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Facebook study: Climate Believers have more “friends” (Skeptics think for themselves)

Many psychologists are looking at “political ideology” as a predictor of belief in the theory of man-made climate disasters, but I’m convinced it’s the more basic element of personality types that matters more. A new study shows (no surprise) that climate believers are more networked in the Facebook world.

In the press release, the researcher, Juha Itkonen, calls these Facebook connections “friends” as if the terms facebook-friend and friend are interchangeable. Mark Zuckerberg would be happy.  Extroverts on Facebook might also agree, but I’d bet the introvert types would not. Sometimes fewer relationships means deeper ones.

Perhaps extroverts are more likely to be group-thinkers, and introverts are more likely to have some inbuilt immunity to mob thought? No doubt it will be reported with the usual shallow semi-narcissistic flare “climate deniers have fewer friends”. So sharpen your pencils, smile, and remind everyone that skeptics have better things to do than spend all day on social media, that Facebook friends are not always real friends, and that having fewer deeper friends would suit people who are deeper thinkers.

 

Climate change attitudes are reflected on social networks

11 May 2015 Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki)

People who believe in climate change have more Facebook friends than those who do not consider climate change a problem. Juha Itkonen’s dissertation in economics shows that values and social networks are linked to opinions about climate change.

Studies which examine the relationship between carbon emissions and economic growth contain methodological flaws, and consequently underestimate the need for climate policy. Meanwhile, conflicting opinions on climate change remain fixed, as social networks keep advocates and opponents separate.

These are just some of the results of Juha Itkonen’s dissertation, examined on 8 May at the University of Helsinki, which considers the economics of climate change from the perspective of networks as well as climate change as a market failure.

Any thesis which uses namecalling with poorly defined and insulting terms like the imaginary “climate change deniers” (who don’t deny the climate changes) is hardly on the path to higher knowledge.

Climate change deniers have fewer friends

Itkonen was also interested in the reasons why different groups of people have espoused such radically different opinions despite scientific consensus. To answer this question, a Facebook application was created to survey public opinion and network data about the Facebook friends of its participants. More than 5,000 Finnish Facebook users were surveyed.

The respondents had an average of 262 friends, many of whom shared their opinions. Respondents who did not consider climate change a problem had fewer friends. The structures of social networks contribute to the slow speed of changing opinions.

“The opinion about climate change is not born out of facts and reason alone. Values and social networks also have an impact,” Itkonen points out.

Itkonen says messages don’t travel well in a polarized medium:

Differences in opinion slow down the transfer of information. When communicating scientific findings, polarised opinions in the social network reduce the network’s ability to transmit the message.

I say namecalling does not engender useful conversations. Perhaps Itkonen could try using accurate language instead?

This next paragraph followed straight from the last quote but is a non-sequitur. It is not “polarising” to talk about a problem and a solution in the same conversation.

“For example, talking about carbon taxation in conjunction with scientific research may encourage the audience to question the science as well if the social environment has negative views about taxes.”

The communication rules for climate science communicators are becoming too tricky by half, as they deal with selling a bizarre fantasy that windmills can stop the ocean acidifying while solar panels can hold back the tide.

MSocSc Juha Itkonen defended his doctoral dissertation Essays on the economics of climate change and networks last week at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Helsinki. The dissertation is in the field of economics.

For what it’s worth, I’m an extrovert type to the end, which is probably why I once thought the Greens were a party that cared about the environment. The good news is that there is something more important than personality type, and that’s evidence. If the hot spot is missing, the models are broken, and the experts don’t know the cause of the pause — even extraverts can figure out what that means. ;-)

A more important predictor of belief versus skepticism is logic. Some people are rational, and some (bless them) count their friends on Facebook.

To the other extrovert types who are skeptics I say: we need you. Spread the word!

 

UPDATE: Ruairi:

Peer pressure and peer-pal review,
Shapes much of the warmist world-view,
Then in groups it’s assumed,
That the climate is doomed,
Which skeptics know well is untrue.

 

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224 comments to Facebook study: Climate Believers have more “friends” (Skeptics think for themselves)

  • #
    Kevin Lohse

    Extrovert (Psychology). A person predominantly concerned with external things or objective considerations
    Introvert (Psychology). A person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than external things

    Looks like the bedwetters have been redefining terms to suit themselves as in common usage, extrovert= outgoing, popular person and introvert means shy and retiring type. Someone who has lots of “friends” on FB could just as well be seeking crowd approval and therefore sensitive to the slightest criticism, a sitting target for the Climate Nazis. An extrovert, on the other hand, being the outward-looking type, is more likely to make up his or her own mind on a subject, needs less peer approval and is therefore more immune to peer pressure.
    It’s not the first time the forces of Darkness have taken the Humpty-Dumpty approach to words.

    Or am I missing something?

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    • #
      James Bradley

      Dunno, Kevin,

      I never been on facebook, I just don’t feel the need to join a virtual lynch mob.

      360

      • #
        DWP

        Speaking of virtual lynch mobs; although I agree wholeheartedly with those who are skeptical of AGW, the comments at joannenova.com also seem like a virtual lynch mob sometimes. Anyone who comes here with an alternative viewpoint and states their case honestly and respectfully should not receive any down votes, let alone 20 of them. It seems quite silly. Encourage discussion whenever possible.

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        • #
          Greg Cavanagh

          The challenge is; those with a different view just state that they have a different view, and that skeptics are all wrong.

          That is not “stating their case honestly”. I have yet to see a single instance where a AGW believer has put forward a case.

          Perhaps you believe that you have put forward a case, I don’t know. Usually it’s all “your wrong, everybody knows it’s true, how could you be so stupid”.

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        • #
          OriginalSteve

          DWP , how sceptics work is scientific evidence based.

          If someone comes witha theory, most sceptics will consider the theory, look atthe facts, and make a descision.

          If the theory is backed by evidence, it should be accepted. Thats fair and reasonable.

          What others have alluded to here is that most warmists we have seen posting here, when asked to provide the facts and evidence to their claims, they usually dont provide it, and in quite a few cases, resort to unsportsman-like behaviour and start playing the man, not the ball by mounting personal attacks. Naturally, we cant take people like that seriously as they have made no attempt to back up their claims.

          I think this blog is quite an understaning and tolerant place.

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          • #
            Tristan

            Haha. I get the funniest downvotes sometimes.

            I think blogs which discourage ‘dogpiling’ tend to result in more varied participants. Ditto ad homs.

            16

            • #
              Just-A-Guy

              Tristan,

              You said:

              I think blogs which discourage ‘dogpiling’ tend to result in more varied participants. Ditto ad homs.

              Self-contradiction. In a society where free thought is valued and encouraged, every member of that society has an equal right to present their views. What you call ‘dogpiling’ is nothing more than the expression of that right by any and all who wish to exercise it.

              Your use of the term ‘dogpiling’ is an ad-hom in and of itself. It characterizes people’s right to freedom of expression as a negative act. The implication of that usage, in this context, paints people as intentionally trying to suffocate the views of the one being ‘dogpiled’.

              You say that ad-homs should be avoided, but you fail to heed your own advice.

              By the way, an ad-hominem attack is classified as a type of red-herring. Focusing on something other than the issue at hand. The straw-man fallacy, as well as some others, are similarly classified. Obfuscation by way of diversion.

              The thing that I find frustrationg and disturbing is, as others have mentioned in their earlier comments, that the vast majority of CAGW adherents that come here supposedly to discuss and debate the substance of the issues in the climate change controversy, wind up using, liberally I might add, any and all of the informal logical fallacies at their disposal. I sometimes wonder if they’re even aware of the flaws in their failed attempts to rationally engage with the others here on Jo’s blog.

              Lastly, go to any of the pro-CAGW web-sites and try to engage them with rational discourse. See where that get’s you.

              Abe

              00

              • #
                Tristan

                I’m not talking about rights. I’m talking about pragmatic measures to facilitate varied engagement. If it’s 10 v 1 every time an alternative view is posted, it discourages many individuals from continuing.

                Besides which, there are no ‘rights’ to express yourself in any given blog. Blog owners can moderate as they see fit, though if they facilitate illegal activity they can be charged.

                Where did I ad-hom?

                The thing that I find frustrationg and disturbing is, as others have mentioned in their earlier comments, that the vast majority of CAGW adherents that come here supposedly to discuss and debate the substance of the issues in the climate change controversy, wind up using, liberally I might add, any and all of the informal logical fallacies at their disposal. I sometimes wonder if they’re even aware of the flaws in their failed attempts to rationally engage with the others here on Jo’s blog.

                It’s interesting that I feel exactly the same way, but from the other side.

                00

        • #
          Raven

          DWP,
          I agree and you have outlined you’re thoughts quite reasonably. That should be the norm so that a civil discussion could take place.
          At time of writing you have two up-votes and eight down-votes. One of the up-votes was mine.

          However, as Greg Cavanagh points out, most of these guys aren’t reasonable and either don’t have a point, don’t want to properly discuss it or are seemingly just bent on slinging insults.

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        • #
          James Bradley

          Hi, DWP,

          I’ve found the red thumb votes are not normally given for the alternative view, but for the abusive and ad hom attacks that sometimes accompany them.

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          • #
            DWP

            Unfortunately, I’ve been reading this blog for a bit and that’s not always the case. Down votes are given to anyone who disagrees. It creates an echo chamber here, not much different than the believers in the cult of AGW create on their blogs. However, at least Jo allows dissent here, so that’s an improvement over what you might find at Mike Mann’s place or such.

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            • #
              Hugh

              Unfortunately DWP is right, and the funny downvotes proves it pretty well.

              Facebook is a piece of crap which draws people interested in social games. Those are not the people who are good in science. There are zillions of very concerned people who can’t tell the difference between a Kelvin and a Fahrenheit. Should I join their concern or just let them play?

              20

        • #

          DWP,

          You complain about a lynch mogyeast be grateful thatt your whiney asinine comment got published. You need to repeat 100 times, three times a day, ” I am not a victim.” Whenever anyone asks you how you are doing say, “Great, things keep getting better, thanks for asking!” The next time you feel sorry for yourself find someone that has it worse than you and do something nice for them. Lastly, when you to sleep be grateful for the day you had and if you wake up the next morning be grateful for another one.

          You drift towards your most dominant thought, the choice is yours.

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        • #
          GMac

          So far 15 downers,by tonight you may get your aimed for 20.

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        • #

          Why is it anyone cares about up and down votes? Ignore the thumbs—you said what you wanted to say. That’s all you can do.

          10

        • #
          Just-A-Guy

          DWP,

          The ‘thumbs’ here are basically a guage of whether people reading the comments either agree or disagree with the comment. In an ideal world, each person clicking on one of the thumbs would also make a comment of their own to support their view.

          Many times, the view of the ‘voter’ has already been expressed by someone else, and so a vote is enough.

          What happens all too often is that a red thumb is clicked but no comment is presented explaining why they voted the comment down. That’s silly and childish.

          But that isn’t the reason why I almost gave you a green and decided instead to vote red.

          To agree or disagree with a particular view is part of who we are as a species. That’s why in some societies voting is encouraged. (In theory, of course.)

          And then there’s Voltaire.

          And even if someone presents their case honestly and respectfully, I don’t have to agree with it. The form of presentation is not at issue here, it’s the substance that’s matters. When I find that the substance of a particular comment is flawed, I can and will vote in disagreement.

          Nothing personal, that’s just me.

          So my conclusion is that clicking on those buttons is not silly at all. Clicking on them without presenting your reasons for doing so, when and where appropriate, is what’s silly. Cowardly, even.

          Abe

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      • #
        Aaron M

        Agreed.

        You just can’t beat the feelin’ of a real pitchfork at sundown.

        10

      • #
        aussieguy

        Well, let’s speak their language, shall we?

        Climate Believers
        => Form “Collectives” which they call ‘friends’, who rely on “Consensus” as part of science, and believe the problem is a “Social Issue”.

        (The last part is why they get their ivory tower academics to do “research” and to explain why people are resisting their nonsense).



        Side note:

        They’re getting pretty desperate, if they’re resorting to contacts on Facebook as their metric! Seriously, look how far they have skewed away from science of climate!

        10

      • #
        Bill

        Who uses faceplant? Mostly fools who simply have never had any ability to form a coherent thought for themselves.

        00

    • #
      Just-A-Guy

      Kevin Lohse,

      O/T Finally a lead in to the Remake of a Nursery Rhyme I composed a while ago.

      In view of the climate change promoters’ need to employ lawyers, communicators(cf.Yale Project on Climate Communication and Dan Kahan) organizers(cf. Figueres) and other assorted ‘men of renown’(cf. The Royal Society) etc. rather than scientists to peddle their fairy tale, I wrote this little diddy:

      Klimate KaDumpty sat on a wall.
      Klimate KaDumpty had a great fall.
      Neither Kings Lawyers,
      nor Royal Soc men,
      could put old KaDumpty together again.

      I want to thank Ruairi. The daily limericks had a lot to do with the inspiration for Klimate KaDumpty.

      Abe
      PS To get an idea of just how long this has been sitting on my desktop, it was written when Jo did her story on the Royal Society. :o

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      • #
        Just-A-Guy

        OOPS!

        Forgot the first paragraph.

        Science does not require the use of lawyers to present it’s case. Science does not require a concensus of important men to vote on it’s validity. Rational thought is all that’s needed to convey any scientific discovery, and the scientific method is the only rational framework required to decide on the veracity of that discovery. When we see that the climate change hypothesis requires lawyers in order to explain it, there must be something wrong with it. When men of renown are necessary to throw their weight behind the climate change hypothesis, there must be something wrong with it.

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        • #
          Robert O

          The AGW hypothesis has brought two totally unscientific concepts to the argument: a. consensus of like-minded folk, Flannery, Karoly & Co.; and b. the precautionary principle, e.g. the member for Wentworth. Thus, if one comes up with results that do not support the hypothesis that the globe is warming, one can fall back on one of these. Whereas true science is based on evidence, not conjecture, as there is a history of thousands of failed hypotheses: The real question is how long before the AGW hypothesis joins them as it is still being propped-up by the media, governments, economists and generally vested interest?

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          • #
            OriginalSteve

            I have trouble with the precautionary principle. Its fine when building a bridge to slightly over engineer things to provide a factor of safety. The precautionary principle in the CAGW space is “lets not build bridges in case they fall down and consume energy” – which is complete nonsense of course, and flies int he face of encoarging any form of human endeavour or outward looking.

            Ironically, the CAGW mob are flat earthers – the very thing they accuse sceptics of. But at least we recognise CAGW is driven by politics, not science.

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        • #
          GMac

          When Einstein was told of the publication of a book entitled, ’100 Authors Against Einstein’, he replied: “Why one hundred? If I were wrong, one would have been enough.

          Which is where the entire debate about CAGW falls down,if there was a case why are the various world’s Meteorology bodies falsifying the data?
          Why do they try and hide the various past instances of a warmer/colder planet?

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    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      Like misfits since Adam, changing the language is a key plank in their MO.

      71

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Yeah but who takes farcebook seriously anyway?

      90

    • #
      ATheoK

      Introvert here.

      Facebook advocates believe numbers trump all. It doesn’t matter whether any of them are actually ‘friends’, just that to casual observers, the numbers superficially count as friends.
      Only a wazoo wants to know the piddling details of people’s personal postings.

      The same or similar goes for twitting where people are solicited to sign up as ‘followers’. Just what everyone needs, more streams of useless information.

      Using Facebook and Facebook ‘friended’ for research is pseudo science.
      Where are the controls?
      How are any of the results verified?

      Typical alarmist climate pseudo science.

      151

      • #
        Just-A-Guy

        ATheoK,

        Where are the controls?

        Your question implies a ‘control group’.

        This is the critical flaw in any study of this type. (Dan Kahan, this means you!) ;)

        Without a control group, there’s no way to verify falsify the results because the control group is the foundation for the formulation of the null hypothesis. Without a null hypothesis, there’s no posibily of falsification making these studies nothing more than conjectures. Or, more precisely, pseudo-science.

        Abe

        50

    • #
      Bulldust

      One of the biggest issues with building an hypothesis based on Facebook “friends” is that the definition is shonky from the get go. Friends should be substituted with “contacts.” Based on my observations (I barely use Facebook, and sporadiacally at best) many people have contacts which are seeded from Facebook games by the likes of Zynga (think Farmville etc). A large number of Facebook “friends” is more likely a sign of someone who spends more time in such games and/or is inclined towards virtual narcissism. You know, the type that spends a few hours a week taking selfies.

      There is a lot more to be said about the weaker mindset of those that seek validation of sameness with the crowd on issues that are politically correct. Sounds like this sociology (not economic) thesis needs much further work. NOt surprising, however, that it came from a scandinavian country.

      40

    • #

      Psychology Today has a somewhat better explanation: https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/introversion

      There is a definite push toward cookie-cutter people who all think alike. Social media certainly helps with that. Witness cyber-bullying, that has an effect even when one can just shut the computer off and not actually see it anymore (unlike physically present bullies). However, had the researcher (and I use that term loosely) gone to skeptic sites and looked at the social interaction, he would have found skeptics are not at all lacking in interaction over the internet. It would have seriously damaged his preconceived notions and he probably would not have gotten the dissertation approved, but at least he would have been a bit more scientific in his research.

      20

  • #

    I cannot help but wonder how many of those “believers” are believers because all their “friends” are believers and the “trendy” thing to do is “believe”. As for being “friended”, I am not on Facebook, want nothing to do with it and as far worrying about whether or not people “like” me enough to “friend” me, they can kiss my rosy red as….pirations. I’ve been around since before global warming was the “in” thing. Back then it was the “next ice age” to worry about. That and pesticides killing all the birds. (Rachel Carson is another one that can kiss my rosy red …)

    Anyway AGW was a supposition, it was never even a real theory. How in the name of great aunt Gertrude’s ghost it ever got taken as being proven, I’ll never know. The only place it ever existed was in the Urban Heat Island effect in the old weather records. I mean it never shows up in any other data. Legit data that is. Everything else simply shows normal climate variations up and down; up a little here, down a little there, ad infinitum.

    So, yeah, this probably does have some truth and possibly even a little correlation to it. It is why those ask Yahoo things drive me nuts. Vote on what is the best answer … oh yeah, like that really makes any sense. Just like having half a kazillion “friends” on Facebook means anything at all. (Other than somebody has way too much spare time …)

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    • #
      James Bradley

      Dear Rosy Red….,

      They just figured out a way to tax the air we breathe, is all.

      (sorry about the green thumb – force of habit when I read comments that make sense)

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      • #

        wyoskeptic said: I cannot help but wonder how many of those “believers” are believers because all their “friends” are believers and the “trendy” thing to do is “believe”.

        You wonder? :-) You’ve summed up a driving force in this public debate.

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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      As for being “friended”, I am not on Facebook, want nothing to do with it …

      Me neither. I will not be interested until they counterbalance the concept of a “Friend” button, with an “Enemy” button. Hating a person is a much more tangible and stronger emotion than merely “liking” somebody.

      If you are going to be emotive, you might as well do it properly.

      280

      • #
        James Bradley

        Rereke,

        It’s called ‘The Art of Friending’ where the ‘friend’ button is also the ‘enemy’ button.

        If you disagree with someone on facebook the concept is that you ‘friend’ them then use their ‘accept as friend’ access to threaten, abuse and intimidate them until you either drive them from facebook or cause them to harm themselves.

        #I’llfriendwithyou

        70

        • #
          Rereke Whakaaro

          I didn’t know that. Thank you for explaining it.

          Not a bad explanation, for somebody who has, “… never been on facebook, I just don’t feel the need to join a virtual lynch mob.”

          ;-)

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      • #
        pattoh

        Obummer has one of those buttons & it is linked to the drones

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    • #
      Greg Cavanagh

      Witness the 97% consensus. It’s all about believing what everyone else believes. Being accepted, part of the in crowd, on the right side (whatever that means).

      I think Helsingin has the story backward. But being a socialite like she is, I’m sure she feels secure in believing what everyone else believes.

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      • #
        OriginalSteve

        A female relative was happy the other day as her current perfume was on the top 10 most popular list. I stifled a comment about it at the time as it was probably going to be counter-productive….namely why should popularity matter, after all its for you, not other people….

        It did however spawn a thought – what % of CAGW is pushed by women and what % by men? Is the female component pushed by what seems to be an observed generic female need to be part of the crowd and seen to gain approval from society by going with the crowd, and with the feminizing of society ( i.e. the rise of the metro-sexual and use of male face cream…) has the same state of mind developed in men as well?

        I think handling the CAGW nonsense comes down to : “If all your mates jumped off a roof, would you do it too?”

        41

  • #
    tom0mason

    Jo,

    As this is a site with links to –

    del.icio.us, blinklist, furl, Digg it, Stumble it, Simply, Newsvine, Reddit, Fark, Propellor, Twitter, Tailrank, technorati, and Facebook

    do you find lots of people linking stories from your site to their millions of ‘friends’?

    40

    • #

      Stumbleupon was a source of the greatest spike in traffic ever here – some 55,000.

      I’m on facebook, but not committed, and I often forget for a month. But it’s powerful and does reach a different crowd. I should use it more consistently. Looking at the numbers and tracking, yes, I do think it helps. Though a lot of social media stats are over-rated. “Reaching 5,000″ who may or may not notice a paragraph on their Facebook feed, is not the same as having 5,000 readers here at the blog.

      Likewise, Twitter has its uses as I’ve discussed in posts on the site. They are tools to be used.

      Facebookers are known to be the networking types, so each dedicated Facebook user that we reach is a potential networking node, and sometimes they then reach a new part of the community. So yes, it’s very useful.

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      • #
        John of Cloverdale, WA, Australia.

        Jo, I have a select few friends on facebook, mostly old friends and family. A lot from Asia and around the world, since I worked overseas in the oil industry (geoscience). I used to have a few fellow surfer “friends” but I got “unfriended” when I kept debating their extreme socialist and environmental views. I kept on pointing out they wouldn’t have a surfing lifestyle if it wasn’t for the petrochemical industry. Of course, we all know nearly all surfing equipment are petrochemical products. Being greenie type of people, they believed in the Global Warming Dogma and objected my informed arguements to some of their posts. They were really p****d off with me.

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      • #
        tom0mason

        Jo,

        Thanks for the reply. Very interesting as I note Stumbleupon and Reddit appear on sites with more science/fact content, and Facebook, twitter, and even Myspace, on er,… opinion sites.

        Also I note from the link from your alphagalileo.org link above that this was said –

        In the second essay, we study how social networks might help to explain why differences of opinion about climate change persist across segments of the lay public despite the scientific consensus. To do this, we programmed a Facebook application that collected survey data on concerns about climate change and network data on friendships. We found that respondents tend to have friends with similar concerns as their own, the unconcerned respondents have fewer friends, and any two respondents who disagreed about the seriousness of global warming were less than half as likely to be friends. The results indicate that the structure of the social network may hinder changes in opinions, explaining why opinions persist despite the scientific consensus. The results suggest that the communication of climate science could be improved by strategies that aim to overcome these network effects.

        IMO this is not science but just a very insubstantial analysis of mere opinions and why these opinions might be held. The trite remarks of a “scientific consensus” marks this paper as from very unscientific individuals. The line “The results suggest that the communication of climate science could be improved by strategies that aim to overcome these network effects.” sounds almost like a proposal for re-eduction camps!

        The authors and the publishers mistakenly (IMO) believe that this is somehow real science. Of course it is not, it is that fantasy of human endeavor Social Science.

        10

  • #
    John Smith

    funny how often the term ‘believer’ is used in reference to AGW
    a belief is an opinion one holds based on insufficient information
    somehow, though I was educated in the southern US bible belt, I was taught the difference between beliefs and science
    guess things have changed
    affluent secular people, holding heartfelt beliefs in stuff, is too funny
    won’t even go there in regards to assessing scientific veracity based on polling

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    • #
      Greg Cavanagh

      You missed the “Catastrophic” part of the AGW.

      Nobody has come up with a better term. I’ve considered this problem at length and draw a blank. Do you have another preferred term for a CAGW adherent?

      31

    • #

      John, it’s difficult to find the right word. I use “climate believer” sometimes and I prefer it to the inflammatory Alarmist, but sometimes people are out to cause “alarm”.

      I also use “fans of a man-made climate crisis” and many variants of that.

      Namecalling is an insulting label that can not be justified in English. Hence I allow insults that people can accurately substantiate, and I’ve invited commenters to define “denier” in the context of a science blog and no one can do it without braking the tenets of science. Someone who “denies the scientific validity of a consensus” IS a scientist, not a “denier”.

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      • #
        stargazer

        Namecalling is an insulting label that can not be justified in English.

        Might I suggest: fatum vates. Latin for ‘doom prophets.’ Everything sounds better in latin.

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        Tristan

        Seems easy enough to define, Jo.

        When people say “climate change denier” they actually mean “climate science denier”.

        In this instance, science is being used as a noun, and constitutes the consilience of published papers.

        This means one can concur with a non-representative subset of papers within the body of climate science, and still be a ‘climate change denier’.

        On the flip-side, were I to define ‘alarmist’, it’d be a very similar definition – the opinion of the alarmist is not informed by the consilience of published papers, but by unrepresentative outliers.

        15

        • #
          James Bradley

          Tristan,

          Beg to differ, when people say “climate change denier” the concept instilled by the prevailing climate establishment is derogatory and used as a propaganda tool that immediately conjures the impression of ‘those who deny climate change’ and not merely ‘those sceptical of climate science’.

          The term is very successfully used to demonize sceptics so as to stifle debate, prevent questioning of the science, and either coerce or encourage conformity among decision makers and stakeholders.

          40

          • #
            Tristan

            I am not disputing that the term is used to stifle debate. I hope you agree that terms like alarmist, climate disciple, and warmist are used the same way.

            I proposed an etymology/justification for the term, though I don’t see much point using it if I intend to engage in dialogue. It’s antagonistic, even if I think it’s accurate.

            Most of those who engage in the debate (from either side) find it very difficult to put forward their case without sounding demeaning or self-congratulatory.

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              James Bradley

              Tristan,

              You may have to come up new terms that describe people who question the science and people who believe the rhetoric – although I would argue that sceptic and believer already exist, are accurate, and aren’t as antagonistic as those other examples.

              You are quite correct about both sides of the argument using emotive terms, but terms used by ‘sceptics’ to describe believers are not quite in the same vein nor for the same purpose.

              All these terms are now entrenched in the vocabulary and the test of their newly defined interpretation is whether the intent of the describer matches the perception of the recipient.

              It does, in particularly the term ‘climate denier’, and especially when accompanied by public calls in the main stream media from representatives of the climate establishment to outlaw, imprison, and execute the ‘climate denier’.

              The intent from the climate establishment in the use of a term ‘denier’, a term connected with some of the darkest crimes against humanity last century, and a term that now provokes such outrageous demands and emotive responses against individuals for mereley questioning climate science seems to me to be a serious attempt at demonising, marginalising and segregating opponents, which it has demostratably acheived.

              The same really can not be said about the terms alarmist, warmist or disciple.

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          Tristan, said

          “In this instance, science is being used as a noun, and constitutes the consilience of published papers.”

          That’s not science. Your method is a quasi voting system, ignores repetition, logical errors, and breaks in the chain of causation. No matter how bad or tragically awful a paper is, it gets counted.

          Science is a method — it’s a verb not a noun. It produces predictions that can be tested through observation. There is no “publishing house” and no voting. It works or it doesn’t. The models failed. The theory needs to be changed.

          Do you deny the scientific method?

          Is the theory of gravity real because a/ it predicts events, or b/ because the NAS says so?

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            Or the theory needs different verification. The models being wrong means the current theory cannot be verified by the models. Different models or other proof of the theory could still show CO2 is the driving factor (however unlikley that seems to most). However, this would require a whole new look at the physics and so forth of the hypothesis. Currently, climate change is more of an hypothesis than an actual theory.

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              Since Tristan mentions gravity, I am inserting this here. Gravity is a good example of observations can appear to negate a theory but do not. Feathers and hammers do not fall at the same rate, which appears to mean that gravity is not universally powerful. Objects do not fall at the same rate so how could gravity be universally strong? The theory appears to be wrong—gravity is variable. But the theory is not wrong, it’s missing a factor—air resistance. Feathers and hammers falling at different rates did not disprove the theory, but rather required an additional factor for understanding it.. The same is true of CO2 and heating the planet. Right now, we’re at the stage where the models do not prove or even support the theory as presented. It is, however, possible, that another factor could be found that creates models that do work. That does not mean that current models will ever be correct—it means new models could be correct. What that factor is, no one knows. Just as air resistance played into how fast an object falls, there could be a factor out there to be found. ONLY then would the hypothesis rise to the level of theory and have some scientific validity. Until then, it’s still an unproven hypothesis.

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                Tristan

                A) The models do pretty well

                B) There’s plenty of observational evidence. You could throw out every single model and it’d barely impact the science.

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                Tristan: All that is left when you throw out the models is the idea that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that temperatures have risen in the past 100 years. This does not tell us CO2 causes the warming or the majority of the warming. It does not tell us why the temperature has risen. It does not address the complex interactions in climate. Without the models, you have no proof that CO2 is causing the majority of the warming, which means the AGW theory is not proven at this point.

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                Tristan

                The ‘idea’ that CO2 reradiates heat emitted from the surface is basic atmospheric physics. It happens, and the quantity in which it happens is well observed. Evidence of the CO2/temp interactions is preserved in ice cores. The heating of the earth system, measured in glacial retreat, sea level rise, tropospheric atmosphere temp, surface air temp, ocean heat content and spring onsets is well observed. TSI indicates the sun’s (the usual culprit) intensity has been traveling south at the same time the temps have been rising.

                The fundamentals are as proven as its gonna get. The questions now are issues of fine tuning.

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                If by fine tuning you mean scientists figure out just how much of a climate driver CO2 is—since even SkS now admits CO2 is not the only driver and that scientists do not know exactly how much of a driver it is—then, yes, the fundamentals are proven. It’s not really a major point—if we cannot define exactly what the interactions are, for example at 5000 ppm, why was there not a runaway greenhouse effect (one theory—the sun) and we cannot model accurately how the various parts of the system interact, then we really only know that CO2 reradiates heat. If we went with the same idea in everyday life, we would say there is a heater in your house that makes heat. We don’t know how much, we don’t know if windows are open, we don’t know how many hours it runs, we don’t know the effect of solar heating through windows, etc, but we know you have a heater. Yes, you do. But that information is pretty much worthless without the remaining factors being known. You could end up with heat stroke or dying of hypothermia.

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                Tristan

                No one has ever claimed CO2 was the only driver.

                There is effectively one ‘driver’, which is the sun, and CO2 (along with other GHGs, aerosols, clouds of varying heights and planetary albedo) determines how much of the sun we hold on to.

                We can’t have a runaway greenhouse because we aren’t close enough to the sun. You need to get water vapor high into the atmosphere, so you can continue the heating -> heating cycle, but to do that in the first place, the upper atmosphere has to be pretty hot, otherwise the water vapor cools and becomes precipitation.

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                James Hansen is still saying we could have a runaway greenhouse effect. I agree that we cannot have such a thing, but the guru of climate science keeps saying otherwise.

                I cannot find a reference at the moment for CO2 being the only driver–except Al Gore and he’s not really a scientist, though scientists do love him and his movies. If I can find a reference, I’ll post it. In the meantime, just go with primary driver.

                If the driver of the earth’s temperature is the sun, why are we all worked up over CO2? Some of what you are commenting seems to be contradictory. Maybe you can clarify.

                If we do not know how much CO2 drives the warming (there are tons of guesstimates and SWAGs out there), we cannot know that global warming is because of humans. We don’t know. All we have is models that miss the mark. I don’t see why AGW is anything more than an umproven hypothesis.

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                Tristan

                “James Hansen is still saying we could have a runaway greenhouse effect”

                Source?

                His 2013 paper states:

                “Given the transient nature of a fossil fuel CO2 injection, the continuing forcing needed to achieve a terminal Venus-like baked-crust CO2 hothouse must wait until the Sun’s brightness has increased on the billion year time scale. “


                If the driver of the earth’s temperature is the sun, why are we all worked up over CO2?

                The sun is the source of the energy. The other things I listed, such as GHGs determine how much of that energy we absorb. Absorb more, heat goes up. Absorb less, heat goes down. GHGs are sometimes referred to as the ‘control knob’, because they are such an important part of how much heat we keep.

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                http://arxiv.org/abs/1211.4846
                “Burning all fossil fuels, we conclude, would make much of the planet uninhabitable by humans, thus calling into question strategies that emphasize adaptation to climate change.”
                That sounds catastrophic to me–runaway greenhouse effect or not.

                http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/jul/10/james-hansen-fossil-fuels-runaway-global-warming
                “”The world is currently on course to exploit all its remaining fossil fuel resources, a prospect that would produce a “different, practically uninhabitable planet” by triggering a “low-end runaway greenhouse effect.”"
                The Guardian has several quotes from Hansen, so I am going by what he reportedly told them.

                Take your pick on which paper and which quotes to believe. Looks contradictory to me.

                Okay, CO2 is PART of the control system. How much and how do we know this? Are there other controls, like natural climate changes, ocean currents, the temperature dependence of the concentration of CO2 in the air? If so, without models, how do we know which is primary, and if nature can overcome human (as has been suggested as a reason for the leveling of temperatures we’ve seen in the last decade)?

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                Tristan: There’s also a youTube video where Hansen says the oceans will boil. Unfortunately, those who are supposed to be promoting the science of climate change tend to make very unscientific statements when allowed to speak without a script. This does nothing to help the cause and may account for much skepticim. I realize you have no more control over this than skeptics do over what other skeptics say and do, but at least acknowledge that the spokesmen for climate change may be very problematic. I will credit Hansen for finally giving up being a scientist and instead labelling himself what he has always been—an activist. As such, he may not feel he is bound by truth, rather than the cause, which could actually help tone down some of the damage he does to the science.

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                Tristan

                A low-end runaway greenhouse effect is probably a bit of a confusing term for what he’s saying. Runaway greenhouse usually means a specific thing – no liquid water left.

                Hansen suggests that at some point around the 800ppm to 1200ppm mark, there’ll be enough CO2 in the atmosphere to eventually trigger certain feedbacks and create a drastically different earth; these changes would happen over centuries.

                A bit of a slow-moving catastrophe, but the before and after pictures would be stark.

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                Okay, Tristan, I looked up the “low-end” and that would leave us the oceans, rather than evaporating the oceans. However, the idea of a runaway or low-end greenhouse effect of any size is theoretical–bordering on science fiction. No one has any evidence that has ever occurred anywhere.

                Yes, very slow moving catastrophe, if it ever happened. Considering what CO2 levels have been in the past, I’m not all that worried.

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            Tristan

            Jo, science can be a verb or a noun. Generally, speaking the noun refers to the knowledge (etymology: scientia, latin for knowledge), and the verb refers to the practice of obtaining that knowledge via the scientific method, a concept which postdates the word science.

            When using the noun, in a phrase like: The science of gravity
            , we are referencing the present understanding of gravity, which stems from the consilience of publications on the topic. Another term for this is ‘the body of knowledge’.

            To ‘deny’ a branch of science, whether it’s heliocentrism, HIV/AIDS causality, vaccine safety/efficacy, or climate change means you deny that there is a coherent picture presented by the totality of publications in that area.

            Have you ever debated an anti-vaxxer? They use many of your techniques. They provide their own list of ‘experts’ and their own list of papers and say ‘see, the science isn’t settled!’. When they’re shown that the papers they’re promoting don’t actually support their claims, they switch tactics and say, ‘Oh, well, scientists can hardly speak out against big pharma can they, they need to put food on the table, and also, Gatekeepers!’

            Pretty much every science denier operates from the same playbook. They use the same strategies that Seitz, Singer, Milloy etc used to cast doubt on the dangers of smoking or second-hand smoking.

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              Tristan

              Looks like I tripped the auto-mod as well.

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              Your use of “science” as a noun completely contradicts science as a verb. ie. the scientific method which renders your argument null and void.

              You confirm your anti-science nature with your deferral to a pile of papers in your answer about gravity. We know our understanding of gravity is good, not because someone wrote a paper on it, but because the satellites work, the rockets go, and the planes fly. The former is opinions, the latter is observations.

              That you have to resort to namecalling and bringing in “anti-vaccer” and “HIV” and discussing “debating tactics” instead of discussing observations about the climate advertises that your case is pathetically weak and all bluster. You wouldn’t need to do that if you had evidence.

              Your hatred and ill-will about skeptical scientists like Seitz and Singer only reveals how emotional you are. Both these men have achieved far more in science that you “tristan” could ever hope too.

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                Tristan

                I don’t see the contradiction. Science (verb) begets science (noun). Are you implying that the dictionary has it wrong?

                We certainly can count on some the implications of gravity, but when planes first flew we were operating under the assumption of Newtonian gravity. Did flying planes therefore verify Newton’s theory? We’re still looking for direct confirmation of Einstein’s gravitational waves, so in some sense, our understanding of gravity does rest on a pile of papers.

                Why should discussing debating techniques mean I’m not willing to discuss the empirical stuff? That’s a false dichotomy. I merely wondered if you had experienced debate with someone from the anti-vax movement, given my experience with them is very similar to my experience engaging with you. Is that name-calling?

                I have no hatred or ill-will towards Seitz/Singer/Milloy. They all argued against the dangers of passive smoking though, supported by the tobacco industry, and using techniques that have since been appropriated by other groups (I’m aware that Singer states that he was never paid directly for his services). It’s not an accusation, it’s public record.

                As for the “achieved far more than you could ever hope to” comment, I bet it would go down well if I said that of you and Hansen/Mann ;)

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                Just-A-Guy

                Tristan,

                You said:

                I don’t see the contradiction. Science (verb) begets science (noun). Are you implying that the dictionary has it wrong?

                Jo said:

                Your use of “science” as a noun completely contradicts science as a verb. ie. the scientific method which renders your argument null and void.

                Science the verb when done correctly by use of the scientific method begets science as a noun.

                Your lack of application of the scientific method to arrive at the conclusions you’ve presented here renders your version of the facts as the product of pseudo-science.

                Conjecture, and nothing more.

                Are you selectively ignoring the point? Hmm.

                Abe

                PS Would you like to play again? Got another quarter? ;)

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                Tristan

                Your lack of application of the scientific method to arrive at the conclusions you’ve presented here renders your version of the facts as the product of pseudo-science.

                Which ‘conclusions’ would those be?

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                Just-A-Guy

                Tristan,

                The fact that you don’t see the contradiction pointed out to you by Jo and elaborated on by myself, tells me that your conclusion as to the validity of that observation is incorrect. i.e you don’t agree with the observation.

                The ability to distinguish between a rational argument and a logically fallacious one is the first step towards the comprehension of a hypothesis and therefore indispensible to determining whether, after experimentation, the hypothesis stands or falls.

                So let’s start with that contradiction and see where this goes.

                Abe

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                Tristan

                If you want a response, you’ll need to stop dancing and enunciate this contradiction.

                You might like to use a format like:

                My premise A

                My premise B

                Description of Logical Fallacy which leads to:

                My incorrect premise C

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                Just-A-Guy

                Tristan,

                Are you asking me to ‘enunciate the contradiction’ in the form of a sylogism?

                Abe

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                Tristan

                Oh Fly, is it narcissism when everyone else does it, or am I just your favourite?

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                Tristan

                I responded, it was deleted by a mod. Reason given: He didn’t like my narcissism.

                My response, more plainly was: Clearly state my contradiction, because I’m not interested in guessing at what you mean.

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                Tristan

                But nevermind responding, because it feels more like a pissing contest than an actual debate I declare you the victor.

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                Just-A-Guy

                Tristan,

                Should have responded to you long go. Whether you reply is not relevant as you’ve already stated:

                You wrote:

                But nevermind responding, because it feels more like a pissing contest than an actual debate I declare you the victor.

                With 6,000 daily hits on this blog, my interest is to show others the sillyfilly-ness of your comments and not so much to try and convince you of the flaws in your arguments. ‘You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.’

                So, with that in mind, let me just point out the reason why I asked you if you wanted me to present your contradiction in the form of a syllogism.

                The reason is that you’ve already shown that you’re perfectly capable of identifying contradictions without the use of syllogisms. This tells me that your intent in asking for one here can only be to avoid a direct response. The contradiction was clearly enunciated by Jo and myself. But since you’ve described our discussion as a ‘pissing contest’, allow me to ‘rain down’ on your parade.

                You wrote:

                Jo, science can be a verb or a noun. Generally, speaking the noun refers to the knowledge (etymology: scientia, latin for knowledge), and the verb refers to the practice of obtaining that knowledge via the scientific method, a concept which postdates the word science.

                premise A: the verb refers to the practice of obtaining that knowledge via the scientific method.

                You then wrote:

                When using the noun, in a phrase like: The science of gravity, we are referencing the present understanding of gravity, which stems from the consilience of publications on the topic.

                premise B: the present understanding of gravity, which stems from the consilience of publications on the topic.

                You began by writting this:

                I don’t see the contradiction. Science (verb) begets science (noun). Are you implying that the dictionary has it wrong?

                conclusion: Science (verb) begets science (noun).

                Premise A is true. The aquisition of scientific knowledge is in fact achieved via the ‘Scientific Method’.
                Premise B is false. Our present understanding of gravity is not based on the consilience of publications on the topic. It’s based on one publication, and one publication only. i.e. Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. The consilience of publications on the topic only tells us that General Relativity has survived all challenges. It has not been falsified to date. But it’s still only one paper.
                Therefore, although the conclusion you present is correct when taken by itself, it doesn’t follow from the premises you’ve presented.

                You can dance around this all you want, and even accuse me of doing the dancing, but the fact remains that science does not produce results by consensus. Consensus has nothing to do with the Scientific Method. Your adherence to this false belief puts you in the same league as any other ‘cult’ follower and you should be embarassed to present your logically flawed argument and factually incorrect preconceptions in the public eye for all to see and yes, for all to ridicule.

                Hope you didn’t get too wet. ;)

                Abe

                PS – Just-A-Note: The consiliance of scientific papers prior to Einstein’s General Theory pointed in a completely different direction than The General Theory. His one paper was enough to render all those that came before it inaccurate and incomplete. So much for a consensus.

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        I use climate change advocates and climate change questioners. They are descriptive but not insulting.

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        RogueElement451

        Doom monger seems to cover all eventualities.

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    Yonniestone

    Introvert-Extrovert doesn’t really matter as people will have vastly different personal thoughts internally and those thoughts will exist due to many factors in an individuals existence, this study is ironically the perfect example of how the CAGW scam ever gained support, put out a basic theory with basic explanations and wait for the basic population to basically agree using their basic instincts to establish a base support for fear of appearing basic.

    Yes I do realize the above is basic explanation but I basically don’t have time to elaborate, ta ta.

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      James Bradley

      … or a virtual support network.

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      Yonnie, “Introvert-Extrovert doesn’t really matter as people will have vastly different personal thoughts internally”

      no that’s my point. People have different thoughts internally, sure, but studies show many people will change their beliefs if they find out their thoughts are in a minority. I remember reading that there is a dopamine reward for finding out that you have the same version of reality as most people around you. I suspect that effect is smaller in Introverts, and possibly non-existent in some people.

      A smaller percent have conviction and confidence to stick to their analysis. But we are a gregarious species. Many people are hardwired to go with the group.

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        Yonniestone

        Yes looking at the comment now I do realize I reiterated your point in my own flair, basically, sorry about that.

        But hey we do have great thoughts though!

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          James Bradley

          Yonnie,

          Didn’t take much for her to break you.

          So much for your conviction and confidence. :)

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            Gee Aye

            Having problems relating to the non geometric you. Btw at first glance it looks like you are wearing an eye patch.

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              James Bradley

              No, two eye patches, you’ve heard the saying – “in the land of the blind a one eyed man is king” – I missed out on the job by this much.

              Jeez – taken down by a leaf – I gotta change my avatar again.

              BTW – I didn’t poke fun at your corn pone.

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            Yonniestone

            I learnt early in life to never insult the cook, as you may have to eat one of their meals again. ;)

            I think your avatar looks like Patrick Stewart/Professor Charles Xavair, can you set things on fire with your mind like leaves and such?

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    Eddie

    It’s nice to be popular but it’s more important to be right, or is it ? Not to some folk. Acceptance is all to some, but particularly to insecure media & entertainment types. Or am I just biased ?

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      You are biased.

      You neglected to mention insecure politicians.

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      Rick Will

      Politics requires polies to be popular – not right. In a way that is the basis of democracy. Polies are there to represent the people; not to be right. We know Abbott came to power with views on AGW that were counter the majority of academic interests. Maurice Newman may be testing the water across the broader community.

      Being right is not something that is highly regarded in our society. People who are consistently proven right are labelled smart-ass in a derogatory way. It is certainly not cool to be a high achiever in a secondary state school in Australia.

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        James Murphy

        As one of those many so-called ‘evil’ private school people, I can unfortunately attest that academic high achievers are (or at least were) generally not well received by other students. If you wanted to be part of the popular crowd, you had to be on 1 or more sports teams.

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      Actually, my neice told me it was more important to be happy than right. I told her I was happy being right.

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    Matty

    It’s nice to belong, even if it is to a small group of dissidents. The Interweb give free thinkers everywhere opportunities to connect, but they don’t generally give a $4!t if you want to connect or not. It can be fascinating to watch the other lot’s herd mentality at work on Social Media

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    TimiBoy

    Extravert’s (sic) in your third last paragraph does not need an apostrophe.

    Therefore nothing you say has any credibility. sarc /off

    :) :) :) :) :) :)

    I love your work Jo, keep it up!

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      Ian Hill

      It never occurred to me before to think about what kind of personailty Jo is, but she has now “outed” herself as an extrovert and is clearly of the sanguine temperament. That’s wonderful and explains those minor traits like misplaced apostrophes which also drive me nuts! :)

      I tried to do facebook a few years ago but was driven crazy by requests to be “friends” which of course I took literally and meant I didn’t want to offend anyone by refusing or even ignoring. To my horror the system also seemed to have inbuilt booby traps and before you knew it you were sending out requests (to be friends) yourself! It got to the point where I rang an auntie to explain myself and we ended up laughing about the absurdness of the whole facebook thing. I then got out of it as quickly as I could – which was not an easy process.

      It’s pointless using facebook to analyse anything sensible as far as I’m concerned.

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        Thanks Timi and Ian, and sorry about the apostrophes. I swear they are reflexive, but I’m getting better at picking them up.

        Yes, I am outed on the extroversion. On the Myers Briggs, years ago, I maxxed out the E points. All personality typing has drawbacks and limitations, but I found it very useful at the time. Some extroverts can become extrovictims.

        There are advantages and disadvantages across the E/I spectrum.

        PS: See also Manfreds good comment on the blog post at #17.

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          Leonard Lane

          you have heard this many places but I like it.
          “I am OCD and ADD: Everything has to be right! But, not for very long.

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    Ted O'Brien.

    It’s simple.

    More Facebook “friends” = More time on Facebook.

    More time on Facebook = Less time doing something useful.

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Tony Hancock was a British Comedian, whose comedy was based around his own insecurities. He would have been seriously into Facebook, were he alive today.

      One of his half-hour sketches was on the subject of, “The Radio Amateur”.

      It contained the immortal line, “Ah, I have friends! Friends, all over the world. … None in this country, but all over the world.”

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        Rereke

        A bit hard to make friends at 30 wpm cw. Very hard to get across the nuances of a Kiwi joke, eh – especially to Boris. :)

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          Rereke Whakaaro

          Yes, try explaining to Boris that, “The word mississippi possesses less esses than the word possesses possesses”.

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      James Murphy

      This may be true for some, Ted, but not for all. I only use Facebook to keep in touch with friends who live in various parts of the world. It’s certainly not my only means of doing so, but it is very convenient.

      I prefer other methods to avoid doing useful things!

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    graphicconception

    I can detect two different groups of people at work in most of the climate groups I have visited on the internet.

    There are the individuals who are confident enough to think for themselves. Many will work for themselves. They tend to favour smaller governments because they need less help and think they know how their money should be spent. They and are not frightened of having individual views and putting them forward. I would not say that such people are always right because, obviously, they have fewer people to share their thoughts with. They tend to be quite good with logic and understanding even if they are a bit short on facts. These people comprise the sceptics.

    The other group is not so confident in their own abilities. They prefer to have large groups making decisions to share the blame and increase the source of knowledge. Such people are less likely to be self-employed but more likely to be in something like education where the job is well-paid, well thought of and there is a definite hierarchy which you can navigate through and become a recognised top dog. You do not need to be brilliant just hardworking and prepared to persevere. They have lots of received wisdom but logic is somewhat lacking. They often quote a string of ideas that they cannot always link together when questioned. These people support and comprise the consensus.

    Having fewer “friends” on Facebook is just one more symptom.

    Maybe I should have done psychology. I couldn’t be worse than some “psychologists”. Now, where did I put those notes on “Facebook Ideation”?

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      Brill

      Tend to agree with you on your first set of individuals. I used to teach and am now self employed. I started teaching in my 30′s and never fitted in. No animosity on anyone’s part but I certainly stirred up a few hornet’s nests in the staff room when I expressed an opinion contrary to the majority. It takes a strong personality to go against the trend, no matter where you work or who you mix with. Same is required to start/run a business.
      I am on facebook but my facebook friends are either real friends, relatives or connected to my business in some way. So I don’t have many “friends”.

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        Retired now

        I have to say that being self employed changed my attitudes to employment, economics and politics. Going contrary to general opinion in the academic workplace was incredibly difficult and I breathed a sigh of relief when I finished there. I used to collect friends and then got irritated with their time wasting writing. I wasn’t interested in games fit for an 8 year old, nor what they ate for breakfast, nor their latest thoughts on some dress/consumable/gadget/whatever. So I apologised to them all and told them I was deleting everyone and just staying in touch with family.

        I am really only on FB at all to know where one of my children is as he is not good with staying in touch with us. I don’t do much – the last time I said anything controversial my sister unfriended me as she wasn’t going to even let me see what she wrote if I was going to be such a right winger as to disagree with her extreme greeny views. Sigh. No real loss though. Her personal hissy fits last about a ten years as she holds a grudge.

        I just can’t be bothered. Not with twitter either. I have a life to lead.

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    llew Jones

    My observation is that the average Aussie from “the working class” is a lot more in touch with reality than the academic climate change believers. That includes those in non science disciplines.

    I have a fair contact with truck drivers etc who deliver various items to our engineering business. Yesterday, May 13, which was the coldest working day I can remember (couldn’t get warm even with the heater on) the driver delivering Oxy/ Acet commented on the coldness of the day. My response was, mate we need a bit if global warming. His reply was don’t go into that. It’s a load of crap. I mentioned when I was a kid we used to get a continuous week or more of above 100F during many summers. He said that was also his experience.

    My son who has a masters in ag science from Latrobe also loves having a dig at the alarmists when he goes shopping (which he seems to do very regularly). He says the universal response from shop keepers and their customers is to join in mocking the alarmist position.

    Extrovert versus introvert? No. More likely it’s the experience of historic weather patterns that indicates why most of “the working class” think climate change alarmists have rocks in their head.

    The other skeptical group, whether extroverts or introverts, are those with training in science and associated disciplines like engineering. That group is capable of making an assessment of the validity of the science of climate in the formulation of the alarmist position.

    That leaves generally incompetent scientists and those from non science backgrounds like social “scientists” and psychologists etc who, it seems are not able to give a valid scientific reason for their alarmist beliefs. In other words the easily led group.

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      OriginalSteve

      I know which are in the useless 1/3 of the population , along with telphone sanitizers…..

      H/T to Douglas Adams….

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      me@home

      llew, if you’ll excuse my pedantry I think you will find that your son did ag science at La Trobe uni. It took ages to get the local road signs correct.

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      • #
        llew Jones

        Thank you. And I did French at Essendon High School in the 1950s. At the same school I aspired to be a great muso but after a few weeks in the school orchestra the leader said Jones don’t waste your time and ours. Give us back our violin. Apparently ditto French.

        (I notice C.J. La Trobe was from a French Huguenot/Moravian background).

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      Wayne Job

      My experience as an engineer and manufacturer, I can agree with your point.
      I have not met one person who believes in the CAGW meme including the truck
      and delivery van drivers. The believers and pushers seem to be in the unproductive
      parts of society that have a group think mentality with no real social conscience.

      They seem to think that they are the leaders of social change into a fairer world
      but in reality have a deep seated hatred of those whom are successful,productive,
      inventive or just plain hard workers. The tendency of these people to be socialists
      puts them in the same thinking mode as Stalin,Moa or even Pol Pot. This explains
      calls for the culling of people emanating from this mob.

      Real thinkers, be they from any profession have to be brave and stand up to this
      threat to all our freedoms. This point in time is seeing those that stand up being
      persecuted like an inquisition, the time has come to make a stand or the next
      fifty years will see total control of our everyday lives.

      This mob are using the novel 1984 as an interaction manual.

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      Yonniestone

      This has been my experience also llew, as you know a good engineer or tradesman has to have the ability to think on their feet often under time constraints, there is no place for irrational or unrealistic ideas when this occurs, anyone with this ability will not agree to ideas from others until they have been quickly scrutinized, I have never suffered fools gladly.

      Are you any relation to GT&JA Jones Engineering?

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      • #
        llew Jones

        No. I’m not aware of that company.

        I got into this business “by accident” while working as an engineer for a Repco company. We were working with the then Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation developing a hard surfacing procedure for a rapidly wearing area on turbine blades for the Mirage Jet Fighter. I spent a lot of time with the chief metallurgist from CAC on this project.

        On his initiative we formed this engineering company in 1970. Unfortunately he didn’t like hard work so I paid him out after a year and it is still operating with both my sons now involved in its running.

        (I had a Mech Eng degree from Melbourne Uni and to keep me occupied in the pre engineering business days and on the request of my then employer I completed a diploma in metallurgy at RMIT and one in maths with a focus on numerical analysis. RMIT did no award degrees in those days).

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    bemused

    I read all manner of tech sites (general info on technology etc) and what surprises me is how strongly all of them, as well as posters in comments, believe in and promote belief in, catastrophic climate change. IT sites tend to have the most ardent believers, kind of ironic really.

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    • #
      JJB MKI

      Ardent or loudmouthed? IT types and engineers are often the quieter, more retiring kind who won’t get into shouting matches, but also won’t be easily swayed by logical fallacy.

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    • #

      As catastrpoghic, anthroprogenic, global warming only ever existed in the virtual, digital world of computers, I don’t find it surprising at all that there are many believers in IT. Some will simply believe anything that a computer chucks out. Ordinary, rational people have trouble with that; based on their experience with the many flaws in computers; mostly software, but also shortcomings in hardware.

      Big-IT feeds the game as well, so theie glossy literature and “manager magazines” feature stuff like the need for hyper-computers to predict future climate. Most of that crud is written by marketing; a little bit by people who “once” built a computer, but the rest by “yes men” who “solve” problems by spending other people’s money; but who vanish before anybody notices that the “solution” only made things worse.

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      OriginalSteve

      From personal experience, IT types and Engineers generally are more cynical and hard to sway, especially if they can smell even the smallest ammount of BS in an argument. The BS usually flows voluminously from business types and politicans , who are generally lumped into the same category i.e. to be endured.

      IT & Engineering are based on facts and observation – if that cant be met, its not tolerated. Where IT & Enginees come to blows ( figuratively ) is when numpty business types decide they want some whizz bang system, wont pay for it but want it yesterday……the CAGW crowd have the same lack-of-reality ring to them and are geenraly not trusted, as it all reeks of politics and dumptrucks of BS….

      Nuff said.

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        JLC of Perth

        I agree. I’m on the edges of IT (tech writer) and the IT engineers I know are practical, sceptical people.

        People who work in the guts of computers know they are not reliable. GIGO is only the start of it. Personally, a lot about CAGW theories became clear to me when I found they are based on computer models.

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    • #

      In my experience IT types are usually skeptical. Perhaps the subtype of IT-types-who-network-and-post-on-tech-sites are different?

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      bemused

      That’s what really baffles me, as I too though IT types would be far more cynical about such things, but I’ve actually stopped going to a number of technology related sites because the global warming hysteria is so prolific.

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      • #
        Arsten

        People actually in IT are fairly skeptical. But journalists aren’t IT people (or politicians or scientists, etc). A lot of the “technology news” sites are where the journalists that were flushed from newspapers went a decade ago when the newspapers were trying to stay afloat via staff reduction. This influx of…er…talent has caused many issues, not the least of which was the relatively huge number of the fluff journalists writing their trade (e.g. global warming or poor people or what a random celebrity is doing) into a tech “flavor” instead of hard reporting on technology.

        Honestly, I would have subsidized the newspapers via the tax payer to prevent this. But I can be selfish like that. :)

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      Andrew McRae

      My cod-psychology hypothesis du jour is: people apply their intelligence selectively.
      People who have high technical expertise in one area could be inherently intelligent, but their functional intelligence is observable only when they apply their mind to a task. If nothing external pushes them into studying global warming they will only study it if they’re naturally interested in that sort of thing. For most intelligent technical types neither of the above conditions arise, so they never bother to start from a clean slate and so the first resort is to simply repeat what all the “experts” are saying.
      It’s not that they are stupid or incapable, they just aren’t sufficiently motivated.

      Given the amount of scorn and derision that gets dished out (by both sides) in this debate, who can really blame them for not wanting to touch the global warming issue with a 20-foot hockey stick.

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        ROM

        Andrew McRae quoted;

        My cod-psychology hypothesis du jour is: people apply their intelligence selectively.

        My feeling also and my complete agreement with that quote and the following para

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    James Murphy

    I maintain a small number of friends on Facebook, and indeed, they are not uniformly “believers” or “deniers”, but a mix. They are actual friends (as opposed to ‘Facebook friends’) because of who they are generally, and not because they may, or may not think the same way I do about 1 specific topic. I know there are opinions on individual topics which would cause friendships to end, but “climate change” isn’t one of them.

    How Juha Itkonen can think they have actually contributed something worthwhile to the field of Economics, or more broadly, social sciences, I have no idea…

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      Stupendus

      Me too, a few real friends that I use facebook to keep in contact with or at least keep track of how they are going if they are overseas, I dont even know how many friends I have, nor do I care. A few of my friends of friends post the usual media hype, they gang up on me when I argue the case with the facts and then they give up or make a joke about the poor denier. doesnt bother me, I point out the holes in the story, they attack me then they go quiet.

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    Dariusz

    Facebook
    1.self exposure bordering on indecent
    2. Raise mediocrity
    3. Reduce productivity by talking long hours about some senseless issues
    4. Increase family break downs
    5. Denigrate a word friend
    6. Create artificial digital societies
    7. Provide excellent platform for economic and political advertising
    8. Create artificial sense of belonging
    In summary crap

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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      I like the notion of “raising” mediocrity. In fact, I am overwhelmed by apathy.

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    • #

      I’m only in it for 6 and 7. Not FB’s paid advertising; more the propagation of ideas. As an actual social communications medium; for important things like campaigns like those against the “Carbon Tax”.

      The “psychological” Facebook studies notionally suffer from confounding factors. Scott Adams described one.

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    • #
      Dariusz

      Guys my intention was only Facebook and most of you including Jo are avid users. This not too say that blogs that allow us to create digital communities are of no benefit to free thinkers like us. Through Jo,s blog I had a pleasure and previlage to meet not only Jo but Brend as well.

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    Drapetomania

    I steer clear of any discussion on $CAGW$..on facebook..its a waste of time..
    The $CAGW$ believers just repeat “thought bubbles”..they have heard..
    And when you ask them questions they just avoid answering.. and blather on about “consensus” and “deniers”..truly Orwellian..
    And none..are off the grid and avoid owning and using cars..
    They sincerely believe that by talking about CO2 taxes and CO2 trading..and other hand waving..this means they are being “eco-friendly”..
    If they were not such mindless hypocrites..I would have some respect for their position..
    It reminds me of the book “Triumph of the airheads” ..which deals with the Australian air head variety..

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    pattoh

    Facebook being popular with young consumer demographic makes perfect sense.

    After all what really is social media but a digital game of wet biscuit

    ( where the “prize” goes to the fastest one handed typist – all that fun & Ita would approve: “friending your brains out” is safe! )

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    Manfred

    star comment
    A doctoral thesis is not necessarily a peer reviewed work and it does not appear to be the case here. Requirements vary between Universities regarding the defense of a PhD but in Finalnd, a public defense of the work is conducted by the candidate against a delegated ‘opponent’, an academic from another University recognised in the field. Questions of the work may also arise from the invited audience (which may number in the 100′s).

    Given the underlying assumptions in this thesis, dare one assume there would be little in the way of dissent with the core themes, though in considering the methodology, questions might perhaps arise around the validity and derived conclusions?

    The published University of Helsinki abstract is in many ways simpler and more revealing, in particular, the opening sentence, which states,

    Climate change is one of the greatest market failures of our time.

    Bearing in mind this is the first sentence of the abstract of the opus magnus of the author it would seem to leave few guessing about the likely orientation of the subsequent work. A thesis introduction of this nature redolent as it is with implication, is neither scientific, nor is it explicit. This is perhaps unsurprising when one considers the departmental and institutional pedigree of the PhD candidate, namely the Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic and Political Studies, University of Helsinki and Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, Germany. As a reflection of the departmental and institutional orientation this doctoral thesis presents three essays, one centered on each of the departmental and institutional foci.

    The first essay is the ‘economic’ axis of the thesis and engages in what appears to be a common research activity, that of finding flaws in the the carbon-Kuznets curve — simply explained as a hypothesised theoretical relationship between economic development and the environment. For example, in the early stages of economic growth degradation and pollution increase, but beyond some level of income per capita, which will vary for different indicators, the trend reverses, so that at high income levels economic growth leads to environmental improvement. This implies that the environmental impact indicator is an inverted U-shaped function of income per capita. Our PhD candidate adds an energy related spin to the hypothesis and suggests that the theory is weak and the reasons therefore more compelling for stronger climate policies. The favourite answer is proffered, that of greater regulation. Getting the picture yet?

    Jo highlights the second essay in this post that engages with the social skience. It concerns itself with the study of ‘how social networks might help to explain why differences of opinion about climate change persist across segments of the lay public despite the scientific consensus‘. In essence the observations made appear excruciatingly facile and may be summed up simply by the idea that ‘friends’ on Facebook, as friends in the real world, are likely to clump together around shared beliefs. Nothing in the slightest bit new here except….it highlights the importance of belief over the uncertainty of science and idiotically (in my jaundiced view) begs the question of whether the social network is a fixed construct arising because of the belief structures of the people involved, or whether the belief structures are a consequence of network structure (yawn)…it’s not even a chicken and egg argument. Those that instinctively gravitate toward eco-marxism are likely to warm to notions of living in a hand wringing kollective singing Kumbayah to Gaia. Science is mute. Belief is the only requirement. But we knew that….didn’t we?

    The third essay is the required nod to the Ifo Institute in Germany, described as a European think tank that forms a bridge between academic research and public discourse. The institute ‘focuses on applied economic research with clear policy implications with a view to achieving greater stability, prosperity and cohesion for Europe and the world’. And so the third essay dwells on the inter-relationship between the differing ETS schemes, appearing to formulate a model assuming perfect competition and trading networks that ‘help to avoid unexpected foreign interference with domestic policy outcomes and to secure the effectiveness of climate change policies‘….more regulation with a bias to implementation this time.

    In conclusion, we have voyaged from the incontestable meme through regulation into implementation. What more could one desire from a new drone being welcomed into the new age climate priesthood? Is there anything shatteringly innovative here — I think not, but he has earned his ticket and the supporting institutions will add it to their bibliography.

    As I have said before on numerous occasions, they betray themselves at every turn, in this case at the very first sentence of the abstract.

    Climate change is one of the greatest market failures of our time.

    Thanks for this Manfred! _ Jo

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      Manfred

      Thank you kindly Jo.
      I’m not holding my breath but I am surprised that wandering trolls and reflexive down-pointing red thumbs have not accorded me their imprimatur.
      Is it that their Facebook attention span more readily resembles the soundbite of a flea?

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        Dariusz

        “Climate change is one of the greatest market failures of our time.”

        Hi Manfred
        I dare to disagree with the above sentence. They have been very successful with 1 bill $ per day spent. How is that not successful? The scam is of unparalleled proportion in human history. It transcends across the nations, engulfs whole continents and billions of people believe this crap. Despite obvious science to the contrary the myth continues and we pay for it in people,s lives and and treasure. Only drastic actions can shake it. 18 years of no global temp increase is not enough. I will be dead and most people that promote will be dead before humanity accepts the verdict of the tempestuous Mother Nature.
        I want the people that are responsible for this monstrosity tried in the court of law but what sort of chance do we have when less than 1% of nazis were sentenced. Commies got off Scott free. So I don,t hold my breath for the climitariat.

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      Byron

      They are completely unable to comprehend what has been created is a triumph of salesman’s hype over the scientific method as it has been an incredibly effective piece of marketing , after all who born/that grew up during the beginning of the space age would have predicted the resurgence of the sale of indulgences ( carbon credits) , the construction of totems ( wind turbines )a penance/tithe inflicted mostly on the poor ( carbon taxes on energy ) and the rise of a self appointed priestly caste who’s word may not be questioned without the risk of excommunication or accusations of heresy (climate “scientists” ). And all this to appease angry weather gods ? Both astonishing and depressing in it’s scale.

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  • #

    If you read the summary, a certain amount of bias is evident. What surprised me was the thesis is a combination of three essays, the Facebook thing, assessment of Kuznets curves in the context of “carbon” emissions, and some stuff about emissions trading networks. Jeez – if you could have stitched a bunch of topics together like this in my day, maybe I would have stuck it out to PhD instead of clearing out and doing a real job.
    Maybe the next candidate will do the same thing on LinkedIn? Might be harder – not sure if you can you write apps for LinkedIn.
    I steered clear of Facebook, after discovering how much time my employer’s Human Resource staff were spending trawling staff Facebook pages.

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    Ruairi

    Peer pressure and peer-pal review,
    Shapes much of the warmist world-view,
    Then in groups it’s assumed,
    That the climate is doomed,
    Which skeptics know well is untrue.

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  • #
    Ursus Augustus

    In their natural state, ruminants live in larger groups (herds) than humans (fanmilies).

    Sniffle, sniffle, why was I born a human? What do only a few memebrs of my co species want to live with me? I wish I was a sheep! Sniffle, sniffle, waaaahh!

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    Drapetomania

    I am now Moderated…??
    ya kidding right..beyond amazing..

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      Manfred

      It’s infectious and increasingly contagious. I made a substantive and semi-academic comment that has been black holed in moderation for entirely unknown reason(s).

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    • #

      Ahem, the mod filter has certain words in it that will always be caught. You both must have tripped the filter, and sometimes there are mods watching, and sometimes there is a gap.

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    pat

    “study” or another attempt to woo the young?

    meanwhile,

    ABC Big Ideas is more like One Idea these days! around 10-15 mins in: our desire to control is out of control. greener evangelicals, distinctly a minority, have been pushing for revision of man’s dominion over nature, replacing it with stewardship or creation care. for all its limits, another indication of profound shift to what Mick Smith (Professor, Queen’s National Scholar, School of Environmental Studies, Queen’s Uni) calls ecological sovereignty.

    approx 14 mins in:
    David Wood: “I had a man doing work on my house once, an electrician, and I was chatting with him about climate change by his truck as he was leaving and he said (pause) (deeper, slower voice) ‘DAVID, NATURE IS MY BITCH, I WILL DO WITH HER AS I WILL’”. (audience snickers, giggles, laughs).
    “He was also a Christian musician (sighs). I was actually very grateful for the quote, not the content.”

    AUDIO: 13 May: ABC Big Ideas: Responsibility in an age of climate change
    How can we as individuals formulate an effective response to what is essentially a transnational problem.
    David Wood explores from a philosophical perspective the nature of responsibility in an age of climate change.
    Who do we think we are?: the crisis of the human from Copernicus to the anthropcene. The first of three Thinking Out Loud lectures presented by Philosophy at the University of Western Sydney in collaboration with the State Library of NSW, RN’s the Philosopher’s Zone and Fordham University press. Sydney April 27th 2015
    Extra audio: listen to the other talks in the series.
    Guest:
    David Wood, Professor of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bigideas/responsibility-in-an-age-of-climate-change/6461010

    David Wood seems to be giving all the lectures. what fun! the above was given 27 April.
    the others (which will no doubt feature on future “Big Ideas” are:

    Uni of Western Sydney: Philosophy Home
    These lectures draw promiscuously on the work of Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, other contemporary French thinkers, and the science of climate change…
    Wednesday, April 29, 2015, Lecture 2
    Time Today: Thinking Geologically
    The second lecture argues for the need to develop a new temporal phronesis – a sophisticated fluency in the aporetic nature of time (the paradoxical structures with which it presents us), its multi-layeredness and multi-dimensionality. Such a temporally enhanced dwelling draws on both our human and geological history.
    Friday, May 1, 2015, Lecture 3
    Unbecoming Animal? Agency / Responsibility / Survival
    The third lecture follows up the problem (from Lecture I) of who ‘we’ are in respect of solidarity with other humans, and responsibility for the non-human stakeholders with which we share a planet. It also addresses a range of questions centred around political agency raised by the failures of the Kyoto process. Is a democracy-to-come the problem or the solution? And could human exceptionalism be reborn as hyperbolic responsibility rather than privilege?
    http://www.uws.edu.au/philosophy/philosophy@uws/thinking_out_loud/2015_david_wood_2015_david_wood_deep_time_geological_responsibility_in_the_age_of_the_anthropocene

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    TdeF

    Groupthink is a both symptom of the Left in politics and a herd instinct.

    There is safety and security in agreeing with people who like to agree with people. You can all be right or wrong together, which is comforting for some and intrinsically safe if the world is threatening and you are scared and surrounded by others. Conformity is the price you pay and the suppression of individuality.

    The best description of Groupthink was in the “Life of Brian”, parodied endlessly in the script but best in when Brian urges people to think for themselves

    Brian: Look, you’ve got it all wrong! You don’t need to follow me. You don’t need to follow anybody! You’ve got to think for yourselves! You’re all individuals!
    Crowd: [in unison] Yes! We’re all individuals!
    Brian: You’re all different!
    Crowd: [in unison] Yes, we are all different!
    Man in crowd: I’m not…

    Crowd: Shhh!

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    Rereke Whakaaro

    Since we seem to have a resident think-tank on Facebook, here today, can anybody tell me how I can cancel, and delete, my Facebook page? Serious question.

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    • #
      Ian Hill

      Rereke, this is the advice I was given in May 2013 when I asked in another forum how to resign from facebook:

      Google search “How do I delete my facebook” and you should see an option from facebook to do just that. It isn’t difficult although facebook does say it will take two weeks to permanently delete your facebook page.

      It worked. Apparently once you resign you cannot return, but there would be ways around that I expect.

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      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        Thanks Ian,

        I have started the process. As for returning, I doubt that any of my “friends” would want me to. :-)

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        • #
          Ceetee

          Rereke, if you want to speak your mind just come here, we like it. This is the real Facebook.

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      TdeF

      My sympathies. Never joined. Luckily I suspected the loss of privacy and could see the trap, exactly as you have indicated. You sign over your life and open your front door to these people. Half joined Linked In once and have spent years trying to get off it. As for Twitter, it is well named.

      It is so sad to see a table of people in a restaurant, all on their phones. What happened to conversation and families and wit? I remember the image of a young couple walking down the Istiklal Cadesi, the wonderful shopping street in Istanbul. Holding hands. Romantic. Except both were on the phone to someone else, presumably.

      Phones are killing conversation and skills in constructive argument. It is the world of instant opinions, often from ignorant journalists, especially on science matters. TV as well with canned laughter because you need to be told when something is funny and I just want to say, I do not love Raymond. Global Warming and its cousin Climate Change are just shallow topics for the Twitterati. The problem is, we all have to pay for their refusal to think for themselves.

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        Matty

        Did you hear the one about a bunch of people going for a meal ?
        Everyone puts their phone face down on the table.
        First one to pick up their phone pays the bill.

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    MudCrab

    I think more serious and practical research could be made by working out the influence and effects of social media in the first place.

    Social media is still a relative new beastie and what it can and can’t do seem to be poorly understood. There have been some very amusing comments from UK based ‘Lefties’ these last few days expressing shock that their social media connections do not represent the views of their country as a whole. Hey, I laughed.

    The easy analysis is to assume that your social media embraces everyone, therefore studying the trends within it transfer to the overall population. I am not sure (read – can’t be arsed looking) if a serious study into the breakdown of various social media user groups within the overall population, or even the current ratios of active users, to casual users to ghost/legacy accounts. If these studies do not exist then any attempt to draw conclusions from any particular part of social media is next to useless.

    There probably is a fair degree of useful data to be gained from studying social media, but until social media itself is understood, all you are really doing is seeing who can shout the loudest from the comfort of their mobile.

    #LOOKATMEIAMIMPORTANT

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    Wally

    I have many “progressive” FB friends. But I’m also a hard boiled skeptic.

    And I find it easier just to avoid the climate crap that the progressive post on fakebook. But I’ve also dropped off it pretty much because I’ve got tired of the continuous stream of very left political comments and climate madness rubbish that’s posted.

    I may go back some time but the FB environment for me has become one of those things where I figure life is too short to subject yourself to something that only causes irritation.

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    John F. Hultquist

    … despite scientific consensus.

    Ding. Ding. Tilt!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_pinball_terms#T

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    pat

    apocalyptic talk with Phillip Adams:

    13 May: ABC Late Night Live: Phillip Adams: When the water runs out
    California continues to suffer the worst drought in 120 years …
    Guest:
    Mark Hertsgaard, Environmental journalist and author.
    Publication: Hot: Living Through the Next 50 Years on Earth
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/drought-in-california/6466008

    it’s all crazy talk, even tho Hertsgaard admits that 20 year droughts are common in the region…but this current one is definitely CAGW.

    Mark Hertsgaard website: About
    For twenty years, Mark Hertsgaard has written about global warming for outlets including the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Time, NPR, the BBC and The Nation. But the full truth did not hit home until he became a father and, soon thereafter, learned that climate change had already arrived―a century earlier than forecast―with impacts bound to worsen for decades to come. Hertsgaard’s daughter Chiara, now seven years old, is part of what he has dubbed “Generation Hot”–the two billion young people worldwide who will spend the rest of their lives coping with mounting climate disruption.

    coincidentally, some info at Forbes today, tho CAGW makes a dubious appearance towards the end. worth reading all:

    3 pages: 13 May: Forbes: Erin Carlyle: Beyond California: The Worst Droughts In American History
    To identify the Worst Droughts In U.S. History—a task that is harder than it might sound–Forbes consulted America’s top climate scientists. We discovered that comparing droughts is tricky. For one, there is no clear consensus on the exact definition of the word “drought.” Nor is there an agreed-upon way to calculate a drought’s duration…
    “Everybody’s drought is going to be the worst one in their region,” says Daniel Cayan, a researcher at the University of California, San Diego. “It’s kind of like a drought beauty contest.”…
    But none of the droughts of the 20th century come close to droughts of past centuries…
    In fact, the record shows that droughts as severe as the Great Plains drought of the 1950s took place in North America several times each century over the last 300 to 400 years. As recently as 500 years ago, North America experienced droughts of much greater duration and severity than any seen in the 20th century…
    Neither is California’s ongoing drought as severe as the Dust Bowl. But two factors have changed significantly since the state’s worst drought in 1977. First, California’s 39 billion population is now 73% greater than it was in 1977. Second, the current drought is likely exacerbated by a warming climate. “The California drought has been called a global warming drought, because it’s being made worse by the warmer temperatures we have now than we did 50 years ago,” says Cook ( Ed Cook, director of the Tree-Ring Laboratory at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, N.Y) …
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/erincarlyle/2015/05/13/forget-california-north-america-has-faced-far-worst-droughts/

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      manalive

      Good old Phillip Adams who, according to Wiki, is still a leading light in the organisation that calls itself the ‘Australian Sceptics’. Dick Smith is also listed as a member.
      Reminiscent of the old joke attributed to Oscar Levant “I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin”. Adams used to be a vociferous iconoclast until he found religion, the secular religion of Climate Change™.

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  • #
    handjive

    Not a fb person.

    Have been told you can buy “likes” by using the promote button for ‘posts’ & fb pages by paying via a credit card.

    Not a user, so, not sure if this promote button is available on just a ‘business’ page or ‘personal’ page as well.

    One dollar gets your post/page ad on x-number pages, $2 will get more ads, or some sorta pop-up ad on fb page for 1 week, unless user has dis-abled ad option.

    20

  • #

    I am on facebook, but I rarely go there. Just not enough hours in the day to be spending time there.

    I wrote an 8 part series on the recent Cyclone Marcia for my home site, and, thinking it might be worth giving it a plug, I actually linked to it at my facebook home page.

    I received the usual likes from some family members and even some (real) friends. Thinking that this in a way meant that they actually went there and read the articles, the next time I visited with our daughter, she mentioned that she saw the link, added a like, and also a comment as well. I asked her how she liked the articles, and she then said that she didn’t read them. The same for her husband, and our grand daughter as well, and the same also for my brother and one sister. All liked, all commented, none read.

    A week later I received a friend request in a facebook generated email in my inbox, and then the same request a couple of days later. I knew the person, as he occasionally visited at our daughter’s, when we visit once a week. There were another couple of those emails, and I finally went back to facebook, accepted and returned the friend.

    A couple of weeks later, he again visited while we were at our daughter’s. First thing he said to me was how he loved the articles. Best thing he had read concerning the Cyclone, he mentioned, and how good it was to read a personal account.

    The same has happened on a couple of occasions prior to this, where I had linked my Posts at facebook, received likes and comments, but again, all the Posts went unread.

    So it seems to me that this friend, like and the comment section at the facebook site mean a lot less than what people actually think they mean.

    Tony.

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    • #
      el gordo

      The heavy snow in Tasmania prompted a warmist friend to jokingly say on facebook that its probably due to global cooling … dead silence followed.

      AGW is a pathetic religion.

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      • #
        Annie

        Before moving back over to Aus I used to walk around our Yorkshire village to collect our morning paper. For weeks on end we had snow flurries, if not settled snow (this was ‘spring’ in 2013). I used to joke with others about more beautiful global warming and they invariably laughed or smiled. There is plenty of cynicism re AGW around! :)

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    • #
      Annie

      I’m not on fb and have no intention of joining it.

      I did read all your cyclone posts Tony in Oz and found them very interesting. I didn’t need fb to find them, did I? It was thanks to this blog that I have found so much of real interest to read.

      10

  • #
    pat

    14 May: Sky News: Cold snap hits south-east Australia
    A cold snap brought hail and snow to parts of south-eastern Australia during Wednesday as temperatures dropped as much as 10 degrees below average.
    It was the coldest night this year for much of the country, including Sydney which dropped to just eight degrees at 6am (AEST). It was also the coldest temperature for Adelaide since last Winter dropping to 5.2 degrees at 6am (AEST). Canberra recorded a low of minus 4.7 degrees, according to the weather bureau.
    Temperatures in the Blue Mountains got down to minus two degrees and there is wide-spread frost up and down the NSW Tablelands…
    http://www.skynews.com.au/news/national/2015/05/14/cold-snap-for-residents-overnight.html

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  • #
    GMac

    OT but a potential environment problem,Johnny Depp has illegally brought two dogs into the country,he would have known that he was doing the wrong thing.
    Why didn’t Customs inspect the plane?
    50 hours is far too long to permit those dogs of his to move around the country what is AQIS thinking about.
    Fine him the maximum and throw those dogs into an incinerator,a bit harsh yes but I’m a country boy and tough decisions have to be made to eradicate or keep disease at bay!.
    I grew up in an age of bovine brucellosis and Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia ,just the mention of pleuro and farmers would go weak at the knees.

    50

  • #
    pat

    Canada hoping BoM is correct:

    13 May: HuffPo Canada: Zi-Ann Lum: Milder El Nino Winter Ahead, Says Environment Canada
    On Tuesday, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology confirmed El Niño conditions have been met for the first time since 2010…
    For Canadians, it’s a weather phenomenon that likely means milder weather after the second-coldest back-to-back winters in 68 years, according to Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips.
    “We weren’t imagining it, it was tough,” he told The Huffington Post Canada. “It was a lot of misery with ice storms, and frost quakes, record cold, and Great Lakes freezing over.”…
    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/05/13/canada-el-nino-winter-forecast_n_7277110.html

    13 May: Buffalo News: It’s getting cold up here; freeze/frost warnings posted in WNY
    Before most people wake up early Thursday, the temperature at Buffalo could drop into the 30s.
    In other areas further inland and in the Southern Tier it could dip even further – maybe below freezing in some areas…
    In places as close as the Southtowns forecasts show the temperature will drop to freezing.
    The all-time record low for the date was set in 1878 when it was 33 degrees at Buffalo.
    The quick blast of cold isn’t good for your garden or outside plants.
    That’s why there’s a freeze warning in effect from midnight to 8 a.m. Thursday for southern Erie, Wyoming and all of the local Southern Tier counties.
    “A few hours of below freezing temperatures away from the lakes will result in damage to tender vegetation,” the weather service warning stated.
    Outdoor plants will be threatened and the weather service recommends that potted plants “normally left outdoors should be covered or brought inside away from the cold” in those areas…
    http://weather.buffalonews.com/2015/05/13/coldest-low-since-1878-likely-thursday-freezefrost-warnings-posted-in-wny/

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  • #
    pat

    not drought-breaking, but every little bit helps:

    13 May: WaPo Capital Weather Gang: Jason Samenow: Rain-starved California is about to get a rare May burst of showers and snow
    “A cold, winter-like storm system … will drop southward over the next several days, bringing showers and isolated thunderstorms to the area Thursday into Friday,” says the National Weather Service forecast office serving Los Angeles.
    It adds: “There will be the potential for dangerous lightning, small hail, locally gusty winds, and brief heavy rain with any thunderstorms that develop… Snow levels will lower to 5000-6000 feet, possibly resulting in wintry driving conditions on mountain roadways.”…The National Weather Service forecast office in Sacramento says up to a foot of snow is possible in the Sierra Nevada, where winter storm watches have been hoisted.
    Of course, the rain and snow forecast for California is like a drop in a bath tub compared to the water required to end the drought…
    Los Angeles could receive 0.75 to 1.0 inches or so of rain whereas it averages just 0.25 inches for the entire month of May.
    After April, rain of any consequence is somewhat unusual in California, especially in the south…
    In other words, this storm could produce more rain than it often receives in an entire summer period…
    A strengthening El Nino event is underway. Should it reach at least a moderate intensity, it would increase the odds of above normal rain prospects when the wet season arrives.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2015/05/13/rain-starved-california-is-about-to-get-a-rare-may-burst-of-showers-and-snow/

    13 May: KFVS12: Amber Ruch: Kentucky governor announces presidential disaster declaration after winter storm
    The storm included historic snowfall, flooding, landslides and mudslides.
    This is the third federal disaster declaration granted in May for severe weather events that hit much of Kentucky earlier this year. Snowstorms in February and March dumped as much as a foot of snow or more across the state, snarling traffic and shutting schools and businesses…
    http://www.kfvs12.com/story/29048606/ky-governor-announces-presidential-disaster-declaration-after-winter-storm

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    pat

    13 May: The Conversation: Andrew Jaspan: Budget news: Australian Government ends support for The Conversation
    We failed to persuade Education Minister Christopher Pyne that we need a further two years funding to secure our future. Our aim is to be fully self sufficient by 2017 through the contributions from our global network. A reminder: each of our international operations is locally funded through Foundations and universities. TC-UK receives funding from the UK Government.
    We must now take stock.
    ***As a not-for-profit project we offer you and the wider community access to high-quality information devoid of commercial gain or ideological spin.
    We unlock and translate the knowledge and research that sits within our universities, research institutes and CSIRO. We believe healthy democracies need access to high quality, non-partisan, evidence-based information. That has struck a chord with our 2.5 million readers a month. And happily, we retain the bulk of our funding through the support of 33 of Australia’s 39 universities as well as CSIRO…
    But given we have lost the Australian Government’s funding support ($1m pa or 25% of our budget) we ask that you consider supporting us…
    http://theconversation.com/budget-news-australian-government-ends-support-for-the-conversation-41745

    13 May: Boston Herald: Kimberley Atkins: Charlie Baker gets cold shoulder… while Patrick got generous storm aid often
    WASHINGTON — Gov. Charlie Baker is getting a pittance in disaster aid from the Obama White House compared to the tens of millions of dollars former Gov. Deval Patrick scored for lesser storms than the worst winter in memory inflicted on the Bay State, a Herald review found…
    Only $67.5 million in federal relief is expected to be available.
    That’s a drop in the bucket for the estimated $350 million or more in expenses incurred during the brutal storms that blanketed the region in more than 108 inches of snow this past winter. FEMA rejected the state’s request to help dig out from the entire record-setting season…
    https://www.bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2015/05/charlie_baker_gets_cold_shoulder_while_patrick_got_generous

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    Neville

    Interesting post by Ross McKitrick that proves that Obama’s 97% claim is just more of his BS and McKibben has been caught out lying AGAIN.
    In fact he shows that many so called experts are not even aware of the IPCC’s position on many of the issues in relation to our ability to forecast future climate etc. Will they ever wake up?

    http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/climate-change-consensus-among-the-misinformed-is-not-worth-much

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    pat

    it’s all over folks, the Pope has allegedly postponed his Climate Encyclical (see ClimateDepot/WUWT) and not the UN has surrendered to ***reality:

    13 May: Reuters: Alister Doyle: New climate deal seen aiding GDP, lacking sanctions: U.N. chief
    A U.N. deal to combat global warming due in December will seek to lift world economic growth and be based more on encouragement than threats of punishment for non-compliance, the U.N.’s climate chief said on Wednesday…
    The looser formula is a sharp shift from the U.N.’s 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which originally bound about 40 rich nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions and foresaw sanctions that were never imposed even when Japan, Russia and Canada dropped out.
    ***Figueres dismissed fears by many developing nations, which have no binding targets under Kyoto and fear that a Paris accord due to enter into force from 2020 could force them to cut fossil fuel use, undermining economic growth.
    ***”The bottom line (is that) this is an agreement and a path that is protective of growth and development rather than threatening to growth and development,” Figueres told an online news conference.
    The deal would be “enabling and facilitating” rather than a “punitive-type” agreement, she said. The deal’s main thrust would be to decouple greenhouse gas emissions from gross domestic product growth…
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/05/13/us-climatedeal-un-idUKKBN0NY2AD20150513

    nonetheless, Figueres can’t resist giving another lecture to a world that is not listening:

    13 May: WaPo: Joby Warrick: UN climate official pans idea of Arctic drilling in subtle slap at Obama administration
    The United Nations’ top climate official took a subtle poke at the Obama administration on Wednesday over its decision to conditionally allow oil exploration off Alaska’s coast, suggesting that the Arctic’s oil and gas should stay underground.
    Despite the tentative green light given to Shell Gulf of Mexico earlier this week, both the environment and Shell’s stockholders would be best served if such projects are shelved, said Christiana Figueres, the executive director of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.
    “There is an increasing amount of analysis that points to the fact that we have to keep the great majority of fossil fuels underground,” Figueres said at a news conference…
    Figueres was responding to a question about the Interior Department’s decision on Monday to grant conditional approval to Shell’s plan to begin exploratory drilling later this year in the Chukchi Sea, off Alaska’s northeastern coast…
    Figueres said she would not comment on the specifics of a U.S. policy decision. But generally speaking, she said, spending huge sums to extract fossil fuels from remote environments — what she termed “high-cost carbon investments” — is a risky proposition.
    “One has to question the prudence of moving forward with those kinds of investments,” she said. “It is very evident that climate policy is advancing and progressing.”…
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/05/13/un-climate-official-pans-idea-of-arctic-drilling-in-subtle-slap-at-obama-administration/

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  • #
    pat

    Newman/Lomborg have no power whatsoever, but the abuse continues.
    Obama has plenty of power & is constantly making decisions Fairfax should be outraged over but, like ABC, they totally ignore the Shell/Arctic drilling approval, e.g. as far as i can tell from searches. complete hypocrites.

    14 May: Brisbane Times: Michael Brown: Climate inaction, the one point of consensus
    Two climate contrarians making headlines have the same goal in mind: do nothing.
    (Associate Professor Michael Brown is an astronomer at Monash University’s School of Physics & Astronomy)
    The Prime Minister’s business adviser, Maurice Newman, is an old-school climate crank. While scientists from many nations have measured warming across the globe, and found it is caused by carbon dioxide, Newman sincerely believes “weather bureaus appear to have homogenised data to suit narratives.” Newman rejects the work of hundreds of scientists, and instead embraces conspiracy theories…
    Danish professor Bjorn Lomborg​ was to head an “Australian Consensus Centre” at the University of Western Australia, kickstarted with $4 million of federal government funding. However, UWA has withdrawn its offer to host the centre, as it has been incredibly divisive and controversial within UWA and beyond.
    Unlike Newman, Lomborg accepts carbon dioxide is raising global temperatures. However, what unites these two men is they consistently argue against action on climate change. They also have support from the political right, with Lomborg being a favourite of Australian conservatives and American Republicans…
    Newman makes selective use of facts to make his arguments…
    For example, multiple research groups have found that sea level rise accelerated over the past century, and just 10 centimetres of sea level rise will triple the rate of coastal inundation events around Australia…
    Lomborg consistently misinterprets and makes selective use of scientific studies…
    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/climate-inaction-the-one-point-of-consensus-20150513-gh0d5z.html

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  • #
    PeterS

    The climate change alarmist bandwagon is simply being driven by people who have such a hate of the freedom of choice held by people to believe in anything that goes against the AGW religion. So they hunger for a change not much unlike that of the one world government protagonists. It’s a power thing. Facts count for nothing. We can pull up all the evidence we can that proves the AGW alarmist crap is all false but it won’t make a difference to the power hungry megalomaniacs. The only way they can be shut down is to prove it in a law of court and have them put behind bars or fined for all the money that was wasted (in the 100′s of billions). It won’t happen because the governments of this world, especially in the West are desperate for more money to quench their appetite to spend more and more as if there is no tomorrow, and so they will stop any attempt to prove the AGW alarmist talk is indeed a scam (in fact the biggest ever). Bernie Madoff, who is behind bars for his scam, must be kicking himself for not getting into the AGW business in the first place. He would be free to make lots more that he could have ever dreamed of with his own relatively little scam. What makes me sick though is Universities all over are on the side of the scam. They have lost my trust in them for free thinking. If things get really wrotten there, I might even burn my PhD degree in protest and for protection from any nasty attacks in the near future as people turn against such so called centre’s of excellence (more like centres of brainless twits).

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  • #
    The Engineer

    Reminds me of my old physics teacher who used to write a problem on the board, and after we had had some time on it ask for different answers which he also put on the board.
    We were then asked to vote on which answer was correct !!

    The correct answer was rarely chosen by the democratic majority in the class, who (imo) followed “popular” students.

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    • #
      PeterS

      That reminded me of what happened to me at Primary school in a maths lesson. The teacher displayed a mathematical question on the board and we offered solutions. I gave one solution while the rest of the class voted for another. I was right but I was a coward and went with the crowd. Often the power of the crowd is too much to bear. Democracy is not as good as one is lead to believe. In fact it’s sometimes the downfall of a civilization. In other words democracy is not the same as freedom to choose or think. They can be opposites.

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  • #
    stargazer

    Be a loner. That gives you time to wonder, to search for the truth. Have holy curiosity. Make your life worth living. — Albert Einstein

    This ‘group think’, this ‘bund’ that permeates the warmer-mystic crowd does nothing more than stand the scientific method on its head.

    If you look at some of the greatest ideas that transformed our perception of our universe these ideas came as the results of ‘loners’. Perhaps more generously stated… people working in isolation, unaffected by ‘peer review’.

    Where was Heisenberg when he stumbled upon the idea of Uncertainty? Where was Newton when he stumbled upon the idea of Universal Gravitation? Much like Einstein, these trans-formative ideas came from ‘loners.’

    I wonder what a poll would reveal if scientists were asked a simple question: Would you rather have 5000 friends on facebook or 1 trans-formative idea.

    I think I already know the answer.

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    • #
      Robbo_WA

      > Where was Heisenberg when he stumbled upon the idea of Uncertainty?

      hard to tell precisely… was he sitting or walking at that time?
      :)

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    • #
      Matty

      As my old schoolmaster used to like reminding us, Archimedes was in the bath when he had his Eureka moment, figuring out how to tell if Gold is real.

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  • #
    Gary in Erko

    I read somewhere that leftist political people have a higher IQ. I think it could be due to not using it too often.

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  • #

    Pssst, Facebookers. Those are not actually friends you’ve got. And as for Juha Itkonen…like Dame Edna said of Dr Jim Cairns, he’s not a real make-you-better doctor. To get called doctor he just compiles loose opinions and bloviations on social media then turns them into useless factoids. Nothing real there.

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    Robbo_WA

    Itkonen got the interpretation of his experiment upside down.

    He thinks he has discovered that climate believers have more social friends.

    Instead, it’s the other way round: the climate-belief experiment is simply a re-enactment of the classic Asch line experiment. Google it.

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  • #
    Kim

    I’m noticing a thing frequently happening – if a person does not know why something is occurring they often say “oh. it’s climate change”. It’s a meaningless throw away line that really sums up the whole issue.

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  • #
    jeffofoz

    I have close to 3000 ‘FB Friends’…. I also spend a portion of each day scrolling through the news feed and commenting on ‘real friends’ posts. Also I have been on the sceptic side of climate science since my eldest daughter was in school and was subjected to a bit of ‘Inconvenient Crap’ by Al Gore. That was almost 18 years ago.

    So I guess I must accept that I am an acceptation to the rule.

    I have also used FB as a platform to shoot down alarmist climate change posts.

    Perhaps the Sceptics are missing out on a valuable tool to get the message out.

    —-
    Maybe you can teach me? _ jo

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    • #
      jeffofoz

      Correction… Gores ‘Inconvenient Truth was made in 2006…. It was at least 9 years before that when my daughter now 27 was told that Polar Bears were in danger from Global Warming…… that’s how far back the AGW hoax goes.

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  • #
    ROM

    Most of this has already been said above.
    For myself, I am a somewhat noisy loner with an apparent reputation for saying openly in public what I think about a subject and sometimes what I think of the groups promoting some self aggrandising project or viewpoint or so I have been told.

    I have a few close friends and haven’t ever got involved or even the slightest bit interested in Facebook.

    It has been allude to above by a few commenters that certain types of psychologies are far more likely to be found and be big users of the facetiously personal but in reality the impersonal android type social interchange sites such as Facebook where personal social interaction is not sought nor engaged in.  But which give the users a feeling of being inclusive and closely related to the great flow of rest of humanity’s attitudes towards the current short term but very fashionable and usually exceedingly shallow issues.

    What did strike me in the Finnish facebook study quoted above is that it was all Finnish in composition and research and in the Facebook sample.

    For myself, that immediately raised a great big “cultural bias question” flag over the whole so called “study”.

    Different groups from different cultures and different backgrounds even within the same cultural group ie; rural folk will react quite differently to urban folk and both will most likely react differently to an “academics only” study like this, so different nationalities, different ethnic groups, ie arabs , indians , chinese, africans, spanish and etc plus different trades and proffessional groupings would in all probability have turned up quite different numbers on the same Facebook catergorisation this study purports to have researched.

    When culture and other aspects of users of social medium sites are looked at, this study is applicable to Finnish Facebook users and to no one else.
    ______________

    For another view on similar science / psychology studies, an Arizona State University Social Psychology PhD candidate Jose Duarte has a new blog site;
    Social Psychology and Scientific Validity

    His blog goals are;
    I research envy, and I also work on issues of methodological validity in social science.
    Beyond that, I’m deeply interested in philosophy of science, the misuse of statistics, and how to be a good scientific consumer.

    His favorite selfie quote which rings of a true scientific skeptic which he appears to be;

    “If a research question requires that one assume that a particular ideology or value system is factually true, then that research question is invalid.”
    Which sums up in a very small nutshell just about everything wrong with the global warming, catastrophe science today

    A very relevant to our above discussion and Jo’s headline post is the following long quote from his “Example ”

    [quoted ]
    I have mixed feelings about calling out some of these researchers, and I’ve had deeply mixed feelings, in retrospect, about calling out a graduate student. I think the integrity of social science is important enough to defend even if doing so hurts people’s feelings, and that academia has become a place where feelings matter a bit too much in relation to facts, science, asking questions, etc., but I hope all my future rebukes are directed at aged professors.

    What motivated me: Some of these research practices ultimately strip the research of its scientific standing, and that’s a major problem – non-science in a scientific field.
    Not everything is science.
    Not even if scientists do it.
    Calling something science doesn’t do anything to make it science.
    Publishing something in a scientific journal doesn’t make it science.
    Lots of math and statistics don’t make something science.
    Science is a particular kind of thing, a particular kind of method, and it’s important that science survive the ideological tribalism of today’s academic monoculture.

    Some will answer that they just “follow the data”, but they don’t understand that following the data buys you nothing if the data is invalid.
    If you measure sunshine and call it oppression, nothing you do from that point matters.
    It doesn’t matter if you use robust regression.
    It doesn’t matter if you use bootstrapping for your mediation model instead of Sobel.
    It doesn’t matter how reliable your measure of sunshine/oppression is.
    None of that matters.
    Your study was over a long time ago – when you measured sunshine and called it oppression, when you decided that “oppression” was an observable, descriptive variable (like below, where they asked people if hard work pays off and called it “rationalization of inequality”.)
    HINT: When you pull an ideological tenet out of your Marxist theory text, you’ll never be able to measure it – there’s no way to measure whether people who disagree with your ideology are exhibiting “false consciousness”, their beliefs unconsciously shaped by “capitalist hegemony”.

    Social science shouldn’t be a vehicle for revealing the pathologies that keep people from embracing your obviously true ideology.
    People who use it for that purpose tend to be stunningly ignorant of the intellectual landscape – they don’t know enough to do a good job of accounting for the reasons behind people’s views, since they only know their own ideology.
    [ more ]

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  • #
    pat

    comment #37: i meant to type “now” in the opening bit …. “and NOW the UN has surrendered”…

    14 May: Guardian: Libby Brooks: Edinburgh university rejects calls to divest from all fossil fuels
    Climate change campaigners reacted with disappointment as Edinburgh University announced on Tuesday that it would not fully divest from fossil fuels.
    Students lay down in protest on the steps of the building where senior vice principal Professor Charlie Jeffery set out the unanimous decision by the university’s court…
    (WWF/Friends of the Earth/Bill McKibben plus CAGW-invested academics all get to say they are outraged)
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/may/12/edinburgh-university-rejects-calls-to-divest-from-all-fossil-fuels

    i’m off to watch nadal vs isner. goodnite.

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    Tim

    FROM: Personal and Social Correlates of the ‘Closed Mind’ among 16 Year Old Adolescents in England
    Leslie J. Francisa

    “The data demonstrate that higher dogmatism scores are associated with lower IQ scores, lower social class backgrounds, higher neuroticism scores, higher lie scale scores and being male.”

    (dogmatist – a person who believes too strongly that their personal opinions or beliefs are correct)

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    • #
      Tim

      I should have included Wikipedia’s definition of ‘Dogma’. Ring any bells?

      “Dogma is a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.[1] It serves as part of the primary basis of an ideology or belief system, and it cannot be changed or discarded without affecting the very system’s paradigm, or the ideology itself.”

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    • #
      tom0mason

      TIM.

      As this study was called — “Personal and Social Correlates of the ‘Closed Mind’ among 16 Year Old Adolescents in England.
      Leslie J. Francisa”

      I wonder if she found that a few days later that the majority of 16 year olds had changed their minds? 16 year olds are not known to be the most long-lived “closed mind” dogmatists around. Or that a year later quite a number will deny ever holding such views.

      Oh look, squirrel… :)

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      • #

        They are still teenagers a year later. They will only deny holding such views if their friend do. Check back when they have real jobs, pay real taxes, and find out there’s a lot more to this whole Save the Planet rhetoric than they thought. That’s when reality has a chance of sinking in.

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  • #
    Fang

    I thought it was just Socialist, Socialising!

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  • #

    While this is interesting to discuss, changing this will be very difficult. Throughout most of human history, it was essential that you were part of a social group. Conquering new worlds was not a solitary activity. Very few loners survived in the pre-industrial age. People needed groups for protection and aid. The reality that we now can survive pretty much without friends (we still need a job, etc, but we don’t have to socialize to any degree) is not going to change the fundamental nature of human beings very quickly. It apparently is having some effect or there would not be the angry and sometimes cruel behaviour we see in politics and science now, but there are still not a lot of people who can get by without having a lot of social contacts. This is partly why politicians use intimidation to rule—they are also ruled by the need for social contacts and adoration. Independent thinkers threaten that. To be honest, I don’t actually think the independent thinkers will ever dominate, but they might get the attention of enough social thinkers to swing the tide back to honesty and a more open discussion of ideas. Face it, humans are social creatures. We have to recognize that and deal with it in addressing climate change and politics.

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    • #

      Also, throughout most of human history, there was that first person, a long line of first persons, who saw something better and who had the courage to seek it, find it, and to make it so. The vast majority, the mob, feared anything that was different. So much so that many of those fearless seekers after the good, the better, the thought impossible were destroyed by the fear of the mob.

      Yet, the fearless pushed on and ultimately created our modern technological civilization that made it possible for billions to live and thrive who would not have done so only a few centuries ago. It is that very critical 1% who made it possible for the 99% to live. By destroying the 1%, the mob becomes the instrument of their own demise.

      The interesting thing is that all the 1% needs to do to abolish the power of the mob is to stop feeding them. Require that they live by their own thoughts and own actions. Require they take responsibility for their own existence and for the 1% no longer willingly allow themselves to be sacrificed to the ephemeral whims of the mob. The mob needs us to live but we don’t need the mob for anything. The mob is without value. Even worse, it destroys value and thus makes living as a human impossible.

      What we, the 1%, need are other like minded individuals who take responsibility for their own existence, who take part in VOLUNTARY association, and who are willing to trade value for value. All without so much as a suggestion of using force or fraud to “facilitate” the exchange.

      Think about it.

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    Researcher

    Having read this “study”, it is striking that the required declarations of potential bias, conflict and ethics were never made. As well, there was none of the required ethical oversight for this to be a legitimate study. Not to mention the illegal data mining of facebook info without informed consent.

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    Roy Hogue

    So is Facebook the cause or a symptom? Or does one feed the other in a vicious cycle?

    I vote for the latter.

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      Greg Cavanagh

      Facebook can only be a symptom.

      Society has a need and a solution was found. At first it was the written letter, then the telephone, then email, now it’s Facebook.

      The need drives the solution.

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        Ceetee

        If Facebook is a symptom what is the ailment Greg?

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          Ceetee

          In all honesty did we really need it? We live in a society now where clever people find solutions for problems normal people never really knew they had. (Like AGW) Facebook is everything Andy Warhol was about from what I can see.

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    ScotsmaninUtah

    “If only everyone was from Denmark or Finland and friends on Facebook”

    I have to admit that I always get a little nervous when a Scientist (in this case a psychologist) from a small country (Finland) writes about the psychology of people in large groups or from very large countries.

    However, it comes as no surprise to me that Juha thinks Facebook friends are “real”, and in Finland (pop. 5 million) I have no doubt that on Facebook , pretty much everyone IS a friend. In Denmark (pop. 5million) the situation is much the same, where from all accounts everyone on Facebook is a friend.
    Believing in Climate Change when you are from a small country is very important and it seems having a different opinion is considered disruptive.
    You are liable to be unfriended !.

    However , here in America with a population of 300+ Million , having everyone as a friend and on Facebook and believing in climate change makes one just want to burn more C02 !

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    ScotsmaninUtah

    Actually I apologize for making fun of Denmark and Finland, I have always found people from these two countries to be really cool and having lots of common sense.
    In fact they fair better statistically when it comes to Climate Change skepticism.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_opinion_by_country

    Not sure if the link is accurate, but it is fun to look at :)
    A few surprises in the table of opinions…

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      Ceetee

      You should apologise Scotty boy. Very civilised people those. And therein lies the danger of something like Facebook. Any statistical measure based on Facebook is like basing veracity of anything on whether the Kardashians approve.

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