Two professors of sociology think they can explain why “Climate Deniers” are winning. But Riley E. Dunlap and Aaron M. McCright start from the wrong assumption and miss the bleeding obvious: the theory was wrong, the evidence has changed, and thousands of volunteers have exposed it.
The real question sociologists will be studying for years to come is: how was an exaggerated scare, based on so little evidence, poor reasoning and petty namecalling, kept alive for two whole decades?
Climate Change Scare Machine Cycle: see how your tax dollars are converted into alarming messages
See your tax dollars converted into their scare. Click for a larger image. Reference: Climate Money, Science and Public Policy Institute, 2009.
The Full PDF version The key points
1. The money and vested interests on the pro-scare side is vastly larger, more influential, and more powerful than that on the skeptical side. Fossil fuel and conservative-think-tanks are competing against most of the world financial houses, the nuclear and renewable energy industry, large well financed green activists (WWF revenue was $700m last year), not to mention whole government departments, major political parties, universities dependent on government funding, the BBC (there is no debate), the [...]
Queen Meave and the Druid, Eleanor Hull, The Boys’ Cuchulainn, Image: S. Reid.
Some commenters wonder why I allow the word cultist, but sometimes there is no better term. Remember, apocalyptic storms are coming, and we’re all going to die, unless we heed the prophesies of the new Gods of Science.
What’s the difference between a real disaster foretold by scientists, or a cult? Evidence, for starters, and we’re still waiting for observations that support the idea that a catastrophe is coming, but there are more clues.
In normal conversations people can be, you know, wrong, but in a cult, wrongness is not a comment on a scientific point, it’s a statement of identity and a judgment of moral fitness. Those who speak against the (insert doctrine) are not just wrong, they are evil, immoral, and not “worthy” of polite conversation. Believers who become skeptics, are exiled (think “apostate”) and let’s not forget the sacrifices for penance (anyone want to buy a carbon credit for their sins?).
Then there’s the machinations to avoid dealing with reality. No matter what evidence skeptics point to, the answer is effectively always the same: the weather-balloons, satellites, ocean buoys and temperature proxies are [...]
Thomas Sowell wrote Vision of the Anointed in 1995, and didn’t mention climate change. Yet such is the insight of the man that what he wrote was prescient, pertinent and 100% applicable 15 years later. Our battle today follows a similar pattern to battles over many other social policies. Sowell discusses The War on Poverty, sex education, affirmative action, discrimination, crime, infant mortality. They’re unrelated to climate science, yet the tactics repeat ad nauseum.
We fight to test policies with empirical evidence through polite discourse, while those who want influence and money have an arsenal of tools at their disposal to muddy the search for truth. The anointed substitute baseless declarations, flawed assumptions, and irrelevant motivations for real arguments.
How many areas of public policy have a genuine, no name-calling, clean cut debate about what works and what doesn’t?
Just like Earth’s atmosphere, it’s the feedbacks that matter.
Self Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy
Dangers to society may be mortal without being immediate. Once such danger is the prevailing social vision of our time–and the dogmatism with which the ideas assumptions, and attitudes behind that vision are held.
It’s not that these views are especially evil or [...]
Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer have made a desperately needed and polished documentary. Once again, as resistance to the one-sided coverage of the greenhouse crisis grows we can marvel at the determination of people to find a new way to spread the word that there is another side to the story. Once again, grass-roots citizens rise up to fight the witchdoctors who promise to save us from their own exaggerated threats. The indomitable human spirit shines, but sadly so does the destructive power of ideology without rational debate.
A big news day. It appears Steve McIntyre (volunteer unpaid auditor of Big-Government-Science) has killed the Hockey Stick a second time…
The details are on the last three days of Steve McIntyre’s site Climate Audit, and summed up beautifully on Watts Up.
The sheer effrontery and gall appears to be breathtaking.
The Briffa temperature graphs have been widely cited as evidence by the IPCC, yet it appears they were based on a very carefully selected set of data, so select, that the shape of the graph would have been totally transformed if the rest of the data had been included.
Kieth Briffa used 12 samples to arrive at his version of the hockey stick and refused to provide his data for years. When McIntyre finally got hold of it, and looked at the 34 samples that Briffa left out of his graphs, a stark message was displayed. McIntyre describes it today as one of the most disquieting images he’s ever presented.
In a spot of unwitting self-parody Michael Kundu states: “…we need to have the ability to tell fact from fiction. This last mailing is an excellent example of ‘fiction’.” Thus Michael Kundu, whale photographer, pronounces the data from NASA, Hadley, UAH, CSSP, IPPC, as fiction. [...]
This is vintage spinmeister-Tim. Overall he claims I’m deluded, confused, constantly repeating discredited arguments, “doesn’t even know what the hot-spot is”, and “doesn’t understand how the greenhouses gases warm the planet”. But when it comes to backing up the giant patronizing put-downs, it amounts to nit-picking phraseology; irrelevant points; straw men; his own false understanding of what a fingerprint is; and then an own goal when he drops in a graph that shows that the hot-spot is indeed missing. [...]
Leo Elshof from Arcadia University in Nova Scotia* has written to me asking that I put a comedy disclaimer on the Skeptics Handbook, and otherwise threatens to ridicule me at international conferences and set the media onto me. The email is here and my reply is below. What have our universities sunk too? See Leo’s scorecard on logic and reasoning. [...]
Science based ideas are falsifiable, whereas religious ones are not (thanks Karl Popper). The acid test for climate scientists: “What evidence would convince you that carbon was not significant?” [...]
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