Climate polarization requires long, deep look at our worldviews

by Judith Curry

A more truly open dialogue, which honors a wider range of perspectives, may start to take place if we use integrative perspectives.

Scientific American has published a fascinating article: Understanding Our Polarized Political Landscape Requires a Long, Deep Look at Our Worldviews.  Excerpts:

Worldviews are the lenses through which people see and filter reality, shaping our world in many seen and unseen ways. Worldviews inform both individual choices as well as our group identities, and they tend to underlie our disagreements and add emotional spice to our societal debates. 

In the West, we have over time seen massive shifts in our collective worldviews, which academics have frequently described as a move from more traditional, generally religion-based worldviews to more modern worldviews, in which science, rationality, and technology have become central. 

Much more recently, particularly since the 1960’s, we have seen the rise of more postmodern worldviews, which emphasize other-than-rational ways of knowing, such as moral, emotional, and artistic ones, as well as values beyond the material, such as creativity, self-expression, and imagination. This perspective was largely forged by cultural elites within academia and the arts, and coincided with the rise of emancipatory movements for causes such as the environment and the rights of minorities, women, and gays. Now some academics are talking about another, newly emerging worldview, which is sometimes referred to as integral or integrative. This worldview is characterized by an attempt to bring polarized perspectives together and integrate them into a larger, more unified understanding of reality.

In our study we found statistically significant relationships between worldview-groups and their political priorities and environmental behaviors. Particularly, we found more concern about climate change, more political support for addressing it, and more sustainable behaviors among postmoderns and integratives, compared with moderns and traditionals.

The polarity between traditional/modern and postmodern/integrative worldviews that we found in our data is easy to recognize in the opposition between Trump and Sanders and their respective positions on climate change. 

Looking at these political positions from the perspective of worldviews, we see that Sanders appears to rally people with predominantly postmodern worldviews. The postmodern worldview arose in response to the shortcomings of the modern worldview, and therefore tends to be critical toward its model of society: its (narrow) ideas of progress, the frequently materialist and reductionist orientation of modern science, the risks and environmental impacts of its technologies, and the injustices of (global) capitalism. 

Trump seems to mobilize people mainly with a mix of, or bridging between, traditional and modern worldviews. 

At the same time, Trump exhibits the kind of authoritative leadership, winner mentality, attitude of disciplining through punishment, simplistic solutions  and moral hierarchy that may strongly appeal to people with a traditional worldview. Some of the more modern values that Trump emphasizes, as well as symbolizes, are business success, wealth, achievement, freedom, power, and individual self-sufficiency and responsibility.

(Clinton seems to represent an intermediate position between these two, appealing to people with mostly modern worldviews, and bridging to postmodern ones.)

While the postmodern worldview only really emerged about half a century ago, it has been steadily growing ever since, extending its influence far beyond the academic and artistic elites.  Older worldviews therefore tend to ‘die off’ with older generations, while newer worldviews tend to come into being with newer generations. This explains the disproportional support from younger people for Sanders, in comparison with what (a much more modernist) Clinton has been able to generate.

Although much has been said to explain the rise of Trump, one reason that stands out is the ways in which the more traditional (bridging to modern) oriented segments of society have been feeling encroached upon, and threatened by, the emergence of more postmodern views and values. So in some way, it is precisely the widespread rise of the postmodern value-complex that may partially explain the powerful conservative backlash that we see now, as exemplified by the Trump-movement.

However, more important than any typology of worldviews is the reflexive attitude a worldview-perspective supports. Worldviews are a fundamental part of individuals’ group identities, and people often react as strongly to perceived threats to these social identities as they do to defend themselves against personal attacks. We see this in the heat and emotionality of our political debates! However, once we become more aware of our (naturally partial and biased) worldviews, we start to see them in a larger context of a wider range of perspectives and values. We realize that there are also other worldviews, and that the people who hold them are not all idiots!

Psychological research has shown that when we are less invested in these social/worldview identities, and we can look at them with more distance and mindfulness, we are less inclined to respond as if we ourselves are threatened when our assumptions about reality are called in to question. Then a more truly open dialogue, which honors a wider range of perspectives, may start to take place. Supporting individuals to explore and reflect on their worldviews is therefore perhaps where the real change happens.

Worldview test

The author of the SciAm article, Annick de Witt, has a fascinating web site on Worldviews.

Benefits of a worldview approach

  • Enhance reflexivity
  • Improve communication
  • Develop innovative strategies
  • Use integrative perspectives
  • Tap into cultural trends
  • Contribute to global sustainability

Most interestingly, she has an online Worldview test [link], with 17 questions (takes about 7 minutes).  I took the test, the results were emailed to me:

 

Here are your results:

The worldview you identify with most is called integrative. Out of 17 questions, you 5 times chose the typical integrative perspective as your preferred answer.

You also scored quite high on the modern worldview. Out of 17 questions, you 5 times chose the modern perspective as your preferred answer.

The worldview you identify with least is called traditional. Out of 17 questions, you chose 14 times the traditional perspective as your least preferred answer.

Surprised?  Let me know what your type is.

JC reflections

With regards to the climate change debate, this methodology for analysis echoes the sentiments explored by Mike Hulme in his book Why We Disagree About Climate Change.   It also provides some important differences for the generational differences expressed in the Brexit vote and also Sanders versus Clinton.

In the climate wars, it seems to be the traditionals versus the postmoderns.  As for moi, I completely bypass that particular axis, which may explain my relatively unique position in the debate.

Can these insights help us move forward in the climate debate?  The key seems to be the integrative approach:

One such newly emerging worldview with great creative power is the integrative worldview. This worldview attempts to synthesize some of the great polarities our society struggles with, such as science versus spirituality, economy versus ecology, individual versus collective, and profit versus solidarity.

Exploring the nature of this worldview and practicing its defining qualities will ‘train your brain’ to access the benefits of these new ways of thinking and being, such as the capacity to overcome entrenched polarities and come up with synergistic, ‘and-and’ or ‘win-win’ (instead of ‘either-or’) solutions that speak to a diversity of people. It also gives you a powerful advantage in responding to where the Zeitgeist is currently moving.

Seems to me that the first step re climate change is to acknowledge and understand that we are dealing with a wicked problem, and that we should be looking for robust, no-regrets solutions.

Your thoughts?

 

152 responses to “Climate polarization requires long, deep look at our worldviews

  1. Curious George

    Michael Mann, scientist: Data ‘increasingly unnecessary’ because ‘we can see climate change’. Bravo, Prof. Mann. A great way to deal with a wicked problem. Data can be upside down, or the right way, it does not matter. Ignore these pesky inconvenient data completely.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jun/27/michael-mann-climate-scientist-data-increasingly-u/

    Now that’s a robust, no-regrets solution.

    • Michael Mann, scientist: Data ‘increasingly unnecessary’ because ‘we can see climate change’. Bravo, Prof. Mann.

      Hah, it looks like you’re looking for the worst possible way to interpret what he’s saying.

      Here’s another way to put it: developing tools to understand how the climate will change in response to human forcings doesn’t do us much good if we ignore these tools, and we just plow on ahead without regard. Particularly with regard to paleoclimate data, which is Mann’s area.

      He was talking about the work done developing tools for teasing out the anthropogenic influences (this is the context immediately preceding that quote of his).

      Well, when you make the anthropogenic influences bigger, you don’t need as sophisticated of tools to discern them.

      • Curious George

        To quote Prof. Mann, “Multivariate regression methods are insensitive to the sign of predictors.” Why does he need data at all?
        http://www.pnas.org/content/106/6/E11.full

      • Benjamin Winchester | June 30, 2016 at 6:13 pm | Reply
        Michael Mann, scientist: Data ‘increasingly unnecessary’ because ‘we can see climate change’. Bravo, Prof. Mann.

        Hah, it looks like you’re looking for the worst possible way to interpret what he’s saying.

        There is no positive way to spin Mann’s quote. CG isn’t close to the worst possible way to interpret Mann’s statement. Either CG isn’t trying hard or that wasn’t his intention.

      • To quote Prof. Mann, “Multivariate regression methods are insensitive to the sign of predictors.”

        Heh. And what’s bothersome about that? It’s the actual truth of it. Go get a book on statistical analysis, read that section, and tell me he’s wrong.

        Why does he need data at all?

        The non-sequitur here tells me that you’re really just looking for things to blame Mann for.

        It’s so weird to me that skeptics have this sort of cult personality thing going around some climate scientists (out of thousands of scientists), like they’re these big villains, caricatures even. And the rest of us are over here like, “hehehe, no, guys, this is called ‘math’ and ‘science'”.

      • Benjamin Winchester,

        For some bizarre reason, I assume that commenters who start off comments with “Hah”, “Heh”, “Meh”, or similar inanities are either intellectually challenged or Warmists.

        In your case, you seem to support use of the oxymoron “climate science”, I would tend toward the view that you are primarily a Warmist.

        If this is the case, you might be silly enough to believe that objects can be heated by surrounding them with CO2. This is not science, merely delusional Warmism. I hope this helps you.

        Cheers.

      • Benjamin Winchester,

        For some bizarre reason, I assume that commenters who start off comments with “Hah”, “Heh”, “Meh”, or similar inanities are either intellectually challenged or Warmists.

        In your case, you seem to support use of the oxym*ron “climate science”, I would tend toward the view that you are primarily a Warmist.

        If this is the case, you might be silly enough to believe that objects can be heated by surrounding them with CO2. This is not science, merely delusional Warmism. I hope this helps you.

        Cheers.

        PS Apologies if this appears twice. One version may have been eaten by the spam-eating monster!

      • bedeverethewise

        Benjamin Winchester
        In keeping with the topic of the post, I took the world view test and found that I have a modern world view, which means:

        People with modern worldviews tend to emphasize rationality, science, logic, and critical thinking, and they often question imposed views from (religious) traditions and the past. To do something “because we have always done it” is not an argument for moderns. Science is often seen as the ultimate ~ and sometimes even exclusive ~ source of reliable knowledge: it is the way to find out what is real and true.

        I don’t need to read a book to tell me what is wrong with Mann’s quote or with what he did. The sign doesn’t matter, if you don’t know what the sign means. In the case in point, we know very clearly what the sign means. If you dump that data into your multivariate analysis and the analysis tells the opposite of what you know to be true, then you need to figure out why.

        In this case, the scientists who collected and interpreted the data very clearly described the meaning of the sign of the data and the contamination in the industrial era. Mann took data known to be contaminated in the industrial era and did an analysis looking for an effect in the industrial era, an obvious mistake. The multivariate analysis misinterpreted the contamination as temperature data and flipped the sign on the good data. An obvious check that any good and honest scientist would do would be to look for this sort of sign flipping as an indication that something is wrong. Finally when the mistake was pointed out, the correct response would be to fix the problem, the wrong thing to do would be to make the nonsensical “insensitive to sign” argument.

        If you think this is called ‘math’ and ‘science’, then you don’t have a modern world view.

      • bedeverethewise,

        If you think this is called ‘math’ and ‘science’, then you don’t have a modern world view.

        Hey, I have no problem with excluding data that is known to be erroneous, or fixing it when that’s possible and when the fix methodology can be shown to be robust.

        On the other hand, when you include such data, it just makes the final analysis harder (as it should); widening the error bars. So multivariate regression really is robust to these types of errors, which is why it’s not really that important whether Tiljander was included or excluded, or even if it was “upside down”.

        Basically, there’s two ways you can handle potentially bad data. You can go through and pick them out by hand, or you can make sure that your algorithm will catch them for you. Mann does the latter. I prefer this method as well, as it’s not so subjective.

        This is a bit of a tempest in a teapot, though. Take Tiljander out and the result changes very little, as the methodology already appropriately downweights this data.

      • Curious George

        Ben: “Go get a book on statistical analysis, read that section, and tell me he’s wrong.” I am not a professional statistician like you. I have a W. Feller’s “An Introduction to Probability Theory and Its Applications” handy, but I could not find in it any indication that it should not matter whether you use an increasing or decreasing time series. Please advise what book and section I should read.

  2. Nature’s news reporter, Elizabeth Gibney, acknowledges now that the heavens are filled with a mysterious source of energy:

    http://www.nature.com/polopoly_fs/1.20175!/menu/main/topColumns/topLeftColumn/pdf/534610a.pdf

    • I took the test, didn’t like the limited choices on several questions, and never received the results. I am not a psychologist but common sense tells me the BrExit vote has registered with Nature’s publisher, McMillian Ltd.

    • The test has a way of boxing one in. I never did like being boxed in. I kept seeing all sorts of unconscious assumptions going on. (If I get the results, I will confess.)

    • ???
      There’s no “filling” of the universe, like a uniformly dispersed energy density, if that’s what you were thinking about… simply some not-yet-explained distant sources, astronomers/astrophysicists will figure it out…

  3. “This perspective was largely forged by cultural elites within academia and the arts, and coincided with the rise of emancipatory movements for causes such as the environment and the rights of minorities, women, and gays.”

    1) I would just have to comment that the above is certainly nothing new to post 1960. The same sort obsession with ‘liberation’ occurred before the French Revolution, The Russian Revolution, Weimar Germany (Bolshevik/Nazi revolutions) and, likely, during the late Roman Empire.

    “Now some academics are talking about another, newly emerging worldview, which is sometimes referred to as integral or integrative.”

    2) This basically has always been the goal of freemasonry.
    and
    3)The worldview you identify with most is called traditional. Out of 17 questions, you 11 times chose the typical traditional perspective as your preferred answer.

    The worldview you identify with least is called modern. Out of 17 questions, you chose 8 times the modern perspective as your least preferred answer.

  4. The worldview you identify with most is called modern. Out of 17 questions, you 2 times chose the typical modern perspective as your preferred answer.
    The worldview you identify with least is called traditional. Out of 17 questions, you chose 1 times the traditional perspective as your least preferred answer.

    Does this mean I am the almost perfect hybrid? I found there were a lot of questions were I agreed with none, or least agreed with none of the choices.

    • I couldn’t get the site to send me my results, but like Charles I found a lot of questions where I agreed with none of the statements. I felt the questionaire, and the article were written by folks with more post-modern views:

      “The postmodern worldview arose in response to the shortcomings of the modern worldview, and therefore tends to be critical toward its model of society: its (narrow) ideas of progress, the frequently materialist and reductionist orientation of modern science, the risks and environmental impacts of its technologies, and the injustices of (global) capitalism.”

      Are the shortcomings the modern world view or are the shortcomings the sum of individual failures? Look at the great recession of 2008 and what people say was the root cause. The fed, preditory lending, Wall Street, government intervention in markets, Bush!, bankers, blah, blah, blah…How much do we hear about the greedy people who bought more house then they could actually afford? My point being that no matter what our world view, no matter what system of government we put into place our success or failure depends on our collective individual efforts and character. If our character exaggerates the dangers of CO2 or completly dismisses the evidence that man may have a hand in a warming world then as a society we fail to properly judge the non-problem or fail to take action. The same can be said for our economy, if we allow ourselves to be lazy or to support sloviness then we as a society fail and provide those societies that are willing to work hard the competitive advantage (like Asia).

      I don’t think post-modernism addresses individual responsibility in a non-authoratarian society. Or, I could be full of s**t.

      • The site didn’t want to send my results to me, either. And I also found some of the options (perhaps because of their oh-so-familiar environmentally correct phrasing?!) made me wish that de Witt had offered “none of the above” as an option.

        Reading through her cv, de Witt struck me as being very committed to “sustainable development” and (of course) all things green.

        Pardon my skepticism, but …

        It seems to me that like so many of her ilk, who are desperately seeking the magic formula of verbiage that will set the world on the UNEP’s chosen path, she seems to have an aversion to <gasp> “common sense” – or perhaps (like far too many of her age cohort, and a few that preceded hers) a total lack of recognition of its value;-)

        In particular, the following choice of phrases set my alarm bells ringing:

        I love bridge (sic) my academic work to the world of practice, translating insight from research to policy, advocacy, and action, and in that way contributing to address the most pressing, planetary issues of our time.

        [and]

        I am fascinated with everything that has the potential to contribute to my personal development and inner growth, including psychologically oriented inner work. I aspire to live a conscious, healthy, happy, and green lifestyle and feel thrilled and deeply called to contribute to addressing our current planetary challenges. [my bold -hro]

        So familiar, and so amazing, eh? Well, at least that’s the view from here!

    • bedeverethewise

      I preferred modern 10 of 17. I was the least on traditional 8 of 17.

      There were a number of times I kind of agreed with 3 of the 4 and had to choose one. There were other times I didn’t really agree with any. For me, the result was pretty accurate and fits with my view that I am a modernist and modernists are superior.;)

  5. The authors said:

    In our study we found statistically significant relationships between worldview-groups and their political priorities and environmental behaviors. Particularly, we found more concern about climate change, more political support for addressing it, and more sustainable behaviors among postmoderns and integratives, compared with moderns and traditionals….

    At the same time, Trump exhibits the kind of authoritative leadership….

    I ain’t buying it.

    The paper is yet one more example of an exercise in stereotyping and stigmatizing. Here’s the boilerplate for the idological scientificality the paper engages in:

    Study from 2012 now corrected to show liberals, not conservatives, more authoritarian
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jun/11/liberals-not-conservatives-more-likely-possess-psy/

    A correction to a frequently cited 2012 study has been issued, after researchers discovered they mixed up results purporting to show conservatives are more likely than liberals to exhibit behaviors linked to psychoticism, such as authoritarianism and tough-mindedness.
    In fact, the correction says, the opposite is true.

    “Correlation not causation: the relationship between personality traits and political ideologies,” published in the American Journal of Social Science in 2012, initially found that social conservatives might be more genetically hardwired to exhibit psychotic behaviors than their socially liberal counterparts.

    “In line with our expectations, [Psychoticism] (positively related to tough-mindedness and authoritarianism) is associated with social conservatism and conservative military attitudes,” the study said.

    The study also posited those who are socially liberal are more likely to possess behaviors associated with “Social Desirability,” or the desire to get along with others, than those who are socially conservative.

    But in an erratum issued by the journal, first reported by Retraction Watch, the authors said those two findings were “exactly reversed.”

    “Thus, where we indicated that higher scores in Table 1 (page 40) reflect a more conservative response, they actually reflect a more liberal response,” the authors said.

    “Specifically, in the original manuscript, the descriptive analyses report that those higher in Eysenck’s psychoticism are more conservative, but they are actually more liberal; and where the original manuscript reports those higher in neuroticism and social desirability are more liberal, they are, in fact, more conservative.”

    • Stephen Toulmin closes Cosmopolis: The Hidden Agenda of Modernity with the following paragraph:

      Looking back at the intellectually challenging years between 1650 and 1950, from a position of lesser confidence but greater modesty, we can appreciate why the projects of Modernity carried the conviction they did. Not the least of these charms was an oversimplification that, in retrospect, was unrealistic. With this point in mind, we may recall the comment on social and political affairs made by that humane, grumpy, but normally clearheaded commentator, Walter Lippmann, which distills much of what has come to light in our own inquiry. “To every human problem,” he said, “there is a solution that is simple, neat and wrong”; and that is as true of intellectual as it is of political problems. The seduction of High Modenrity blinded the successors of Descartes to the unavoidable complexities of concrete human experience.

      One would be hard pressed to find a group of people more dogmatic, doctrinaire, confident and authoritarian in pressing their oversimplifications than the Warmists/Alarmists.

      • Oops! I forgot to close the blockquote. The following is mine, not Toulmin’s:

        One would be hard pressed to find a group of people more dogmatic, doctrinaire, confident and authoritarian in pressing their oversimplifications than the Warmists/Alarmists.

      • Hard pressed, I don’t think so. You could try shi’ites, sunnis, orthodoxy jews, roman catholics, scientologists, evangelicals …. the list is not intended to be exhaustive.

        The only difference is that the above groups are aware they have a belief system based on faith and do not claim is it ‘basic physics’ supported by 97% of the world’s scientists.

      • climategrog,

        Do you really believe that the adherents to the traditional religions you listed are more dogmatic, doctrinaire, confident and authoritarian than the adherents to secular stealth religions — Marxism, Neoliberalism, Neoconservatism, Bolshevism, New Atheism (the skeptic and atheist movements as Massimo Pigliucci calls them), National Socialism, Warmism/Alamism, etc?

  6. which emphasize other-than-rational ways of knowing

    Hmmm…. this might be a problem.

    The other-than-rational ways fill in gaps of understanding with emotion, which is not invalid for human beings, but is usually not knowledge.

  7. I completed the exercise. First, as a psychometrician, I actually like the format of the questions because it requires respondents to think and to think carefully. On the other hand if you use such a method then you really have to pose the questions and options in ways that make all that thinking meaningful and not ultimately frustrating. Because most of the questions are posed context free and the responses unqualified the exercise turns out too be inherently ambiguous to the point of indeterminacy. Item #3 about preferred lifestyle illustrates this point. Asking #4 in say the context of abortion or euthanasia will quite likely provoke different responses. In addition, this type of exercise leaves open the difference about how you would like to present yourself and what you actually do. I am sure I would describe John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump quite differently than they would describe themselves. The potential for hypocrisy and self-delusion knows no limits, apparently..

  8. To say that you can know something through feelings or instinct is playing around with semantics. We all use the sixth-sense meaning all the time: “I just know that my team is going to win,” etc., etc. But our “just know” only turns out to agree with reality more frequently than random chance, when we use clues from reality in creating our worldview or whatever you want to call it.

    Appeals to morals don’t make much sense. Marxism isn’t famous for its philosophy but it did make the valid statement that morals are an artifact of a society. The study of ethics/morality is based on a single concept, The Good, but that means making one’s personal values an absolute truth. I see abortion as a moral dilemma with no right side or wrong side, but to others just as well-educated and intelligent as I, the answer is clear-cut. I hold that morality is neither universal nor absolute and you can only choose one side of a debate such as abortion when you also choose to exclude the entire schema of knowledge contrary to your position.

    “Just know” is nothing more than a belief-based system of comforting yourself when you can’t find evidence to back your values. And, as Bertrand Russell said, if your beliefs do not match the facts, then so much the worse for the facts.

    • Curious George

      The beauty of “just know” is that it is immune to reason. I knew a person who “just knew” a lot of things. This person did hear voices, and you don’t argue with voices. I wonder if an absolute belief is always a sign of a mental disorder.

  9. ‘Other than rational’ knowing. Stephen Colbert in his comedic Colbert Report created a name for such nonsense: thruthiness. And in truth, truthiness is a joke.

  10. 1st – I find “unScientific American” to be a place of almost pure propaganda when it comes to the topic of AGW. They actively promote the notion that there is virtual certainly that human caused climate change WILL cause a net worsening of the climate from human’s perspective.

    2nd- In regards to AGW, there is a risk that it will result in a worsening of the overall climate but a lack of reliable information to support that belief. Slightly increased temperatures ARE NOT the most important metric to reach a conclusion about whether the climate is improving or worsening. Rainfall patterns are much more important.

    • RS, not only is Scientific American no longer scientific, it is no longer American. Was bought by a German publishing company several years ago.

  11. Walking into an airport terminal and a bomb goes off; standing and rocking to a band on stage and a Kalashnikov shoots up the place; having lunch at a community center when patient volunteers open up with automatic handguns does change one’s world view, and not in a positive way.

    It doesn’t really matter your stance on climate change if you are dead. It really doesn’t matter if you are devoutly religious if your legs are cut off at the knee. It doesn’t really matter who wins the next election if you are brain damaged from an ISIS blow to the head.

    I find naive that wholistic world view, the post-modern world view of people who allow themselves, but especially others, to remain vulnerable to a counter reality of hate towards one’s world view, culture and way of life.

    Vigilance is not the same thing as paranoia. Awareness and respect for others does not mean one has to have a self loathing for one’s life. Honoring the past and those who have come before us, their contributions to the way we have become, does not mean erasing the past so that future generations will not know their own legacy. Righting social wrongs does not mean wronging those here and now. And, accommodating the understandings, scholarship, and perspectives of the climate change perspective of others does not lessen a person’s stature or strength of argument. Differences are to be considered and evaluated upon their merits, by the body politic as a whole. Until another Moses, there is no authoritative word.

  12. Oh dear what can the matter be, I’m in moderation and just as well be in the laboratory, how long I’m here is not up to me, Judith so long at this affair.

  13. Matronising bunk framed in tricky slob language and dressed as analysis.

    No, the sly-dealing Butcher of Benghazi does not “represent an intermediate position, appealing to people with mostly modern worldviews, and bridging to postmodern ones”, though she probably does require “disciplining through punishment, simplistic solutions and moral hierarchy”.

    Yes, there are huge slabs of the tertiary education sector which could and should be shut down immediately.

    Good try, warmies.

    • Mosomoso

      Well I looked at all the baffling or pointless questions and answers and concluded that Judith is on holiday at present and has lots of time on her hands. I will send her an emergency monopoly set

      Tonyb

      • Yes, tonyb, but send a proper hierarchical-worldview Monopoly, with a pre-modern Bond Street and Park Lane.

        Having a copy of a recent Scientific American one hardly needs Trivial Pursuit as well.

  14. The first paragraph (Worldviews are the lenses …) was good. Then it went off the rails. Waffle posing as analysis. I suspect that the writer has been through a western education system where the ability to think has been drummed out of them.

    • I started going through the test. The first few questions were un-answerable, then I stopped. Basically, each question offered a limited number of simplistic worldviews to choose from. There was no ‘best’ or ‘worst’, just a stack of nonsense. I’m lucky – I was educated before multiple-choice was invented. Maybe things started to go wrong when multiple-choice came in?

      • Plus many. I did not get as far as you. First paragraph in the linked site was about reducing meat consumption to slow climate change. Nuts.

      • Yes, good point, Mike. Multiple choice was only making inroads when I was young, but in the 70s when I was briefly a teacher of languages it was everywhere. I guess that was the birth of the push poll and junk survey…and whatever this Scientific American slop is. Flattery prompted quizzing? Conformity Pick-a-Box?

        I mean, who’s not going to want to be “integrative” and get good at ticking the boxes for an “integrative” result? “Oh, so you’re still po-mo. That’s so 1990s. I’m totally an integ.”

        Of course, the upshot for the climatariat is that the integs will still be good little establishment warmies…with some resilient Fast Mitigation tendencies allowed.

      • Funny how modern elites never stop reminding us that they are elite while complaining about elitism.
        Constantly sanctimonious about diversity, coming up with more labels for gender and cultural identity than the Eskimos have words for snow, and then dividing political views into what amounts to little more than us
        vs. them.

      • Evan Jones

        Maybe things started to go wrong when multiple-choice came in?

        Well, yes. But the fault is not with the test, it’s with the testers.

        A good multiple choice test can be damnably hard even to pass. The most difficult exam I ever took was multiple-choice (in a hard-science course, at that).

        But it’s true that a m-c test can be (and usually is) fiddled so as to appear far more difficult than it actually is.

        And multiple-choice “surveys” are a push-pollster’s paradise.

  15. The worldview you identify with most is called integrative. Out of 17 questions, you 8 times chose the typical integrative perspective as your preferred answer.

    The worldview you identify with least is called modern. Out of 17 questions, you chose 5 times the modern perspective as your least preferred answer.

    integrative — People with integrative worldviews generally try to bring together and synthesize elements or domains that in other worldviews are viewed as mutually exclusive.

    Integrative makes sense in describing me. I respect both Dr. Curry but also Dr. Molina (who won a Nobel prize on the ozone hole). I found something they both agree on called “Fast Mitigation” (no regrets actions to reduce methane, ozone, black carbon, HFCs). I focus on this.

  16. The authors said:

    Older worldviews therefore tend to ‘die off’ with older generations, while newer worldviews tend to come into being with newer generations. This explains the disproportional support from younger people for Sanders, in comparison with what (a much more modernist) Clinton has been able to generate.

    It’s not at all clear that one’s worldview remains the same throughout one’s life. There’s some evidence that one’s worldview changes as one matures.

    It is very difficult to tell whether it is getting older, or being born at a certain time, that causes people to have different political preferences. One way to go about it is to track the same people over time, observe how their political preferences change and then compare those changes to the results of different elections.

    This is the approach I took in our 2014 study. By taking the average of seven different groups of several thousand people each over time – covering most periods between general elections since the 1960s – we found that the maximum possible ageing effect averages out at a 0.38% increase in Conservative voters per year. The minimum possible ageing effect was only somewhat lower, at 0.32% per year.

    This may not sound like a massive effect, but over the course of a lifetime these increments do add up. Even if only the minimum estimate is correct, the difference between 20 and 80-year-olds is nearly 20 percentage points. This means that our estimate of ageing effects precisely explains the 19-point difference between the percentage of 20 and 80-year-olds who voted Conservative in the 1997 election.

    http://theconversation.com/hard-evidence-do-we-become-more-conservative-with-age-47910

  17. The worldview you identify with most is called integrative. Out of 17 questions, you 6 times chose the typical integrative perspective as your preferred answer.

    The worldview you identify with least is called modern. Out of 17 questions, you chose 7 times the modern perspective as your least preferred answer.

  18. Where do we begin in an attempt to integrate the modern trend toward apocalyptic thinking among those in the Western world who are well-sheltered from the vicissitudes of nature, into a larger worldview comprised of an Earthly human population, most of whom live on but a few dollars a day and much more exposed to the life-shortening consequences of poverty, especially when we know that it is the poverty of the Left’s energy policy and not CO2 that is the real killer of humanity.

  19. The worldview you identify with most is called modern. Out of 17 questions, you 8 times chose the typical modern perspective as your preferred answer.

    The worldview you identify with least is called traditional. Out of 17 questions, you chose 12 times the traditional perspective as your least preferred answer.

    • I think my view on energy policy and technology align well with my engineering peers. In terms of the questions from this tool, I would think my peers woukd typically score more traditional and less modern than I did. I suspect many luke warmers might be judged more traditional and less modern than me as well. Maybe perspectives in these areas tend to align for good reasons, but I don’t see them.

  20. dogdaddyblog

    During my career (leading to CEO/GM of a small electric power company) I took and ultimately commissioned for my employees numerous psychological evaluation devices. This one is a “forced response” type that leaves one selecting among almost equally undesirable answers that are highly ambiguous. It is not one’s answer to any specific question, but the overall pattern of one’s answers that gives insight to as to the psychological metrics the testing device measures. [Note: Refusing to answer the questions is a strong indication of an authoritarian personality type.]

    Each of these “forced answer” testing devices breaks down people into different categories, usually four (4). The devices have widely varying descriptions of what they measure and how the results are presented, but they collectively seem to classify people as to their basic emotional orientation. Rational, intuitive, emotional, authoritarian, rebellious, submissive, etc. are examples of the psychological metrics being assessed.

    Here, I think that (very approximately) “Traditional” is authoritarian; “Modern” is rational; “Postmodern” is intuitive/rebellious; and “Integrative” is emotional/submissive. Ms. de Witt includes the standard puffery in her definitions of the various “worldviews.” My reading of the whole of her thesis leaves me with the impression that she thinks that unless you are in-tune and working with Gaiea you are a Neanderthal.

    I test out as “Modern.” Out of the 17, 12 picks are “Modern” perspective. It is significant that an additional 12 picks are anti-“Traditional” perspective. Together they strongly show that I analyze things and generally know what I am doing and will not let the jokers tell me what to believe. While not stated in the device, the results, however, indicate that I don’t let the other two types get me down and that I can work with them as long as they aren’t too irrational.

    Dave Fair

    • Re: “Refusing to answer the questions is a strong indication of an authoritarian personality type.”. That’s a doozie. Most likely, not answering is a recognition that the questions are lousy. The most likely way in which they would be lousy is if they support an authoritarian outcome (eg. classification of people as “In” or “Out”) so the exact opposite is likely true:- Refusing to answer the questions is a strong indication of an anti-authoritarian personality type.

      • dogdaddyblog

        Many of these types of personality assessments have been banging around the corporate and governmental spheres for decades. Remember Transactional Analysis? I always believed it should be: “I’m Ok, you I worry about.” Anyone with a modicum of intelligence could manipulate his answers to show whatever personality type he wanted. I often did just for grins, and would change my “type” from one test to the next.

        The personality types, usually four (4), are pretty standard across the assessment tools (devices), although they have wildly varying descriptions and are put into whatever contexts their proponents were selling at the time. Many practitioners placed them into different supervisor/manager types of behavior. Others, into how different people communicate with each other, in whatever social, political, career or whatnot milieu sold the most seminars at the time. Ms. de Witt simply chose CAGW as her contribution to a long line of feel-good, pseudo scientific people assessments. Her exhaustive and self-congratulatory descriptions of the different types are a credit to her creativity and imagination, but she cannot help us to communicate with those who discount facts and act on their feeling about things.

        To be clear, rarely does an individual fall completely in a single category of behaviour. We are very complex animals. But some people do tend to, for example, accept authority and tradition as a predominate mental construct. That doesn’t mean that they can’t be “Integrative.” It just means that they might see those that believe feelings trump facts as looney tunes. They are authoritarian, in a non pejorative sense. Typical engineers, anyone?

        Humans value many things, including safety and a clean environment. Once we put a couple of meals between ourselves and starvation, we tend to spend money on intangibles, such as a feeling that we have done something to improve the planet. It is only reason, though, that keeps us from being hustled by power grabbers and rent seekers.

        Dave Fair

      • dogdaddyblog said:

        Once we put a couple of meals between ourselves and starvation, we tend to spend money on intangibles, such as a feeling that we have done something to improve the planet.

        That is a partial truth and an oversimplification.

        Ernst Fehr and Urs Fischbacher write in “The Economics of Strong Reciprocity” that:

        Although previous research clearly indicates that many people exhibit social preferences it is important to keep in mind that not everybody exhibits social preferences. In fact, most studies indicate that there is also a substantial number of people who behave in a purely selfish manner.

        And Elinor Ostrom wrote in “Policies that Crowd Out Reciprocity and Collective Action” that:

        It is a well known fact in the experimental literature that in games like the trust game, there is always a 30-40 percentage of individuals who act in a purely egoistic way.

      • > Anyone with a modicum of intelligence could manipulate his answers to show whatever personality type he wanted.

        Sociopaths agree.

      • dogdaddyblog

        Willard, in taking your “Sociopaths agree.” comment a certain way, I might have to respond with “up yours, too, Buster.” If it was meant another way, I might also have to apologize. Which way do you want it?

        Dave Fair

      • I’m sure that you’re not a number, but a free man, DaveF, at least not that kind of number. If you can decide to use apophasis by way of rhetorical questions, you can decide what will be your contributions.

        Rest assured that there’s a point behind my remark about sociopathy, and each of your responses where you show us how very “rational” you are will help me hammer it.

        So please, very please, do as you please.

  21. “Enhance reflexivity
    Improve communication
    Develop innovative strategies
    Use integrative perspectives
    Tap into cultural trends
    Contribute to global sustainability”

    Dominate every faculty meeting and conference! Get that ring of smarmy benevolence and correctness that won’t let you down, even in the heaviest talkfests! Get Annick’s guide to talking like a creepy establishment controller, in perfectly fluent and up-to-date academese!

    Don’t have anything to say? Perfect! With Annick’s system you just blurt mushy abstractions that nobody can contradict. If we were authoritarian-traditional types we’d say you too can be a winner! (But we wouldn’t say that.)

  22. Climate polarisation seems to fall into the same class as political polarisation, or religious polarisation.

    People are different, and motivated by different things. You treat them as average at your peril, as the US Airforce found out some years ago.

    “Rather than suggesting that people should strive harder to conform to an artificial ideal of normality, Daniels’ analysis led him to a counterintuitive conclusion that serves as the cornerstone of this book: any system designed around the average person is doomed to fail.”

    All this talk of worldview groups achieves nothing. If someone puts a gun to your head and demands your money, and you give it to them, albeit unwillingly, then the efficacy of their method of communication has been demonstrated. Your worldview counted for nought!

    Your view of water will change enormously, when faced with the prospect of dying from thirst. Your view on climate will vary depending on how cold, wet, and miserable you are feeling. Or how long the drought has persisted!

    World views in general seem to be a province of the warm and fuzzies, about as much use as a chocolate teapot.

    Cheers.

  23. The worldview you identify with most is called modern. Out of 17 questions, you 7 times chose the typical modern perspective as your preferred answer.

    The worldview you identify with least is called traditional. Out of 17 questions, you chose 9 times the traditional perspective as your least preferred answer.

    However, reading the description of the modern worldview, it is not entirely mine which may be why I am only 7/17.

    • Jim2, we are very close on reported world views. I’m slightly more modern and less traditional. That doesn’t surprise me even though I don’t see us often aligning on many issues here.

      • Jim D here actually, not jim2, but it looks like you appreciate the value of science.

      • Sorry typo on the name. I am are of differences, I d agree more with Jim D here, but suspect much less similar on these type questions.

      • I am typo rich on my Ipad. Here’s what I meant to say. I recognize a big difference between jim2 and Jim D. On the issues here on Climate Etc. I tend to agree frequently with jim2, Jim D not so much. On world view (background orientation) I am more aligned with Jim D. I suspect that many people who I tend to agree with on climate and energy issues are very different on these world view issues and the converse.

    • ” integrative. This worldview is characterized by an attempt to bring polarized perspectives together and integrate them into a larger, more unified understanding of reality.”
      Good luck with that. When one perspective is scientific and the other is wrong there is no amount of “integration” that will work.

  24. Geoff Sherrington

    What a lot of rot.
    The author forms a thesis that a new intellectualism based on the power of belief is replacing the tradition of advancement by use of data and supportable observation.
    She composes a questionnaire whose design is weighted to show that most respondents agree with her. Reinforcement happens.
    This type of paper is handy when seeking research grants from others who (for the moment) believe likewise.
    Movements come, movements go. History is replete with examples.
    This paper is mere proselytising.
    Does it advance, science, humanity, understanding, relief from poverty?
    No, it does not.
    Geoff

    • > The author forms a thesis that a new intellectualism based on the power of belief is replacing the tradition of advancement by use of data and supportable observation.

      A quote for that thesis would be nice.

    • “Does it advance, science, humanity, understanding, relief from poverty?
      No, it does not.”
      Yes it does, at least for the authors it does.

  25. I am pleased to announce that I am whole, integrated with society and accepting of all sorts of people and ideas in a friendly and polite way:

    “People with integrative worldviews generally try to bring together and synthesize elements or domains that in other worldviews are viewed as mutually exclusive, such as science and spirituality, rationality and imagination, economy and ecology, humanity and nature ~ domains that in the West have been in conflict for centuries. In this worldview, such opposing perspectives or domains are understood “on a deeper level” to be part of a greater whole or synthesis.”

    My relatives and friends will be greatly relieved at my transformation from what they know me to be.

  26. “Seems to me that the first step re climate change is to acknowledge and understand that we are dealing with a wicked problem, and that we should be looking for robust, no-regrets solutions.

    Your thoughts?”

    Understanding Climate is a wicked problem. CAGW is a non-problem.

    The article by de Witt is a waste of space.

    Them’s my thoughts.

    • Agree. Climate Change is not currently a problem for us and therefore it does not require solutions. The modest warming experienced in the 21st century indicates we do not know enough about climate change to make meaningful predictions and without them it would be silly to heavily invest in “solutions.”

      We have had absolutely no problem to adapt to 350 years of global warming through individual initiatives. We do not need government imposed policies to continue doing so if climate change indeed continues warming the world. Paleo climatology however indicates that climate change trends during the Holocene last a few centuries before stabilizing for a few more centuries and then reversing trend, within a general cooling trend due to falling obliquity. History shows that adaptation to warming trends is easy, while adaptation to cooling trends is a lot more difficult. Biology explains why, because ecosystems are more productive when more energy fluxes through them. Both biodiversity and productivity decrease on land and sea with latitude, and on land also with altitude.

  27. Your Thoughts re;

    “Seems to me that the first step re climate change is to acknowledge and understand that we are dealing with a wicked problem”

    Actually understanding and being able to predict the “climate” going forward is, at present, an insurmountable problem. Believing that one can do so is nothing but extreme hubris.

    Imagining “solutions” to said “wicked problem” is EXTREME HUBRIS PILED IN LAYERS….

    The climate science community has not demonstrated the existence of a problem. Until the climate science community can do so discussions about the “solution” are premature.

    If in fact human civilization is causing catastrophic climate change there is not much that could be done about it anyway, except for everybody to die as quickly as possible. Ironically, that is the predicted outcome of the alleged “wicked problem”.

    So if the problem is “real” it will solve itself when everybody dies because of; too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, hurricanes, no hurricanes, sea level rise, droughts, floods, killer polar bears, no food, excess violence, and all other assorted flavors of Armageddon…..

    Back in Salem they burned witches because they “believed” they caused bad weather. Given the zeal for identifying and excommunicating climate “deniers” I would answer that very little has changed in my worldview.

    I do hope I leave this planet before folks start burning witches again.

    Cheers, Kevin.

  28. Well, I went to the test page, and didn’t find alternatives that were much better or worse than others.

    If well done (perhaps in the future) this could be interesting. But as regards the “climate change” policy debates, it merely distracts attention from evidence.

  29. If there are 4 worldviews, supposedly represented by 4 questions, and there are 17 questions, then to form any specific worldview surely one must select at least 5 from any particular set for that set to be clearly dominant. Yet my result shows a particular worldview with only 3 answers from that set (modern). Worse still is the contra (integrative) with only 2 from 17. This survey is questionable at best. In any event I find myself to be generally quite balanced (I always answer myself in the affirmative).

    • wyzelli,

      That makes two of us – almost.

      I always agree with me – generally.

      Cheers.

    • Peter Lang

      Of the six benefits of world view approach in the test, none have anything to do with what’s important – i.e. improving human wellbeing, standard of living, life expectancy, health, education, etc.

  30. dogdaddyblog

    A random thought on communicating with others about climate issues.

    I am unable to “Integratively” communicate with individuals or institutions that: Withhold information or hide data. Present information in misleading ways. Misdirect others away from truths. Misuse statistics. Communicate false certainty. Fraudulently manipulate data or data presentations. Vilify or denigrate those raising questions. Deny objective facts. Use sophistry in public debates. Lie.

    Dave Fair

    • Let Brad Keyes of ‘Climate Nuremberg’ blog help you
      with some of your improving communication and
      integrative perspectives …

      ‘Someone’s submitted a paper. Should I accept it?

      Probably, because it’s science.

      Not necessarily, though. The power vested in you as
      editor, censor and gatekeeper comes with a sacred duty:
      to protect both the reputation of the journal, and the
      credibility of science itself, from injury.

      That’s why you should only publish sound papers, not
      flawed (contrarian) ones.

      What technical vocabulary do I need?

      Practice the following keywords until ‘editorese’ is so
      natural to you that you can speak it without thinking
      (which is how scientists speak).

      ‘Sound science’ refers to the science that gets the
      science right, and will therefore “stand the test of time.”

      (Proper science should never be provisional—i.e.,
      subject to reëvaluation in the light of future findings.
      That’s a sure sign of what we call crap science.)

      Synonyms for ‘sound’ include ‘mainstream,‘ ‘climate‘
      and ‘the.’

      At the other end of the spectrum there are descriptors
      like ‘contrarian‘ and ‘flawed,‘ which are interchangeable.’

    • > A random thought on communicating with others about climate issues.

      There’s nothing random about your list of CAGW memes, DaveF.

      • dogdaddyblog

        Willard, I’m beginning to think you are of the “smarmy” type of communicator. [And one who doesn’t use his real name.]

        Dave Fair

      • Dear DaveF,

        In the epic battle between snark and smarm, the side I’m on may not be the one you presume.

        Glad that you begin to think, nevertheless.

      • dogdaddyblog

        Yep, Willard (noname), it is definitely “Up yours too, Buddy.” This is the last time I respond to your childish inanities.

        Dave Fair

      • As you please, DaveF. Let’s hope that you’ll keep your promise, however: that’s how we recognize CEOs with integrity.

        Speaking of inanities, if you could tell Denizens why you think Judy classifies as “emotional/submissive” and how your “up yours” classifies as “rational,” that would still be great.

        INTEGRITY ™ – Up Yours.

    • + many. One of the many reasons I am a skeptic is simply the total lack of integrity coming from the CAGW camp. When people defend climategate by citing the so-called “independent” investigations finding no fraud, my response is that you do not need any investigative body, you just have to read the emails to determine that something really wrong was and still is going on. THe hockey stick, Gleick, web sites like sks that re-write comments, ban users, lie, etc. are referenced routinely by warmists as authoritative sites are other examples of the dishonesty.

      As to no-regrets efforts, let’s not simply condemn the one energy source that has made the lives we live possible and has done more to improve the climate for those of us lucky enough to have been born where that energy source has been used extensively. We now live longer and healthier lives because of fossil fuels, and have the opportunity to live more fulfilling lives as long as we keep the “intellectual” elites feelings from determining our future.

  31. Peter Lang

    Particularly, we found more concern about climate change, more political support for addressing it, and more sustainable behaviors among postmoderns and integratives, compared with moderns and traditionals.

    This is where the BS alarm goes off. The article implies CAGW is a fact and those that don’t believe the messages of the catastrophists are deniers or whatever. The Climatariate are not objective and not rational. They are prie3sts and disciples for the new religion.

    The article reeks of Green Left, pro-Democrat, pro Clinton, anti-Trump bias throughout. It is simply advocacy for Clinton. Should be dismissed as such.

    They use undefined terms throughout (e.g. traditional, modern, post-modern), often with a pejorative sense for those who are not of the group they believe is correct.

    The Conservative backlash is because those who like to call themselves ‘Progressives’ have been blocking progress for half a century. They’ve greatly reduced standard of living and human wellbeing and kept more people in poverty than would have been the case if not for the anti-progress policies they’ve forced on us. One obvious and very clear example is the 5 – 9 million deaths and extra 75 – 170 Gt of CO2 emissions that is a direct result of the anti-nuclear protest movement.

    Psychological research has shown that when we are less invested in these social/worldview identities, and we can look at them with more distance and mindfulness, we are less inclined to respond as if we ourselves are threatened when our assumptions about reality are called in to question. Then a more truly open dialogue, which honors a wider range of perspectives, may start to take place. Supporting individuals to explore and reflect on their worldviews is therefore perhaps where the real change happens.

    This could have been a good point if the author was not so obviously biased. Unfortunately, most psychologists are Left ideologies and have near zero understanding of what makes the world go around – i.e. money! – and of rational economics, international diplomacy and the real world ‘games’ that are played and always will be.

    Of the six benefits of world view approach in the test, none have anything to do with what’s important – i.e. improving human wellbeing, standard of living, life expectancy, health, education, etc.

    such as science versus spirituality,

    The problem is that the climatariate are claiming they do science whereas in fact they are advocates for their beliefs; this is spirituality, not science.

    JC says and asks:

    Seems to me that the first step re climate change is to acknowledge and understand that we are dealing with a wicked problem, and that we should be looking for robust, no-regrets solutions.

    Your thoughts?

    My thoughts are above. In short the Scientific American article is rubbish and is just advocacy for an ideological and political position.

    Seems to me that the first step re climate change is to acknowledge and understand” that it is advocates, not scientists, who are running the show. The important, policy-relevant science is not being done. There is little honest science being done to attempt to reproduce and test the hypothesis that GHG emissions are damaging or a significant risk to humanity or to the global economy. There is almost no understanding of the damage function or the probability distributions of what the next abrupt climate change is like to do.

    I agree we should be looking for robust, no-regrets solutions. The must be objective, supported by sound evidence and be economically rational.

    • Well said, Peter.

      I’m not surprised when shills for Big Green pose as academic researchers. I’m surprised when the disguise is as cheap and shoddy as this appalling SciAm effort.

      If people want to subscribe to the alarmist catechism, let them believe and let them preach freely. But when these ranting mullahs pretend to be scholars and sweet reasoners – and even set us homework where we can signal our virtue by ticking the (wink, wink) right boxes – then a pox on ’em.

      And a scrofulous pox on all such thought-twisters, word-jugglers, indulgence-sellers and Newspeakers.

      I’ll stop now.

      • This SCI-AM article is nothing but bafflegab

        When looking at its meaning as defined here, it is also useful to look at the synonyms and related words.

        http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bafflegab

        Another good word is ‘twaddle’ to which can usefully be appended ‘pretentious’

        tonyb

      • Peter Lang

        Don’t stop. Please continue :)

      • Please! I’m trying to contain myself.

        Tomorrow I have to go and vote either for Lord Waffle or a lump of wood. It’s not a convincing lump of wood, either. And now I’ve just learned that Tony Blair may be put in charge of Brexit. That means Cherie!

        Must…control…

      • Peter Lang

        What???? Are you serious? Tony Blair in charge of Brexit? What’s the source of that?

        Perhaps I should Vote Greens to get some rational policies. What do you reckon?

        I got a call today from the Greens Senate candidate. She sounded sweet!

      • Just a rumour re Blair. It was in some Pommie paper. But ugh.

        Peter, if you do vote Green for your new sweetie, that’s fine. Of course, I may have to knock down your home, sow your fields with tares and curse your descendants to the thirteenth generation. Though come to think of it, the Greens will do that anyway.

      • Peter Lang

        Thanks, Mosomoso. I’ll take that fully into consideration when I vote :)

      • The Chilcot enquiry on the Iraq war is due to be published on 6th July. There is more chance of Blair being put in prison than put in charge of Brexit. Blair has zero credibility over here.

        tonyb

    • Peter Lang

      Just to expand on this point I made at the start of my first comment:

      The article implies CAGW is a fact and those that don’t believe the messages of the catastrophists are deniers or whatever.

      I think this really is the nub of the issue. Psychologists, socialists and all those without the skills for rational objective analysis seem to think that fixing AGW is a societal problem. However, from my perspective there many be no problem to fix. Determining whether or not there is a significant risk from our humans’ GHG emissions requires proper science, economic analysis and due diligence. That has not been done. We don’t have a clue whether or not our GHG emissions are doing more harm than good. We have net to no idea of what the damage function is (put simply, what is the net damage or benefit per degree of warming and per degree of cooling?). No one can answer that. However, we can say with almost certainty that GHG emissions are not dangerous and not catastrophic. So, the policy decision is based only on the economic costs and benefits of mitigation versus hypothesised climate damages avoided.

      The psychologists, Left and others do not have a solution. Group-hugs are not the solution required to determine the cost-benefit of GHG emissions and of mitigation policies.

  32. Peter Lang

    Here’s an example of the cr@p the author believes:

    In this view, truth is thus relative, contextual, and subjective (e.g., informed by the moral, emotional, artistic), rather than objective as modern science claims.

    How can that be true of CAGW? The CAGW hypothesis (for short) is either true or false. Either AGW is dangerous or it is not, or more correctly we need a PDF of the probabilities of net benefits-damages at different times in the future through to 2100.

  33. What a nonsense.

    Every few years someone comes up with a comparable scheme of a “new” improved form of consciousnes or alleged new worldview or perspective. “Systemic” has been another successful label. Some called some of this the “third way”.

    It’s like soap of which there seem to be new unseen before improved varieties each year, at least that’s advertised.

    Postmodernism actually doesn’t have any favored values. The values they relate to postmodernism (some write “post-modernism” (which actually makes a difference for them)) are mostly about oppressors against the oppressed and that’s as old as the ages.

    I believe it would be much more helpful to teach more people just to think straight (good old logic and scientific method). A comprehensive education wouldn’t harm also.

  34. stevefitzpatrick

    The whole exercise strikes me as silly. Reality is reality, and is independent of world view. Reality existed before humans were around, and will exist long after we are gone. The rest is mostly fluff and nonsense.

    • > Reality existed before humans were around, and will exist long after we are gone. The rest is mostly fluff and nonsense.

      So far, this comment thread reinforces that point.

      Go team!

      • dogdaddyblog

        Willard, now I’m sure you are a “Smarmy” communicator type. Ms. de Witt could use your help in expanding her consciousness of the interconnected world.

        Dave Fair

      • DaveF,

        Thank you for the kind words. Since you insist, I’ll interconnect two strings from Judy’s consciousness you may have missed:

        (1) The worldview she identifies with most is called “integrative”;

        (2) The belief Judy has that an “integrative approach” could help bypass the climate debate (with a link that leads nowhere).

        I suspect you may have missed it because you called this approach “emotional/submissive,” right before dismissing “Ms. de Witt’s” general framework as “standard puffery.” While such dismissiveness may work as a CEO of a small electric power company, it may not cohere with the “rational” character trait you attribute to yourself. It may even indicate some kind of authoritarianism, perhaps even not in the same sense you referred to earlier.

        In any case, if you could tell Denizens in what ways you believe Judy is emotional/submissive, that would be great.

  35. Sorry, but the ‘quiz’ was biased and bizarre. The author betrays a child’s understanding of religious and theological teachings, especially as they relate to modern science.

  36. Interesting the author sets up a frame with “traditional” as faith-based, then “modern” as objective realism, the “post-modern” as subjective (different from faith-based? How? When did “modern” stop being relevant?) Then comes “integrative” as a kind of transcendent knowledge, even more metaphysical.

    This is another example of climate change existing as a branch of environmental sociology, which is fine unless you confuse it with physical science.

    https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2016/04/07/climate-change-is-a-social-science/

  37. Dr. Curry, you have a reasoned and learned viewpoint on the climate conundrum, but the sad fact is that this debate is driven more by money than fact or science.
    The field I work in also wrestles with a wicked problem: cyber security.
    And equally, the many and large players in this field are far more interested in FUD and alarmism, in order to sell their products, than seeking optimal solutions.
    So long as there are enormous sums of money to be made either in climate alarmism (via alternative energy subsidies, research grants, and outright donatons) or in cyber security, neither problem is going to be addressed in a sane or logical manner.

  38. Scientific American should be renamed Anti-scientific American. This is the same magazine that called you “climate heretic” Its editors are a bunch of alarmists and fanatics. They ban bloggers skeptical of catastrophic global warming. Their fanatical writers can’t win a debate with me and other skeptics so they banned all of us

    • They also forced out their own writers that express skeptical views of CAGW. What a shame!

      • That’s the civilized version of the Spanish Inquisition. You aren’t tortured and lose your life, you merely lose your livelihood.

        Same is true for this very tolerant post-modernism/political correctness. You are fine so long as you agree with whatever the current set of mysterious rules are. If you don’t, you are kicked off the island, and by island I mean the island of being able to make a living. They fired the CEO of mozilla for finding out he donated to the “Yes on 8” campaign, for example.

        The good news is, when everyone agrees, it doesn’t matter whether it is true or not, whether derived actions are beneficial or not. Only, the rules of how something is assessed will be changed to make it beneficial. As to whether or not its true, we have special ways of dealing with the dissenters. That’s the genius of the new religion, recycling the intolerance of previous religions and communist governments. And, get this, it’s an advancement over freedom.

  39. Danny Thomas

    Got a giggle out of the ‘final’ question. Are you human? 8+6 =_____
    Made me laugh.

    No results received.

    • Beta Blocker

      The final question I was presented with was “Are you human? 10+7 = __”.
      Likewise no results received.

      My answer was 17. Did supplying the correct mathematical answer indicate that I am not human?

      • I tried twice yesterday, once with my usual email address, once with another I don’t usually use for the sort of commentary that could get an email address blacklisted by greens. (I know my usual one is.)

        I was going to try again this morning and answer the question “yes”, but it only has room for 2 characters.

        Perhaps people whose answers fit certain patterns (that they didn’t expect) are causing their software to crash. Or perhaps the site was slashdotted. Or Judith Curryed.

        When was the last time anybody got results?

  40. Upon a little more reflection,

    Is there disagreement about objective measures and repeatable results?

    Mostly, there is disagreement about the unknowns (Dr C’s monster) and irreproduceable results. Opinon fills in the voids and SciAm’s preconceived notions are part of the problem.

    Filling in knowledge gaps with opinion makes it even more difficult to uncover the truths beneath.

    Indulging worldview means indulging opinion – precisely the wrong direction – let’s challenge opinions, all opinions, with experiments and observations, not adhere to them as we do superstitions.

  41. I couldn’t get through the assessment.
    When I’m forming an opinion on an issue…
    Isn’t the goal to achieve knowledge and understanding and avoid opinion?

    Subsequent questions, like most polls, have obvious bias in framing.

    What does that say about my worldview?

  42. The Washington Post doesn’t seem to have an “integrative” worldview: Top science groups tell climate change doubters in Congress to knock it off

    Nor, as far as I can tell, to the majority of “Top science groups”. Evidently, only the APS, of “prominent U.S. scientific organizations”, abstained:

    “The American Physical Society did not sign the [2016] letter because it was presented as a fait accompli, and there are significant differences between the letter and the APS Statement on Earth’s Changing Climate,” it said in a statement. “The APS statement went through a two-year vetting process involving multiple committees, the society’s 53,000-plus membership and the board of directors.”

    Though the APS statement about climate change is more nuanced than the AAAS letter, stating — for example — “scientific challenges remain in our abilities to observe, interpret, and project climate change,” it in no way disputes the scientific consensus on climate change or the risks it poses.

    I wonder whether the APS would agree with that “in no way disputes the scientific consensus”?

  43. Postmodern is very nice – I’ve read almost all of Derrida for pleasure.

    But Derrida, almost alone, actually loves the science that he’s criticizing the forces of. The postmodernists you run into today hate the thing they criticize.

    The difference is curiosity. It shows up in value in reading them.

    Traditionalist Sir Arthur Eddington “The Nature of the Physical World” similarly loves the science he’s looking at the limits of (available in online used book stores everywhere). You’d be hard pressed to see Climate Science as a science, here or in Derrida.

    I’d say it’s not a worldview thing but a curiosity thing, in both the postmodern case and the traditional case, whether the view is worth anything or not. Do you love what you’re looking at or not?

  44. Douglas Adams gets astrology into science very nicely (Mostly Harmless)

    “I know astrology isn’t a science,” said Gail. “Of course it isn’t. It’s just an arbitrary set of rules like chess or tennis or – what’s that strange thing you British play?”

    “Er, cricket? Self-loathing?”

    “Parliamentary democracy. The rules just kind of got there. They don’t make any kind of sense except in terms of themselves. But when you start to exercise those rules, all sorts of processes start to happen and you start to find out all sorts of stuff about people. In astrology the rules happen to be about stars and planets, but they could be about ducks and drakes for all the differnce it would make. It’s just a way of thinking about a problem which lets the shape of that problem begin to emerge. The more rules, the tinier the rules, the more arbitrary they are, the better. It’s like throwing a handful of fine graphite dust on a piece of paper to see where the hidden indentations are. It lets you see the words that were written on the piece of paper above it that’s now been taken away and hidden. The graphite’s not important. It’s just the means of revealing their indentations. So you see, astrology’s nothing to do with astronomy. It’s just got to do with people thinking about people.”

    • Here’s Vicki Hearne (Animal Happiness) doing just that with astrology, using it as a way to think as well as to mock the experts by doing better. Read and then think of the rules of climate science, and how they can (say) distinguish good people from bad people.

      “Thurber’s biographers like to say astounding things such as that the loss of an eye in childhood was what accounted for his genius. For instance, according to Charles S. Holmes in _The Clocks of Columbus_, “The psychological impact of the injury was more significant than the physical … In compensation he cultivated his already crowded fantasy life … Some of the intense competitiveness which marked his character throughout his life obviously derived from this childhood injury and his natural desire to make up for it.” Holmes is not the only one who talks this way, and it is a very strange way indeed to talk. It is not unusual, of course, being just a new version of the theory of the writer as a human being manque. Or, as in this case, the writer as a baseball player manque. I suppose that Thurber’s brothers would also have been geniuses if only they had been in some way maimed early on. My suspicion is that if Thurber’s eye troubles can be said to account for anything about his life and career, they probably account for the difficulty he had seeing, for his having submitted to five eye operations, and maybe for his habit of writing short pieces, which are less physically (not psychologically) demanding than long pieces are.

      “Astrology serves as a much better candidate for the Explanation of Thurber than psychology does. Thurber was born under the sign of Sagittarius, which rules, among other things, archery. The placement of the sun is what rules a man’s health, so a man born with any afflictions to the sun in Sagittarius is going to be vulnerable to health problems associated with archery. I don’t have an ephemeris handy for December 8, 1894, the date of his birth, but I bet there is either an affliction of the sun to Mercury, the planet of the eyes and of sense perception in general, or else an affliction from his sun to some planet in Gemini, Pisces, or Virgo. An affliction to Virgo, however, is made fairly unlikely by the enormous intellectual and domestic pleasure Thurber got from dogs – Virgo rules animal training. But Gemini rules dogs, so that lets Gemini as a source of affliction out. It was therefore probably an opposition to Mars in Pisces, which would also account for Thurber’s excessive dreaminess and his problems with alcohol, as well as the tenderer and more romantic spheres of experience, as Pisces rules love and all other intoxicants. I would also expect to find Uranus, the planet of the inexplicable and especially the planet of misunderstood geniuses, in the constellation Scorpio, which rules erotic thought, since his brilliant visions of the wars and comedies of the sexes are so persistently misunderstood.

      “So his life is explained, but his life is not what Thurber left behind for us, and it is too late for me to tell him that the placement of his sun in Sagittarius indicates that he ought to have come to terms with horses …”

  45. ulriclyons

    “Particularly, we found more concern about climate change, more political support for addressing it, and more sustainable behaviors among postmoderns and integratives, compared with moderns and traditionals.”

    That is very amusing when I look back 40 years at my parents washing cling-film to reuse it, using old envelopes for shopping lists, straightening old nails for reuse, nothing thrown away that could possibly be useful later. How many postmoderns make a cell phone last ten years?

  46. They forced Dr Steve Koonin to resign from the APS statement evaluation so they could continue slopping at the money trough. Hopefully they gradually recover the preference for observation based science on physical parameters instead of video game like models.

    What was the final result of the statement review and member poll?

    Scott

  47. Postmodernism: The new religion to replace the old religion.

  48. ulriclyons

    “Worldviews are the lenses through which people see and filter reality, shaping our world in many seen and unseen ways.”

    Yes the notion that natural variability of the climate is largely internal and chaotic nicely reflects the irrational insularity of postmoderns. Integration can only come about by a better understanding of climate change, as that is where the divide truly exists.

  49. Ulric

    Don’t forget taking back glass bottles for the return of the small deposit, repairing all manner of items instead of throwing them away, reusing paper and plastic bags, handing down furniture from one generation to the next or buying second hand furniture. The latter spurned by the younger generation who always want new.

    I do not think for one moment they have more sustainable behaviour

    Tonyb

    • ulriclyons

      Plenty of eco-fairies jet off to their rainbow camps a couple of times a year, you know, the ones we see protesting against coal and fracking.

    • Danny Thomas

      Father was a child of the depression. Wife still leaves the last squeezes of toothpaste or last sandwich from the mayo jar for me. There is ‘always’ one more.

      Something about necessity and mothers and invention?

  50. Kip Hansen

    I took the test, along with my wife. Truthfully, there were several, maybe a majority, of the questions where we found we could not agree with any of the answers/choices. They seemed posed from a very far-lefty/liberal-we’re-oh-so-progressive viewpoint.

    I doubt my results will tell me anything about my real worldview.

    • Peter Lang

      Same here. It’s complete garbage. And what comes out is not even garbage, it worse. It’s sewage.

  51. Three major worldviews then, neatly pigeonholed: traditional, modern and post modern. Trump’s is a bridge between the first two views, Sanders’ is solid post modern and Clinton’s is a bridge between second and third. Here are my thoughts:
    -These worldviews belong to a very tiny % of our world’s population
    -The elephant in the world (room) is RELIGION, see Erik Kaufmann’s excellent book: “Shall the religious inherit the world”
    -Sander’s view is anything but new: tired old Socialist ideas recycled on our young and restless
    -The religious’ numbers are growing due to MUCH higher fertility rates AND new converts including in countries where until recently religion was “not allowed”, see China where from 5% religious their numbers now amount to 50% (of 1.3 billion!)
    – So, NO, we (the world not the minuscule minority of academia/elites) are headed towards TRIBALISM and fracturing (Brexit anyone?). Demography is destiny and except for a few countries in the “West”, the most obvious worldview is that of various RELIGIONS’, not some vague stuff as “other-than-rational ways of knowing, such as moral, emotional, and artistic ones, as well as values beyond the material, such as creativity, self-expression, and imagination”

  52. Willis Eschenbach

    I’m sorry, but this essay strikes me as pop psychology of the most puerile stripe. For example, take this paragraph:

    One such newly emerging worldview with great creative power is the integrative worldview. This worldview attempts to synthesize some of the great polarities our society struggles with, such as science versus spirituality, economy versus ecology, individual versus collective, and profit versus solidarity.

    That is bafflegab of the highest order, and sadly is typical newspeak. What is the “synthesis” of science and spirituality when it is at home, and didn’t Mary Baker Eddy already try that and fail?

    And since when has profit been the opposite of solidarity? What about profit versus starvation? The entire piece reeks of those kinds of unexamined assumptions and moral judgements.

    For me, the whole essay was a synthesis of that great polarity our society struggles with, the polarity of the crocodile and the abalone.

    w.

    … and what is the synthesis of a crocodile and an abalone? Heck, if you were either pre-modern or post-tradidtional, you’d already know that such a synthesis is a crocobaloney … but those choices weren’t in their questionnaire.

    • Willis

      You accidentally inserted an ‘s’. Surely you meant ‘tripe’ not ‘stripe.’ :)

      I commented on the bafflegab earlier in the thread and there are lots of other words that can be used to describe it, none favourable.

      tonyb

    • I think there’s a deeper underlying problem here. Whether or not the assumptions Willis points to are nonsense, this wouldn’t necessarily prevent a worldview based upon these assumptions arising. Many worldviews, most obviously religious ones such as the worship of a sun-god say, are from an objective PoV nonsense, even if they once dominated some societies and their presence served a net valuable evolutionary purpose for such societies. Yet it’s questionable that there is such an integrative worldview, and if there was it would suffer from all the same disadvantages as any other worldview.

      The normal sense in which the term ‘worldview’ is understood, is a value set long evolved in society and maintained by strong cultural mechanisms, which at their root involve emotive biases based on fear, doubt, hope, uncertainty, salvation etc as co-evolved in the narrative messaging that transmits the worldview. While there are indeed modern secular world views, and such may rise relatively quickly (decades) typically by borrowing existing pieces of or allying with other worldviews (e.g. the early twentieth century worldview formed by the mix of eugenics, anti-Semitism, and national socialism), I think there would need to be strong evidence that an ‘integrative’ worldview even exists in this sense. There are certainly integrative *approaches*, some of which may be very valuable and some of which may be nonsense, but approaches, even common ones, don’t make for a socially ingrained worldview.

      I haven’t looked into this. Yet currently I doubt there is an integrative worldview. If there is, it would operate on the same principles as all the other worldviews, i.e. resting upon emotive biases based on fear, doubt, hope, uncertainty, salvation etc, and hence be something that we would need to circumvent / mitigate against as much as possible when trying to form reason-based policy.

      I think there is much to like in this article. For instance that the understanding and accommodation of worldviews is paramount. They happen whether we like it or not because they have been a significant evolutionary advantage that hence we are all sensitized to. Hence for the forseeable future at least, we can’t eliminate them or pretend that they don’t exist. Yet I think there is muddled understanding in the article too. For instance cultural evolution has long established that older worldviews do not ‘die off’ with older generations, they *evolve* based upon the very inheritance the article itself mentions, which is an entirely different thing that has fundamentally different consequences. The evolutionary trajectory of some worldviews not only spans generations, but millennia.

      The article also appears to promote one worldview over others, a fatal error in a piece that also claims objectivity regarding all worldviews is valuable (I agree with the latter). It claims that the newly emerging integrative worldview has great creative power. For the sake of argument lets say this view is indeed emerging as a genuine worldview in the sense of above. And that to take advantage of the creativity, folks let it have its head. What then, when the honeymoon period is over and this worldview is a big power in society, will be the negative consequences that typically accompany poorly constrained worldviews, and particularly the consequences for genuine science and reason. What if it becomes immoral to separate science from spirituality, to take one example that Willis notes. How is that going to help anyone? Integrative *approaches* seem overall, likely to be helpful; an integrative *worldview* could turn out to have the same iron grip that some other well-intentioned worldviews ended up with.

  53. @Dr Curry:

    “In the climate wars, it seems to be the traditionals versus the postmoderns. As for moi, I completely bypass that particular axis, which may explain my relatively unique position in the debate.”

    Likewise. But I do see worldviews influencing peoples bias’s and views.

    The problem with the Climate Change debate is that it cuts to the heart of peoples world views. On the one hand, suspicion of government and restriction on freedom, and on the other suspicion of industry and concern over doing no harm collectively.

    It strikes me that sadly nearly everyone I encounter in this debate seem to align along the boundaries suggested in the article. You can pretty much guess what someones politics are based on what their views are on climate change. But whether man has anything to do with our climate is first and foremost a scientific one. It’s “rightness” has nothing to do with politics.

    My personal world view is that the truth shouldn’t be subordinated by world view. People bring in morality and ethics long before the truth is established and it creates confirmation bias – on both sides of nearly any debate.

    With regards to my own world view, “do no harm and collectively improve our condition”, knowing whether we affect the climate for sure is really important. Firstly, if we DO, then is it NET bad or NET good (don’t prejudge). If we DO something will it have any impact? If we DON’T, but think we DO, we could end up doing things that harm us for no reason.

    My view is, after the experiment has been run, that we have very little to no impact on the climate and anything we do to mitigate risks bringing net harm. Why waste resources and time putting a fence around the village to protect against non-existent flying dragons?

  54. Seems like I don’t fit system of worldviews (would that itself be a worldview??)

    “The worldview you identify with most is called modern. Out of 17 questions, you 2 times chose the typical modern perspective as your preferred answer.

    “The worldview you identify with least is called traditional. Out of 17 questions, you chose 1 times the traditional perspective as your least preferred answer.”

    Seems to me that my answers didn’t indicate that I fit into any of these worldviews, yet I’m still classified as Modernist. Hmmm… What am I missing?

    Note, please, that I am not arguing that consideration/awareness of worldview isn’t important. I’m wondering about this assessment tool.

  55. I found these passages very enlightening.

    “In the West, we have over time seen massive shifts in our collective worldviews, which academics have frequently described as a move from more traditional, generally religion-based worldviews to more modern worldviews, in which science, rationality, and technology have become central.”

    This worldview produced amazing advances in human prosperity and well-being in the West over the past few centuries.

    “Much more recently, particularly since the 1960’s, we have seen the rise of more postmodern worldviews, which emphasize other-than-rational ways of knowing, such as moral, emotional, and artistic ones, as well as values beyond the material, such as creativity, self-expression, and imagination. This perspective was largely forged by cultural elites within academia and the arts, and coincided with the rise of emancipatory movements for causes such as the environment and the rights of minorities, women, and gays.”

    Now progress is being threatened by new religion – what else would you call “other-than-rational ways of knowing”? – founded by cultural elites in academia and the arts.

    The fuel for this new religion has been provided by environmentalism and rights for minorities, women and gays. The latter groups have been held back by traditional religion, not rational ways of knowing. And whatever one thinks about traditional religions, their ideas were selected and refined by “survival of the fittest” during various periods of time. In part, environmentalism arose because rational decision-making by humans with short life spans creates long-term problems for society and because of hubris. What else – other than hubris – makes today’s leaders think they know how to spend money today in a way that will make the world a better place a century from now?

    For the most part, I stick with what this author calls the “modern worldview” (science, rationality, and technology) and remind myself to think twice when I’m influenced by old OR modern religions that are based on “other-than-rational” ways of knowing.

  56. Historically, universities developed as a place to escape the confinement of religious thought. The author tells us that:

    “Much more recently, particularly since the 1960’s, we have seen the rise of more postmodern worldviews, which emphasize other-than-rational ways of knowing, such as moral, emotional, and artistic ones, as well as values beyond the material, such as creativity, self-expression, and imagination.”

    From my perspective, “other-than-rational ways of knowing” is simply a new form of religion – which hasn’t withstood the test of time. When did our universities become the prophets of a new religion?

  57. It is easy to make too much of worldviews and perspectives. It’s not as if a perspective is worthwile just because someone holds it. Some worldviews explain infectious disease as the work of evil spirits. Should we honor those worldviews alongside the germ-theory “worldviews?” Instead of “[honoring] a wider range of perspectives,” we ought to simply honor the truth.

    If x is true, then I want to believe x.
    If x is false, then I want not to believe x.
    If some parts of x are true and others false, then I want to believe the true parts and not to believe the false parts.

    • Sounds great Graham! now all we have to do is find out “what is truth?”

      • How about: the correspondence of thinking with reality? Of course, now we have to ask: What is valid thinking? What is reality? And how can we certify their correspondence? If we approach these questions with a set of preconceptions about the answers, we will open ourselves up to question begging, confirmation bias, and any number of other cognitive malfunctions, with the result that all our conclusions will be dubious. “Worldview” is a nice-sounding way to say “set of preconceptions.” It’s not helpful, and eliminating it from the discourse is a big part of why reproducibility is so important to the scientific method.

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