Perversions of open-minded thinking on climate change

by Kip Hansen

Climate skepticism: a ‘perverse’ effect of ‘actively open-minded thinking’.

Dan M. Kahan and Jonathan C. Corbin, of the Cultural Cognition Project, have a new study titled “A note on the perverse effects of actively open-minded thinking on climate-change polarization” appears in the journal Research and Politics (October-December 2016) [link to full manuscript].

The study is summed up by the first two sentences of its abstract:

“This research note presents evidence that political polarization over the reality of human-caused climate change increases in tandem with individuals’ scores on a standard measure of actively open-minded thinking. This finding is at odds with the position that attributes political conflict over facts to a personality trait of closed-mindedness associated with political conservatism.”

Kahan and Corbin call this a “perverse” effect of “actively open-minded thinking”. One might wonder why.

Kahan has been a champion of the idea of Cultural Cognition which he defines as:

“Cultural cognition refers to the tendency of individuals to conform their beliefs about disputed matters of fact (e.g., whether global warming is a serious threat; whether the death penalty deters murder; whether gun control makes society more safe or less) to values that define their cultural identities.”

In a long series of studies he has found that Liberal-Progressive-Democrats (the left) generally support the scientific consensus on climate change and the better these individuals score on Kahan’s survey/test of “Ordinary Science Intelligence” – how well the individual understands basic current science and math – the more they would agree with these two basic questions about climate change:

C. Acceptance of human-caused climate change

The outcome variable for acceptance of human-caused climate change was formed using these items, scoring “1” for the response sequence “Yes” and “a” and “0” otherwise:

  1. WARMER. From what you’ve read and heard, is there solid evidence that the average temperature on earth has been getting warmer over the past few decades, or not? [YES/NO]
  2. WHYWARMER [only if WARMER = YES]. Do you believe that the earth is getting warmer (a) mostly because of human activity such as burning fossil fuels or (b) mostly because of natural patterns in the earth’s environment?

[Note that the “correct” answers are “Yes” andmostly because of human activity”. See the underlined answer in the image below –kh]

In Kahan’s system of left-vs-right/Democrat-vs-Republican cultural cognition, this first premise is upheld by surveys performed. But, contrary to expectations, the better Right-leaning/Republicans scored on ordinary science intelligence; the less they accepted the consensus-version of climate science.

slide1

As if this wasn’t bad enough, in this new study, comes this finding: “As subjects’ AOT [actively open-minded thinking] scores went up, their acceptance of human-caused climate change increased only if they held left-leaning political outlooks. Among right-leaning subjects, higher AOT scores were associated with slightly less acceptance (Table 1).” [my emphasis]

slide2

 

Translation, taking both results into account:  Right-leaning subjects (Conservatives-Republicans) who have a better understanding of current science and math and/or can be characterized as having the mental/personality trait of actively cultivating an open mind have less belief in the consensus version of climate change.

This is the result that Kahan and Corbin label “perverse”.  In order for their hypothesis of cultural cognition and open-mindedness to be supported in regards to climate change, at least, increasing open-mindedness should reduce the amount of polarization on the topic – if everyone was more open-minded, they would see each other’s viewpoints and agree more.

They have already offered many reasons why Conservatives-Republicans more well-versed in science would be less accepting of climate change. [the short form answer according to Kahan seems to come down to that when they know more science, they are better at applying the necessary confirmation bias to allow them to remain skeptical despite “overwhelming evidence”.]

The current study admits “These are not the patterns one would expect to see under AOTp. We can think of three explanations.”

[AOTp: “Some surmise that a deficit in this disposition [actively open-minded thinking] associated with ideological conservatism …. might be the source of political polarization over facts that admit of empirical proof—for example, that human activity is causing the temperature of the earth to increase….We will call the position that AOT has this significance for politics the “AOTp thesis.”].

Their three explanations  are:

  1. “One is that AOTp is simply false. AOTp is one variant of a more general claim that an asymmetry in critical reasoning explains political conflict over contested policy relevant facts.” If AOTp is false, then cultural cognition is safe from this non-supporting result. Kahan and Corbin report “The evidence we have presented, while based on a self report measure of reasoning style, adds further weight to the case against the asymmetry thesis.”
  2. “As relatively liberal individuals make gains in the form of cognitive proficiency measured by the [AOT] scale, their opinions become progressively more aligned with the view that predominates in the group. The same is so for more conservative ones, although the effect is admittedly less dramatic…” This is meant to tell us that liberals but not conservatives become more likely to align with their cognitive cultures values when they are being a more-open-minded — thus being conservative and open-minded makes one less likely to agree with consensus climate science. [If you understand this line of reasoning, please explain it in the comments.] (Some of this apparently has to do with how the AOT test may not really measure what social scientists think it measures….)
  3. “Because our evidence contravenes this expectation, it could be that the AOT scale on which our results are based is not faithfully measuring any genuine AOT disposition.” This expectation being: “AOT is supposed to evince a motivation to resist “my side” bias in information …. Thus, one might naturally expect the individuals highest in AOT to converge, not polarize all the more forcefully, on contested issues like climate change.” Maybe AOT self reported status is not “genuine”. This could be read to mean: “Those AOT guys are wrong … not us.”

It is hard to read a study like this, especially in the social sciences, where the science is so soft. Yes, there are data; yes, the data are graphed in scatter plots and statistically analyzed; yes, there are long lists of references and citations at the bottom of the paper. However, this is a Research Note paper – thus it does not follow from the statement of a study design, the hypothesis to be tested, give the methods, results, conclusions, and discussion.   We cannot know from the paper itself if we are being presented with an ad hoc finding – an after-the-fact rationalization.   It seems apparent to me that they started out to show that increases in open-mindedness would lead to narrowing the polarization on the subject of climate change, thus allowing an entry point into the problem through encouraging open-mindedness – open-mindedness as a cure for cultural cognition. That idea is not supported by these findings – in fact, the opposite seems to be true.

There is one glaring – searchlight bright – thing missing from the explanations that Kahan et al have advanced to explain the following social science results from their own studies:

  1. Conservatives who know more about science and math are less likely to accept consensus climate science.
  2. Conservatives who are more open-minded appear less likely to accept consensus climate science.

Kahan never once considers that maybe there is something about consensus climate science that makes it less likely to be accepted by the more conservative scientifically knowledgeable and conservatives who are more open-minded.   Maybe, just maybe, the more one understands the principles and facts involved in climate science and the more open-mindedly one delves into the gory details — not just taking the word of Acknowledged Authorities and Learned Societies — the less likely one is likely to simply accept consensus-version climate science.

Kahan seems hoisted on his own petard – afflicted by his own enemy – forced to conform his beliefs about disputed matters of fact, in this case whether global warming is a serious threat and why everyone doesn’t just agree…. to values that define his cultural identities. He doesn’t consider that maybe his view of cultural cognition might be flawed in some way, that it might not be the driving factor of personal understanding about contentious issues. More importantly, he fails to even consider that a “National Academy of Sciences ‘expert consensus’ report” (on any topic – he cites three examples in the paper titled “Making Climate-Science Communication Evidence-based—All the Way Down”) could possibly be anything other than absolutely true and correct. He fails to consider that there may be honest, reasonable, intelligent, unbiased minds that don’t accept [the version of] the “truth” as written in these reports. Thus he offers his theories which posit that those who fail to accept and conform to these consensus positions must be suffering from some cognitive social ill (cultural cognition influences, confirmation biases, the Science Communication Problem).

That there can be, and are, honest scientific differences of opinion on the key points of Climate Science, particularly on the human attribution issue and the degree of threat represented by climate change. Honest scientific differences is really the simplest explanation to his findings, entirely sufficient on its own, requiring the least number of extraneous additional theoretical constructs and assumptions

Moderation note:  As with all guest posts, please keep your comments civil and relevant.

 

333 responses to “Perversions of open-minded thinking on climate change

  1. Pingback: Perversions of open-minded thinking on climate change – Enjeux énergies et environnement

  2. This is the first time I am called a “pervert”. I appreciate the honor, and I return it to worthy authors.

  3. I wonder when the climate world will finally see through, and tire of Dan Kahan.

  4. One always gets what one expects.

    • > One always gets what one expects.

      Not always. Only if you do what Michael Mann and mates do: name yourself after the answer you want to get, print T-shirts saying “Hockey Team,” and use positive visualization techniques every night for at least 20 minutes before bed.

      Then the Right Answer will flow towards you like so much money into a harmoniously feng-shuied household.

      And the Wrong Answers will lie forgotten in your CENSORED folder, like so many pre-election promises.

  5. I’m a socialist, but at odds with my fellows for being economically and mathematically literate. The sole point of technical divergence between warmists and skeptics is amplification. Prima facie the skeptics have the advantage here because (a) the data do not appear to support amplification and (b) CO2 aside, why hasn’t the greenhouse gas H20 amplified its own greenhouse effect? The AGW stance avoids this issue can I say, religiously? And now we get yet another Lewandowsky clone trying to show that skeptics are sinful, and come Judgment Day we’re going to burn in hell. An elaborate ad hom, that’s all it is.

    • Harry Twinotter

      Mike Mellor.

      “the data do not appear to support amplification and ”

      That is an interesting claim. So interesting I ask for a good reference to back it up. Water vapor is a powerful greenhouse gas, it would be extraordinary if increasing water vapor does not increase the Greenhouse Effect.

      • “Water vapor is a powerful greenhouse gas, it would be extraordinary if increasing water vapor does not increase the Greenhouse Effect.”

        No reference, but consider: the dry lapse rate is steeper then the moist lapse rate. This is strong evidence that water vapor has a negative influence on surface temp, all else being equal.

      • Harry Twinotter

        Pointing out I did not provide a reference, then not providing a reference yourself.

        Page 203.

        https://web.archive.org/web/20060330013311/http://www.atmo.arizona.edu/students/courselinks/spring04/atmo451b/pdf/RadiationBudget.pdf

      • charlieskeptic

        Harry, water vapor has not increased in the atmosphere as modeled. This is contrary to “climate science” predictions of three times water vapor amplification of minor theoretical CO2 warming.

        IPCC climate models are no justification of fundamentally changing our society, economy nor energy systems. All we have had is minor warming from the cold depths of the Little Ice Age. No other climate metric has deteriorated.

      • Simple observation supports the fact that water is, in fact, the most significant greenhouse gas. In a desert, temperatures are usually very high during the day and can be quite cold at night. Humid air always keeps temps higher at night.
        It has been known for a 100 yrs that CO2 is saturated with respect to the IR waves it can absorb. The whole question, as I understand it, is will saturation at a lower, higher atmospheric pressure cause a feedback of more water vapor? To date, it appears it has not.
        It was hypothesized that there would be warm spot around equatorial regions where there is more surface water. That it did not happen should be a consideration
        From what I have read, and briefly stated here. In the pressurized lower atmosphere. energy transfer kinetically by collision dominates over photon emission, because the time of atoms being in an excited stated is much longer that the times between collision. Therefore there is no or an insignificant increase in downward radiation to the earth and no increase in heat energy being held in the atmosphere before leaving it.

      • Data does show that precipitable water vapor trends are positive.

        http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0485.1

        kneel63, the temperature is in the numerator with respect to the lapse rate, so an increase in the lapse rate means less greenhouse effect. More water vapor means a lower lapse rate and a slower rate of energy transfer to space.

      • More water vapor just means the windows to space closes a litter earlier during the night. But while there is a positive trend in dew points, there is a negative trend on average rel humidity.

      • Exactly, and the negative trend in relative humidity means also that the window for incoming short wave radiation opens during the day as well.

        You post more in support of a positive feedback mechanism than against it.

        Was that really what you meant?

  6. Maybe, just maybe, the more one understands the principles and facts involved in climate science and the more open-mindedly one delves into the gory details — not just taking the word of Acknowledged Authorities and Learned Societies — the less likely one is likely to simply accept consensus-version climate science.

    Maybe, just maybe, the more one understands the principles and facts involved in climate science and the more open-mindedly one delves into the gory details, the more you understand that the consensus alarmism is not based on actual science, no real data supports the alarmism. If you know anything about actual data, you know about the data about consensus, it is much more often wrong than right.

    • Harry Twinotter

      popesclimatetheory.

      Your comment starts well. I agree being open-minded means a person will spend time and effort looking at all the details. And because a person’s conclusion is based on time and effort, they are more likely to defend it passionately.

      But then you come up with this clanger, you are basically saying that a majority of climate scientists agreeing on what the scientific evidence shows somehow makes it wrong.

      ” the more you understand that the consensus alarmism is not based on actual science, no real data supports the alarmism.”

      • Read harder.

        He is saying that for someone who understands math and science and delves into climate change evidence, it’s not hard to conclude that the smoke being blown into my nether regions is coming from your pants.

      • kneel63,

        Subtle, if I understood aright. I laughed. Thanks.

        Cheers.

      • Let’s see if an example will help you.
        Peak oil enthusiasts proposed that oil is finite AND that we were about to run out of it requiring immediate government action to “power down” responsibly.
        People who are well versed in science and math and open minded seemed to split- the left leaning ones believing both parts of the proposal and the right-leaning ones (correctly) concluding that only the first part of the theory was probably right.
        The liberal ones will tell you that the right leaning ones who don’t buy into imminent collapse must not believe oil is finite and are, therefore, uninformed. The other 95% of the country is enjoying sub-$2 gas.

  7. “This research note presents evidence that political polarization over the reality of human-caused climate change increases in tandem with individuals’ scores on a standard measure of actively open-minded thinking.”

    I.e., the aptitude for actively open-minded thinking varies inversely with belief in the reality of human-caused climate change.

  8. About 2000 years ago, there was a Roman Warm Period and then it got cold. About 1000 years ago, there was a Medieval Warm Period and then it got cold. That was called the Little Ice Age. It is warm now because it is supposed to be warm now.

    Oceans warm, Polar Oceans Thaw, Snowfall increases. Ice is replenished on Antarctica, Greenland and Mountain Glaciers. Ice builds up and spreads out, reflecting more energy, dumping more ice and ice cold water into the oceans and on land until earth cools. Polar oceans freeze and the sun takes away ice every year until earth warms again.

    It is a natural cycle and we did not cause it.

    CO2 just makes green things grow better, while using less water.

    The reason that people who know more reject the climate alarmism is because they know the alarmism is based on climate theory that is wrong and based on climate models that produce output that does not match real data and they know that whole countries who have followed this alarmist move to windmills and solar power are paying much much more for much much reliable power. That is why the alarmists lose elections, big time this time.

  9. paying much much more for much much reliable power.
    should read:
    paying much much more for much much less reliable power.

  10. “That is why the alarmists lose elections, big time this time.”

    Surely you mean “bigly”

  11. The graphs not shown from the paper also showed (1) that the more open-minded people, regardless of politics, the more inclined towards AGW they were, and (2) that the more right-wing the politics the less open-minded, while more left-wing means more open-minded. The combined result confounds both these overall trends, which is why it is so hard to understand, but must open-minded conservatives must also be quite a small sub-sample because they don’t impact the overall correlation.

    • If you have nothing to say, shut up.

      • What I am saying is look at the graphs in the paper for the full story. The summary fell short of telling you a couple of the more robust findings.

    • Jim D ==> “…The combined result confounds both these overall trends, which is why it is so hard to understand,…”

      The combined results are as you say … Kahan’s problem, as in all the social sciences, is that one’s cohort is not and can not be selected for balance before one starts the study. Thus he gets “The evidence … from a nationally representative US sample (N = 1600) assembled to aid in construction of the “Ordinary Science Intelligence” assessment,” and the results show, although Kahan does not give numeric results in the Research Note, that Left-leaning persons are apparently over-represented in the sample compared to Right-leaning persons. This is true of ALL of Kahan’s research … and for [almost] ALL of social science.

      However, the purpose of Kahan’s work is to delve into the differences between what he sees as “cultural groups” — mostly divided on right-left, democrat/republican, liberal/conservative grounds.

      Thus, his results as he states (quoted in the essay).

    • That must be why all those left-wing students are so open and welcoming on views counter to their own on college campuses.

    • And, Jim, as in all these psycho-babble studies, the devil is in the details of how they choose to “measure” what they pretend to measure. After all, one of their own proposed explanations is that just maybe their measurement of open-mindedness does not quite work.

      Gee.. is that possible?

      What are the odds they would have made that admission if they had gotten the results they wanted?

      Almost all social/behavioral “science” is junk science. And, all intelligent people take that for granted (no, I know you don’t).

      Dave Miller in Sacramento

      • physicistdave ==> Your point on “details” is exactly right. Mosher and I discuss this further on in the comments. I give a link at the end of the essay that has the actual questions asked, a whole seven (7) of them.

      • It is easy to pretend to be open-minded when answering those questions, because the opposite answers would be admitting to some very poor thinking. I think people with strong beliefs in either direction will see through such questions and just answer them counter to what they actually do when confronted with conflicting research. This may explain the countervailing answers from the right-wing types that go against the grain and just say that they are open-minded.

      • Jim D wrote to me:

        It is easy to pretend to be open-minded when answering those questions, because the opposite answers would be admitting to some very poor thinking.

        I think it is more complicated than that. The problem is that “open-mindedness” is what political philosophers call an “essentially contested” concept. I.e., different people mean wildly different things by the term: one person’s idea of “open minded” is another person’s idea of naive and scatter-brained.

        As the old joke has it, the problem with being open-minded is that there is always someone around willing to toss some garbage into that open container.

        In fact, in the usual colloquial sense of the term, no scientist is open-minded in his own field of expertise: e.g. no competent biologist or geologist is “open” to the idea that young-earth-creationism might be true. No competent astronomer is open to the idea that the Ptolemiac system might be true. And, to take my own field, no physicist is open to the idea that Aristotelian physics might be true.

        “Open minded” is not an analytically useful category. The proper issue is whether people use the scientific method: i.e., are they willing to subject their hypotheses to empirical disconfirmation. Very few non-scientists really get the point of that at all. (Alas, some scientists, notably in the climate field, also do not get that point.)

        Dave

  12. Good heavens – what a load of waffle. Trump – save us, please!

  13. “This research note presents evidence that political polarization over the reality of human-caused climate change increases in tandem with individuals’ scores on a standard measure of actively open-minded thinking. This finding is at odds with the position that attributes political conflict over facts to a personality trait of closed-mindedness associated with political conservatism.”

    Truly. What is this supposed to mean? At first sight. I assumed that this was computer generated gibberish as part of a sting to expose predatory journals accepting publishing fees for completely nonsensical papers.

    Meaningless rubbish. It’s about as much use as discovering that atheists are less likely to believe in the infallibility of the Pope than a Franciscan friar.

    To those who believe that human knowledge has been advanced by this “research”, would you have been willing to pay for the publication of this paper out of your own pocket? Do you think the authors were that silly? Or did they publish in a journal which has received a grant so they were waiving publication fees?

    “From 2016 we are delighted to announce that a Carnegie Corporation of New York grant will sponsor open access APCs for all authors for a period of two years (2016 and 2017), and therefore the APC waiver policy will continue for all accepted articles in Research & Politics during this timeframe.”

    All part of the rich tapestry of life. No science involved.

    Cheers.

    • Mike Flynn ==> Mike Flynn ==> So goes the social sciences…and psychology and a few others.

      The Cultural Cognition Project operates out of the Yale Law School and “… is or has been supported by the National Science Foundation; by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania; by the Skoll Global Threats Fund; by the Putnam Foundation; by the Woodrow Wilson International Center of Scholars; by the Arcus Foundation; by the Ruebhausen Fund at Yale Law School; by the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University; and by GWU, Temple, and NYU Law Schools.”

    • Mike,

      It is the old game of psychologizing one’s opponents. Convince people that to determine the truth of a proposition all you have to do is find out if the people who hold that truth are good-thinking people.

      It is a lot easier to control the definition of “good-thinking people” than to to deal with real evidence.

      The Bolsheviks did it by attacking “bourgeois thinking.” Now that old-fashioned Leninism is out of fashion, you have con artists like these dudes basically playing the same game. (Or, to give a different example, there was the attack on “Jewish science” at one point in German history.)

      Same old, same old.

      A simple intelligence test: anyone who falls for this (i.e., the overwhelming majority of journalists) are not intelligent.

      Dave

  14. Kahan’s results seem right to me. Like all good science, it matches with what we know.

    It’s long been understood that while acceptance of science correlates with IQ, it correlates even more strongly with AQ—the ability to pick the most credible authority. [Hint: unless you’re a reputable scientist in high standing in the earth sciences, it’s probably not you.] Little wonder that countries like Germany—where the population has an average AQ hundreds of mV higher than Americans—are largely rid of the skeptic* problem.

    *I don’t mean to denigrate skepticism here—TRUE skepticism is relatively harmless. But how many “skeptics” even know what it means?

    Skepticism means “I don’t know enough to determine the truth, so all I can do is ask the nearest person who does, i.e. a non-skeptic, and go with that.”

    • Brad Keyes,

      I assume you’re not suggesting that you consider consulting an undistinguished mathematician about a supposed physical phenomenon mistakenly called the GHE, are you?

      Or maybe a geologist who claimed to be a Nobel Laureate, and claims to derive temperatures from pieces of wood?

      I don’t believe in unicorns or the luminiferous aether, either. With respect, I’m unlikely to ask the nearest person, who believes in either, whether unicorns or the luminiferous aether are factual. The answer will be in the affirmative, but still wrong, as far as I know.

      If there was a falsifiable GHE hypothesis involving CO2, reproducible experiments under controlled conditions might either support or disprove the proposition. But no such thing exists. All bluff and bluster, with nary a hint of science involved.

      You obviously don’t know enough to determine the truth. Ask me. Nope, no record of a falsifiable GHE hypothesis. Maybe next year, who knows?

      Cheers.

      • Mike F,

        > Maybe next year, who knows?

        And exactly how many years do you suggest we wait for evidence that there’s a problem before acting? Another 25, perhaps? If we still haven’t got evidence by then, will you finally agree that we’re running desperately short on time and we need to act BEFORE scientists start seeing the natural world literally fall apart?

      • Brad Keyes,

        Need away. You’ve got nothing I care about. What you’re selling doesn’t interest me. Go to your other buyers, and the best of luck to you.

        Cheers.

      • Mike,

        I have to wonder if you’re being entirely serious. Some of your ideas are so disjointed and mutually dissonant as to clearly be either Beyond Parody or Parody.

        But I can’t tell which, because I’m American.

        Could you please use a /serious tag when you’re not being sarcastic, just to make life easier for those of us not lucky enough to enjoy an irony-rich diet where we live?

        TIA.

    • Brad Keyes,

      I’m happy enough to wait 100 years.

      You?

      Cheers.

      • Sorry, I can’t reserve your right to act whenever you get around to feeling like it. Other motivated buyers have expressed a lot of interest. I’m going to need an answer now.

    • ‘Skepticism means “I don’t know enough to determine
      the truth, so all I can do is ask the nearest person
      who does, i.e. a non-skeptic, and go with that.”

      A nice definition for the
      best of all possible worlds,
      the modest skeptic kinda’ gets
      to act like Socrates, ‘I do not
      know. ‘ The know-all nearest
      leftie gets to exercise
      his own authoritarian
      tendencies with a ruling,
      ‘It – is – so.” .A win – win
      situation for all.

    • Harry Twinotter

      Just treat Mike Flynn as someone who has nothing to say, that is not far from the truth.

      Dr Curry should moderate this blog better. It attracts too many trolls.

    • “Skepticism means “I don’t know enough to determine the truth, so all I can do is ask the nearest person who does, i.e. a non-skeptic, and go with that.”

      Did you ask the nearest creationist (non-skeptic) about how the earth was formed?

      Skepticism means not taking conclusions as presented and educating yourself by evaluating the data and drawing your own conclusion.

      • > Did you ask the nearest creationist (non-skeptic) about how the earth was formed?

        Of course not, because they have no credibility according to any scientific body of national or international standing. In short, they’re not Bright.

        I get my deep history from the experts—people like Prof Richard Dawkins, who won’t stoop to debating evolution skeptics, and for good reason.

    • > Like all good science, it matches with what we know.

      Indeed, we always knew that to cure cholera, you have to shoot yourself with it.

    • “…..countries like Germany—where the population has an average AQ hundreds of mV higher than Americans—are largely rid of the skeptic* problem.”

      That AQ value must be rising. They’re starting to question their elitist leaders’ determination to commit cultural suicide.

      • barkin1,

        The fact that Brad gives Germany as an example of a country that has the right attitude in accepting authority — given what everyone knows about the history of German acceptance of authority! — suggests that Brad just might be engaged in a bit of satire here.

        Dave

      • Dave,

        I will not even dignify these allegations of being a brilliant parodist.

        > “The fact that Brad gives Germany as an example of a country that has the right attitude in accepting authority”

        If you can think of a country whose historical attitude to authority is further right than Germany’s, I’m all ears. Otherwise we can safely take your silence as a concession that German attitudes are indeed the rightmost and that your objection to my example could scarcely have been wronger.

        Just bear in mind, I know my Germany (https://climatenuremberg.com/2014/10/11/fun-facts-about-germany/). So Teutophobic stereotypes will not avail you. You might get away with low-effort tropes elsewhere, but you’re talking to an award-winning Nuremblogger here.

      • Germany was “left most”. While they were not the International Socialists of the old USSR, they WERE National Socialists (that adjective was what caused Stalin to label them right wing, but they were not right wing).

        Perhaps you want to find another country that is “right most”?

      • > [Nazi] Germany was “left most”

        Hence its preoccupation with wealth redistribution, progressive taxation, command economy and the famous No Jew Left Right Behind policy, I suppose. Not to mention the ever-present spectre of Neo-Nazism flaring up among Europe’s ultra-liberal yooves.

      • Brad wrote to me:
        >If you can think of a country whose historical attitude to authority is further right than Germany’s, I’m all ears.

        Uh…….

        Uh……

        Uh, Brad, are you aware of any twentieth-century history at all?

        Like, do you know what the consequences of Germany’s “historical attitude to authority ” was,, to use your words?

        Hint: it did not work out real well.

    • Brad,

      I am a scientist (Ph.D. in physics from Stanford), and, speaking as a scientist, I find your view of authority breath-takingly, horrifyingly bizarre.

      Dave

      • Dave,

        Yeah, I feel your horror and breathlessness.

        I mean, it would be one thing if my remarks were made tongue-in-cheek, as a kind of reductio ad sarcasm of the authoritarian trend that threatens to debase the public language around science to the point of worthlessness. That might be forgivable—even amusing.

        But the bowel-wateringly appalling thing is how I’m so corpse-serious when I articulate my Oreskes-approved Cook-esque ATTPisms.

        I’m not easily offended—in fact, many years ago, paediatricians told my parents I’d probably never learn to feel offended at all.

        But some of my recent comments, which obviously weren’t facetious, crossed that line. If this is what free speech leads to, I say we’re better off in a world of trigger warnings and blasphemy prosecutions.

      • Really? YOu prefer thought control over simple misunderstandings where people fling literary poo?

        Or is this just another of your sarcastic posts?

      • Or is this just another of your sarcastic posts?

        Don’t hate the player. I’m just a guy trying to make his way in this Post-Ingenuity world.

      • Well, Brad, I am still not sure whether or not you are just joking around (your reply sounds like you are joking…).

        What gives me hope is that I honestly doubt that anyone could be so foolish as to seriously give Germany of all countries as an example of a country that has proven to have the right attitude in its willingness to bow down before authority.

        No, not, I think, Germany. Probably you are just engaged in an extended satire.

        Dave

      • By the way, Brad, please note that right after posting my initial comment to you, I posted a comment to barkin1 suggesting that you probably were writing with tongue firmly in cheek.

        Dave

    • “Like all good science, it matches with what we know.”

      POOR science matches what we “know” – GOOD science is the exact opposite, challenging what we think we “know” with evidence that said knowledge is wrong or incomplete.

      • GOOD science is the exact opposite, challenging what we think we “know” with evidence that said knowledge is wrong or incomplete.

        Kneel, when did this happen?
        But as I typed that I remember when I was a teen that was one of my observations about college, sure it taught you all we know that is true, as well as all we thought was were true that isn’t.
        Well here we are, science around the world used as propaganda, like was done in Germany.
        And frankly with likely about the same results.

        And that makes me really disappointed.

      • kneel63,

        This is all of denihilism in a single clause: “said knowledge is wrong or incomplete.”

        You should have T-shirts printed.

        Science will never be good enough for you self-styled ‘skeptics,’ will it? Constantly on a fishing expedition to find things wrong with it. Of course you don’t know WHAT is wrong with it, but you’re sure it’s there somewhere, and the deeper you dig, the more problems you identify, setting science back time and time again.

        As has been explained to you on webpage after webpage, real skepticism means the humility to accept that the science is settled and that humanity has reached Peak Progress, and we urgently need to rewind before bioclimatic envelopes are pushed beyond the point of restitution.

      • As has been explained to you on webpage after webpage, real skepticism means the humility to accept that the science is settled and that humanity has reached Peak Progress, and we urgently need to rewind before bioclimatic envelopes are pushed beyond the point of restitution.

        The problem is that it’s utter garbage. And personally I expect more before I want to invest in 10 or 20 trillion and the fate or the world. Mosher’s “we know enough” be damed, because he’s fracking wrong.

      • > Mosher’s “we know enough” be damed, because he’s fracking wrong.

        Then tell him how to frack correctly. Be part of the solution, not part of the question.

      • Look, Mosher is typically dead wrong, but sometimes dead wrong is exactly what the doctor ordered. (Or, as we say in my Terminal Care unity, even a broken stethoscope is right twice a day! LOL!)

        For instance, when he says “we know enough,” he’s echoing precisely what the world’s scientists will tell you: please, we don’t want to know more!

        What more do you members of the public want? Do you want evidence that there’s a climate-change problem? But by then it’ll be too late.

        We, as a species, need to act now or we’ll never put a stop to mankind’s activities in time.

      • we’ll never put a stop to mankind’s activities in time.

        Sorry, someone has a case of megalomania they need to rein in, they are wrong.
        And it isn’t that co2 doesn’t have a radiative output back to Earth, it’s just dew points temperature regulates the cooling rate. It is active, the stupid math adding energy from co2 linearly with temps is wrong.
        And you can see how as rel humidity goes to ~100% at night, which it does over most of the planet, most nights out of the year (Steven that’s where you’ll find your statistics), net radiation goes from outgoing to nearly stopped. You can read this peer reviewed paper on the exponential cooling rate. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0ahUKEwjjqcaGt8XQAhVD9YMKHZ0iCa4QFggaMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonlinelibrary.wiley.com%2Fdoi%2F10.1029%2F2003GL019137%2Fpdf&usg=AFQjCNF8lW-CCS7EPxfpANvf5ZKO1PcNfQ

        (I hope that link works), they didn’t find a correlations to rel humidity. But then I added my transistor knowledge on how to measure transconductance, and how you get bad data when it’s saturated, and almost every night the cooling rate stops, and I’ve been seeing it for years in my backyard (the graph is data from the mentioned paper). So their test for a link to rel humidity fails, when in fact it works great.

        So at night, as temps fall, when they get near the dew point temperature outgoing ir stops, unless air temps go back up a little, and it starts radiating to space again. This causes the decrease in the cooling rate, and since it’s a temperature effect, it doesn’t matter how warm it gets during the day, it still cools off. This is the case of the desert. Conversely the tropics are limited by how fast it can condense water to lower dew points.

        It’s an amazing regulation system.

      • What if you’re wrong, and we fail to act? Human inaction will mean man’s activities continue to wreak their ecocidal effects.

        But if we’re wrong and climate change isn’t real, but we do something to fix it anyway, what’s the worst that’ll happen? Heaven forbid we make the climate better, thus avoiding man-made climate change and ensuring cleaner jobs.

        I wager you’ve never heard of Blaise Pascal, but he proved the irrationality of skepticism hundreds of years ago, and should be mandatory reading.

      • But if we’re wrong and climate change isn’t real, but we do something to fix it anyway, what’s the worst that’ll happen? Heaven forbid we make the climate better, thus avoiding man-made climate change and ensuring cleaner jobs.

        I wager you’ve never heard of Blaise Pascal, but he proved the irrationality of skepticism hundreds of years ago, and should be mandatory reading.

        You’d lose that wager.
        The problem is that resources are finite, wasting a significant fraction is a huge loss of things we can do something effective about.

      • Yawn.

        micro6500, the more you argue with me, the more you convince me that the laws of nature are real, just like science says.

      • charlieskeptic

        From Dr. Curry’s Executive Summary of her report to a group of attorneys:

        “Key summary points:
        ▪ GCMs have not been subject to the rigorous verification and validation procedures that is
        the norm for engineering and regulatory science.
        ▪ There are valid concerns about a fundamental lack of predictability in the complex
        nonlinear climate system.
        ▪ There are numerous arguments supporting the conclusion that climate models are not fit for
        the purpose of identifying with high confidence the proportional amount of natural versus
        human causes to the 20th century warming.
        ▪ There is growing evidence that climate models predict too much warming from increased
        atmospheric carbon dioxide.
        ▪ The climate model simulation results for the 21st century reported by the IPCC do not
        include key elements of climate variability, and hence are not useful as projections for how
        the 21st century climate will actually evolve.
        Climate models are useful tools for conducting scientific research to understand the climate
        system. However, the above points support the conclusion that current GCM climate models
        are not fit for the purpose of attributing the causes of 20th century warming or for predicting
        global or regional climate change on timescales of decades to centuries, with any high level of
        confidence. By extension, GCMs are not fit for the purpose of justifying political policies to
        fundamentally alter world social, economic and energy systems. It is this application of
        climate model results that fuels the vociferousness of the debate surrounding climate models.”

        I suggested to her the last part about “… GCMs are not fit for the purpose of justifying political policies to
        fundamentally alter world social, economic and energy systems.”

        The above is just one reason for any person, liberal or conservative, to be skeptical about CAGW.

      • Brad Keyes,

        “I wager you’ve never heard of Blaise Pascal, but he proved the irrationality of skepticism hundreds of years ago, and should be mandatory reading.”

        You’re making stuff up – again. I might be wrong, of course.

        Maybe you could cut and paste Pascal’s proof of the “irrationality of skepticism”. Pascal wrote extensively, so just providing a link to Pascal’s publications is pointless.

        For example, in Pascal’s “Thoughts”, he writes “It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that God should not exist.”

        Are both propositions true? Or false? Might Pascal suggest that being skeptical of one or another position might be rational, given certain beliefs?

        Others might choose to read Pascal for themselves, rather than accept your statements.

        Cheers.

      • ‘We, as a species, need to act now or we’ll never
        put a stop to mankind’s activities in time.’

        Lovely… quite kim-like, or Oscar Wilde-like. )

    • Brad Keyes wrote:

      Skepticism means “I don’t know enough to determine the truth, so all I can do is ask the nearest person who does, i.e. a non-skeptic, and go with that.”

      Well… no. That is not what the word “skepticism” means in contemporary English.

      In any case, the real issue is how can we determine the truth scientifically.

      As my own mentor in physics, Richard Feynman said, “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”

      Or, as Galileo put it, in matters of natural philosophy, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.

      No scientist should ever be trusted unless he is willing to seriously subject his hypotheses to empirical disconfirmation. Alas, the predictions of the climate models have not been confirmed by observations, but the creators of those models refuse to be scientists and admit the inadequacy of their models.

      Dave

      P.S. I still think your use of Germany to buttress your argument for submission to authority shows that you are engaged in a satirical exercise. No sensible person would even think of using Germany as an example to show the virtues of submitting to authority. (See: the Germans did submit to this authority figure back in the ’30s, and well…)

      • Dave,

        > As my own mentor in physics, Richard Feynman said, “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”

        What would he know??

        Kidding. I get it. It’s one of my favorite insights from Feynman (and I’m in awe of your 1 degree of separation from him).

        Not that he was adding anything to How Science Works by saying that, was he? The “ignorance of experts” idea was always at the heart of scientific reasoning—but Feynman had a way of putting things more lucidly than centuries of philosophers ever managed to. Is that your sense of it too?

        But here’s the sick twist: some of our climate activist friends are in florid opposition to everything Feynmanian, i.e. real, science stands for. The egregious ATTP is so guileless he admits it—check out the first few comments here:

        https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/expertise/#comment-12819

        I still think your use of Germany … shows that you are engaged in a satirical exercise.

        Why not follow the link I supplied back in that comment about “an average AQ hundreds of mV higher than Americans”? It tells you why scientists measure AQ in Volts, and where my tongue is in relation to my cheek when I talk about Authority Quotient.

      • Brad,

        By the way, I have now read enough of your blog to understand we are more or less on the same side of the fence — your satirical approach did keep me uncertain for a while.

        Brad wrote:

        Not that he was adding anything to How Science Works by saying that, was he? The “ignorance of experts” idea was always at the heart of scientific reasoning—but Feynman had a way of putting things more lucidly than centuries of philosophers ever managed to. Is that your sense of it too?

        I agree, and I am pretty sure Feynman would have agreed. He of course knew he was pretty bright, but, to the degree he claimed any original contributions, it was in fairly arcane areas of physics (e.g., Feynman diagrams). He thought it was important to describe the scientific method in simple terms, but of course he knew he was describing what scientists had already been doing for some time.

        Brad also wrote:

        But here’s the sick twist: some of our climate activist friends are in florid opposition to everything Feynmanian, i.e. real, science stands for.

        Yeah. The problem is not the actual scientific work most of these guys are doing — nothing wrong with trying out different mathematical models and seeing how they work. The problem is overselling the results.

        Physicists have a phrase: “toy models,” perfectly useful tools to help clarify the conceptual issues in some area, but not to be taken seriously as descriptions of reality. Of course, every now and then we actually luck out and the toy model actually is better than we expected — but only empirical testing can show us that.

        Perhaps explaining that existing climate models are “toy models” is a meme worth spreading?

        And, yes, it is amusing that the author of ATTP seems not to have caught your intentional misquote of Feynman: your humor can be rather… subtle.

        Dave

      • but, to the degree he claimed any original contributions, it was in fairly arcane areas of physics (e.g., Feynman diagrams)

        Arcane? No, he came up with his own unique method to solve quantum mechanics, 1 of the i think 3 ways to solve qm humans have come with. And he did it while making it entirely without mathematics.

      • Dave

        thanks for another fascinating reply.

        I expect that, as the Long Tail of time→∞, Feynman will be appreciated even more for his work as an educator than as a Nobel Prize winning physicist. And by educator, I mean “communicator” (a word that has since become so debased I cringe to use it).

        Another great turn of phrase was to name “the first rule” of scientific ethics as “you must try not to feel yourself [and you’re the easiest person to fool].”

        Is it just me, or did Feynman just cut through a century of semantic haggling over the word “[S|s]kepticism” and the question “Professor, what do they mean when they tell us to exercise scientific skepticism?”

        If I’m right, then Feynman—who professed to have no time for philosophy—beat philosophers of science at their own game, by articulating in a plain-speaking Brooklyn accent what so many had tried and failed to communicate to their students in high-falutin’ language. He made the audience understand that you need to be skeptical in science, and why, without even mentioning the word.

        It reminds me of something he said about birdwatching with his dad—who taught him that if you say “that’s a so-and-so species of bird” you’re not actually imparting any understanding of the bird. Feynman seems to have had a healthy disregard for the usefulness of mere words, especially jargon words.

        But you knew him. Do you think I’m on the right track in linking those two incidents?

        > And, yes, it is amusing that the author of ATTP seems not to have caught your intentional misquote of Feynman: your humor can be rather… subtle.

        Any humor in that incident was merely… incidental. I set out with a deadly serious purpose: to get ATTP to endorse a fragrantly anti-scientific idea, by setting a trap I knew he’d fall into because he genuinely believes science is about deference to experts. And this guy is PAID to teach science to impressionable undergrads. As I’ve often said, weep; weep for Scotland (https://cliscep.com/2016/08/31/weve-hit-the-big-time/).

      • Flagrantly anti-scientific, I meant. Sorry! Oh well, at least I spotted my own solecism before someone else caught me in fragrante delicto.

      • micro6500 wrote to me:

        No, he came up with his own unique method to solve quantum mechanics, 1 of the i think 3 ways to solve qm humans have come with. And he did it while making it entirely without mathematics.

        For the benefit of all the non-physicists here, micro6500 is referring to the so-called “path-integral approach” to quantum mechanics, and his characterization is generally correct (I’m not sure though that I’d agree that Feynman did it without any mathematics at all).

        I would guess that most people would find that approach rather “arcane,” though I will grant that tastes can differ.

        In any case, yes, that is indeed a major contribution to physics.

        Dave

      • There was a news item the other day about Feynman being wrong about the time difference between the age of the earth’s core and the age of the earth’s crust, which he apparently estimated but never calculated. The story claimed it was not until recently that anybody actually did the math and they found the core is much older than Feynman thought. I think that was the gist.

        My personal conclusion is Feynman would not be a skeptic, in the sense people abuse him, of AGW.

      • Brad wrote to me:
        It reminds me of something he said about birdwatching with his dad—who taught him that if you say “that’s a so-and-so species of bird” you’re not actually imparting any understanding of the bird. Feynman seems to have had a healthy disregard for the usefulness of mere words, especially jargon words.

        Yes, though he did later add that of course you do need to learn the terminology used by the rest of the world in order to communicate with them. I.e., learning buzzwords alone does not constitute knowledge, but it can help you acquire knowledge from others.

        I remember Feynman explaining to us that he had once come up with a fast shorthand for scientific notation (just write the exponent as a superscript or subscript depending on whether it was positive or negative — much faster than the standard notation) but abandoned it when he realized it just confused anyone he tried to communicate with.

        Dave

      • Thanks Dave! All such anecdata are eagerly absorbed and fondly archived.

        I guess ornithology is probably the least-good example of a situation where you should be wary of the prestige of mere words, though of course it was one Feynman himself mentioned. A philosophical concept like “[scientific] skepticism,” on the other hand, is almost universally misunderstood and boundlessly polysemic, so it’s a perfect candidate for the Feynman Paraphrase treatment, I think.

    • Brad Keyes- sounds like a paid troll from here on out.

      To get to your key point, Brad, wasting tons of money on an idea that has not passed the science test means that if we ever do discover how the climate works and how to control it(which ultimately could involve controlling the sun) we couldn’t pay to do it.

      Every penny spent on an unworkable scheme is one less to spend on something that does work.

      • > if we ever do discover how the climate works and how to control it(which ultimately could involve controlling the sun) we couldn’t pay to do it.

        Don’t worry, logicalchemist, I’ll front you the money from my mad troll dollars. It’s just gonna sit under my mattress accumulating compound dust anyway.

  15. Liberal-Progressive-Democrats won the popular vote on science.

  16. Harry Twinotter

    “That there can be, and are, honest scientific differences of opinion on the key points of Climate Science, particularly on the human attribution issue and the degree of threat represented by climate change. ”

    I agree. But it is VERY difficult to find honest intellectual discussion pro- and con- AGW in the blogosphere. The cash-for-comment tends to wreck it. Things are probably better in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

  17. Should be food for thought for the “open minded” Tamino, no?

  18. I think that Kahan’s findings (e.g. the first figure above) are interesting because it is unlikely that they would only apply to the general public; if extrapolated, they would apply even more to the experts (scientists in the relevant disciplines). This suggests that once a field of research becomes politically relevant, then the science gets locked in (the dominant viewpoint becomes dogma and progress practically stops, or at least, any room for blocking progress will be exploited).

    The context in which I look at this is that in history, the “smart ones” often appear to be the most eager to start a war (e.g. the intellectuals at the start of WW I, the smart neocons, the super-smart Tony Blair).

  19. “As relatively liberal individuals make gains in the form of cognitive proficiency measured by the [AOT] scale, their opinions become progressively more aligned with the view that predominates in the group. The same is so for more conservative ones, although the effect is admittedly less dramatic…” […] [If you understand this line of reasoning, please explain it in the comments.]

    It seems obvious to me. The factor they’re measuring involves increased ability to rationalize opinions “more aligned with the view that predominates in the group” in terms of plausible scenarios.

    I’ve found that most people (even/especially here) seem to approach “truth” in binary terms: a scenario must be either “true” or “false”. The idea of holding multiple mutually exclusive plausible scenarios in mind, each assigned a tentative relative probability, seems very difficult compared to picking a scenario (primarily on non-rational grounds such as group-think).

  20. Well, … from what I’ve heard and read that there is evidence of one can only answer Nr. 1 in the affirmative (if one actually did hear and read anything).

    The second question is about beliefs. Most people won’t be able to form a reasoned belief because of lack of specialized knowledge or time or both. They can only have a belief grounded in the belief in some authority (the good old Dunning-Kruger thing). So almost anyone who doesn’t refuse to answer the second question at all (because it’s impossible for most) only demonstrates that he is prone to believe authorities (his belief was not reasoned because it cannot). For conservatives this doesn’t correlate with active open mindedness but for liberals it does.

    So one possible rational conclusion is that liberals who scored as knowledgeable in science/math and actively open minded are increasingly (with active open mindedness) gullible to authorities. This would make some sense if open mindedness & science/math savvy correlated with overconfidence in one’s ability to pick “true” authorities for liberals.

    Alternatively one could interpret b) on the second question as “not a)” (so Dunning-Kruger won’t apply for b)). Mostly the same conclusion only that liberals have a strong tendency to herd with the authority approved by liberal authorities and thus behave the less rational the higher they score on aot.

    One could further consider that behavior answers to specific contexts or situations and there actually are contexts where this behavior makes sense.
    So the answers should perhaps be interpreted as hints to the implied contexts.
    Herding behavior may e.g. imply “lions approaching” or “I will be punished when I don’t show allegiance to my in-group”.

  21. Pingback: Una mente abierta tiene un efecto “perverso” en el cuento del clima (dicen en serio) | PlazaMoyua.com

  22. The simple fact is that those who disbelieve global warming are those most independently minded and least capable of being herded along like sheep.

    It also means, that as a group, they are almost entirely incapable of working together as a group to defeat the group-think mentality of the warmists.

  23. Scottish Sceptic,

    No working together is necessary, I believe.

    Nature wins – always. Facts eventually prevail. It may take thousands of years for truth to emerge, but Nature seems to have plenty of time.

    Cheers.

    • Mike:

      > No working together is necessary, I believe.

      Technically true, in the sense that even if we skeptics didn’t exist, the climate scare would eventually die of evidence-starvation and other natural (so to speak) causes.

      > Nature wins – always. Facts eventually prevail. It may take thousands of years for truth to emerge,

      But some of us don’t want to wait that long, Mike.

      Climatism will fall one day, but we’d rather be pushing it when it does. Starting today. I find it odd that you don’t feel the same duty to try to Do Something (about the delusional, pseudoscientific Do Something About Climate movement), when you apparently care enough to blog about it.

      Working together can be a yuge force multiplier. We should do it a lot more, but without falling into the consensualist temptation to “think together.” In other words, while respecting our diversity of thought, we should take advantage of our unity of purpose. Having some semblance of organization doesn’t need to kill individual thought. There’s no incompatibility between organization and skepticism if it’s done right.

      • Brad Keyes,

        Some of you may not want to wait that long.

        Some of you might not want to believe failure is not an option.

        Good luck with both.

        By the way, I’m a non believer. No GHE. CO2 possesses no heating ability – at all.

        Cheers.

      • ‘…even if we skeptics didn’t exist, the climate scare would eventually die of evidence-starvation and other natural (so to speak) causes.’

        Academic nit-pick, but history demonstrates that skepticism is the only thing that limits or cracks cultural dominance, and for instance even with plenty of instinctive skepticism that always travels in association (plus latterly the formal skepticism of science too), religions still hold great sway and even particular brands have done so for millennia. Absent all skepticism the cultural dominance of a calamitous climate culture could theoretically continue indefinitely. It simply hi-jacks all science and filters evidence through bias (if any science would still exist anyhow absent our skeptic drives). Fortunately, all cultures are accompanied by instinctive skepticism, and hopefully one day this will slough off the cultural burdens on climate science, that this formal skepticism will once again do much more of what it is supposed to, and be objective about discovering what is truly happening in the climate system and whether this is going to be good, bad, or indifferent.

      • Andy,

        your pedantic objections are refreshing and welcome. Nit-picking is what separates us from the lower, lice-infested primates.

        But we’re speaking at cross-purposes here. I’m not denying for a second that civilization would be permanently mentally deranged without skepticism. I simply meant that in the long run, there is no need for a dedicated “opposition,” like us: a group of active climate infidels/apathists/denihilists, or whatever. Because people will, one day, as t->∞, simply give up this popular delusion as they’ve given up countless ones before, out of boredom and unfashionability. And if they’re not particularly skeptical, they’ll fall prey to the next one that comes along.

        But I’m not willing to wait the decades it will take for that to happen. Nor, I suspect, are you.

        Your whole comment is great though.

      • Mike,

        “Some of you may not want to wait that long.”

        Some of whom? Who do you think I am?

        “By the way, I’m a non believer. No GHE. CO2 possesses no heating ability – at all.”

        Actually that makes you a disbeliever, not just an unbeliever.

        You’re denying the “heating ability” (whatever that means) of a particular chemical, not just not believing it has said ability.

        I’m a weak believer in AGW. I haven’t bothered researching it enough to be confident either way; it seems plausible, from my quick perusal of the evidence; if someone persuaded me otherwise, my world wouldn’t change much, if at all; it elicits a yawn from me on a good day.

        What I confidently disbelieve in is CAGW.

      • Thanks Brad, and I guess my nit-pick did rather bypass your nuance. I have a feeling though that as t stretches out long-term, the cultural narrative of certainty in climate calamity will evolve into other more viable (for that t) narratives, rather than dissipate completely. Some of these may even be beneficial (more ‘stewardship’ wouldn’t be a bad thing), but downsides of one sort or another are likely for a very long t, I suspect. I guess you’re right I’d rather that folks (especially in the social sciences that are supposed to objectively assess these things!) saw CAGW as the culture that it is, rather than as the hard science it advertises itself to be, sooner rather than later. Yet even should the cultural consensus surprisingly (for me) slide into collapse tomorrow, I’m not at all sure that the understanding of what it is and how it gained its hold, will really be understood very widely. Hence as you note, the field will be just as open for ‘the next one’ to rise, and in the process salvage / re-assemble in a different form some of the more useful memes from CAGW.

      • > history demonstrates that skepticism is the only thing that limits or cracks cultural dominance,

        I thought it was guns, right-wing populism, or both.

      • Willard | December 2, 2016 at 11:32 am

        guns are an extreme means of expression that can be wielded by any side or any individual. Right-wing populism could potentially oust a right-wing dominant culture, but I presume left-wing populism would have a much higher chance of success for this case. Skepticism is a reaction to excess cultural dominance of any kind, many kinds indeed before modern left / right wing expression even arose.

      • Brad Keyes,

        You wrote –

        “Calling yourself a nonbeliever is technically true, . . . “

        Thanks for the acknowledgement that my statement was correct. Real science tends to use precise terms. And facts.

        The GHE does not exist, except in the minds of it’s believers. Neither do unicorns, or the luminiferous aether. I don’t believe in them either. If you can show the existence of, say, the GHE, involving CO2, by means of reproducible experiment, I’ll smartly change my opinion.

        I suspect that your use of the term CAGW without definition is just another attempt at a “gotcha” – an oft times employed foolish Warmist attempt to divert and confuse. If you actually have a good reason for refusing to be precise, and to provide an explanation of the acronyms you bandy about, i would be glad to hear it.

        Still, no GHE. Not even a falsifiable GHE hypothesis involving CO2. Nothing. Just ongoing Climatological Cargo Cult Scientism. Assertions and bluster, demands for total obedience – supported by nothing more than a form of religious fervour. Facts, not so much. Science, none at all of any relevance.

        Start with a falsifiable GHE hypothesis, if you like. You might even like to provide at least one alternative hypothesis to explain observed temperature variation over the last hundred years or so. Probably too hard, I know.

        Cheers.

      • Mike:

        > Thanks for the acknowledgement that my statement was correct. Real science tends to use precise terms.

        I also said your statement was weak and banal, since it would also be true if you were an octagenarian monk on Mt Athos who’d never even heard the phrases “greenhouse effect,” “climate change,” “Apple Macintosh,” “miniskirt” or “upskirt.”

        And science never uses weak banalities when strong specifics would do.

        “Neither do unicorns, or the luminiferous aether. I don’t believe in them either.”

        Not only do you not believe in them, you DISBELIEVE in them.

        But it’s getting a bit boring explaining how English works to someone who seems intent on repaying my help with hate speech like “W@rmist.”

      • The GHE does not exist, except in the minds of it’s believers.

        Read more, post less:

        http://www.iiserpune.ac.in/~p.subramanian/Atmospheric_Science-Wallace_Hobbs.pdf

      • charlieskeptic

        I read the relevant portion. It has the fiction of constant relative humidity and high climate sensitivity based on excessive water vapor feedback assumptions. No wonder we can’t get good climate science.

      • Turbulent Eddie,

        From the 505 page book you commanded me to read –

        “As a point rotates through the sunlit, day hemisphere, the atmosphere above it and the underying surface are heated more strongly by the absorption of solar radiation than they are cooled by the emission of longwave radiation. The energy gained during the daylight hours is lost as the point rotates through the shaded night hemisphere.”

        Exactly. What part of your reference are you disagreeing with?

        I’ll let you read the rest for yourself. Still no falsifiable GHE hypothesis that I could see, just the usual pseudo scientific GHE claptrap.

        The authors mention chaos briefly, manage to characterise Lorentz’s modelling as experiments, get the facts wrong, and demonstrate their grasp of chaos is weak to nonexistent. Check it out yourself, if you wish.

        If the authors stripped all the Warmist GHE nonsense out, the text might be of use, although I couldn’t see anything novel.

        As a matter of fact, the authors state –

        “Such a catastrophe, which may have occurred on Venus, would ultimately lead to the evaporation of the entire world’s oceans, creating a massive atmosphere consisting mostly of steam, with surface temperatures in excess of 1000 K!”

        Even fanatical Warmists such as Gavin Schmidt have pooh-poohed this sort of nonsense.

        I assume you can tell me where the falsifiable GHE hypothesis involving CO2 is stated in the book, if you actually bothered reading your link before you posted it. If not, what was the point of demanding I read 505 pages of Waffling Warmist propaganda?

        Cheers.

      • Brad Keyes,

        Oh horror! Hate speech!!! Pardon me all over the place! Only joking, of course. The amount of figs I give for your opinion equates to a number indistinguishable from zero. Samuel Rowlands said in 1600 – “All Beere in Europe is not worth a figge.” I’m using the same meaning, but of course I value your opinion even less than all the beer in Europe.

        Having decided that my non believer appellation doesn’t suit you, you frame me with a term I chose not to use for a specific reason. If you prefer disbeliever or unbeliever or realist, I don’t care.

        The GHE won’t magically appear. It doesn’t exist. No GHE. Not even any rise in temperatures as a result of CO2 in the atmosphere. You can’t even produce an hypothesis to that effect. It would just be silly – an example of Witless Warmism gone too, too far.

        Have you any facts to contribute? Or just opinions from self-proclaimed climatologists – who are not exactly first rate minds, claims of being awarded Nobel Prizes notwithstanding.

        What is it you don’t like about the term Warmist? Why do you allow yourself to be offended? Have you no self esteem? Or are you one of the precious petals who bursts into tears if a politician gets elected, rushing off to seek solace in colouring-in books in a warm and fuzzy non threatening environment – at someone else’s expense, usually.

        Oh well, Nature doesn’t care what either one of us thinks. That’s my assumption, and things have worked out OK for me so far.

        Maybe Play-Doh (I think it’s what I would call Plasticine) might help alleviate any stress caused by use of the word Warmist. I’m sure you could find a supportive group of like minded people to help repair your fragile ego.

        Cheers.

      • Mike,

        > Having decided that my non believer appellation doesn’t suit you,

        Oh, it suits me just fine, and it suits you, and it suits every single Uncontacted People in every jungle on the planet.

        Which rather limits its utility.

        Which is why I recommend a less banal, less inane, more informative appellation. To no avail, it seems.

        > you frame me with a term I chose not to use for a specific reason.

        There’s nothing specific about your private psychological objection to the term ‘disbeliever.’ Or if there is, you’ve yet to specify it.

        But by all means, continue to secrete it. Secrete away.

        > If you prefer disbeliever or unbeliever or realist, I don’t care.

        So you’re an apathist too. Ho hum.

        > Maybe Play-Doh (I think it’s what I would call Plasticine)

        Er, if I might interject with the voice of science for a moment: the Plasticene [sp.!] is a geological term referring to the current era, in which, for the first time, a single (non-bacterial) species literally has the power to massage natural climate data.

        > might help alleviate any stress caused by use of the word Warmist.

        I just think it wouldn’t kill deniers to be more polite about the science-loving half of society, that’s all.

        How many times must you be asked, please, to use a more respectful, neutral dichotomy (like “anti-” vs “pro-science”) when referring to yourself vs the legitimate community?

        Here’s THE seminal discussion of the toxic effects of perseverating in the use of potentially triggering labels, and what we can all do to do to improve the conversation. (Assuming you want to improve it.) https://climatenuremberg.com/2013/11/07/climate-thought-for-the-day-2/

        We all know you won’t read it.

      • > Skepticism is a reaction to excess cultural dominance of any kind

        You’re just saying stuff, AndyW.

        Wait. Am I showing skepticism toward your socio-pop crap?

        The excess cultural dominance by Freedom Fighters at Judy’s makes me do it.

      • willard (@nevaudit) | December 2, 2016 at 11:24 pm

        Quite likely you are showing skepticism. However, when it descends to petty it’s unlikely to achieve anything.

      • Mike Flynn: By the way, I’m a non believer. No GHE. CO2 possesses no heating ability – at all.

        Everyone who reads regularly knows that you miss the point completely. The Earth is heated by the sun, and “cools” by radiating heat to space. If the amount of radiation-absorbing CO2 increases, the rate of cooling will decrease, and the rate of surface cooling will decrease.

        Quantitatively, the magnitudes of the effects of increases in radiation-absorbing gases in the atmosphere have not all been worked out; mechanistically, not all the energy transfers in the system have been well-characterized.

        Your idea that the increase in CO2 can have no effect is not supported by any research, and is contradicted by all the relevant research.

        It is a complete waste of time for anybody to read any of your posts, except for the reminder of why the CAGW advocates think that opponents of the consensus are loonies.

      • Your idea that the increase in CO2 can have no effect is not supported by any research

        It is now.

        the real question it seems is anyone else smart enough to understand why.

      • > However, when it descends to petty it’s unlikely to achieve anything.

        I was serious about guns, Dave.

        We’re not living in a conceptual world.

        I also was even more serious about right-wing populism.

        We’re living in a world that gets more virtual.

      • Willard | December 4, 2016 at 1:16 am

        >’I was serious about guns, Dave.’

        Dave? Think you mean me, i.e. Andy.
        Excellent, serious is good. Would be nice to lose the rhetoric and stay so. Your link is interesting. Weapons are an important part of our later development, though the larger support for the prime factor opposing individual dominance and promoting egalitarianism, is social coalitions, which are thought to occur much earlier and also are inclusive of women and weaker men, whose ability with a primitive javelin would be limited (slings can kill at distance with less strength, however). I expect several factors will be involved in practice, and indeed the article acknowledges other factors. The study of primate interactions and the idea of gene / culture co-evolution have both been around for a long time, not sure why the article appears to frame these as relatively new. Pushing it a lot to say later democracy rests on flintlocks etc, albeit excluding slaves and (partially) women there were democratic institutions 2 millennia before flintlocks. And the example of the Arab Spring is not really about weapons but about social co-ordination, i.e. back to social coalition (which is kind of acknowledged in a roundabout way that attempts to emphasize stone-throwing as weaponization).

        >’I also was even more serious about right-wing populism.’

        In the sense that it exists and is a serious phenomenon, yes. But so does left-wing populism and many other populisms in the past, against cultural elites of many forms before modern left and right wings even arose.

        You’re original statement after mine about skepticism countering cultural dominance was that: ‘I thought it was guns, right-wing populism, or both’. I don’t think your links show this, although it’s ambiguous I suppose that you meant *only* these. Skepticism of elites would be a strong factor in any populism of any type, and guns can be used by authority (who typically have more firepower) as well as by populists. It is the will to fire them that matters more, as has been seen when the military wing of an authority does or does not fire upon its own citizens in popular uprisings.

      • Brad Keyes,

        “Plasticine –
        a soft modelling material, used especially by children.”

        Maybe you knew this, but pretended not to. Foolishness or bloody-mindedness – it matters not. Or maybe you didn’t know, and couldn’t be bothered looking it up – I suppose ignorance is preferable to stupidity.

        “How many times must you be asked, please, to use a more respectful, neutral dichotomy (like “anti-” vs “pro-science”) when referring to yourself vs the legitimate community?”

        I assume you are asking a rhetorical question, and are not actually seeking an answer. But I’ll answer anyway – I don’t know, and I don’t care. Feel free to feel threatened, offended, annoyed, depressed or whatever emotion you find beyond your control. I don’t care what you think. Neither do facts, or Mother Nature.

        Just as a matter of interest, do you include Michael Mann (so thick he didn’t understand he didn’t actually receive a Nobel Prize, until the Nobel Committee had to tell him explicitly), and Gavin Schmidt (undistinguished mathematician who loftily proclaimed that he had seen nothing to convince him that the atmosphere behaved chaotically. The IPCC, for one, disagrees, as does anyone with any capacity for thought), in your legitimate community? Legitimate community of delusional psychotics, perhaps? I don’t particularly desire membership. I wish you success with your application.

        I’m not sure why you think I would read the content of your nonsensical blog a second time. As to improving a conversation, Foolish Warmists (in contrast to Realists) love a conversation. Realists let the facts do the talking.

        Still no GHE. Still no falsifiable GHE hypothesis involving CO2. Just more Foolish Warmist deny, divert, confuse.

        Cheers.

      • Mike:

        “Plasticine –
        a soft modelling material, used especially by children.”
        Maybe you knew this, but pretended not to. Foolishness or bloody-mindedness – it matters not.

        You got me.

        Foolishness, bloody-mindedness, humor… what’s the difference, eh? All as bad as each other to the fuelless, bloody mindless and humorless.

        I assume you are asking a rhetorical question, and are not actually seeking an answer. But I’ll answer anyway – I don’t know, and I don’t care. Feel free to feel threatened, offended, annoyed, depressed or whatever emotion you find beyond your control. I don’t care what you think. Neither do facts, or Mother Nature.
        Just as a matter of interest, do you include […]

        Relax, Mike, we believe you. You don’t care. That’s why you spend hundreds of words stressing your indifference.

        Just as a matter of interest, do you include Michael Mann (so thick he didn’t understand he didn’t actually receive a Nobel Prize, until the Nobel Committee had to tell him explicitly), and Gavin Schmidt (undistinguished mathematician who loftily proclaimed that he had seen nothing to convince him that the atmosphere behaved chaotically […] in your legitimate community?

        I assume you are asking a rhetorical question, and are not actually seeking an answer. But I’ll answer anyway: no.

      • AndyW,

        Just caught your response. Sorry for misrembering your name.

        It might not be te best of times to flip the table on left-wing populism. How this expression is not a pleonasm is one of the enigma the 21st century will have to solve, if we want a happy 22nd.

        I would not say that “guns are an extreme means of expression” – they’re weapons. By the same token, I think your idea that scepticism counters cultural dominance is too conceptual to my own taste. You already know how I feel about memetics, and I find your appeal to scepticism too self-serving. This is why I offered more tangible hypotheses.

        If you’re to stick to cognitive rhetoric, I think the best would be to go for the idea that conceptual frameworks evolve best through competition. You could then insert your favorite On Liberty one-liners, and I could remind Denizens that this was known since Hegel, if not way back to Heraclitus. Under that light, I would even agree with you – an ounce of contrarianism is good for the inquisitive soul.

      • Willard | December 7, 2016 at 1:49 pm

        >’It might not be te best of times to flip the table on left-wing populism.’

        The particular times are not an issue regarding an understanding of what may happen generically.

        >’This is why I offered more tangible hypotheses.’

        The main argument your linked interesting article makes about weapons is not their countering of cultural dominance, but of individual dominance (alpha males).

        Your responses and links don’t support your assertion: ‘I thought it was guns, right-wing populism, or both’, albeit right-wing populism is obviously a sub-set of populism generally.

      • > The main argument your linked interesting article makes about weapons is not their countering of cultural dominance, but of individual dominance (alpha males).

        Tell that to Marie-Antoinette.

      • Willard | December 7, 2016 at 6:10 pm

        The article is not mine, nor as noted above do I think they have a strong case. However given it was you who linked to it, if you also think there’s issues with their case, which perhaps Marie Antoinette may be concerned about, then maybe you could inform her yourself.

    • Brad Keyes,

      The GHE does not exist. You may believe that it does. I don’t, mainly because it doesn’t.

      Telling me what I believe or don’t believe changes nothing, but keep doing it if it makes you happy.

      As to CAGW, you may believe as you wish. Without defining what you mean by CAGW, and providing a context, CAGW is just another meaningless acronym.

      CO2 heats nothing. Never has, never will.

      Cheers.

      • Mike Flynn,

        “Telling me what I believe or don’t believe changes nothing, but keep doing it if it makes you happy.”

        I didn’t tell you what you believe. You told me.

        I just corrected the word you used to name it. Because you weren’t using English properly.

        You yourself keep saying: the GHE does not exist. That makes you a disbeliever. You disbelieve in the GHE.

        Calling yourself a nonbeliever is technically true, but also very trivial; it puts you in the same category as someone who has no opinion either way. A member of an uncontacted tribe in the Amazon is also a nonbeliever in the GHE. Do you really want to use such a vague designation that it lumps your position in with that of a hunter-gatherer who’s never even heard the term “greenhouse effect”? Or would you rather be precise?

        “As to CAGW, you may believe as you wish.”

        Thank you. I won’t forget this generosity, Mike.

        “Without defining what you mean by CAGW, and providing a context, CAGW is just another meaningless acronym.”

        Yup. And if you can’t guess or don’t know what it means, it’s not even important enough to bother explaining. So forget it.

        “CO2 heats nothing. Never has, never will.”

        Um. CO2 is a compound. I’m fairly sure we’re all on the same page that it “heats nothing.” How could a compound possibly “heat” anything? That’s like saying “lead heats gold” or “rock heats scissors” or “milk heats nylon” or “privilege heats nostalgia.”

        If you’re going to deny something, Mike, try denying something that isn’t word salad to begin with.

      • The whole basis of climate change alarmism is rooted in belief of the GHE. Welcome aboard.

      • skepticgonewild,

        > The whole basis of climate change alarmism is rooted in belief of the GHE.

        Belief in the GHE is necessary, but not sufficient, to be alarmed about man-made climate change.

        Nonbelief in the GHE is sufficient, but not necessary, to be apathetic about man-made climate change.

        You don’t have to be a Slayer to kill the mind-killer.

      • Belief in the greenhouse effect is not necessary.

        It is an observable phenomena.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_laser

        Read the paragraph about amplification and then use your brains to understand that the same things happen in the atmosphere to a lesser extent, but still enough to heat the surface of the earth.

        And then look at the pretty picture of what a CO2 laser can do, which is based on the emission of IR from the CO2 molecule, and the fact that the CO2 in the atmosphere gets most of its energy from collisions with Nitrogen molecules.

      • OMG Bob. You are comparing a powered CO2 laser that can cut steel to CO2 emissions in the atmosphere? One has to leave one’s brain behind to come up with that analogy. There is nothing similar whatsoever. From the Wikipedia article:

        “Collisional energy transfer between the nitrogen and the carbon dioxide molecule causes vibrational excitation of the carbon dioxide, with sufficient efficiency to lead to the desired population inversion necessary for laser operation. The nitrogen molecules are left in a lower excited state. Their transition to ground state takes place by collision with cold helium atoms. The resulting hot helium atoms must be cooled in order to sustain the ability to produce a population inversion in the carbon dioxide molecules. In sealed lasers, this takes place as the helium atoms strike the walls of the container. In flow-through lasers, a continuous stream of CO2 and nitrogen is excited by the plasma discharge and the hot gas mixture is exhausted from the resonator by pumps.

        This above type of process DOES NOT take place in the atmosphere to a lesser extent.

      • Skepticgonewild,
        Infrared radiation can cut steel.

        Fantastic isn’t it.

      • Please don’t embarrass yourself further.

      • Skepticgonewild,

        There is Helium in our atmosphere, so who is embarrassed.

        I was mainly referring to the process where CO2 molecules get to the excited vibrational states through collisions with Nitrogen molecules.

        The important fact with respect to the greenhouse effect is that the population of molecules of CO2 in the excited vibrational states depend only on the concentration of CO2, the temperature, and the energy level of the excited states.

        So don’t embarrass yourself saying there is no greenhouse effect.

      • So don’t embarrass yourself saying there is no greenhouse effect.

        Absolutely 100%.

        It just doesn’t add linearly to temperature.Well, it would add it during the day, but most everything I’ve read is the consensus says that is minimal.
        But at night, it is irrelevant.

      • Bob,

        Where did I say there was no greenhouse effect? Not only do you come up with a totally inappropriate analogy, you then put words in my mouth.

        Furthermore, it would not be up to me to prove a negative. Those postulating the GHE would need to uphold the postulate by means of the scientific method. (which by the way micoro6500, does not include consensus)

        Just because an object emits infrared does not mean a black-body receptor of that infrared will elevate in temperature.

    • The two survey questions in the post above were put to Canadians last year. The skeptical responses were censored by liberal media. CBC created some controversy by switching headlines on its report of the findings.
      First the title was:
      Climate change: Majority of Canadians don’t believe it’s caused by humans
      Then it changed to:
      Canadians divided over human role in climate change, study suggests.

      Full story with national map of responses is here: https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2016/02/25/uncensored-canadians-view-global-warming/

      Apparently a majority of Canadians are both liberal and perverted.

  24. A previous detailed post here at Climate Etc shows how Kahan’s data is good and survives (modest) bias in the instruments developed to collect it, yet his further analysis is short-circuited by the injection of a hard prior, namely that the consensus position on GW *must* be true. This is no doubt due to the bias that Kip notes. An analysis such as Kahan’s is meant to tell us which side is which in terms of cultural bias on one or both sides; one can’t inject a fixed ‘answer’ into the middle of it and then hope to see something meaningful. If fact doing so produces odd results that even Kahan himself admitted he finds strange, as the word ‘perverse’ in the title of this new work also indicates. See here:

    https://judithcurry.com/2015/01/30/climate-psychologys-consensus-bias

    In long standing disputes of issues with major social impact (or perceived impact), cultural issues do tend to dominate, and Kahan’s theory that the opinions of the public are largely formed through cultural identity, matches his data on topics such as Creationism or Climate change. Yet as is shown at the above link, the majority of the cultural bias is on the *Lib-Dem* side in the CC case, and does not spring from intrinsic political culture, but an external source (which is a calamitous climate culture in its own right that has an asymmetrical alliance with political sides, in the very same way the culture of religion does yet leaning the other way).

    • A basic three step test using Kahan’s data and that from public surveys, shows that Creationism is a cultural position, and via the same three steps, that the Climate Change position on imminent calamity is also a cultural position.

      https://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/who-is-who-aux-file.docx

      Despite the currently fixed prior noted above, and problems in attempting to force-fit ‘knowing disbelief’ as a mass effect across populations, Kahan has assembled some great data over at cultural cognition and is chasing some good stuff in a highly accessible manner, as all the work and contributory steps and thought experiments are placed at the project web-site. It’s hard to believe he won’t one day break through to an understanding that the noted strangeness and ‘perversion’ arises from a fixed prior.

    • And also here at Climate Etc is a test using data from higher educated political Independents in the US, which supports my analysis over Kahan’s, both as laid out at the link posted above.

      https://judithcurry.com/2015/08/14/climate-culture-versus-knowing-disbelief/

    • Andy ==> Thanks for the newspaper link — and, yes, those are Kahan’s exactly questions.

      It is the map in the article that is the most informative — The big cities, where the populations, like in the US, tend very heavily to liberal/progressive, are the hotbeds of climate alarm.

      • Kip, the article / map is Ron C above, not me 0:

      • andy and RonC ==> Ron, thanks for the article — etc. [hard to keep these threads clear sometimes….]

      • I see no evidence in real estate values here on the west coast that anybody is actually alarmed about sea-level rise.

      • stevepostrel ==> Coastal real estate — everywhere — has its own rules — if you can see the water your property is more valuable — often far far above any reasonable point.
        The only people who need to be alarmed about sea level rise are those whose property and homes are below the historic highest ever seen tides or not sufficiently higher that they need not worry about King Tides, storm surge, and tsunamis.
        This safety level is necessary to pass the common sense test and should be part of building codes.
        The sea is and will continue to rise, if you are buying coastal or near coast river property, figure a rise of one foot in your and your children’s lifetime. Take into account subsidence if it is occurring in your area.
        Folks in Manhattan Beach, California (except those on the first block by the sea) need not worry — folks in Venice Beach, California should already be worried..

  25. Nice post Kip, appreciated.

    You might be interested in Kahan’s similar work on ‘Science Curiosity’ and his thoughts on why this *doesn’t* polarize in the same way as ‘increased domain knowledge’ or now also ‘open minded thinking’, yet why he thinks it does pick out ‘the right side’ on Climate Change.

    I only chased this down partially, but another great thing about Kahan / Cultural Cognition is that he’ll try and pull the data on challenging aspects, if you ask. I figure that science curiosity is not a form of reasoning (and this framing of Kahan’s does seem pretty unusual), which is his main support for assumptions, but anyhow there are some flaws in the logic. See my long comment at the end of the link below. For the full trail you will need to look further upstream in date for ‘science curiosity’ based posts.

    http://www.culturalcognition.net/blog/2016/3/7/wsmd-ja-do-science-curious-people-just-not-know-enough-about.html

    • andywest2012 ==> I have been digging into Kahan and his theories for a long time, and spent more than a hundred hours preparing a comprehensive essay that will probably never see the light of day. Every time I think I’ve got something nailed down, I find that the underlying data do not support his conclusions — because this is marshmallow-soft science.

      If you haven’t, look at the actual questions that make up any of his survey’s — “Ordinary Science Intelligence” or the AOT in this study. Look at the questions that supposedly determine if I am a liberal or conservative. A lot of it is nutty [sorry to be blunt].

      In the social sciences personal traits and viewpoints may not be what they claim to be — what a real person would agree with. My wife and I tried to take one of the online questionnaires to tell us where we were on the right-vs-left scale, and simply could not answer 7 out of ten questions at all….the questions were, to us, nonsensical, yet we were expected to give agree-disagree on a scale of one to ten.

      • Re lots of digging, ditto, which is what prompted the various guest posts and files linked above. Mostly stuck to the climate domain stuff, but some other domains (Creationism especially) also for comparison.

        Yes I have looked at his OSI and OCSI and some other tools (which have various versions and do improve). I think his various tools of this kind have problems, some more some less (though note I’ve not looked at all at this new study). However, despite issues these they generate pretty good data, there’s sufficient skill and question breadth for what he’s trying to winkle out, that real effects show. It’s what these effects represent, i.e. what they *mean* in light of the tool specifics and the later analysis, where (in some domains) his driving gets wobbly. Especially for Climate Change when he injects a hard-baked prior, which means the analysis is pushed right off the road altogether.

        It’s a long and dense read, but for instance the link above dated 2015/01/30 shows that despite some bias in the OCSI, briefly explored, it happens that the way it is used means some of this won’t matter, and the data obtained is not at all bad and compares very favorably with the same collection process and data in the Creationism domain, also with the expectation of polarization wherever strong culture is involved. However, his injection of the hard prior noted above causes everything to go wrong in the further analysis, and the specific train of how this happens is explained. The compare and contrast to the Creationism domain, is a great way to register what’s going on with a more certain situation.

        In short, I use Kahan’s data a lot because much of it forms a fantastic step for demonstrating that the consensus on imminent climate calamity is a cultural position and not an evidential one. See the ‘who is who’ file link above for a demonstration distilled to the most basic 3 steps and using Kahan data for step 1. You just have to analyze objectively and let the data tell you what’s going on, not inject the ‘answer’ halfway through.

        As ever with following Kahan’s posts its a bit of a slog, but to challenge one has to get right down to the specifics of where his logic train has fallen down, and why. Much of the methodology is sound and so is much of the collected data. Some of the conclusions too, but not always and not at all for climate change. Likewise some concepts are backed by his own (and other) data, such as identity-protective behavior, but *not* that ‘knowing-disbelief’ or (the latest name) ‘cognitive dualism’ is a mass population effect (despite it can exist for some individuals). He sometimes slips gear between these (I guess inadvertently) so one has to watch the pea under the thimble too.

        The nature of his tools is exactly to drill down beneath what people themselves think they are, to what they actually are. Yet indeed if you can’t even answer 7 of 10 questions this is an immediate fail. I’ve tended to avoid the egalitarian / heirarchical papers / posts mostly, except to check references to them from elsewhere. But there is much decent work overall despite bias and problems, and the openness of Cultural Cognition can only be applauded. It’s very hard to sort the wheat from the chaff and I’ve only done a small part of that, yet it’s the way forward. One can’t rule it all out and as noted, some of Kahan’s data hugely helps the case that CAGW is indeed a culture :)

        Kahan often quotes the Kentucky Farmer case in support of ‘knowing disbelief’ being a mass effect. Regarding necessary drilling down to detail and watching the pea, see what’s wrong with that at link below, especially regarding my proposition of the farmer’s cousin, Ethen ;)

        http://www.culturalcognition.net/blog/2015/1/7/so-you-want-to-meet-the-pakistani-dr-just-pay-a-visit-to-the.html?currentPage=2#comments

      • andywest2012 ==> I’ll get back to you on other Kahan views and news maybe tomorrow .. I’ve used up my time for today. Fascinating….

  26. I reckon Kahan is mainly right, but has a serious problem. It is not a disagreement over “facts”; it is mainly a disagreement over “solid evidence”.

    He has bought the alarmist narrative about conservatives denying facts and incontrovertible evidence. It is just not the case.

    If (as I think) the dispute is about “solid evidence”, then you can expect more disagreement the more the knowledge. Two paths that diverge. And, open-mindedness should give the perspective to contemplate alternatives, but not to contemplate quite different definitions of “solid evidence”.

    I think the “conflict” happens in a much more profound level than Kahan contemplates.

    • Agreed, see my comment below.

    • PlazaM,

      there’s also another complication: Dan Kahan not only does he persistently fail to distinguish between what you and I would call “solid evidence” and what a dictionary would call “consensus,” he can’t differentiate them because he isn’t even aware of the difference. He openly identifies (or conflates) evidence with consensus. To my face (as it were), Dan has argued that consensus is a reliable, if fallible, index of scientific correctness.

      On that there can’t be any debate: Kahan is dead wrong, according to the rules of scientific reasoning. With all due respect to him—and I pay it only because he’s polite to me—Dan obviously hasn’t had occasion to get his head around anything we’d call ‘the scientific method’ during his storied and lavishly-remunerated career as a professor of both Law and Psychology.

      And his confusion affects his work. In paper after paper, he mixes and matches consensus (majority opinion) with evidence.

      It’s frustrating because, unlike Shub, I see a lot of potential in Kahan. His heart does seem to be in the right (scientific, honest) place, but unfortunately his brain seems to be in the courtroom, not the lab, where the rules of evidence are radically different.

      • Brad Keyes. Yes, I agree. Though I think it’s the same problem. A “cultural cognition” difference on what constitutes solid evidence. Kahan is a terrific evidence of his own thesis.

        I like his theory, and I don’t think there is nothing wrong with him. Assumptions do have consequences. If he and his “cultural identity” think consensus of *opinion*, not verified models, and “we can’t think of anything else” is a solid evidence, then they have a solid evidence. According to their assumption. They should realize, though, this kind of “solid evidence” is very frequently wrong. And therefore “solid evidence” has a very weak weight. But that’s their problem, not mine.

      • Brad, the mistaking of a socially enforced consensus for a scientific consensus seems to be endemic in the social sciences, which is exactly the place where they ought to see the difference better! While exceptions are occasionally acknowledged, attempts to point at social enforcement are often labelled as some kind of Gallileo gambit, or simply demonized. I think the awe of ‘hard science’ in the social sciences contributes to this. If it professes that label, it must be right.

        The situation is particularly bad when social science overlaps the climate domain, not only in the sense of never challenging the socially enforced consensus on the certainty of climate calamity, but allowing the emotions aroused in this domain to spill over into too strongly supporting the whole principle of a fixed consensus in other domains. Oreskes and Conway, Diethelm and McKee, Lewandowksy et al, all follow this course.

        I agree with your thoughts about Kahan, he’s much the best of the bunch and does genuinely attempt objectivity and is doing some good work. But yes he too appears to take the view that science is extremely robust and protected by the principle of self-correction. He doesn’t buy that science is fragile and easily bent off course or corrupted by culture, or that the self-correction may take decades or generations (in which much damage may be done). Likely the health of hundreds of millions of people has been adversely affected by the now collapsing consensus on saturated fats, which lasted about 50 years, and the cultural effects here are only writ small (group think / authority status etc within the medical / nutrition professions), not writ large as with CAGW.

      • Andy, thanks as usual.

        However Kahan’s problem, as I see it, is not “the mistaking of a socially enforced consensus for a scientific consensus.”

        (I’m not even sure what the difference is myself, since the scientific consensus on climate change obviously HAS been socially enforced to an untold extent. So in a Venn diagram, the two kinds of consensus not only can in principle overlap, but HAVE overlapped in the very subject matter we seem to be talking about at this blog.)

        Kahan’s problem is that he thinks—and has said so in as many words—that “a scientific consensus” is a form of scientific evidence. I.e. that it tells us something about nature.

        He’s wrong.

        A “scientific consensus,” to the extent that phrase means anything, can only possibly be a majority opinion among scientists on a certain matter.

        A majority opinion is worth no more in science than a single opinion, a unanimous opinion, your hairdresser’s opinion, an expert opinion, my opinion, your opinion, a drooling lunatic’s opinion, or any other kind of opinion: jack diddly squat. Opinions are like ani in science, only less interesting.

      • Brad, very much appreciate your perspective.

        Think we’re actually almost in agreement but from different perspectives.

        A socially enforced consensus is manufactured by emergent mechanisms in a culture. The consensus that each religion has on their core narrative is an example, e.g. the purpose for which Jesus died on the cross. Cultural consensuses of this nature are policed.

        A scientific consensus is in principle nothing to do with above, because if science were 100% objective there would be no cultural mechanisms in play. Hence a scientific consensus would be a loose parking place in an uncertain domain for where current efforts of the relevant scientists had got to. A handy base-camp for further ideas and advance, but not a fixed position, and one that not only would expect critique, but may be entirely dismantled if a better route up the mountain is eventually discovered and a different base camp is established. If you have certainty by virtue of scientific replication, in principle you don’t need a consensus at all, no parking place is required (albeit a higher super-set may be discovered, a la Newton and Einstein).

        Because we’re never 100% objective and confirmation bias or group-think or whatever can affect any scientific parking place to some extent, there can be overlap as you say. Yet when culture goes rampant and entirely takes over the scene, there isn’t really any overlap anymore. Whatever is happening in the climate and whether it is good, bad, or indifferent, the certainty of imminent (decades) climate calamity is just a cultural story. It is like religions, a fairy tale. It has nothing to do with science.

        I agree that the majority opinion representing a temporary scientific parking place in an uncertain domain, says nothing about what the eventual outcome will be once much more time has passed and the uncertainties are resolved. But at least this is not a *cultural* opinion; it may one day be found to be true, whereas a cultural opinion (so far in history) is *never* true.

        Kahan not only conflates such parking places with the kind of position that can be demonstrated via replication (hence no consensus required), he conflates them with a socially enforced consensus that has nothing to do with science anyhow. The opinions in a scientific consensus are not truth, but do actually stem from science and one may choose to give them weight as such. The opinions generated by a socially enforced consensus are much worse than those of your hair-dresser or a lunatic (who by chance may get it right); cultural narratives are *never* right, they are *manufactured* by emergent social process. Such is CAGW.

    • plazaeme ==> If one reads a lot of Kahan, one finds that he really does believe that if there is a “report”, a review report, from a major scientific body or agency, like the National Academies or American Pediatrics Society or the American Heart Assoc., that everyone should just accept whatever they say are the facts of the matter — that everyone should accept their conclusions — and that those that don’t accept them, have some sort of a cognitive problem.

  27. Honest differences is indeed the simplest explanation for the never ending debates Kahan mentions, including gun control. The in treating question is how these honest differences come to be? I have studied this for forty+ years, beginning with my PhD thesis on Kuhn’s point that scientists with different paradigms talk past one another.

    The simple explanation is that the weight of evidence is relative to the observer. This is not bias because bias requires that there is a weight of evidence that is independent of the observer. I am a skeptic because certain evidence convinces me that AGW is false. Others looking at the same evidence are not convinced. Some of the others are convinced that AGW is true.

    Some of us must be wrong of course but that is beside the point. The evidence is sufficiently ambiguous that there is lots of room for debate. Many complex issues are like that, not just climate change. Whether light was a wave or a particle was debated for over a hundred years. Climate change may be as well.

    • David Wojick: ‘The simple explanation is that the weight of evidence is relative to the observer.’

      Think this is spot on. But just as for space-time, the observers all sit in a topology with rules, and the question is, what are those rules in this case?

      I think Kahan is right that the topology is cultural. Plenty of evidence for this. However in the climate change case, Kahan has made a single point in this topology arbitrarily fixed, hence all other points on the topology have to be interpreted using the appropriate relative distance to this now fixed ‘truth’, which came only from a hard-baked prior and not from any process or evidence. This act makes for some strange conclusions indeed, which Kahan acknowledges, though not to the extent of thinking that they may be wrong.

      ‘The evidence is sufficiently ambiguous that there is lots of room for debate.’

      Indeed. Not only does this leave the window open for cultural effects to get started and grow, as they become dominant they can actually contribute to keeping the window permanently open and the uncertainty in place, beneath a deceptive mask of consensus. Plus the perceived social impacts of the issue in question are amplified, benefiting the further growth of the culture. This happens via blind selection of emotive themes.

      • Your “deceptive mask of consensus” is correct. There is no actual consensus. That term is a rhetorical artifact of the ‘dangerous global warming’ side, the size of which is roughly equal to the percentage of Democrats in academic science. Hence cultural if you want to call it that. I dislike the term.

    • “The simple explanation is that the weight of evidence is relative to the observer.”

      Let’s suppose that is true. Pragmatically ( note this is not “the scientific method”) then, we can look for useful methods to use when different observers give different weights.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphi_method

      It’s pretty simple. It’s a given that there isnt a single piece of evidence in the AGW theory that you have a complete handle on. There isnt a single thread that you know better than published scientists. So yes the weight of the evidence is relative to the observer, but not all observers are equal.

      for example.

      If I’m in a position where Svalgaard tells me one thing about the solar record and You tell me something different.. I have these choices

      1. Look at it myself to the depths that Lief has
      2. Apply a discount to your opinion.. and bet on svalgaard

      If Judith says one thing about clouds and you say otherwise… again I have two choices..I’ll choose her understanding over yours.

      If you weight satellite evidence one way and Mears weights it differently.. I choose mears understanding

      Are we “doing science” when we choose to give more weight to expert opinion? Nope. Are we being rational? yup. could we be wrong? yup.

      Do I think you should be swayed by expert opinion? No. If you were swayed, if you did appeal to experts would I call you unscientific? Nope.

      • Steven Mosher,

        You wrote –

        “except Feynman didnt follow his own rules.”

        And I should care what you say because . . . .?

        If you are talking about about the Feynman Rules for the Standard Model, you might care to elucidate. If you’re just trying to deny, divert, and confuse because you’re a bit short on facts, clues, or logic – so be it.

        Still no GHE. No heating due to CO2. Keep worshipping if it makes you feel happy.

        Cheers.

    • Steven Mosher,

      You wrote –

      “It’s a given that there isnt a single piece of evidence in the AGW theory that you have a complete handle on.”

      It’s a given that you haven’t even managed to produce a falsifiable GHE hypothesis involving CO2, let alone following the scientific method to come upon with a theory!

      I don’t have a handle on a single piece of evidence in the luminiferous aether theory either, but at least it was written down, unlike the non existent AGW theory you seem so enamoured of. Experiments showed that the theory was incorrect. Prior to that, it was pointed out that the properties essential to the operation of the luminiferous were mutually exclusive.

      So trot out your AGW theory. With your vast knowledge of science, it should be child’s play to design an experiment or two to either support or disprove this invisible theory. Computer model runs are not experiments, by the way.

      Science depends on reproducible experiments, not consensus thinking.

      I know you hate the words of dead scientists, but others might be more open-minded. Anyway –

      “When someone says, “Science teaches such and such,” he is using the word incorrectly. Science doesn’t teach anything; experience teaches it. If they say to you, “Science has shown such and such,” you might ask, “How does science show it? How did the scientists find out? How? What? Where?”

      It should not be “science has shown” but “this experiment, this effect, has shown.” And you have as much right as anyone else, upon hearing about the experiments–but be patient and listen to all the evidence–to judge whether a sensible conclusion has been arrived at.”

      Richard Feynman, of course.

      I go with Feynman rather than Steven Mosher. Wouldn’t you agree?

      Cheers.

  28. Someone should suggest that Kahan perform the same “study” about vaccination. Here the sceptics are [mostly] on the other side of the political divide. As noted in some of the comments, his results are interesting; his analysis “perverse.”

  29. I loved this line:

    on a standard measure of actively open-minded thinking

    What standard measure? Would that be the one that asks opinionated questions and if you answer is in line with their opinion, you are then more open-minded?

    Soft sciences are called that because there is no quantitative valuation that is universal. The failure of the “study” to come to their pre-drawn conclusion is not mystifying. It merely reflects the truism that there is very little “science” in the soft science. Studies yes. But instead of studying to find information, they create studies to confirm their bias. I guess they have to justify their tenure at their college.

    If anyone is still wondering why the entire media and college hierarchy was “surprised” by the recent election, one needs look no further than studies like this. When the results do not conform to their preconceived biases, it is “surprising” or (as one of their possible explanations states) invalid.

  30. The more likely one understands the facts involved …

    • True story.
      Many years ago in the South I worked summers laboring for brick masons Buster and Earl … brothers.
      Earl, fastidious, pressed and groomed.
      Buster not.
      They never spoke to us directly.
      “Buster, I ‘blieve I need some brick”.
      “Earl, I’m outta mud”
      That was our cue.
      I once commented that I ‘read’ this or that.
      Buster said,
      “Earl, I ‘blieve a piece a paper will lay there an’ let ya put anything on it.”

      The first rule of skepticism perhaps?

  31. Pingback: New Paper: Climate Scepticism Is A ‘Perverse’ Effect Of ‘Actively Open-Minded Thinking’ | The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

  32. From the article:

    Only on “CBS This Morning,” members of the Rockefeller family are giving their first TV interviews about a public falling out with ExxonMobil. The energy giant is one of the successors to Standard Oil, founded by John D. Rockefeller. But some of his descendants are now criticizing ExxonMobil’s record on climate change.

    “If I was talking to the board of ExxonMobil, I would say that right now, their company seems to be morally bankrupt,” Kaiser said.

    The reports suggest “Exxon had been at the forefront of climate change research” since the late 1970s and knew the burning of fossil fuels “would warm the planet and could eventually endanger humanity,” even while the company downplayed the science in a series of newspaper ads and television interviews.

    “This is complicated. Don’t believe statements that say it’s clear that things are warming. It’s not clear,” Frank Sprow told CBS News in a 2000 interview while he was ExxonMobil vice president.

    Exxon Mobil accuses the Rockefellers of conspiring against the corporation.

    In a phone call with CBS News, a company official described it as a “coordinated campaign … to vilify the company.” A spokesman initially sent us a statement saying the reports were “funded and then promoted by activists,” claiming they’re “not credible and have been widely discredited.” The company later retracted that statement, telling us they “don’t have a comment.”

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/rockefeller-family-feud-with-exxon-mobil-fossil-fuels-global-warming-climate-change/

  33. Climate change induces mental chaos! The conceptual bifurcation in a set of intelligent minds would indicate the possibility of a chaotic phenomenon.

  34. This may explain why conservatives get the short end of the stick in social science studies:

    http://heterodoxacademy.org/2016/01/07/new-study-finds-conservative-social-psychologists/

    • From that article:

      Most people know that professors in America, and in most countries, generally vote for left-leaning parties and policies. But few people realize just how fast things have changed since the 1990s. An academic field that leans left (or right) can still function, as long as ideological claims or politically motivated research is sure to be challenged. But when a field goes from leaning left to being entirely on the left, the normal safeguards of peer review and institutionalized disconfirmation break down. Research on politically controversial topics becomes unreliable because politically favored conclusions receive less-than-normal scrutiny while politically incorrect findings must scale mountains of motivated and hostile reasoning from reviewers and editors.

  35. Many times at Kahan’s blog I have tried to explain to him that there is nothing contradictory or strange or perverse about the results he finds.

    See for example this one
    http://www.culturalcognition.net/blog/2016/2/8/as-their-science-comprehension-increases-do-members-of-the-p.html

    where Kahan writes
    “Whoa!!! What gives??”
    to the quite unremarkable discovery that as some people become more knowledgeable about climate science they are less inclined to believe it and simultaneously become more aware of the ‘consensus’.

    See comments on that thread from Barry Woods, me, Cortlandt, Andy West and others.

    This latest example seems similar.

    • I am less critical of Kahan than a lot people here.
      He is a smart guy. He sets up interesting surveys. He presents his data and allows it to say what it says without trying to pretend that it fits with a theory when it doesn’t (which is what people like Maibach do). And he is happy to talk to anyone!

      On that last point, maybe I missed it but I did not see a link to Dan’s blog where he discusses this paper. It is here
      http://www.culturalcognition.net/blog/2016/9/24/weekend-update-note-on-perverse-effect-of-actively-open-mind.html
      So far there are only a couple of comments from another smart guy, NiV (known elsewhere as Nullius in Verba I think).

      • Agreed. Kahan will also make a stab at examining the data in a different way, if you ask nicely, that might possibly reveal something about a challenging question or alternate hypothesis.

    • What surprises me is that his increasing surprise never seems to fracture his considerable confidence that all is well with his assumptions.

      • andy ==> Yes, that exactly, and his unfailing belief that consensus reports on any topic are Captial-T True and failure to accept them is a cognitive failure.

        His studies are about BIAS, yet he fails to see that consensus reports may simply reflect the overall prevailing bias in a scientific field.

      • Kip Hansen | December 2, 2016 at 11:22 am
        ‘His studies are about BIAS, yet he fails to see that consensus reports may simply reflect the overall prevailing bias in a scientific field.’

        Yep, fully agree with this!

      • Steven Mosher

        “Kip Hansen | December 2, 2016 at 11:22 am
        ‘His studies are about BIAS, yet he fails to see that consensus reports may simply reflect the overall prevailing bias in a scientific field”

        Except the bias is not constant

        Starting in 1896 the science showed that C02 would cause warming
        Then for a few decades folks thought that saturation argument made sense.
        Then in the 1950s the DOD put the saturation argument to rest.

        If you want to argue that there is a prevailing bias you have to particularize the charge.. Bias about what?

        1. That C02 is a ghg?
        2. That GHGs cause warming?

        which belief do you think is biased? And how do you support that?
        Do you know the truth and calculate that they are biased by X?
        Or is bias just your unfalsifiable hypothesis that accepts no counter evidence?

        opps I argued by asking questions.. But they are real questions. what is the hard empirical evidence for bias?

      • Steven:

        >’Except the bias is not constant’

        I’m not sure there’s any rule saying that biases can’t evolve, however…

        >’Starting in 1896… Then in the 1950s…’

        Given that no human enterprise is completely free of bias, I guess what matters is the level of bias, and would that be sufficient to derail the scientific process, essentially disabling the self-correction. While biases happen via a raft of different mechanisms, the underlying emotive impact and investment in the issue is a main marker. Presumably the climate change issue didn’t accumulate enough of an emotive impact for this to happen (or start to happen), if indeed it has happened, until maybe the mid-1980s at earliest.

        >’which belief do you think is biased?’

        Neither your 1 or 2. But in modern times that AGW will be an imminent (decades) global calamity.

        >’And how do you support that?’

        Many posts at this site and elsewhere explore the bias within the IPCC process and climate science more generally, but…

        >’what is the hard empirical evidence for bias?’

        Indeed it’s hard to say the majority of that is ‘hard’ evidence, although I guess ‘hard’ in this context is rather subjective anyhow. This is a problem of a consensus that is not there by virtue of scientific process, or even a reasoned process like your Delphi example above, but is a socially enforced consensus.

        When such a consensus holds almost all the cards, one can ultimately *suspect* bias, an act of skepticism, yet practically all roads lead back to experts (and adherents) who will overwhelmingly be part of the consensus. The few who aren’t are easily marginalized or demonized. Hence ‘hard evidence’ may only be available after the fact, i.e. when such a consensus collapses, or at least starts to. This is the case for the saturated fats consensus, for instance, which is only bias and cultural effects writ small (authority status / group think etc mainly within medical community), not writ large where existential factors for the whole globe and population are (whether correctly or incorrectly) in play for CC.

        So if suspecting an issue is dominated by a socially enforced consensus, backing this with ‘hard’ evidence within the issue domain will be… hard. However, one can go outside the domain (show that the consensus values are cultural, hence not evidential whatever they say regarding domain details). Or less formally and unfortunately less objectively, compare the final narrative output to the input science, for maximum contrast and consistency check. I by no means foresaw that the saturated fats consensus would fall. But years back I compared the taboos with what I could find on the input science front, which appeared to be a lot more balanced and guarded and uncertain than the ultimate output end fixed taboos. Didn’t make me disbelieve entirely, yet it did considerably lessen my concern and assume that the taboos were OTT.

        So the output narrative from world leaders and governments and many orgs says in the strongest terms: climate calamity is near, action to curb emissions is extremely urgent or else… and this is all backed by the authority of science (these 3 features are all present in the tiny but typical example snippets below). Assuming we all did as our leaders and governments bid, this narrative would dictate society’s reaction to the issue. Now as noted above, one may suspect the IPCC is responsible for a big part of the orthodox bias propagation, but at any rate not many folks consider them *climate skeptical*, so it seems to me a reasonably objective act to use them as a first approx to the input science. So the question becomes, is that output narrative supported by the IPCC working group papers? If not, I doubt all the govs and leaders etc are lying when they say that their promoted narrative comes from science; hence there is bias in science (which by no means indicates all relevant scientists, but their enterprise as a whole). Now if the leaders are misled by intervening bureaucracy (for instance) and climate science as a whole *doesn’t* support the below calamitous view, yet fails to meaningfully step up and try to stop themselves being misrepresented by many leaders and governments worldwide at the highest profile, this is still bias.

        [GRO HARLEM BRUNDTLAND] to 15th session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development : “So what is it that is new today? What is new is that doubt has been eliminated. The report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is clear. And so is the Stern report. It is irresponsible, reckless and deeply immoral to question the seriousness of the situation. The time for diagnosis is over. Now it is time to act.” [OBAMA] Energy Independence and the Safety of Our Planet (2006) : “All across the world, in every kind of environment and region known to man, increasingly dangerous weather patterns and devastating storms are abruptly putting an end to the long-running debate over whether or not climate change is real. Not only is it real, it’s here, and its effects are giving rise to a frighteningly new global phenomenon: the man-made natural disaster.” Speech in Berlin (2008) : “This is the moment when we must come together to save this planet. Let us resolve that we will not leave our children a world where the oceans rise and famine spreads and terrible storms devastate our lands.” George town speech (2013) : “Sticking your head in the sand might make you feel safer, but it’s not going to protect you from the coming storm.” State of the Union (2015) : “The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe.” [FRANCOIS HOLLANDE] Paris climate summit Nov 2015 : “To resolve the climate crisis, good will, statements of intent are not enough. We are at breaking point.” [GORDON BROWN] Copenhagen climate plan (2009) : “If we miss this opportunity, there will be no second chance sometime in the future, no later way to undo the catastrophic damage to the environment we will cause…As scientists spell out the mounting evidence both of the climate change already occurring and of the threat it poses in the future, we cannot allow the negotiations to run out of time simply for lack of attention. Failure would be unforgivable.” [ANGELA MERKEL] to UN summit on Climate Change (2009) : “After all, scientific findings leave us in no doubt that climate change is accelerating. It threatens our well being, our security, and our economic development. It will lead to uncontrollable risks and dramatic damage if we do not take resolute countermeasures.” Same speech : “we will need to reach an understanding on central issues in the weeks ahead before Copenhagen, ensuring, among other things, that global emissions reach their peak in the year 2020 at the latest.” And while president of the EU, on German TV in a wake-up call for climate action prior to 26 leader EU climate meeting (2007) : “It is not five minutes to midnight. It’s five minutes after midnight.” [POPE FRANCIS] Asked if the U.N. climate summit in Paris (2015) would mark a turning point in the fight against global warming, the pope said: “I am not sure, but I can say to you ‘now or never’. Every year the problems are getting worse. We are at the limits. If I may use a strong word I would say that we are at the limits of suicide.”

        P.S. certainly some climate / environmental scientists are highly affected by the emotive aspects of CC, though this can’t be systemic evidence because (to my knowledge) no appropriate survey covers them. However, these particular guys / gals all volunteered their attitudes, which is very helpful.

        https://judithcurry.com/2015/04/24/contradiction-on-emotional-bias-in-the-climate-domain/

      • Steven Mosher | December 2, 2016 at 8:34 pm

        bother, my comment on this in moderation, no doubt it will pop out soon,

      • P.S. correction for when it pops out:

        for: …in modern times that AGW…
        read: …in modern times the certainty that AGW…

      • Steven Mosher ==> Having trouble getting these bits in the right place, but this is a reply to

        “Except the bias is not constant”

        You seem to think that I am interested in fighting the Climate Wars….I am not. It is, to me, beyond boring, somewhere down with studying the details of the love life of worms.

        I write about the things I am interested in, and am happy to discuss those topics with anyone (ad infinitum, it seems).

        At other venues, I usually include a statement at the end of my essays stating things like “Let’s try not to fight the Climate Wars here in the comments.” and “this essay is not about the details of the Earth’s climate, CAGW, AGW, or related nonsense. I will not fight the Climate Wars in the comments – please reserve that for some other essay or take it over to the NY Times’ Dot Earth blog where a lively battle is nearly always taking place.”

        There is a place here for discussing the approaches to science in general, as my topic is a particular social science project — the Cultural Cognition Project. We agree on some things about this — such as classifying individuals in a cohort by their answers [self-reports] to a whole seven (7) questions being unlikely to produce a dependable result.

  36. From the article….

    ///////////////////
    WARMER. From what you’ve read and heard, is there solid evidence that the average temperature on earth has been getting warmer over the past few decades, or not? [YES/NO]
    WHYWARMER [only if WARMER = YES]. Do you believe that the earth is getting warmer (a) mostly because of human activity such as burning fossil fuels or (b) mostly because of natural patterns in the earth’s environment?”
    ////////////////////////////

    Of course, people keep asking the wrong questions…on purpose, I suspect.

    Almost every atmospheric scientist I know answers “Yes” and “A”. That would be the so-called “97%”

    But very few of my peers outside of academia or government are worried about “Yes” and “A”, because they don’t add up to anything approaching catastrophe.

  37. Conservatives who know more about science and math are less likely to accept consensus climate science.
    Conservatives who are more open-minded appear less likely to accept consensus climate science.

    Maybe, just maybe, there’s a 4 options, it’s bullocks, and the scientifically literate who are open minded and not politically aligned to the party platform find the science almost entirely made up, or not applicable to the actual problem.And because of this, we reject it’s stench.

    :)

  38. Explanation (2) says that:-
    Liberals get very much more aligned to the liberal Group-Think as they become more open-minded. Whereas Conservatives only get a bit more aligned to the conservative viewpoint as they become more open-minded.

    This would fit perfectly where liberals believe and trust other liberal people’s ideas. While conservatives don’t trust other people’s opinions but look for concrete evidence they can reproduce themselves.

  39. …he has found that Liberal-Progressive-Democrats (the left) generally support the scientific consensus on climate change and, [Fidel Castro, Chairman Mao and Nancy Pelosi]…

  40. …the simplest explanation to his findings, entirely sufficient on its own, requiring the least number of extraneous additional theoretical constructs and assumptions.

    the simplest explanation, entirely sufficient on its own, requiring the least number of extraneous additional theoretical constructs and assumptions, for climate change in general and global warming during the 2nd half of the 20th century is, the sun; but, Liberal-Progressive-Democrats (the left) require more drama. If we’re going to be open-minded about it, I think we all have to admit global warming has been good for humanity.

  41. I think the Soviet Union (and National Socialism) already tried this business about reducing all human behaviour/interaction/cognition to a series of scientific ‘studies’.
    Those experiments didn’t go so well, I’m not quite sure why ignorant America thinks they will go well today.

    • “Honest scientific differences is really the simplest explanation to his findings, entirely sufficient on its own, requiring the least number of extraneous additional theoretical constructs and assumptions”

      Excellent synopsis.

  42. From the article:

    Senator Bernie Sanders has declared war on Breitbart News because of my outrageous – if perfectly accurate – article stating that the world is getting cooler.

    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/12/02/bernie-sanders-declares-war-climate-denying-breitbart/

  43. Simply explained open minded informed conservatives tend to be independent thinkers. They tend to let logic and reason dictate their position on any issue. open minded informed liberals tend to follow along with the conformist view point. This is a fundamental difference in the left right thought process.

    • Ian ==> I tend to agree with you on this. Personally, I am almost entirely apolitical. I am socially conservative by the standards of the 1960s — but liberal by the standards of middle America.

      In a odd sense, the cultural cognition thing is negated around every holiday family dinner table, where people who all grew up together [brothers, sisters, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins] and who may live in the same town and attend the same church, have heated arguments about these same contested social issues. This is so true, that the NY Times and NPR had Thanksgiving feature stories on how to avoid those family feuds.

    • My experience of the so called “conservative”, at least in the U.S., is that they seem to not consider much what it is they are conserving and tend to cling to ambiguous conservation of institutions. Once the left figured this out all they had to do was get their ideas and policies institutionalized to get conservatives on board. This is why most self proclaimed “conservatives” will not even consider dismantling or doing away with Social Security.

      I could certainly be wrong on this, but it seems to me that a conservative in the United States should be conserving the constitution and that job alone should take up most if not all of their focus.

      The so called liberal has rightly earned the moniker the illiberal left, and many of those who identify as “independent” or teeter in their leanings tend to say things like “I am fiscally conservative, but liberal on social issues.”, which seems to be saying they have no interesting in government funding the social issues they want government to handle.

      The whole idea that one political ideology embraces logic and reason more than the other, I think, ignores the high emotional reactions to issues from both sides. It seems to me that many self identified conservatives praise Ronald Reagan for being a limited government president ignoring the fact that Reagan expanded government more than his proudly big government predecessor. Every president in my lifetime has expanded government more than their predecessor, what does that mean for conservatism? Just what is being conserved?

      Ian, I’m not sure if you’re being ironic when you argue that open minded liberals tend to follow along with the conformist point of view, but that is obviously a contradiction, while also being ambiguous. There are plenty of self identified conservatives who do the same. We tend to call them Republicans.

      Jonathan Haidt has an interesting hypothesis regarding political divide, arguing that conservatives have a different moral matrix then liberals and that liberals have a narrower scope of morality than conservatives who see a wider range of moral matrices. Haidt argues there are six moral matrices or modules; care/harm, fairness/cheating,loyalty/betrayal, authority/subversion, sanctity/degradation and liberty/oppression.

      Haidt then argues liberals care more about the care/harm module than the others, that liberals view fairness/cheating differently than conservatives do to give just a brief example of his argument. Right or wrong or just more psychobabble I don’t know, but that liberals and conservatives or left and right or whatever label we affix to the polarities, think and view the world differently.

      I don’t think it is controversial to argue that on both sides there are open minded people and close minded people. Finding the open minded people is the trick.

      • Jean Paul ==> Haidt recently wrote a blog post “How the Democrats Can Use Moral Foundations Theory Against Trump”. The religious divide between liberals (less religious) and the right (more religious) often shows much stronger moral values on the right. I can’t follow Haidt’s reasoning — if you want to see his version of Moral — visit a US university campus.

      • Kip,

        Thanks for the link.

        I am less concerned with what is moral (for the purposes of your article and this thread) and more concerned with how morality is perceived and I am only concerned with morality at all, because I referenced Haidt. I did that to get out of the box of Kahan and look at that box from atop Haidt’s box for a different perspective.

        It wasn’t my intention to advocate Haidt’s hypothesis only to look at the problem of open-mindedness from a different angle. His book The Righteous Mind is considerably more thoughtful than his blog article you linked, but I have no skin in his game. I am more interested in knowing the differences, if any, in the perception of “liberals” conception of open mindedness and “conservatives” conception of it.

        On a non related note, I wasn’t quite sure what you meant by your last sentence. Are you suggesting his advocacy of the “Righteous Mind” is what has led universities to the safe space/trigger warning = censorship and ostracization phenomenon?

  44. > [C]ontrary to expectations, the better Right-leaning/Republicans scored on ordinary science intelligence; the less they accepted the consensus-version of climate science.

    Dan observed the same with left-leaning/liberals, which can only interpreted in a way that this is as we should seriously expect.

    Dan’s “expectations,” like Kip’s, are mostly there for rhetorical effect.

  45. Climate skepticism: a ‘perverse’ effect of ‘actively open-minded thinking’.

    Is it perverse? If the field since the early 1980s has been characterized by exaggerations (c.f. famous quote from Stephen Schneider; gross exaggerations by James Hansen and Al Gore), then climate skepticism would be the appropriate outcome of actively open-minded thinking. Of course I am biased, having come to a more skeptical (“lukewarmer”) position after some years of actively open-minded searching the scientific texts and summaries of the evidence. Or, instead of “biased”, perhaps I have come closer to the truth. I used to think I would have a better answer in about 20 years, but the evolution of the climate is so slow that I think it unlikely that I shall. Meanwhile, most of the recent evidence (and some I knew not of) has seriously undercut the “more-or-less standard” opinion I held until I started this investigation.

  46. Now that the election results are mostly known as well as the demographics associated with winners and losers, I wonder if the authors included in their study a portions of the “basket of deplorables” who seem to askew negative effects of CO2 and such impacts upon climate change.

    I believe that the NYTs and other well regarded news outlets, who had all sorts of polls to demonstrate why one person would win and why another person would lose well ahead of the election date, have yet another revealing poll that close to 80% of Americans believe climate change is real and humans are likely to blame. So, I am astonished that the authors were able to find any skeptics who might have a modicum of education, especially science education. These soles must lurk in the “hollers” of Appalachia, were home schooled, and otherwise cut off from the cutting edge information that abounds regarding climate change.

    As with most socializing sciences and this study is but one such example, sample size and randomness of the sample was in short supply. Sitting at one’s desk and running a SASS program is still in vogue.

  47. “This is meant to tell us that liberals but not conservatives become more likely to align with their cognitive cultures values when they are being a more-open-minded — thus being conservative and open-minded makes one less likely to agree with consensus climate science. [If you understand this line of reasoning, please explain it in the comments.]”

    On a very basic political level; the left represents a belief in collectivism and the planned society, the right believes in individualism, personal liberty and separation of powers. I honestly believe the essence of this cognitive culture study boils down to this intrinsic simplicity. An individualist must be personally convinced of the veracity of evidence, a collectivist tends to trust the authority of the collective and have less tendency to question consensus.

  48. I guess this cold snap happened because people stopped eating beef and ate more chicken. From the article:

    From the EUROPEAN GEOSCIENCES UNION and the “cold kills, so why all the whining about warming?” department.

    How the cold 1430s led to famine and disease

    While searching through historical archives to find out more about the 15th-century climate of what is now Belgium, northern France, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, Chantal Camenisch noticed something odd. “I realised that there was something extraordinary going on regarding the climate during the 1430s,” says the historian from the University of Bern in Switzerland.

    Compared with other decades of the last millennium, many of the 1430s’ winters and some springs were extremely cold in the Low Countries, as well as in other parts of Europe. In the winter of 1432-33, people in Scotland had to use fire to melt wine in bottles before drinking it. In central Europe, many rivers and lakes froze over. In the usually mild regions of southern France, northern and central Italy, some winters lasted until April, often with late frosts. This affected food production and food prices in many parts of Europe. “For the people, it meant that they were suffering from hunger, they were sick and many of them died,” says Camenisch.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/12/01/cold-kills-the-coldest-decade-of-the-millennium/

  49. Open-mindedness in one tribe leads to forming opinions based on technical understanding, where they seek out information and see past obvious biases and are relatively immune. While open-mindedness in another tribe causes them to consume biased presentation uncritically and it becomes self-reinforcing.

    You’ve re-discovered groupthink, Dr. Kahan.

  50. What evidence would these high-falootin’ warmers consider to change their opinion on this ‘settled science’?

  51. The AOT battery leaves a lot to be desired.

    Depending on the context I scored both low and high on it.

    The battery consists of 7 questions.

    • Steven Mosher ==> How true that is….and the other tests used to divide the cohort into right and left suffer similar problems. Way too few questions…many of which I could not answer, even on a scale of 1 to whatever, with a straight face.

  52. So alarmists are admiting they are close minded? 😉

  53. Before folks talk about what Open Mindedness means..

    here is the test

    Table 10.
    AOT scale used in Study 4: “Questions about thinking” (α = .67). Response scale: Strongly agree … Strongly disagree (5 points.)

    1.Allowing oneself to be convinced by an opposing argument is a sign of good character.
    2.People should take into consideration evidence that goes against their beliefs.
    3. People should revise their beliefs in response to new information or evidence.
    4. Changing your mind is a sign of weakness. (–)
    5. Intuition is the best guide in making decisions. (–)
    6. It is important to persevere in your beliefs even when evidence is brought to bear against them. (–)
    7.One should disregard evidence that conflicts with one’s established beliefs. (–)

    • “Before folks talk about what Open Mindedness means..

      here is the test”

      Too funny. Before we agree to be open minded let’s agree to narrow the scope of what that means.

      • Steven Mosher

        err. no

        The study discusses AOT

        they term this Open Mindedness

        Before people discuss AOT… they should actually look at the FRICKEN TEST that is used to determine this thing they call “open mindedness”

        That way.. you lesson the chance that the open mindedness you want to discuss is different from the “thing” they tested for.. which they call “open mindedness”

        Part of the trick of understanding social science is actually reading the tests they give.

      • The vague wording demonstrates the quality of their “science”.

      • Steven Mosher

        Thank You AK.

        Jean seems to have a close minded knee jerk reaction.

        The true test of open mindedness is this

        How many times have you admited that Mosher was correct.

        that’s a fair test right there.

      • “err. no

        The study discusses AOT

        they term this Open Mindedness”

        Yeah, I got that. That was my point. You intervened, seemingly, to make sure a discussion on open mindedness did not stray from the AOT’s definition of the word.

        “Before people discuss AOT…”

        You’re back pedaling. I was making an observation based on this statement made by you:

        ““Before folks talk about what Open Mindedness means..”

        “they should actually look at the FRICKEN TEST that is used to determine this thing they call “open mindedness”

        I not only did that, I went further and read the comments several times over, then going back to read the Perversions of Open Mindedness article again. This means before I even read your comment I responded to, I had read this comment of yours:

        “The AOT battery leaves a lot to be desired.

        Depending on the context I scored both low and high on it.

        The battery consists of 7 questions.”

        I thought it was odd and yes, more than a little funny that given that, you felt compelled to control the dialog by insisting the AOT definition of open-mindedness be the narrow scope of the discussion. At least that’s what I inferred from your comment and nothing you have said since (that I have read) appears to contradict that need to control the discussion and limit the scope of what open-minded is.

        Perhaps that strategy is the best one, I don’t know What I do know it is funny and ironic.

        “That way.. you lesson the chance that the open mindedness you want to discuss is different from the “thing” they tested for.. which they call “open mindedness”

        What is gained by lessening that chance? I ask this because of what I read in Kip’s article:

        “As if this wasn’t bad enough, in this new study, comes this finding: “As subjects’ AOT [actively open-minded thinking] scores went up, their acceptance of human-caused climate change increased only if they held left-leaning political outlooks. Among right-leaning subjects, higher AOT scores were associated with slightly less acceptance (Table 1).”

        This makes me wonder if the AOT, as so defined, might have a conceptual flaw. I wonder this because of findings like this:

        “…having the mental/personality trait of actively cultivating an open mind (conservatives) have less belief in the consensus version of climate change.”

        I can’t help but wonder if conservatives conception of the AOT in question as being critical thought, where liberals conception is that of a more tabula rasa approach.

        “…if everyone was more open-minded, they would see each other’s viewpoints and agree more.”

        Then this:

        “One is that AOTp is simply false. AOTp is one variant of a more general claim that an asymmetry in critical reasoning explains political conflict over contested policy relevant facts.” If AOTp is false, then cultural cognition is safe from this non-supporting result. Kahan and Corbin report “The evidence we have presented, while based on a self report measure of reasoning style, adds further weight to the case against the asymmetry thesis.”

        And, of course, this:

        “This is meant to tell us that liberals but not conservatives become more likely to align with their cognitive cultures values when they are being a more-open-minded — thus being conservative and open-minded makes one less likely to agree with consensus climate science. [If you understand this line of reasoning, please explain it in the comments.] (Some of this apparently has to do with how the AOT test may not really measure what social scientists think it measures….)”

        I don’t know if I understand Kahan’s reasoning or not, but I do wonder if this doesn’t have something to do with critical thinking versus tabula rasa approaches to understanding what open-mindedness is.

        I read you make an argument – to me – that language is chaotic. If you believe that why would it be so hard for you to consider that this chaos creates different interpretations of meaning?

      • Mosher, I think, is rarely wrong. Just not always relevant.

      • Mosher, I think, is rarely wrong.

        But when he is, he is “not even wrong”

      • charlieskeptic

        It is clear that Mr. Mosher Wanders in many Weed Patches, as one could also infer from your comment.

        He is rarely Wandering in a Weed Patch relevant to fundamental issues relating to changing our society, economy and energy systems.

    • Steven ==> Precisely……

    • OK, Captain Obvious.

    • A test that pretty much shows how close minded Alarmists are.

      Climate models vs observations

      Continually changing historic data

      To these basic issues you will never find an alarmist that these are concerns rather they will find all sort of stuff to explain them away but concern? Never.

      Concerns raised by deniers are only recognized by alarmists once science comes with a reason that the concern is rebutted.

      • Steven Mosher

        Climate models vs observations
        ############################
        yes, you can even find the IPCC showing how the models dont match reality. Every IPCC report shows you that models dont match
        reality. Every Taylor diagram in the reports since 1990 show this.
        Every paragraph about how we dont do clouds very well.

        ##########################
        Continually changing historic data

        Yes, again you can find climate science focusing on continual changes in UAH and RSS. Although in reality Historic data is never changed.
        The historic data is still there. What improves is our understanding of history.

        Ya want to know what is close minded

        Jerking your knee when you read the word model
        Having a fit when people adjust raw data.

      • For those who fail to grasp that perverts always see themselves as normal, just look at frequent comments arguing, inter alia, that all climate data NEEDS to be adjusted. Perversely enough, the argument comes from those wholly unequipped to recognize PRISTINE data.

      • Steven Mosher

        john

        Its hard to believe but be open minded.

        skeptics demand adjustments

        https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/02/09/guest-post-skeptics-demand-adjustments/

      • I do not have a fit when people adjust raw data. It is necessary. it is when the many many changes follow a consistent pattern which oddly fits the desired hypothesis.

        Flipping a coin 10x and coming up heads every time draws my attention and it should draw everybody’s attention.

      • Its hard to believe but be open minded.

        skeptics demand adjustments

        Rubbish! While skeptics may, in certain cases, conceptually acknowledge the need for data adjustments, nothing is said by Mosher about the crucial requirement for making them trustworthy: the unequivocal recognition of valid data. That’s where the “scalpel” break-detection algorithm of Team BEST, based upon the grossly mistaken “red noise” premise, fails miserably.

        Alas, those who never had the benefit of working with pristine records wind up using mere snippets of data, stitched together into largely fictional time series whose low-frequency content is demonstrably butchered.

    • “Jean seems to have a close minded knee jerk reaction.”

      I suppose the use of the word “seems” means you’re keeping an open mind about it.

      There is a difference between critical thinking and open-mindedness. Critical thinking requires a skill set. One can reach conclusions through critical thinking and still keep an open mind, meaning “those people’s ideology is wrong as far as I can tell, but let me hear them out and certainly tolerate their position even if they cannot make a cogent argument.” Tolerating a position and keeping an open mind about things is a social skill, not an intellectual one.

      Social skills can be learned Mosh.

      • Steven Mosher

        Jean.

        Read the test they gave.

        That is my only suggestion.

        That test tells YOU what THEY mean by the term “open minded”

        As for me, I think the term is far too vague to have any meaningful discussion about.

      • Steven,

        I just posted a comment addressing that. I had been working on it when my jerking knee went and tossed my comment above out to you. Did so, because they are different thoughts regarding this same subjects. My above comment, in my mind, being no less important than my longer comment.

    • @Steven Mosher

      A question I have wanted to ask you:
      You once mentioned that BEST prioritize unadjusted data. How do you know for sure that data that is labeled unadjusted is unadjusted?

      • Steven Mosher

        “A question I have wanted to ask you:
        You once mentioned that BEST prioritize unadjusted data. How do you know for sure that data that is labeled unadjusted is unadjusted?”

        Good question.

        1. Philosophically speaking there is no way to know if any data is raw data. That is why you will here me say ‘there is no such thing as raw data”

        2. When the metadata indicates it is adjusted.. we TRUST THAT. It could be that data marked as adjusted is in fact NOT adjusted, but we trust the description.

        3. Likewise, when the metadata indicates it is “raw” we trust that description. It could be a fiendish plot.

        4. We prioritize daily data. In fact a huge percentage ( 90+ I think) of the data is DAILY DATA.
        a) we know of no known adjustment procedures that get applied to daily data.
        b) all the adjustment procedures we know of are applied to monthly data.
        c) no source file of daily data I know of is ever described as adjusted.
        d) The daily data used is also used in real time by National weather models.. so its unlikely that there are adjustments made to this in real time.
        e) some of the daily data actually comes in hourly and some records exist down to the minute. these are real time live feeds

        So.. There is no court approved chain of custody for the data. There is no certainty that random observers did not corrupt the daily data to just mess with us. There is no assurance that NOAA didnt secretly alter all the daily data in ways that cannot be discovered. Maybe it was unicorns.
        There is no assurance that some raw data was marked as adjusted and that some adjusted data was marked as raw.. Again.. perhaps it was giant conspiracy.

        At one time I did start to check paper records,,, but then.. who can trust those?

        Here is my advice, If you want to attack climate science.. strike at the weak links.. I spent years trying to find problems in the temperature record.. ok found a couple.. but nothing that changed the bold print of the science.

      • Thank you very much for a proper answer.

      • I am not overly concerned about occasional errors. My only concern would be if national meteorological organization, or NOAA mess with the raw data. Personally, I have no reason to believe and no data indicating that NOAA mess with the raw data.

        Am I right in thinking that the main source for your raw data is NOAA´s National Climatic Data Center?
        ref: http://berkeleyearth.org/source-files/

      • NOAA does indeed “mess with raw data” in their Version 3 and later GHCN station records. In many cases, only a minority of monthly average temperatures originally reported from the field on B91 forms are left unadjusted. And the adjustments are not just step-functions indicating “breaks” in the record, but gradually changing values that introduce a bogus linear trend.

      • Do you happen to know if NOAA also mess with daily raw data?

      • ASAIK, the various “homogenizing” adjustments made by NOAA affect only the disseminated monthly data.

  54. “1.Allowing oneself to be convinced by an opposing argument is a sign of good character.”

    So alt-Mosher is a good character or bad?

    Andrew

    • The question is rather silly. Allowing oneself? strange locution.

      good character? another silly notion.

      The point is I would judge your open mindedness by asking you questions like they asked.

      I’d ask more behavior related questions.

      • “The point is I would judge your open mindedness by asking you questions like they asked.”

        Open-mindedness is an ontological nightmare and judging others open mindedness is an epistemological horror story.

        Is there such a thing as “open-mindedness”? Into what category does open-mindedness belong? Isn’t there something inherently ambiguous about the term and if close-mindedness is (in part) a reaction to ambiguity then is the term open-mindedness itself a Dr. Frankenstein making monsters?

        There is nothing wrong with encouraging people to be open-minded, there is plenty wrong with scaling that notion so it can measured Arbitrary preciseness used to measure the ambiguity of an open mind is contradictory. This makes the premise of measuring open mindedness suspect.

      • Open-mindedness is subjective. Who are you to judge another in a field you admittedly have no expertise in?

  55. Once again, these people have tried to fit a square peg into a round hole and can’t figure out why the peg simply will not fit in.

    I wonder when they will think that they should re-examine the round hole to see if that is the problem. Eventually somebody will, and then all those square pegs will fit wonderfully into place.

  56. Been fun to watch the comments. As much as I do appreciate the big picture concepts of AW and KH (for example), this kind of post on some paper’s specifics leaves me cold with a headache concrning how far ‘science’ has fallen. Imprecise definitions. More imprecise ‘measurement instruments’ aka unvalidated questionnaires. And from Yale Law School, which should teach the opposite. Am generally reminded of the Stanford Ionnaidas critiques of medical lit papers. Not a good day for ‘science’.

    • Where’s your open mind?

    • ristvan ==> Yes, my view on this, stated in the essay, is “It is hard to read a study like this, especially in the social sciences, where the science is so soft.”

      Some other time we can take on the topic of “Are the Social Science really science?”

      • Steven Mosher

        “Are the Social Science really science?”

        when you solve the demarcation problem there is a departmental chair in philosophy awaiting you.

      • Steven ==> No matter how deserved, I’ll have to pass on the honor if I ever qualify….thoroughly, permanently retired from working for a living.

      • Steven Mosher

        who said you’d have to take a salary.

        Just post your solution and the honors will flow whether accepted or not.

        But it strikes me as funny that random folks think that separating hard science from soft science from not science is a simple matter to be resolved in a blog

        More to the point. When you see a subject matter in front of you ( say social science) and you feel the urge to go “meta”… understand why you have to make that move.

      • Steven ==> You’ve lost me……I was just chatting on a long disputed issue — how scientific are the soft sciences?

      • “how scientific are the soft sciences?”

        I was hoping that folks who believe in the hard science would have a number

        Let’s call it the Mohs scale of Science.

        hard science about the hardness of science.

        you should see the problem..

        or will you do soft science about the hardness of science?

        Or will you do alt-science about the hardness of science.?

        Its probably best to drop the term science altogether and just talk about
        ways of justifying beliefs. Some ways will be more reliable and useful than others.

        In short, philosophy is in no authoritative position to tell us what “science” is or what it should be. Primarily because the actual practice of reasoning about the world is more authoritative than words on a page.

      • Mosher,

        > Or will you do alt-science about the hardness of science.?

        Why? The alt-sciences are what Pauli would have called Not Even Alt-Right.

      • Well, looks like you win the departmental chair in philosophy! You’ve got it figured out.

      • Steven Mosher: “In short, philosophy is in no authoritative position to tell us what “science” is or what it should be. Primarily because the actual practice of reasoning about the world is more authoritative than words on a page.”

        I know this is just a blog, and you are just shooting the breeze, but it is quite a good blog and it has it’s standards.

        The philosophy of science is, inter alia, precisely about “the actual practice of reasoning about the world” within the endeavor that is science, and can help with discussions about what is science, and whether various practices and branches pass muster.

        Add some content to your comments.

      • “In short, philosophy is in no authoritative position to tell us what “science” is or what it should be. Primarily because the actual practice of reasoning about the world is more authoritative than words on a page.”

        You come off more and more like Bill Nye the Science Guy.

        Reasoning is a product of philosophy. It was Aristotle who declared man a rational animal and reason a characteristic of human nature. This was, however, teleological reasoning. Later Rene Descartes rejected Aristotle’s rational animal claim, and by employing radical doubt arrived at the conclusion we were simply thinking beings and any grounds of knowledge outside that falls into doubt.

        That was the birth of epistemological reasoning. Hobbes proposed calculative reasoning, Hume took Descartes line of reasoning and went even got even more skeptical arguing there are no ways of deducing relationships of cause and effect concluding knowledge cannot be a product of reasoning alone, also arguing that human reasoning is not much different than conception of individual ideas or the conclusions that come from association of two ideas.

        Kant argued Hume was wrong and it is perhaps Kant who has had the most influence on modern notions of reason, and it was Kant, along with Hegel, Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Nietzsche among others who offered critiques of reason.

        Philosophy is not “words on a page”.

      • “Primarily because the actual practice of reasoning about the world is more authoritative than words on a page.”

        “I sit and watch the children play, doing things I used to do they think are new; I sit and watch as tears go by.”

        ~Marianne Faithfull~

  57. Kudos to Kip Hansen for having the stomach to dive into this paper by Dan M. Kahan and Jonathan C. Corbin.

    I did not even make it through the first sentence of their note:
    “Actively open-minded thinking (AOT) refers to a reasoning disposition that is often thought to have political significance.”

    My first questions was: What is the definition of Actively open-minded thinking (AOT)?

    The term AOT was used 49 times in that paper, but never defined.

    An internet search gave me the following definition:
    “the definition of AOT as: giving sufficient weight to new information or information that is inconsistent with prior beliefs”

    Where I come, from this does not look like science – it looks like fiction.

    • Science or Fiction ==> To be fair, this is a Research Note, written to other very like-minded individuals working in the same field, one has to scrabble around for the definitions, and then for the test questions that form the classification, and then wonder whether they really signify what the authors think they signify.

      That is the crux of the social sciences, and the same for psychology.

    • “My first questions was: What is the definition of Actively open-minded thinking (AOT)?”

      Gosh, It took me 30 seconds to see the reference, find it and read the paper.

      Here is the paper that lists the test for AOT

      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211368114000801

      When people publish a paper with references and YOU are not a member of the field, then you have two choices

      1. Throw you hands up and scream fraud, psuedo science… blah blah blah
      2. Follow your curiousity and actually read the damn papers cited.

      When you do #2.. you then have a more solid ground to say something

  58. Scientific Integrity?
    I wonder if Dan M. Kahan and Jonathan C. Corbin have ever studied scientific integrity as discussed by Physics Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman in Cargo Cult Science”? http://bit.ly/1bb4rC2

    It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty–a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid–not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked–to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.
    Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. You must do the best you can–if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong–to explain it. If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it. There is also a more subtle problem. When you have put a lot of ideas together to make an elaborate theory, you want to make sure, when explaining what it fits, that those things it fits are not just the things that gave you the idea for the theory; but that the finished theory makes something else come out right, in addition.
    In summary, the idea is to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgement in one particular direction or another.
    . . .But this long history of learning how to not fool ourselves–of having utter scientific integrity–is, I’m sorry to say, something that we haven’t specifically included in any particular course that I know of. We just hope you’ve caught on by osmosis
    The first principle is that you must not fool yourself–and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you’ve not fooled yourself, it’s easy not to fool other scientists. . . .
    I’m talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you’re maybe wrong, that you ought to have when acting as a scientist. And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen.

    Have they every considered the Apollo era NASA Engineers at The Right Climate Stuff?
    http://www.therightclimatestuff.com/

    • note that your astronauts did NOT do any of the things you bolded.

      For example

      Here is one document they produced

      http://nebula.wsimg.com/319a037901edf5a399df825c264b8a75?AccessKeyId=4E2A86EA65583CBC15DE&disposition=0&alloworigin=1

      Now read your paragraph above with keen attention to the bolded items.

      Then read their alt science.

      Note that they dont do a SINGLE ONE of the bolded items you propose.

      • David L. Hagen

        Steven Mosher ???? Thanks for the link to the 2015 An Objective Look At The Global Warming Controversy Right Climate Stuff presentation. Under the scientific method, those proposing the “catastrophic majority anthropogenic global warming” model (CMAGW aka “global warming”, falasiously equivocated as “climate change”) bear the burden of proof compared to the null hypothesis of natural causes of climate change with some human contribution. They bear the burden of Feynman’s challenge to scientific integrity including explaining all possible alternatives and evidence against it. Other scientists, engineers and rational persons bear the task of evaluating the “catastrophic majority anthropogenic global warming” hypothesis and claims against evidence to see if it meets that burden of proof. I find the Right climate Stuff raising and evaluating the commonsense engineering/scientific review that climate alarmists have failed to do. The 1990 IPCC First Assessment report

        under the IPCC Business-as-Usual (Scenario A) emissions of greenhouse gases, a rate of increase of global mean temperature during the next century of about 0.3°C per decade (with an uncertainty range of 0.2°C to 0.5°C per decade), this is greater than that seen over the past 10,000 years This will result in a likely increase in global mean temperature of about 1°C above the present value by 2025 and 3C before the end of the next century

        In 1991 I took the IPCC prediction of 3 C/century warming and wrote a 330 page report for Australia reviewing Solar Thermal Technology to redress the issue. 25 years later John Christy reports that actual average global bulk atmospheric global warming temperature trend based on satellite and balloon data since 1979 has been 0.85C/century. I find the IPCC predictions to have been 350% too high! When the IPCC hypothesis cannot pass even the simplest “sniff test”, as a research engineer/scientist, I also find it is “Not Proven”. I second the Summary Preliminary Report of The Right Climate Stuff Research Team, January 23, 2013 at TheRightClimateStuff.com I recommend that YOU start to apply all of Feynman’s challenges on scientific integrity and actually evaluate the IPCC’ “catastrophic majority anthropogenic global warming” hypothesis against the Null hypothesis. Look further at the predicted tropical tropospheric “hot spot” that has NOT been found. See John Christy’s fig. on page 13. where the “models on average warming this atmospheric region by a factor of three times greater than in reality”! May I recommend that you actually try applying Feynman’s criteria on scientific integrity including looking at ALL data and possible explanations by evaluating the IPCC’s global warming hypothesis against the null hypothesis.

      • David L. Hagen

        Stephen Mosher See The Right Climate Stuff reports http://www.therightclimatestuff.com/trcs-reports.html
        See their latest Nov. 2015 presentations
        http://www.texaspolicy.com/multimedia/video/at-the-crossroads-session-v-the-right-climate-stuff-2
        Note NASA forbade using unvalidated models (like the IPCCs).
        So the Right Climate Stuff engineers formed a model and validated it.
        A Simple Climate Model Validated with 165 Years of Climate Data
        http://www.texaspolicy.com/library/docLib/Doiron-Panel-V.pdf
        That makes alot more sense to me than IPCC’s models that are 300% off.

      • David..

        Neither They nor YOU can follow the guidelines you set out.

        you are Alt science.

        Than you for playing

        report to Grand Dragon Flynn

      • “See John Christy’s fig. on page 13. where the “models on average warming this atmospheric region by a factor of three times greater than in reality”! May I recommend that you actually try applying Feynman’s criteria on scientific integrity including looking at ALL data and possible explanations by evaluating the IPCC’s global warming hypothesis against the null hypothesis.”

        Apart from there being no confidence limits on Christy’s graph, the truth is that there are major problems with the tropospheric sat temp data.

        In short they show a considerable cooling trend vs radiosonde since the time of the MSU to AMSU sensors as NOAA 15 took over from 14.
        Both UAH and RSS know of this.
        UAH prefers to go with the new AMSU as being correct merely because of a presumed “Cadillac quality”, whereas RSS has “split the difference” between them, so that the trend is wrong both before (V3.3) and after the change over (V4.0).

        Comparing against radiosonde (RATPAC-A) here is the disconnect ….

        And here we see the discrepancy among a series of data…

        https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_dL1shkWewaYUdhcjdFOFJ3ZTA/view

        UAH TLT V6 (beta5) has a trend that is a quarter of the RATPAC-A radiosonde data

        Continued

      • https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/weather-balloon/radiosonde-atmospheric-temperature-products-accessing-climate

        “RATPAC-A contains adjusted global, hemispheric, tropical, and extratropical mean temperature anomalies. From 1958 through 1995, the bases of the data are spatial averages of the Lanzante et al. (2003a,b; hereafter LKS) adjusted 87-station temperature data. After 1995, the Integrated Global Radiosonde Archive (IGRA) station data form the basis of the RATPAC-A data. NOAA scientists used the so-called “first difference method”; to combine the IGRA data. This method is intended to reduce the influence of inhomogeneities resulting from changes in instrumentation, observing practice, or station location. Use RATPAC-A for analyses of interannual and longer-term changes in global, hemispheric, and tropical means.”

        Meanwhile back at the actual surface, we have this……

        Which is smack on the median, even before taking into account that forcings turned out lees than projected.

      • Tony B… as in Banton… +10,000.

        And, though I find talking for dead people is generally disgraceful, Feynman thanks you for pulling the covers off the cargo cult.

    • Steven Mosher,

      More deny, divert and confuse?

      You manage to avoid contradicting a single thing Feynman said. Instead, you serve up a couple of peculiar and irrelevant demands, whilst creating another foolish nonsense term – alt science. I suppose this will turn out to have the same flexible non definition that generally accompany Warmist Waffle Words.

      Trying to redefine science to suit your own ends seems a bit bizarre. What’s wrong with current definitions, and why?

      Maybe you could take up climate science. No particular qualifications needed, a BA or even a knowledge of basic arithmetic will suffice. Just call yourself a scientist, and off you go!

      Pretending to be able to predict the future will help. Make sure to predict heatwaves, cold snaps, floods, droughts, fires, tornados, earthquakes, tsunamis, on a regular basis.

      Continuously saying “It’s worse than we thought” and “science says . . . ” will hopefully keep the accolades flowing. The mugs will wake up eventually, but of course, in the US nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

      You seem to have made a good start. Calling yourself a scientist, and getting others (presumably) to pay to have not just one, but two, papers published by a Government certified predatory publisher should help.

      Making cryptic trollish comments at random will make you appear wise to people of a certain mental disposition. I wish you every success!

      Cheers.

      • John Carpenter

        The tedious trend continues

      • Mike,
        I learned from a comment Mosher made years ago, that he was a “student” of Derrida. So keep that in mind when you read his posts.

      • charlieskeptic

        Sounds reasonable, jmarshs.

        Derrida’s “deconstruction” is a type of reasoning that never finds itself at the end. If you consider (deconstruct) a thing, at the same time you must consider the thing as being impossible. You are always chasing a thing, never catching it.

        Sounds like Mr. Mosher, as he is constantly Wandering in the Weeds.

  59. Climate science is not so soft that you can’t come to some basic conclusions. Conservatives do that and liberals don’t. i think that the reason liberals don’t is, simply put, that they are corrupt. So with conservatives, the author got a more reasoned response. With liberals he did not (as exemplified by his very own bias in deeming what the “right” answers were to his questions). We tend to put blinders on when examining the behavior of the left, treating them as though they are rational people when in fact they are not…

    • “Climate science is not so soft that you can’t come to some basic conclusions. Conservatives do that and liberals don’t.”

      Right. And the conclusions that conservatives reach are factually wrong. Nevertheless, they deny reality. Hence, “deniers.”

      In this context it is interesting to note that the more open-minded conservatives think they are, the more stupid their actual beliefs.

      The reasons why conservatives lie and dissemble, defraud and slander, whine and scream and plug their ears (as you illustrate above) is something rational people have been and continue to study scientifically in order to understand it.

      • “(as you illustrate above)”

        Robert, it’s nice to have in you an “exhibit a” (☺). It’s a little difficult for you to make the same claim about me because, well, i AM a liberal. Look at the ugliness in tone of your comment. The lack of rational thinking. The knee jerk visceral hatred that you spew forth. In short, the absurd alinsky radicalism that you’ve been brainwashed with. (quite a disgusting display you are here) Your arrogant pigheadedness is exactly what’s keeping you, and everybody else like you, from any rational thinking when it comes to climate change. And yours is the exact reason that liberals tend to go with the flow and conservatives do not…

      • Right. And the conclusions that conservatives reach are factually wrong. Nevertheless, they deny reality. Hence, “deniers.”

        Says you.

        Skeptics say otherwise.

      • That they say simply leaves a history of their abject scientific ridiculousness… e.g., the stadium wave and prolonged pauses and observation-based estimates of low climate sensitivity and the cooling phase of the AMO.

  60. Geoff Sherrington

    In all of this theoretical discussion about what motivates people, I have yet to find a single author able to explain why I act as I do and on which data I rely, and why.
    Therefore, if I am representative of a broader set, it makes these Kahan type studies need adjustments or homogenisations.
    Maybe it would make an interesting topic for our hostess to invite denizens to state more succinctly their personal data that might be useful input for credible sociological studies. More succinct that those earlier self-descriptions by denizens here.
    This is not meant to infer that I endorse such studies. They are fringe material to more weighty studies, to allow authors who lack the hard science experience to peddle their pathetic wares, like art critics who cannot paint.
    Also, I deplore the references by Kahan and many others to ‘belief’. There is no place in hard science for personal belief. When you come to write that next paper, you have to ensure that data and interpretation dominate and that beliefs are not mentioned. Or so i was taught and have tried to do. My para 3 here might sound like belief, but it not; it is simply the weighted interpretation at the present time of the writings of many others.
    Geoff.

    • Also, I deplore the references by Kahan and many others to ‘belief’. There is no place in hard science for personal belief.

      According to the dictionaries I’ve looked at, “belief” doesn’t mean something subjective and probably irrational; it merely means an opinion, one that might be based on critical thinking.

    • Geoff, it would be interesting to see just what the average i.q. is in each of the various sciences. Specifically as to how that i.q. might show a range with regard to how hard or soft a particular discipline is. If one is a rocket scientist, you’d better be very smart (or that baby ain’t gonna fly). OTOH, with softer sciences there is enough fudge room for one to get by without being particularly bright (as evidenced by the shallow mindedness of this study author’s agriegeous error). i’m an insomniac who, as a result, has had to spend a considerable amount of time with various psychiatrists. And i tend to view them after many years as a bunch of dimwits who need to be coached through every aspect of my sleep therapy. In all fairness, they have to cover a lot more ground in their daily affairs than my little slice of the pie. But, i can’t imagine a one of them ever having become a rocket scientist. i wonder if it ever makes sense to put much credence in what scientists of the softer sciences have to say…

    • “There is no place in hard science for personal belief. When you come to write that next paper, you have to ensure that data and interpretation dominate and that beliefs are not mentioned.”

      Is that your personal belief?

    • ==> Therefore, if I am representative of a broader set, …==>

      Bingo.

      And thereby you note an important point which is ignored by many of the commenters here, who extrapolate from their own emotional responses about themselves to draw conclusions about Kahan’s work – to argue that his work is flawed by bias because they don’t believe that it explains their own views of their own beliefs and behaviors.

      Questioning his conclusions is perfectly valid, IMO, but the questioning is little other than confirmation bias when it is based on extrapolation by “skeptics” from their own views about themselves and the group to which they see themselves as belonging.

      Seems to me, that if a “skeptic” wants to present a valuable critique of Dan’s work, they should do so based on scientifically collected and evaluated evidence. Obviously, any scientist’s work can be vulnerable to that scientist’s biases, but at least Dan approaches his work from within a scientific framework.

    • ==> Maybe it would make an interesting topic for our hostess to invite denizens to state more succinctly their personal data that might be useful input for credible sociological studies. ==>

      Oy. I responded too quickly.

      Maybe Judith should ask a self-selected outlier group to give their testimonials about their personal feelings about their own biases?

      Nice!

    • Geoff Sherrington,

      Also, I deplore the references by Kahan and many others to ‘belief’.

      Knowledge is usually defined as ‘justified true belief.’

      Throw belief out of science, and you’re throwing knowledge out of science.

      There is no place in hard science for personal belief.

      Yes there is.

      Every time a scientist thinks something is the case, she is believing.

      And FWIW, all belief is personal. Persons are the only entities that believe. (Which is one of the top 100 reasons why Oreskes and Cook and their fellow consensualists are Not Even Frauds when they pretend to divine the opinions of scientific papers.)

      Perhaps what you mean is:

      There is no evidentiary value whatsoever in belief in hard science.

      The fact that a scientist thinks something is the case must never be passed off as evidence that it actually is the case.

      When you come to write that next paper, you have to ensure … that beliefs are not mentioned.

      No. As long as beliefs are not mentioned AS ARGUMENTS or AS EVIDENCE, there’s nothing wrong with mentioning them.

      • “Knowledge is usually defined as ‘justified true belief.’”

        Brad,

        The problem with this definition is demonstrated by Kahan’s paper, isn’t it?

        Kahan accepts as “knowledge” what a consensus told him was “known”, the consensus itself has come to “know” what a divergence of experts claim is “known”.

        How many of those in that consensus have simply conflated information with knowledge and then spend their days justifying their belief. The funny thing about justification is that it is something we do not need to rely upon when everyone is in agreement on what is true.

        No one has to justify that one and one is two is a known. The only time people need to justify in regards to one and one is when they derive a different conclusion than two, and then we begin to understand knowing a bit better. Just because one and one is “known” doesn’t mean people “know” how to add.

      • Jean Paul,

        The problem with this definition [knowledge = justified true belief] is demonstrated by Kahan’s paper, isn’t it?

        It’s tempting to think so, but I don’t.

        Here’s how I look at it:

        Science has its own epistemology, consistent with (but not derivable from) classical epistemology. One of the features that makes science special is its insistence that only evidence can justify belief. Another one is its insistence that what people think is NOT a form of evidence.

        That’s why in 300 years of the modern scientific method a.k.a. science, Naomi Oreskes [2004] was the first person to exhume the putrid cadaver of Consensus, prop it up on a chair and pose it, weekend-at-Bernie’s style, variously as evidence, knowledge, relevant, Teh Science, etc.

        The manoeuvre is as fraudulent as it is necromantic, of course.

        Because Rule Zero Of Science Club has always been very clear in stipulating that opinion will never be a form of evidence.

        So if anything, the embarrassing episode that is The Climate Misunderstanding only serves to drive home the importance of solid, valid epistemology.

      • Shades of Casablanca final scene
        – irony tag.

        A consensuss of jets
        piled up on the tarmac
        at an international airport –
        Di Caprio, Travolta, Lynch et
        (big ) Al, meet en route to yet
        another Pacific Paradise climate
        connference – hence
        ‘a connsensuss of jets.’

      • bethcooperpoetry

        Well met
        in Marakesh.

        https://cliscep.com/2016/11/10/fighting-trump-by-the-poolside-in-old-marrakesh/

        Say, isn’t there a law
        about taking your
        professors out
        uv school during
        term for holidays
        (conferences)
        in exotic places?

      • Brad,

        My concern is the rumors of consensus demise and resurrection has been greatly exaggerated. Like any good mythology should do it makes for a compelling tale; that ever since Galileo’s apocryphal whisper undermining recantation, humanity has been blessed with the purity of science, but in the past 300 years universities and preparatory schools have relied heavily upon perfect credibility as a pragmatic vindication of their presumptions, like the Uniformity of Nature principle and that converged opinions with overwhelming indications that this or that is correct is assumed (or justified) to be so until new empirical evidence changes the game.

        Even though coherentism has its limitations, and as wrongheaded as it is, as a matter of practicality, teachers all too often stand as authority figures and their students sit as empty vessels. This strikes me as a breeding ground for consensus making. Then there are those suspect philosophers who like to weasel their way into the discussion. One such philosopher, Paul Thagard argues there is a straightforward process of consensus formation in science:

        He argues that when you have a group of scientists where some accept and some reject different propositions due to different coherence judgments caused by variations in evidence and explanations this will eventually lead to an information exchange between group members in order to change the coherence judgments made by the members. From this a process of repetition occurs until the group members all have a sufficient similarity of evidence so that the members will accept and reject the same propositions, of which Thagard declares a scientific consensus.

        Of course, Thagard is merely a philosopher who sure does write a lot of words on a whole bunch of pages and more importantly, he could be wrong. Still, within the 300 year landscape of modern science, it is littered with evidence based models that have been discarded but at one time were thought of as “knowledge” making scientific knowledge tentative and always precarious.

        That said, our justified true beliefs at this point (particularly physics) are spectacularly well supported so while the knowledge remains tentative, it sure looks pretty damn durable. How could our presumption of a principle that posits Uniformity of Nature be wrong considering that durability? How could convergence be such a bad thing considering the impressive success of modern science? So what that we embrace ill advised teaching strategies like from authority to empty vessels? Just look at the charts! That’s the sweet smell of success baby.

        It might be tempting to think that sweet smell of success acts as some sort of adsorption, removing the putrid odor of the long deceased consensus zombie, but I am not convinced consensus ever died and is perhaps something more insidious than a lumbering zombie. I suspect that consensus is demonic and they are Legion. Always here and always looking for new groups to possess, the consensus demon known as Legion cannot be killed only exorcised.

        Cast the demons out and begin again.

  61. Kahan should be referred to Henry Bauer’s book, Dogmatism in Science and Medicine: How Dominant Theories Monopolize Research and Stifle the Search for Truth, $10 for the Kindle edition at https://www.amazon.com/Dogmatism-Science-Medicine-Dominant-Monopolize-ebook/dp/B008AHNIGS/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1480773267&sr=8-6&keywords=henry+bauer

    The first 5 or 10% is available as a free sample.

  62. I find that if one starts with “there are 239 watts/m^2 coming in and there are 239 watts/m^2 going out, you tell me why you think the air near the surface is getting warmer”….this usually ends the conversation.

  63. Brad Keyes,

    You wrote –

    “So if anything, the embarrassing episode that is The Climate Misunderstanding only serves to drive home the importance of solid, valid epistemology.”

    Do you identify as a Warmist, perchance? What is the embarrassing episode? What is the Climate Misunderstanding?

    If you don’t understand what climate is, it’s actually quite simple. It is the average of weather of an arbitrary period, according to a body called the IPCC. Pretty vague, admittedly. If this is what you find embarrassing, I don’t blame you.

    As to the rest, meaningless words, driving nothing of importance home, or indeed anywhere else.

    Of course your opinion may well be different, and is worth precisely whatever value someone else places upon it. In my case, nothing, but you might value your opinion slightly more.

    Still no GHE. Not even a GHE hypothesis to consider. No science so far. I’m keeping an open mind, just in case a fact miraculously appears.

    Cheers.

    • Mike,

      > Do you identify as a Warmist, perchance?

      I identify as a denihilist, perforce.

      > What is the embarrassing episode?

      The climate scare.

      > What is the Climate Misunderstanding?

      The urban myth according to which Science™ is telling us there’s a climate emergency, and more science is urgently needed in order to tell us there’s a climate catastrophe.

      > If you don’t understand what climate is, it’s actually quite simple.

      I haven’t looked into it enough to be confused by it, but the experts have.

      • Brad Keyes,

        Denihilist seems to have a variety of meanings. Here’s one –

        “I’m a denihilist, which means I stubbornly refuse to believe that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.”

        Or maybe you prefer –

        “1. the admin of the penny arcade forums
        2. runs the sad robot show, which is very good.”

        Maybe it has a Warmist definition, meaning anything you want it to.

        What is the climate scare? Climate is the average of weather, supposedly. Weather can be scary, but why would climate scare you?

        You say “Science” is saying something. Complete nonsense, of course. Another attempt to divert and confuse – a typical Warmist ploy, in lieu of providing facts. A bizarre attempt to assign unwarranted authority to unnamed and undistinguished people calling themselves climatologists?

        I agree that foolish Warmists redefine climate from moment to moment – as in “climate change is responsible for . . .”. Obviously nonsense. Climate is an average, and is responsible for precisely nothing. The change in an average reflects a change in the numbers from which the average is calculated. Some people claim that the study of this average advances human knowledge, without any justification whatever.

        An average is based on what has occurred, not on what is yet to occur.

        I’m keeping an open mind. I have to periodically discard all the rubbish you attempt to cram into it, to allow a bit of room for the occasional fact to occupy. I have plenty of patience. Maybe you’ll accidentally provide something useful one day. I’ll be ready!

        Cheers.

      • Mike,

        > “Denihilist seems to have a variety of meanings. Here’s one –”

        In this context it means “I can’t spell what I actually mean because it will trigger quarantine.”

        Do you like cryptic crosswords? Let’s just say that if you asked what I “identify” as, my answer would have to be reined back.

        > You say “Science” is saying something.

        No I don’t.

        > Complete nonsense, of course.

        It’s a good thing I didn’t say it then, isn’t it?

      • Brad Keyes,

        You wrote –

        ” . . .according to which Science™ is telling us there’s a climate emergency . . .”

        to which I responded –

        “You say “Science” is saying something . . .”

        – and of course, you denied what you wrote. No matter. Others can form their own opinion.

        In best Warmist tradition, you attempt to deny, divert and confuse. Oh well, I suppose I have to ask, who is Mr Science, why is he telling us there’s a climate emergency, and why are you quoting someone who is obviously suffering from a delusional psychosis?

        Does Mr Science not realise that an average can not have an emergency?

        Foolishness. Standard climatological fare. No GHE, no CO2 excess. No problem. Nature at work, as usual.

        Cheers.

      • Mike,

        You wrote –
        ” . . .according to which Science™ is telling us there’s a climate emergency . . .”
        to which I responded –
        “You say “Science” is saying something . . .”

        Sigh.

        As everyone on this thread has noticed for themselves, the bit you deliberately cut out was rather important. What I actually wrote, in answer to your question “What is the Climate Misunderstanding?,” was:

        The urban myth according to which Science™ is telling us there’s a climate emergency…

        I called it a misunderstanding and an urban myth, but that didn’t stop you attributing it to me, did it?

        What a child. Grow up or go offline.

        Your babyish, obvious lies damage our “side” of the “debate.” What a bad advertisement you are for de-you-know-what-alism. Please don’t embarrass us all by replying.

      • Brad Keyes,

        I apologise.Your reference to an apparently non-existent urban myth called the Climate Misunderstanding was evidently quite successful, if it was intended to divert and confuse. I can’t find an urban myth called “Climate Misunderstanding”, on cursory examination. I think you may have created the term yourself, but i don’t know why.

        However, what is embarrassing about an urban myth? Who doesn’t understand what an average is?

        I don’t have a “side” in a “debate”. Climate is the average of weather. Calculated after the events from which it is derived.

        I’m more in favour of science, when it comes to forming a reasonable decision. So far, I’ve seen no evidence of a falsifiable GHE hypothesis involving CO2, let alone reproducible experimental support for such an apparently impossible thing.

        For the present, I ascribe hotter thermometers to increased heat in the vicinity. There is experimental support for this proposition. As far as I know, nobody has managed to make a thermometer hotter by surrounding it with CO2.

        If you are embarrassed by my reply, you are obviously choosing being embarrassed as opposed to simply choosing not to be embarrassed.

        An odd way to seek happiness in my view, but I have an open mind.

        As to your commands, I’ll choose not to comply. Feel as embarrassed as you want – it makes no difference to me.

        Cheers.

  64. Somewhat OT. Apologies.

    “He said that he continually got feedback from physicist reviewers that the analysis could not be done, despite having data to back up his theory.

    “We were getting comments like ‘we don’t believe it’ [and] ‘it is not possible on theoretical point of view’ because it was a challenging way of doing new physics,” he said. “They didn’t like it,” he added.

    Although he has no proof, molecular biologist Dr Martin-Blanco said that he thought some physicists did not want the paper to be published. “I have found physicists extremely opinionated and bound to concepts that they do not [want] to change,” he said.”

    Closed mindedness exists in many fields. The field of science is littered with examples since before the term scientist became widely used.

    Luckily, Nature seems to believe in the ignorance of experts, and proceeds as she wishes. Phew! The climate experts had me worried for a split-second!

    Cheers.

  65. German submission to authority was possibly rivalled by the equally destructive cult of the Way of Bushido in the pre-nuclear Japanese Empire. As for the term Political Correctness” deployed by Himmler in praise of authoritarian racial policy in education (1935) similar idiocy was propounded by Andrei Zhdanov, one-time authoritarian controller of the Arts and Sciences under Stalin. None of these exercises in thought control did anything of value at all.
    We can all agree that trashing our planet is against our own interests- but methods which involve the ruination of billions of people by a self- exempted elite is akin to throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Any measures which reduce billions to ruination and worse are ipso facto, not worth the candle.
    Fortunately this is totally unnecessary. Mother Nature and human enterprise and ingenuity offer a far more satisfying solution; over a couple of generations, begin the Diaspora of assets and people by voluntary settlements beyond the prison of “All Eggs in One Basket” now offered by people without any aspiration beyond the decimation of humankind and its hopes and aspirations.
    The settlement of our solar system is no longer a fantasy,; it is costly and difficult, but much can and will be done to bring it to reality. The project could, of course, fail- but the alternatives are uniformly worse in all respects

  66. The problem here is simply that “greenhouse warming” is false. Knut Angstrom showed that to be the case in 1900, and I confirmed it in 2015 (please Google “Interesting Climate Sensitivity Analysis.”)

    The fact is that these are the only hard-data-based studies ever to be done on greenhouse warming, and they both showed that there was very little warming effect from an increase in atmospheric CO2 content on temperature. All the climate science that experts claim is “settled” is based only on correlation and on theory, and, as is well known, “correlation is not causation,” and in this case, even the correlation is rather poor. By analogy, one could argue that the Dow Jones Industrial Average causes global warming because both are going up at the same time.

    In short, it’s little wonder that the study finds that the more a person knows about the subject, the less likely he or she is to accept it (unless, of course, he or she is a liberal Democrat, which I happen to be.)

  67. The largest glaring fault of this whole study is that the author has decided that AGW is real, and therefore the correct answer to his questionnaire has to agree with his opinion. I wonder where he got that opinion – perhaps from the same amorphous meme that he relates to, because anyone with an open mind and a willingness to read the studies and reports would see that whatever Climate Change that exists is totally within normal ranges, and further that CO2 has nothing do do with warming because it always follows warming. To affect the climate it would have to precede warming. Duh!

  68. Well, I suppose on the bright side one might take some comfort in knowing that Kahan and crew appear to have abandoned their “iconic” stranded polar bear image – which, at least three years ago, was their homepage mascot.

    I was initially also somewhat brightened by Kip’s summary which included no mention of Kahan’s three-year old hallmark “best available evidence” ** But, alas I was mistaken. In a Nov. 28 blog post at Scientific American, he was still banging enthusiastically on that particular tired old – and, to the best of my knowledge, still unexamined by Kahan – Mannian drum:

    Probably the most important insight from the science of science communication is that factual beliefs on contested science issues lead a double life. At least part of the time, for at least some people, they furnish guides for action that depend on the best available evidence. But for many more people, a much greater part of the time, factual beliefs on climate change, evolution, and the like are symbols used to communicate membership in and loyalty to groups embroiled in a competition for social status. The psychological process by which people form and persist in the latter species of belief is known as identity-protective cognition. [my bold -hro]

    Oh, goodie! A new, improved “concept” around which we must now wrap our collective heads: “identity-protective cognition”. Not to mention “species of belief”.

    With such foggy “thinking” and penchant for linguistic invention, I suppose it’s little wonder that Kahan decided to leap from the legal frying-pan into the “climate change” fire … bounded only by his firm belief in the veracity of his very own intentions and inventions.

    Although I must admit that I did find it somewhat amusing to learn via Kahan’s blog that today he’s off to a conference – in Sweden of all places – the organizers and/or promoters of which have, evidently, “revisionized” his own synopsis of his intended presentation!

    ** See: Response to Dan – the “best available evidence” man – Kahan

    • Hilary,

      > Not to mention “species of belief”.

      Species of belief include the Stranded Polar Bear (ursus maritimus hydrophobicus) and Santer’s dormouse (rattus ianuarius santerii).

      They are distinguished from regular, so-called “real,” species by the fact that if you don’t believe they exist, they stop existing. Which makes you guilty of ecocide, o ye of little belief!! How do you feel now? :-)

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