UPDATE Dan Kahan has replied in Comment #54.
So much for the theory that skeptics are dumb or uninformed. Fox News reports that a new study shows that when people are quizzed about climate science, the skeptics outscored the believers.
Dan Kahan at Yale did the study on 2,000 people, but with only nine questions, so there is limited insight here, but it fits with his previous study which found people who knew more about maths and science were more likely to be skeptical. Readers of skeptical blogs (who chose to respond to surveys and list their qualifications in comments) are likely to have hard science degrees. The world is slowly waking up to the fact that the skeptics are more knowledgeable about science.
In a proper science quiz, the gap would probably be even larger. On two of the nine questions, skeptics got the science right. But believers “outscored” skeptics at repeating the propaganda (which shouldn’t be a question in a survey about scientific knowledge). I’d like to see all nine questions (can anyone find a preprint or the paper?)
Skeptics get science right:
One question, for instance, asked if scientists believe that warming would [...]
So much for the consensus. In 2012 The Geological Society of Australia (GSA) was one of the few associations to make a slightly skeptical position on climate. For poking their heads above the parapet they’ve had years of headache and debate, and finally have issued a statement saying they have given up entirely on putting out any statement. The debate is so furious and divisive that no position could be agreed on. (I wonder exactly how many of their members are fans of climate models? Was this the work of just a few zealous believers?) I think I’ve hardly ever met a geologist who wasn’t somewhat skeptical.
The back story is that, like most science associations, in 2009 the GSA chanted the litany. (Their 2009 statement is here). They wrote that governments should take strong action to reduce CO2 and that meant paying geologists more to do research and sit on plum advisory committees. How predictable…
1. That strong action be taken at all levels, including government, industry, and individuals to substantially reduce the current levels of greenhouse gas emissions and to mitigate the likely social and environmental effects of increasing atmospheric CO2.
2. That Earth Scientists with appropriate expertise [...]
Look out, Australia might trim a tiny slice from the Tithe to the Gods of Weather (protest coming)
The Australian budget is in dire straits after the Rudd-Gillard years of promised surpluses but exploding arithmetic. The Commission of Audit is here to test public reaction to all the possible ways of paying off the Labor debt. Somehow, it missed the biggest cherry waiting to be plucked. We could save billions if the the Abbott Government become more rigorously scientific. Abbott should cut funding to any scientists who are using models that don’t work, and only fund ones that do.
“Abbott should cut funding to any scientists who are using models that don’t work, and only fund ones that do.”
I expect the Greens will join me in declaring that if the Abbott government cared about the environment it would immediately launch a royal commission, a real audit, or an independent investigation into the effect of carbon dioxide. Only the best science for the planet, right? All funding to environmental programs dependent on unverified research should be frozen until the audit is finished. Easy eh? Let me be PM for a day. :- )
But apparently the sacred carbon cow must not [...]
Agnotology is the study of how ignorance grows through repetition of misleading misinformation. You might never have heard of it, but it’s the perfect term for the climate science “debate”. Predictably its use began when those convinced of man-man global warming claimed fossil fuel groups were funding misinformation. But as per usual, unskeptical scientists opened a promising new front only to got burned by the evidence.
In the latest volley, from Legates et al 2013, John Cook’s “97% consensus” survey has become the case study in agnotology. Based on incorrect results, a flawed method, and a logical fallacy, it kept key facts hidden while sloppily blending vague language into a form that is easily and actively misinterpreted. That it passed peer-review is another damning indictment of peer review.
Cook still refuses to provide about half the data, but the data that has been made public shows (after some digging) that a mere 41 papers out of 12,000 was called a 97% consensus. The trick is that Cook et al interchangeably use different definitions of consensus.
The Bait and Switch
The Bait: In the introduction Cook states that the reason for the paper is “to determine the level of scientific consensus that human [...]
We know the answer is always that they are smart, and that if we don’t “get their vision” they just need to explain it better.
“Australians have limited understanding of climate change, Climate Institute finds”
A new survey by the Climate Institute on attitudes to climate change shows the majority are concerned for the environment, but confusion reigns supreme.
After years of vigorous and at times toxic debate, more than 1000 people surveyed gave an amazing array of answers …. Sixty-nine per cent thought humans were causing it. But when asked to explain the Gillard Government’s carbon pricing scheme, focus groups returned blank stares.
The reality is of course that climate scientists have a limited understanding of our climate, and that most Australians are suspicious that a tax can change the weather.
Try not to throw up reading the actual report: Climate of The Nation. For starters, the low contrast colors in baby blue and penitentiary-grey-brown are designed not to be read, but to be absorbed. The layout and feel is very much the style of a baby formula brochure. Bask in the “atmosphere” as you scan, but bring out your magnifying glass if you [...]
UPDATE: Dr Paul Bain has replied to say that pressing work commitments mean he cannot respond to this until next week. We look forward to that, and I will make sure it is available for readers here (should Dr Bain permit). – Jo
Dear Dr Paul Bain,
Thank you for replying (and so promptly). I do sincerely appreciate it. Apologies for my tardiness.
I do still think I can help you with your research. Indeed, in more ways than you realize.
You describe in your Bain et al letter in Nature, that the number of deniers is growing despite “enormous effort”. There is a policy problem. I absolutely agree. No one is having any success getting deniers to believe in anthropogenic climate change. Could it be that they don’t understand deniers at all?
Let’s go through the points in your email reply to me, then the bigger implications.
First and foremost – obviously you did not provide evidence to back up your assumption that the “existence” of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change is real. That doesn’t mean it does not exist, but I’ll get back to this. It is the key and only real point.
Secondly, you may regret the [...]
Bottom line: On Q&A Nick Minchin said the IPCC predictions were wrong. Matthew England said “Not true” their 1990 prediction was “very accurate”. But the IPCC predicted 0.3C per decade, and we got at most 0.18C per decade. (Forster and Rahmsdorf 2011 ) How is is “very accurate” when the result is below their lowest estimate?
[See our one-page version of this whole issue.]
Oceanographer Matthew England owes Nick Minchin an apology. Will Tony Jones correct the record on Monday?
How strange is this debate where politicians know the science better than the “scientists”?
The ABC Q&A program shows they have no interest in pursing the truth on climate change. The panel was, as always designed to push an agenda. Five believers, with a sixth in the audience, faced two skeptics. No skeptical scientists were invited to attend, let alone sit in the front row with a mike, like England who was called in so the warmists could get the last word on the science without fear that a skeptic might disputing their version of events. We can’t allow people to damage the faith of those duped [...]
Gillard once lauded the genius of the carbon market. That part of the “free” market which is free to move, is moving — and right out. The smart money is saying that carbon trading is a dead dog. It’s a has-been-tulip, a sick puppy, a sinking ship.
The future of global carbon trading is so “certain” that Barclays Bank is not even bothering to leave one part time guy in the US office with a post box, so they can pretend they still have an interest in it. The mood has so changed, they see an advantage in letting the world know they’re not wasting a single cent more on carbon trading in the United States of America. Well that made my day. .
“That is not good news for carbon-dioxide trading, especially not in the US,”
Barclays was the first UK bank to set up a carbon trading desk, and fast to move into carbon trading: “Barclays Capital is the most active player in the emissions trading market, having traded some 300 million tonnes as at February 2007″.
Barclays Closes US Carbon Desk In Latest Cap And Trade Setback
BREAKING: As Jeff ID says, “The Empire Strikes Back”
Industrial wall in Donetsk, Ukraine. Photo: Борис У.
UPDATED: See Washington Examiner story below.
Tallbloke’s computers were confiscated by police today, allegedly in the search for the climategate leaker. But it’s obvious that there won’t be any clues left on Tallbloke’s computer (it would have no record of comments dropped onto wordpress.com, a US service). See Watts Up.
The point of this is not to catch the leaker, it’s to intimidate bloggers.
Jeff ID writes: Tallbloke a fellow recipient blog of the climategate emails, and linked on the right, was raided today in what seems to be a coordinated effort by Metropolitan Police, the Norfolk Constabulary and the Computer Crime division and the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division. His home was raided and computers were taken for ‘examination’.
They don’t really want to catch the leaker, because a whistleblower is protected by UK legislation. The proof that this is aimed at intimidating bloggers rather than catching the climategate leaker is the coordinated and pointless US dept of Justice action through wordpress. To wit:
Both Tallbloke and JeffID received “the following notification from the U.S. [...]
17 contributors have published
1862 posts that generated