The Milgram Experiment. Image Wikimedia.
The chilling Milgram experiments have been replicated, and yet again, 9 out of 10 are willing to inflict electric shocks and pain on another person. In these infamous experiments the power of a white lab coat was enough to get more than half the participants (26 out of 40) to deliver a fatal shock (the participants didn’t realize the shock was faked, and the victim an actor).
This willingness to obey authority is both a great strength of humanity when authority is worthy and yet leads to the darkest abyss when it is not.
By nature, we are largely empathetic creatures: most people really don’t want to cause pain, they get quite upset themselves in the process. Yet many people will override this inbuilt ethical wiring if a person in a position of authority insist they do. It’s time we talked about ways to train people to resist. There is hope as outlined below in a different study from last year.
Conducting the Milgram experiment in Poland, psychologists show people still obey
Press Release: The title is direct, “Would you deliver an electric shock in 2015?” and the answer, according to the [...]
After the hottest ever El Nino year with relentless propaganda on Australian media, even a loaded survey finds that only 39% of Australians agree that humans are the major drivers of the climate. The survey is being painted as a success by obedient “journalists”. But this is not skyrocketing support, it’s more likely last gasp noise. The results will be down again next year (with the weather).
It is yet another meaningless motherhood survey that avoids asking real questions, offers unbalanced answers, and uses the same ambiguous language as most of these pointless surveys do. Would you like apple-pie?
Who doesn’t want nicer weather — and for free?
The questions climate fans are too scared to ask
Obviously The Climate Institute don’t want real answers, which they must know would be devastating. They won’t ask how much people want to pay out their own pocket to fix the climate. They won’t ask people to rank “climate change” against all the other issues they care about. They won’t ask people if Climate Change is a scam, a con, or a scheme to make the green industry rich (a year ago a US poll showed 31% were happy to call climate change [...]
It’s “depressing”, “hopeless” and “dismal”
The climate debate is more polarised than ever. David Roberts at Vox is very honest about the challenges believers face to solve the deep partisan political divide. But despite all the grants and funding to solve this problem, the experts miss the obvious. I explain below why polarization will solve itself. Indeed, all their best efforts to reduce polarization in the climate debate are creating the polarization. It takes a sustained effort and millions of dollars to keep a false belief alive.
Now Dunlap and McCright (along with Oklahoma State’s Jerrod Yarosh) have updated their study, giving us a fresh look at public opinion on climate change at the end of the Obama era.
The findings are dismal, if not very surprising: Polarization only accelerated after 2008, the gap between the parties is wider than ever, and the trend shows no sign of stopping.
The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) scores politicians. It tracks the voting records of members of Congress. Way back in 1970 both sides of politics wanted to approve environmental legislation about equally.
(Dunlap et al, Environment)
Public opinion has a similar trend. Here are Gallup poll results since 1997. (The [...]
Climate change causes war (maybe) and meaningless statistics (definitely)
One day when you grow up, children, you too can be a research scientist who writes papers that tells the world something banally obvious — like, say, that natural disasters make conflict more likely.
Who, exactly, thought natural disasters brought peace?
I don’t think the journalist who wrote this next paragraph asked himself what it means (if anything):
Globally, there was a nine per cent coincidence rate between the outbreak of armed conflicts and natural disasters like droughts and heatwaves. But, in countries that were deeply divided along ethnic lines, this rose to about 23 per cent.
I suspect it means not much (define “coincident”), but if it did, it implies that globally, 91% of wars don’t coincide with natural disasters.
If there is a real message here, it appears to be that ethnic divisions cause wars:
Dr Jonathan Donges, who co-wrote the paper about the study, said: “We’ve been surprised by the extent that results for ethnic fractionalised countries stick out, compared to other country features such as conflict history, poverty, or inequality.
In Australia the latest (unpublished) opinion poll shows concern about tackling climate change has fallen from 55% in 2007 to 35%.
Groupthinking struggles to understand:
The aversion to talking about climate change during the election campaign reflects a wider problem: our concern for this issue has fallen even while it has become larger and more urgent, writes Mike Steketee.
Climate change dropped off the political radar – ABC Drum
It sure does reflect a wider problem: that democracies need real public debate, real choice, and we are not getting it. Skeptics want climate change to be a voter issue — bring on a plebiscite. Let the public decide how much they should spend to change the weather. But that’s exactly what the believer politicians fear. They know they have to hide the topic because it’s electoral death. Everyone wants to stop pollution and “save the planet” — it’s motherhood and apple pie, but no one wants to pay much to try to change the climate. Eighty percent might believe the climate changes, but only12% want to pay two dollars to offset their Jetstar flight (and it’s less for Qantas). Therein lies a diabolical dichotomy.
This example below shows the dangers of cherry picked and buried data. It shows how great news and joy can be reported from rancid results, and the only protection against this is open access. When the taxpayer funds research that is not fully and transparently public, and immediately available, the people are funding PR rather than science. “Peer review” does little to stop this, little to clean up the mess after it happens, and the truth can take years to be set free.
Ten percent of teenagers taking an anti-depressant harmed themselves or attempted suicide. This was ten times the rate of the teens on the placebo. The results of this clinical trial were published in 2001, but those alarming statistics were not reported. The drug went on to be widely used. A new reanalysis of the data, reported in the BMJ, revealed the dark and hidden dangers. The company that funded the research, Glaxo Smith Kline, has already faced record fines of $4.2 billion. The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry won’t retract the paper.
There are many ways to hide data. In this case, the results of the trial include 80,000 records which were [...]
If psychologists want to be taken seriously, and want psychology to be called “a science”, they need to elect a director who knows what science is.
Executive Director: Professor Lyn Littlefield OAM FAPS
The Climate Study group in Australia published a half page advert in The Australian last week – Psychology and Climate Alarm: how fear and anxiety trump evidence. In reply, Prof Lyn Littlefield, Executive Director of the Australian Psychology Society wrote a letter to The Australian protesting — claiming that the Climate Study Group are the ones suffering from the confirmation bias they accuse climate scientists of.
“The advertisement, ‘Psychology and the New Climate Storm’ misuses psychology-based arguments to add credibility to myths and misinformation about climate change. In doing so, the authors illustrate aptly the very error bias (confirmation bias) they are erroneously attributing to the climate science community.”
It’s the “the pot calling the kettle black”, exclaims Littlefield. But since her arguments are entirely fallacies, this is the kettle calling the pot calling the kettle black. The Climate Study Group mentioned many scientific observations, and in reply Lyn Littlefield can’t find an error in any of them, she can only cite “the consensus”. [...]
Across the West, there is a layer of smart-but-busy intellects who have not been involved in the climate debate. For one reason or another they’ve been too busy setting up IPO’s, doing research projects, or directing companies in perhaps technology, mining or banking, and generally being productive. It is excellent to see some of this caliber adding their brain-power and resources to the public arena. Especially so in Australia, where the debate is almost entirely bare-bones-volunteers versus billion-dollar-institutions, and where the culture of philanthropy is not well developed compared to the US.
This unusual advert was placed in The Australian today. In a normal world, investigative journalists would have already interviewed and discussed views like these, but in the hyperbolic, politicized and religious world of climate-alarm it was simpler for productive people to just get on with it, talk to their peers and make it happen.
Click to enlarge, or read the text below.
Psychology and The New Climate Alarm
Lowell Ponte’s 1975 book warns:
“Global cooling presents humankind with the most important social, political, and adaptive challenge we have had to deal with for 110,000 years. Your stake in the decisions we make concerning it is [...]
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