Conservatives Attack and Misunderstand A Book They Haven’t Read…A Book About Flawed Conservative Reasoning

Read time: 3 mins

This would be sad, if it weren’t also so telling.

On Monday I announced my new book The Republican Brain, which will be due out next spring. And I provided a brief description, as well as layering on plenty of nuance, like a good liberal, to make sure it wouldn’t be misinterpreted.

So much for that!

Beginning with Roger Pielke, Jr. (not technically a conservative, but, well…), and then spreading to climate “skeptic” blogs like Watts Up With That and Marc Morano’s Climate Depot, conservatives are claiming that the book is a form of “new eugenics” and that it describes them as “genetically/mentally/psychologically inferior,” and so on.

All of this is completely without foundation, and in fact, contradicted by my own book announcement, which discusses the many strengths (as well as weaknesses) of the conservative psychology, and describes the left-right difference as a kind of necessary yin and yang. 

And none of the people saying these things (including over 100 commenters at Watts’ site) have read the book because it isn’t out yet, and won’t be for 6 months. In fact, it is still being edited.

Chalk up yet another example of conservative factual wrongness! Perhaps I can even fit it into the text.

But that’s not all. These conservatives have somehow gotten the idea that Pielke, Jr., “reviewed” the book, although he did nothing of the kind. Here’s Anthony Watts:

Chris Mooney has come up with new book to explain why people like you and I are “abby-normal” for not unthinkingly and uncritically accepting all aspects of global warmingclimate change climate disruption. I haven’t read it, though the cover itself speaks volumes. I won’t commit the same dumb mistake that Igor Peter Gleick committed when he wrote his bogus non-review of Donna LaFramboise’s IPCC book, so I’ll let somebody who has reviewed it speak about it. Dr. Roger Pielke Jr.

If this is not committing the “same dumb mistake,” it is definitely pretty close. 

I won’t do any more to defend a book that isn’t even out yet, except to say two things: 1) It is based on solid science from psychology, political science, and other fields; 2) the sort of behavior we’re seeing here—jumping to conclusions based on heuristics (“judging a book by its cover”), misrepresenting opponents' views based on no evidence…well, it turns out that these are precisely the kinds of things I’m criticizing. For a tiny taste, see this study, about “traditionalists” vastly misrepresenting the views of those who challenge them, in this case about changes to the English literature curriculum.

Thanks for helping to prove my argument, guys—6 months early!

I’m sure I can count on you in the second round, too.

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I can only assume this is the reaction you were looking for with that cover. People do judge a book both by it’s cover and whatever they might know about the authors previous writings. This is a good example of building a market for a book. Good sales strategy.

The only question is whether the reactions should form a preface or the final chapter.

Not only are these people intellectually blind, they’ve got a hair-trigger response…

Perhaps you could add an appendix to the book if it’s not oo late, and place the comments in there as further amunition to your thesis.

On the other end of the spectrum, although at a more extreme end, Bill O Reilly’s book is copping a flogging .

Some reviews from good people:

1) “I wouldn’t buy this book if the two inches of height it provides by standing on it would save me from a hanging.”

2) “You know I have read a lot of books and some of them you really cannot just put down. I honestly could not wait to put this one down. Then I could not wait to get on here and put it down even more.”

3) “Anti Liberty, Anti American from start to end. Historical facts stated simply not true. Terrible book. Don’t buy even at gunpoint.”

4) “I wanted to like this book, I really did. It was just a poorly written, opinionated piece about nothing relevant. It had a clear bias throughout the book. Look, if you want to learn about Lincoln, there are plenty of biographies you can pick up…I don’t recommend this to anyone.”

5) “We shouldn’t be surprised that a petty dictatorial man like Bill O’Reilly would write so glowingly about a petty dictator like Abraham Lincoln. But we SHOULD be surprised that he’d write so POORLY about him.

I wish I could give this book a ZERO.”

Considering he was writing about something that has volumes of information on it already, O Reilly still got it wrong. Where as Mooney is writing about psychological viewpoints & theories that are relatively new………& getting it right.

On another side note & forum whinge. Chris how come you can do strike through’s on your text & we can’t? The formatting tool bar on here needs work for us commenters.

It’s bizzare how white statist men like to consider themselves some separate racial group .

It’s my observation that they are defective in quantitative reasoning so have majors in subjects like English rather than math and physics .

If you want to dis my libertarian brain , please indulge me the with the half dozen equations which demonstrate you even know how to calculate the temperature of a radiantly heated vericolored ball .

Then we can start working towards a mutual quantitative understanding of planetary temperature explaining the 10c difference between us and a gray ball .

Otherwise , it’s all just cheap self gratification .


the “watermelons” don’t need to do any math because the experts take care of that. You need to be smart enough to get around planetary temperature concerns espoused by the experts in that particular field. That doesn’t change the fact that watermelons indeed exist and are motivated by great ideas of societal change.

Gee Bob, you come across as massively pompous. Hmm. What else? Vague. Oblivious to your own irrational prejudices too.

Rick, your suggestion that “watermelons” (why not just say “commies!!!!”) are dumb because they give weight to expert knowledge rather than their own wishful thinking is comical given the wild intellectual flailing denialists perform.

I’m giving you credit for listening to experts while not ignoring the possibility of other motivation. I’ma  nuanced guy.

Watermelon is not my preferred word. I was just referring to the other comment. However commie doesn’t cover it because there isn’t necessarilly any green in a commie. Surely you agree that it’s possible to use green issues to further a leftist cause.

Talk about pompous .  I’m just fed up with the arrogant ignorance .

This is a widely cited blog that claims to defend the science behind the notion that increasing the concentration of the molecule which is the building block of life from about 3 or 4 molecules per 10,000 to perhaps even 5 will so change our spectrum that we will broil .

But all I see here are ad hominems and insults by people who appear to have been too lazy to or or intellectually incapable of learning for themselves even the most basic relevant textbook math and physics . 

About as much to be learned here as among a flock of domesticated ducks – lots of quacking ; no independent intelligence .

Check your facts buddy.  All this extra plant food is killing plants.  None of you folks want to explain this.

Texas, Australia, the Amazon Jungle are in an ever increasing cycles of drought.  So… CO2 and no water = dead plants.  Its simple simple simple math.

Talking about Concentrations without any understanding also doesn’t help.  Small concentrations make a big difference.  Ever do a titration in university?

If you think we’re erroneously ‘defending science’ please show me a paper that clearly demonstrates this.  (Please, not another random blogger.)

Back to small concentrations…  H2S or Hydrogen Sulphide is hideously dangerous stuff. At 10 PPM you smell rotten eggs, at 100 PPM you start to suffer from oxygen asphyxiation, at 300 PPM all your brain activity instantly stops.  You can’t even hold your breath well enough to prevent this.

Going with your arguement for a moment…

So where is the Pine tree getting the water from?

So please Bob Armstrong.  Tell me what I need to tell Texas.  The farmers there are too stupid to grow plants with plant food.

I bet they’d be happy if we could just bring back the dirty 30s dust bowl.


You can see where this is headed;

Dust, plants must love dust;

NY Times, Global Implications of Texas Drought (Texas will need to sell more oil?)

Grim Predictions:

Please sir, can we have some more?

And what has this extreme weather , which is nothing unusual in my 6+ decades , to do with CO2 ? Actually , it seems reminiscent of the hot , dry dust bowl decade of the 1930s .

You’ve heard of the dust bowl haven’t you ?  Was that caused by lack of CO2 ?


You seem to think that your farmer with his hydroponic farm has solved all these issues.  CO2 is plant food.

Texas should just do what he did.

They should put a GIANT tarp over the entire place, to control the environment, then pump the water in from somewhere else.  I dunno… Thailand?  (They probably won’t mind since their plants are starting to grow gills.)

Did you even look at the 6 decade Texas Precipitation trend line?  Precipitation is going down, or in 2011… arriving at the wrong time.

The dust bowl was caused by lack of water.  CO2 causes increased heat and a lack of water.

One might as well try to argue with christian zionists .

The entire estimated change in mean temperature since before the industrial revolution is from perhaps  288k to 288.8k . 

The US in the dust bowl 1930s was as hot as today . 

But beside the fact that there is absolutely nothing unusual in the globe’s continually chaotic weather , show me any physical derivation which leads from an increase in CO2 to drought .

I guess you have to concede that the current historic flooding in Thailand is not due to CO2 .

I’m sorry , my patience with the willful arrogant uneducated ignorance here is exhausted .

Bye , bye .


” I’m sorry , my patience with the willful arrogant uneducated ignorance here is exhausted .

Bye , bye .”

Translation. Defeated by logic. It would have been nice to see some of Bob’s discussions with actual climate scientists.

Bob keeps saying that people who accept climate change don’t read science books. If he were to read high school and college science books, he would read about climate change.

Information that is presented in school books reflects the consensus of experts.

The people who are cited in the high school and college texts are the accepted experts, and they are also cited in the IPCC Assessment Reports.

Bob keeps asking for information, but he doesn’t read the textbooks or the IPCC reports.

He alleges that climate scientists are “self-selected,” and refers without specifics to some other science that supposedly disputes climate change.

Some posters talk about watermelons. Actually climate change denialism has been very prevalent in the Russian media because Russian gas/oil tycoons own much of the Russian media. 

The denialists Lord Monckton, John O’Sullivan, and Pat Michaels have appeared on the English-language Kremlin-financed Russia Today satellite TV.

Gazprom is majority-owned by the Russian government. It is the former Gas Ministry.

I don’t see the problem as one of capitalism versus socialism. Russia is still pretty socialist, and they have a new ruling party called Unity. In Russia, the US, and Canada, the fossil-fuel guys have tremendous power in the government.

Since the fires in Russia during the summer of 2010, there is more discussion of climate change in the Russian media.

President Medvedev used to claim that global warming was a trick, but after the fires he said it was true. He is the former CEO of Gazprom. I think Putin put him there. He’s not really a gas guy; he’s trained as a lawyer. Actually, many Gazprom officals are former KGB

Right now, the Russian Academy of Sciences is having a conference about climate change. They admit that it is happening, but they don’t seem to be discussing moving to renewable energy. They are discussing the idea of putting aerosols in the atmosphere to keep out some sun.

During the forest fires, a Russian academic named Areshev accused American climate scientists of causing global warming by beaming secret climate weapons at “some countries” (Russia). Now it turns out that the Russians have been experimenting with aerosols.

The Academy of Sciences seem to be discussing the possibility of making a small “nuclear winter” to cool the planet. This will not solve the problem of the oceans becoming more acid. 

One American presenting at this conference is Alan Robock, an expert on nuclear winter. His talk is called “Smoke and Mirrors.”

He has a power point for his students with the same title, so I think he is going to tell the Russians and the other scientists that aerosols won’t solve all the problems of global warming and may make new problems. 

The FBI is one Federal organization that spreads false information about climate science and unsubstantiated, defamatory propaganda about climate scientists under the guise of “warning” our academics about foreign spies. They are part of the National Intelligence Council, which publishes about climate science, so there is no excuse for their propaganda. 

The FBI recently published a ridiculous white paper that smeared climate scientists who study nuclear winter as Soviet dupes for being fooled about the “hoax”  of nuclear winter. They cited a book about a KGB defector who has claimed that nuclear winter was a “KGB hoax.”

The FBI did not go so far as to call nuclear winter a “KGB hoax,” but they gave tremendous credibility to Sergei Tretyakov, the KGB defector (now dead) who did make this claim.

The FBI claims that the white paper is warning scientists about the tricks of foreign intelligence agencies, but the FBI seems to have fallen for propaganda themselves. The FBI is denigrating our climate scientists and spreading misinformation from vague, uncited sources about how the KGB tricks climate scientists.

The book the FBI cited, “Comrade J,” quotes extensively from the denialist Russell Seitz.

The book doesn’t even tell that a Russian nuclear winter expert named Valadimir Alexandrov disappeared during a conference in Spain in the 1980s. He had done research in the US.

The book claims that the Soviets only exploited nuclear winter as part of their “peace” campaign against putting Pershing missiles in Europe, but that “nobody” in Moscow believed in nuclear winter.

In fact, that “nobody” General Secretary Gorbachev says he signed a missle treaty because of the concerns of US and Soviet scientists about nuclear winter. Somehow, the FBI “intelligence analysts” overlooked that salient fact.

Most nuclear winter research was done in the U.S. Russian scientists came to the U.S. and participated in this research. Long before the issue of Pershing missiles, the Russians did research on aerosols and the Karakum desert. 

It seems to me that it was a good thing that the Russians learned about nuclear winter, and if the KGB tried to use it for some propaganda, it didn’t work. The Pershings were installed.

Here is one post about the Russian Academy of Sciences conference. From there you can get links to this absurd FBI white paper.

I have a degree in Soviet Studies, and I understand Soviet disinformation operations; but I think this FBI white paper is a real smear-job. I know for a fact (because I have done it) that Soviet Propaganda operations can be carefully documented with names of people, news articles, dates. 

The FBI didn’t make their case that the nuclear winter scientists were fooled by the KGB. Shame on them for publishing a conspiracy theory about our scientists! They sound as moronic as the KGB raving about Sakharov being manipulated by his wife the “Jewess Bonner” on this one.

I am having a spat with a Tampa, Florida FBI counterintelligence guy who has promoted the white paper in his newspaper. 

He claims he will send my complaints up the chain of command, but he makes a lot of excuses for this white paper (which he says he did not write). People who know the history of nuclear winter research can see that the FBI is smearing some pretty famous people by making vague little hints that the scientists were manipulated. The FBI are citing as their source this stupid book titled Comrade J.

If the FBI think nucear winter is a KGB hoax, perhaps they should check with the Pentagon, the National Academy of Sciences, or even just FEMA. The FBI asked the NAS about their anthrax case. Perhaps they should ask about nuclear winter, too.

I recently read an obituary about a FEMA guy. Part of his job was to prepare for nuclear winter. 

The FBI never even identifies the specific “disinformation” they purport to expose. The FBI is supposed to counter disinformation by correcting the record, but the FBI never tells what the false information was. 

I usually am a fan of the FBI, but I am ashamed of them this time!

Really, this white paper looks like something a mononic KGB hack would write to defame a Soviet scientist. “Russia’s master spy” Tretyakov is dead, so it is hard to really know what he believed. Maybe he was just a blow-hard who wanted to be an expert on things he didn’t know about. He may have let the book’s author, Pete Earley, put words in his mouth to give the Russell Seitz line credibility. Now the FBI is giving this book credibility. 

Still, if nuclear winter is a “KGB hoax” the FBI should all enlighten us about the specific disinformation they claim the KGB spread. If they don’t know the truth, how do they know something is disinformation? This disinformation happened in the 1980s, but still there are no specific facts about what the false information was.

The FBI agent I am debating with says that neither I nor Tretyakov know the truth about nuclear winter. Perhaps, but if the FBI claims in a white paper that the KGB spread disinformation about the science, then what is the truth?

If they know something was disinformation, what were the exact lies about the science?

No scholar will give FBI warnings about foreign agents any credibility if they write such dopey white papers.

Maybe the FBI should look at how domestic and foreign fossil fuel companies manipulate politicians and a few academics instead of spreading falsehoods about how climate scientists are being manipulated.

If the scientists are manipulated, the FBI should tell what is the disinformation. They shouldn’t just quote some KGB guy who defected after communism ended, bought expensive cars and properties in Florida, and then gave the Russell Seitz line on nuclear winter.

The FBI looks really ridiculous now because they are giving the Russell Seitz line on nuclear winter while the Russians are having a conference to report their research on putting aerosols in the atmosphere to cool the planet.

Perhaps the FBI counterintelligence has already put aerosols into the atmosphere and can tell us that nothing happened because nuclear winter is a KGB hoax.

Nuclear winter, like physics, is not a KGB hoax. I expect only the highest standards from the FBI. They should either “show us the beef” or retract their smear AKA a “white paper.” We can’t have an organization that investigates crimes writing defamatory trash. They have to have high scientific standards and do real historical research; otherwise, “law officers” who are in the pockets of the fossil fuel industry like Attorney General Cuccinelli will exploit the credibility of the FBI and even try to turn them against our scientists like the Kremlin bosses turn the KGB on some of their great scientists.

People who want to know what the KGB does, need look no further than the campaign of defamation spearheaded by Attorney General Cuccinelli. He has turned his office into a political police, and Cuccinelli even quoted the Kremlin’s news agency RIA Novosti in a legal document against the EPA.

Is that where the FBI wants to go?

Now I see that Cuccinelli has taken that document off the Internet. I guess he doesn’t want people to see that he cited the Kremlin when he defamed the CRU scientists.

Perhaps the FBI should also take their stupid white paper off the Internet, apologise to the climate scientists they have defamed, and investigate how this white paper managed to get published.

russellseitz - Mon, 2011-11-14 14:02



Vote up!


Vote down!

 Would Snapple be so good as to explain how, despite my consistently attesting to the reality of radiative forcing by CO2, in policy quarterlys  and peer revired scientific journals for three decades , and likewise warning against the dangers of hyperbole in scientific discourse , in venues ranging  from Climatic Change , Foreign Affairs  and The National Interest, to  Nature and the Washington Post , I merit description as a  ” climate denier “?

If he thinks  ’denial’ consists in criticizing Carl Sagan’s popularization of Nuclear Winter as a locus classicus of putting PR before peer review, he’d better add Steve Schneider and a dozen more critics to his roster. 

Then again he might bother to read what we wrote , change his mind, and proffer as many apologies. It is always hazardous to rely on third party polemics without checking their primary sources- If he didn’t read what i wrote in Nature last July  my blog  at once speaks for itself and provides links to a plenum of my writings.

“So please Bob Armstrong.  Tell me what I need to tell Texas.  The farmers there are too stupid to grow plants with plant food.”

Or maybe the farmers in Thailand could get some pointers from Bob on what to do with all the extra water for their crops? Plants love water right?

Excerpt: “Tropical storms inundated 62 of 77 provinces, destroying 1.4 million hectares (3.5 million acres) and as much as 7 million tons of crops, the government says. That equals 4.6 million tons of milled grain, 1 million more than the surplus expected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”


Unfortunately droughts we’re invented before global warming and there is no link between any drought and a 1/2 degree of warming.

This exchange sums up nicely what mooneys book ist trying to say. Republicans want the facts, the science to be examined, while the left wing wants assurances from self proclaimed experts.

Nope. Republicans try to declare that what suits them is the truth, progressives try to integrate a wider range of knowledge looking for the truth.

You’re doin’ it right now Ralph.

The truth is quite simply that with increased c02 concentrations the globe has not warmed in the past 15 years. Despite all the predictions of severe warming it has not come to pass. End of story.

Some people rely on logic and reason to form their opinions. You can call them republicans and some democrats. Others rely on a small group of obscure self interested scientists to tell them what to think, inspite of a complete lack of evidence.

You can believe whatever you want, just accept the fact that the earth is not responding to your beliefs. Perhaps the earth votes republican?


“The truth is quite simply that with increased c02 concentrations the globe has not warmed in the past 15 years.”

Where is this “truth” you talk about? I go to the major institutions and I cannot see any mention of no warming in the past 15 years.

All I see is stuff like this:

“Capping off the warmest decade on record, the average global temperature in 2010 tied 2005 as the warmest year since reliable records began in 1880”

Global temperature rise

All three major global surface temperature reconstructions show that Earth has warmed since 1880. 5 Most of this warming has occurred since the 1970s, with the 20 warmest years having occurred since 1981 and with all 10 of the warmest years occurring in the past 12 years. 6 Even though the 2000s witnessed a solar output decline resulting in an unusually deep solar minimum in 2007-2009, surface temperatures continue to increase”

I’ve searched around the major institutions & cannot find this 15 years of no warming you are talking about. They are big sites I know, so maybe you could provide the link from one of the major institutions that mention this no warming for the past 15 years?

“The truth is quite simply that with increased c02 concentrations the globe has not warmed in the past 15 years.”

Ralph, before we move onto the next post where you will repeat this statement again, can you provide evidence of this? From an institute that measures it…..not someone who comments on it or an interpreter of interpretations.

Phill, this graph shows how Ralph views the temperatures vs how realists view them:

From here:

“The right wing want lies & the science to be delayed, while the good guys wants assurance from experts.”

You had a few typos Ralph, I fixed it up for you.


I’ll put this here for you, PM, but Snapple’s post motivated it.

My argumentative trajectory has shifted from making arguments (which assumes a rational argument) to analyzing psychological motives (which assumes motivated cognitions for underlying denial) to evaluating political warfare tactics (which assumes bad faith argumentation and an immoral or amoral adversary). If the point of the argument was to make progress on issues related to climate science then it would be worthwhile but it’s a little like attacking a scientific Potemkin village. At best, we’re hoping for signs of good faith, since that would mean that there’s still some potential that the arguer will recognize her/his irrationality. But at the worst, the ‘denialist’ is actually a propagandist whose point is to obfuscate and neutralize the enemy (us, in their eyes) by any means possible.

Segueing back – one of my pet peeves is the notion that I need to specialize in every area of climate science or – ergo – it’s invalid. This notion seems to be a misapplication of the fallacy of appeal to authority. By the same token, automobiles can’t work because I’m not a mechanic. Electricity can exist because I’m not an electrician/physicist. And so on. It’s a fallacy of incredulity (appeal to ignorance). How appropriate! [correction: it’s actually argument from incredulity/lack of imagination]

I’d accept the burden of proof if proof actually meant something in the denalist universe, but it doesn’t. The whole point of polical warfare is to produce doubt by producing an anti-truth (a lie) for every truth. The strategy is to create confusion. Another goal is to cite memes from the freeper codebook and thus maintain the Potemkin parallel universe. There’s a peculiar rationale that guides denialist posts but there’s never any progress towards explaining anything because the intent is to defeat truth rather than harness it. There’s no attempt to expand on denialist’s alternative explanations because they’re like roads in a Potemkin village. They serve no purpose other than preserving the pretense.


Read this;

I started worrying about what was going on when I spoke to a conservative Environmental Engineer in Alberta.  When I mentioned climate change, it touched off a torrent of hate for Al Gore, something I simply couldn’t understand.  Like somehow Al made it up and climate scientists are all wrong.

I then saw a few toxic arguements on my usual forums, so I decided to see what I could do about it.  Which isn’t much.

I started leaving links to more appropriate information sources rather than engage in arguements.  I simply reply… say a bit, ask pointed questions, like “Who told you that?”

But I want folks to see some real info before they leap to conclusions.

Its not about winning arguements for me.  Its about the fact that someone somewhere might come trolling by, see me behaving nicely (enough), and see links to good info.  This is what I do in the more public spaces since this is obviously a war for joe average’s mind.

…and what I see repeatedly are shocking displays of denier incompetence and/or laziness.

For example, deniers have spent years making silly claims about the surface temperature record, claims that can easily be disproved by college students who have a couple of semesters of computer programming coursework under their belts.

Here are two specific examples of this:

1) UHI is responsible for the warming trend.

This can be disproved by downloading the GHCN raw data, writing up a straightforward gridding/averaging program, and computing global-average temperature anomalies for rural vs. urban stations.   The urban/rural station designations are included in the GHCN data files and can easily be parsed out with some simple string processing routines.  Don’t trust the GHCN rural/urban designations?  Then verify them for a representative sampling of stations with Google Earth.  Use Google’s API to overlay the station locations on top of the high-resolution satellite imagery and verify the stations’ rural/urban status directly.

Although this is something that a competent analyst could do in a few days, deniers have failed to do anything like this in the *years* that they have been pushing their UHI claims.

2) The warming trend is an artifact of “dropped stations” .

This is even easier to disprove than (1) above.  Simply modify the gridding/averaging code to  process only the stations still actively reporting data.  Compare the results with the results you get from processing all of the data.  Sifting out the “dropped stations” takes only a few lines of code, btw.  This is something that a competent analyst could do very quickly.

But in the *years* that deniers have been pushing this dropped-stations claim, they have failed to back up their claim by performing this simple, straightforward task.

(And yes, I’ve personally done both – and my results have proved that the UHI and “dropped stations” factors have virtually no impact on the global-temperature computations).

I could go on and on with more examples of denier incompetence (or laziness), but these two examples are damning enough on  their own.

While your comments here, Rick, are using “green issues” to advance a reactionary right-wing cause…

Why are you rooting around for “motivations” when the science lies before you?

people are complex. 

I find the science interesting but I don’t believe the future is all figured out. The future implications of the science vary a lot from nothing to unknown to catastrophic.

In the mean time individuals gravitate to one side or the other of the issue or more often totally ignore it. Why do they do these 3 things? It’s not as simple as it may seem. Motivations are complex and we often don’t  understand our own motivations all that clearly. The assumption of political superiority on one side or the other indicates strong bias and muddies the waters.

Some interesting commentary over at the WUWT article about Chris Mooney’s reaction to all the buzz he’s generated. This comment in particular struck a cord;

“….he’s trying to be a leftist Ann Coulter. The Coulter/Mooney formulation is simple, direct, and lucrative. You can sell a lot of books by providing a reasoned but deliciously hyperbolic rant about why the other half are idiots and/or crooks.”

Roughly translated - ‘Mooney is making bags of cash preaching to the choir”.

Nothing wrong with that, eh? Everyone’s got to make a living.

Essentially this book comes out and says I can pigeonhole people into a certain category based on their politicial ideology. Of course a provocative title will certainly generate sales amongst the extremist left base and of course is a good strategy to cater to this small group. On the plus side what this type of book also does is to segregate cliamte science to the extremist fringe, which is why no one will take it seriously. Mooney et al. do a good job of keeping the conflict alive to sell books and earn a living. Those who would like to see action on this file unfortunately are very poorly served by the mooneys of the world. In a sense mooney becomes a defacto denier by delaying action. To which I say keep those books and smear campaigns coming!

At the end of the day it comes down to this, some people want evidence, some people want experts. When there is no warming there is no problem, right now we don’t see anything other than claims of warming to come, but many of us have heard the climate scientist cry wolf for far too long.

I personally believe that way over 99% of the population could be described as defacto deniers. It’s why emissions are going up and up in years to come. Concern about agw does not touch lives in any meaningful way. Sometimes it’s a way of making a living and sometimes it’s an intellectual pursuit but it does not reach past that for almost anyone.

“Ralph”, thanks for drawing our attention to a Heartland Institute lawyer’s right-wing denialist “scientific insight.” I love to watch fools dance!

I do note that Mr. Taylor’s tired arguments, (not warming… much, not our fault, too expensive to address even if it was), are completely unrelated to Chris Mooney’s premise, other than to provide the billionth example of right-wing double-speak and truculent scientific misrepresentation.

I’m so glad we don’t need to do anything that might impact corporate profits our quality-of-life.

The fact that carbon emissions have increased by 1/3 and we have no warming in the same time frame point to the obvious, co2 is not a strong driver of climate.

This may be a tired scientific fact but get used to it, each year we see no warming and more c02 emissions people start to realise that global warming is not an issue. A friend of mine who is a professor of biology put is best. “It’s incomprehensible that anyone still believes in this!”


Snort! The tired argument is to pretend that every brief “pause” in warming is proof that there is no AGW impact while deliberately ignoring the widespread evidence that shows the opposite over actually meaningful time spans. 

Another tired argument is to pretend that mainstream climate scientists are unaware of the myriad natural factors that affect climate, sometimes countering the AGW component, sometimes reinforcing it.

It’s funny, “Ralph”, how you were such an advocate of automobile safety when the chances of a crash, on any particular trip, was so small. Now you seem to be rolling the environmental dice on all our behalf. I hope it’s not senility setting in.

The textbooks say there is global warming, so you are the lazy ignorant, person who doesn’t read the books.

Textbooks cite the IPCC scholars and the IPCC 4th Assessment Report. The National Intelligence Council, the Pentagon, the CIA, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, all our scientific organizations, and the National Academy of Sciences are concerned about climate change.

Catholic schools, for example, use an AP Environmental Science book that cites the IPCC as well as Pontifical Academicians Paul Crutzen and V. Ramanathan. Their research is used for the IPCC Report, and they advise the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences as well as other scientific and governmental organizations. Crutzen has a Nobel Prize, and that’s who we read in our textbooks.

If you read our excellent textbooks, you might learn something. Perhaps you should read Dr. Michael Mann’s easy-to-understand explanation of the IPCC 4th Assessment. The book is titled Dire Predictions.

The National Intelligence Council has posted quite a bit about climate change in different regions of the world here:

National Intelligence Council (NIC) [16 U.S. intelligence agencies], “Impact of Climate Change to 2030”

Thomas Fingar said:

“Our primary source for climate science was the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report, which we augmented with other peer-reviewed analyses and contracted research. We used the UN Panel report as our baseline because this document was reviewed and coordinated on by the US government and internationally respected by the scientific community.“

Dr. Thomas Fingar, former Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis (June 25, 2008 before Congress)

They don’t even want to admit who’s telling them that the world is warming.

Its our governments.  Bush’s government.  Harper’s Government… all the governments.  Government research… government satellites… Government organizations…

And oh… the military.  Yup… Appearently these guys are so deluded by some green movement that they are commiting TREASON to lie to their own people and collude with foreign military forces.

And some how all this is believed with zero nadda sippo evidence.  Then if they get questioned…  they yell “Al Gore!” or some other distracting public figure.

Meanwhile the trail of money from oil companies is quite clear.  Tim Ball and his so called ‘Friends of Science’ got caught fraudulantly washing money through the University of Victoria.  All oil money from red neck executives… Who clearly profit by smearing climate scientists.

Yup… Must be a secret green plot.

No, most greens aren’t smart enough to come up with anything beyond holding signs up and chaining themselves to concrete. (how to they go to the bathroom?)

On the internet in places like this, scientific uncertainty is minimized. A phrase like “the world is warming” can mean almost anything, but it’s always used in a fear mongering way.

It’s not hard to find scientific uncertainty about the range of future warming. So then, why do we find a minimization of the uncertainty?

Lets be generous and say it’s about trying to alert a sleepy public to the issue of climate change. So we have to magnify our worst fears. Okay, Ill buy that. But it’s not working.

You have been unable to wake up the 99% and you are off track to blame your debating opponents. No one pays attention to them either. People are and will remain comatose until they face some personal disaster. Well - not all of them but more than 99%.

related - read today that by 2012!   hydrate melting may initiate super warming and kill 4.5 Billion.  -  yawn - nobody is even going to spend 10 seconds thinking about that possibility.

heres a deeper problem - if you go out into the general public and ask if they are concerned about global warming - they will all say yes but if you ask them to lift a finger to do something about it they will all say no. 


Related reading:

“Capitalism vs. the Climate”, Naomi Klein, The Nation, Nov 8, 2011

Klein’s article is one of the best-written explanations of the “politics” of climate change that I have ever read.

I would like to see Chris Mooney address it in a future blog. 

It doesn’t completely trash the folks on the right.

It shows why they are afraid, and why the arguements have skewed the way they have.  Climate versus Economy.

It really should be read by all.

Effective global warming mitigation will require a world government, which will reduce our freedom to act in our own national interest.  It will also cause a hell of a depression.  The Stern report is pie in the sky.  Of course, not mitigating global warming will cause an even worse depression.  But I can’t blame conservatives for looking for evidence that the science is false. As Will Rogers said, “It’s hard to get someone to understand something when their paycheck depends on not understanding it.”

Chris - Proof for your thesis - maybe useful in the book.

This study examined correlations between moral value judgments on a 17-item Moral Intuition Survey (MIS), and participant scores on the Short-D3 “Dark Triad” Personality Inventory—a measure of three related “dark and socially destructive” personality traits: Machiavellianism, Narcissism, and Psychopathy. Five hundred sixty-seven participants (302 male, 257 female, 2 transgendered; median age 28) were recruited online through Amazon Mechanical Turk and Yale Experiment Month web advertisements. Different responses to MIS items were initially hypothesized to be “conservative” or “liberal” in line with traditional public divides.

Our demographic data confirmed all of these hypothesized categorizations. We then tested two broad, exploratory hypotheses: (H1) the hypothesis that there would be “many” significant correlations between conservative MIS judgments and the Dark Triad, and (H2) the hypothesis that there would be no significant correlations between liberal MIS judgments and Machiavellianism or Psychopathy, but “some” significant correlations between liberal MIS judgments and Narcissism. Because our hypotheses were exploratory and we ran a large number of statistical tests (62 total), we utilized a Bonferroni Correction to set a very high threshold for significance (p = .0008).

Our results broadly supported our two hypotheses. We found eleven significant correlations between conservative MIS judgments and the Dark Triad—all at significance level of p < .00001—but no significant correlations between the Dark Triad and liberal MIS judgments. We believe that these results raise provocative moral questions about the personality bases of moral judgments. In particular, we propose that because the Short-D3 measures three “dark and antisocial” personality traits, our results raise some prima facie worries about the moral justification of some conservative moral judgments.

But didn’t we already know this intuitively? 

Not sure if it’s been mentioned, but this is a good video by Dr Barry Bickmore, a conservative discussing why conservatives oppose AGW.

Dr Barry Bickmore - How to avoid the truth about climate change

Discussions include, the politics, statistics, the consensus, Galileo, argument from authority, models, environmentalists, Roy Spencer, Christopher Monckton.

 Would Snapple be so good as to explain how, despite my consistently attesting to the reality of radiative forcing by CO2, in policy quarterlys  and peer revired scientific journals for three decades , and likewise warning against the dangers of hyperbole in scientific discourse , in venues ranging  from Climatic Change , Foreign Affairs  and The National Interest, to  Nature and the Washington Post , I merit description as a  ” climate denier “?

If he thinks criticizing Carl Sagan’s popularization of Nuclear Winter as a locus classicus of putting PR before peer review, he’d better add Steve Schneider and a dozen more critics to his roster. 

Then again he might bother to read what we wrote , change his mind, and proffer as many apologies. It is always hazardous to rely on third party polemics without checking their primary sources-  my blog  at once speaks for itself and provides links to a plenum of my writings.