The Bias Trap: Are We All Just A Bunch of Motivated Reasoners?

Wed, 2011-08-03 08:19Chris Mooney
Chris Mooney's picture

The Bias Trap: Are We All Just A Bunch of Motivated Reasoners?

There were a ton of great responses to my last post about conservative white men and climate change denial. Perhaps most notably, some savvy respondents called into question whether there is anything unique about these “CWMs” when it comes to being biased in favor of supporting their own beliefs and identities. 

For instance, risk assessment guru David Ropeik had this to say:

May I note that the “identity protection” theories Riley and Dunlap cite are relevant not just to CWMs. The underlying worldviews of how we want society to operate drive selective perception of the facts by all of us. It’s the same phenomenon that fuels leftist denialism re:GM food or nuclear power, for example. We believe, or deny, so our views agree with OUR group, so OUR group will be stronger and the group will accept us as a member in good standing. This is important for the survival of an animal that has evolved to be social and rely on the group for health and safety. And this is true of all of us, not just CWMs. Your post, and ‘Cool Dudes’, feeds the polarization around climate change, by singling out one group (which does happen to be the group the most clearly refuses to accept the overwhelming evidence on climate change) for doing what we all do on various issues.

Meanwhile, Dan Kahan of Yale wrote the following:

“System justification” – along w/ “authoritarian personality” etc. – implies an ideological asymmetry in motivated cognition: those in power “rationalize” in effect. The “identity-protective cognition” theory (a form of motivated cognition; protection of identity is only one of the goals that can motivate in the relevant sense) suggests symmetry: everyone will face psychic pressure to fit perceptions to facts that promote the status of their group & their standing within it. This particular study investigated a hypothesis in which the two theories predicted the same result. But there are situations in which they would not. 

Are Kahan and Ropeik right? Do we *all* do it, just on our pet issues?

It’s a tough question to answer. But let me discuss one important stab at comparing left and right wing biases, found in several studies by Linda Skitka of the University of Illinois-Chicago and her colleagues.

In a well known 2002 paper (see the 5th study), Skitka showed that liberals, unlike conservatives, update their initial views about whether a person who has contracted AIDS while knowing the risks, and engaging in unprotected sex, deserves government subsidized health care services. Conservatives and liberals have the same negative first impression of such a person—they feel personal disapproval or even revulsion. But liberals then change their minds, go against their first impulses, and decide that the person deserves to be treated equally anyway. Conservatives don’t.

But Skitka showed in a more recent study that there are  contexts in which conservatives, too, go against what you might expect. For instance, and as the last study implied, conservatives usually tend to think that there are no “extenuating circumstances”—that you’re personally responsible for what you do and how things turn out, whether you’re a criminal or someone on welfare or someone who knowingly contracts AIDS. However, in the newer study, Skitka showed that conservatives do consider extenuating circumstances (or what she calls “situational” factors rather than “dispositional” factors) when members of a group that they support, like the military or the police, are accused of wrongdoing.

However, I will note Skitka and her colleagues did not detect conservatives actually changing their views when confronted with new or contradictory evidence—e.g., seemingly definitive proof that soldiers or police had actually done something wrong. She just caught them going against their general tendency to make “dispositional” rather than “situational” attributions. Honestly, you could argue just as easily that she captured flip-flopping (or, special pleading on behalf of the military and the police) as that she captured open-mindedness and flexibility.

In any case, while I agree that everybody has biases, I’m not sure that means I must also agree that everybody is equally biased. To butcher George Orwell, why couldn’t it be the case that all humans are biased, but are some humans are more biased than others?

I note that Kahan’s own research, for instance, shows that liberals perform a very different maneuver on nuclear power than conservatives perform on climate change. On both of these issues, you would expect the two groups to be biased and unwilling to accept the science: liberals because they distrust industry, conservatives because they think (or feel) that science is going to interfere with hierarchy or the free market. But get this: As liberals get more educated and better at mathematical reasoning, they become more supportive of nuclear power; as conservatives get more educated and better at mathematical reasoning, they become less accepting of climate change. What’s up with that? 

I have a pet theory to explain this. It may be controversial, but here goes: Liberals who study the evidence realize that while no form of energy is risk free, if you consider nuclear risks in the context of the risks posed by other energy sources, it is pretty hard to end up virulently anti-nuclear. There are just too many other bad—I would say worse—ways of getting energy (like coal!). This is a conclusion that I think you reach even if you do tend to distrust industry in general.

Frankly, though, this is a much bigger topic than I can hope to address in one blog post; and the evidence presented here is subject to varied interpretations.

Let me end, though, by quoting one comment on the last post that, I think, shows a person responding in the way that we all need to try to respond if we’re to have any hope of overcoming our biases.

This individual—I can’t tell if it’s a man or a woman–questions his/her own biases, trying to imagine a situation in which s/he might be face with scientific evidence that threatens his/her core assumptions and beliefs, and pondering what s/he would do in that situation:

This article helps explain some of the hostility I’ve encountered as a newly minted environmental lawyer. I’m used to people who are less than thrilled to see me and my clients, but this feels different, as though every zoning battle is a clash of civilizations and a fight to the death far beyond the actual stakes of the case. Which I suppose it is, if you are a CWM (or F) who believes that environmentalism is a threat to your culture, your tribe, your way of life. So what then? Presenting scientific evidence or legal argument doesn’t work–the fact that the science or law supports my side means automatically that it is corrupt and not to be trusted. (A number of the comments above demonstrate exactly what I’m talking about). I’ve tried to ask myself how I would feel if science supported as factual something that struck at the core of my values–for example, if most scientists agreed that women were stupider than men.[They don’t think that.–ed]  How would I react? Wouldn’t I attack the science and suggest that it isn’t settled? Wouldn’t I attack the scientists as self-interested? Wouldn’t I look for alternate explanations and oppose political “solutions”? What evidence would I require before I believed it? Unfortunately, this exercise leaves me staring into the post-modern abyss …

Postmodern abyss? I’m not sure. To me, this thought exercise shows that the commenter is open-minded, introspective, and flexible–a mode of thinking to which we should all aspire, no matter where we lie on the political spectrum.

Previous Comments

In the global ponzi scheme of perpetual growth, maybe nuclear looks like a good solution. However, we currently have the fact that it is not just inviting a quick ecological catastrophe (rather than coal’s slower one) but it is also not a good financial risk for investors. The costs of nuclear are no longer competitive with other energy solutions.

You Said:
“As liberals get more educated and better at mathematical reasoning, they become more supportive of nuclear power; as conservatives get more educated and better at mathematical reasoning, they become less accepting of climate change. What’s up with that? ”

———

I have my own pet theory.

As Liberals get more educated/propagandized they become less confident in their mathematical reasoning, they become more willing to submit to the decision of those they believe to be the authorities on the subject. They don’t understand the information, but they trust the human.

As Conservatives get more educated/propagandized they become more confident using their mathematical reasoning, and they use this knowledge to find errors and discrepancies in the climate science. They do understand the information, and they don’t trust the human.

“As Conservatives get more educated/propagandized they become more confident using their mathematical reasoning…”

And this explains why all those conservative skeptics who had been demanding access to the CRU’s raw data for the last couple of years are now using their mathematical reasoning skills to analyze the newly-released CRU data, and have already published their preliminary results on the web for everyone to see…

OK, so the skeptics will claim that it’s been only a week since the CRU released all that data. But a week is more than enough time for a competent programmer/analyst to get some preliminary results out. And given that skeptics have been “chomping at the bit” to get their hands on the CRU’s raw data for a couple of years now, you’d think that they would be ready to “hit the ground running” with this latest data release.

All they would have to do is modify their software (i.e. the code that they obviously had written to check the validity of the NASA/GISS results that they were also questioning) to read the new CRU data format. Then it would be a simple matter of running the CRU data through their modified code, plotting up the results, and publishing the plots on the web somewhere.. Total turnaround time should be measured in *hours*.

So all you skeptics out there with your mathematical reasoning skills, when are we going to get a look at your preliminary results?

Chris,
Re; Becoming more educated and mathematical reasoning. You simply can’t compare a liberal change of heart leading to acceptance of nuclear power with the supposed ‘conservative’ continued non-acceptance of CAGW. Nuclear power is ‘hard science’, it’s all very clear and proven with well demonstrated properties and known results. We’ve used nuclear power all around the world for decades. CAGW on the other hand is a theory that has yet to be truly proven except through very shaky computer models that are constantly tweaked and revamped when they fail to predict ‘future’ events.
CAGW skeptics are actually driven to learn more about the ‘science’ which often leads to even stronger skepticism. H

Chris,
Answer this one question for me, and I will become a true believer also. I’m one of these lowlife white conservative males that you’re complaining about. Here goes.

There have been several ice ages over the history of the Earth, the last one being “The Little Ice Age” during Medieval times. There was no industry, autos, or powerplants to pollute the Earth. How did the warming periods that ended these ice ages occur? AGW?

Please, help me understand. I’m confused by this.

The sun seems to go through hot and cold spells

The “little ice age” was nothing comparable to glacial periods in the past.

As for glacial/interclacial episodes over the past 800,000 years or so, look up “Milankovitch Cycles”.

The short answer they give is that every other time in the history of the earth that the climate changed, it was NOT due to C02, but other factors.

But this time its different!

The official line is that they know its C02, because they have nothing else they think it could be, like cosmic rays or the sun.

Jerrod, if you want to begin to learn about previous global warmings, I would suggest beginning by watching Dr. Richard Alley’s “The Biggest Control Knob”, a lecture available online. As for the LIA, the evidence suggests the warming out of it was a combination of factors including changes in solar irradiance, volcanism and, in the northern hemisphere, changes in ocean circulation. There was industry present at the end of the LIA as well as land use changes caused by humans, so an anthropogenic factor may have played a role as well.

Your comment suggests you believe previous global warmings somehow preclude the current from being caused by anthropogenic sources. Why? I have heard this claimed many times and I am unable to follow the logic. Perhaps you could help me understand why you believe this. Do you believe the same combination of factors have caused and must cause any and all climate change? Could different past climate changes be caused by different factors?

There are natural warming and cooling cycles. There’s no debate on that; we have data on what happened before on which to build hypotheses on what may happen in our near future.

One of the biggest differences as I understand it between natural climate change and the current AGW is in scale of time. Previous episodes of climate change happened something like a hundred times slower; no natural influence throws greenhouse gases into the atmosphere on the scale we’ve managed.

A hundred times slower is a LOT more time for adaption, and yet, climate change in the past has wreaked havoc amongst life, causing large-scale extinction events that led to such things as the rise of the dinosaurs, and perhaps their fall as well.

Humans have done quite a number on our surroundings. We’re already IN an extinction event. Ecosystems all over the world are threatened or dying; corals are bleaching and the oceans are becoming acidic; overfishing and poaching has brought species to the brink of, or into, extinction. With an added stress of climate change, they very well may not have the time to adapt, much less recover.

Even from an anthropocentric view, this is bad. The collapse of ecosystems means loss of food and resource supplies for us, and in a time when we’re also having to adapt to worsening weather and higher temperatures. We depend on nature’s resilience, but we’ve severely weakened that resilience. And it may cost us dearly.

You probably don’t actually intend to become a “true believer” if your question is answered, but hey, it’s always worth a try.

Yes, I think we are mostly motivated reasoners.

On the subject of global climate only a tiny minority is motivated either way though.

so theres a cheery thought for you. Commenters here are motivated reasoners with a variance of motivations but the rest of the world doesnt care one way or another.

so I suppose that means were kinda on the same team.

I know “the little ice age” was not a full blown glacial event, hence the name. I used it also in addition to the numerous ice ages because it was the most recent and well docented cooling period. So did AGW end the “little ice age”?

I know “the little ice age” was not a full blown glacial event, hence the name. I used it also in addition to the numerous ice ages because it was the most recent and well docented cooling period. So did AGW end the “little ice age”?

A responder complained that I had not done my homework, that I was, essentially, just one of the CWM skeptics hiding from the “truth”. This is my reply:

Caerbannog888,

Youre right. I cant do the code. But I understand the value and weakness of computer models as I have worked with geological and geophysical models for years, and drilled wells on the results. We who do this dont have a problem with the often different results; we understand the limits to knowledge. Models, we might say, have a lot of data, but it is mostly soft. Observations, we might say, have not much data, but it is all hard. So I am, through experience, only convinced by models once they have been demonstrated to work, and work more than once.

Climate science is no different than any other science. The method is about taking correlations and finding a way to make correlations into causations. That is not easy because few things in this world have unique solutions. Climate change is one of them. When Spencer and others come up with cosmic rays or cloud cover or even periodic oceanic heat discharge, they are coming up with other solutions than the one, unique solution presented by the IPCC. It is not that the CO2 model fails to answer the heating question, but that there are other explanations that also answer the question. However, the IPCC explicitly, these days, says that anthropogenic CO2 is the only reason that the global heat is rising. They have taken a correlation, figured out mechanisms that create the heating seen, and said they have the causation.

Certainly they have. In science we figure things out that way. Then, having created a hypothesis, we make predictions. If the predictions pan out, then we say the hypothesis has been proved - unless there are competing theories that are equally as good. We then have to find a prediction that our theory makes that none of the others do, and that, if correct, invalidates all the other theories. Once successful in this test, our theory becomes fact - at least until someone else comes up with a theory that answers the question as well as ours, plus answers something our theory doesnt.

Climate science as put out by (I gather) you, provides the only solution to the current planetary heating situation. So far, though, there is no evidence that the IPCC story is uniquely correct. The “extreme” weather events may or may not be happening, but they are not evidence for climate change by CO2. They relate only to warmer temperatures. Same with ice melting. Those are temperature related, not CO2 related. Mooney, Romm, Gore etc. (you?) conflate items of heating with items of CO2. The question remains to be determined if CO2 is responsible for the (dominant amount) of heating.

What is the evidence about CO2? The models hold a view that links correlation to causation, but as I stress, the link is not unique to CO2. The “evidence” remains to be found in the comparison between prediction and observation. To-date the observations are not unique to CO2, though we are at a breaking point (my opinion) when the taste of the pudding will supply the proof.

The principal prediction of CO2 theory, or CAGW, which is the crux, not a slow heating of the atmosphere, is that it is a linear, unbeatable, unavoidable force of about 3C per additional 280 ppmv (relative to the 1820 concentration). It causes a preferential heating in the middle troposphere. The heating starts in the atmosphere and spreads to the oceans. The second key element of the IPCC-Gore meme is that CO2 heating causes a positive feedback by water vapour additions. This is what turns minimal heating into maximal. The third is that there are no negative feedback mechanisms. Once emitted, there is no stopping CO2 in its rampage.

The Arctic heating and subsequent ice loss is presented as “evidence” of CO2 warming of the atmosphere. But note that there is nowhere in this theory that CO2 is melting the Arctic. It is the resultant heating that is melting the Arctic. And we know that other things will heat and melt the Arctic. We have thousands of years of historical/geological/ethnological data to demonstrate that, when the world heats up, the Arctic gets warmer disproportionately. That is the nature of planetary heating, not CO2. The current Inuit displaced the Dorset paleo-Inuit 5000 years ago when the Arctic melted enough to allow the then-Alasakan based natives to move eastward through a more-or-less ice-free corridor. You know that when the Vikings came to Greenland, Greenland (and Iceland) was far warmer, relatively, than continental Europe was, also. So the Arctic warming is another part of heating, for example, not CO2-heating. The events that demonstrate heating are not demonstrate CO2 heating, any more than your house being robbed does not demonstrate that the dope-smoking hippie down the street is the burglar, though you (or the police) might like this connection made to clear up their files quickly.

Agreed, I am not a code person. But I can look at graphs and the like. I use only the Hansen-NOAA-GISTemp supplied temperature data when I point to inconsistencies in the CAGW story. I cant attach graphs here, but I suggest a simple copy-and-past of the June GISTemp to IPCC projections of temperature rise by the year 2100 will have you scratching your head. Todays trends cannot get us there. Something else has to happen that isnt showing up yet. Same goes for nation-drowning sea level rises predicted by Hansen/Gore: the rise must ramp up between 3 and five times the current rate to achieve the CAGW fears. Again, keep in mind that a 3.4 mm/yr sea-level rise (by satellite, not by tidal guages or flooding data) of today must become multiples of that for a serious problem to arise, and one of enough magnitude that we might be able to do something about it.

Keep reminding yourself that it is not heating, it is not AGW, but it is CAGW - the catastrophic rise that is of concern. And for the IPCC-Gore theories, it is also that this rise is “certain” and the science behind it is “settled”. There would be no huge debate if the IPCC had said that the science was consistent with, but not settled, and the outcome was “possible” but not certain. And think of this: for a “settled and certain” situation, the prediction - sorry, the IPCC specifically says it does not do predictions, but presents “scenarios” (sounds like uncertainty, doesnt it?) that the 2100 temperature will rise to between 1.4 and 5.0C from the 1820 start, due to A-CO2. A rise that is between the same-old-same-old and disaster: settled and certain?

We have had 23 years of warming since Hansen made his defining 1988 speeches and Gore put his Armanis on show. So far no observed temperature rise nor sea-level rise is unique to the A-CO2 model. What has happened is that the IPCC outlook has changed, more to the point, diminished. The projected rise in temperature has moderated, as as it has done so, so has the calculated radiative forcing of CO2, from 4.5 W/m2 to 3.75 W/m2. Why? To keep predictions in line with observation. If the trend continues, by 2020 you wont be talking about AGW UNLESS the new theory is that the Earth is entering a new ice age but for the thank-God presence of CO2.

Specifically: since about 2002 you cannot see temperature rises, and see even a drop the last two years (some say 1995, even Phil Jones/Trenberth, but they looked at statistics, and discount the 19988 1998 El Nino). Personally, I think that the 2002 temps were in the realm of high, but natural variability. Hansen disagrees, claims that the 2002 - 2011 temperatures are high because of CO2, not variability. That only makes his/your warmist position worse: A-CO2 heating that dominates CANNOT go down, and even holding temperatures even is a problem if negative feedback is disallowed. If we - and you, looking at the temp graph at the NOAA/NASA site, give a maximum of 9 years of non-cooling, there is 18 ppmv of CO2 rise unaccounted for. If it were to take another 5 years for temperatures to come back, there would be another 10 ppmv of heating to occur. 28 ppmv of heating by the IPCC theory is 0.3C, to bring us to 0.9C by Hansen, a 5-year rate of 6 C/century. At a current rate of about 1.8C/century, there is another 3.3X multiple for you/us all to see. Thats a very near, very serious problem for the A-CO2 story. Anything less either tells you that natural negative factors have been underestimated (science not settled) or that the earlier temperatures Hansen/Gore told you about were exaggerated (there goes certainty).

You already know that the upper levels of the oceans are also not heating the way they should. Trenberth laments the 0.85 W/m2 of “hidden” heat at depth that doesnt show up in the deep ARGO data. The mid-tropospheric heating either isnt present or is a shadow of its predicted self. These are real problems for CAGW, though none say that A-CO2 heating isnt happening. The magnitude is not showing up and, with the risk of being repetitive, it is the magnitude of warming that CAGW is about, and why we are exhorted to change our CO2-emitting ways.

You print the graphs, use a ruler and look to what you must see very soon to maintain the IPCC agenda of planetary death. Keep remembering that heating is not CO2-heating. And that you need signs thatthat CO2 as has huge power. Without huge power, then a moderate retreat on fossil fuel use will do nothing for the environment. If only a 75 percent decline in our emissions will work, cutbacks are not an option for those who wish civilization as we know it to continue.

Despite what you say, I have done my homework. As have others far smarter than me. I have compared and contrasted the way forward as proposed by the IPCC and non-CO2 dominant models for global temperature changes presented by the skeptic scientific, peer-reviewed community. (Unless you suggest a conspiracy in the peer-reviewed literature a-la-Mann-Jones, but against the warmist side, not by them).\

I have made the projections and determined what must happen soon - by 2015 I think - for the CAGW theories to continue to hold air. I am very skeptical that they are going to do so. I also have calculated the amount that we must change our emissions by to do any good. Without China, India, Africa, Central and South America and other Asian countries on side, C & T proposals will be ineffective. And for all these countries to get onside and stay onside, a pan-governmental organization with punitive powers must be created. The global economy must be managed - which includes the First World and the US in particular, I know you understand. So outside the technical question of needing/being able to do anything, the political-and-social realities of acting alarm me greatly. I WILL support all that if the planetary biosphere is actually in danger. But it sure doesnt look that to me this day of August 2011.

Print your graphs, extend the lines, put the IPCC targets on and see for yourself. Start them at 1988 and see where we are supposed to be by AR4 standards. Then reply with what you found.

Maybe well have dualling graphs, but at least wed be talking and not racist, sexist, Marxist name-calling.

Really enjoyed that comment. Good argumentation and not too much over my head - very readable.

Breaking News: Majority of Americans think Climate Scientists Falsified Research

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/environment_energy/69_say_it_s_likely_scientists_have_falsified_global_warming_research

In a telephone poll of 1,000 adults….

69 percent of Americans said it was at least somewhat likely that some climate change scientists have doctored results to support their own research or beliefs - up from 59 percent in 2009.

57% believe there is significant disagreement within the scientific community on global warming, up five points from late 2009.

18% aren’t sure.

25% believes scientists agree on global warming.

51% of Democrats agree that some scientists have falsified data to support their global warming theories

47% now believe the media makes global warming appear to be worse than it really is

Breaking news! Science isn’t determined by public opinion.

Story at 11.

Andy Revkin at DotEarth and Keith Kloor of Collide-a-Scape had a go at this poll, and though I sometimes find them irritatingly focused on the fake middle, I suspect there’s good info on the absence of reliability of this particular poll. The discussion that ensues from several chronic fake skeptics demonstrates that they don’t like his point, but I think the whole thing might be useful to someone trying to parse what is true and what isn’t. It’s a sideline to the article, but still …

Andrew Revkin, Dot Earth blogger, August 4th, 2011
“That is a badly tainted poll question.”
http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2011/08/03/that-skewed-rasmussen-survey-on-global-warming/

his most recent response to an insistent querier:
Andrew Revkin, Dot Earth blogger, 8/5/11:
“I hadn’t commented on it because it hadn’t come up here on Dot Earth until now. It was utterly meaningless.”

So Andy Revkin and Keith Kloor, who often get credibility from fake skeptic bullies (and host them all too often) have flagged this one.

Need we say more?

See the problem is that….err never mind. I’m just going to o with the peer reviewed literature on this one.

Who is Doug Proctor?

I google “+doug +proctor +warming” and I see that you are a very active and articulate climate change denier with some scientific background.

Your posts are so frequent and so well written you must be funded by someone. Who would that be?

What are your scientific credentials?

Have you published in peer reviewed journals? If so, please provide references. Google scholar search doesn’t turn up anything.

Cal

He seems to use the same arguments over & over, which are celebrated on denier sites & shot down in flames on science sites. He largely uses a copy & paste of a template he seems to have & paraphrases it every now & then. He also, like many deniers is conditioned to believe it’s all Al Gores fault & parrots invective at him at every opportunity.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Has-Global-Warming-Stopped.html
http://www.skepticalscience.com/Archibalds-take-on-world-temperatures.html
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/12/a-brief-history-of-knowledge-about-antarctic-temperatures/

He probably believes like WUWT, that mentioning Al Gore at nearly every post, he will focus the ire of deniers on progressives to distract the fact that there are probably more conservative governments world wide than progressives that have accepted established AGW science.

Re: You seem to be right about the cut and paste.

I searched for “We have thousands of years of historical/geological/ethnological data to demonstrate that, when the world heats up” from Doug Proctor’s post, and I got a hit on the string “We have thousands of years of historical/geological/ethnological data that demonstrate that, when the world heats up, the Arctic gets warmer …”

Clever. The guy changed “to demonstrate that” to “that demonstrate that”.

Since it’s not a straight cut and paste, one must assume that Doug Proctor is aware of the damage this would do to his reputation. Otherwise, why go to the trouble?

“Doug Proctor”, can you please clarify? I don’t want to mis-judge you.

“Re: You seem to be right about the cut and paste.

I searched for “We have thousands of years of historical/geological/ethnological data to demonstrate that,”

Cal, I believe he is a persona management bot.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/16/945768/-UPDATED:-The-HB-Gary-Email-That-Should-Concern-Us-All

I am yet to see Doug Proctor actually engage in any argument. He always does the once off shot across the bows & doesn’t come back if someone fires back.

It’s a bot. They don’t even need to manually change the words around, the software can do all that for them. It’s a sock puppet.

“Despite what you say, I have done my homework. As have others far smarter than me. I have compared and contrasted the way forward as proposed by the IPCC and non-CO2 dominant models for global temperature changes presented by the skeptic scientific, peer-reviewed community. (Unless you suggest a conspiracy in the peer-reviewed literature a-la-Mann-Jones, but against the warmist side, not by them).”

The problem is, a lot more far smarter than you, and more importantly, impartial and experienced in the field of climate science, disagree with you.

The “conspiracy” in the denial field is simply that no valid, impartial theory can or has disproven AGW theory. Those who try are found to have faulty methodology or data; many also have easily located ties to corporate agendas. The “peer review” is often found lacking, unqualified, or tied to the same agenda.

Personally, I consider the science well-supported but rough. Changes or unexpected results do not surprise me; the climate is a vastly complex example of interactive fluid dynamics. Unfortunately for us all, AGW remains the best explanatory theory for what we’re observing, and predictions of where it will take us are dismal.

You can’t rely on very short (post-2002 temperature) stretches of noisy data to draw conclusions about long-term trends. Based on that error of yours alone, there is no point in spending any more time reading your post.

Basically, your post consists of little more than a rehash of favorite WUWT talking-points.

Instead of hanging out around denier web-sites like WUWT, watch this video instead: http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm09/lectures/lecture_videos/A23A.shtml

The Bias Trap is just sophistry. What would Jesus do?

Jesus would tell us we have a responsibility for ‘creation care’, ie, we must preserve what He created and not destroy it.

And, more specifically:

It may or may not be true that Global Warming will destroy the earth within the next 250 years, but do we want to take the chance that it will? Why should we gamble with humanity and every other species on earth? Clearly, we should not.

And, as well:

Who cares what the Global Warming scientists say, if in fact, it’s just plain cheaper to use solar power. For example, why should I pay 12 cents a kwh to heat water when I can do the same with a solar collector for free? Yes, yes, there’s a capital investment in both cases, but, hey, I’ll go with the free fuel option, thank you.

It dawned on me as I read the article that it was written by a self- proclaimed liberal and implied that conservatives are less open to changing their minds when confronted with new evidence, as compared to liberals. Isnt this article just doing the same thing that Mr. Mooney is complaining about, namely reinforcing his own opinion only with evidence that supports his opinion, rather than providing opposing evidence, or a critique of the evidence he presents that he agrees with?

You figured out the point of the whole post! Good work.

Unfortunately, he has indeed posted studies and science backing him up. If there’s some opposing studies and science that say otherwise, please provide it; critiquing is a bit difficult without it.

It’s nothing compared to the hilarity of faux-criticism in which the writer wallows in ad hominem because he or she lacks the ability to actually contest the point being made.

Whether CWM deniers are generally more biased or less biased than other segments of our society is completely besides the point. Being biased in our beliefs is the normal condition. Diversity, liberty, and freedom are good things. Most people are often biased against rational behavior–that is a given–but the consequences of that are typically human scale, not planetary.

This case is unique in that they are biased against rational behavior in what is without a doubt the biggest threat humans have ever faced. Through their leadership roles in our society they are doing great harm.

And there is no doubt that this bias is being stoked, being used as a wedge issue. Everyone should remember when the “Obama is going to take control of your thermostat” meme went around. CWMs fell for that.

Climate cooling – Advisers fail policy makers‏

For politicians, their policy advisers as well as scientists who inform them, journalists, and people who are making a sincere attempt to understand

Environment Canada briefing notes for Minister Peter Kent state that: “Climate change is the most serious environmental issue facing the world today and carries with it significant impacts on human health and safety, the economy, natural resources, and ecosystems in Canada and throughout the world,” – see: http://www.nationalpost.com/news/Canada+lagging+climate+Kent+warned/5190436/story.html

——
Scientists who inform policy makers, journalists and the general public have been spoon fed the IPCC’s human caused climate change hypothesis and they have passed this hypothesis on along with model projections of catastrophic future climate warming — without reading non-IPCC climate science that implicates natural phenomena as the principal drivers of the global climate / either because they did not know non-IPCC climate science existed (inexcusable) - OR - because they close-mindedly rejected it.

It may now be time for policy makers and journalists to reverse the flow of information by introducing scientists to the plausible evidence they have ignored, that global cooling - not warming appears to be the phenomenon that humanity will have to deal with in coming decades.

Policy makers and journalists can judge for themselves the veracity / plausibility of the considerable evidence that the cyclic (regular) natural global warming, that prevailed during the last three decades of the 20th century, has now given way to a repeat of the cyclic global cooling that prevailed after the early 1940s.

This shift to climate cooling renders irrelevant current policies designed to stage manage climate warming; see the following URL dealing with the cessation of cyclic warming during the last decade —as well as MANY links about expected global cooing and other climate science that questions the IPCC’s human caused climate change hypothesis at:

http://www.isthereglobalcooling.com/

I RECOMMEND that the most efficient use of your time would be to view the two excellent slide shows (Pages 1 and 2) featured at:

http://www.isthereglobalcooling.com/

—- that require about 1/2 an hour to run through.

Peter Salonius (recently retired after ~ 45 years as a Research Scientist in Natural Resources Canada)

Reading “Climate Cover-Up” helped identify you as a possible climate change denier. Specifically:

1. You use loaded phrases such as “spoon-fed * IPCC” - When googled, brings up thousands of other denier references.

2. You have no credentials in climatology.

3. You don’t reference any peer reviewed papers to support your position.

4. You make no argument what-so-ever for your position that the earth is cooling instead of warming.

If this is not so, please educidate so I don’t mis-judge you.

Reading “Climate Cover-Up” helped identify you as a possible climate change denier. Specifically:

1. You use loaded phrases such as “spoon-fed * IPCC” - When googled, brings up thousands of other denier references.

2. You have no credentials in climatology.

3. You don’t reference any peer reviewed papers to support your position.

4. You make no argument what-so-ever for your position that the earth is cooling instead of warming.

If this is not so, please elucidate so I don’t mis-judge you.

Peter Salonius, as a fellow scientist I would just like to say you are an embarrassment for science. Ive found you promoting the outrageously false lies of Anthony Watts and Joe Daleo that “unusually rapid climate warming during the three decades after the early 1970s was in large measure CREATED by a consistent program of eliminating data from high altitudes and high latitudes so that as time marched on global temperatures were increasingly driven by warm records from the few low altitude and low latitude stations remaining.”

At no point have you ever apologised for repeating that lie. Perhaps we should tell the Canadian Forest Service to check any and all of your calculations…

[x]

For more than a year, oil giant BP has waged a massive public relations battle to convince Americans that the company has been bamboozled by the oil spill claims process relating to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig blowout.

This BP PR campaign has involved full-page newspaper ads paid for...

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