What’s Up With Conservative White Men and Climate Change Denial?

Tue, 2011-08-02 05:44Chris Mooney
Chris Mooney's picture

What’s Up With Conservative White Men and Climate Change Denial?

They come at you at public events, wanting to argue. They light up the switchboards whenever there’s a radio show about climate change. They commandeer your blog comments section. They have a seemingly insatiable desire to debate, sometimes quite aggressively.

They’re the conservative white men (CWM) of climate change denial, and we’ve all gotten to know them in one way or another. But we haven’t had population-level statistics on them until recently, courtesy of a new paper in Global Environmental Change (apparently not online yet, but live in the blogosphere as of late last week) by sociologists Aaron McCright and Riley Dunlap. It’s entitled “Cool Dudes: The denial of climate change among conservative white males in the United States.” Among other data, McCright and Dunlap show the following:

— 14% of the general public doesn’t worry about climate change at all, but among CWMs the percentage jumps to 39%.

—   32% of adults deny there is a scientific consensus on climate change, but 59% of CWMs deny what the overwhelming majority of the world’s scientists have said.

—   3 adults in 10 don’t believe recent global temperature increases are primarily caused by human activity. Twice that many – 6 CWMs out of every ten – feel that way. 

What’s more, and in line with a number of post I’ve written in the past, McCright and Dunlap also find among these CWMs a phenomenon I sometimes like to call “smart idiocy.” Even as they deny mainstream climate science, conservative white males are also more likely than average U.S. adults to think they understand the science they deny—that they’re right, the scientists are wrong, and they can prove it. Indeed, they’re just dying to debate you and refute you.

The authors bring up two possible explanations for the broad CWM phenomenon, both based on literature in the social sciences. The first is “identity-protective cognition” theory (or what I would call motivated reasoning). The second is “system justification” theory, which is just what it sounds like: the study of why people, often implicitly and subconsciously, are motivated to ratify and reaffirm the status quo—why their default position is against, rather than for, progressive change.

Motivated reasoning suggests that men who have “hierarchical” values—resisting reforms to increase economic or social equality, believing that some people should be running things and some should be taking orders, or that it’s perfectly okay and normal that some will succeed and some will fail—will be more inclined defend a social system that’s structured in this way. Such a tendency has been used in the past to explain the “white male effect”: White men tend to downplay all manner of risks, especially environmental ones, but also risks posed by things like the vast proliferation of guns in America. This, presumably, is both because they’re less harmed by such risks overall (the burden often falls more on the disadvantaged), but also because they have trouble personally conceiving of the reality of these risks (they don’t see the current state of things as being very bad or objectionable).

But why do men downplay climate risks in particular? Here’s where “system justification” theory comes in: If climate change is real and human caused, it potentially threatens the whole economic order and those who have built it and benefited from it. It is the most inconvenient of truths. So the idea is that the men who benefit from the fossil-fuel based energy system will rationalize and defend that system from challenge—and the science of climate change is, in some ways, the ultimate challenge. (More on this here.)

This, by the way, may help to explain why conservatives so often liken the promotion of mainstream climate science, and advocacy for greenhouse gas emission controls, to a secret agenda to advance global socialism or communism. It isn’t—we’re so far from a left wing revolution in this country that the whole idea is laughable—but you can see how this wild claim might make more sense to them than it does to you and me.

There’s also a strong element of groupthink here, write McCright and Dunlap. Conservative white male elites like Rush Limbaugh disseminate the climate denial message, and then their followers come to associate with it and build identities around it:

To the extent that conservative white males in the general public view their brethren within the elite sectors as an ingroup, then we expect that the former also will tend to reject the global warming claims of the scientific community, the environmental movement, and environmental policy-makers. In short, they will espouse climate change denial to defend the information disseminated within their in-group and to protect their cultural identity as conservative white males.

Honestly, while we’re cranking out all these theories, I am surprised the authors didn’t bring up what may be the most biologically grounded of them: “social dominance orientation,” or SDO. This refers to a particular personality type—usually male and right wing—who wants to dominate others, who sees the world as a harsh place (metaphorically, a “jungle”) where it’s either eat or be eaten, and who tends to really believe in a Machiavellian way of things. Fundamentally, this identity is all about testosterone firing and being an alpha male. SDOs are fine with inequality and in favor of hierarchy because frankly, they think some people (e.g., them) are just better than others, and therefore destined to get ahead. 

What are we to make of all of these theories?

Certainly they’re more than just hand-waving: They’re all based on actual survey measurements of various tendencies within the population. So there is clearly some truth to all of them.

They’re also overlapping, rather than mutually exclusive. My sense is that they’re all taking a nibble at something real; some, like “social dominance” theory, may describe certain individuals but not others. But if there’s a central theme uniting them all, it’s the idea that some people, perhaps especially conservative men, will be more comfortable with, and more inclined to rationalize, hierarchy.

Now, do I think conservative white men consciously wake up in the morning and say to themselves, “I’m going to go on blogs and attack climate science today so I can screw over the little guy?” Certainly not. 

Rather, I simply think they experience modern climate science and climate advocacy as an affront, an attack on them and what they believe. They were brought up in a certain way, they believe certain things, and they have no reason to think of themselves as bad people—and indeed, mostly they’re not bad people. They give to charity. They go to church. They provide for a family. And so on.

But then they perceive all these attacks on their values coming from outsiders—hippie environmentalists and ivory tower climate scientists. If you didn’t do anything wrong, and you consider yourself as reasonable and intelligent–but people are attacking you and your values—you maybe get kind of outraged and worked up.

From there, the attacks on climate science and climate scientists may begin—and the affirmation of the in-group by attacking the out-group. Needless to say, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh’s radio show, and various climate denial blogs serve to fan the flames.

None of these men, then, are probably consciously aware that they’re engaged in anything like “system justification” or the “rationalization of hierarchy.” However, they perceive the status quo differently, they’re more comfortable with hierarchy and may not even notice it–and these then may become their default. 

Oh: And they’re maybe a little too defensive.

Comments

Nothing surprising here, except that you seem to underrate the degree to which the CWM consider there to be no difference between who they are and what they believe. Thence the term I like, which has been around for a while, ‘identity politics’. Limbaugh was fairly explicit about this in his 1993 book. To disagree with him is, among other things, to reject God.

The idea, however, is a good 100 years old – Upton Sinclair’s observation that it’s hard to get a man to believe something if his job depends on not believing it.

You, like many, I think miss something about the hierarchy issue. You (all) have the part about comfort with being in a hierarchy ok. Classical liberalism is not so fond of that kind of thing. But the missing part is that they also view themselves as being higher in the hierarchy than they are. ‘Joe the Plumber’ figured he was just one break away from owning a sizeable plumbing company. Realistically, he was doing pretty well just to be holding the position he had. Anyhow, the number of people who object to hierarchy drops markedly if they think they’re at or near the top of it, or will be soon.

Interesting theory and this set of arguement can also be successfully used to explain why CWM’s do not agree with other groups on a whole myriad of issues.

Perhaps the best way to convert this group would be to provide some adequate evidence to support global warming theory and a little measurable warming within the climate would help too.

Until then, without the support of CWM’s expect this theory to be shelved as they comprise a very large segment of North America.

What would you call evidence that there had been climate warming?

Anyone who has ever watched the great ted talk by Jonathan Haidt on the moral values of liberals and conservatives will recognize two of the fundamental conservative values reinforcing each other here. One is tribalism, with its rejection of outsiders. The other is the respect for established authority.

I recommend that everyone take 17 minutes and watch this talk. It will inform your conversations and allow you to thinh in terms of values, especially if you are a liberal and are not attuned to conservative moral values.

http://news.yahoo.com/nasa-data-blow-gaping-hold-global-warming-alarmism-192334971.html

Referring to Spencer, a noted climate denier, in an op-ed written by the Heartland institute, again, noted climate deniers and distorters of scientific data, doesn’t really score points in an argument with anyone who has been following the debate and understands the data. I’ll wait until more climate guys have had a chance to look at the data. (They are sharing the data right?)

In other words, you’ll just wait for the herd mentality to tell you what to think, right?

You automatically reject Spencer, just because he’s been skeptical of the “conventional climate wisdom”. HE’s A DENIER !!! No, he’s an academic climate scientist who does not necessarily agree with many of the assertions/conclusions of the herd. That should be viewed as a normal part of science. But NO!! Anyone who disagrees with us is against us and A DENIER !! You really should ask yourself why this social dynamic is happening, and whether it is healthy for anyone.

I would be greatly disappointed if Spencer did not share the data. I’m certain he will. Are you similarly concerned at all that Mann, Schmidt, et. al. (note that I don’t use any labeling or implicitly disparaging terms here) have not been so forthcoming with their datasets?

Actually, RCase,It’s more than a heard mentality. He’s been shown to be wilfully ignorant with a persecution complex. The best takedown with links to other great rebuttals is here: http://bbickmore.wordpress.com/2011/02/25/roy-spencers-great-blunder-part-1/. It’s not calling him a denier, it’s that he has a proven track record of being wrong. (I’m a Phd chemist, I understand how peer review works, you try to publish crap, you get hammered. If you want to make extraordinary claims, you’d better have extraordinary evidence to be able to back that up. He doesn’t) The problem is, he is a part of the normal part of science, he’s just wrong. It’s not a global conspiracy, it’s just that his science doesn’t stand up.

As for following the .1% that claims AGW is a hoax, by analogy, would you follow the same group of people that claim smoking isn’t harmful (You actually are, btw see Frederick Seitz) or look at the preponderance of epidemiology that shows it’s harmful. How about evolution? Again, a preponderance of evidence in multiple fields, but you still have idiots running around making claims without the evidence to back it up.

Please explain WHY I should accept the opinion of this Bickmore cat.

Sideshow Bill, Thanks for the thoughtful response. I too have degrees in Chemistry (but only BS/MS, not a PhD). So I do have a decent appreciation of how peer review works. But I believe it works much differently in a less politically-charged area of study where infinitely less funding is also at stake.

There’s a big difference between those who believe AGW is a hoax and those who are skeptical of AGW. I’m skeptical not because I don’t understand the science. I’m skeptical because this doesn’t look like normal scientific process and peer review should. When there’s little openness to the data and no open dialog regarding findings/models/assumptions, it starts to look less like science and more like a circlejerk to me. Which makes me even more skeptical than I was in the first place. And I’m certain I’m not alone.

As one forward-thinking CEO once commented, “In God I trust. All others bring data.”

And to marginalize those who are skeptical as being only 1 in 1000 (scientists?, climate scientists?, ordinary people?), I think you’re hugely underestimating the “consensus” that exists.

Mann, Schmidt et. al. have been *completely forthcoming* with their data.

*All* of Mann’s tree-ring/paleoclimate data are available on line and can be found with a simple Google search. Ditto for *all* of the temperature data and code that NASA/GISS uses/produces. Similarly, *all* of the source code for all of the major climate models is free for the downloading.

And now the CRU has, at the risk of infringing on IP/copyright laws, released *all* of the raw temperature data in its possession. The *only* data it did not release was Poland’s, because Poland explicitly forbade the release of its data. Nations that did not respond to the CRU’s permission requests had their data released anyway.

The problem isn’t that scientists haven’t been forthcoming enough; the problem is that most of the deniers who have been demanding the data are too lazy and/or incompetent to do anything with it. And I’d be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that you fall into the lazy/incompetent category.

This is nonsense;

http://climateaudit.org/2011/07/25/osborn-i-dont-have-any-core-measurement-data-and-therefore-have-none-to-give-out/

There is plenty of data suppression and obfuscation.

“Mann, Schmidt et. al. have been *completely forthcoming* with their data.”

I have no doubt there are numerous members in your Kingdom Hall of Gaia Witnesses that would actually believe that crap. Still, I suspect you will need to repeat that one a LOT!

How startlingly unoriginal! “Kingdom Hall of Gaia” forsooth! Suggest you visit any respectable science site or science blog and find out how these people work. They are literate and intelligent, but a bit tired of answering the same old baloney decade after decade after decade. You have opinions but not facts to back them up, so you degrade the conversation with a few generic attacks. For shame!

People have made an effort to provide real information, but it appears you don’t want to know about that. I guarantee a good few Christians would not care to be associated with Limbaugh’s brand of hate, which doesn’t exactly come from the Gospels or Jesus himself. Rushbo isn’t an attractive role model with his do as I say not as I do mentality which allows him to laugh all the way to the bank, and I seem to remember Jesus had a good few things to say about eyes of needles, giving away one’s worldly goods, and defiling temples that don’t fit the peculiar version that indicates wealth is a sign of god’s favor and inviolable.

You do realize that you’re just confirming the point of the article right? The article wasn’t about climate change per se but about the d-bags that happily and actively spew mis-information and complete gibberish on the subject just so they can feel good about themselves… Kinda like you’re doing here.

Since I’m nowhere close to being a C-W-M (2 of 3 being wrong). But thanks for lowering the discourse to name calling.

You do realize that you’re just confirming the point of the article right? The article wasn’t about climate change per se but about the d-bags that happily and actively spew mis-information and complete gibberish on the subject just so they can feel good about themselves… Kinda like you’re doing here.

Chris,

Thanks for posting my blog on this last week. 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. David

Um so who are deniers supposed to be anyway in your estimation, should they be LWMs? or CBFs? I dont get the point of this piece.

While I was reading this post, I was reminded of Rick Moranis’ role as the father in ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.’ He is presented as a lovably eccentric inventor who has a way with gadgets and Rube Goldberg devices. Everybody is amused by Rick and we can see that Rick is better a gadgets than we are -at least in the movies. This is okay because in the real world we understand how things really work.

If we look at them, environmental solutions are often presented as a confusing hodge-podge of partial solutions. We would get energy from wind, solar, wave, etc. Waste is reduced, reused or recycled. We compost. We bike. We walk. We take the bus. It is okay to mine resources here but not there because of an endangered species. We grow trees to shade our houses. We set the dishwasher to run over night. We buy CFLs for this lighting requirement and LEDs for that one. And so it goes.

In the the stereotypical CWM lifestyle, you get up, take your lunch out of the fridge and go to work. You put widgets together all day or supervise or manage widget assemblers. You come home to dinner on the table and a shot of JD. On weekends, you have a barbecue with beer. You are the king of the castle and master of your destiny.

This lifestyle is simple and easy to wrap your head around. Rube Goldberg is restricted to the movies and no one is pushing you out of your widget comfort zone.

I would suggest that when your are that CWM king of your castle, climate change is not just an affront. I would suggest that there is concern and uncertainty about needing to learn new tricks. Oh yeah, your widgets are poorly designed, built in an old inefficient factory, generate toxic wastes and are cluttering the landfills. What if people decide that they shouldn’t be using widgets at all?

And, most importantly, there is fear that someone else is better at all these new ideas than you are.

Apart from being essentially racist and sexist article, I am having a hard time figuring out the point of this thing.

(BTW, I am not a CWM, but almost everything else in this article pertains to me)

Racism and sexism is perfectly allowable as long as it comes from the left. It’s well established and should never surprise anyone.

I’m afraid it’s much simpler than that. Chris Mooney, being an expert (paid) PR person for this blog, has made it clear by attaching the picture to the article that if you are skeptical of CAGW then you are basically the same as Rush Limbaugh. The ultimate slap in the face for rational, thinking people (skeptics). H

Really Hank122? You are overthinking in this case.

i bet you never listen to him or if you do its never for more than a talking point. try him. you will like him. really, give it two weeks and se what you think. i have heard everything thrown at him but except for the gigantic ego, the rest is bs.

We all know that the concervative, white male is the new whipping boy of all radical activist movements. But to write it so equivically is rather disappointing.

The writer and website owner should be reminded that written discrimination based on race, sex and culture is illegal in Canada.

Dear Smith1492,

Please note that, IMO, no “act” of discrimination has been perpetrated by the OP’s article. IANAL, but he content of this article is protected speech, in the US and in Canada. The only Canadian law that may curtail free speech is applicable only in the case of incitation toward violence against an individual or a group. This is not the case.

How were any individuals or groups actually harmed or threatened by the OP’s article?

Is there any information on what CWW think? I missed where they compared conservative women and conservative men. I would be surprised if the women were less accepting of AGW, but is the difference that big? This article did not say. Going by the info given, it is not possible to conclude whether the key variable is being male or being conservative.

Hi Chris,

Excellent piece, though not terribly surprising. This might well also explain some of the conservative backlash in blue-collar and farm towns out in the midwest. The left of the 30s and 40s was much more accommodating of the dominant social hierarchy while attacking the economic hierarchy. Now the two are largely conflated.

However, I was struck by one line in your piece: “If climate change is real and human caused, it potentially threatens the whole economic order and those who have built it and benefited from it.”

I find this really strange in light of your pro-growth pro-tech light green environmental stance. I thought you held the mainstream left belief that we just need to tweak the current economic order a bit more towards environmental sensitivity and social justice to make it work, but the fundamentals are sound. You think we just need to more efficiently use our existing resources and transition to clean energy to make it all work.

I am not trying to set up a straw-man, just trying to express what I think you believe based on your past statements. How does this statement about a “threat to the whole economic order” fit in? What sort of new economic order would we face should we truly come to grips with the intertwined and massive problems of environmental damage, social injustice, and resource depletion?

I think investigating these questions seriously leads one to some pretty scary places in short order…

Sorry, but this is just another long winded attempt to label and pigeonhole skeptics. It’s either about ‘why’ people don’t buy in to the hype or it’s “How to better communicate Climate Change”.
It’s as if the CAGW faithful are thinking “It can’t possibly be that there are problems with our theory because the ‘science is settled’, right? So it must be that there’s something wrong with these guys!”
I’m afraid you’ll have to look deeper than “Cool dudes”. H

“If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.” - Winston Churchill

“And if you’re not a strong leftist at sixty, you haven’t been paying attention.”

I could write up a theory about how the climate blogs are mostly written by 35 year old white males desperately fretting over the increasing irrelevancy of their chosen cause but that would just be silly wouldn’t it?

“I could write up a theory about how…”

You’d have a harder time addressing the substance of the article.
(shrug)
Fat, old, white Americans people are the backbone of climate denialism.
There’s hardly a single talking head from the climate denier side that doesn’t fit the description.
The rest of the world, along with all the scientific communities, has moved on.
Climate denialism can offer nothing new any more that the creationists can offer anything new.

That’s because fat old white Americans are just about the only ones egaged in the climate discussion at all. They have the time. Nobody else cares.

So skin pigment is key to global warming denial? Chris maybe you should urge white people to tan more. I have many Italian aquaintances who are that are already darker than you and turn black when they spend time in the Sun. I’m sure there is no other paramater that you should focus on other than skin pigment. Hazzah! Well done! Nice of you to demonstrate the myopic mindset of the modern academic seeking affirmation to preconceived notions.

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. 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 …

While I generally agree with you, most scientists are convinced with experiments and results that line up with a prior.

This is mostly just rhetoric that is written in a voice that clearly believes itself to be objective. The problem is that all studies show that even the most well-meaning of us have biases. They are just different in all of us. We must be even-handed in this, even if that is a simple statement that those in the scientific and reality-based community are biased towards an idea of equality. It is a value after all and there is nothing scientifically objective about it.

boy, you are way off the mark! i am one of your so called cwm’s and you could not be further from the truth. i hold none of the additudes you claim men like me have and i am not in denial. i read science as opposed to reading hype and am convinced that mankind as a whole has very little impact on climate. some for sure but so small that it doesn’t matter. for example, co2 makes up just 0385% of our atmosphere and we contribute a mere 3% of that. ooh, scary! also, you can’t seriously believe that a byproduct of our own respiration is polluting the planet! co2 is GOOD for us and for plant growth! it means a greener planet. and a greener planet is a better fed planet. now i’m all for cleaning up our act to clean this place up but reducing co2 is a BAD idea. GIVE ME MY CO2!

You *don’t* read any science – if you did, you wouldn’t be committing the sort of middle-school blunders that you just made in your post.

for example, co2 makes up just 0385% of our atmosphere and we contribute a mere 3% of that…

Nobody with a clue about the science would parrot such an inane talking-point.

so what are the values? from the wonderful, let me revise the agw stuff to make it look better, wikipedia:Carbon dioxide (chemical formula CO2) is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom. It is a gas at standard temperature and pressure and exists in Earth’s atmosphere in this state, as a trace gas at a concentration of 0.039% by volume. then from skepticak science, your god, has this from jeff id:Human CO2 is a tiny % of CO2 emissions
“The oceans contain 37,400 billion tons (GT) of suspended carbon, land biomass has 2000-3000 GT. The atmosphere contains 720 billion tons of CO2 and humans contribute only 6 GT. The oceans, land and atmosphere exchange CO2 continuously so the additional load by humans is incredibly small. A small shift in the balance between oceans and air would cause a much more severe rise than anything we could produce.” (Jeff Id)

but now i wont say what your god says about what id says!

“Earth’s atmosphere in this state, as a trace gas at a concentration of 0.039% by volume”

That’s like saying,

“Your honor, the alcohol in my bloodstream was just a tiny trace at a concentration of 0.08% when I ran over that little old lady. There is no way that such a tiny concentration of alcohol could have impaired my ability to drive safely”.

And as for JeffId, apparently he doesn’t understand the difference between “gross” and “net”. As smart as he may be in some ways, it is incredible how stupid he can be in others.

Your argument makes no sense. The DUI alcohol threshold of 0.8% eight/tenths of a percent expressed in parts per million is 8000, whereas the atmospheric CO2 is 390ppm. More pertinently, the baseline of blood alcohol is zero, while CO2 has always been a part of the atmosphere, historically in much higher concentrations than now, (2000 ppm or more) while plants and animals thrived, as it is essential to life. Ergo the skepticism that the rise from 280 ppm over the last century, part of which is human-generated, is any major problem. Yes, I’m male and white, but can you tell me why I’m wrong? And skip the “consensus of scientists” claptrap; there are far too many peer-reviewed scientific articles disputing the alarmist view.

If CO2 is so good for life, I suggest you put a bag over your head. It’ll help you grow. The concentration in the bag doesn’t have to change much at all to have a very drastic effect. It’s about amounts, and small changes have big effects.

As for warming, the more greenhouse gases (IR absorbers) that you have, the more heat you dump into the atmosphere. The gases absorb incoming IR radiation by being excited to a higher vibrational state, and then release that energy via collisions with other molecules. Repeat this act over and over, heating non-IR absorbing gasses as well. (In effect the greenhouse gases are catalysts for warming) Simple enough for you?

hopefully you jest in the comparison b/t the paper bag and co2 in the atmosphere and you are ‘just’ suggesting someone that doesnt buy the hype should harm himself like others have fron the agw camp have done on numerous occaisions. as for your second attempt at explaining just wondering what has happened to all this heat in the last 15 years? maybe roy spencer is correct. as a side note, spencer’s newest paper was peer reviewed. it just doesnt mean that much anymore though, does it?

You are incapable of drawing a proper analogy. I’m well aware of the mechanism of greenhouse gases, but the catalyst effect, or positive feedbacks, are exaggerated by climate models which make unsupported assumptions, such as that clouds which may be increased by GRG’s always cause more warming by insulation. In fact, climate scientists readily admit that the net effect of cloud cover, both insulation of heat and reflection of the sun’s rays back to space, is uncertain. That is one reason why the computer models concocted 20 or more years ago were ludicrously wrong about the temperature trend. Google “James Hansen failed global warming predictions,” and see where he predicted temperatures would be, and declared there was only a 1% chance they would be where they actually are now. He also declared in 1988 that the West End Highway in Manhattan would be submerged by 2008 because of all the terrible warming. What is “settled” is that the science is quite “unsettled” as to the magnitude, causes, effects and relative costs/benefits of imposing the massive and onerous measures demanded by AGW alarmists.

You are incapable of drawing a proper analogy. I’m well aware of the mechanism of greenhouse gases, but the catalyst effect, or positive feedbacks, are exaggerated by climate models which make unsupported assumptions, such as that clouds which may be increased by GRG’s always cause more warming by insulation. In fact, climate scientists readily admit that the net effect of cloud cover, both insulation of heat and reflection of the sun’s rays back to space, is uncertain. That is one reason why the computer models concocted 20 or more years ago were ludicrously wrong about the temperature trend. Google “James Hansen failed global warming predictions,” and see where he predicted temperatures would be, and declared there was only a 1% chance they would be where they actually are now. He also declared in 1988 that the West End Highway in Manhattan would be submerged by 2008 because of all the terrible warming. What is “settled” is that the science is quite “unsettled” as to the magnitude, causes, effects and relative costs/benefits of imposing the massive and onerous measures demanded by AGW alarmists.

Climate science has become a left-wing political movement, not real science. Note that the “climate scientists” are “grant puppies” and they must conform to the wishes of the politicos who control the grant money. The politicos demand AGW conclusions for their money so that is what they get. Climate Gate showed directly the corruption of politics and science and basically saved us from cap-n-trade hell. Until we see actual evidence or models that work concerning AGW, don’t expect support from us. We realize the climate always changes - look at the historical record. We just don’t believe human activity has any significant effect on that change - it is 99% natural processes.

Can’t help but notice how the CWM’s have “piled on” to this thread while completely ignoring the “CRU released all of its data” thread below.

C’mon, you CWM’s – Will those of you (and I know some of you are here) who have been hollering for the CRU scientists to be fired/whatever (for failing to release their data quickly enough now “roll up your sleeves” and actually *do* something with the data you’ve been screaming for?

I know that tinfoil-hat conspiracy-mongering is a lot less work than writing code and analyzing data, but it sure would be nice if even *one* of you guys would at least make a token effort to analyze some of the data that the CRU folks have made available to you.

The “conspiracy” amongst the skeptics about socialist programming is about the FUNCTIONAL, not intellectual socialism of the eco-green movement. It is not about reducing CO2 emissions, it is not about cutting back on home-based coal-fired power stations. The conspiracy is about setting up ultra-national institutions to both police and coerce through punitive actions those nations who behaviour outside of the Pan-National acceptable behaviour. This is beyond the Federal governments seizing all powers necessary from the State/Province/Municipality to mandate what, up to now, is not a federal arena.

This is, note, not to say that, in times of crisis, such things arent required. Of course they are, just as The Patriot Act was considered necessary even though it clearly violates all sorts of personal freedoms the American voter enjoyed until 9/11. As the Real Men mutter, “A mans gotta do what a mans gotta do.” The question is whether is is one of those times of crisis. You say yea, I say nay.

As for the CRU data: there has been a lot of work done already, some by CRU staff themselves, that says that things arent necessarily as you are told they are. Have you checked out the CRU temperature graph side-by-side with NOAA/Hansens? Funny how Hansen says that “his”, warmer data, is “superior” to CRUs data (because they have computer modelled Arctic data). I thought we were on the same planet, so that the temp concerns of one source would be the temp concerns of all others. And then compare NOAA/Hansens data against the satellite data of UAH: funny how NASAs satellite data is not the same as NASAs NOAA/Hansen data.

The point here is (yes, all the data trends are similar) that the amount of warming, where the warming is and how special is is relative to other times depends on your choice of data massager (not provider: all the data is essentially the same). If there is uncertainty in how to measure, adjust and categorize such a fundamental aspect of “climate change”, what else is there that is similarly uncertain certainty?

90 percent certainty in one aspect might be acceptable if only one aspect is important. But if 3 aspects lean on each other with a similar set of uncertainty, you are now down to 73 percent certainty. And we know that the state of the world climate has more than 3 components of which we are less than 90 percent certain. So how sure are we? We are sure to the level of 1.4 additional centigrade degree by the year 2100 to 5 degrees. 1.4 to 5.0. For sea level? 1 foot by 2100 …. or 16 feet.

You couldnt get a plug nickel from an investor with such a possible risk scenario, but you are willing to open up your neighbours wallet and the offices of a coercive world government of environmental protection.

The skeptics have been reanalyzing climate data for themselves for years, and we dont like what we see. Perhaps you could do the same and then report back. Look for all the “clear signs”. Look for the language of “may, might, could, possibly” where you think they have been using “will, does, definitely”.

Do YOUR homework. Weve done ours.

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Citizens of Lafayette, Colo., have filed a class action lawsuit against the State of Colorado, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) and Governor John Hickenlooper requesting immediate enforcement of Lafayette's Community Rights Charter Amendment to ban fracking. 
 
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