Friday, March 09, 2012

Scrambling to explain away who the skeptics are

That well-informed conservative white males are the most reliable climate skeptics is bothersome to Warmists so the academic writers below have just completed a study of the phenomenon. They confirm the finding.

So WHY do people in an especially good position to find out the truth of the matter reject global warming? It's obviously because of bad motivations, of course. It could not be because warming stopped 15 years ago, for instance.

So what we see here is essentially a scientific paper making an "ad hominem" argument, an argument of a sort that has no intellectual respectability at all. And even if we take their "ad hominem" argument seriously, it is based on a critique of conservatism that is deeply flawed.

As I have pointed out on a number of occasions (e.g. here and here), in their simple-minded way, Left-leaning psychologists don't even know what conservatism is. They think it is just opposition to change. But I have yet to meet a conservative who didn't have a whole list of things that he would like to change in the world about him. Leftist psychologists obviously don't talk to actual conservatives.

So Leftist claims about conservative motivations fall at the first hurdle. They literally don't know what they are talking about. They are so confused that some of them even list Stalin, Khrushchev and Castro as conservatives! With a definition of conservatism like that you could prove that the moon is made of green cheese! So anything Leftist psychologists say about conservative motivations is completely worthless
Cool dudes: The denial of climate change among conservative white males in the United States

By Aaron M. McCright & Riley E. Dunlap


We examine whether conservative white males are more likely than are other adults in the U.S. general public to endorse climate change denial. We draw theoretical and analytical guidance from the identity- protective cognition thesis explaining the white male effect and from recent political psychology scholarship documenting the heightened system-justification tendencies of political conservatives.

We utilize public opinion data from ten Gallup surveys from 2001 to 2010, focusing specifically on five indicators of climate change denial. We find that conservative white males are significantly more likely than are other Americans to endorse denialist views on all five items, and that these differences are even greater for those conservative white males who self-report understanding global warming very well.

Furthermore, the results of our multivariate logistic regression models reveal that the conservative white male effect remains significant when controlling for the direct effects of political ideology, race, and gender as well as the effects of nine control variables. We thus conclude that the unique views of conservative white males contribute significantly to the high level of climate change denial in the United States.


Warmism as a neurosis

It is amusing that Warmists commonly assert psychological deficits among skeptics without any proof but when we look at actual evidence (as below) the association is the other way around. The study was too small and unrepresentative to allow reliable conclusions, however

Concern about climate change usually centres on rising sea levels, melting ice caps and drought. But an Australian study has found people with obsessive compulsive disorders (OCDs) can harbour very different worries - from fear of termites gobbling up their homes to concerns about thirsty cats.

The study, by University of Sydney researchers, is believed to be the first in the world to document how exposure to information and media reports about climate change can influence people with OCDs.

"We suggest that mental health professionals need to be aware of, and assess for the presence of such concerns," the study, led by Dr Mairwen Jones, recommends.

Dr Jones, and her co-researchers at University of Sydney's Anxiety Disorders Clinic, studied 50 people with OCDs and found 14 (28 per cent) had concerns directly related to climate change. The most common were about wasting water, electricity and gas, often leading to constant checking light switches, taps and stoves.

Other concerns were more out of the ordinary. "Two of the 14 participants were concerned that increased air temperatures would result in rapid evaporation of the water in their pet bowls," the study found. This led them to constantly check their pets had enough water.

"One participant had idiosyncratic concerns that global warming was contributing to a number of different problems including the floors cracking and the house subsequently falling down," authors wrote.

Other concerns included "pipes leaking, roof problems and white ants eating wooden structures in the house such as front and back doors and cupboard doors".

The study highlighted how the media can influence opinion on potentially emotive issues. It refers to a 1994 study that found some children developed obsessive thoughts about AIDS when media reports about the virus and its spread became common.

It said some reports about climate change could be "potentially alarming".

The study was published in the March edition of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry.


The high priests of global warming have lost their prestige and the realists are winning the debate

James Delingpole

Something extraordinary is happening in the great Climate Wars. I had a taste of it just the other day on an LBC [a London commercial radio station] talk show. The producer had only booked me in for a ten-minute slot, in case the listeners weren't interested in my boring new book about that tediously hackneyed subject Man Made Global Warming. But the switchboards were jammed and the station ended up keeping me in for a full hour to reply to all the calls.

There was one big problem though: "We can hardly find ANYONE who disagrees with you," whispered the show's host, Julia Hartley-Brewer. This was true. By the end, things had got so desperate that I found myself accidentally picking fights with callers who were on my side. An easy mistake to make for someone on my (sceptical) side of the debate: we card-carrying Satanic "deniers" are so used to being vilified at every turn it really feels kind of weird suddenly to be in tune with the popular mood.

And I'm not the only one to have noticed. A climate sceptical blogger called Pointman has written a superb post on the subject(which is well worth reading in full). The enemy - that's the alarmists who've been making most of the running in the last two decades - is in serious disarray. As Pointman puts it: "All reason has fled. There’s a real feeling of April 1945, Berlin, der Fuhrerbunker and its mad occupants, barking unrealistic orders down phones and moving long ago destroyed units around on maps, as if it really meant something."

It's a good point and an accurate analogy. The kind of analogy, unfortunately, which will undoubtedly have the usual greenie/lefty suspects wheeling out their favourite Godwin's Law defence: ie if you ever mention the Nazis it invalidates you argument because, er, it does because someone called Godwin made a "law" saying it does.....

Yup, I'm weariedly familiar with the Godwin's law weasel-out. Just as I'm familiar with: the "Appeal to Authority" (eg "the Royal Society/the National Academy of Sciences says"; "98 per cent of the world's climate scientists agree....."); the crude ad hom: ("James Delingpole is a C***"; "James Delingpole is in the pay of Big Koch", etc); the straw man ("How can you deny climate change is happening when four of the ten hottest years happened this decade?"). The Warmists use them all the time.

What all these tricks have in common is this: they're not arguments; they don't address any of the points we sceptics (or "realists" as we prefer to term ourselves) painstakingly make in article after article, blog after blog; they're simply rhetorical tropes designed to confuse, obfuscate, distract, wear down, bruise, irritate, hurt, clog up the comments section and give the illusion of moral and intellectual victory. Above all, though, their purpose is to distract from what you might call the climate alarmists' Polar Bear In The Room: the world stopped warming in 1998, even as CO2 emissions continued to rise; not only that but none of the computer modelers’ doomsday "projections" of runaway climate catastrophe have been even closely matched by observed real world data.

Or, if you prefer to hear this truth served up with world-weary scientific uber-authority, here's MIT atmospheric physicist Professor Richard Lindzen addressing the House of Commons in February: "Perhaps we should stop accepting the term 'skeptic' because 'skepticism' implies doubts about a plausible proposition. Current global warming alarm hardly represents a plausible proposition. Twenty years of repetition and escalation of claims does not make it more plausible. Quite the contrary, the failure to improve the cause over 20 years makes the case even less plausible, as does the evidence from Climategate and other instances of overt cheating."


In the past - till very recently in fact - the powerful, hugely well-funded alarmist lobby has been able to skate over these inconvenient truths by relying on the propaganda techniques outlined above, as well as on the complicity of the political establishment. Not even the Climategate revelations were quite enough to derail the global warming alarmist gravy train.

So what has changed now? One factor, undoubtedly, has been the fall-out from Fakegate or Gleickgate - the failed attempt by prominent environmental activist Peter Gleick to smear the Heartland Institute (the US think tank best known for its annual climate sceptics' conference) using stolen or faked documents. The attempted smear was bad enough (imagine the media outrage if climate realists had tried something similar!) but where the stunt really backfired was as a consequence of its handling by left-liberal news organisations like the Guardian, the BBC and the New York Times.

All of them leapt into report the story gleefully without bothering to check whether or not it was true. And when evidence began to emerge that it wasn't true, they compounded their error by seeking to defend Gleick's duplicity and criminal actions regardless. Numerous left-liberal commentators argued that Gleick was in fact a hero whose crime was entirely justified in seeking to expose the manifest evils of this sinister, right-wing think tank.

Problem was, even this argument wasn't borne out the facts. As far as environmental think tanks go, Heartland is little more than a Mom & Pop operation, run on the relative shoestring budget of $4.7 million (only a proportion of which goes towards "climate change" issues). Now compare this with the budgets of left-leaning environmentalist pressure groups such as the Sierra Club ($84.8 million), Natural Resources Defense Council ($97 million), or the World Wildlife Fund ($177.7 million). And that's before you take into account US government spending on climate change issues, which according to calculations by blogger Jo Nova exceeds spending on sceptical science by 3500 to one.

During the last two decades global warming alarmist propaganda has depended on Hitler's Big Lie principle (whoops: Godwin's Law. So shoot me). But that principle, as first Hitler discovered and now the AGW lobby is discovering too, is flawed. In fact there are only so many times you can tell a whopping great lie (be it on the solidity of AGW theory or that climate sceptics are lavishly funded by Big Oil) before the people see through it. And once the people discover that they have been consistently lied to (and cheated out of a great deal of money to boot) they don't like it one bit.

Coming soon - indeed it has already started - is the mother of all backlashes against the AGW alarmism industry. It will happen on lines predicted over a century ago by Gustave Le Bon in his seminal 1895 work, The Crowd.

Le Bon (whose analysis of crowd mentality influenced Freud, Hitler and Mussolini) argued that the secret of demagoguery was to repeat an idea over and over again in order to create a "contagion" which would infect the popular mind and hold the culture in its grip. This is what, until very recently, happened with the global warming religion.

But this contagion can only keep going, Le Bon argues, so long as those spreading it possess "prestige" in the eyes of the mob. Once that "prestige" is lost, the crowd turns brutally against those seers and experts and leaders in whom it once had such faith. Suddenly it sees them for the liars and cheats and manipulators they really are.

This is what is happening now in the great climate debate. Michael "Hockey Stick" Mann's new book is not selling; George Monbiot is mocked as a conspiracy theorist; the Royal Society's Sir Paul Nurse climate science ignorance is eviscerated in a report by the Global Warming Policy Foundation; Yale economics professor William D Nordhaus publishes an essay in the New York Review of Books called Why the Global Warming Skeptics Are Wrong - and is almost instantaneously and comprehensively rebutted at Watts Up With That?

The high priests of global warming have lost their prestige. They're still chanting the same old mantras. But no one's listening, no one cares.


Hansen Says He Is Shy – Demonstrates That He Is Either Senile Or Corrupt
Climate scientist Dr. James Hansen, began a recent TED talk with two important questions.

He asks, “What do I know that would cause me — a reticent, midwestern scientist — to get myself arrested in front of the White House protesting? And what would you do if you knew what I know?”

He seeks constant media attention, but is shy.
Hansen explains that his work as a climate scientist dates back to 1981 and a paper he co-authored on global warming. He and his colleagues found that “observed warming of 0.4 C in the prior century was consistent with the greenhouse effect of increasing CO2.” He says that they also found, “that Earth would likely warm in the 1980s, and warming would exceed the noise level of random weather by the end of the century.”

Vostok ice cores show 12C swings in temperature as normal, but Hansen says 0.4C is abnormal. GISS is currently at 0.36.
Most strikingly, Hansen says, the paper predicted that the 21st century “would see shifting climate zones, creation of drought-prone regions in North America and Asia, erosion of ice sheets, rising sea levels and opening of the fabled Northwest Passage.”

Alzheimers or corruption? Hansen wrote the text below in 1999. At one time he knew about the Dust Bowl.
Empirical evidence does not lend much support to the notion that climate is headed precipitately toward more extreme heat and drought. The drought of 1999 covered a smaller area than the 1988 drought, when the Mississippi almost dried up. And 1988 was a temporary inconvenience as compared with repeated droughts during the 1930s “Dust Bowl” that caused an exodus from the prairies, as chronicled in Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath.

Regardless of whether he is a crook or has simply lost his memory, he needs to step down. All of North America is drought prone, and has been for as long as people have been living here.

SOURCE (See the original for links and graphics)

The Greens Think You're Stupid

By Alan Caruba

Every day sends me an email that features links to several articles on issues they regard as urgent and important. If I had no knowledge of science or much else, I would be spending my days in a state of panic and that would be just fine with the EcoWatch folks.

In late February, one of the articles to which one could link was “Top Earth Scientists Warn of Global Ecological Emergency” that was the epitome of everything that is wrong with the environmental movement in general and the machinery of the United Nations whose goal is to be the single global government with which to rule the Earth. Towards this end, the UN has an Environmental Program whose most recent gift to humanity has been three decades of lies about “global warming.”

Now the UN has its eyes set on “transforming” the world’s economic system in general and the destruction of capitalism in particular. That is what the upcoming Rio+2- Earth Summit in June is all about. Why anyone would believe anything these people have to say defies explanation.

“Ecological Internet (EI) reiterates is declaration of a planetary ecological emergency, first issued two years ago. Since then abrupt climate change has revealed itself in all its fury. Habitat loss and extinction have intensified, food and water have become increasingly scarce, and human inequity and injustice have grown.”

This kind of Chicken Little blather is the very lifeblood of environmentalism.

If individuals and nations cannot be driven to pay dearly for “carbon credits” in order to emit carbon dioxide, than some new scheme must be devised and driven by the same scare tactics and campaigns that worked for global warming until it became apparent that it was a complete fraud and those who advanced it little more than criminals with PhDs.

Parenthetically, it is precisely the Big Lie of carbon dioxide as a “pollutant” that is at the heart of the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule-making that would destroy the nation’s manufacturing and energy production sectors.

Americans and others around the world are largely unaware of the massive propaganda machine, aided and abetted by the news media and even Hollywood, that works relentlessly to shape public perceptions and opinion.

In just four day’s time, EcoWatch emails provided twenty-four links to stories, some of which had the following headlines:

“Who’s Funding Climate Change Denial?”

“Overfishing leaves Swaths of Mediterranean Barren”

“Water Scarcity Impacts at Least 2.7 Billion People Each Year”

“As Fracking Boom Hits Ohio, Deceptive Industry Practices Squeeze Landowners”

“10 Ways Monsanto and Big Ag Are Trying to Kill You—And the Planet”

“School Lunchrooms Put Planet and Kids at Risk”

“7 Dangerous Lies About Plastic”

There are common environmentalist themes in just these few examples. All corporations are evil, but those seeking to provide sources of energy are more evil than, say, those providing farmers the means to grow more crops to feed more people. Anything that might improve the economy or enhance the lives of Americans is vigorously opposed.

The use of deliberate deception is a constant factor in environmental claims.

The assault on America’s children continues unabated, especially in their classrooms where they are routinely taught that humans are to blame for destroying entire eco-systems, the climate, and everything else.

The latest abuse of young minds is “The Lorax”, an animated film that one critic said “all but shouts its disdain for capitalism” as the Lorax proclaims “I speak for the trees.” Another critique concluded that the film “is relentless in propagandizing how the use of natural resources to create consumer products is inevitably catastrophic.”

In sum, environmentalists, the vast matrix of eco-organizations, and the United Nations, all think you’re stupid. They are counting on it, but they are taking no chances as they overwhelm the news media, motion pictures, the Internet, and every other form of communication with their message that we must abandon common sense for their brand of Green slavery.


A classic of throwing good money after bad: After the Volt Debacle, Obama Calls for More Spending on Car Batteries

President Barack Obama is discussing spending more on green energy and on electric car batteries less than a week after the bailed-out General Motors temporarily laid off 1,300 employees and halted the production of the Chevy Volt.

Obama, speaking Tuesday night to the Business Roundtable at the Newseum, and said, “folks are getting killed right now with gas prices,” acknowledging the need for more production of oil and natural gas.

“It also means, though, we’ve got to invest in the energy sources of the future,” Obama said. “We’ve got to invest in clean energy. We’ve got to invest in efficiency. We’ve got to make sure that the advanced batteries for electric cars, for example, are manufactured here in the United States.”

Earlier on Tuesday, during a White House news conference, Obama asserted he did not want gas prices higher while he was running for reelection.

“Just from a political perspective, do you think a president of the United States going into reelection wants gas prices to go up higher? Is there anybody here who thinks that makes a lot of sense?” Obama asked rhetorically to the room full of reporters and cameramen.

During the Tuesday night speech to the Business Roundtable, the business leaders had the opportunity for a question and answer. However the accompanying press pool was ushered out of the room so as not to hear the Q & A. According to the White House pool report, the president was overheard saying, “This doesn't look like a tweeting crowd.”

Obama also touted the auto bailout for saving the industry in the United States. He said a similar comeback can happen in American manufacturing.

“What's happened in the auto industry can happen in other areas, and we've got to make sure that we understand even though manufacturing will not be the same percentage of our economy as it once was, it still remains this incredible multiplier for services and consumers and prosperity all across America,” Obama said.

In light of rising gas prices, Obama has also come under criticism for promoting algae as a solution to the fuel problems, claiming 17 percent of U.S. oil imports could be replaced with biofuels.

“We’re making new investments in the development of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel that’s actually made from a plant-like substance, algae - you’ve got a bunch of algae out here,” Obama told an audience at the University of Miami in late February. “If we could figure out how to make fuel out of that, we’ll be doing all right.”



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1 comment:

Rich Kozlovich said...

The article about white male conservatives being the most profound group being unsupportive of climate change claims by scare mongers actually proves three things.

1. White male conservatives are better informed than the rest of society.
2. They are smarter than the rest of society.
3. They don't scare as easily.

Those are also clear and distinct qualities necessary for good leadership, therefore an excellent example for the rest of society. Now that ain't a bad thing.