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Author Topic: Climate change deniers  (Read 3859 times)

Ray

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2017, 08:34:50 AM »

I haven't come across that but no doubt it happens.
You are right to say there is a difference between challenging the deductions of a particular study and stifling conversation in general.
When I use the term climate change denier I'm thinking of those who originally denied it was happening, and now have moved on to deny humans are the cause.
As to their motivation, who can say? Perhaps it is an emotional weakness, that they can't face a future without their current way of life. Or maybe an intellectual one in that they are too lazy to examine the huge body of research. Perhaps they are selfish and unwilling to help coming generations, or have vested interests in the status quo or are plain potty. Whatever.
David

David,
I agree with Otto Phocus. The term 'climate change denier' is a pejorative term of the nature of an Ad Hominem attack.
I first began thinking about the climate change issue about 20 years ago when the media began giving it more attention and documentary programs on radio began interviewing certain outspoken scientists on the issue, such as James Hansen, and James Lovelock who was the author of the Gaia Hypothesis.

From Wikipedia:
"The Gaia principle, proposes that organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a synergistic self-regulating, complex system that helps to maintain and perpetuate the conditions for life on the planet. Topics of interest include how the biosphere and the evolution of life forms affect the stability of global temperature, ocean salinity, oxygen in the atmosphere, the maintenance of a hydrosphere of liquid water and other environmental variables that affect the habitability of Earth."

Since I was quite ignorant in those days on matters of climate, I would have had no reason to doubt the word of notable scientists, and I accepted the premise that increased, human-induced CO2 levels were a potential problem that should be addressed.

My main concern in those days, was in connection with the pathetic attempts by governments to address the issue. That was my topic of conversation amongst friends. Why aren't governments setting a moratorium on the production of petrol and diesel fuelled vehicles, for example, in order to encourage the development of electric cars?

I live in the countryside about an hour's drive from the city. I have no problem with atmospheric pollution, but I do notice it when I photograph the city from a hill top, even on a clear day. The pollution and haze is from vehicles. There are no coal-fired power stations in the city.

My change in attitude began when I started investigating the issue for myself, as a result of a natural curiosity. I recall listening to an interview of James Hansen in which he was asked to describe the origins of the concerns about rising CO2 levels. Hansen described the results of the NASA explorations and observations of the climate on Venus, which is similar in size and composition to the earth, but closer to the sun.

He said Venus is extremely hot, and too hot to support life, and  has a very high concentration of CO2.
The interviewer then suggested, if we don't reduce our CO2 emissions our planet will eventually become like Venus. As I recall, Hansen did not answer yes or no, and did not respond with any further information about Venus.

The obvious question that occurred to me, after listening to the interview, is what are the actual levels of CO2 on Venus.? Why did Hansen not mention this during the interview?

So I did a search on the internet and discovered that the atmosphere of Venus consists of 96% CO2. It's no wonder that James Hansen did not mention that trivial fact. At that time CO2 levels on earth were about 0.038%. How valid is a comparison between 96% and 0.038%?

As I continued investigating issues about climate and searching for what I thought were very relevant facts which were glossed over or never mentioned during the interviews of  the climate scientists, and reports in the media, it became very obvious to me that there was a tremendous bias in play.

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LesPalenik

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2017, 05:52:47 AM »

North Atlantic shipping lanes have already witnessed 616 icebergs this year. Last year, 687 icebergs were spotted from the start of the year to September, according to CTV. Experts said the surge is due to unusually strong counter-clockwise winds, and perhaps the effects of global warming.



http://time.com/4746814/ferryland-newfoundland-canada-iceberg/

David Sutton

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2017, 06:24:39 AM »

North Atlantic shipping lanes have already witnessed 616 icebergs this year. Last year, 687 icebergs were spotted from the start of the year to September, according to CTV. Experts said the surge is due to unusually strong counter-clockwise winds, and perhaps the effects of global warming.

A startling photo.
What have I learned? There are climate change sceptics who for example may argue about the methodology in a particular study, and the are climate change deniers who pose as sceptics but you can spot them this way. Offer a well researched study and they will blather on about what their aunt May said back in '69 or that some scientist somewhere couldn't answer some question.
They have absorbed in depth the arguments against, but never immersed themselves the real scientific spadework.
I recall about five years ago a scientist who was a climate change denier, I think it was Richard Muller, was funded to disprove the whole theory on global warming and the human connection. Alas he was really a sceptic disguised as a denier, and after exhaustive research changed his views completely.
Did he get a big thank you from his supporters? An "Oh, so we were wrong about this all along"? 
No, he got death threats.
David
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Ray

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2017, 10:49:20 AM »

A startling photo.
What have I learned? There are climate change sceptics who for example may argue about the methodology in a particular study, and the are climate change deniers who pose as sceptics but you can spot them this way. Offer a well researched study and they will blather on about what their aunt May said back in '69 or that some scientist somewhere couldn't answer some question.
They have absorbed in depth the arguments against, but never immersed themselves the real scientific spadework.
I recall about five years ago a scientist who was a climate change denier, I think it was Richard Muller, was funded to disprove the whole theory on global warming and the human connection. Alas he was really a sceptic disguised as a denier, and after exhaustive research changed his views completely.
Did he get a big thank you from his supporters? An "Oh, so we were wrong about this all along"? 
No, he got death threats.
David

I see you are still confused on this issue, David. All climate change deniers are total ignoramuses. The first thing that anyone who is interested in climate change learns is that climate is always changing. It has always changed in the past and it is reasonable to presume it will always change in the future.

Such changes occur in cycles of great variability. The biggest changes are known as Ice Ages. There have been perhaps 8 of them during the Earth's history. In between each of these Ice Ages there are frequent smaller cycles of warming and cooling.

The last Ice Age peaked about 21,000 years ago and is described as having ended about 11,500 years ago. We are currently in an interglacial period of slight warming with lots of 'ups and downs'.

Our ancestors, of the Homo Sapiens variety, were able to migrate to Europe about 60,000 years ago because sea levels were so low. The Aboriginals of Australia didn't need boats to arrive in Australia. They could walk across what are now oceans.

After the peak of the last Ice Age, sea levels sometimes rose by as much as 3 or 4 metres in a century, but on average about 1 metre per century.
http://www.nbi.ku.dk/english/sciencexplorer/earth_and_climate/golden_spike/video/spoergsmaal_svar1/

The issues are, to what extent is the current warming period due to human-induced CO2 emissions, and is the current warming likely to be harmful to mankind, or perhaps of benefit to mankind, irrespective of the cause.

It's quite possible that an enhanced warming due to our CO2 emissions might delay the onset of another Ice Age, or at least another Little Ice Age, and in the meantime we can benefit from increased plant growth.

Nevertheless, the photo in the link from LesPalenik is spectacular. Without a bit of global warming, such a photo would not have been possible in that location.  ;)
« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 11:39:48 AM by Ray »
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #24 on: April 20, 2017, 02:40:52 PM »

I'm a climate change agnostic in that I haven't seen the scientific method applied to prove we can control the weather by just controlling one element of the periodic table while excluding all other variables that prevent us from accurately predicting the weather except on a weekly basis at best.

If it's the effects of the weather we're worried about, first prove how we can change it to our advantage. That hasn't been clearly shown to be possible.
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Sharon VL

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #25 on: April 20, 2017, 02:54:02 PM »

I'm a climate change agnostic in that I haven't seen the scientific method applied to prove we can control the weather by just controlling one element of the periodic table while excluding all other variables that prevent us from accurately predicting the weather except on a weekly basis at best.

If it's the effects of the weather we're worried about, first prove how we can change it to our advantage. That hasn't been clearly shown to be possible.

We have documented a lot of coastal erosion here and were interviewed for a TV show on coastal erosion. The meteorologist who interviewed us agreed with what you said, Tim.

Robert Roaldi

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #26 on: April 20, 2017, 03:13:00 PM »

I'm a climate change agnostic in that I haven't seen the scientific method applied to prove we can control the weather by just controlling one element of the periodic table while excluding all other variables that prevent us from accurately predicting the weather except on a weekly basis at best.

If it's the effects of the weather we're worried about, first prove how we can change it to our advantage. That hasn't been clearly shown to be possible.

We probably don't need to control the weather to cause problems. It is probably enough to perturb it out of balance faster than the eco-system can respond.

Also, from what I read, many of you are criticizing the modelling work in the field based on the assumption that the models/theories/discussions only look at one variable. Unless you're actively working in the field, I can only assume that you are basing this belief on media reportage. This is risky as it is probably too much to ask that they get the details right. If we (you) can think of things that are wrong with those models, then I'm fairly confident that all the researchers in the field have done so as well.
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Adam L

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #27 on: April 20, 2017, 03:37:15 PM »


My change in attitude began when I started investigating the issue for myself, as a result of a natural curiosity. I recall listening to an interview of James Hansen in which he was asked to describe the origins of the concerns about rising CO2 levels. Hansen described the results of the NASA explorations and observations of the climate on Venus, which is similar in size and composition to the earth, but closer to the sun.

He said Venus is extremely hot, and too hot to support life, and  has a very high concentration of CO2.
The interviewer then suggested, if we don't reduce our CO2 emissions our planet will eventually become like Venus. As I recall, Hansen did not answer yes or no, and did not respond with any further information about Venus.

The obvious question that occurred to me, after listening to the interview, is what are the actual levels of CO2 on Venus.? Why did Hansen not mention this during the interview?

Did you consider that Venus being closer to the Sun is what causes Venus to be so hot?   http://spaceweather.com/
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David Sutton

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #28 on: April 20, 2017, 05:31:31 PM »

Huh, here's a coincidence. I just read this article:
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/11122015/climate-change-global-warming-denial-ugly-side-scientists-hate-mail-hayhoe-mann

Apparently, harassment and threats are now routine for scientists and journalists working on global warming.
David
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Ray

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #29 on: April 20, 2017, 08:41:12 PM »

Did you consider that Venus being closer to the Sun is what causes Venus to be so hot?   http://spaceweather.com/

I think there would be many factors contributing to the hot temperatures on Venus. Not only is Venus closer to the sun than planet Earth and receives about twice the intensity of sunlight as Earth, it has a very weak magnetic field and a very slow rotation which results in very long days. The time from one sunrise to the next is the equivalent of 117 Earth days.

James Hansen did not mention these facts when he made the analogy, nor the fact that the Venus atmosphere is almost entirely CO2 (about 96-97%).
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Ray

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #30 on: April 20, 2017, 08:46:48 PM »

Huh, here's a coincidence. I just read this article:
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/11122015/climate-change-global-warming-denial-ugly-side-scientists-hate-mail-hayhoe-mann

Apparently, harassment and threats are now routine for scientists and journalists working on global warming.
David

Harassment, threats and bullying are now a common occurrence on social media on so many issues, and I certainly do not condone that. People who engage in such threats and ad hominem attacks are ignorant in my opinion.

I imagine this problem has been fuelled by the way the media has reported on the issue of climate change, and the way they have organized the interviews with climatologists.
Generally, they have failed to distinguish between the natural and ongoing changes of climate and the possible influences of the very slight increases in CO2 levels (0.028% to 0.04% during the past couple of hundred years).

I'm sure there are many people in the general public who have no understanding of the geological record of past changes in climate and just assume that the climate has been steady and unchanging for the past millennia, or at least since the beginning of civilization.

The media, and the climatologists who have used the media seem to have deliberately created a message of alarm rather than try to educate the public on climate matters in a balanced way.

They have also created a false sense of certainty about the role of miniscule percentages of atmospheric CO2.
I recall viewing a long interview featuring the late Stephen Schneider who was a leading researcher on climate, at Stanford University. Members of the audience were allowed to ask questions and one such question was directed at the increasing level of certainty expressed by the IPCC that the current warming phase was due to human-induced CO2. How was such certainty calculated?

Schneider's answer was revealing. He admitted that the 95% certainty was not a scientific calculation but was a figure chosen in order to grab attention so that people would take the issue seriously.

That's in accord with my general impression of the messages of climatologists as expressed through the media. Exaggerate the negatives and ignore the positives.
The very term 'Climate Change Denier' and it's association with Holocaust Denial, is a misleading and provocative term. It's perhaps no wonder there has been a backlash.

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Ray

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2017, 09:19:00 PM »

Also, there is only so much alarm that people can tolerate. Most people are concerned about their jobs, financial security, owning their own home, living in a clean environment, reducing costs through the increased efficiency that technology can bring, and feeling safe that their property or farms are not exposed to extreme weather events.

Instead of trying to change the over all global climate by reducing CO2 levels, governments should be addressing the real issues of poverty and corruption, and the vulnerability of many people, even in developed countries, to natural and expected extreme weather events.

In the interests of economic development China has polluted its cities and caused significant health problems. The pollution and health problems are not due to CO2.
In Australia we've had alternating droughts and floods for thousands of years, yet governments do not take appropriate measures to build more dams and ensure that houses in cyclone areas are built to withstand the strength of previous, known cyclones that have occurred in the area.

Creating alarm about CO2 merely distracts attention (and money) from these more certain risks that affect peoples' well-being.


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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #32 on: April 20, 2017, 11:01:31 PM »

We have documented a lot of coastal erosion here and were interviewed for a TV show on coastal erosion. The meteorologist who interviewed us agreed with what you said, Tim.

Yeah, erosion occurs all around the world. Floods that raise the water line over ten feet throughout my local spring fed river move tons of bottom gravel and dirt to one side of the banks to another where some of it gets dropped off a mile downstream. I've seen this with my own eyes snorkeling this approx. 4 mile river for ten years now through about 5 separate floods of varying depths and severity.

River's still there and folks water front property still intact. There are so many variables that change the flow and amount of water that has nothing to do with weather. The lay of the land, the number of newly built parking lots up the tops of hills near the river, a newly built dam that slows the momentum of water. The list is too numerous to recall here.
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #33 on: April 20, 2017, 11:11:11 PM »

We probably don't need to control the weather to cause problems. It is probably enough to perturb it out of balance faster than the eco-system can respond.

Then what's the point of controlling CO2 amounts? It's called global climate change for a reason. We want to prevent the climate from changing (usually away from the bad) by reducing the CO2 in the atmosphere.

We don't like the severity of the weather depending on where one lives on the globe. So when it's good, no one raises an issue. When it's bad, it gets lots of coverage on the news (news reported by a very small group of people who make them self appear like they speak for the entire world). I see that more as an imbalance of weather reporting over maintaining balanced weather.
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Otto Phocus

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2017, 06:49:13 AM »

I enjoyed reading

The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World (2001)by Bjørn Lomborg

As a scientist, although not an environmental scientist, I appreciate his concern about how the data is collected, processed, and analyzed.
If you don't have control over the data sources, you don't have control over the study.
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David Sutton

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2017, 07:02:27 PM »

I enjoyed reading

The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World (2001)by Bjørn Lomborg

As a scientist, although not an environmental scientist, I appreciate his concern about how the data is collected, processed, and analyzed.
If you don't have control over the data sources, you don't have control over the study.

I haven't read Lomborg's book but understand he's a statistician, not an environmental scientist. The difficulty with a statistical approach lies in the detail.
We may have more land in forest now than 100 years ago, but that forest may be a monoculture and we have lost biodiversity in cleared rain forest. Example: I recall flying over South East Asia in the late 1960s and there was tropical rain forest as far as the eye could see. Last year on a similar route all I could see was palm oil plantations.
Many places have less pollution now than 50 years ago, but the pollution we have is longer lasting and more environmentally dangerous.

I'm not referring to Lomberg here, but climate change deniers follow the standard route used by many politicians and others. Cherry pick data, set up a straw man, use irrelevant statistics, quote the extremists, and the "some scientist said something some time and was wrong" approach.
So one ends up having to write a full page reply to adequately deal with a one sentence claim. That's one reason I generally don't engage with them while I can be more productive elsewhere. I doubt there is anything to done about man-made global warming, and certainly not by me.
David
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Ray

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #36 on: April 22, 2017, 03:52:32 AM »

I haven't read Lomborg's book but understand he's a statistician, not an environmental scientist. The difficulty with a statistical approach lies in the detail.
We may have more land in forest now than 100 years ago, but that forest may be a monoculture and we have lost biodiversity in cleared rain forest. Example: I recall flying over South East Asia in the late 1960s and there was tropical rain forest as far as the eye could see. Last year on a similar route all I could see was palm oil plantations.
Many places have less pollution now than 50 years ago, but the pollution we have is longer lasting and more environmentally dangerous.

These effects of human activity you've mentioned above are not related to CO2 emissions. Reducing CO2 emissions is not going to increase forest growth.

Quote
I'm not referring to Lomberg here, but climate change deniers follow the standard route used by many politicians and others. Cherry pick data, set up a straw man, use irrelevant statistics, quote the extremists, and the "some scientist said something some time and was wrong" approach.

Can you give us some examples of this so-called cherry picking by so-called deniers? I would suggest that the cherry picking by these so-called deniers is done in order to create a balance because of the cherry-picking by the alarmists.

Quote
So one ends up having to write a full page reply to adequately deal with a one sentence claim. That's one reason I generally don't engage with them while I can be more productive elsewhere. I doubt there is anything to done about man-made global warming, and certainly not by me.

That sounds to me as though you are not seriously concerned about the issue if you cannot be bothered to write a full page reply in order to clarify a point.
As I've mentioned before, my concern about the alarm generated about human-induced CO2 emissions, is that such alarm is not scientific, and is not balanced in a way that presents all known relevant factors.

When climatologists talk about their research in the media, it seems to me they are wearing a 'different hat', a bit like a claimed Christian who is enrolled in the army to fight a war. His religion tells him to love his enemies, but his government tells him to kill his enemies.

I'll give you a one-page example of a bias in the reporting of the effects of increasing CO2 levels, with regard to ocean acidification.
I mentioned in the other thread that I started, called the Climate Change Hoax, that I was rather puzzled why a climatologist, or even a marine expert, would give a talk on the dangers of ocean acidification without even mentioning what the pH of the oceans actually is.

Those who are not particularly curious about such issues would tend to presume that the oceans were already acidic and getting worse. Everyone understands that acid can be harmful. It has a negative association.

Now why would a climatologist or marine expert, during an interview, not even bother to mention what the current pH of the oceans is estimated to be, and how much it has reduced during the past couple of hundred years?

Well, to answer that question, all you have to do is search the internet, where you will discover that a pH of 7 is neutral, below 7 is acidic, and that the current average pH on the surface of the oceans has fallen from 8.2 to 8.1 during the past couple of hundred years, approximately, and perhaps very approximately.

Such a small reduction in pH levels does not sound alarming. That's why the alarmists would not mention it. That's an example of cherry picking the data.
It's also revealing that BartvanderWolf responded to my post, in the other thread, that a 0.1 reduction in pH levels represented a 30% reduction in alkalinity, which is another example of a misleading statement designed to create alarm. 30% sounds very significant. It implies we're almost a third of the way to complete neutrality, beyond which, acidity rules.

However, the pH scale is logarithmic for good reason. "Acidity Percentage" is not common chemistry terminology and doesn't have much meaning. In order to go from a pH of 8.2 to 7.2, which is still slightly alkaline, the reduction in percentages terms is 900%. The image at the bottom of the page shows the connection between percentages and pH levels.

In case you want to question my sources, this image is from NOAA who seem to believe that CO2 rises will be a problem.
https://www.pmel.noaa.gov/co2/story/A+primer+on+pH

This site also mentions the following:
"Calling this phenomenon “ocean acidification” when surface seawater will remain “basic” under future emissions scenarios is alarmist."

"Many scientists have observed that natural variability in seawater acidity (and thus pH) is strong and can be much larger on short time scales than the observed and projected changes in acidity due to ocean acidification over the scale of decades to centuries. While this is true, the reason that scientists are concerned about this slow, long-term change is that it constitutes a changing baseline."

However, what this article does not mention is the obvious fact that sea creatures will tend to swim towards parts of the ocean that have a more suitable alkalinity for their survival. Humans tend to be stuck in the same place, because they've bought a house and have a job in the locality. Fish, dolphins, whales, and so on, are free to move to the most conducive sea environments. If they don't like a part of the sea which is too acidic, they'll move. They are often not as stupid as humans.  ;)



« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 03:58:28 AM by Ray »
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kikashi

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #37 on: April 22, 2017, 11:39:21 AM »

There's a thoughtful article by Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) here.

Jeremy
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Ray

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #38 on: April 22, 2017, 08:01:39 PM »

There's a thoughtful article by Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) here.

Jeremy

Thanks for the link, Jeremy. I tend to agree with Scott Adams' assessment of the situation. The following point he made in his blog seems spot on.

"Climate scientists probably believe they have convinced about half of the public to their side using their graphs and logic and facts. That’s not the case. They convinced half the public by using fear persuasion disguised as facts and logic. And it probably worked best with the people who have the least knowledge of how often complicated prediction models have failed in the past."
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David Sutton

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #39 on: April 22, 2017, 09:56:01 PM »

There's a thoughtful article by Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) here.

Jeremy

Hi Jeremy.
Scott Adams writes well, as you'd expect, but I think his hypothesis misses the bigger picture. Namely the total failure of the climate change movement. There are lessons here for anyone involved in advocating a cause.
As I posted earlier, here are some thoughts on this.
Any campaign led only by scientists is doomed. Not just getting one's head around the modelling techniques and data, but scientific thinking itself is one reason we are where we are. People know this.
The climate change movement never considered whose wallets would be affected, and made entire sectors on the economy feel threatened.
Their campaign was largely based on "don'ts".
They developed a culture of intolerance (they made enemies).
Their aims were evangelical and not attainable.
They supported one political party over another.
They spread their resources by getting involved in other issues.
As this thread is about deniers, I'm not getting into the science, but I think at any rate that the psychology of the advocates and the deniers is more interesting at present.
David

Edit: Bother, I forgot to add to the list Sun Tzu's first strategy lesson: "Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat."
My feeling is that the climate change movement's efforts were that noise.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 10:00:40 PM by David Sutton »
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