Climate Change and Well-Informed Denial

Tue, 2011-05-03 08:52Chris Mooney
Chris Mooney's picture

Climate Change and Well-Informed Denial

On climate change, we’re politically polarized—which would be bad enough, but that’s not all. The hole we’ve dug is even deeper—as new research clearly suggests.

There’s yet another study out on Democrats, Republicans, and climate change, this time from Lawrence Hamilton of the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire. Over the last two years, in a series of regional surveys, Hamilton asked nearly 9,500 people questions about climate change—from Appalachia to the Gulf Coast, and from New Hampshire to Alaska. 

Across all these regions, he consistently found the following phenomenon: Democrats and Republicans who claimed to know less about the climate issue were more like one another in terms of whether they accepted the science. Democrats and Republicans who claimed to know a lot about the issue, by contrast, were vastly polarized—with knowledgeable Democrats overwhelmingly accepting the science, and knowledgeable Republicans overwhelmingly denying it.

Political polarization is greatest among the Republicans and Democrats who are most confident that they understand this issue,” writes Hamilton. “Republicans and Democrats less sure about their understanding also tend to be less far apart in their beliefs.”

This core finding itself is not new—a 2008 Pew survey also found that Republicans with a college level of education were less likely to accept the science of climate than Republicans who lack such education. Other studies have also underscored this fundamental point. But for precisely that reason, Hamilton’s research kind of puts it in the realm of indisputable political fact. Not only are we polarized over climate change, but our knowledge and sophistication, when combined with our politics, make matters worse.

How could this be? For Hamilton, the explanation lies in the interaction between how we get information (from trusted news and Internet sources, we think, but we’re actually being selective) and our own biases in evaluating it (objectively, we think, but again, we’re actually being selective). “People increasingly choose news sources that match their own views,” Hamilton writes. “Moreover, they tend to selectively absorb information even from this biased flow, fitting it into their pre-existing beliefs.” In other words, we’re twice biased—based on our views and information sources—and moreover, twice biased in different directions.

Thus it really makes a lot of sense that those who are paying less attention to the climate issue, whether nominally Democrat or Republican, are less polarized and less sure of themselves. They’re not working nearly as hard at reaffirming their convictions, and refuting the convictions of the other side. (Hamilton’s study implies, though, that that they may have a different problem—they know so little that they may be more likely to be buffeted by the weather in terms of how they think about climate. If it’s hot out, maybe they’ll worry. If it’s cold, they’ll scoff.)

Overall, the big picture is that our society is not making up its mind in anything like a rational or scientific manner about climate change. That’s unfortunate–but it would be a form of denial itself at this point to reject the finding. 

 

Previous Comments

Go Figure you last post was one gigantic copy & paste spam fest.

We know you can’t resist parroting whatever nonsense you read that confirms your unshakeable faith that AGW is wrong.

Ever tried skepticism? Give it a go.

William Happer is Eugene Higgens Professor of Physics and Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics , Princeton University and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the George C. Marshall Institute and is on the Academic Advisory Council of the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

The GWPF is a fake charity whose list of donators is less than 38 but whose influx of money is huge:

The Global Warming Policy Foundation does not reveal where its funding comes from. In their first years accounts they say “the soil we till is highly controversial, and anyone who puts their head above the parapet has to be prepared to endure a degree of public vilification. For that reason we offer all our donors the protection of anonymity.” The accounts show the extent to which the secretive Foundation is funded by anonymous donors, compared with income from membership fees. Its total income for the period up to 31 July 2010 was £503,302, of which only £8,168 came from membership contributions. The foundation charges a minimum annual membership fee of £100.

Charitable Status

The GWPF is a registered charity (Number 1131448), which gives it certain tax advantages. It’s charitable objectives are stated as: “To advance the public understanding of global warming and of it’s possible consequences, and also of the measures taken or proposed to be taken in response to it, including by means of the dissemination of the results of the study of and research into (a) the sciences relevant to global warming (b) it’s impact upon the environment economies and society (c) and the above mentioned measures.”

GWPF is a paid shill front, charitable status attained so it can leech off the taxpayers.

Why?

Because he was one who joined Fred Singer in claiming that ozone depletion was not happening.

And we all know how that turned out. Same as SHTS (second hand tobacco smoke), acid rain and now the effects of anthropogenically produced CO2 on global mean temperatures and climate, effects which are viable you stupid people.

There is an article on Happer here:

http://www.desmogblog.com/will-happer-testify-congress-climate-science

and more on Happer et. al. here:

<—quote—>

What Do Superfreakonomics And Senator Inhofe Have In Common?

Category: Levitt
Posted on: October 23, 2009 2:43 PM, by Tim Lambert

Well, they are shown next to each other in Dave Weigel’s story Climate Change Skeptics Embrace ‘Freakonomics’ Sequel, but that’s not the answer I’m thinking of. Weigel writes:

The final chapter deals with global warming, characterizing the beliefs of pessimistic environmentalists as “religious fervor,” and arguing that the climate change solutions proposed by Al Gore and many Democrats are ineffective and unworkable. It repeats claims that environmental journalists have debated or debunked for years. As a result, the authors are getting some early support from climate change skeptics who feel that attitudes toward their stances are getting brighter.

Coming out in support of Superfreakonomics we have Myron Ebell, Senator Inhofe, Pat Michaels, Patrick Co-founder-of-GreenPeace Moore and Ross McKitrick. McKitrick even offered some helpful information that Levitt and Dubner could use to refute Joe Romm with – apparently Romm is in the pay of George Soros.

So if their book isn’t supportive of global warming denial, why does Senator “Global Warming is a Hoax” Inhofe cite it? Daniel Davies explains the game L&D are playing.

So what is the answer to question in the title of this post?

Both Superfreakonomics and Senator Inhofe rely on the testimony of William Happer. In the end notes for Superfreakonomics we find:

Carbon dioxide is not poison: for a trenchant overview of the current state of thinking about atmospheric carbon dioxide, see William Happer, “Climate Change,” Statement before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, February 25. 2009

Happer was Inhofe’s witness at the Climate Change hearing and said thing’s like

I believe that the increase of CO2 is not a cause for alarm and will be good for mankind. … The current warming also seems to be due mostly to natural causes, not to increasing levels of carbon dioxide. Over the past ten years there has been no global warming, and in fact a slight cooling. … Sometimes the obsession for control of the climate got a bit out of hand, as in the Aztec state, where the local scientific/religious establishment of the year 1500 had long since announced that the debate was over and that at least 20,000 human sacrifices a year were needed to keep the sun moving, the rain falling, and to stop climate change. … The IPCC has made no serious attempt to model the natural variations of the earth’s temperature in the past. … Research papers with scientific findings contrary to the dogma of climate calamity are rejected by reviewers, many of whom fear that their research funding will be cut if any doubt is cast on the coming climate catastrophe. Speaking of the Romans, then invading Scotland in the year 83, the great Scottish chieftain Calgacus is quoted as saying “They make a desert and call it peace.” If you have the power to stifle dissent, you can indeed create the illusion of peace or consensus. The Romans have made impressive inroads into climate science.

Some might think that is supporting AGW denial, but Levitt and Dubner reckon that it’s a “trenchant overview of the current state of thinking about atmospheric carbon dioxide”

<—endquote—>

Article at:

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/10/what_do_superfreakonomics_and.php

(Not that you will bother reading those as willful ignorance seems to be your style but I take away this quote, ‘Happer was Inhofe’s witness at the Climate Change hearing…’. Oh! Dear! Oh! Dear! Oh! Dear!)

Happer also is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the George C. Marshall Institute and is on the Academic Advisory Council of the Global Warming Policy Foundation - as quoted at SourceWatch.

Now that tells us much about Happer. Funny how old some old physicists turn rougue with age.

Now that Global Warming Policy Foundation also has Ian Plimer, who has been exposed as a fraud (ref Deltoid), on their list Academic Advisory Council which tells us how much weight shopuld be given to their arguments.

I am not going to waste my time debunking Happer’s rant point by point but his idea that more CO2 is good for plants and by extension us ignores the research that warns of the limits of so CO2 augmentation beyond a certain point. This has been covered before up thread so you repeating debunked bullshit is just more of the same ol’ same ol’.

Until you start showing some understanding of the science, and I remind you that you have yet to answer my direct questions, then there is no point discussing further with somebody who is of in the ideological, fact free, wilderness.

Cyrus Fogg - how apt. Spreading fog around the truth so that the stupid or ignorant cannot see the facts, let alone understand them.

I am bored with your nonsense.

Gota give you marks for trying and persistence I guess Poptart but nonsense is nonsense no matter how often you repeat it as the folk at Deltoid have shown.

Back in June last year (happy anniversary soon PT), Poptech (BTW do you know that you are usurping the name of an organisation?) got well flattened in a comment thread after this article in The Guardian (UK) and BTW it helps to read past the headlines):

Why don’t we trust climate scientists?

New study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals huge disparities in the ‘relative scientific credibility’ of the opposing sides of the climate change debate

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/jun/21/trust-climate-scientists?commentpage=all#start-of-comments

That trail started here: http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/06/open_thread_50.php

What a joke, I refuted all the nonsense at the Guardian and and there is not a single factual criticism at Deltoid. Name ANY and I will destroy them.

You cannot win any argument with me.

Yet another “Legend in his/her own mind” climate denier blogger.

Still nothing, name ANY “criticism” you think is valid and I will embarrass you on it. Please proceed.

I was taught at an early age to never get into a peeing match with a skunk.

You cannot back up any of you bogus claims because they are baseless nonsense.

You insist they support the denialists, but most of them don’t even match your assertion of “peer reviewed”.

Monckton isn’t a peer, so him reading the headlines isn’t “peer review”.

Prove that any of the papers were not peer-reviewed.

“There are some commentary papers on the list”

Commentaries are not peer reviewed science.

One paper is an Open Letter from Monckton to the USA government: NOT EVEN SCIENCE, and a letter is not “peer reviewed” even when Monckton puts it through a spell checker.

Commentary papers are peer-reviewed in certain journals. Prove that the ones on the list are not peer-reviewed.

Your perpetual strawman argument about them being peer-reviewed science is getting old. No claim is made that the list is only of natural science papers but rather that they are all peer-reviewed.

Prove it.

Prove the ones you link to have been. All you’ve done is repeated that “they are in some”.

No evidence. And no evidence that that applies to any of your opinion pieces.

Your list includes papers that even the authors themselves insist are supporting the climate science.

Even RP Jr wants off the list.

But you are in denial, you insist that all the criticisms have been answered when your only answer to them is “I’ve answered all the criticisms”.

Classic denial.

Yawn, try reading the list not reinterpreting it,

http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html

The following papers support skepticism of AGW or AGW Alarm defined as, “concern relating to a negative environmental or socio-economic effect of AGW, usually exaggerated as catastrophic.”

Disclaimer: The inclusion of a paper in this list does not imply a specific personal position to any of the authors. The reason for this is a small minority of authors on the list would not wish to be labeled skeptical (e.g. Harold Brooks, Roger Pielke Jr.) yet their paper(s) or results from their paper(s) support skeptic’s arguments against AGW alarm. This list will be updated and corrected as necessary.

As for Pielke Jr.,

Rebuttal to “Better Recheck That List”
http://z4.invisionfree.com/Popular_Technology/index.php?showtopic=4019

Alarmists only bring Roger Pielke Jr. up to use for soundbites against skeptics, they never actually endorse or reference his papers because his papers do not support alarmist positions,

Nine Fallacies of Floods
(Climatic Change, Volume 42, Number 2, June 1999)
- Roger A. Pielke Jr.

“Fallacy 2: Damaging flooding in recent years is unprecedented because of global warming” - Roger Pielke Jr.

Hurricanes and Global Warming
(Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Volume 86, Issue 11, November 2005)
- Roger A. Pielke Jr., Christopher W. Landsea, M. Mayfield, J. Laver, R. Pasch

“The paper concludes that with no trend identified in various metrics of hurricane damage over the twentieth century, it is exceedingly unlikely that scientists will identify large changes in historical storm behavior that have significant societal implications” - Roger Pielke Jr.

Normalized Hurricane Damage in the United States: 1900–2005
(Natural Hazards Review, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp. 29-42, February 2008)
- Roger A. Pielke Jr., Joel Gratz, Christopher W. Landsea, Douglas Collins, Mark A. Saunders, Rade Musulin

“Across both normalization methods, there is no remaining trend of increasing absolute damage in the data set, which follows the lack of trends in landfall frequency or intensity observed over the twentieth century.” - Roger Pielke Jr.

Are there trends in hurricane destruction?
(Nature, Volume 438, Number 7071, pp. E11, December 2005)
- Roger A. Pielke Jr.

“My analysis of a long-term data set of hurricane losses in the United States shows no upward trend” - Roger Pielke Jr.

“”My analysis of a long-term data set of hurricane losses in the United States shows no upward trend” - Roger Pielke Jr.”

As an example of poptart’s lies, this is a good one.

a) His analysis doesn’t rule one out of the expected magnitude either
b) The science of climate that proves AGW is real also doesn’t assert that the hurricane losses in the USA will increase over the short term period

RP Jr knows this and wants his name off your pack of lies, since you’re the sort of scum that gives even the denialist a bad name.

An alarmist claim is that hurricanes will get worse due to AGW and thus cause more damage. This paper supports skeptic arguments against this.

His papers will not be removed because they support skeptic arguments and have nothing to do with his own.

The only lies are your posts.

And the lack of hurricanes doesn’t disprove AGW or climate science any more than a bird flying in the air disproves gravity.

Moron.

Hyperventilating, lying moron.

Are you an idiot? The list is again,

900+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism of “Man-Made” Global Warming (AGW) Alarm

AGW Alarm (defined), “concern relating to a negative environmental or socio-economic effect of AGW, usually exaggerated as catastrophic.”

It doesn’t have to disprove AGW or climate science, it just has to support a skeptic argument against AGW Alarm or in this case that hurricanes will get worse due to AGW and therefore cause more damage.

“it just has to support a skeptic argument against AGW Alarm ”

Since the only alarmism is from the denialists, then those papers have nothing to report on.

Therefore they can’t do what doesn’t exist and are all 100% falsely presented.

And a pal of yours is always banging on about how AGW is false because of your 900 papers.

I guess you don’t care if your lies are used to promote AGW denial, though. Any job that proves your faith correct is fine.

“or in this case that hurricanes will get worse due to AGW and therefore cause more damage.”

It hasn’t proved hurricanes won’t get worse due to AGW.

It just says there’s no proof it’s happened yet.

What do you think the wet bulb temperature reports are used for in the National Hurricane warning centre?

Hmm?

They’re used to predict when hurricanes are likely.

What do you think will happen when temperatures rise?

You have no clue about science and just want to lie to get you way.

Sorry anonymous coward, the alarmism is from shills like you.

An alarmist claim is that since Hurricanes will get worse the damage will as well. The paper just addresses the damage which supports skeptic arguments against AGW Alarm. The alarm being hurricane damage getting worse.

What I think is irrelevant but I do not support ANY alarmist positions.

My resource of peer-reviewed papers that support skeptic arguments against AGW Alarm has been defended ad nauseum and there is nothing you can do about. Nothing, just remember that as the hits to the page go up and up and up and up.

You’re the one asserting “Hurricanes will have been much worse”.

That’s alarmism.

It’s a strawman too.

“What I think is irrelevant”

Just as well: you don’t actually have an original thought of your own that isn’t a pack of lies.

“My resource of peer-reviewed papers that support skeptic arguments against AGW Alarm has been defended ad nauseum”

You’ve certainly defended it ad nauseum. What you’ve failed to do is actually show that your defence is valid.

Hint: they aren’t.

anonymous coward,

I am not asserting any such thing. Alarmists are asserting this,

http://climateprogress.org/2008/09/03/nature-hurricanes-are-getting-fiercer-and-its-going-to-get-much-worse/

I have many well-educated “thoughts”. I have not lied about anything here.

Yes I have validly defended the list ad nausuem from your lies, misinformation and strawman arguments against it.

‘My resource of peer-reviewed papers that support skeptic arguments against AGW Alarm has been defended ad nauseum…’

‘…defended ad nauseum…’ Abso-bloody-lutely. By you you automaton. You display as much originality in your statements as ‘the speaking clock’.

Lioness, some of my replies are unfortunately repetitive because your attempted criticisms have long ago been debunked for the lies, misinformation and strawman arguments that they are.

You never refuted a damn thing. Just said “I’m right, they’re wrong”. Plain old denial.

Prove it. I have refuted every lie, misinformation and strawman argument made against the list and backed each argument up.

The straw is all your own.

Most of those papers are not peer reviewed. Most are not science. Many do not support your assertion about them.

You have failed to show that any of the papers were not peer-reviewed.

All the papers support skeptic arguments against AGW or AGW Alarm.

The papers are often even under the heading “Editorial”.

Op-Ed.

http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/poptart-gets-burned-again-900-times/

But you deny, deny deny.

Your 900 papers is complete and utter bullshit.

There are some commentary papers on the list which are peer-reviewed as certain journals peer-review these types of articles. Prove any paper was not peer-reviewed. The list is intentionally more than 900 papers in case of any errors.

“My uncle read them” is NOT peer review.

So your assertion is false.

Just one of the multitudinous lies poptart spews forth in denial.

Then prove it! Prove they were not peer-reviewed. I ask over and over and NO ONE can do it!

Epic fail.

They were not peer reviewed. That’s the default of any writing. It’s up to YOU to show they are all peer reviewed.

Not up to me to prove they weren’t.

You even state they are commentaries. Commentaries are not peer reviewed, not science and not a paper.

anonymous coward,

They appeared in peer-reviewed journals and the journals did not state those papers were not peer-reviewed.

You are the one making the false claims, prove it. You can’t.

Still waiting for you proof.

http://z4.invisionfree.com/Popular_Technology/index.php?showtopic=4040

I suspect our anonymous coward is the founder of an eco-terrorist environmental organization chapter, Greenfyre.

what did I say about it being only in your mind?

It’s only available on your webpage. funny how the journals can’t be pointed to.

‘You cannot win any argument with me.’

I already have has you have resorted to empty threats of destruction.

Poptart clearly cannot understand the current state of the peer reviewed literature that supports AGW.

Note to Popart - research which supports AGW can come outside of papers that have the big words of ‘Climate Change’ or ‘Global Warming’ within their structure. That is why study in this area is known as multidisciplinary.

Now here is a question for you, where do the quantities I for intensity, epsilon for emissivity, T for temperature (on Kelvin scale) and rho come in and what does rho signify? Why are these important?

Come on Benny, even you should be able to answer that.

Lioness,

Distort context much? It was not a physical threat Lioness.

The current state of the peer-reviewed literature in relation to support of AGW is irrelevant to the overwhelming number of papers that support skeptic arguments against AGW Alarm.

Explicit support of AGW requires mentioning AGW in a similar form. It is well know there are thousands of papers on climate change but implicit support of AGW is a tedious per paper review process.

I am not going to answer any science questions so don’t bother. Those are a distraction from correcting your lies.

Who is Benny?

no matter how many papers you lie about to pump up your resume.

Explicit support of AGW is no more a conspiracy than geologist explicit support of the round earth theory, even if almost none of them have been high enough to see the curve of the earth.

Your hysterical rants don’t change the science.

Your list only rebuts your lies about the science.

I have not talked about my resume. WTF are you talking about?

I stated nothing of any conspiracy.

Explicit support of AGW requires the mention of AGW in some form. That is an irrefutable argument.

Like I said you cannot debate me.

“I stated nothing of any conspiracy.”

“The current state of the peer-reviewed literature in relation to support of AGW is irrelevant to the overwhelming number of papers that support skeptic arguments against AGW Alarm.”

It can’t be overwhelming when thousands of times as many papers support the IPCC conclusions unless there’s a conspiracy to support AGW.

Idiot.

And it’s only the deniers go banging on about catastrophe or alarmism.

Because they have nothing other than rhetoric and scare tactics to stop people looking behind the curtain and seeing all the lies.

anonymous coward,

There is not evidence of “thousands of times as many papers” supporting the IPCC conclusions.

There is nothing you can do about the list.

Yes there are.

Go to a googlescholar, do a google search on

global warming

global climate

climate change

and add up all the repeats.

It comes to a value something over 20,000 papers.

Your list includes stuff that doesn’t come from science journals as a science paper and excluding those gives you something less than 50 papers.

If you include all the papers that have been written about climate change before googlescholar’s archive got hold of them, you’d easily double, probably quadruple those numbers.

climate science goes back just short of 200 years.

Another Google Scholar illiterate?

Please provide me the 1001 search result for any of your Google Scholar searches.

Your strawman argument has been made many times. Please show on the list where it states the papers are only from natural science journals.

Your math is as bad as your arguments, there are only a couple hundred socio-economic and policy papers just like the WGII and WGIII sections of the IPCC report.

Waiting on your 1001 result big boy.

Then you’ll need to prove that the IPCC reports are alarmism.

Then you’ll need to show that the identified reports from the IPCC are rebutted by that subset of papers that are peer reviewed show the IPCC wrong.

anonymous coward,

Strawman, the list makes no claim that the IPCC report is alarmist or that it was created to rebut the IPCC reports.

I simply demonstrated that socio-economic and policy papers are valid in the debate.

You still have failed to show that the papers were not peer-reviewed.

It’s been repeated several times here. You’ve repeatedly stated that “This list shows skepticism of AGW alarmism”.

The report you’ve stated here you’ve stated categorically refutes alarmism.

But apparently now all the alarmism is in your head.

IPCC? Not alarmist.

Climate science? Not alarmist.

Where is your AGW alarmism?

All in your head. Plenty of room for it.

I never stated that all of the the IPCC or climate science is not alarmist, some is.

What would be evidence of alarmism to you?

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