Informed Consent for Climate Policy

by Lucas Bergkamp

A hypothetical medical case involving uncertain diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy to explain the wickedness of climate change.

The Current Defective Model of Raising Support for Climate Action

President Obama’s scientifically unsupportable statements about asthma and hurricanes demonstrate that some politicians assume that people will support climate action only if they believe that climate change affects them here and now. As the first IPCC chairman suggested decades ago, “[i]f we want a good environmental policy in the future, we’ll have to have a disaster.” Thus, to garner support for climate policies, politicians may be inclined to allege that extreme weather events are becoming the ‘new normal’ and that human diseases will proliferate and spread rapidly. In so promoting their policy proposals, they may have to intentionally misrepresent the science. In their minds, they are justified in doing so because decisive climate action is urgently necessary. As now is ‘our last chance,’ such propaganda is deemed to be merely a white lie.

Will this less than completely honest strategy work? Of course, politicians will anticipate that some people are hard to fool and will attempt to expose the lies, so they also adopt strategies to “neutralize” them. These strategies can be nasty and divisive, but as long as the vast majority accept the propaganda, they do not cause major political issues. If, on the other hand, the part of the population that does not buy into the narrative becomes too large, the ‘neutralizing’ strategies lose their effectiveness and politicians have a problem on their hands. In the area of climate change, it is hard to predict whether and, if so, when, this point will be reached; once the silent majority wakes up, things may move quickly indeed. Irrespective of its effectiveness, however, the “impending catastrophe-based” climate policy sell is unsatisfactory and, arguably, unethical. A new model of soliciting public support for climate action policy is urgently needed.

The Informed Consent Model’s Advantages

For several reasons, the model of informed consent, which has been employed in the medical area with some success, is possibly a useful way of thinking about garnering public support for climate policy. Informed consent requires that an individual is provided with accurate and full information about a medical problem, its consequences, possible solutions, and their pros and cons. On that basis, this person can make an informed decision and select the therapy he or she is comfortable with. The first benefit hence is that the informed consent model does not accommodate misrepresentations and white lies, which makes it attractive as a key element of a long term relation between individual and state. Second, it is based on realistic scenarios of individual, rational decision-making. Third, because physicians, unlike politicians, have an obligation to provide objective and complete information on problems and options, irrespective of their effects on third party interests or the public interest, issues of individual concern are flashed out and can be given full recognition and consideration. Fourth, the model does not have to be limited to self-interested considerations, and can be adapted to include information relevant to third party interests, as in the case of organ donation.

Having said that by way of background, here is my attempt at using the model of informed consent to explain the uncertainty and complexity of both climate science and climate policies. 

Information About Climate-Related Disease

Mr and Mrs. Doe, please sit down, we have much to discuss. I have now reviewed all of your test results, the blood analysis, and other information relevant to your situation. On this basis, I hope to be able to provide you with a balanced picture of the disease from which you are suffering. I will also attempt to explain the possible consequences of the disease, and the pros and cons of the possible treatments. But I should emphasize up front that, unfortunately, there is much uncertainty about the disease, the possible treatments, and the prognosis, even with treatment. I know you want more certainty and clarity. I agree this is unsatisfactory and inadequate, but it is all medical science has to offer at this point. Please interrupt me if you have any questions or do not understand what I am trying to tell you.

You suffer from a syndrome called CRD, climate-related disease. The root cause is unknown, it may be due to an infectious agent, or some sort of addiction. There is no diagnostic test that can detect CRD with confidence. But there is a theory that suggests that you suffer from this disease, and one specific blood parameter is consistent with this theory and believed to be indicative of CRD. No currently known disease other than CRD is consistent with all of your symptoms. I sent your test results to an authoritative scientific advisory body, the Intergovernmental Panel on CRD (the IPC). According to some, not entirely reliable research, they represent the consensus in the medical community. The IRC has opined that CRD is a highly infectious disease and people around the world may be infected. They have expressed high confidence that you have CRD, but they also emphasize that there is some uncertainty and you may not have it after all. I should add also that other doctors disagree with the IPC. Some of these doctors claim that CRD does not exist, others believe that CRD is not serious and does not require treatment.

Let’s discuss the possible consequences of CRD. The IPC believes that this disease is easily transmitted within families and beyond, in other words, your children will also suffer from it, unless it is effectively treated. They expect it will result in adverse consequences in the long term, say, 50 to 100 years, but your children or their children may suffer serious symptoms early on in their lives. The IPC cannot tell you when symptoms will occur and how serious they will be, and they emphasize that there is substantial natural variability. In the worst case, you or your children may become progressively disabled, and at some point even unable to eat. There is a small risk that CRD will kill you, but if you are lucky, you may remain free of the most serious symptoms. Other doctors do not think that CRD is likely to result in any serious symptoms, and some even believe that CRD may be beneficial to you, but they seem to represent a minority opinion, although this is not known with any precision. In other words, assuming CRD is real, there is some probability that you will suffer severe symptoms at some point in the future. Based on current knowledge, neither this probability not the timing of the onset of symptoms can be reliably quantified.

Now we need to go over possible treatments, which is the most complicated and uncertain part. According to the IPC, the best therapy is a complete change of life style. They recommend that you go on a life-long diet, move into communal housing, and give up some of the pleasures of life, such as travel for fun. Your children may have to do the same, but maybe to a lesser degree. The therapy is demanding and painful, although it may turn out to be bearable for you as you get accustomed to it. Some doctors, however, believe that this therapy will not be effective, or that no therapy is required as the natural course of the disease will cause it to abate or completely disappear. Other doctors believe that a new drug or other treatment will be discovered before the symptoms of CRD become serious. These doctors are believed to be a minority, and they are underrepresented in the IPC. Whether another proven therapy will become available before you will suffer from CRD-related symptoms, depends on the rate of innovation in drug and other medical research, which is unknown. In any event, the IPC assumes, but cannot prove, there will be no new discoveries or other innovation that will help to remedy CRD.

There is another tricky problem associated with the therapy recommended by the IPC. The therapy will work only if the vast majority of patients agrees to undergo it. It is like herd immunity, of which you may have heard in relation to vaccination. So even if you consent to the IPC therapy and you stick to the demanding regimen, it may not help at all if the majority refuses to comply with it. To address this problem, the IPC has organized an international advocacy group to put pressure on patients worldwide to accept the therapy recommended by them. If patients hesitate or refuse, they offer them money to get them to change their mind and accept the therapy. Whether this campaign will be effective remains to be seen. If the campaign is ineffective, the IRC therapy is useless. You should know, however, that there are also symptomatic therapies available that do not fight CRD itself, but they do substantially alleviate the most serious symptoms of CRD. These therapies depend to a much lesser extent on what other patients decide to do.

I have told you all I know. CRD is wicked disease, much is unknown, unclear and uncertain in terms of the cause and progression of the disease, as well as possible therapies. With respect to the IRC-endorsed therapy, as I explained, your decision is also a function of what other patients will decide; for other symptomatic therapies, their effect depends much less on what other patients do and, thus, they are a “safer bet.”

So, Mr. and Mrs. Doe, what do you want to do? If you need to think about all of this some more, that is perfectly fine, you have time, the decision is not urgent. If you ask me what I would do, in all honesty, I could only say I would think long and hard, maybe consent to some therapy now, and postpone my decision on the CRD-recommended therapy until more is known about both the disease and possible therapies. But that is only my thinking, which reflects my values and interests. Of course, you may disagree and make a very different assessment. Let’s schedule a further appointment, once you have had a chance to think the situation through. Please take this information sheet, and call when you are ready to make a decision. And do not hesitate to contact me should any questions arise.

JC comment:  As with all guest posts, please keep your comments civil and relevant.

58 responses to “Informed Consent for Climate Policy

  1. Pingback: Informed Consent for Climate Policy | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  2. Willis Eschenbach

    Well thought out, well written, and well played, Mr. Bergkamp. Congratulations.

    And as always, Dr. Judith, thanks for your great site. Always interesting.

    w.

  3. If, on the other hand, the part of the population that does not buy into the narrative becomes too large, the ‘neutralizing’ strategies lose their effectiveness and politicians have a problem on their hands.

    Here is the 2015 ‘United Nations My World’ global survey on causes for concern currently covering 8,581,385 respondents.

    http://data.myworld2015.org/

    Note that “action on climate change” comes flat last, sixteenth out of sixteen causes for concern.

    So politicians have a problem on their hands – probably caused by their richly deserved utter lack of credibility.

    • Twice as many people want affordable and nutritious food than want action on climate change.

      Given that the two are mutually exclusive, the global warmers are outvoted 2:1.

    • By its charter United Nations is supposed to:
      – To maintain international peace and security…
      – To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples …
      – To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character,
      – To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.

      United Nations seems to be both out of line with it´s charter and out of line with the priorities of the people. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has itself become an international problem of an economical and cultural character.

      • There is muchly morbid pathology and a continuing fever in the narrative. The Earth’s not warming, but the people are dying for fear of it doing so. As if they’ve had a bone pointed at them or some similar viciously primitive spiritual technique.
        =================

  4. Well, the herd immunity conferred by the native infection of viral CRD is immensely valuable. The proposed vaccine is unnecessary and has terrifying, destructive, even lethal side effects.

    Choose wisely my friends.
    ==================

  5. Lucas Bergkamp,

    Most excellent.

    I believe a vaccination is available, but many people are frightened of the side effects of rationality and logical thoughts which may occur.

    Cheers.

  6. “I sent your test results to an authoritative scientific advisory body, the Intergovernmental Panel on CRD (the IPC).”

    Har har har, I almost spit my adult beverage all over my computer screen after reading that line. Good One.

    Also, correct me if I am wrong, but the whole “informed consent” concept was introduced to the medical field to protect doctors from lawyers, no ? Not to protect patients from alleged diseases ?

    I also do not recall seeking treatment from a climate scientist in my lifetime, nor my parents, or grandparents as far as I know.

    The climate science community came up with this silly diagnosis with no pre-existing conditions ever being noticed by the patients for millennium.

    The USA created one of it’s early bureaucracies (the FDA) to stop shysters from diagnosing non-exsistant illnesses and proscribing (highly profitable) “patent medicines” precisely to avoid this type of pernicious fraud.

    We need no more snake-oil salesmen (sales persons) that claim they can control the climate if only us rubes buy their “special” elixiar by the truck load, OH and you have to hurry before they leave town, it might be years before you can get the magic potion again….

    Enjoyable article, Thanks, KevinK

    • Nope. Informed consent arose out of one of two common law legal theories of misconduct on the part of doctors. Those common law theories were negligence and battery. (The latter is today largely codified in statutes.) The natural defense to claims of negligence on the part of doctors is that the doctor acted “reasonably,” and THAT defense was shaped by the “community standard,” largely for the purpose of protecting doctors. But “informed consent” was an evolution in exactly the opposite direction. “Consent,” without the modifier, is a defense to a charge of battery. Requiring “informed consent” was requiring more than the common law required.

      So you could say that “informed consent” was developed to make doctors more vulnerable to lawyers. But I think that’s unfair. In both cases, we’re just seeing the legal system adapting the general legal doctrine to the facts of a specific, common relationship–the doctor-patient relationship.

  7. “According to the IPC, the best therapy is a complete change of life style. They RECOMMEND that you go on a life-long diet, move into communal housing, and give up some of the pleasures of life, such as travel for fun”

    The real life IPCC would reject this statement.
    According to them, they do not make any recommendations on any topic.

    This may come as a complete surprise to hundreds of government officials world-wide who are desperately trying to comply with the non-recommendations in the IPCC’s various reports.

    Though this approach by Mr. Bergkamp is novel and well-written, most of the experts would say the topic is far too complex for an ordinary person to understand and therefore could not be based on ‘informed consent.’ You know “trust us, we’re the experts. You’re just a taxpayer.”

    However, it is clear from reviewing IPCC documents – i.e. SPM 4.2.2. that someone with an interest in pushing renewables has been playing a central role in writing that section, despite the fact that Google engineers don’t find that renewables work as advertised and that they will not address climate change. So relying on the IPCC would be offering ‘misinformed’ consent….if in the climate context. What is clear is that there is entirely too much focus on CO2 and not all other relevant factors, so we suggest that we just “Say NO to CO2-ercion.” http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/10/prweb13044767.htm

  8. Hmm

    “You suffer from a syndrome called CRD, climate-related disease. The root cause is unknown, it may be due to an infectious agent, or some sort of addiction. There is no diagnostic test that can detect CRD with confidence. But there is a theory that suggests that you suffer from this disease, and one specific blood parameter is consistent with this theory and believed to be indicative of CRD. ”

    not really a even handed assessment of the science.

    The consensus position is that CFD has been detected with high confidence and a handful of experts disagree with the level of confidence.Moreover, there is more than one blood parameter..

    Finally the patients won’t really get to decide.

    • Ah, but they are choosing without consciously deciding; else why the BRICs prefer with the native infection, and disdain the vaccine? A deadly vaccine which is, heh, being imposed from an imperialist West.
      ==================

    • SM “not really a even handed assessment of the science.”
      I agree. He forgot the part about the evidence showing the CRD being associated with scheming, manipulative, unscrupulous would-be tin pot dictators that have a vested interest in your decision.
      – and –
      Finally the patients won’t really get to decide.
      Maybe, but I intend to fight anyway.

    • I think you’re right, Mosher, but change that part slightly and the rest of the interview would be about the same. We don’t know how bad it will be, we don’t know how harmful the cure will be, and we don’t know if it will help as well as treating the symptoms.

  9. Adapted:

    You suffer from a disease called Hot World Syndrome, a climate-related disorder. The root cause is unknown, it may be due to an infectious agent, or some sort of addiction. There is no diagnostic test that can detect HWS with confidence. But there is a theory that suggests that you suffer from this disease, and one specific parameter is consistent with this theory and believed to be indicative of HWS: you’re an absurd and useless, monomaniacal hypocrite. No currently known disease other than HWS is consistent with all of your symptoms. I sent your symptoms to an authoritative scientific advisory body, the Intergovernmental Panel on HWS(the IPC). According to some, not entirely reliable research, they represent the consensus in the scientific community. The IPC has opined that HWS is a highly infectious disease and people in the Western academia — especially in Western political bureaucracy — may be infected. They have expressed high confidence that you have HWS, but they also emphasize that there is some uncertainty and you may not have it after all. I should add also that other scientists disagree with the IPC. Some of these scientists claim that HWS does not exist, others believe that HWS is not serious and does not require treatment or, like the IPC, a highly rational adaptation to the plenty offered by modernity.

    Let’s discuss the possible consequences of HWS…

  10. Here are a couple statements. What about them do you think he went beyond the science on?

    “Climate change didn’t cause Hurricane Sandy, but it might have made it stronger,” Obama said, referring to the 2012 mega-storm that hit parts of New Jersey and New York.”

    “They are especially vigilant now because climate scientists “are telling us that extreme weather events like hurricanes are likely to become more powerful,” Obama said.”

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/05/28/obama-national-hurricane-center-miami-climate-change/28072791/

    • Here is another one:

      “The changes we’re seeing in our climate means that, unfortunately, storms like Sandy could end up being more common and more devastating,” Obama said.

      “And that’s why we’re also going to be doing more to deal with the dangers of carbon pollution that help to cause this climate change and global warming. And that’s why we’re also, with the terrific help of these departments, thinking of how we can build more resilient infrastructure,” he added.

      • ”.. but it might have made it stronger…
        translation “There is no evidence of this, but I’ll just say it anyway”

        … climate scientists are telling us … likely to become …
        -> They have no evidence either, but they tell me it’s so.

        ”…could end up being more common and more devastating.”
        -> Hey, anything COULD happen!

        ”… that help to cause this climate change …”
        -> A tacit admission that there are other factors (which we prefer to ignore).

        Climate Science is 97% innuendo. That’s what’s wrong with it.

    • From IPCC AR5 WG1 Chapter 2 on extremes: some points picked out by RP Jr:

      “Overall, the most robust global changes in climate extremes are seen in measures of daily temperature, including to some extent, heat waves. Precipitation extremes also appear to be increasing, but there is large spatial variability”

      “There is limited evidence of changes in extremes associated with other climate variables since the mid-20th century”

      “Current datasets indicate no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century … No robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes counts have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin”

      “In summary, there continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale”

      “In summary, there is low confidence in observed trends in small-scale severe weather phenomena such as hail and thunderstorms because of historical data inhomogeneities and inadequacies in monitoring systems”

      “In summary, the current assessment concludes that there is not enough evidence at present to suggest more than low confidence in a global-scale observed trend in drought or dryness (lack of rainfall) since the middle of the 20th century due to lack of direct observations, geographical inconsistencies in the trends, and dependencies of inferred trends on the index choice. Based on updated studies, AR4 conclusions regarding global increasing trends in drought since the 1970s were probably overstated. However, it is likely that the frequency and intensity of drought has increased in the Mediterranean and West Africa and decreased in central North America and north-west Australia since 1950”

      “In summary, confidence in large scale changes in the intensity of extreme extratropical cyclones since 1900 is low”

      There is really not much more to be said here — the data says what it says, and what it says is so unavoidably obvious that the IPCC has recognized it in its consensus.

      http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/coverage-of-extreme-events-in-ipcc-ar5.html

  11. Hunton rings a bell. Ah, yes:

    1. To substantiate Richard Thomas’ declaration that Hunton & Williams has clients, and the Centre has members, with an interest in climate change issues, we can find, on Hunton’s own site, that:

    Hunton hasn’t cracked the top 25 earners on K Street yet, but revenues have more than tripled since the firm decided to focus its lobbying efforts around energy and environmental issues.

    V. Hunton’s own site : http://bit.ly/9J64hu

    http://climateaudit.org/2010/02/26/10477/#comment-223888

  12. This is silly. Medical consensus is worth about $150 per office visit and a comparable serving of climate science consensus is worth about $19.95. Silly analogy.

  13. Prof. Lucas Bergkamp
    That was really wonderful.

    Michelle Stirling made an important correction.
    change the ‘informed’ consent to ‘misinformed’ consent…
    That works better. more honest.

  14. Lucas Bergkamp

    Thank you. Enjoyable, interesting and gets the point across really well.

    If only the people who have CRD would read this and many other wonderful posts on Climate Etc.

  15. This cartoon put up by the moderator (Ryan) in the recent Cato meeting is relevant. There is very likely a disease, and there is a cure, which even without the disease would have benefits. Not many in that audience laughed.

    • Lets look at the slide..
      .
      1. Energy independence? How is buying all your energy technology from China energy independence?

      2. Preserve rainforests? The drive for renewables is what is destroying the rainforest to produce biofuel.

      3. Renewables are a goal? Renewables are horrible land wasters that kill animals, take vast resources to produce, create a lot of pollution to produce, produce lousy power (nondispatchable), and are uneconomical.

      4. Sustainable? How is anything like renewables that take a lot of raw material ,with the associated manufacturing and pollution to produce, with a relatively short lifespan, sustainable?

      http://www.speroforum.com/a/18796/Spain-Every-green-job-destroys-22-jobs#.VjnsFuzaxhE
      5. Each “green” job costs 2.2 real jobs.

      6. “Livable Cities” is joke. In the US city dwellers wouldn’t know if their power came from coal plants or Canadia. Where “renewables” displace nuclear power they are increasing emissions.

      7. Healthy children? No it won’t make children healthy. It will make everything more expensive which will harm more children, let alone the damage from putting their parents out of work.

      Renewables are such a negative they would not be deployed at all except for government fiat and subsidy.

      And global warmers are such self-deluded ideologues they believe the above slide without questioning.

      • Agree, PA, was jest about to go point to point myself,

      • Yes, I think the cartoon has provoked some reflection for skeptics, which was its aim.

      • I’ve enjoyed that slide for years, Jim D; it’s a perfect illustration of the blind faith and foolish motives of the alarmist idealogues.

        Many’s the discussant here, there, and every elsewhere who has donned that same lab coat, that monstrously simple-minded policy thinker’s cloak. A recurrent figure, so thank you and Ryan Maue for the memories.
        ===============

      • Oops, forgot ‘that naive moralist’.
        ===========

      • It wasn’t Maue, it was Bob Ryan, and I am glad that Cato audience got to see it, especially just after Spencer gave his death and destruction spiel.

  16. The lead-in to this article assumed that people would only support climate policies if they saw bad things happening already. Polls have shown that people don’t view climate change as an urgent matter, but also they show that people understand it enough to mostly support reducing CO2 emissions. This may seem contradictory, but there is a way to reconcile these apparently opposite poll results. That is, that people don’t see climate as an urgent problem because they are mostly aware that actions are already starting that will mitigate its effects, and that the whole thing plays out over decades. They do know that action as early as possible makes a difference, which is why they support policies now.

    • The medical analogy would be that they are not worried about the disease, because they are already taking the preventative medicine. They would be more worried if people tried to take that medicine away from them.

    • When it is pointed out that reducing CO2 emissions will in the future starve some people and extinct some animals people become far less supportive of reducing CO2.

    • “These may seem contradictory…” Actually, they don’t. People are kinda-sorta in favor of doing something as long as it doesn’t cost much or bother much. If you ask them to prioritize they drop it in favor of stuff they really care about.
      Pretty much the opposite of what you said, and much more obviously consistent with them putting it last on the list.

  17. “Sadly Mr. and Mrs. Doe, the recommended therapy is not covered by any medical insurance plan. Therapy is very expensive; expect it to cost your current life savings and most of your future earnings. Actually, you will need to obligate the future earnings of your children and your children’s children to pay for the therapy. The disease is purely theoretical, as is the therapy, but the cost should not be a major factor in your decicion.”

  18. Wonderful piece and discussion. PA’s point-by-point is spot on!

  19. Certainly enjoyed that! Thank you! And on a few somewhat related notes … There’s a great piece today from Steve Koonin (formerly of the APS, a body which unfortunately chose to ignore his work – along with that of our hostess and other realists) via the NYT (of all rags!):

    The Tough Realities of the Paris Climate Talks which Koonin concludes by noting:

    The critical role of adaptation in responding to the realities of climate change demands a deeper analysis and more prominent discussion of the nature, effectiveness, timing and costs of various adaptation strategies. But whatever the outcome in Paris, or of future discussions of emissions and the climate, the reality is that humans must continue to adapt, as they always have.

    But if you want a “preview” – in plain English – of what may well be the “main points” of the next IPCC report, you might want to take a look at a paper I had stumbled across yesterday, while I was searching for evidence of cries for “climate justice” past.

    It’s full of doom and gloom and all the requisite scary stories we’ve come to know so well – albeit far better written than much that comes out of the IPCC or the UNFCCC!

    Interestingly, my most recent recollection of a call for “climate justice” came from Ireland’s Mary Robinson, one of The Elders who, circa July of last year had been elevated to the position of “Special Envoy on Climate Change” by UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon”. Her immortal words:

    We need to change the debate on climate change – to move beyond its construct as a scientific or environmental problem and to realise that it is in essence an issue of development and of rights. Taking a climate justice approach to climate change means you respect human rights. I particularly welcome the Human Rights Council’s reaffirmation that human rights principles and obligations can inform and strengthen policy making on climate change at all levels. [my bold -hro]

    And as first Chair of the “revamped” Human Rights Council … well, she just did so much for them, didn’t she?! For the record, Mrs. Robinson, along with Archbishop Tutu (another of The Elders), Ban Ki-Moon, Lord Stern and other notables were also quoted somewhere along the way in this masterpiece entitled, “Climate Justice for a Changing Planet: A Primer for Policy Makers and NGOs”.

    The date of this masterpiece?! November, 2009 – I remember it well, don’t you?;-)

    But these calls for “climate justice” seem to have cropped up again via a recent UNFCCC draft that made Christiana (aka Tinkerbell) Figueres and Laurence Tubiana less than happy campers!

    My “assessment” of this considerably less than successful five-day gathering of 2400 of the great and the good?

    They came, they juggled and they missed – by the proverbial country mile (or two or three!)

  20. Climate change is often, I find, too great a concept for some people to grasp. It’s an immediate and almost invisible danger, too fuzzy to cut to the heart.

    • Well…

      Climate is real very easy to explain.

      Climate was colder for a long time, then it got warmer, then it got colder, then it got warmer again and pretty soon it will get colder again.

      It is the sort of complex concept easily understood by 5 year olds.

      Why middle aged global warmers have such a comprehension gap is difficult to explain.

  21. So, Mr. and Mrs. Doe, what do you want to do? If you need to think about all of this some more, that is perfectly fine, you have time, the decision is not urgent.

    When’s the last time a “climate scientist” said anything like that?

  22. I’ve rarely encountered a situation where informed consent was possible. I’ve gone through the motions, discussed the risks and benefits, outlined some reasonable strategies, and in the end, the decision is being influenced by elements usually unseen, like a stage whisper. At times the decision comes from a grandparent who may not even be present; ie, a belief construct unspoken.

    If I were to address a climate ideologue, using the informed consent model, I more likely would ask: who else is part of this decision process that is not here? What is their perspective? Enlisting a third party so the person infront of me is not put on the spot.

    The third party technique allows sorting out belief systems in play as well as gaps in knowledge, which can then be addressed. This is almost by necessity a one-on-one process and doesn’t easily lend itself to mass market manipulating.

  23. I enjoyed the first few paragraphs especially. As one who worked in modelling it bothered me that the President’s rhetoric was so ridiculous. I am glad I am not alone on that one.

  24. Sorry, you are telling the patient they “have” CRD when you don’t know that for sure, or how severe the disease is, or if it will be fatal. It is like telling someone who loses their glasses sometimes that they have dementia and should shoot themselves.

    • If the global warmer approach was applied to medicine…

      You go into the doctor with a sliver in your finger. He immediately diagnoses it as a fatal life threatening injury and recommends removal of the arm. And, oddly, he has a partial interest in an artificial limb factory.

      • ….. and if he has a Malthusian flavour he may remove your reproductive organs, because no harm in a little bit of population control.

  25. “You suffer from a syndrome called CRD, climate-related disease. The root cause is unknown, it may be due to an infectious agent, or some sort of addiction.”

    Prey on people’s vulnerability to superstitions enough and they forget that warm is good and cold is bad, and demand ritual sacrifice of the gas of life CO2.

    • It’s devilishly queer how backward this whole illusion is.
      ================

      • And highly divisive too, right down into communities and families, directly from the dispute at hand, and as a behavioural archetype in all manner of affairs.

  26. On the few occasions where I have experienced a medical professional attempting informed consent, they presented me with at least three different choices of treatment.

    ‘Consensus’ climate therapy seems to come in one flavor only.

  27. But are we experiencing professionals trying to get us healthy again using the best that modern medicine has to offer, or is it the CIA trying to chemically sterilize us?

  28. The portion of me which is labeled as “Libertarian” (I’d approximate some 15-20% or so) gets really irritated at this part: “There is another tricky problem associated with the therapy recommended by the IPC. The therapy will work only if the vast majority of patients agrees to undergo it. It is like herd immunity, of which you may have heard in relation to vaccination.”

    And to the above, I say emphatically NO, NO, NO! This kind of thinking absolves those more climate concerned of individual responsibility for that which they profess to be so terribly collectively concerned!

    So many so called skeptics do as much if not more in the way of prudent environmentally responsible individual behaviour than do so called alarmists in their choices. And it irritates the heck outta me when folks do not accept any personal responsibility while professing to have collective concern. I’ll happily put up my carbon footprint against anyone just to show that even though I’m not sure of how much of an issue any warming may be, that I at least accept personal responsibility for my portion just in case. (Thanks for letting me vent).

  29. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #204 | Watts Up With That?

  30. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #204 | Daily Green World