scientific facts and deductive reasoning, is indicative of a blind spot shared by many in his camp. I see the thought process exhibited by countless skeptics as fairly simple and straightforward. The difference between Dan and me is that he sees every one of the skeptics as wrong while I only question the other side for their absolutist position. I don’t see them as wrong. I see them as being hopelessly entrenched and a prisoner of their unimaginative worldview.

    • ck –

      Agree with you here:

      ==> “There is a certain entrenchment going on between both sides and that is a carryover from a variety of issues broader than climate.

      But then you change horses from the one that brought you here:

      ==> “The fact that Dan has misinterpreted so badly how skeptics see the world..”

      A fundamental category error. Dan is relatively unconcerned with how the group you’re referring to have come to their conclusions.

      Y’all just ain’t that important. You’re outliers.

      Even if he is wrong in believing that the more general patterns apply to you and the rest of the “skeptics” we might find here (and I, for one, don’t think that he is – I think that the basic mechanisms of motivated reasoning applies broadly to both the “realists” and “skeptics” I’ve encountered in the blogospheric climate wars) – it says nothing about his point of focus, which is the patterns among the general public (on climate change as well as other scientific issues that are, likewise, characterized by high levels of polarization that is associated with ideological orientation).

      Consider that the patterns associated with climate change mirror very similar patterns in other issues.

      • Eruptions for example.

      • Joshua “You’re outliers.”
        What evidence have you got that sceptics are anything other than the active end of a wider mindset? I know my opinions are shared with a lot of non vocal sceptics. They range from those who just suspect there’s something wrong to others who know a lot about the sciene but just can’t be bothered to argue about it.

      • TinyCO2 –

        ==> “What evidence have you got that sceptics are anything other than the active end of a wider mindset?”

        I don’t really. But would would the factors be that make them more active than the rest? We also know that when we’re referring to “skeptics” to mean people whose opinions you read here, they are more identified, by far, than the mainstream, and they are more informed. Are they more informed because they are more identified, or are they more identified because they are more informed. “Skeptics” argue the latter – without (non-anecdotal) evidence. I say that I haven’t seen evidence to support the conjecture, and because of that, I say that the arguments about causality that I see many “skeptics” make are entirely unskeptical.

        ==> ” I know my opinions are shared with a lot of non vocal sceptics.”

        Are they as informed as you? As identified?

        ==> “They range from those who just suspect there’s something wrong to others who know a lot about the sciene but just can’t be bothered to argue about it.”

        There is pretty solid evidence that the # who “know a lot about the science” is small. Again, most likely an outlier. Again, trying to generalize from an unrepresentative sample is anti-skeptical.

      • Don’t drop the Baal now, it is almost Super Bowl Sun Day!

      • Blue toes, must be a Plum tree.

      • Hi Tom.

      • Hello friend.

      • “But what would the factors be that make them more active than the rest.” Choice? Random factors? Personality? Does it matter?

        You wrote “You’re outliers.” I took that to mean that the sceptic position is the outlier. If we are talking purely about discussing climate then we are all outliers because most people on both sides of the debate have moved on. Is Dan interested in outliers at all? I suppose it depends upon whether he thinks the extreme ends can say something about the more bland opinions. He should think that because many of us started in that moderate centre ground. The things that made us more active are part of what divides the two sides. The more we read, the more polarised we become. I know what made me more sceptic and I assume you know what made you more convinced. Dan only seems to understand your journey while he sometimes can’t even grasp that sceptics have made one.

        Since he clearly hasn’t the tools to understand us from random statistics, he should start asking for explanations. If he truly doesn’t understand the answers he may have to accept he thinks differently. Just in the same way an acrophobic might not understand why a mountain climber loves climbing but has to accept that such people do exist.

      • TinyCO2 –

        ==> “You wrote “You’re outliers.” I took that to mean that the sceptic position is the outlier.”

        No. Of course at the root of why this discussion is the lack of agreed-upon defined terminology (a problem that I have notice runs through all of Andy’s analyses)…but I look at a “skeptical” view as being held by some 50% of the American public. The outliers are those people here. And those outliers, IMO, quite regularly try to generalize from that unrepresentative sampling. If you’re here, you are by definition an outlier. So the generalizations I see being drawn are usually unskeptical. Controlling for sampling bias should be one of the first steps of a skeptic.

        ==> “If we are talking purely about discussing climate then we are all outliers because most people on both sides of the debate have moved on.”

        Hmmm. “Moved on” is, I think, a determination that needs to be defined.

        ==> “Is Dan interested in outliers at all?”

        Yes. He has written a fair about amount about outliers, about why they exist… I think he recognizes that understanding what distinguishes outliers has important implications to his theses….but I think that he doesn’t claim to have much insight into the phenomenon of outliers. That, actually, speaks to the confusion that some “skeptics” seem to have…that Dan’s analyses apply to them, when it doesn’t per se. To the extent that they are outliers, they aren’t by any means the focus of the bulk of his work. What I find interesting is that many “skeptics” misinterpret his work in that way. Why are they so intent on identifying with the focus of his evidence when they are outliers?

        –> “I suppose it depends upon whether he thinks the extreme ends can say something about the more bland opinions.”

        Yeah. Good question. Are they a distinct breed, or as you say, just an exaggerated form of a more common entity.

        ==> ” He should think that because many of us started in that moderate centre ground.”

        What does “many” mean? Many of the outliers? Or many “skeptics?” If the former, then how do you make that determination of “many.” From what I see, “skeptics” at this site like this one are pretty uniformly ideological outliers – heavily associated with strong libertarian ideology. That seems to fit with the data that show that Tea Partiers stand apart from the Republican Party as a whole with respect to views on climate change, among a number of other issues. That’s a lot of what Dan’s data are about – how views on climate change fall into the same pattern as views on other issues that are associated with ideological orientation.

        ==> The things that made us more active are part of what divides the two sides. The more we read, the more polarised we become.”

        Well – I take up the issue of direction of causality with Dan quite a bit. He uses similar language – as a characterization of both sides. I think that he hasn’t established causality because he doesn’t have longitudinal data. Is it that people become (on both sides) more polarized the more information they get, or is it that people who are more polarized seek out more information to conform their biases. Or some combination of the two? (I think it’s a combo).

        ==> “I know what made me more sceptic and I assume you know what made you more convinced.”

        I think that you don’t know anything about how “convinced” I am, or the trajectory in my path of “convincedness.”

        ==> “Dan only seems to understand your journey while he sometimes can’t even grasp that sceptics have made one.”

        Quite to the contrary. He argues that “skeptics” have become more convinced as they have become more knowledgeable (just as “realists’ have become more convinced as they have become more knowledgeable).

        You really should read what he writes and engage with him on the issues rather than have faith in Andy’s interpretation. IMO, it would be the skeptical thing to do. NiV, and sometimes Paul Matthews, and sometimes John Pittman, are the only “skeptics” that I can recall seeing elsewhere who regularly engage with him.

        Since he clearly hasn’t the tools to understand us from random statistics, he should start asking for explanations. If he truly doesn’t understand the answers he may have to accept he thinks differently. Just in the same way an acrophobic might not understand why a mountain climber loves climbing but has to accept that such people do exist.

      • sorry –

        That should have read that “Part of the reason why this discussion is so problematic is the lack of agree-upon defined terminology…”

      • TinyCO2 –

        I missed your last paragraph:

        ==> “Since he clearly hasn’t the tools to understand us from random statistics, he should start asking for explanations. ”

        Once again, we get to the problem of terminology. To paraphrase Tonto, “What do you mean us, white man?”

        I think that he thinks that you’re interesting outliers, and as such might be someone useful for informing he larger analysis, but that you aren’t particularly meaningful for understanding the larger phenomenon. Further, I’m not sure that he thinks that asking you for explanations would be terribly informative – for obvious reasons. Further still, it’s not like he doesn’t hear from “you.”

        ==> “If he truly doesn’t understand the answers he may have to accept he thinks differently.”

        I don’t doubt that Dan is just as influenced by cultural cognition as my much beloved “skeptics.” And I think that at least in theory, he accepts that. Linking that theory to the reality of our own reasoning is something we all find quite difficult to do.

        And with that, I bid you a good night.

      • joshua, you have a problem. You want to say the skeptical position is held by 50% of the population, the online skeptics are outliers and that they are not representative.

    • And keep in mind that one of the more interesting aspects of the reaction to Dan’s work is that folks on both sides of the climate change divide think that his analyses don’t apply to them.

      ‘Cause everyone likes to think they’re special.

  45. .@SenSanders re GOP & climate: “It is not that they are just wrong, it really is an int’l embarrassment” 16 min in http://www.c-span.org/video/?324070-1/newsmakers-sen-bernie-sanders-ivt and that’s all folks!

  46. First of all we need to distinguish climate science and CAGW religion. Climate science is genuine effort to understand Earth climate and human impact on it. CAGW religion is not science – it is based on belief in several CAGW key postulates.

    1/ human production of CO2 significantly affects atmospheric CO2 levels
    2/ atmospheric CO2 levels and other human activities significantly affect climate
    3/ if we will not act, climate will change from good to bad to catastrophic
    4/ what are humans doing about climate (CO2 sequestration, renewable energy, …) will be effective to avert negative effects of climate change
    5/ negative effect of human mitigation will be smaller than negative effect of unmitigated climate change

    Someone might probably pick better postulates, but I believe it’s not very important. The point is that CAGW religion is based on a number of them. It’s irrelevant how well are they based on science because nobody has sufficient scientific background to assess them all. People are left to either believe or question each of them. And if you question just one of them, you’re a denier even if you agree with the rest.

    That’s in my opinion the reason behind apparent disparity in skeptical part of the spectrum. CAGW community is united under their belief. Skeptics are not united, they have each their own reason why they don’t agree.

    • CAGW religion is not science – it is based on belief in several CAGW key postulates…

      if we will not act, climate will change from good to bad to catastrophic

      So there is no scientific basis for saying that there if we continue BAU, there could be severe negative consequences. What do you base that opinion on? I don’t hear many using the term “catastrophic.” I hear it most often used by “skeptics,” not by those who accept the scientific consensus position.

      • there can be a scientific basis for many religious ideals. And this is true of the religion of modern environmentalism.

        Catastrophic is implied by those sounding the alarm. You said severe negative consequences, in other words catastrophic. Nobody is warns you of slightly more pleasant winters. Nobody demands action to stop more productive and longer growing seasons

      • in other words catastrophic

        Nope..

      • “I hear it most often used by “skeptics,” not by those who accept the scientific consensus position.”

        Only because you are too afraid to use the term these days. You clearly have not been around long enough to remember it’s daily use by alarmists in days past.

        It IS however what alarmists preach: CATASTROPHY.

        Tell me:

        1. Do you believe in global warming and that if we do not drastically cut CO2 emissions the planet is headed for catastrophy?

      • It’s very clear, it’s not CAGW, it’s SNCAGW. Severe negative consequences are not the same as catastrophic, Duh. It’s only skeptics who are trying to paint their opponents as catastrophists when they are really severe negative consequencists.

      • I’m with you Joe.
        I doubt CAGW myself.
        Therefore, no action required.
        You must agree with that, doncha?

      • Can’t get no catastrophism.
        I try, and I try, and I try, and I try.
        Can’t get no catastrophism.
        Now you’ve tried, and you try, and will try, and I’ll cry.
        ====================

      • It’s only skeptics who are trying to paint their opponents as catastrophists when they are really severe negative consequencists.

        Call me someone who accepts the overwhelming consensus among climate scientists. I don’t believe these scientists are trying to fool the world into doing something about global warming, trying to fake it grant for money, or are incompetent. So I think the mainstream view is a reflection of what is known about the science. I assume you don’t.

      • Joseph, it isn’t so much scientists trying to fool the public as scientists fooling themselves. When a scientist researches using peer reviewed references they expect the same quality they would like to produce. They don’t search blogs to get information on issues that papers may have,

        Once you get the group think ball rolling with over sold PR and glossy “high impact” journal front pages, it can take a while to get back to the real science of verification. Corrections just don’t get as much press as initial releases.

        There are activists that will use what they can for whatever reason, but the run of the mill scientist just does science expecting what is published to be quality science not crapola.

        There is a contradiction there. Which is quality and which is crapola?

        There is a contradiction there. Does CO2 drive climate or does climate drive CO2?

      • Yes, fooling and conspiracy are not needed to explain the bias in government climate science (these are just popular strawmen employed by alarmist spin doctors).

        Any organisation is naturally biased towards advancing its own interests, and funds people and projects it hopes will further them. Government is no different; and of course much much bigger and powerful than everyone else put together. And so, since government happens to have a horse in this particular race – alarmism, which promises more taxes and powers – it preferentially funds people and projects that promise to boost alarmism.

      • Once you get the group think ball rolling with over sold PR and glossy “high impact” journal front pages, it can take a while to get back to the real science of verification. Corrections just don’t get as much press as initial releases.

        Capt, we have already been through this before, OK. Saying it is groupthink is also saying that you can psychoanalyze a whole group, which is impossible. Because groups are composed of individual members and you can’t say what say any individual believes or is thinking without asking them. Alright?

      • Joseph, “Because groups are composed of individual members and you can’t say what say any individual believes or is thinking without asking them. Alright?”

        You can infer a lot from what people say and who they quote. From that you can “generalize”, but not analyse each an every member. You can have a lot of fun with it :)

        I am sure not everyone polled made the cut for the video. Some had to have had enough sense to ask what is “DiHydrogen Monoxide”. Those wouldn’t be fun though would they?

        I am sure you would have asked and I am sure you would have your doubts about the quality of Mann’s reconstruction. Or would you? How much of the consensus science do you question?

      • “So I think the mainstream view is a reflection of what is known about the science. I assume you don’t.”

        I don’t care what the mainstream view is. I can tell what is a fact and what is an opinion.

        So here are the facts: CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Burning fossil fuels releases CO2 into the atmosphere and as a result we are changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere. This change should result in some level of warming. burning fossil fuels for heat and to do work has resulted in an extraordinary change in the human condition. Billions of very poor people would love to have access to the benefits of fossil fuels. Billions of rich people are not willing to give up the benefits of fossil fuels.

        These things are in the opinion category: The warming from the change in our atmosphere might be big or small. Extreme weather events might increase or decrease in a warming world. A warmer world will have winners and losers.

        Here is my opinion of what we should be doing. We should take reasonable efforts to use energy efficiently. We should continue to explore carbon free energy alternatives, like nuclear. We should be honest and apply critical thinking to all proposed solutions like bio fuels, solar, wind, nuclear, etc. We should be careful to ensure that government solutions will be result in a real benefit. We should not scare people for political gain.

  47. John Smith (it's my real name)

    why limit this to views on climate
    why not construct a socially acceptable viewpoint for the modern secular citizen on…
    climate
    evolution
    violence
    economics
    gender
    race and religion…
    the folks at the EU could come up with a handbook
    my hypothesis…if you are misguided about one of these, your are misguided on all
    don’t need a separate branch of psychology

  48. Interesting article Andy.

    One thing that Dan Kahan and his ilk don’t seem to grasp is shades of grey. For them the science is either right or wrong. Likewise the consensus scientists are right or the sceptics are. You vote left or right, Republican or Democrat. Public opinion is not binary. It’s not even analogue, but is in reality multi-dimensional.

    Dan wonders “why on most scientific subjects they trust scientists without argument. It’s only a small handful that are politically contested. Why don’t people do the same on black hole physics or the Higgs boson?” The answer is not simple but the major component for his two examples would be importance. You don’t need to question stuff that doesn’t appear to affect you. The amount of scepticism/engagement about key issues is a measure of how significant they are. It’s ironic that doctors are used as an example of those experts we trust, when in truth we don’t trust them very much, despite medicine having a far greater track record of success than climate science. Yes, you might trust your doctor if s/he told you that you had to have an operation but what if instead that person said “you’re fine, it’s psychosomatic”? What if the cost of the operation far outweighed the potential harm of living with a condition? Humans weigh up evidence every single day, so why would climate psychologists expect us to turn that off just because of the fears of an improbable 97% of a self selected set of experts?

    The UK is more instructive in terms of determining public attitudes to climate science than the US. As Andy notes, the strictly political element is somewhat removed and most people have experienced intense and prolonged ‘education’ on climate issues by our state broadcaster and others. A great many people were swayed by the science, long before there was Climategate or the Pause to intrude. If the consensus isn’t winning here, it’s not going to win in the US either. Though I will say that the UK is less inclined to zeal on any issue and are cynical by nature.

    As Paul Mathews asked – why don’t researchers like Dan Kahan just ask people why they think the way they do? It may not fit as easily into a TV sound bite or a tweet but it would move them closer to the truth. I could list a great many things that formed my staunch climate science scepticism and while the collection would never be identical to another sceptic’s, it would share many similarities. Why do we think the way we do? Because we do. There is some fundamental difference in the way people see the same information. We give different weights to different things. It might be as inbuilt as a preference for Mozart over Rap or sweet food versus savoury. It will be made up of both nature and nurture. Is the mountain climber mad or the acrophobic? Politics itself is just a symptom of this difference, not the driver. Sometimes the answer to ‘why’ is just ‘because’.

    • These people are no dumb clucks either.

      What if you have an airstrip in NZ, and still, no one wants to play cards with you anymore?

  49. I think there is a very large factor in the knee-jerk rejection of the climate change consensus position, even without delving into the science, that these people are ignoring. The reason why many people don’t believe environmentalists by default is that environmentalists have been lying to people for decades about trends and impacts in order to create crises so that people will support their often radical agendas to change the way that people live.

    When I was in elementary school in the 1970s, there was an story in the Weekly Reader about how children around the year 2000 would have to go to school in the summer because there wouldn’t be enough oil to heat the schools in the winter. Did that disaster scenario pan out? Of course not. And the vast majority of their nightmare scenarios painted by environmentalists, when not clearly absurd, never come true. So to understand at least part of the psychology going on here, one simply needs to look at a parable that children used to be taught (but apparently are no longer taught, because few people seem to grasp the insight it delivers), which is The Little Boy That Cried Wolf.

    For those unfamiliar with it, it’s the story of a boy who, bored watching the sheep, decides to shout that there is a wolf to get the villagers running out to help them. He does this a few times and the villagers tire of reacting with urgency to his lies, so that when a real wolf shows up, the villagers ignore his cries of alarm and the wolf eats (depending on the version) the sheep or the boy. The lesson of the story is that when you lie, people won’t believe anything you say, even when you are speaking the truth.

    Environmentalists have lied and lied and lied. They have reached the point where many people simply don’t believe anything they say, This is a form of the problem that Judith Curry talked about from the Philip Tetlock paper “Political psychology or politicized psychology? Is the road to scientific hell paved with good moral intentions?” To quote the paper:

    “What exactly is scientific hell? I use the concept to denote the complete collapse of our credibility as a science. We find ourselves in scientific hell when we discover that our powers of persuasion are limited to those who were already predisposed to agree with us (or when our claims to expertise are granted only by people who share our moral-political outlook). Thoughtful outsiders cease to look upon us as scientists and see us rather as political partisans of one stripe or another.”

    This is really basic human psychology. We stop believing people who repeatedly lie to us. We doubt partisans who show again and again that they are driven by an agenda more than the truth and honesty.

    Environmentalists have a long history of being politically driven and willing to lie to create alarm. They do it again and again and again, and we have endless examples of their nightmare scenarios not panning out. They keep crying wolf but there is never a wolf there.

    Do we really need psychologists and studies to explain skepticism against anything environmentalists say? Should they be surprised that nobody cares about their evidence once they’ve destroyed their credibility and trust? Do we really need psychologists to understand something made clear by a simple parable for children? Have we become that clueless about basic human behavior that we need peer-reviewed papers that can’t see what a children’s parable once taught?

    • Unfortunately each generation has to re-learn this lesson for themselves.

    • Some might say that climate scientists and environmentalists are not one and the same but you have a point. I suspect because some scientists and politiians wanted the science to spread far and wide, they didn’t vet their team mates very carefully and accepted help from both green groups and Hollywood. They no have to deal with the baggage those groups bring with them. Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.

      For many business people green organisations are pure poison. Why the scientists can’t see that groups like Green Peace are the other side of the coin to Oil companies. If it’s wrong to rub shoulders with greedy oil barrons it’s equally damaging to get into bed with anti capitalists and anyone who thinks we’d be better off in a tent.

      As for Holliwood – script writers created very clear scenarios for climate change. When reality doesn’t come close, people are unimpressed. Like a plain person hanging out with a stunner, climate science is a poor alternative to the movies, not least because at the flicks, the scientist always comes up with the solution before the credits roll. In reality, it’s the audience that’s supposed to save the day with a lifetime of hardship and cost.

    • another good parable for climate alarm is chicken little.

      a good one for consensus science is the emperors new clothes

      • By far the best is you can’t yell smoke in a crowded theater because people will become alarmed and crush themselves in the stampede for the exits.

    • nottawa rafter

      When the rivers were on fire, the groundwater aquifers had toxins and the airs filled with deadly particulate levels, the environmentalists had the intellectual, economic and moral high ground.

      But 45 years after passage of NEPA, great progress has been made. And yet the scare tactics continue as if the environment was under constant assault.

      At some point the marginal benefits have to be compared to the marginal costs and evaluations of the efficacy be made of all the additional regulations.

      The Laws of diminishing returns are going to take over the conversation soon. It can’t be quick enough.

  50. A small group of right-wing semi-STEM folks — a mix of atheist/agnostics and Christians — who do not believe that the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming hypothesis has sufficient evidence for acceptance, take issue with questions that attribute human causation with climate changes.

    Thus the question “If the North Pole icecap melted as a result of human caused global-warming, global sea levels would rise” should be rephrased as follows: “If the North Pole icecap melted, global sea levels would rise,” but maintain that it’s still a stupid question.

    We reject the statement “human-caused global warming will result in flooding of many coastal region.” And we answer b. to the poorly stated question: “Is the Earth] getting warmer (a) mostly because of human activity like burning fossil fuels, or (b) mostly because of natural patterns in the Earth’s environment?” (In our view it’s not necessarily “natural patterns in the Earth’s environment” unless that includes shifts in the Earth’s axis or orbit around an unspecified but large flaming object.)

    Is Earth warming? At present time, maybe.
    Earth has warmed since the last Ice Age, we’ve noticed that the glaciers gouged Wisconsin and Minnesota have melted.
    Earth was at least as warm as today, perhaps warmer during the Medieval Warm Period (MWP).
    Earth cooled during the Little Ice Age (LIA), then started warming up a bit when LIA ended around 1850.
    Because there appears to be ~30-year cycles of warming and cooling, Earth may have hit peak warming and may be entering a cooling cycle.
    Humans produce less than 4% of total CO2. That does not appear to be enough to heat our atmosphere.

    So the good question-maker should take these views into account in his next survey.

  51. One of the reasons I think for the strong political polarization in US but not Europe on this issue is as follows. Those who take the position that change is bad, that life is a zero-sum game (and thus wealth must be redistributed rather than be created), and that focus on fairness/inequality turn to the government to solve problems. They want to lock in benefits (e.g., raising the minimum wage, favor unions) and resent the rich and the capitalist, who not only are “unfair” but disrupt stability. Climate change is an archetypal threat that means change and disruption and also can be used to argue against capitalism. This view is dominant across political elites in most of Europe (heavy regulations to keep people from being fired, high minimum wages, rules restricting change and new companies like Uber, intrusive Nanny statism that even has laws about bathroom etiquette), so even though many in the public are skeptical, it has no effect on politics there. In the US, the Republicans and other conservatives (e.g., tea party) do not follow this cultural view and are thus free to question the claimed catastrophe and also to note that promoted policies might actually harm the poor and make things worse overall.

    • And of course, both the US and EU ( and all the OECD ) have declining emissions and are less and less relevant to global emissions:

      With China’s slowdown and turn to Russian natural gas, I’m curious as to what this chart will look like in just a few years.

    • It would be wrong to treat each country in Europe the same. The Scandinavian countries are genuinely more socially orientated and are apparently very successful at it. Different religious and historical influences abound, eg Germany has ambivalence between guilt over Hitler, a desire to dominate and a bundle of other issue stemming from its East German communist past. Southern Europe has tended to sign up for any and all EU policies, regardless of unsuitability. They got round the inconvenient rules by just ignoring them. This attitude is what brought about the current Greek situation. They liked the social care part of the northern economies but didn’t like paying the taxes for it.

      This is all reflected in the actions by various member states on climate change action. The southern states happily signed up for it and now find themselves unable/unwilling to pay. Germany has gone full tilt but when it comes down to the wire, succeeding in business will always take precedence. Scandinavia is fairly active but are only really able to keep going because they have small wealthy populations. France is so bloody minded they’ll randomly do whatever they want to and the UK just messes about on the fringe. We are torn between the desire to nanny and the will to succeed in business. We try to do both and manage to spend a lot of money on AGW achieving very little.

  52. This Gem caught my eye today, from the NYT

    These researchers argue that liberals share a propensity for analytic thinking and have

    “a stronger preference for deep thought and a rejection of simple solutions. Liberals are more tolerant of ambiguity and uncertainty, and they have less of a need for order, structure and closure”

    whereas

    “researchers define holistic thinking – which they consider more typical of conservatives — as “seeing scenes as a whole and seeing people as a product of situations.” Talhelm described this style of thought as “more automatic, caught up in emotions, and in some ways less adherent to the rules of logic.”

    Talhelm wrote me in an email that “analytic thinkers tend to do better in engineering, and they hold more patents for inventions. But holistic/intuitive thinkers tend to do better in more social fields, such as early childhood education and marketing.”

    http://whttp://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/28/opinion/how-did-politics-get-so-personal.htmlww.nytimes.com/2015/01/28/opinion/how-did-politics-get-so-personal.html

    • He’s got that backwards. Most people in socially oriented fields that I know are liberals. Engineers I know tend to be conservative. Some of these “researchers” need to climb down out of the ivory tower occasionally.

  53. “Climate psychologists have for years now puzzled over public inaction on climate change…”

    In other news, psychologists from the Death Star have for years now puzzled over the galaxy’s inaction on volunteering their planets for weapons testing.

    Andrew

  54. A physical fact is a physical fact. No amount of psychologising, breast-beating, consensus, or any other mental avoidance techniques can change it.

    The Earth is a big molten ball, slowly cooling, apparently.

    I believe that even Dr G Schmidt is not prepared to contradict this assumption, having assessed the likelihood of continued cooling at around two chances in three.

    If 2014 was cooler than 2013, the globe didn’t warm. Obviously.

    If the longest term average is demonstrably one of cooling, and the last year shows two chances in three of cooling, rather than warming, (as calculated by the chief proponent of global warming), then it might not be unreasonable to refrain from getting too carried away attempting to find solutions to a supposed problem which, prima facie, appears not to exist.

    As well as writing inordinately long sentences, I also don’t believe in the greenhouse effect, phlogiston, or the indivisibility of the atom.

    I guess a psychologist could get a research grant, and prove conclusively that people, who don’t believe in the impossible, can be rehabilitated by the administration of a sound thrashing. Or two or three, if the unbelief seems intractable. If that doesn’t work, maybe a lobotomy – as practised by a consensus of the world’s finest psychiatrists – could cure the unbeliever.

    On the other hand, from the LA Times –

    “That’s right. Psychology isn’t science.

    Why can we definitively say that? Because psychology often does not meet the five basic requirements for a field to be considered scientifically rigorous: clearly defined terminology, quantifiability, highly controlled experimental conditions, reproducibility and, finally, predictability and testability.”

    If this is true, what about climate science? Science or nonsense?

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn

  55. The notion that we need psychologists to decide on any kind of (un)scientific “consensus” on anything is simply ridiculous. These are simply more people with their snout in the “climate change” trough.

    What is required is for scientists to get back to real scientific principles as taught by people like Richard Feynman.

    We have the AGW/CO2 hypothesis which does not have a scrap of empirical evidence to back it up after more than 100 years, yet governments are spending billions due to alarmist prdictions based upon it.

    I challenge any of you warmists to prove otherwise. Prove that CO2 does what you say it does. You cannot.

  56. This climate psychology by West is a very annoying article, void of any science content. I wasted my time reading it and so did you. The motivation for such studies is always the same – how can we get the great unwashed to believe us? Dump them and concentrate on real issues. The real issue right now is that the true implications if the hiatus/pause have been successfully suppressed and it is not regarded as the game changer it is. It is that because it falsifies the claim that the greenhouse effect is real. According to the Arrhenius greenhouse theory used by the IPCC, addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will cause anthropogenic global warming, AGW. No warming has happened despite constant addition of carbon dioxide to air for the last 18 years. The same thing happened during the previous eighteen year hiatus in the eighties and nineties. See figure 15 in my book. You don’t know this because of fake warming, created by a collaboration of GISS, NCDC, and HadCRUT, that overlays the eighties and nineties. Proof of collaboration is identical computer footprints on all three temperature curves. Clear inability of carbon dioxide to cause greenhouse warming falsifies the greenhouse theory used by the IPCC. To claim that their greenhouse effect exists is simply pseudo-science, an assertion contrary to the laws of nature.

    • You are wrong arno, I didn’t waste my time reading the article, I skipped straight to the comments. I also quit reading your comment at great unwashed…. But Ha you read all of mine. Bazinga

    • Steven Mosher

      Another LIA denier

    • “According to the Arrhenius greenhouse theory used by the IPCC, addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will cause anthropogenic global warming, AGW. No warming has happened despite constant addition of carbon dioxide to air for the last 18 years.”

      But wait, there is more……

      The planet actually cooled between 1940 and 1975, while anthropogenic CO2 emissions escalated significantly, again falsifying the hypothesis.

      Anthropogenic CO2 emissions since 1998 are in fact ONE QUARTER or the total of anthropogenic emissions since The Industrial Revolution, yet no warming.

      There has been zero warming in the USA since 1940…. in fact it has cooled: http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_07/

      Notice how much the GISS data set has changed since 1999 and Hansen’s graph to now show warming for the USA.

    • Arno Arrak “The motivation for such studies is always the same – how can we get the great unwashed to believe us?”

      No, if I read it correctly the article was about those who try to get the great unwashed to believe in CAGW. The differences between Lewandowsky (bad cop) and Dan Kahan (good cop). The work of those people will intentionally or unintentionally be used to try and cure and/or try to isolate sceptics. Being aware of their activities is as sensible for sceptics as it is for suporters of the consensus to psychoanalyse them. Lew’s work is clearly flawed but Dan Kahan seems to try to understand us, although he looks for answers in all the wrong places.

      Unfortunately people like Lewandowski and Kahan have the ear of influential people. Their work is used to inform policy. Andy West probably thinks that if the likes of Kahan could grasp that sceptics have genuine issues, then some of them might be solved. Personally, having read Kahan’s interactions over several years, I doubt he has the ability to understand a mindset so different from his own. But it doesn’t hurt to try.

      • Indeed this is the gist Tiny, thank you. The great world-wide phenomenon of CAGW is far more about sociology and psychology than anything to do with the actual climate. If folks don’t even try to expose its *cultural* effects, don’t even try to challenge the professionals who due to their own bias are blind to those effects (and hence are quite far down the path of saying that skeptics are crazy), then CAGW or some cultural spawn from it, will continue to dominate us whatever the physics and observations say. Only by unraveling the culture, can real science return.

      • Andy,

        Absolutely. The science has a long time to run yet, possibly centuries, before we truly understand the climate. The psychology and culture of those who are truly alarmist can be understood, and fought against, now.

      • This stalking horse is not sound in wind or limb.
        =======================

  57. Here’s a relevant recent poll.
    “An overwhelming majority of the American public, including half of Republicans, support government action to curb global warming”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/31/us/politics/most-americans-support-government-action-on-climate-change-poll-finds.html?partner=socialflow&smid=tw-nytimes&_r=0

    • I see this was also posted by JeffN above. The main point is that the clear majority see a problem and attribute it to CO2. Of course, they will differ on solutions according to political bias, but just seeing the problem is a more objective fact.

      • Are you able to actually show that there is a problem caused by CO2?
        No.

        I think you will find that most people here at east try to base their views on science rather than the MSM and alarmist blogs…… I would suggest that you go back to those where you belong and are loved.

    • People are all for it until you tell them they are going to pay more for energy. Have a poll showing people think paying more for energy is a good idea?

      • That should be refined…..

        People are going to pay more for less reliable energy. Many more will die from fuel poverty.

      • …but you miss the point. They see that there is a problem with increasing CO2. It is not denial at all.

      • If they are so concerned it should be easy to get them to ante up. Good luck with that.

      • Perhaps the Republicans would put support behind industries developing alternatives to fossil fuels and stop investing in the dead-end fossil industries. Nothing to ante up. Profits to be made for those that think ahead.

      • Here you go, Jim. I found one for you if you follow the link in the article it will take you to the poll where a whopping 21.1% said they would be willing to pay 50% more for energy if it would stop climate change. Wonder what the percentage would be if it asked if we could reduce it by 0.1C over 100 years or something like that? Anyway, here you go:

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/02/climate-change-poll-energy-costs_n_2067125.html

      • That would be a massive carbon tax of hundreds of dollars per tonne. No one is even proposing that. False premise. If it was that high, much would be returned to the people as part of a rebate with the lowest users benefiting most. They should ask how popular a no-revenue carbon tax would be.

      • Jim? Nothing to ante up? Gruber? Is that you?

      • Jim, I’m sure if they had just said 49% you would have a consensus. But until you produce a poll of your own I am going with the numbers that show that even the democrats aren’t willing to pay to end climate change.

      • So the only action you can think of will raise energy prices? Going from coal to gas doesn’t, and avoiding tar-sand oil avoids some more expensive types of energy from coming to the market. Reduced demand for fossil fuel seems to help the prices to drop too.

      • Jim, good to hear you don’t want any price incentives or penalties in order to direct energy consumption in the US because if you did it would mean someone had to pay for it.

      • @Jim D – You are a parrot.

        You are asked legitimate questions about your views but you fail to answer. Instead you just continue to parrot the same alarmist GUFF.

      • Alarmism about fuel and the economy is the only somewhat hypothetical fear that the skeptics have left. Fuel prices are dropping even as fossil fuel consumption is too. That is your reality. Old energy systems are being replaced, so it is all downhill for your favored black energy which makes it a poor investment for the future.

      • Jim D, if you could only get a consensus that would be a buy signal.
        ============

    • nottawa rafter

      Jim
      Poll conducted by a nonpartisan environmental research group. There is the epitomy of an oxymoron and a complete joke.

      Would you donate for my subscription? I have used up my 10 free articles for the month. How anyone can read the NYT and not think it is a left wing extremist rag is beyond me.

      • They find that the Tea Party are more extreme. Maybe you are saying that they undersampled the Tea Party.

    • I wonder what kind of mental illness causes one to think the American government can “curb global warming?”

      Maybe we can find a psychologist to do a study/mass diagnosis.

  58. When it comes to the science question of whether the warming we have seen in the last century, especially the last 60 years, is dominated by the increasing CO2, this is where the skeptical view is hard to understand. They agree we have increased CO2, a greenhouse gas, by 40% to levels not seen in millions of years, but have decided, with some certainty, that this cannot be the main cause of the warming seen in the same period that this increase occurred. In fact they are vehemently opposed to the idea that this could be a dominant influence at all, not citing a coherent alternative. At the same time they attack as unreasonable and merely political that the majority of scientists even think that this CO2 rise can be dominant in the warming. This opposition to a perfectly reasonable scientific hypothesis is very distinctive. It is not just doubt, but actual opposition. If asked whether it is likely that increasing CO2 is the main reason for the warming, they say more likely not.

    • “When it comes to the science question of whether the warming we have seen in the last century………”

      The view of most warmist climate scientists is that CO2 only became a factor after 1950 and that the warmibg of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s was entirely natural as the planet recovers from The Little Ice Age.

      Now, we then has a slight warming of 0.3 degrees between 1978 and 1998 which correlates with the PDO, not with CO2.

      The planet COOLED between 1940 and 1975, all the while that anthropogenic CO2 emissions escalated. 1/4 of the TOTAL of anthropogenic CO2 emissions since The Industrial Revolution have occurred since 1998, yet the temperature trend since then has remained flat.

      Your hypothesis is falsified.

      • I think you will find that few of the skeptics here would even say most of what has happened since 1950 could be the CO2 increase, even though 75% of the CO2 increase occurred in this period, making it an even more likely cause of the warming.

      • theBSer, you have discounted that the background warming is added to natural variability that has always been a coupe of tenths of a degree plus or minus. Many skeptics assume that the warming has to be steady and every year has to be a new record for AGW to be true. That is just not the case. Each decade is a new record, however, and that has continued since the 1970’s, but skeptical talking points studiously ignore that inconvenient fact.

    • When you have something utterly commonplace and repeated in much the same way – even within the very short climatic term of a few thousand years – there is no reason to worry over attribution. It would be nice if there was a science of climate to explain the commonplace, but it’s hardly urgent.

      That’s why the Modern Warming and recent Pause don’t matter. Since there have been only warmings, coolings and pauses in our geological epoch – and there is nothing remarkable about the last lot of changes, except maybe that very sharp LIA – one may as well express amazement at the flooding of a river when there is no local rain. It seems odd, it isn’t odd. It must be thus over time.

      Not hoping to convince, but this is why one skep simply doesn’t care about any of it. (Perhaps some good-cop or bad-cop climate psych would like to pathologise this indifference of mine, but indifference to the commonplace is the reason I didn’t stand around chanting to make the sun come up this morning.

      On the other hand, a bit of reverence for the commonplace…

      Saravá!

      • Orphee Noir – one of my all-time favourite films.

        But I don’t know whether I should forego my pre-dawn chanting tomorrow … precautionary principle and all that.

      • Actually attribution is important because of the CO2 trajectory we are on. The question is whether to burn the rest of the available fossil fuels, find more and burn that too. Going towards 700 ppm pushes us in the direction of the iceless hothouse climate of the Eocene, 50 million years ago when the Earth had those kinds of levels before. There are clues in paleoclimate.

  59. Serfs love Black Orpheus and Carnivale.

    • One of my favorite films. I love all the scenes of old Rio – it looks quite a bit different now compared to 55 years ago. And the soundtrack of course..

    • I know the lady was responsible for much elevator music in the 1960s, but Astrid totally nailed the Morning of the Carnival. Does the whole tragic foreboding thing better than more accomplished singers…

      Makes you feel like a farmer just before the 6200 BC Bond Event, doesn’t it? The warm never lasts.

  60. Have only one question, how far has this (climate) world come to when everybody gets his knickers in a twist about a 0,02 degrees C anomaly in a year?

    And can we please stop inserting these “funny” Youtube clips? It’s becoming tedious.

    • nottawa rafter

      You have answered your own question. It is not about the facts or the science. Optics and manipulating public opinion are the centerpiece of the efforts. Whichever hundredths of a degree warming you choose or over what period, it means nothing in the larger scheme of things. Marketing and branding have more to do with the discourse than anything else.

  61. We therefore conclude the ‘climate psychologists’ are credulous simpletons who haven’t noticed that government funds climate science, that government stands to benefit from its alarmism, and the link between the two. They haven’t noticed that govenment hires scientists to tell them what they want to hear.
    But then, the same probably applies to ‘climate psychologists’ themseleves. They just can’t see it, because they lack basic into how people’s minds work.

    • So what we have here is credulous government simpletons who *do* just accept government climate science, struggling to understand the non-credulous public who *don’t*.

  62. I’ve read very little Dan Kahan material indeed before this time; have to say in peeking at the Cultural Cognition Project while putting this together, I’ve become very impressed with the huge efforts he’s investing in this area plus his deep knowledge, despite I think that in the climate domain those have both been seriously deflected by cultural bias.
    ——————————————————————-
    Well, nice to hear that you are “impressed”.

    As I have said here before, Kahan is just a slightly upmarket version of Lew, wondering why we don’t all see the world just as he does. So he builds a career on explaining the supposed pathologies of it. Modern eugenics.

    Like Kahan, you never use one word when ten will do. It reminds me of Mike Hulme’s opaque and wordy treatises, which must by now have shredded his private parts as he straddles the barbed-wire fence.

    The trouble with the “good-cop/bad-cop” analogy is that it presupposes that both of them are working towards the right and same objective. In other words, the cops are right. Or do you need to develop a whole other irrelevant argument about why that is not so?

    Academic writing is a disgrace, and this post is a good example. I could condense it down to 400 words easily. When I was briefing Prime Ministers and Premiers, it would fit on a page. But in modern academia, no doubt it could be made into a book which would match the collections of sermons of C19th clergymen for readibility, relevance and interest.

    • Heh –

      Nice example of the mechanisms of cultural cognition. johanna puts conditions on the use of the analogy that don’t exist – that they are both working towards the “right” objective. Andy uses the analogy and thinks that both are working towards the “wrong” objective.

      But she did get to use the issue as a way to get into a rant about academic writing and regale us with stories of when she worked with prime ministers and premiers. I don’t know about anyone else, but I for one am very impressed with her appeal to her own authority.

    • Thank you for your constructive comment.

      “The trouble with the “good-cop/bad-cop” analogy is that it presupposes that both of them are working towards the right and same objective.”

      As the post makes clear, the good cops and bad cops are both headed down the same wrong path. E.g.

      …the Bad Cops and Good Cops, and who intentionally or not end up policing the Consensus. Both appear to view climate change as essentially flat fact, purely settled science, not as a culture.

      I guess a difference between the bad and good cops is that the latter don’t know that they’re policing the Consensus, are unaware that they’re under its influence. But CAGW culture is effectively steering Dan’s investigation.

      But the climate psychologists are all embedded in the climate culture, which blinds good cops and bad cops alike.

      I say dysfunction because, while we all have ‘behavior’, even the good cops are arriving at the conclusion that there must be something ‘wrong’ with skeptics, i.e. behavior that is abnormal. Our example bad cop calls it conspiracy ideation and many bad cops and some good ones too implicitly compare skeptic behavior to the (abnormal) denial of the Holocaust, via their use of the ‘denier’ term. Our example good cop has plumped for dualism.

      Meanwhile despite best intentions, the good cops are propagating almost as much myth as the bad cops. They are both just a short step away from saying that the skeptics are crazy; an accusation made throughout history at those who don’t share blind bias.

      While whole police forces have been known to be biased many times (e.g. in dodgy countries or on ethnic / racial issues), it may indeed not be the best possible analogy. However, with the language above I doubt there could be much room for misunderstanding on the scale you suggest.

      I’d be interested to see your 400 word version, which you can produce easily. One of the problems going down to the very short end is that folks can rightly say “you just *stated* this, you didn’t demonstrate it.” Kahan particularly, would have every right to say this. I like the Willis approach and try to show some of my working. But it’s always a difficult balance, I grant you.

      Now if you can show the conclusions *and* the working in 400 words, inclusive of how Kahan has strayed in his interpretation of his data, then I would be considerably more than just ‘very impressed’. I note that your own Climate Etc post about 18 months back on ‘a huge and complex topic’, which rightly characterizes the sociological effects surrounding climate change, came out as 2200 words (assuming you’re the same Johanna); rather more than 400. But it was no worse at all for that in my opinion, and was indeed informative. I’m sorry you think that my writing is a disgrace. Fortunately, you don’t have to read it.

      • It’s simple, Andy, the culture is unsustainable. There seem to be many reasons for the instability, foundational, structural, ideal; little really matters but its own self-destructiveness.
        =====================

      • kim | January 31, 2015 at 9:54 am |

        The hard trick is to present evidence and demonstrate those reasons, or who will ever believe you?

      • Patience, Pilgrim; the cracks widen.
        ==============

      • Re my post here a while back – Mosher criticised me because I didn’t include some of his favourite quotes by Max Weber. My reply was that it was already very long, and the ones he mentioned (which I also liked) just had to be cut for space reasons. More than 80% of that post was quotes from Weber, not my own words. It wasn’t about me. Can you say the same?

        As for Kahan’s “interpretations of his data” – I hope that Hilary Ostrov, who is much better versed in the detail of Kahan’s work, will comment here. But IMO Kahan just builds castles in the air and calls it “data.” Social research is notoriously slippery, just like climate “research.”

        Kahan starts from the proposition that he gets to establish the “norm”, and then proceeds to try to find out why not everyone agrees with it. It never seems to occur to him that either he might be wrong about the “norm”, or that a wide spectrum of views is in fact the “norm”.

        I can well understand why you are backpedalling from your good cop/bad cop metaphor, even though it was central to your article. Whoops. Because, the metaphor implies that the cops are usually right, and it is just a legitimate way of getting a result.

        Without that prop, your article has no structure. But boy, there’s a lot of it!

        I got paid for reducing lengthy consultants’ reports to 400 or less words. That was for a good purpose – to inform decision-making. I’m not interested in doing it for nothing to appease someone in the blogosphere.

        But, you already have something like the Minister’s version in my first comment.

      • johanna | February 1, 2015 at 12:02 am |

        “I can well understand why you are backpedalling from your good cop/bad cop metaphor…”

        Not even in the slightest weeniest bit. I was merely acknowledging that I’m not perfect, reaching out to you, and pointing out per your own essay that there are various ways to approach a ‘huge and complex problem’, within which there will always be compromises. But I don’t think you want to be reached, or acknowledge that imperfections do not automatically invalidate a work (despite of course there must be some in yours too), though at least you acknowledge there are indeed reasons to make compromises in essay content. Actually I did think there was something of you in your essay, some insight that is, and not just a big list of quotes. After all anyone can find those. But I don’t think that the percentage of quotes, whether high or low, is a measure of the worth of a piece.

        I’ve spent my entire career in industry, where there’s an expectation not just to say something is so, but why it is so. Show some working. Many skeptics also like to know why. Given the attitude of authority and academia on climate change thus far (‘trust us – were right!’), one can very much understand this.

        If you consider your first comment to be something close to the quality and communication of a “Minister’s version”, then I pity your poor Minister.

        I very much hope too that Hilary Ostrov comments. I enjoy her comments, which I’ve read at Bishop Hill and elsewhere.

      • Please spare me the “reaching out” stuff. It’s not 1968, and I always loathed hippies anyway. This is robust debate, not a love-in.

        You are still sliding away from the good-cop/bad cop thing, which was the framework for most of your post. So, here we go again.

        In choosing that metaphor, or simile, you suggested that the parties (a) were unequivocally on the same side; and (b) were probably right. Good cop/bad cop is a standard procedure for eliciting admissions and confessions, and is perfectrly legitimate. Later, you backed away by saying that you never claimed that they were right, so presumably you were suggesting that they are just corrupt cops.

        Which is it?

        You and Kahan may be able to get away with that kind of slippery “logic” elsewhere, but not here.

      • Andy –

        ==> “In choosing that metaphor, or simile, you suggested that the parties (a) were unequivocally on the same side; and (b) were probably right. Good cop/bad cop is a standard procedure for eliciting admissions and confessions, and is perfectrly legitimate.”

        Ah yes. The reasoning of a “skeptic.” If we want to generalize from individual “skeptics,” how might this example be useful?

        So johanna has read Andy’s article, and conclude that in his analogy he suggested that both the “good cop” and the “bad cop” were “probably right.”

        And further, after you explained how the metaphor was intended and what you meant by it, she implies that you are either lying (being caught in your errors because of her “skeptical” analysis) or completely mistaken about your own intent – and that rather than clarifying a confusion, you’re “backing away” from your original intent.

        So what can we determine from this example of the reasoning of a “skeptic?” That she carefully weighs the information, controls for her own biases, and then determines the objective truth? This is what “skeptics” would argue that I should believe about “skeptics” as a general attribute in contrast to “realists.”

        Or perhaps I should see that even though she self-identifies as a “skeptic,” she holds on desperately to an incorrect interpretation because that’s where her confirmation bias takes her – no matter what the evidence indicates?

        Sometimes, I just have to bow down to “skeptics” for making (albeit unintentionally) my arguments far better than I ever could.

        In the end, IMO, what we see is that we can’t generalize from anecdotal sampling. It would be no more valid for me to generalize about “skeptics” from johanna’s example than from Jonathan’s description of his trajectory towards “skepticism.” What we should do, is gather data as carefully as we can, data which speak to the larger patterns, and evaluate them empirically.

        That is what Kahan does. His methods are, no doubt, flawed – biased from cultural cognition, among other biases no doubt. But from what I’ve seen, his work provides the least, worst alternative.

      • hmmm.

        Maybe better without the comma? “least worst alternative” might convey my meaning better than “least, worst alternative.” :-)

      • ==> “You and Kahan may be able to get away with that kind of slippery “logic” elsewhere, but not here.”

        BTW – just because it was such a fine example – another thing that I see so often from “skeptics.”

        (1) Pick some arbitrary attribute (without definition of validation)
        (2) Arbitrarily assign different degrees of that attribute in ways that confirm your bias (usually based on the good guy, my team/bad guy, their team level of analysis)
        (3) Arbitrarily assign guilt by association to people on the basis of them sharing that attribute even though you haven’t really validated your measurements, nor controlled the shared guilt for any other of myriad attributes that might be more important or even contradictory
        (4) Triumphantly declare victory even though you’ve never made a case and…
        (5) Pronounce yourself superior to those who disagree with you on the basis of an entirely unskeptical analytical process.

        It’s why I lurve y’all.

      • Translation from Joshuese: another thing I often try and strawman skeptics with.

      • johanna | February 1, 2015 at 4:13 pm |

        A love in? Golly, you must have an extremely fertile imagination. But conflict is not usually considered the best way to achieve genuine communication.

        I’m not sliding away from anything whatsoever, as made very clear in last post, i.e ‘Not even in the slightest weeniest bit’.

        Yes they are *both* pursuing the skeptical public for the crime of psychological dysfunction; the bad cop knowingly and the good cop through bias (and therefore honestly so). And in terms of a cultural commonality, they are working from the same hymn-sheet. Given I point out the plural (cops), applying to many of each, this bounds the literalism quite adequately; clearly they aren’t actually in an actual interview room banging on the table etc, nor will most of them ever have met. It’s a metaphor about the culture. The efforts of each group, in total, produce a similar effect that may indeed squeeze a false confession from the data.

        Ah… are you trying to say you don’t believe Kahan is honestly engaged? I really can’t see otherwise what you’re hung up on.

      • Joshua | February 1, 2015 at 4:28 pm |

        I have say Joshua, you have a point. But not one I would extrapolate to all skeptics by any means, any more than I would extrapolate some of the ultra-alarmist behaviors to you, for instance. We are all individuals too :)

      • Andy –

        ==> “…any more than I would extrapolate some of the ultra-alarmist behaviors to you,”

        Nor, I would hope, extrapolate from someone who makes as many mistakes I make do to all “realists.”

      • Joshua | February 1, 2015 at 6:51 pm

        Indeed. It’s an honorable man who admits mistakes, and a dishonorable one who would ascribe those to other fellows without evidence.

      • Steven Mosher

        Funny how people remember when I stoop to criticize them. Their 15 minute’s. And they don’t even thank me

      • In her old, stiff, age, my mother told me that all the labour-saving devices of homemaking were a mistake; she said we were supposed to stoop.
        =============

      • Heh, the stoop, it turns.
        ==================

    • Joshua | February 1, 2015 at 6:51 pm

      Indeed. It’s an honorable man who admits mistakes, and a dishonorable one who would ascribe those to other fellows without evidence.

    • “Academic writing is a disgrace, and this post is a good example. I could condense it down to 400 words easily. When I was briefing Prime Ministers and Premiers, it would fit on a page.”

      I think both a lengthy version and an “executive summary” are appropriate. It’s not an either/or matter.

  63. If you accept the CAGW hypothesis then it seems you must also accept the resulting calculations that demonstrate anything short of the complete elimination of GHG emissions will still result in a global environmental catastrophe. Indeed, these same projections suggest catastrophe is already “built into” the climate system. As the exchange between Jim D and steven was hinting at, nothing that is realistically possible (politically and/or economically) is going to significantly alter the path we are on. No matter what anyone believes, we will eventually see the results of the global climate experiment.
    It seems that political scientists and economists have more relevance (and better insights) to this debate than psychologists.

  64. There is an interesting article in today’s (Saturday 1/31) WSJ. “The Return of Antisemitism”. http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-return-of-anti-semitism-1422638910?KEYWORDS=never+again

    It discusses (amongst other things) severe cognitive dissonance leading to the search for enemies and the desire to destroy them. This excerpt:

    The answer is the same in both cases: Anti-Semitism becomes deadly only when a culture, nation or faith suffers from a cognitive dissonance so profound that it becomes unbearable. It happens when the way a group sees itself is contradicted by the way it is seen by the world. It is the symptom of an unendurable sense of humiliation.

    The CAGW consensus group is clearly in the “search and destroy” mode.

    • Really, what have they got be ashamed of? Humiliated by Nature? So what else is new? The poor babies.
      ============

      • Heh, ‘poor babies’ evokes a fine irony. In their precious eagerness to cast themselves as victims, they ignore the real victims, the poor babies of the world.
        ==========

  65. Jim D | January 31, 2015 at 11:47 am |
    it comes down to the scientific question.

    The most fundamental parts of which, are:
    – how well is the scientific method being followed?
    – who is paying for the science, and do they have a vested interest in the outcome?

    • Re :how well is the scientific method being followed?

      Parts of which are :
      – are all avenues and evidence followed no matter where they might lead; or is the discipline infected with other overriding agenda, hoping to ride on the coattails and high esteem of science
      – are the scientists involved willing and able to change their minds, and be open about it. Or, again, is there some other agenda. grants

      (And are they likely to keep their jobs and grants if they change their mind, dare to differ?)

      • The biggest challenge seems to be in Australia where it is hard for the climate scientists to keep going, but I think they will endure and outlast this government. Science is a long-term thing while governments that try to stop them tend to be short-lived. Canada offers some challenges to the scientists there too, and the previous US government also tried muzzling, but that couldn’t be applied to the universities, so it failed and they took part in AR4 in 2007 anyway. Now the Republicans are going to try to suppress the science too.

      • You seem to be on some alternate planet JimD. Or petending, more likely.
        The reality is that tens of billions of tax dollars have been funneled into climate alarmism; it is nigh on impossible for CAGW heretics to get government jobs or funding. Government wants CAGW to be believed, since this is where its interest obviously lies.
        There is a party political difference, but only a small one. Democracts are happy for the one-sidedness of today’s alarmist pseudoscience consensus to continue, at taxpayer expense. Republicans less so.

      • No, contrary to your view that the scientists can easily pursue their course and are encouraged by their governments who ultimately pay them, there are many examples of political situations in which they can’t but have prevailed over obstacles. It is not the easiest route to get funding, and that is not because of the results and ideas themselves, but because of the implications of the results and ideas.

      • By his extreme evasiveness in response to Tuppence’s question, Jim D’s effective answer emerges as :

        NO – the scientific method is not being followed.
        NO – all avenues and evidence are NOT followed no matter where they might lead; there IS another overriding agenda.
        NO – the scientists are NOT willing and able to change their minds. They are merely telling their paymasters what their paymasters hired them to say.

        In short, “climate science” is not actually science, since it does NOT follow the scientific method.

      • The skeptical scientists need to raise their game. Their stuff has been very weak so far mostly relegated to blog postings. Monckton showed you can get stuff published even if it is not anything substantive. The skeptics have not done their own temperature record, they have not done their own paleo research, and they have not done their own projections, so there has been no debate. You need to get your scientists to first produce things and then the debate can start. If I was a skeptic, I would be very disappointed in the quality of skeptical science that we have seen so far. It just doesn’t challenge any of these areas, and looks like nibbling around the edges. Push your scientists. It is very poor so far. The Republicans in Congress are resorting to talking about Mars, CO2 overdose effects, and global wobbling while they wait for a real argument, and that is the barometer for where the skeptics are.

      • There is a very good reason consensus climate science is prolific and skeptical less much less so.
        Consensus science is given virtually all the tax money.

      • As we saw with BEST, if there is anything with any hope for skeptics, the Kochs would be funding it. That didn’t turn out so well, but the money is there waiting for someone with an inkling of an idea. However, they find it is more effective just to pay Congressmen, who are not scientists as they keep telling us, to counter the science.

      • So the Kochs can rival what govenment spends on Climate and related science in all the universities and labs it funds put together? What are your numbers?

      • Jim keeps referring to what government climate scientivists do as “science”, whereas even he knows it is just pseudoscience in the pay and service of politics.

      • Jim D also doesn’t seem to quite grasp what a skeptic is.

        It simply a person that questions or doubts something. It is not necessarily a person with a rival theory (although he may also have one). An auditor, lIke Climate Audit is. Broadly, climate science is found wanting by auditors (the Hockey stick fraud, the models out of whack and in need of fiddling/tuning, etc).

        Staved of funding, being an auditor can be the only activity many skeptics can afford.

      • You don’t need to fund your own science to be a skeptic. There are plenty of reasons to be skeptcal showing up in the literature all the time. You just have to read it.

      • How can you say question some or other measurement if you can’t afford to measure it yourself?

      • Do you ever wonder why the auditors don’t do their own independent paleo reconstructions more often? Are they afraid of criticism? Again, they just nibble around the edges of the large numbers of publications in this area and bring attention to a small percentage of those papers leaving the rest unscathed. The blogosphere gives a very misleading impression of the effect of auditing in the field as a whole.

      • We all know why – they aren’t funded to, and need to make their living elsewhere. Unfunded spare time can’t compete with funded full time.

      • Allkenones, Ho!
        ========

      • The data is there. You don’t have to be rich to examine it and come up with ideas to explain it. If CO2 didn’t cause most of the warming in the last century simply explain (1) why the AGW idea is wrong, and (2) where the warming came from instead.

      • You continue to ignore the difference between unfunded part-timers, and funded full-timers.
        And also what skepticism is. You may show the failures with theiry X, but still not have a better one (especially if you are an unfunded part-timer).

        The essence of CAGW skepticism is that noone knows if/how true it is, that the professed certainty is just political spin. It may well turn out to be true, but the official pretending really isn’t helping.

      • Climatologyologist

        To shake off the reputation for politically motivated bias, what climate science funding managers should start doing is diverting some funding away from the main area of reinforcing the consensus, towards some non-believers and anyone really interested in getting to the truth, whatever it is, politically convenient or not.

      • “…I would be very disappointed in the quality of Skeptical Science…”

        Whoops, Jim D!
        That just slipped out did it?
        :)

      • Ruth, if you wanted to question something like the GRACE measurements it would be very expensive to replicate the effort by putting up your own satellites. On the other hand if you research the topic you may be able to find that someone else already had that thought, the skills needed, and access to the data.

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-246X.2010.04508.x/abstract

        There are plenty of reasons in the literature to question what is put out there as though it were fact if you look for the reasons.

      • politically motivated bias, what climate science funding managers should start doing is diverting some funding away from the main area of reinforcing the consensus

        Scientologist, skeptics have published a lot of papers. I don’t know of any that have made an impact, though. But, anyway, what is your evidence that skeptics are being denied funding?

      • It is not poorness in funding. It is poorness in ideas where the skeptics suffer. Who are their bright sparks that have ideas? I don’t mean just playing around with data in innovative ways, but innovative explanations of the data. Thinking is free.

      • You doggedly persists with expecting people with other jobs to compete in the spare time with those paid to do it full time. How many spare time brain surgeons do you know? Or even spare time authors of books or critiques of consensus brain surgery?

      • And persist too in refusing to see that skepticism of an idea doesn’t require a better one.

      • Usually skepticism has some thought behind it. It should have an alternative explanation, otherwise it is empty naysaying that any uneducated person could do, and would not be paid attention to. The only way science progresses is with ideas and explanations, and skeptics take part in that process or have no effect.

      • Jim here unequivically confirms he has absolutely no idea whatsover what skepticism is.

        To repeat : it is someone who doubts.
        NOT someone who has an alternate explanation.

        See eg http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/skepticism
        skep·ti·cism
        : an attitude of doubting the truth of something (such as a claim or statement)

      • JImd

        The Met Office has a budget of £25million a year. I don’t

        They have access to hundreds of full time scientists. I don’t

        They have a £100 million computer. I don’t.

        They have access to UK, European and International grants. I don’t.

        The EU will not permit funding of sceptical papers.

        It is not a level playing field and I don’t see how we can possibly generate the stream of well researched and financed papers that you seem to think should be coming from sceptics.

        tonyb

      • The D stands for disingenuous, obviously.

      • JimD, ” It should have an alternative explanation,”

        You grossly overestimated the initial forcing and the feedbacks to that forcing.

        That is an explanation. It doesn’t require an “alternate” theory. It doesn’t justify being called, a denier, delayer, big oil butt buddy, anti-science, political puppet, or anything else, it is just an explanation based on observation.

        Lewis and Curry, using IPCC methods and data illustrate sensitvity has been over estimated.

        Monckton et al. using a control model just illustrate feedbacks are over estimated.

        Kimoto using k&T Earth Energy Budget estimates, just illustrate sensitivity is over estimated.

        It has been done to death bud.

      • Like I said, the data is free, thinking is free. It only takes an education and some study, and you can contribute ideas to explain the data. “No” is not an idea, and some skeptics have gone further, but more on the creative data side than the creative idea side. A lot of skeptics like to think they understand greenhouse gases, but then come up short on explaining why it looks a lot like it is 2 C per doubling based on the data since 1950.

      • JimD, “No” is not an idea, and some skeptics have gone further, but more on the creative data side than the creative idea side. A lot of skeptics like to think they understand greenhouse gases, but then come up short on explaining why it looks a lot like it is 2 C per doubling based on the data since 1950.”

        Your arms getting tired yet?

        Most of the real effort is involved with getting crapola “science” retracted or revised. Stuff you will defend to the death and liberal quote with no regard to the truth.

        Weeee, post the roller coaster at NOAA WTF NOAA.

        tonyb likes the boreholes, well there are 20ka worth.

      • captd, a little better time resolution gives you this. If these gradients are parallel, that is like 2 C per doubling by the way they are scaled.
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1955/mean:12/offset:0.05/plot/gistemp/from:1955/mean:12/offset:-0.05/plot/esrl-co2/scale:0.008/offset:-2.6

      • JimD, “captd, a little better time resolution gives you this”

        You ever turn the sensitivity up on an O’scope and watch the noise? 50 years is a pretty small fraction of an interglacial and anomaly doesn’t really paint a complete picture..

        Northern hemisphere absolute temperature per Hadley.

      • This period represents 75% of the CO2 we added, so it makes sense to see if there could be a signal here. However, there are some that don’t see anything of significance of such plots. Maybe the consequences implied are just too horrible for them to contemplate. I don’t know. This is where the psychology experts are needed. It’s a Rorschach test.

      • And yet again Jim tries to misrepresent skeptics as deniers – in this case trying to suggest they don’t think CO2 should be looked at at all.

      • JimD, https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-HicKZSkrqvw/VHX3Tzrh4nI/AAAAAAAAL14/Xc4vVVcVrkU/s679/nino%25203.4%2520emile-geay%25202012.png

        This represents mainly the period prior to the 75% increase in CO2.

        Emile-Geay, J.; Cobb, K.M.; Mann, M.E.; Wittenberg, A.T put it together. Quite a few big swings in there prior to CO2. 1910 to 1940 was a pretty big swing prior to the 75% CO2, but 1978 to 1998 had to be all CO2 all the time right?

        Here, let me zoom in on that for ya.

        Yep, you’re right. About 75% of that CO2 increase has been in the past 50 years or so.

      • I don’t see the line for the water vapor increase. Maybe yimmy could stand in front of the charts and wave his arms just right, so we can see it. A little cartoon line. Fake it, yimmy.

      • Don, Water vapor? Isn’t that supposed to be about 2×3.7wm-2 per degree of warming? It seems like 7.4 Wm-2 of “forcing” would be hard to miss? I am sure JimD can explain all that.

      • captd, so now you have given up on recent global trends and thermometer records to look at randomly chosen small-area proxies. How about focusing on my plot? Global temperature, global CO2, the last 60 years. This is the relevant stuff for now and today’s trends.

      • JimD, “captd, so now you have given up on recent global trends and thermometer records to look at randomly chosen small-area proxies. How about focusing on my plot?”

        Are they randomly chosen?

        My chosen areas seem to have a very high correlation with “global” temperature anomaly. Pure dumb luck on my part no doubt.

      • captd, so why show it instead of a global trend over the last 60 years if that is what you wanted to approximate? Or maybe you wanted to show that no trends anything like the last 50 years have been seen in the past, in which case, yes, that is the point.

      • JimD, “captd, so why show it instead of a global trend over the last 60 years if that is what you wanted to approximate?”

        That would be because of this JimD.

        That is the stellar work of Micheal E. Mann in the background overlain with a reconstruction of the Indo-pacific Warm Pool by Oppo et al. 2009. That Nino3.4 which just happened to end prior to the “pause” would be part of the tropical SST. Using your chosen data there was no variability, ever, so there would be no need to consider water vapor response to long term warming. In my opinion you need a baseline or “normal” before you can determine abby-normal.

      • Don M, you usually don’t like what the water vapor data shows, but here.

      • captd, do you see how rapid your global trend is getting at the end there? Unprecedented. What would 2-3 C more look like on that?

      • JimD, “captd, do you see how rapid your global trend is getting at the end there? Unprecedented. What would 2-3 C more look like on that?”

        Really? Considering the combined uncertainty of the paleo and early instrumental there is no real difference. I do suspect that CO2 has added a touch to the trend, but it doesn’t really look like more than half. I might say 50% CO2, 50% natural with about +/-30% due to eyeball :)

      • CO2 and temperature rise rates are both unprecedented recently. Not a coincidence. Many see a connection on a physical basis. Some refuse to.

      • Jim > CO2 and temperature rise rates are both unprecedented recently. Not a coincidence. Many see a connection on a physical basis. Some refuse to.

        And here we see the rock-solid foundation of Jim’s alarmism : Correlation is Causation.

        Oh and btw Jim, of all the people who don’t swallow the official alarmism propaganda whole as you do, what fraction do you think say CO2 is completely off the hook? Less than a handul I’d say, so best find some sturdier strawmen real quick.

      • Source, yimmy?

        Water vapor over land, yimmy?

      • JimD, “CO2 and temperature rise rates are both unprecedented recently.”

        CO2 rise does appear to be “unprecedented” in both instrumental and Paleo. Temperature rise doesn’t appear to be unprecendented unless you are a Mann-O-nite. Based on the tropical paleo, there has been about 1 C of warming from that period formerly known as the little ice age and there also appears to be evidence of that period formerly known as the MWP. Huang et al. noted with the borehole reconstruction that the MWP was about as warm as today. So if the “globe” has warmed by about 1C due to recovery from the LIA water vapor and clouds would have responded to that warming.

        The tropical oceans though have this affinity for 28C plus or minus a touch. That is related to convective triggering at around 28C which the models would include provided they could get the absolute temperature in the tropics right. Adjust the tropical temperatures in the models and you get a slow down/standstill/hiatus/pause. All the physics actually works provided you use real temperatures as required for a water world.

      • Jim, stop joking around. You know that doesn’t represent what Don is asking for. Give him this:

        http://www.leif.org/EOS/2012GL052094-pip.pdf

        On the other hand maybe you want to find one that shows a trend.

      • OMG! Looks like little yimmy dee is cherry-picking from Dr. Spencer’s charts:

        http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/04/ssmi-global-ocean-product-update-increasing-clouds-with-a-chance-of-cooling/

        You are really a character, yimmy.

      • Thanks, steven. Yimmy couldn’t find that one.

      • Here’s a good one, yimmy:

      • Yes, Don M, Google image search is a wonderful thing. I have no way of telling which water vapor plots will make you happy, but search away for yourself in the future instead of asking me to put one up for you. There are plenty of images around. Maybe you don’t like the one from Roy Spencer. Who knew? Why not? What did he do wrong this time?

      • The one I just posted in yellow will do, yimmy. Match it up with your little charts showing temperature and CO2 rising in unprecedented lockstep. Where is the unprecedented water vapor increase? Sow us the water vapor hokeystick. You are a little faker, yimmy. No credibility. Zero. You can’t be a hero with that zero. Give it up.

      • Don M, so when Roy Spencer was showing 11% per degree, what did he get wrong? What percentage do you get with your yellow line? Do you know what you are talking about?

      • JC SNIP We all know that if you increase the temperature of the surface you will get more water vapor. Where is the positive water vapor feedback causing a multiplication of the CO2 warming?

        Warmest year evah, warmest decade evah, most CO2 evah! Wait a minute, water vapor is not following the freaking story-line. WV ain’t ratcheting up. Roy’s data shows a one month lag in temperature-water vapor variance. You are pretending that the feedback takes freaking forever. It’s in the pipeline! That’s your fake excuse. Get your story straight, yimmy.

      • Don M, put the pieces together yourself. You have the no-feedback sensitivity of 1 C per doubling. You have the observed sensitivity of 2 C per doubling. Perhaps some of that difference is your water vapor feedback that you were looking for. Just sayin’.

      • I see an increase in water vapor as the AMO goes positive and not much of anything since then. Exactly what theory and models state an increase in poleward ocean heat transport should do. What do you see?

      • steven, yes, as expected there is a correlation with sea-surface temperature. This obviously shows up in its longer term trends too, much as Arrhenius would have expected.

      • Little Audrey

        Let me see if I have this
        – water vapour *has* gone up
        – temperature remains on the ~20 year plateau
        So where does that leave us?

      • I don’t think he knew about the AMO, Jim.

      • Little yimmy is struggling. He can find no evidence that water vapor is a strongly positive feedback to CO2 warming. Nada. Weakly waving one’s little arms and suggesting that the unconvinced supply the evidence is very crude and silly.

        You are delusional, if you think you are doing the cause any good.

      • steven, Arrhenius can explain the correlation seen by Spencer which I am sure includes your AMO and a few ENSO cycles thrown in. What are you questioning exactly? Same with Don. You don’t seem to be questioning what Spencer showed, probably implying either agreement or lack of comprehension(?). Can’t we agree that warmer oceans are associated with more vapor and leave it at that? Clausius-Clapeyron and all that.

      • Jim, I seriously doubt he could explain things he knew nothing about and which are topics of debate to this day. Yes, we can agree SSTs determine water vapor and no, we can’t leave it at that. Water vapor tracks the AMO and not CO2. Now that we can leave it at.

      • steven, I think the biggest changes in Roy’s graph are from ENSO, not AMO. These dominate the global temperature and therefore water vapor.

      • Little Audrey

        So Jim here agrees that water vapour doesn’t track CO2.
        What then is he on about?

      • OMG! Little yimmy noticed that WV rises on El Nino and drops like a rock when it’s over.

      • Enso would be more the short term jumping around. The AMO could provide a longer term trend.

      • ENSO and AMO are irrelevant per se. It’s their temperature effect, background global warming included. Spencer’s graph covers 26 years during which the global average sea-surface temperature must have risen about 0.3 C.

      • http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2010JCLI3347.1

        That paper credits 0.24C warming globally to the AMO. I think I saw one at an even 0.3C here at Climate Ect some time back but I’ll take 4/5ths of the water vapor for now and we can argue over the rest later.

      • steven, the land temperature rise since 1970 precedes and is larger than the ocean temperature rise. It does not point to an ocean driver, more an external forcing. You can see that CRUTEM4 NH precedes AMO in phase by 10 years which I find interesting.

      • Jim, the AMO is just a measurement where the phenomenon was first identified. There is no requirement that it preceed anything. I have seen your land warming first argument before. Itis weak and there is literature that states the observations are supported by an ocean driver.

      • @ Jim D

        “Usually skepticism has some thought behind it. It should have an alternative explanation, otherwise it is empty naysaying that any uneducated person could do, and would not be paid attention to.”

        As multiple commenters have tried to explain to you, without obvious success, the fact that a skeptic calling BS on some pronouncement or another of Climate Science does not replace the pronouncement with one of his own does not in any way invalidate his judgement that the original pronouncement was BS.

        As example, if I am riding down the highway with a climate scientist and express curiosity as to the number of grains of sand on the beach we are passing and am told by said climate scientist that there are exactly 1,776 grains, I can safely call BS without countering his claim with one of my own.

        By the same token, when Climate Science trumpets that 2014 was the ‘hottest year since at least 1880, when records began’ by 0.02 degrees’, I can safely call BS without proposing another year that was warmer and by how many hundredths of a degree my year was hotter than 2014. In point of fact, anyone who claims that ANYONE knows the ‘Temperature of the Earth’ in 1880, or the years since, with sufficient precision to arrange them in rank order with hundredths of a degree resolution is spouting BS. And I don’t have to propose a different rank order for my call of BS to be valid.

      • Yes, we have already established that Jim D is militantly ignorant of what being a skeptic entails.

      • Bob L, I mean that “no” by itself is not a useful answer to a proposition such as the IPCC view that ~100% of the warming since 1950 is manmade. Alternative answers would be “No, because…”. For example: “No, because CO2 is a trace gas that can’t do anything” or “No, because clouds are countering the CO2 effect and the rest of the warming is something else that I haven’t identified yet”. These would be valid answers that show your reasoning process, and at least can be used to start a discussion to find out where the IPCC reasoning differs from yours.

      • @ Jim D

        “Alternative answers would be “No, because…”.”

        Climate Science produces a bunch of graphs of the historical Annual Temperature of the Earth. Adjusted. Multiple times.

        Ignoring for the moment the question as to what the Annual Temperature of the Earth IS, exactly, Climate Science then notes that the recent slope of the temperature plot has been positive (depending strongly on the choice of start times) and then POSTULATES that 50% (or more) of the slope was caused by ACO2.

        I call BS because:

        a. Based on a variety of sources, most of which have been published on this web site, I am told that in the past there have been extended periods during which the planetary temperature has been warmer than the present, colder than the present, and pretty much similar to the present. All periods during which ACO2 could not have contributed to the climate variations.

        b. Empirically, natural temperature variations have occurred that exceeded the variation in temperatures since ACO2 became an issue. Climate Science is not able to explain the pre-ACO2 climate variability. Therefore, ANY percentage of the observed temperature rise from less than 0% to greater than 100% that is attributed to ACO2 ‘is consistent with observations’. In other words, since we can’t explain natural variations and natural variations have exceeded recent observed variations, any specific percentage of temperature variations attributed to ACO2 by Climate Science amounts to no more than an ex cathedra proclamation. There is ample circumstantial evidence to suspect that the selection of a specific number is driven more by politics than by science.

        c. As an outside observe, my attention was called to ‘Climate Science’ when it burst on the scene out of nowhere 20 or more years ago with the announcement that ACO2 is causing the temperature of the Earth to rise an unprecedented rate, that the biosphere will be doomed if governments worldwide do not take immediate action to control any human activity that produces a ‘carbon signature’, and that the ‘science was settled’. Since then, I have noticed that at least one part of their proclamation was accurate: the science WAS settled, and remains settled. And woe to any entity, individual or group, which suggests otherwise. Since then I have observed that unlike other sciences which appear for the most part to revise theory to explain data, Climate Science seems to routinely revise data to confirm theory.

        So when I am told by the experts that they are confident that greater than 50% of the observed temperature rise in recent years was caused by ACO2 I call BS. I don’t have a counter proposal, nor do I need one for my criticism to be ‘reasoned’.

  66. I think in the final analysis the CAGW culture will not be undone by the difficult to prove conjecture that sceptics are not unduly affected by cultural bias but are engaged simply in healthy scepticism – in contrast to CAGW advocates who DO labour under a set of pernicious psychological, cultural, social and professional influences. Such may indeed be true and it certainly looks very likely, but any ‘proof’ thereof will inevitably be messy, murky and ‘psychological’.

    I think CAGW will fall eventually because it will simply run out of alarmist steam; planet Earth will not play ball with its increasingly overwrought and dire warnings of imminent Thermageddon. This might be a long and slow process – though it might be considerably shortened if dramatic cooling sets in within the next decade – and billions more public money may be invested in the effort to ‘save the climate’ in the meantime. A coup de grace may however come in the form of another Climategate, even more damning than the first, but too much speculation upon this of course opens oneself up to vitriolic accusations that one is a ‘tin hat conspiracy theorist’. From where I’m standing though, unsustainability is looking more like an apt description of the Science and its methods of data collection and processing than a scathing, doom-laden account of our energy intensive lifestyles.

    • That reminds me of the joke about 99% of Snowden stuff we still know nothing about. So we can’t count that. All is good.

    • “I think CAGW will fall eventually because it will simply run out of alarmist steam; planet Earth will not play ball . . . .”

      Unfortunately, Earth will continue to produce natural disasters, which will be spun as confirmations of warmism. And, after a decade of flat temperatures, warmists will be able to shift their focus to acidification, which will take another decade or two to debunk.

  67. If someone were to come up with incontrovertable proof that CO2 is not going to bring disaster upon the world, the IPCC and climate ‘science’ community would still not change their tune (The same applies to the likes of Jimd.).
    Because basically they are not scientists. They have scientific knowledge, to be sure, but they don’t follow the scientific method; they want to prove a point for politics, not find the truth. All the funding comes from politics, and there is just FAR too much political capital riding on it for honesty to break out.

    • You are making a very strong psychological claim that I see no way to test. The facts seem to be simply that the science is ambiguous so reasonable people can easily disagree, which they do, based largely on their policy views. Calling the other side dishonest, while common on both sides, is not accurate. When the science is inconclusive and the policy stakes are high, fierce debate is inevitable. Moreover, given the complexity of climate the science may be inconclusive for a long time, as it has been, thus the debate becomes institutional. This is how democracy works, unpleasantly.

      • “Calling the other side dishonest … is not accurate.
        … When the science is inconclusive”

        The dishonesty lies at a meta level, in claims that it *is* conclusive – ‘the science is settled’.

      • It is not dishonest if that is what the person believes, as many do. It is just incorrect. When people disagree someone is usually wrong.

      • Being wrong by assuming the science is settled is the basic problem with climate psychology. There is nothing unusual about this. I study human reasoning and when I look at psychological studies related to that I typically find the psychologists using an incorrect, usually oversimplified, theory of reasoning.

        In science the interpretation of data and observation is always based on that one believes. In the jargon of philosophy of science, observation is theory laden, and when the underlying theory is wrong the interpretations may well be wrong for that reason. This is just what we see in climate psychology.

    • Ah – but do they really believe the science is settled?
      Or is this the inner voice of their politics and/or need for grant money speaking?

  68. Thanks for a fun post. The comments have kept me amused this morning far too long. AW’s post itself is fair, if wordy.
    I just get a strong feeling of resentment to be reminded of the possibility that the work of climate psychologists – indeed, any psychologists – might be part-paid out of my taxes. Do you think this resentment is pathological? Is it a form of denial? What does the science say on this? Is it settled? Should I answer a questionnaire?

    • Considering the standard of their results so far, then I’d say your resentment is justified. But if they actually acknowledged the climate culture, and so started applying their normal theories about how strong cultures can enforce a consensus upon the unknowable, then that might be worth a little money ;)

      • I suppose the basic irony here, is that the attempt by alarmist climate psychologists to show that skeptics are gripped in a climate culture mental disorder, merely exposes themselves as being in one.

      • Will they now call it: confirmation by ass, so there will no longer be any confusion in the world?

  69. Jim D writes: “The data is there. You don’t have to be rich to examine it and come up with ideas to explain it. If CO2 didn’t cause most of the warming in the last century simply explain (1) why the AGW idea is wrong, and (2) where the warming came from instead.”

    Jim D, I asked the same questions for some time and came to be a spare-time climate amateur expert to find out. I guess I am a lukewarmer like Kim, who wrote “You had better pray to Gaia that the rebound was primarily natural (from LIA), else, if man has done the heavy lifting of warming, we are running out of fuel.”

    My reply to your (2) question “where is the warming coming from” is that your question shows a lack of appreciation for what is normal. Your psychology behind the question that there is something abnormal, anomalous, that demands an explanation. Well, the first question a non-indoctrinated member of the public asks is what does history show? The IPCC supplied that answer to the world in 2001 complements of Dr. Michael Mann et al, a straight line as far back as the eye could see followed by an alarming ski jump off a cliff. Since then those who research the topic can now know that this was not a good reconstruction. Let’s say honest mistakes were made and there is an honest reason that they are vigorously being covered from public scrutiny, the common good, of course.

    Every day now we are getting more an better paleo-reconstructions. They all have error, variance due to locality, and even bias. But collectively I would say it is settled science that anomalies are to climate history what traffic signs are to streets, normal.

    What causes the anomalies? That is not settled science. But it is agreed that there are many players. I personally am interested in ocean currents interacting with ice caps. Is C02 a player? Svante Arrhenius, the father of the Greenhouse Effect, thought so in 1896. He was a very smart guy. I think if he had the tools and background knowledge of today he would be a luke-warmer.

  70. The percentage of all the people in the world who have access to climate blogs and make comments on climate blogs is smaller than the percentage of the trace gas CO2 in the atmosphere. Joshua is right about one thing. If you’re here you’re an outlier.

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  72. The issues remains that even the ‘good cop’ start form the idea that these people are wrong and I need to find out why . By ruling out the very idea that these people could be right he goes looking for ‘sickness’ for those who hold a set of view .
    It never occurs to him to find why those that believe in another set of views on the same subject think in that way, its taken for granted than are right and therefore their reasons for thinking this way must be good .
    Now in some areas that may be a fair way to go , but certainly not in this one for there simply is not the type of back and white division of a right and a wrong , there to start with.

  73. TRAGIC-COMEDY

    As with our own warped sense of humor in discussing the attempt by fools to rule the world, . . .

    there is a TRAGIC-COMEDY unfolding at the limit of our comprehension:

    There is little doubt world leaders tried to save themselves and the world from nuclear annihilation in 1945 by:

    1. Forming the UN to take totalitarian control of society, and

    2. Changing solar and nuclear physics to hide neutron repulsion in cores of atoms, planets, stars and galaxies heavier than 150 atomic mass units (where nuclear structure changes [1] to neutrons in the core and neutron-proton pairs at the surface).

    At the limits of our comprehension, at the intersection of spiritual and scientific knowledge, is the certainty of an “intelligent and creative Mind” (Max Planck) guiding force fields from the Sun’s pulsar core in creating and sustaining every atom, life and world in the Solar System . . .

    a volume of space greater than the combined volumes of ten billion, billion Earth’s !

    I.e., world leaders are trying to hide a force of creation, incomprehensibly more powerful than anything they could have imagined.

    Whether or not we succeed, world leaders will fail to control God’s force of creation.

    1. See page 3, “Solar energy,” Adv. Astronomy (submitted for on-line review, 6 JAN 2015): https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Solar_Energy_For_Review.pdf

    • Yea, but its hard to build any consensus about this.

      BTW, I would like to suggest a string on favorite alternative energy technologies. We need to save our fossil fuel up in case future generations need it to do some heavy lifting to continue the Earth’s pause from being buried in glaciers.

  74. Pingback: Global Warming and What It’s Really All About | evilincandescentbulb

  75. DK shows that he is a “good cop” by tweeting fairly positively about this blog post, describing it as “thoughtful & extended engagement”, despite the fact that it is fairly critical of his work.

  76. I did read most of it. It was interesting but long winded.

    My summery of the post would be; “Dan believes in CAGW, and doesn’t believe in God. Dan is confused by other people, who don’t believe in CAGW or who do believe in God.”

    • Um… The word ‘God’ does not appear in the post. The word religion only a couple of times; once as a link to the Pope’s latest position on GW, the other in a paragraph on a mental model Kahan employs to try and explain science aware Rep / Con behavior (‘the religious Doctor’ paradox). While no doubt Kahan wouldn’t use that model if he was personally religious, his personal belief in a deity (or lack of) is not addressed and nor are any of his surveys or analysis on religious beliefs.

      Dan is confused by folks who don’t believe in CAGW, because he doesn’t perceive that CAGW is a (powerful) culture. Cultures enforce a consensus on the unknowable (or try to), which rightly skeptics resist within what should be a domain of science and scientific uncertainty. There isn’t a significant religious angle in this post.

  77. Oh Joy. Yet another study on how to achieve the politically correct consensus on CAGW !!

    GROUPTHINK HIVE MIND informs climate change believers
    “We found the contrasting opinions of believers and sceptics about the causes of climate change provided the basis of social identities that define who they are, what they stand for, and who they stand with (and against),” said one of the letter’s authors, Dr Ana-Maria Bliuc from Monash University’s School of Social Sciences
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/02/03/groupthink_hive_mind_informs_climate_change_believers/

    Public division about climate change rooted in conflicting socio-political identities
    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/pdf/nclimate2507.pdf

  78. Another stupid paper on climate psychology has just been published in Nature, Bluic et al, link in Brent’s comment above.

    It starts badly by quoting the Cook et al 97% paper without question. It proceeds with the usual false polarisation:
    “The public is divided between climate change ‘believers’ (whose views align with those of the scientific community) and ‘sceptics’ “.
    The irony of course is that the paper is discussing ways of reducing the binary polarisation they they themselves have constructed.

    They claim that the dispute is based on
    “an aspect of self that defines who they are, what they stand for, and who they stand with”.
    Of course this is exactly Kahan’s argument – even the wording is almost identical – but, amazingly, they don’t cite Kahan!

    • The 97% paper is the rock solid foundation upon which all climate science rests.

    • While ‘who we are’ is important, they appear to have completely missed the massive asymmetry in the climate domain, caused by a powerful CAGW culture, which is independent of left / right culture yet has forged a different relationship to each (that relationship also differs inside each country). Per the head post, Kahan’s own data plus other surveys show that it is the Dem / Libs that shift position when identity issues are removed, not the Rep / Cons. When not called upon to defend their party / identity, a majority of Dem / Libs don’t believe in dangerous man-made Global Warming either.

      • My problem is that I do not know how the concept of culture applies to a social movement like environmentalism, and CAGW which is just the latest and biggest front in the movement. Is there such a thing as a transient culture? If so then yes CAGW is a culture. Otherwise I do not know what is being said.

      • Andy, the resolution is the acceptance of our cause of the warming and greening, and acceptance of the benefits of both.
        =====================================

    • I’ve now written a post on that awful paper by Bliuc et al.

      “In summary, we have a biased paper promoting political activism, exacerbating division and with a main conclusion that has already been stated many times in the literature. How did this rubbish get published? Oh, it’s in Nature.”

  79. Pingback: Another dumb climate psychology paper | The IPCC Report

  80. Pingback: Another Dumb Climate Psychology Paper | The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

  81. One factor that rarely come up is that scientists often believe that their argument is so persuasive, so self-evident, so absolutely compelling that no one could possibly disagree. They see no reason to have to defend it—why would they? It’s obvious to them and it should be to you too. It is totally incomprehensible to these individuals that anyone anywhere could actually disagree with them. If this does happen, the person disagreeing is somehow defective, not the theory that the speaker is putting forth. It’s a very, very pervasive belief in global warming science.

  82. One thing that is missed in this—it’s not just about getting rid of fossil fuels. It’s I HAVE MINE, YOU ARE NOT GETTING ANY. Many of these persons who alledgely care got rich on oil (Gore, Anschutz,etc.) There parents and grandparents got rich from the use of fossil fuels. They see the way to stay king of mountain and rich and privileged as taking away what they got rich on. This is about greed, selfishness and empire-holding. No one should ever get as rich as these people are is the way they think. They want you poor, themselves rich.