JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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Survey shows skeptics are smarter

I kid you not. Chris Mooney at Desmog has got the data that shows skeptics were more literate and numerate than believers, and he wants to share it.

Last week, an intriguing study emerged from Dan Kahan and his colleagues at Yale and elsewhere–finding that knowing more about science, and being better at mathematical reasoning, was related to more climate science skepticism and denial–rather than less.

When faced with the news that smarter more mathematical people were skeptical of man-made global warming, it’s a sure bet that as a Desmogger, he would fail to reach the obvious conclusion.  Are believers gullible fools who can’t see the flaws in the reasoning? No. Skeptics are more literate and numerate about everything else, except for climate science, when they become dangerously overconfident and seek only to use their intellect to punch holes in the theory. Its not like these bright types have anything else to do is it? Of course.

This is bad, bad news for anyone who thinks that better math and science education will help us solve our problems on climate change. But it’s also something else. To me, it provides a kind of uber-explanation for climate skeptic and denier behavior in the public arena, and especially on the blogs.

In my experience, climate skeptics are nothing if not confident in their ability to challenge the science of climate change–and even to competently recalculate (and scientifically and mathematically refute) various published results. It’s funny how this high-level intellectual firepower is always used in service of debunking—rather than affirming or improving—mainstream science. But the fact is, if you go to blogs like WattsUpWithThat or Climate Audit, you certainly don’t find scientific and mathematical illiterates doubting climate change. Rather, you find scientific and mathematical sophisticates itching to blow holes in each new study.

Score Chris Mooney a 9.5 for a triple pike multispin flip carried out in public under pressure with no supporting news to work with.

The study looks interesting:

Kahan’s team simply structured a survey in a way that no one—to my knowledge, at least—has done before. In a sample of over 1,500 people, they gathered at least four different types of information: how much scientific literacy they possessed (e.g., how well they answered questions about things like the time it takes for the Earth to circle the sun and the relative sizes of electrons and atoms), how “numerate” they were (e.g., their ability to engage in mathematical reasoning),  what their cultural values were (how much they favored individualism and hierarch in the ordering of society, as opposed to being egalitarian and communitarian), and what their views were on how serious a risk global warming is.

But the study possibly mixes up cause and effect:

Respondents predisposed by their values to dismiss climate change evidence became more dismissive, and those predisposed by their values to credit such evidence more concerned, as science literacy and numeracy increased.

They suggest that people who are conservative in nature use their intellect to support their “conservativeness”, and those who liked “communitarian” values did the same. That’s true to some extent. But the problem with this is that it assumes people choose their political value first. What if scientifically numerate people looked at the evidence, (on finances, economics, feeble do-gooder plans, and CAGW) and swapped political leanings? (C’est moi.) Does it mean conservatives are smarter too?

The evidence suggests the switch must be common. If liberal  vs conservative values were an unchanging genetic predisposition there would be just as many liberals at 60 as there were at 20.

What was that saying? Thanks to Churchill: “If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.”

Kahan, Dan M., Wittlin, Maggie, Peters, Ellen, Slovic, Paul, Ouellette, Lisa Larrimore, Braman, Donald and Mandel, Gregory N., The Tragedy of the Risk-Perception Commons: Culture Conflict, Rationality Conflict, and Climate Change (2011). Cultural Cognition Project Working Paper No. 89. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1871503

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Survey shows skeptics are smarter, 8.3 out of 10 based on 8 ratings

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117 comments to Survey shows skeptics are smarter

  • #

    Jeez, the needed a study by a bunch of coneheads at Yale to come to that conclusion? Comparing the skeptic blogs to the Alarmist’s, even a knuckle-dragging chimpanzee in a hurry would have to concede that the skeptics are a lot better at those fiddly things in life like sentences, numbers, logic, shoe laces etc etc

    Pointman


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  • #

    I suggest that it is not because we are “smarter” – whatever that means. We are focused on reality, what it actually is, and what we can do about it rather than what we wish. We view a wish as simply an arbitrary starting point of little significance to reality. Hence, we actually do learn science, math, how to think, how to solve real problems, how to evaluate the results of our actions, AND (most importantly) how to learn from the consequences (aka mistakes).

    We have a simple process to follow:

    Step one: Say what we are going to do.
    Step two: Do it
    Step three: Verify that we did it.
    Step four: Determine how to do it better the next time.
    Step five: Go to step one.

    The above process can be embellished with detail but it is the core of how to improve anything we want to improve. The challenge is in knowing what is actually better but even that improves by running the process.


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    Jaymez

    The study has done exactly what the climate alarmists and the IPCC have been doing all along. Making the data fit their theory. When the data doesn’t suit them, then re-interpret it. So drought was evidence of anthropogenic global warming, then it snowed and rained, so all weather events became evidence of AGW.

    They first told us it was rednecks and science illiterates who were the climate sceptics. When the data didn’t prove that, they simply twisted the results and avoided the obvious conclusion as pointed out by Jo that perhaps it is the intellect which decides the values. Loved the Churchill quote!

    No doubt Hamilton and Lewandowsky will be all over this paper.


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    Grumpy Old Man

    The saying was “a Man who is not a Socialist at 18 has no heart. A man who is still a Socialist at 30 has no head. It is commonly attributed to Voltaire,who also came up with the epigram that, “I take exercise following the corteges of my friends who took exercise”.


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    Nullius in Verba

    Chris had a theory that education led us to emphasise whatever cultural preconceptions we already had, so the fact that liberals and conservatives headed in opposite directions as education increased confirmed that.

    However, and to be fair to Chris he noticed it and commented on it at his blog at Discover, they also studied views on the safety of nuclear power, and liberals become *less* alarmed about nuclear safety as they get more educated. That rather blows a hole in his theory, and he said so.

    I did happen to point out that the observations could be explained if liberals were more expert-led and conservatives more evidence-led, but he chose not to respond to that. I’m not exactly his favourite commenter. :-)

    I’m not sure I’d get too excited about the study. The questions they asked to test scientific literacy were extremely basic, and those for numeracy not much better. Only one question I’d consider a relevant test of ability, and only 3% got that one right. The effect was pretty weak, and the authors didn’t do error bars much. But if it gets Chris putting out about how sceptics aren’t all knuckle-dragging neanderthals, that’s fine by me.


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    Grumpy Old Man

    The Epigram is,” A man who is not a Socialist at 18 has no heart. A man who is still a Socialist at 30 has no head”. It is commonly attributed to Voltaire, who also came up with,” I take exercise following the corteges of my friends who took exercise”.


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    Grumpy Old Man

    BTW, to all those Yanks out there, Happy Independance Day. The way is still open if you want to learn how to make Tea properly.


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    Joe V

    OMG. Now a sceptic would just question the study. But this lot , their fawning acceptance of anything claiming to be scientific is just beyond belief. Of course the scientifically trained (in the old school anyway) know that science is all about scepticism, and understand the limitations of their craft. But a few have learned that labelling anything as scientific tends to get if this unquestioning acceptance by the news media & and the rest of us who are too busy to question it. Hence the explosion in Scientific institutions and scientific disciplines in recent years – you know the ones, the ones that have to have science in their name, just so you realise they are like politics, sociology & the like.


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    Joe V

    I like that one about liberal @ 20 , conservative by 40.

    Of course when you’re being crammed full of education your looking for some worthy purpose to put all this education to, but eventually you’ll grow up & perhaps start using it to think for yourself.


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    Ted Middleton

    I see a pattern of reasoning emerging in this blog and I think it’s leading to knowledge vs understanding.

    Some years ago I tutored senior high school students in chemistry and physics. I found it remarkable to see, how in 40 years, just how far the education system had departed from a process of understanding and reasoning, to one of knowing and following procedure.

    The problem here is if you know (or think you know), why do you need to use reasoning to question what you have previously believed.

    You know you are right, so if you need to conclude that warming produces less clouds rather than less clouds will make it warmer; or you need to invert data in order demonstrate what you already believe to be true, why not. Sound familiar?

    Fortunately their are some who have the sciences as a genuine interest, not just a subject, and so will naturally seek to understand and question.

    How I wish they were in the majority.


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    Matt

    I think with a heightened intelligence comes a natural sense of curiosity.

    “How does this work? Why does that happen? That doesn’t make sense to me, why?”

    These are the thoughts that swim around an average thinking intelligent person’s brain.
    These people make up to say 30% – 40% of the population. The rest don’t think and therefore
    don’t question. These are the people that unquestionably accept what is presented to them.
    These are the ones motivated ny the images of doom & gloom. They are also motivated by the
    free money and compensation offered by the government. These are the people we must convince.


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    Ted Middleton

    Or you need to confuse cause with effect to explain away why those skeptical of the theory of catastrophic AGW; are more likely to have a better understanding of science and mathematical reasoning than those who are not. That’s what you will do.

    You have reached a conclusion, use the data to demonstrate it.


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    Roy Hogue

    The cat is out of the bag. The bias was built in.

    Respondents predisposed by their values to dismiss climate change evidence became more dismissive, and those predisposed by their values to credit such evidence more concerned, as science literacy and numeracy increased. We suggest that this evidence reflects a conflict between two levels of rationality: The individual level, which is characterized by citizens’ effective use of their knowledge and reasoning capacities to form risk perceptions that express their cultural commitments; and the collective level, which is characterized by citizens’ failure to converge on the best available scientific evidence on how to promote their common welfare. [italic and bold are mine for emphasis, RH]

    Two levels of rationality indeed! Just one rational and the other out to lunch!

    It’s always a failure to not get it the way they want you to get it. No matter who comes to my door if I don’t end up agreeing with them it’s always my fault. They try shame and every other trick to get their claws into me. It don’t work.

    We should ignore this nonsense and get on with the fight that counts. They’ll always have one more way to be the holier-than-thou on the matter.


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    Roy Hogue

    Grumpy Old Man,

    Thank you. Independence Day is our most important holiday historically, though some don’t really understand it anymore. It’s really nice to have it mentioned by one of our friends around the world.

    However I prefer good old coffee over tea. :-)

    Best Regards

    Roy


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    Steve Brown

    Retired Police officer, nothing special in the maths etc. departments but have a degree in Psychology. I was taught to think and to replicate experiments before I accepted the assertions made.
    Began by accepting that which I read in the hitherto-fore trusted MSM.
    Looked for the evidence which supported these evermore catastrophic assertions. Found none, only reiterations of the same assertions. “He said it, I say it, they say it so it MUST be true” is not the sort of evidence which stands up in Court.
    I’m still searching for EVIDENCE and the weight of that which I have found sets me firmly in the sceptics camp. Until someone comes along with EVIDENCE which will stand up in the Court proving that AGW is founded on a factual basis, I will go along with those facts I know now.
    AGW does NOT stand up to forensic scrutiny, in any way whatsoever.


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    Robert of Ottawa

    I’m too sexy and smart for your catwalk, for your lies. Hahaha :-)


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    Bulldust

    I’d add to it, but Jaymez already nailed it… they simply twist and contort the data to fit the predetermined story. There is no helping those individuals who simply refuse to see.

    If someone brought me clear evidence that the IPCC models were true, I would be among the first to jump on the bandwagon from the sceptic side, but alas they are more interested playing the man and not the truth whenever confronted on the issues.


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    Paul R

    Well I’m proof that the survey was rubbish as I’m as dumb as a rock, I just happen to have a pretty good BS meter.
    This part,

    (how much they favored individualism and hierarch in the ordering of society, as opposed to being egalitarian and communitarian)

    Is a bit of a worry though as I thought individualism and egalitarianism were more akin to each other than the other way where all the animals are equal, just some are more equal than others “communitarian” society.


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    Raven

    Not sure if anyone has posted this , however there is a tongue in cheek laugh for those who wish to have a read or have something lodged in their wind pipe . :)
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>Finnish Cinema’s Relevance To Climate Change

    http://bunyipitude.blogspot.com/2011/07/finnish-cinema-and-climate-change.html
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Enjoy..


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  • #

    Matt:
    July 4th, 2011 at 7:25 am

    “These people make up to say 30% – 40% of the population.”

    Matt you are a hopeless optimist. 5 – 10% is more like it.

    Mooney, in decrying the debunking obviously doesn’t know how science is done. There are some absolutely terrible papers being published that are related to climate science that should not have seen the light of day in a scientific journal. “Fish in a Barrel” comes to mind.


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    Raven

    My apologies @19 Ive just noticed it on Boltas blog .


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    Tom

    Who was this study devised by? Academics. Who invented the AGW hypothesis? Academics. Who run the IPCC? Academics (and bureaucrats with academic backgrounds). You wonder why the AGW zealots are so desperate to hang onto their hypothesis, apart from the rivers of gold it has created: they (correctly) understand that the attempt by academe – the last great bastion of the sinecure – to impose its latest social engineering fashion on the world by reorganising the global economy is being vigorously resisted by the vast majority and people who have real jobs in the real economy. On climate change, academe is being asked for accountability to which it is utterly unaccustomed.


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    Raven

    Matt @11
    Just for that good feeling to let you know …..
    Since becoming involved in this mess known as CAGW , having once believed that Gores nonsense would not make serious headway , having seen some of the devastation caused by cap and trade in the US first hand , it has become a mission for our kids and their kids to stop this madness , since the beginning of June , myself and some fellow skeptics have enlightened many hundreds of those you mention to the danger being forced upon us , a heartwarming response has been the ability to see the truth when pointed in the right direction . We have presented the anti case to more people involved in business and community development who were either not or poorly informed . The response has been overwhelming in the positive .The most significant problem is people trying to appreciate the scope of what is going on , relating to the facts presents little problem it’s just the scale of the lies where people struggle .
    The other thing I found was that your average working person , housewife , family , etc are looking harder at what is being doled out from the nations capital ! One other notable point was what people took as the hijacking of our democracy , principally buy the Greens , however labour wasn’t far behind in raising unease in people. When gauging opinion as to the independent stance it was not good at all , many saw the independents being there to stop the abuse of power by government , and failing or selling out, depending on who you spoke to . All the people we have spoken to need only convince one other person and so on for truth to out , and before the trolls pile on me . Yes we have spoken to quite a few who believe in the religion ,
    and yes some think we are wrong , but take heart, common sense and logic DO prevail more often than not.
    With the people who used to believe what the scientists( & government to a lesser extent ) leading the charge . Anyway I’m off to talk to people . Have a nice day all . :)


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  • #

    I’m biased, since I have trouble counting change. But I do find a tendency amongst highly numerate people – not all, Jo! – to seek facile equivalencies and logical sequences where matters are too complex and information too fragmentary. Logic and numeracy are great tools, but bad habitual reflexes.

    To clarify: I really do have trouble counting change, but I know that it’s impossible to build a “climate model” or an “economic model” which represents anything but the presumptuous folly of the “builders”. It should take merely minutes – and little calculation or logic – to know that the Hockeystick is a trashy confection by literal-minded boffins.

    “What do I know?” Too many so-called scientists have never asked themselves Montaigne’s foundational question. The result of this neglect will be on my next electricity bill.


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    Sean

    I actually think this study has more profound implications. My impression about what I read in the liberal press is not that liberals THINK they are smarter than conservatives, they KNOW they are smarter as are the experts that inspire/support their views. That’s why appeals to authority work so well for them and why they need to have the big oil, big coal conspiracies to rationalize their lack of success at converting the general public to their position.

    So here comes a survey that shows the skeptics of the climate change consensus have the math and technical chops to look at the data in a methodical way and say with confidence (at least to themselves), the consensus climate change position is actually pretty weak. Yes, skeptics may be using their technical skills to support their conservative thinking but the concept that skeptics might actually be technically more competent strikes at the very basic psyche of what liberals think of themselves. It makes the argument that skeptics can’t be debated because it adds legitimacy to their position that much more untenable.

    Personally, as a scientist, I can’t imagine looking at any technical problem without some humility and a system as complex as the climate, a great deal of humility. Humility makes you a better, more objective observer. I can also tell you that the most interesting things I’ve discovered as a scientist are from the experiments that did not perform as predicted. A little humility by consensus scientists would actually go a long way to improve climate science. I hope and pray that this study at least encourages people on both sides of this issue to recognize that each have legitimate arguments. Perhaps that will get folks with different points of view talking too each other rather than past each other.


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    theRealUniverse

    The whole thing is a giant geopolitical hoax its distracted science into huge arguments over the fake data put out by the IPCC. Those scientists that have blown whistles or had papers refused publication by the cartel peers that have taken over the review system to stop criticism of there so called “correct theory” have been tearing their hair out to get press. Thank god for the internet. If you dont believe that AGW was SET UP as a scam think again the evidence is huge, but dont tell a politician!


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    Bulldust

    Completely O/T but I notice that Moonbat is attacking Perth for being “unsustainable”:

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/newshome/9775495/perth-an-urban-horror-activist/

    Perhaps he should actually come here and see all the apartment buildings going up in the East Perth-Perth-West Perth suburbs. I am living in one… facts trump brainless rants any day.


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    Roy Hogue

    It seems CAGW isn’t the only place the left has this sort of problem. Here is a Harvard study decrying the fact that 4th of July celebrations aren’t doing liberals any good. 4th of July celebrations in Republican counties are, you guessed it, more politically biased and predispose children in a direction the left doesn’t like. Apparently nothing is working for them anymore.


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  • #

    I couldn’t believe it when I read this at the reference frame. Mooney proposes that ignorance is the best approach for the planet, rather than understanding nature.


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    Stylo

    That’s why Greenies have their voting box at the top of the ballot: ’cause they can’t read down that far.


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    elsie

    Today, July 4 2011 at about 11AM on TV I caught Julia Gillard stating that CO2 was at its highest concentration in the air in a MILLION years according to scientists. So far, (midday) I have not heard or seen anymore regarding this startling, mind boggling assertion.


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    Ross

    Bulldust @ 27

    I think “Moonbat” thinks he has been out of the limelight too long and is now desperate to get back in.
    Recently he made a fool of himself criticising Willie Soon in a tweet to his tree hugging mates –he was proved wrong and had to apologise.


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    PaddikJ

    Lionell Griffith, July 4th, 2011 at 2:55 am:

    I suggest that it is not because we are “smarter” – whatever that means. We are focused on reality, what it actually is, and what we can do about it rather than what we wish.

    Just so. There are many warmists who are much smarter than me, including a few scientists I know; but their need to be morally superior – to be the “enlightened planetary citizen” – always trumps their sense of reality (too, there are the Nobel Laureates who can’t balance their checkbooks or do their sums, re: Stephen Chu’s “white roofs” fairy tale).

    This is not a new phenomenon – read Sokrates (or his amanuensis, Plato), with a critical eye. It doesn’t take long to discern the city-dweller and trust-funder’s moral snobbery. The further from subsistence, the greater the moral preening.

    Reality, “and what we can do about it rather than what we wish,” is the province of the Engineer, not the Scientist. Engineers are our preeminent realists, because they get almost instant feed-back on everything they do: Bridges & buildings either stand or they don’t; we either have water & power or we don’t, etc, ad-inf. All the amazing conveniences of modern life that are so reliable we take them for granted.

    You need a license to cut someone’s hair (or nails!), to change someone’s oil, to catch a fish for God’s sake; but the rich, industrialised governments want to enact trillion dollar policies based on un-vetted “research” that wouldn’t survive an even preliminary review in the private sector.

    I don’t see any prospect that reality will ever intrude on academia (talk about wishful thinking!), but we could keep these ivory towers more or less quarantined by requiring that any policy decisions costing more than some very small percentange of a nation’s GDP be subject to review by not less than 3 qualified, independent, private-sector engineering firms. I suspect that it wouldn’t take more than a few dry-but-damning such reviews and the academics & NGOs would be only too happy to stay on their islands.


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    theRealUniverse

    yahoo7 poll
    http://au.news.yahoo.com/polls/popup/-/poll_id/cabe380a-e842-3a87-b436-da2660394c6d
    Are you going to support CO2 tax now petrol is excluded?
    Yes 12%
    No 88% = Gillard OUT!


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    Raven

    This simple little sausage thinks he’s got it all worked out ……
    You really do have to wonder what’s been taught in schools the last couple of decades . Little wonder we have people with the IQ of a house plants raving from their lofty towers . Its depressing when you have to see so much stupidity .
    >>>>>>>>>>
    http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/climate-tax-carbon-change-blah-blah-blah/
    >>>>>>>>>>

    Apologies to all house plants) I know there actualy smarter !


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    MattB

    #27 – Bulldust lives in an apartment = Perth is not a sprawling city. Lol.


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    Ken Stewart

    Real Universe @34:

    Pretty poor poll- I voted NO 6 times without being locked out!


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    Andrew McRae

    Interesting conclusion from the authors (as Roy Hogue already mentioned) regarding the “collective failure”. I have clearly not been made aware of the existence of the shared dream machine with which we must all be currently connected and which performs the collective rational computation without anybody’s individual mind being involved. Yep, this is a deus ex machina argument where collective reasoning falls into the same mental basket as synergy and the Dualism theory of consciousness. It’s hardly scientific. Ultimately an individual must say or do something to manifest their opinion, and at that point they have either performed an individual rational process or else they have parroted received opinion. There is no other physical possibility.

    On a tangent….

    I can’t say if I’m smarter than the believers, but I would say scientists at CERN are smarter than most believers and probably most skeptics too.
    Cosmic rays and climate [1h:8m:51s]
    http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1181073

    I had never seen some of these studies before. The correlations between rainfall, cosmic rays, and temperature are all quite apparent.
    At the very least the content of this video implies the science is not settled.

    I posted the above link on The Conversation but I doubt many views will be referred from there. ;-)


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    theRealUniverse

    @ Ken Stewart: yes those polls that dont lockout ip addys are pretty weak in general and not reliable.

    I just read in the Courier mail about the article that closing down the Australian coal industry would be disastrous..obviously but that the sort of eco nutter wakko anti development crap coming from Bob Brown. So I ask him: Bob I guess you’ve got a mobile phone and a laptop, well where does it come from um..plastic from oil, metals copper zinc silicates galium arsenic etc all from MINING. Go back to the caves Bob! Oh sorry I meant ICE AGE!!!!!!


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    Raven

    Why can’t the Red Queen be made to show us how this will occur , it’s beyond me how wild claims like this cannot be taken to a court of law !
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    JULIA Gillard has invoked a doomsday-like scenario of metre-high sea level rises and a 2000km southward shift of Australia’s climactic zones as she battles an opposition scare campaign over her proposed carbon tax.

    Setting the scene for a week of intense debate on the government’s carbon tax – which is yet to be fully detailed – the Prime Minister today returned to scientific arguments for putting a price on carbon.

    The move came as Opposition Leader Tony Abbott renewed his now hopeless call for a plebiscite on Labor’s carbon tax, but changed tack by saying he would accept a popular vote if it backed the measure.

    Ms Gillard warned of threats to infrastructure, failures of urban drainage and sewerage systems, blackouts, transport disruption and private property damage as temperature rose by between 2.2 and 5 degrees by 2070.

    “Now this is a huge change,”  said Ms Gillard, as she again accused Mr Abbott of mounting a scare campaign over prices under a carbon tax.

    “It is equivalent to the climate of Cairns being the climate of New South Wales. It’s equivalent of the climate of Melbourne being the climate of southern Tasmania.

    “It means that global warming will see seas rise by possibly up to a metre by the end of the century – that’s a huge risk to many parts of our country.”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/no-tax-on-fuel-but-greens-win-productivity-commission-inquiry/story-fn59niix-1226087140792
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    For pity’s sake the flipping weather service barely gets it right ………next week , let alone 2070!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Gillard your future career as a puppet is assured !!!


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    Bulldust

    MattB:

    Congrats at deliberately misreading and conflating the statements. Do you deny that apartment buildings have been built in Perth at unprecedented rates?

    L2READ mate.


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    Raven

    @39
    Didn’t you know, The Brown Queens laptop is made of hardwood …….just like his head . :)


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    MattB

    Excuse me Bulldust? Why would I deny that apartments are being built in East Perth. Your post says Monbiot is wrong because there are apartments in East Perth and West Perth. But quite clearly Monbiot is right on the money in terms of Perth being a vast and unsustainably sprawling city.


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    Bulldust

    You conflated me stating I live in a city apartment to there being no sprawl issue in Perth… a claim I never made. They were two entirely seperate statements.

    The fact that apartmnents being built at an unprecedented rate in the central city area should indicate to all but the most terminally stupid that there is a rethink regarding the way we live in this city. There is far more demand for inner city apartment dwelling than there was in the past. I would argue that many are not interested in a 30-60 minute commute back and forth to their work every day which is causing some of the shift.

    Perth is unsustainable how exactly? It is easy to make unsubstantiated remarks like that, but it is not clear how or why it is considered unsustainable. Are we going to run out of land, water, or some other necessity? The city has certainly sustained itself so far, but it’s suddenly going to collapse if we add another suburb or two?

    It may have escaped your attention, but we are one of the most remote cities in the world. By definition we have a metric cr@ptonne of land available around this area. Fresh water is a tad more constrained, but there is plenty of salty stuff sitting on our doorstep waiting for a desal or five. Energy… take your pick, we have heaps.

    I don’t think the word sustainable means what you (or Monbiot) think it means (apologies to Princess Bride).


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    bananabender

    Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see.

    Benjamin Franklin


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    MattB

    Bulldust only this morning I was discussing this sprawl with a colleague, re: Monbiot, and I did suggest that Perth sprawls for the same reason that a dog licks its balls.

    But make up your mind is Monbiot wrong about perth sprawling (your 1st posts suggests you think this), or about why it is bad that it IS sprawling (your latter post suggests you think this)?

    I assume you are actually aware of the content of the arguments that perth’s sprawl, and sprawl in general, is fairly unsustainable, or do you really want me to repeat them here? It appears that every “expert” quoted in The West agrees, although not necessarily in that suburbs are bad-uninteresting places to live. (note Weller trying to cringe about inner-city types cringing about sprawl).

    Indeed even on your basic issue of “time of commute” even you raise that Perth’s sprawl is unsustainable. It uses a lot of fuel. It means we have massive overinvestment on roads and other infrastructure. It means certain levels of isolation. It breeds bogans and rednecks*. It pollutes groundwater we need to drink etc.


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    Can mattB actually define “sustainability”? Nothing is sustainable, including the entire biosphere.
    It seems to be a bs term used by enviroscammers to try to confuse the masses.

    As cousin of my wife says when he’s accused of having right wing views “I call them common sense”.

    The only thing wrong with Perth is that they need to get a prefab clover leaf intersection that can be assembled quickly on site and turn some major road arteries into freeways, like LA, which works just fine most of the time.


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    MattB

    On the contrary Mike I think the entire biosphere is completely sustainable. It will be humming along nicely long after humans have left the building.


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    memoryvault

    Mike Borgelt @ 47

    To be fair, Mike, I think MattB aptly defined his idea of “sustainable” in his comment at #46.

    According to MattB it is obviously anywhere with little or no investment in roads or infrastructure, where people don’t use any industrial fuels, and where they don’t breed bogans and rednecks.

    Zimbabwe and Uganda come to mind.


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    Raven

    Here’s a bit of good news
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    THE remarkable weather extremes of the past decade, including this year’s Queensland and Victorian floods, were not caused by global warming, according to one of Australia’s most eminent climate scientists.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/crazy-weather-not-climate-change-professor-neville-nicholls/story-fn3dxity-1226087343968
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    well I think it is ..


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    Raven

    Ooops sorry, didn’t realize he was having a bet each way !
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    “Global warming doesn’t produce these events, however, it’s pretty hard to avoid the conclusion that global warming has exacerbated the frequency and the intensity of these heat waves,” the Monash University professorial fellow said.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Missed that in my excitement .


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    MattB

    Raven a tad confusing from the prof when the same article contains:

    “it’s pretty hard to avoid the conclusion that global warming has exacerbated the frequency and the intensity of these heat waves,” the Monash University professorial fellow said.”

    he’s working the media well, he can generate warmist AND skeptical headlines at the same time!


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    MattB

    Lol you beat me to it.


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    Andrew McRae

    Sustainability is an attribute of a system of materials and processes. In the most bare and literal sense, it means that a sustainable process can continue forever.

    Back here in the real world the Sun is growing into a red giant and will boil away the Earth’s oceans in around 1 billion years from now. The notion of sustainability (at least on Earth) cannot be useful on a time scale longer than a billion years. To make the time scale a bit more practical I think we should see this as a competition for gloating rights against previous civilisations. So my suggested practical working definition of “sustainable” is this:

    A sustainable process is any process which, with due diligence, can be sustained for at least 3000 years.

    Why the magic number of 3000? Well the Ancient Egyptians managed to run their civilisation through various dynasties for 2800 years. If, with all of our advanced mathematics, computers, fossil fuels, nuclear reactors, solar power, copper mines, iron mines, genetic engineering, modern science, and democracy, we can’t sustain our society for at least as long as the Ancient Egyptians then we’ve done something really stupid.


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    memoryvault

    Rave @ 50 and 51

    Actually Raven, one does not need even a degree in “climate science” to be able to fairly accurately predict the onset of abnormal weather events.

    If one takes even a cursory look at the climate record one can clearly see a 25 – 30 year (roughly) cycle between warming and cooling periods.

    If one takes a similarly cursory look at the record of abnormal weather events one sees that they occur in the periods of change between warming a cooling cycles.

    For instance, the USA has just had a horror season for tornadoes, and the eastern side of OZ flooded (just to quote two examples), and we are in a transition from a warming cycle to a cooling cycle. The last time we had the tornadoes and floods (to this extent) was the mid-Seventies when we were in a transition from a cooling cycle to a warming cycle. I invite readers to do a bit of basic research on the subject for themselves to see the correlation between transition periods and weather extremes.

    On that basis it does not take a PhD in Climate Science or anything else to predict with reasonable confidence that sometime around 2030 (plus or minus five years) we will again go through similar unsettled weather. It will be interesting to see whether we manage to finish the Brisbane flood mitigation scheme in time.

    Neither does it take a PhD in Physics to offer a plausible hypothesis for the correlation. Extremes of weather are caused by the interaction of cold and hot air. The transition periods are when there exists the biggest differential between the two.

    Now, where do I collect my Nobel prize?

    Or do I have to write a “peer-reviewed, published paper” first, pointing out the bleedingly obvious to anyone who did high school physics forty years ago?


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    Ross

    This from Mark Lynas ( on Jo’s thread a few days ago) is worth a read. Yes he in promoting a book but he does make some worthwhile comments

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2010981/You-mustnt-believe-lies-Green-zealots-And-I-know–I-one.html#ixzz1R7Tu9FjG


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    Raven

    I concur memoryvault ….
    When I was a little tacker at school , more years ago than I can remember , we used to go swimming in October / november , we were sent home from late November on and off all the way through to the end off summer whenever it reached 100 degrees , I remember summers like that for about 15 years . The last few summers in melbourne would not have ( in my humble opinion ) be even half the intensity of those when I was young , but thats just observation I suppose , I mean I agree about advanced predictions , only I see a lot more snow on the ground a few years down the track . I just want Gillard to show us all in black and white and then let the topic be debated openly and honestly , I think I’ll take up alchemy next. :)


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    Raven

    I liked this bit
    >>>>>>

    The Green demands that we should drive less, holiday at home, subsist on root vegetables and shiver in colder houses in order to use less energy are counter-productive as well as unnecessary. What we need to do is find a source of clean, green energy, which will provide the energy we need without radically altering the way we live.
    >>>>>>>>
    has he been listening to the brown queen ? :)


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    Ross

    I’ve been thinking about the Aussie situation lately ( I’m a Kiwi ). The tax is going to come in no matter what 75% of the population say , so nothing can happen until after the next election and assuming Abbott and co. win then nothing more will happen unless a double dissolution occurs or you wait until the next senate elections — 4yrs away. I think I’m right on that.(I’m assuming no by elections in the meantime , for any reason ) Given what’s been happening lately and what Brown in particular has been saying you are heading for a train wreck.
    Question — is the number of senate seats / state part of your constitution ? What’s required to change this as it seems to be at the heart of the problem at the moment. ( or am I being too dramatic ?)

    BTW — Given the Govt. is announcing the tax later this week or early next ( according to Milne on the news) why are they handing out the $250k’s to those with bright ideas on selling it to the public ??


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    Dave

    Any wonder the AGW group is not believed:

    severe storms, flooding, droughts, heat waves or extremely violent cyclones—becoming more common? The answer appears to be ‘yes’.

    http://www.aph.gov.au/library/pubs/climatechange/theclimate/moreextreme.htm

    RAINFALL will continue to decline in parts of southern Australia because storms have become less intense, researchers have found.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/lower-rainfall-as-storms-weaken/story-e6frg6nf-1226087273663

    “This makes it our wettest March to May period since 2003 when 672.8mm fell,” Tom Saunders, Meteorologist at The Weather Channel, said.

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/storms-and-flash-flooding-on-the-way/story-fn6b3v4f-1226065815964

    They just say what ever they want for attention – not interested in facts.


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    theRealUniverse

    @ Dave funny tonight on 7 the weather guy mentioned about record lows for QLD in several places. Of course no reasons are given but then that probably just left up to the journos to do!


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    Raven

    The Red Queen is set to announce a price on carbon this Sunday !
    Could some one tell me what this means , my between the line reader is broken
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Setting the scene for a week of intense debate on the government’s climate change response – which is yet to be fully detailed – the Prime Minister today returned to scientific arguments for putting a price on carbon.

    She called for a debate on the facts – those provided by scientists – but refused to provide further information on her own carbon tax plans.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/no-tax-on-fuel-but-greens-win-productivity-commission-inquiry/story-fn59niix-1226087466210
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    which scientists ?


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    Raven

    Surely she’s not looking for a way out , ” help me I’m being held hostage by a red and green monster called a brownstain ” ….. I can dream can’t I ?


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    Joe Lalonde

    Jo,

    That would mean that “educated idiots” are currently being produced by our current education system pushing the AGW.

    Mind you skeptics have put many a family member straight as to the propaganda that has been pushed through much of the media.


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    Joe V

    Ross @#56

    The Moonbat went similarly all pro-nuclear, in an attempt to re-habilitate himself with rational thinking from his Greenie past, but I’m not suggesting Lynas’s conversion is anything so disingenuous. It is hopefully another step in his true awakening.


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    RWTH

    Most people choose the group they want to be part of then assume the values of that group. It’s the social part of the brain, vanity satisfied, self image satisfied and absolutely no thinking required. In fact it’s difficult to get an individual to start thinking at all where their group is concerned… except perhaps when it comes to money. People think very clearly when it comes to money. As JG is finding out.


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    Raven

    This was a gem from meet the press on Sunday … I’ve translated the tricky bits , after repairing my between the lines reader :)

    >>>>>>>

    CELEBRATE Greens senator Lee Rhiannon’s arrival in Canberra with this gem from the Ten Network’s Meet The Press yesterday, as Hugh Riminton springboarded off our colleague Christian Kerr’s weekend article to quiz her about her past when she was a bit more hammer-and-sickle than hammer-and-tong:

    Rhiannon: “I’m quite proud of my history. I’ve always been very open about it.”( trans..at parties it was uber sheik to be a Red , besides no one in their right mind would elect me if they new of my affair with Moscow )

    Riminton: “If you’re proud of it, why isn’t it part of your official Senate biography?”

    Rhiannon: “Not everything is part of my official Senate biography. When I was young, I also worked at Regent Park Zoo.” (trans…. as a stand in for the orangutan , besides what the people don’t know won’t hurt them …yet)

    If nothing else, it’s the first time we’ve ever been able to picture polar bear dung and rampaging Soviet tanks in the same mental breath, and for this, we’re grateful.


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    1DandyTroll

    OMG! They used a population an unheard amount of 1500 instead of the proper climatological amount of two fish’s or two sediment samples or 13 trees. What’s the world coming to . . .

    And the gal of the people well versed in science to just see and point to errors instead of finding support for the error riddled research. If only they could fix the errors and bugs and mistakes than the faulty studies would be ok, right?

    Ha ha What weird the world has become when scientist only poke hole in hypothesis to test its integrity. That’s like sooo yesterday. :p


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    Joe V

    This study loses it in trying to relate these other aspects, (numeracy, scientific literacy & attitude to global warming) to ‘cultural’ values based on their flawed concept of individualism, hierarchical, egalitarian & communitarian & how they relate to each other. Had they just stuck to the first three it may have had some merit. But doesn’t everyone know that those that cann’t count are most easily misled, as the mere suggestion of a threat with no ability to get it in perspective by quantifying it, can readily induce fear & thereby overreaction. The financial industry makes bilious out of the innumeracy of those they sell insurance , mortgages etc to.


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    theRealUniverse

    Heres what Australia will join NZ into if it goes ahead with any ETS
    from NZ’s http://www.climateconversation.wordshine.co.nz/2011/07/clueless-cries-the-credulous-truffle-grubber/#more-10459


    But New Zealand is already doing far more than its fair share. [comment not opinion] We are:

    the only country in the entire world (outside Europe) to have ANY ETS
    the only country in the entire world to enact an ETS in the last seven years
    the only country in the entire world to include ALL sectors in an ETS
    the only country in the entire world to include ALL gases in an ETS
    That gives us four gold medals, in a field event we didn’t want to participate in. Why do we need a clutch of gold medals?

    So AU and NZ will be alone with it.


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    Raven

    More propaganda from one of the red dwarfs , …notice the comment on polls!
    >>>>>>>

    Carbon price announcement a relief Greens

    >>>>>>>>>

    Every opinion poll has shown the Australian people want action on climate change, Senator Milne said.
    >>>>>>>>>>

    Yes …mmmmmmm I see …. How many people … 5%…10%…. the green people ?..The pixies at the bottom of my garden …..

    http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/carbon-price-announcement-a-relief-greens/story-e6frfku0-1226087489338


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    stu

    Of course skeptics are smarter! Check out Gillard’s latest gaffe. She really can’t help herself!
    http://youtu.be/IComR2km74Y


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    [...] Nova keeps the kettle boiling. Skeptics are smarter, Dissing anti-Monkton propaganda on The Drum, Monkton replies to Megen Clement of [...]


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    Mervyn Sullivan

    Such surveys are unhelpful and meaningless. As we have seen in relation to many other issues, surveys can be easily designed to produce whatever result is desired. So let’s just move on from such nonsense!


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    Roy Hogue

    memoryvault @55,

    If memory serves, something like this was part of “Aviation Weather 101″ when I learned to fly.

    Neither does it take a PhD in Physics to offer a plausible hypothesis for the correlation. Extremes of weather are caused by the interaction of cold and hot air. The transition periods are when there exists the biggest differential between the two.

    …something about a cold layer above a warm layer, warm and cold fronts meeting each other… It wasn’t about transition periods. The bottom line was that it pays off to be able to interpret weather information and visible signs beyond the forecast you got from Flight Service before a flight. It didn’t seem very complicated once I went through it.

    I think they don’t hand out Nobel Prizes for making things less complicated though. It seems to go the other way. But maybe there’s hope. Gore and Obama both got theirs, so don’t give up just yet.


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    TrueNews

    @Raven #19

    Brilliant Link Mate.

    Everyone should look at this – it proves why we are more intelligent.

    I could hardly stop laughing Raven – TY.


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    TrueNews

    @Bulldust #28

    Monbiot – Who actually gives a toss what this myopic cretin thinks of Perth.

    He dosn’t live here – his tough luck.

    Maybe he would be happier if we seceeded – then he would have to re-evaluate Australia as a whole – he is a PLONKER.

    Monty Python – “Cardboard Box – Thou was lucky – We lived in a Matchbox…”.


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    TrueNews

    @MattB #37
    “#27 – Bulldust lives in an apartment = Perth is not a sprawling city. Lol.”

    I have stuck up for you in the past MattB as being a fair and rational person.

    I wonder now why I did that.

    It appears that you are on the same intellectual level as Monbiot or Garnaut.

    Does it feel good to be a Pygmie ?


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    TrueNews

    @MattB #47
    “But make up your mind is Monbiot wrong about perth sprawling”

    Reference – ‘Public Transport’ systems, in London, and comparably in Melbourne, before you get on your ‘Hobby Horse’ MattB.

    You know the old axiom – apples with apples (Or carbon price with carbon tax price)


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    TrueNews

    @MattB #47 – addendum
    “…on your basic issue of “time of commute” …Perth’s sprawl is unsustainable. It uses a lot of fuel. … It breeds bogans and rednecks*.”

    MattB are you a CRETIN in TRAINING
    (I refer to your above statement – and answer it accordingly)

    “Time to Commute”: = Better than any other Major City in mainland Australia, from any suburb to any suburb.

    “Fuel Use”: = Obviously below the norm, given the lack of any serious traffic issues as experienced in other major Australian cities.

    “It breeds bogans”: = Not like ‘Altona’ it doesn’t.


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    elsie

    Have to agree with Raven: July 4th, comment 41
    Yes, Julia made that comment which surprised me. As far as I know neither the IPCC or even extreme warmists continue with such old, out of date, alarmist predictions. I think even Gore and Hansen would backpedal fast away from such doomsayers statements. But, as usual, the MSM misses a chance to challenge such nonsense and meekly tug the forelock when interviewing (if it can be called that) on such occasions.


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    DirkH

    Mooney: “This is bad, bad news for anyone who thinks that better math and science education will help us solve our problems on climate change.”

    So what the warmists need are dumber masses. The slow way to accomplish that is by lowering the education standard; the fast way has been tried in Cambodia. Hmmm…. Wasn’t the problem urgent and the stakes high?…


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    Damian Allen

    Reasons Why I Voted for Bob Brown & the Greens

    I voted Green because I believe oil companies profits of 4% on a litre of petrol are obscene, but my government taxing the same litre of petrol at 27.5% isn’t.

    I voted Green because I believe my government will do a better job of spending the money you earn than you would.

    I voted Green because Freedom of Speech is fine as long as nobody is offended by it.

    I voted Green because I believe that people who can’t tell us if it will rain on Friday can tell us that the polar ice caps will melt away in ten years if I don’t start driving a Prius.
    I voted Green because I think illegal immigrants have a right to free housing, health care, education, and welfare benefits – and the right to change our society to suit their cultural demands .

    I voted Green because I believe that business should not be allowed to make profits for themselves. They need to break even and give the rest away to my government for redistribution as the Greens see fit.

    I voted Green because I believe ‘enlightened progressive’ judges need to rewrite the Constitution every few days to suit some fringe kooks who would never get their agendas past the voters.

    I voted Green because I think that it’s better to pay billions to people who hate us for their oil, but not drill our own because it might upset some endangered beetle or frog.

    I voted Green because I want to convert Australia to a ‘carbon neutral green economy’ to create jobs – even after Spain has proven the green economy destroys three times as many jobs as it creates and leads to 20 percent unemployment.

    I voted Green because my head is so firmly planted up my **** it’s unlikely that I’ll ever see another point of view.


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    Damian Allen

    Meet New Zealand’s ETS: costly, corrupted and useless

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/meet_new_zealands_ets_costly_corrupted_and_useless/

    Alan Jones talks to Rodney Hyde – New Zealand MP on the impact of an ETS…..

    http://www.2gb.com/podcasts/alanjones/alanjoneshyde120810.mp3

    The Greens == The Watermelons – green on the outside, RED ON THE INSIDE!

    COMMUNISTS.


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    Raven

    Interesting developments from the world of education or brainwashing depending on where you sit .
    >>>>>>>>

    THE national union representing 68,000 non-government school workers has split from the ACTU, accusing the peak union body of being captive to an “extreme” Greens agenda and not having a credible education policy.
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/schools-union-splits-from-actu/story-e6frg6n6-1226087568153
    >>>>>>>>>>>


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    Damian Allen

    One of our family attends a Catholic High School.
    I was shocked and angered when I found the Environmental Brainwashing and Propaganda the teachers there were promoting to gullible impressionable minds !

    http://www.catholicearthcare.org.au/

    Earth Worship is not part of our faith !

    Jesus would certainly not approve of the BASTARDIZATION of his teachings due to a HUMAN agenda of corruption and totalitarianism.

    Clearly this organization is NOT Catholic in any shape or form!


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    Raven

    This little girl is very wet behind the ears !
    >>>>>>>>>>
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/steel-town-could-thrive-without-steelworks-says-sarah-hanson-young/story-fn59niix-1226087508211
    >>>>>>>>>
    We must look at bringing this to more people’s attention ,
    Chatting to friends in America with political connections ,interesting to note and I guess a veiled warning ,
    >>>>>>
    ” the United states has an interest in countries where we see the democratic process failing , what is happening down under is of great concern to *********** and we shall be advising the Obama administration to what action we feel must be taken ….”
    >>>>>>>>

    Me thinks the Red Queen is stepping on toes ……..anyone for a whitlam. :) :) ;)


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    Raven

    From above
    >>>>>>>
    “It’s not going to have a rash type of impact on people, it’s going to be able to set some signals there to try and drive some proper investment.

    “Whyalla and that whole area along that peninsula is one of the best places for wind energy in this country, and one of the best places in the world.

    “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could start to get some real investment dollars into that industry if people in Whyalla needed to have other avenues?
    >>>>>>>>
    old two hats or two heads or two faces show us just what were in for .
    I thought you would at least require a secondary education to sit in government !
    Hanson – young … Proves me wrong . Wouldnt it be wonderful if our government wasn’t being run by COMMUNISTS ..hello …hello ..Governor general ..if you don’t do something soon you are setting the stage for a revolution in our great country, no one and I repeat no one is going to stand around while they are robbed blind by a gaggle of commy wealth redistribution enviro nuts …ELECTION NOW!!!


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    Andrew Barnham

    Commenting on the paper itself. It builds a few different multivariate models from survey results. The results are not what the authors expect so they go on so they engage in about 15 pages worth of magicians hand waving in order to reconcile their prejudices (with respect, there are a number of comments on this thread that do the same thing). Their hand waving is flawed because it makes assumptions; namely that quality/quantity of CAGW evidence is sufficient to allow and individual to construct an un-prejudiced risk assessment.

    The key empirical takeaways from the paper:
    a) a modest trend correlation between literacy and scepticism overall
    b) a strong trend correlation between what the paper calls “individualism, hierarchical, egalitarian & communitarian” and scepticism
    c) a multivariate model that separates communitarian folk from individualism folk. For communitarians the more literate they are the more they believe in CAGW, for the individualist’s the more literate they are the more sceptical they are. (again a modest trend)

    c) is interesting and confounding. What can it possibly mean? It seems to indeed imply that people’s risk assessments are indeed massively influenced by their social/political values; but this would imply that none of our decision making on any topic is based on analysis of evidence; a startling claim which is easily falsified in individual cases at least. Here is my hand waving speculative exercise: there exists a threshold level of empirical evidence needed to make a rational evidence based assessment, and until that threshold is reached, a persons social/political prejudice hold sway. But then again, my own hand waving is probably only voicing my own prejudice; and in no way shines light on the confounding results for c).

    Further on c), the model for safety of nuclear power shows that more literate someone is the less risky they think nuclear power is; irrespective of this business of classification of “individualism, hierarchical, egalitarian & communitarian” (but the communitarian’s asses risk higher than indvidualists, but they both trend down as literacy increases). So nuclear trending is differnet to CAGW assessment. Obvious question is why? The researchers fail to zero in on this; so low marks for them because of this oversight. I think my handwaving provides a reasonable explanation : nuclear power is well understood, whereas CAGW is not.


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    Bulldust

    MattB:

    Last word from me on this topic because I bore or your approach. Try debating what I said, not what you assume I said for your convenience in a futile attempt to save face and/or score debating points. For homework tonight (yes, Lord Monckton must be rubbing off on me after last night) look up “Strawman Argument” and have a good read.


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    Andrew Barnham

    An obvious thing about difference between nuclear and CAGW that initially evaded me, and supports notion that social/political prejudices are indeed more powerful than I would credit them. Nuclear is simply an issue of energy generation and does not invoke any massive restructuring of our civilisation; whereas CAGW and CAGW mitigation, at this present time at least due to logistical difficulty in bringing currently available alternative energy substitutes into play, demands significant restructuring of our civilization.

    Reminds me of this:
    “TOWNSEND: I was making a speech to nearly 200 really hard core, deep environmentalists and I played a little thought game on them. I said imagine I am the carbon fairy and I wave a magic wand. We can get rid of all the carbon in the atmosphere, take it down to two hundred fifty parts per million and I will ensure with my little magic wand that we do not go above two degrees of global warming. However, by waving my magic wand I will be interfering with the laws of physics not with people – they will be as selfish, they will be as desiring of status. The cars will get bigger, the houses will get bigger, the planes will fly all over the place but there will be no climate change. And I asked them, would you ask the fairy to wave its magic wand? And about 2 people of the 200 raised their hands.”


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    [...] joannenova: Umfrage zeigt: Skeptiker sind klüger [...]


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    Bulldust: MattB is obviously clueless. The biosphere depends on the energy input from the sun. This will eventually change in such a way as to eliminate the biosphere. Definitely not sustainable.

    There may be other problems too such as plants sequestering CO2 and eventually being left just hanging on in a CO2 deprived environment. Or a nearby (within a couple of hundred lightyears) supernova. “Close” counts in nuclear weapons and supernovae.
    If Earth’s biosphere or representatives thereof are to survive long term we’re going to have to do it and move to a more salubrious neighbourhood.

    In the meantime it is obvious that according to the likes of MattB we should try to change Australian cities so they approach the ideal city environment of Calcutta.


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    Raven: The correct political term for Sarah Hansen-Dumb and her ilk is CO2mmunists.


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    wes george

    BAH HA HA HA!

    Too Rich. Must. Bookmark. Now.

    Sorry, a bit late to the party. But this is hilarious. If Jo Nova had posted a survey showing that skeptics are smarter than self-loathing Alarmists curled in the fetal position awaiting the End Times, I’d be unimpressed. BUT NO, a pothead over at DeBong posted the survey as evidence that science literacy is killing Mother Earth!

    BAH HA HA HA HA!

    Well, I guess Chris Moonie proves the survey correct. Ignorance is bliss!

    ROTFL


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    Ross

    memoryvault @ 56

    Your comments are timely. NZ has just had its third warmest June on record.( 1.5C above the 1971-2000 average). But guess when the warmest June were ? 1971 and 1909. So again we have an unusual weather/climate event that mirrors an event in the early 1970′s –just like the Qland floods and the last time they opened the flood gates on the lower Missisippi R. and few others.


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    Damian Allen

    Maybe “Mattb” and his ilk should move to Calcutta and see hou much they enjoy living there………..


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    Raven

    Are 7 & 9 skeptics or just capitalists…

    It should be interesting to see what happens at channel 10 after 7 & 9 rejected the red queens kind offer  to do a Goebbels on  Sunday night  … Thank goodness for that ….note the government propaganda ministry has said it will record the drivel , then make it available for those who wish to use it . The ABC should be choked on their own sh.. !!!

    I can’t find the link at the moment , sorry


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    Raven

    GREENS senator Sarah Hanson-Young believes the South Australian steel town of Whyalla can transform itself into a hub of wind energy if Julia Gillard’s carbon tax forced manufacturer OneSteel to close its operations.

    HOW ? is she going to move there ! How much do we get for WIND , what is it’s current price on the commodities market ?
    SARAH -HANSON DUMB GO HOME , PLAYTIME IS OVER !


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    Raven

    Do you ever get the feeling people could be laughing at us ?
    >>>>>>>>>>>

    Scientists outraged over Australia’s cull plans for farting camels
    http://www.news.com.au/world/outrage-over-cull-of-farting-camels/story-e6frfkyi-1226087808089
    >>>>>>>>>>
    I do .


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    Ted Middleton

    I think I am coming in here at the end of a very long thread so maybe not too many bloggers will get to read this.

    However I don’t think the issue is more or les smart it’s the sort of smart. Reading the comments on this thread it appears that most of you are lateral thinkers.

    I’m a lateral thinker. I categorise linear thinkers as regurgitators and extrapolaters. That is those who can regurgitate what they have read, heard, or were taught at university; and can extrapolate from it in a (generally mindless) and linear manner.

    But don’t knock them. They have better memories, better concentration spans and can enter data better than any lateral thinkers. It’s just that they couldn’t have an original thought of their own if it would save their life.

    Another outcome of being a linear thinker is that they just can’t understand that there are people out there who can actually think for themselves. It is simply foreign to them.

    We skeptics (lateral thinkers) can understand them, but don’t live in hopes of them understanding us; it’ll never happen. You have to be able to think to do that.


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    Raven

    Ted@ 105
    It seems incredible that amongst all those MPs, there would not seem one of that Mind with a conscience , what are the odds. Mmmmmmmm ….instead we have a parliament full of sharks and jelly fish! , it’s really not too far for one to slither to the other side.


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    MaxL

    Ted@105
    Nice to meet another de Bono fan.
    Interesting association; sceptics and lateral thinkers.
    I’d be interested to see survey results testing this hypothesis. Do you know of any?


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    Len

    de Bono was a member of the (British) Intelligence Corps. All the former members of the Australian Intelligence Corps that I know do not believe in the CAGW. They believe it is complete BS.


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    Reed Coray

    MattB:
    July 4th, 2011 at 5:44 pm (#49)
    On the contrary Mike I think the entire biosphere is completely sustainable. It will be humming along nicely long after humans have left the building.

    Isn’t that the goal of the “humankind is evil” movement? And if so, shouldn’t you be happy?


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    Raven

    Question …is the Canbera times a type of newspaper …..?


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    Raven

    Well ..I can certainly see where all the green jobs will be created …would anyone concur with that ..
    >>>>>>>>>

    THE CO2 tax that Prime Minister Julia Gillard reveals this Sunday will represent the defining political strategy of her career. To this point, it has been a strategy marked by a distinct lack of public warmth.

    Polls across all states have recorded no great affection for the tax, which presents the Prime Minister with an extraordinary personal challenge.

    In order to revive her own political fortunes and build a future for her party, Ms Gillard must turn this tax into a positive vote-earner.

    This might be the hardest challenge any politician has set themselves in the past 40 years.

    Beyond that, the challenges will all be ours.

    While general argument to date has been over the mandate, implementation and scale of the tax, we should also consider the vast and expensive bureaucracy that will eventually be required to run it.

    >>>>>>>
    from the telegraph .


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    Raven

    I wonder why their being so quiet ? 68,000 members is no small amount to lose, and just because the non government schools don’t want a green agenda …..I suppose if they squeal too loudly someone might pay attention , then start asking awkward questions of the govt….
    >>>>>>>>>
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/union-split-actu-chief-jeff-lawrence-blamed/story-fn59niix-1226088433767

    ACTU secretary Jeff Lawrence has been sharply criticised by union leaders as the decision by the national union representing non-government school staff to split from the ACTU ignited tensions across the labour movement about the performance of the peak union body.

    Mr Lawrence came under fire from key union leaders yesterday for failing to stop the Independent Education Union of Australia from disaffiliating from the ACTU over the union’s concerns that Mr Lawrence was captive to a Greens agenda and discriminating against members in Catholic and private schools.
    >>>>>>>>>>>

    What does captive mean ……what is a greens agenda ….. mmmmmmmm


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    David, UK

    “It’s funny how this high-level intellectual firepower is always used in service of debunking — rather than affirming or improving — mainstream science.”

    Wow. Is Mooney being deliberately ironic there by showing how stupid and ignorant he – a Believer – is? You see Chris, the sceptics (i.e. the apparently intelligent, educated ones) know too well that it is through falsification and debunking that science is strengthened, and that the very process of falsification actually reaffirms and improves the science. The good science, that is. Where sceptics do their work, the bad science gets tossed out and the good science survives. THAT’S HOW REAL SCIENCE WORKS, STUPID.

    Conversely, the Believers are apparently dedicated to reaffirming “mainstream science”. So while sceptics may be “smarter,” it seems Believers are certainly nothing if not useful.

    Idiots.


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    My detailed criticism of the assumption that anthropogenic CO2 is the major contributor to warming is at http://earth-climate.com

    Firstly, my key point regarding current trends from 1 Jan 2003 to 1 July 2011 as per NASA “sea surface” satellite measurements (the only years that can be plotted on their site) is that there is now a very regular pattern obviously related to the Earth’s orbits each year. The statistical probability that this regular pattern is random noise below an increasing trend comparable with that prior to 1998 is absolutely infinitesimal, so the “excuse” that it is just random noise simply does not hold for these last eight and a half (8.5) years. Now, if you calculate a 12 month running mean each 6 months (taking into account every day) you will find that a linear trend for those annual values is slightly negative. In fact a curved trend passing through a maximum fits better, but I won’t argue the toss on that. What I am saying is that, if CO2 were causing an underlying linear upward trend and no other valid physical explanation can be put forward as a REASON for (in effect) an upside down hockey stick now being observed, then you cannot validate that the data (right up to July 2011, not just 2010) has merely exhibited a random variation, because the REGULAR ANNUAL PATTERN seen here http://earth-climate.com/all-2003-2011.jpg could not happen at random with any reasonable probability. The regularity (caused by the Earth’s orbit as it passes other planets) proves that the underlying trend since 2003 is in fact what it appears to be – namely a slightly declining trend and certainly not one with a positive gradient anything remotely like the IPCC guesses.

    The key points relating to molecular physics (explaining why CO2 has had no noticeable effect) are in bolded paragraphs copied below and I eagerly await your attempt to refute such.

    The distance of the Earth from the sun currently varies by about 3.25% as the Earth follows its annual orbit. This means the radiation reaching the Earth should vary by about 6.6% over half a year. There are in fact consistent variations each year as shown here but these are only about 0.65 degrees and are not random noise. Hence the sun seems to be contributing only about 10 degrees out of the 294 degrees that the ground level temperatures have been raised above absolute zero which is about -273 deg.C. So the sun’s solar radiation is not the main cause of variations in temperature – instead over 96% of the heat must come through the surface of the crust or be generated by friction due to tides caused by gravity in the atmosphere itself.

    Air molecules (mostly nitrogen and oxygen) collide with molecules at the surface of the crust (or on top of the ocean) and gain heat (extra kinetic energy) in the process. They then rise by convection making space for cooler molecules to collide with the surface and repeat the process until equilibrium is achieved. The vast majority of the warming from absolute zero takes place this way, going from 0 deg.K to more than 280 deg.K with the process working on cloudy days and also at night. During the day some extra molecules get warmed by collisions with photons radiated by the sun. Most of these are water vapour, but about 1 in every 2,500 molecules in the air is a carbon dioxide molecule. Over the course of a year, the mean additional warming due to such photons is only about 10 degrees (as discussed above) and most of these photons (on a cloudless day) hit the surface and warm it. The warmer surface then starts warming the air by the processes above, but just a few extra photons are radiated back up again. So, even if one carbon dioxide molecule is warmed by a photon, how much effect is that going to have on the other 2,499 molecules in its vicinity or, in other words, how much is it going to raise the average temperature of all the 2,500 molecules? How much effect will it have on the above 10 degrees of warming we can attribute to the sun’s radiation? Very, very little I would suggest. In fact, as you cannot alter the number of photons (and thus the total energy) coming from the sun, all that will happen with additional carbon dioxide is that this very minute warming will occur at slightly lower altitudes than it would otherwise have. But even so, the warmer air will then rise by convection sooner than it would have with less carbon dioxide.


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    Reinder van Til

    With this post I want to introduce myself and to express my gratitude for the work done by Joanne Nova. Thank you Joanna for all the energy you put into this. I am a male from Belgium, almost 48 years old. I was born in The Netherlands 1965 but moved to Belgium in 2004.

    I am glad to read this. I am an amateur meteorologist and amateur astronomer from Belgium. I have been interested in these two branches of science for decades. I have read a lot about it too. Of course I have my own telescope. At first when this climate change hype began I also had the wave of joining the alarmists. But soon, after checking and double checking my own knowledge about how weather works my gut told me otherwise. CO2 can never cause drastic climate change. It is watervapour, sun activity and aerosols which determine our climate with CO2 only a minimal role and human related CO2 is only 10% of the total amount of C02 in the atmosphere anyway. I am happy that according to the smogblog I can think for myself. Thanks for the compliments.


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