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Study shows bad economic times means there are more climate skeptics

Posted By Jo Nova On May 6, 2016 @ 6:18 pm In Global Warming | Comments Disabled

I’ve said before that the man-made climate-faith is a luxury of the stupidly wealthy. Only people with time to stress about the carbon footprint of their oranges can wallow in the indulgence of owning the idea that windmills in Alabama could reduce tidal surges in Peru. It follows then that if (or as) the economy falls apart so will the Green religion.

A new research paper backs this up, but possibly shows more about researcher’s confirmation bias than it does about the public. (I suspect the most useful part of this research was that a couple of hundred people got to see a video with Richard Lindzen in.)

That the global-eco-faith needs lots of wealth is a horrible conundrum for the Greens. The best thing they can do to encourage “climate belief” is to get out of the way and let the economy prosper, which of course is the last thing the Greens can do since “Growth” = “Pollution” in the GreenWorldView. So the more the Greens do to slow or wreck the economy, the more skeptical the population will get. It’s a “positive” feedback loop that may protect Western Civilization a little bit. Joy.

Is that motivated recall or motivated analysis?

The researchers report on “motivated recall” but use some pretty “motivated analysis” to misunderstand their data.

“A mediation analysis suggested that the tendency for conservatives to be more skeptical of climate change is consistent with a stronger motivation to justify the economic system.

I’ll translate that for them:

A mediation analysis suggested that the tendency for progressives to be more gullible about climate change is consistent with a stronger motivation to justify their anti-capitalist economic system.

To their credit, the paper does mention something on these lines — the researchers admit that they hadn’t been looking for it, but, golly, their results raise the possibility that the anti-capitalists “may possess an opposing motivation”…. and “nonconsiously exaggerate”. No kidding. The Carbon Wolf will eat the Penguin King, drown whole Cities, and unleash the God of War?

Given the historic rank failure of anti-capitalist economies, it’s only fitting that those who lean toward communism might also lean towards the Doctrine of the evil Carbon Wolf. (That’s the unlikely faith that humans can control the climate despite us making only 4% of a trace gas that is not even the dominant greenhouse gas, and the almost total lack of evidence or predictive association between CO2 and long term climate change.)

To create enviro-panic, suppress econo-panic

Their final conclusion is a typical postmodernist one advising that to “overcome public resistance to pro-environmental policies” the communicator ought to tell people how healthy the economy is at the same time as telling them how bad the environment is:

“…simply providing people with scientific evidence is unlikely to be effective in changing their minds. However, it may be possible to break the psychological link between proenvironmental initiatives and worries about economic risk by linking scientific information to statements about the strength and stability of the economic system. “

How about public officials just tell the public the truth and let them figure out what matters? Radical…

REFERENCE:

Hennes et al (2016) “Motivated Recall in the Service of the Economic System: The Case of Anthropogenic Climate Change,Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, published online April 28, 2016. [PDF freely available].

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