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Comments 201 to 250:

  1. Republicans have so corrupted EPA, Americans can only save it in the voting booth

    Scott Pruitt has other devious and insidious proposals as follows. Briefly, much of the original research on the effects of fossil fuels on human health used confidential health records of thousands of people, for obvious and legitimate reasons, and Pruitt is trying to attack the science on the basis that the science was 'hidden' because the records are 'confidential', which is of course absurd, but shows the astonishing extent he is prepared to go. It's just not normal human behaviour.

    Most of us understand wealth creation and air quality are indeed not mutually exclusive, and have to exist in some sort of equal balance. In fact, purifying exhaust emisssions and the like is about creating the sorts of technologies that filter air or make engines more efficient and this product development in turn creates jobs and shareholder value, and this is in fact wealth creation. It just gives us clean air,  as well as other goals like cars that go fast. Most normal people want both.

    All the wealth in the world can't fix lung diseases. There's still no real cure for many of these. 

    Every conservative and Republican in America shares some responsibility for this current mess.

  2. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #17

    If Amoc is slowing shouldn't this result in something of a recovery in the amount of ice created in the Arctic each winter...... which in turn should result in more deep ocean water produced from the brine.....which should result in the re-strenthening of Amoc.  How much of the deep ocean water is created by the sinking of the cooling Gulf Stream and how much by sea water freezing - creating brine.  Shouldn't we see the ice extent flick flacking back and forth for a while until we are re-established in a new climate regime.

  3. The Debunking Handbook Part 4: The Worldview Backfire Effect

    We are dealing with worldview bias rather than debating in a scientific framework, for the most part we are talking to global warming deniers, who deny they are deniers for the most part. Really I am surprised if any single global warming denier ever changes their mind.

    They have been denying they are deniers, what do you think of the idea of using that against them. When you ask "is global warming real", they have sometimes shifted from answering "no", to answer "yes but".

    Am I right in thinking that when someone agrees with you in an argument, you should rub it in? For example I know that when they say "yes but", that what is to follow is an explanation, "yes but it isn't caused by man, might be beneficial, is the same thing as the medieval period, etc". But for all that talk, as frustrating as it is, when they say "yes but", haven't they essentially said "you are right, but ..."? So that, I could rub that in.

    For example, a politician from a particular political party which admits global warming is real like the rest of the world, could ask a politician from another political party which bitterly opposes any recognition of the reality of global warming, over and over: "I understand that you have admitted global warming is real, I really admire that". In response, "yes but (with long explanation)".

    Because, I think the tactic of saying I admit global warming is real but here is my long explanation in which I try to have everything both ways and merely sow doubt and stall. It seems like a clever tactic and it is infuriating, but maybe it can be another liability for them.

  4. Republicans have so corrupted EPA, Americans can only save it in the voting booth

    Nuccitelli brings up this important point: Pruitt is being enabled by fossil-fueled GOP congresscritters, and wouldn't last a day without their support. Also, I was stunned by Milloy's statement: "Wealth is what makes people happy, not pristine air."  My surprise was because I'd just read "The missing maths: the human cost of fossil fuels" on Skeptical Science last week, which included this:  "The EPA estimates that the U.S. Clean Air Amendments cost $65bn to implement, but will have yielded a benefit of almost $2tn by 2020 in avoided health costs."  As sanity might have suggested to anyone but Milloy, the pursuit of pristine air is quite compatible with wealth creation.

  5. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #17

    Related article from Scientific American on gulf stream (amoc) slowing : Slow-Motion Ocean: Atlantic’s Circulation Is Weakest in 1,600 Years

    And a climate scientist estimates gulf stream could slow enough by 2300 to cause north atlantic winter  temperatures to drop 7 degrees. This is huge.

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] More articles also listed in the 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #17

  6. Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    Scaddenp, I came across this research:  Framing discourse around conservative values shifts climate change attitudes

    I would have thought science is a good universal language, but it is under attack from the conservative elite and White House. This makes things very difficult.

  7. Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    You cant change the genetics but you can change the messaging. Too many environmental groups (yes, Greenpeace, I talking to you), take no account of that and do messaging that is feel-good for liberals and an anathema to conservative morality. Once you have polarized an issue on party-lines, then it is extremely difficult to get change, but it would be a good idea if issues that are really fact-based (eg climate change) rather than value-based, are communicated in ways that dont offend the morality of either. Conservatives play with larger deck in this respect so proceed carefully. The climate debate should have been about best means to solution not about denier memes.

  8. Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    Yes there's considerable of truth in chapeaureds / Roy's commentary.  However I did make reference to politics being one of the main influences in climate denial, and the article was fairly specific about conservatives being a factor in denial. I was treading carefully around the issue, because I don't want to create even more division.

    It's important to realise we won't convince the ultra conservative climate denialists, and its people towards the centre of the bell curve that will be receptive, and it's important not to alienate them by labelling them and suggesting they are inherently inferior in some way.

    Imho if we look at classic liberal and conservative traits, and characteristics there's mostly value in both, and its when they become extreme in expression that the trouble seems to start.

    People have genetically inherent leanings towards liberalism or conservatism,  but they are not rigidly fixed either if you read the research. 

    Even the, a centre right publication favouring moderately small government, has just done a huge article promoting universal health care (april 28th edition). Robotics and other factors are likely to lead inexorably towards a 'UBI' (universal basic income). Business has to be regulated or the system spins out of control. The ultra conservatives might hate all this, but its coming anyway because it makes sense and is inevitable.

  9. Philippe Chantreau at 03:08 AM on 30 April 2018
    Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    Unfortunately, there is a lot of truth to Roy's post. I remember one poster, issued from communist dominated Estern Europe, who immediately jumped to the conclusion that a coral study was fraudulent when there was one element he did not understand on the first read. He was guided back to correct understanding of said study by other SkS contributors but never fully owned up the altered judgment caused by his emotional attachment to a certain ideology.

    I am especially concerned about how extremist the free market ideology has become. T. Boone Pickens' ideas were by any means radical, extreme and destructive, yet any cursory reading of the Wall Street Journal will reveal that they have become mainstream in the business community, just like there is no doubt in any of these people's minds that "greed is good." Now we have an entire class of very powerful people who have developed a strong emotional atachment to that ideology, of which any studying shows that it is very destructive.

    This, however, is going to hit the big singularity looming on the horizon: the pursuit of profit by any and all means now implies widespread automation; the automation capabilities that already exist have the potential to put out of work the majority of the world's population. The barriers to their implementation are not really technological. I am more familiar with the aviation world, from the point of view of the pilot; in aviation, a major factor is the long life and high cost of airplanes. All the planes produced now that are designed for a 2 person crew have the potential to be flying safely and efficiently for the next 3-4 decades. The most recent ones will be realtively easy to convert to full automation but the previous generation will take more effort, so they are more likely to be exploited "as is" until they are decomissioned. These specific hurdles are absent from many other industries. There is no doubt in the military world that even fighter pilots will eventually be a thing of the past, the technology is already here.

    The automation capabilities including A.I. that will exist by mid-century could completely remove the human from even a huge part of software coding works. By 2050 to 2075 there will be some very radical rethinking to do about what economic activity should be like and the place of humans in it. The engine of the consumption society is consumption, which implies that people must have some sort of income with which they buy stuff; a central tenet of the conservative ideologies is that people should not get money for doing nothing, unless perhaps they are physically unable. A serious problem arises when there is hardly anything left for immense numbers of people to do and earn money. As we stand now, a sizeable portion of the population already has abilities that fall short for the complexity of our current world. Interesting times we are witnessing, for sure.

  10. Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    I think the article and the comments on the article all miss the basic cause of the problem. And the basic cause is one that almost no one knows about because almost no one wants to talk about it.
    Nearly all strong deniers are strong conservatives and they are genetically predisposed to be conservatives. They are genetically predisposed to be xenophobic, more religious, more repressive of women’s rights, much less concerned with fairness/equity and they hold a darker view of human nature than their counterparts. Conservatives are much less open to new experiences of any type. Conservatives are much more prone to authoritarianism (the opposite of scientific thought) and to group think. Liberals have the opposite traits to all of the conservative traits. Individuals are genetically predisposed to be conservative or liberal. Genetics is responsible for about half, or just a bit more that half, of our political orientations.
    Conservatives believe in the prevailing conservative ideologies of the societies they live in in the same way that religious people believe in the teachings of their religious group. One of the most amaziong findings is that strong conservatives are the least capable of thinking logically/critically/rationally about anything that comes into conflict with their conservative ideological beliefs.
    Conservatives perceive correctly that if man-caused global warming is true, then government needs to play a key or lead role in dealing with the problem. Much worse, horror of horrors, the major governments of the world all have to collaborate together to solve the problem. That is totally anathema to the prevailing free market belief system. So therefore, man-caused global warming cannot be true. Therefore, it is not true. It is a hoax.
    It is the best educated conservatives that are the least capable of thinking critically about global warming. Being better educated they have a much greater pool of concepts and facts to draw upon to rationalize their beliefs. And there is no equivalence on the liberal side. It is the best educated liberals who are the most capable of thinking critically about global warming.
    I am a very strong liberal. In August 1995, I joined an Internet discussion group of American foresters that for some reason unknown to me, was dominated by very strong conservatives (Austrian Hayek school of economics, Libertarians and the like). They all believed that global warming was a hoax. They believe that we have no significant environmental problems of any type. I had never encountered people like this before. I didn’t know much about global warming at the time, so for about four years, I would check out their sources – and I found them all to be bogus or questionable. Then for another 10 years or more, I argued directly with them. The stronger the scientific evidence I presented them with, the more it reinforced their beliefs. I tried a bit of everything. I came to believe that they were sincere in their beliefs. I finally came to the conclusion that there was no reasoning with them. I gave up.
    Then, about two years later, I read “The Republican Brain” by investigative journalist Chris Mooney and he described almost exactly what I had experience. He summarized peer reviewed social sciences research that shows the problem is genetic. Since then, I also read “Our Political Nature” by evolutionary anthropologist Avi Tuschman. Nearly all of what I have written above is a summary of their findings in the two books. Tuschman also goes into what scientists believe to have been the evolutionary selective forces that left us with such genetically defective brains – and the selective forces for the set of characteristics grouped under the heading of “tribalism” are really mind bending.
    Most of this seems overall, very discouraging. I’m still trying to digest what it all means. I see two areas for potential optimism:
    1. Our genetically driven political orientations all lie on a bell curve. Most of us are somewhere in the middle – moderately conservative or moderately liberal. I assume that the closer to the center conservatives are, the more open they are to the environmental influences – the more open they are to evidence and logic and reasoned argument.
    2. Conservatives are much more subject to group think and to belief in the prevailing conservative ideologies of the societies they live in. But those prevailing ideologies do seem to evolve substantially over time. The conservative ideologies of the 1950s in the US probably lie to the left of the Democratic platform of today. The extremist Free Market ideologies now predominate. They can certainly evolve – they can moderate or they can become even more extreme.
    Roy Hagen

  11. The missing maths: the human cost of fossil fuels

    Despite decades of research linking fossil fuel particulates and gases as dangerous to human health, Scott Pruitt (no surpise) is trying as hard as possible to undermine this science.

    Much of the research used confidential medical records understandably, and Pruitt is challenging the research on the basis that this use of confidential records in 'suspect' because "the science is hidden" . Sigh, I try not to hate people, but.....

  12. Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    @nijelj If someone invents a new and innovative kind of wind turbine, they don't need government permission to build it. That's a fundamental difference between nuclear and renewables, and as I watch technical presentations on MSRs, government regulations and permission comes up again and again; it's no exaggeration to say that finding a way through the regulation minefield is what drives the design of nuclear reactors. For that reason, I disagree that "it's in the hands of the nuclear industry to provide cost effective power built within stated time frames". It's hardly in the hands of the industry at all; their success depends entirely on the political will to accept nuclear energy for climate change solutions. In turn this depends on public support. The U.S. market seems particularly difficult, as the regulations are designed for solid-fueled, water-cooled reactors, so would-be MSR builders have to pay out-of-pocket for the government (NRC) to write new regulations for them. That's tough for startups - it's not the old guard nuclear players doing this.

    Anyway I can hopefully publish an article series on MSRs here soon.

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] MSR = Molten Salt Reactor?

  13. Getting involved with Climate Science via crowdfunding and crowdsourcing

    Peter Sinclair released a new video about the

    Dark Snow Project Field Season 2018

  14. One Planet Only Forever at 12:17 PM on 28 April 2018
    The missing maths: the human cost of fossil fuels

    Minor revision of my comment @7,

    "That is how free-markets are supposed to work. The responsible people decide if they want to act to reduce their costs of clean-up or pay a higher cost for the clean-up."

    Back to my comment @1. The undeserving among the wealthy today would prefer to have future people pay for the clean up. They will also try to argue that the math makes sense as long as the costs others have to pay, as today's undeserving wealthy people figure it, is less than the lost opportunity for personal benefit the undeserving among the current wealthy would suffer, as they figure it, if they were forced to reduce their Private Interest creation of future costs.

    It is undeniably unacceptable/unethical/immoral for any current day pursuit of Private Interest to create negative consequences for anyone else, no matter how the Private Interested people want to try to justify it. And people desiring to benefit from unsustainable and harmful Private Interests have proven they will try to get away with being as unethical as possible in pursuit of maximizing their 'competitive advantage' in their negative-sum pursuit of appearing to be a bigger winner.

  15. One Planet Only Forever at 11:58 AM on 28 April 2018
    The missing maths: the human cost of fossil fuels


    I agree with your points in general. But would add that currently there is a competition to develop CO2 removal technology (See this link). And the people who got wealthier from the burning of fossil fuels owe the future generations the reduction of the excess CO2 using the best of these technologies (no profit for the action, just a charitable non-profit action paid for by all the appropriate wealthy people including those who don't want to have to pay for it).

    And that CO2 removal cost would be reduced by those same wealthy people pushing for the rapid reduction of increased CO2 that they would have to pay to remove. That is how free-markets are supposed to work. The responsible people decide if they want to act to reduce their costs of clean-up or pay the full cost of clean-up.

    Understanding the corrections required for the future of civilization has been a work in progress since before the 1972 Stockholm Conference. The currently developed best understanding of the required corrections is achieving all of the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. It is clear that achieving all of the goals is the only way to a better future for humanity. Not achieving any one of the goals means that none of the other goals will have been sustainably achieved.

    For quite a while now, global political and business leaders, and all of the wealthiest around the world, have had no excuse for not being aware of the required corrections. Their actions, including actions in the past, that are contrary to achieving those goals, including attempts to delay the proper awareness and understanding in the general population, needs to become the ethical/legal basis for the international community of caring powerful people ensuring that the undeserving among the winners lose their ability to influence things until they prove they have meaningfully responsibly considerately changed their minds and decided to become helpful rather than harmful.

    Albert Einstein understood that it was essential for sovereign freedoms to be given up if humanity is to have a future when he wrote: "This is the problem: Is there any way of delivering mankind from the menace of war? ... As one immune from nationalist bias, I personally see a simple way of dealing with the superficial (i.e., administrative) aspect of the problem: the setting up by international consent of a legislative and judicial body to settle every conflict arising between nations. ... Thus I am led to my first axiom: the quest of international security involves the unconditional surrender by every nation, in a certain measure, of its liberty of action, its sovereignty that is to say, and it is clear beyond all doubt that no other road can lead to such security." (to Dr. Freud (q.v.), July 30, 1932)

  16. The missing maths: the human cost of fossil fuels

    Given the costs of vehicle and power station emissions on both the environment and human health, the reasons to reduce emissions are clearly  overwhelming, but human stupidity and the brainwashing campaign of the denialists is getting in the way, along with politicisation of the issue into near hysterical attacks on governments proper role.

    Humanity is "kicking the can down the road" onto future generations, not just with climate change, but with other environmental issues, and in the huge government and private debt that is building up globally. Its not fair on future generations and various other at risk groups.

    I know we can't see all ends and some technical solutions may be found for some things, but to me the main point is to at least make an informed judgement on what future technological solutions are plausible, and which ones are low probability, and in that respect dreams like fusion power or sucking C02 out of the atmosphere are either low probability or likely to remain very expensive.

    Right now humanity risks collapase of civilisation. We have numerous environmental, social, economic and debt problems and all these things are happening on a fast time scale in terms of human history and the large combination of dangerous factors looks unprecedented in our history.We cant quantify the things or predict them accurately, but imho humanity is loading the dice incressingly towards the collapse of civilisation in the name of very short term gains of profitability or short term pleasures and excesses.

  17. The missing maths: the human cost of fossil fuels

    DCrickett @4, I agree particularly about the fight against racism, and I would add bigotry in general. 

    I can totally understand parents taking children to school in high risk places like Mexico or some American cities, but in New Zealand most of the reason for this habit appears to be "stranger danger" related to an exaggerated fear of paedophiles, orginating with various historic sex cases against these people in recent decades. Don't get me wrong, they should be locked up for a very long time, but most sexual assaults of this kind happen within families or institutions, not children being picked up or molested on the street.

    All we are doing is creating a generation of spoilt and physically unfit obese children, more grid lock on the roads, and high CO2 emissions. In addition, a recent check of our cities and main roads showed levels of particulate emissions and nitrogen oxides well above acceptable levels for public health.

  18. The missing maths: the human cost of fossil fuels

    Re #2… My wife & I lived in Mexico City thru most of the 1990's and saw streets around schools clogged with cars. Particularly while schools were letting out. From conversations with friends, neighbors, co-workers etc we knew that even when a family lived fairly close to a kid's school, a parent (or servant) would drive to pick up the scholar. Indeed, chauffering their scholars was a major reason for some people to have a car who otherwise will might not. And during a Level 3 smog alert, one thing one never heard on radio or TV was an admonition for the kids to walk. Why? Kidnapping. One then-prominent politician (Diego Fernández de Cevallos) stated that kidnapping was one of the few profitable businesses around. (He himself was later kidnapped!) Poor people walked their kids, of course.

    Some friends of ours here in Chicago (they are blacks) also drive their teenage son to & from his high school every day. To protect him from gang recruiters (who do not take "no" for an answer). This is a major problem for Latins also.

    Even a car provides only partial protection to scholars. Not too long after he got his driver's license, my "ethnically diverse" son was stopped by cops while driving to school with a classmate. They got off easy; they were only slapped around and insulted for a while and then, strangely, let go. (They were written up of tardiness, tho, once they got to school.)

    Our fight to protect the environment must include our fight against racism, socioeconomic inequality, crime, etc. And our efforts must go far beyond the linear thinking that handicaps our "leaders" — our problems run deeper than we realize.  (Viz. the essay on which we here comment!)

  19. One Planet Only Forever at 00:45 AM on 28 April 2018
    The missing maths: the human cost of fossil fuels


    Having to redesign and rebuild already incorrectly developed urban zones is a major competitive disadvantage for every one of those incorrectly developed urban area. And the New World portion of the current Winners of socioeconomic competition are full of those 'incorrectly developed expensive and time consuming to correct' urban areas. That is part of the reason there is strong opposition to rapid transition to a lower energy consumption non-fossil fuel powered future. And those current incorrectly developed bigger winners also have abundant fossil fuel resources.

    The reluctance to understand climate science becomes pretty obvious from that perspective. It puts many of the current Biggest Winners at a serious competitive disavantage. They do not deserve their developed perceptions of superiority and prosperity relative to others. And so much of today's world has developed to be damaging competition to appear to be superior to others, better off than others any way that can be gotten away with.

    And it is really easy to get away with harming future generations; future generations have no current day votes or any other current day ways to get even with people today who get away with causing problems future generations have to deal with.

    A similar thing can be seen to happen with wealthy nations and corporations causing problems poorer nations suffer from without any ability to 'get even' or correct the immoral unethical behaviour of the Bigger Winners.

  20. The missing maths: the human cost of fossil fuels

    "redesigning urban spaces to make it easier and safer to commute by foot, bicycle, and public transportation, and transitioning to a more circular and sustainable economy."

    The concluding paragraphs of the article held the above gem.  The first thought that sprang to my mind was the herd of large SUVs converging to disgorge and retrieve the young during the 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. migrations to and from our centers of youthful indoctrination. While the instructions of "Right Think " are  drilled into them, they would never consider walking or riding thier bikes to school, or submitting to the stigma of riding the bus.  Parents think that they are providing a safe secure conveyence to the schools, where the kids are sheltered from the travails of the world, while securely belted in to thier heated leather seats, lost in their  cocoon of smart phone social contacts.  These are the same citizens who will rail about pipelines and social justice, oblivious to the contribution they make to the perpetuation of the same.  

  21. michael sweet at 21:16 PM on 27 April 2018
    CO2 effect is saturated


    My understanding is a little different from yours, just a little.  To review your points:

    1) I think the energy of photons is fixed so energy is not lost each time.  I am not sure what you mean by lost energy.  This point is not important.

    2) Check.

    3) Check.

    4) This is the important step for the greenhouse effect.  We agree that the escape altitude increases. 

    As you know the amount of energy radiated is related to the temperature.  The temperature at the escape altitude must be high enough for all the energy that comes from the sun to escape to conserve energy.  This fixes the temperature at the escape altitude.  When more greenhouse gas is added the temperature at the new altitude increases so that energy is conserved.  

    The temperature in the troposphere (the lower atmosphere) increases as you decrease in altitude.  The rate of increase is called the lapse rate.  The lapse rate is about 6.5C per kilometer.  The lapse rate is a physical property of the atmosphere and is fixed by basic physics and chemistry laws and properties.

    The temperature at the altitude of escape is fixed by the law of conservation of energy and the temperature varies in the atmosphere according to the lapse rate.  When the altitude of escape is increased that results in an increase in temperature at that altitude.  This is then passed down to the surface according to the lapse rate.

    It is interesting to note that an increase in the altitude of only 100 meters results in an increase in the surface temperature of 0.65C.  2C is only 300 meters increase in escape altitude.

    On Venus the CO2 concentration is much higher so the altitude of energy escape is much higher.  That results is the surface of Venus being about 462C.  This temperature can be calculated using the equations that describe the greenhouse effect on Earth.

    Your explaination seems OK to me but does not well describe the changes in the atmosphere.

  22. CO2 effect is saturated

    Arf @459 , the usual explanations follow the course of IR photons (of the bandwidth absorbed/emitted by CO2 molecules) as they are radiated out from the warm surface of the land/ocean.   Layer after layer of atmosphere absorbs and re-emits IR photons in all directions (as you are already aware, of course).

    Rising through air, as the layers become less dense, the individual photon "journeys" (between CO2 atoms) become longer — yet each same-depth layer is still emitting the same previous total of upwards and downwards amount of IR radiation (of course).   Only in the most tenuous uppermost layers, does this "stacking" of upward/downward emissions begin to break down, as an increasing percentage of upward IR photons evade reabsorption and make a straightline escape to outer space.  In effect, we can think of the upper atmosphere as producing only back-radiation (at this particular bandwidth we are interested in) as far as the Earth is concerned.

    I am sure I am telling you nothing new, in all this.   I will point out that at an individual level, each IR photon maintains its same energy level, as it is "reincarnated" — the individual CO2 molecule recipient of photonic energy "cools itself" by imparting kinetic energy to a neighbouring N2 or O2 . . . and at a later time regains energy kinetically from a neighbouring N2 molecule, and "reincarnates" & emits an IR photon of the same energy level as previously received but in a random direction.   Of course, as intermolecular distances increase, and the kinetic temperature of N2 molecules reduces, then these "deaths & reincarnations" of IR photons (per second per cubic mm) must reduce.   But the final total product is back-radiation towards the Earth's surface plus upwards "lost" radiation (and of course the totality of all "lost" radiation over the whole spectrum must equal what's originally entered the planetary system from the sun, at equilibrium — or at least extremely close to that total while the system is in transition to equilibrium). 

    Myself, I find it easier to mentally picture these events if you rotate the Earth surface 90 degrees.   Instead of a horizontal surface emitting upwards, choose to picture the surface as the y-axis and the atmosphere layers stacked outwards along the x-axis.   The cool outermost layers of air are losing radiation outwards to space, and are emitting "back-radiation" inwards.   Through the bulk of the atmosphere, each layer is transmitting fractionally more energy inwards than outwards, and these fractional differences integrate to produce a gradient of temperature, highest at the surface and "sloping down" to the outermost air.   Hence the surface is warmer than the outermost air.

    When the atmospheric CO2 concentration becomes raised, the x-axis is extended further (so to speak) . . . and the same gradient produces a higher cumulative back-radiation at the planetary surface: in other words, the surface becomes warmer than under the previous conditions.

  23. CO2 effect is saturated

    As a brief background to this comment, I had an encounter with a denialist last week who stated that Arrhenius' observations regarding CO2 as a greenhouse gas had been debunked. In hindsight,  I should have asked precisely what he meant by that. Instead, I retorted that this was news to me, at which he remarked that my kind was unlikely to look up the facts (I have a masters degree in Physics, and found this an interesting example of projection rhetoric...). Anyway, here I am.

    I'm trying to follow the argument here, so that I can express it in layman's terms. It seems the idea of greenhouse warming isn't as straightforward as I thought. I get Angstrom's counter-argument to Arrhenius about current CO2 levels absorbing all IR radiation long before it has a chance to escape the atmosphere and that, therefore, adding more CO2 won't alter things. I'm having a problem grasping the explanation in response the Angstrom being put forward here. If I may paraphrase what I understand of it:

    1. IR photon from surface is repeatedly absorbed and re-emitted (by CO2) in random directions (losing a little energy each time). Check.

    2. Photon is finally able to escape into space at a high enough altitude. Check.

    3. Adding more CO2 increases the density, and hence the altitude this  escape occurs. Check.

    4. Being higher means lower temperature, and hence less energy is emitted. Errm... as a general consequence of a blackbody spectrum, sure. As a discrete energy photon emission, of what significance is the temperature?

    I'm not saying the explanation's wrong, but it is very hard to follow, and is even counterintuitive (we're talking about rising temperatures, and then lowered temperatures? It's hard enough for me to follow, let alone someone without a scientific background)

    My own quick explanation would be that increasing CO2 concentrations reduces the mean free path of IR photons, and that increases the number of scattering (heating) events before the photons can escape. It seems a lot more concise and intuitive than the explanation put here, but is it right? What am I missing?

  24. Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    Recent research on anti vaccers is relevant and depicts a certain sort of world view: They embrace multiple conspiracy theories about the world, dont like needles, and more likely to feel offended by perceived attempts to limit their freedom, ( an attitude known as reactance).

    I see the same conspiracy thinking and reactance with climate denialists.

    Of course vested interests is a huge factor as well. Perhaps the fossil fuel companies are modern day 'luddites'. 

  25. Climate Science Denial Explained: Tactics of Denial

    OPOF @30, I think theres much to admire about Singapore. I think western countries could have tougher fines for smoking in the wrong places, littering etc. In fact sometimes the fines are there in western countries, but they just aren't enforced, and thats half the problem. People play the system  and think its soft.

    While I'm not a believer in locking every criminal up for life - that sort of mentality- you do need some consistency of enforcement of rules and maximums do need to be handed out regularly, for the law to be respected.

    However I think Singapores drug policy is excessive. 

    It's the tough challenge of having sufficient strong laws and enforcing them, without becoming an over regulated, authoritarian police state that starts to intrude on peoples social lives etc. Its a balancing act. However it's quite possible to get laws right if they are based on science and evidence of real and significant harm, as opposed to emotion and more arbitrary judgements like apartheid laws, anti homosexuality, or trivial laws.

  26. One Planet Only Forever at 05:23 AM on 27 April 2018
    The missing maths: the human cost of fossil fuels

    The real inappropriate math is thinking it is OK to balance costs in the future with lost opportunity for benefit today.

    Any delay of action today to reduce the magnitude of accumulated impact adds to the harm and costs that will be faced by Others in the future. That type of thinking is undeniably disgusting, yet it is 'the way many want to think'. It certainly allows undeserving Winners today to prolong their undeserved perceptions of prosperity and superiority. But it is an undeniably unacceptable and unethical and immoral way for people to think about things.

    Rapidly reducing the burning of fossil fuels today should be required of every already more fortunate person, with the strictest requirement for rapid reduction applied to all of the wealthiest on the planet (no exceptions allowed for those who would prefer not to have to care to lead humanity to better behaviour).

    Also, at the time that Kyoto was being proposed I remember reading and understanding that an associated benefit of CO2 emissions reduction was the linked reduction in other pollution (like particulates, NOx and SOx). And that understanding was the basis for considering CO2 capture and storage to be a less desirable action than reduced burning of fossil fuels. There is also a reduction of environmental impact and risk of harm to people in the extraction, processing, transportation and burning of the fossil fuels.

    There are many Good Reasons to rapidly terminate the burning of fossil fuels. There are only Poor Excuses to delay that required correction of what has so incorrectly developed so far.

  27. Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    I agree wholeaheartedly with the article pretty much all the comments, here is a great clip of Matt Ridley in the House of Lords - not speaking on AGW, but on Brexit (here in the UK, Brexit and Climate denial where twinned at birth)

    the fascinating thing is Ridley was making a point about Tariffs and the EU's dasterdly application of them to Africa

    when another Lord simply points out that the EU exempts Africa from tariffs - does this new fact dissuade Lord Ridley, not a bit of it, he simply carries on restating what has been faltly contradicted only a moment before, they have no shame. It is the verbal equivelant of spaying crap on a wall, they know some of it will stick.

  28. Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    Dpeipgrass @15

    "@nijelj and @Leslie, on the question of "what to do about climate change" my opinion is that lifestyle change is not the answer politically - because yes, it's good to live a less wasteful lifestyle, but people don't like being told what to do and it's not a complete solution. Rather what we need is to build out clean energy, fast. Mainly solar, wind, and nuclear reactors."

    I agree lifestyle changes are not the complete solution. It's got to be a combination of lifestyle changes together with renewable energy.

    However you miss my point so I will rephrase it. It's not simply lifestyle changes in terms of less materialism or waste, its lower carbon footprints and use of electric cars etc.

    And as I suggested,  Government are clearly not taking climate change seriously enough, and I submit governments are unlikely to do much to promote renewable energy and carbon taxes and so on until they see people making lifestyle changes, and showing they take climate change seriously. So if people are concerned about climate change, they need to walk the walk - at least to some extent. I do realise its partly a question of what comes first the chicken or the egg!

    The Democrats also need to take a stronger line on climate change and this will force the hand of the Republicans.

    People probably do need to be told what to do, or at least they need advice. Its probably a case of throwing ideas around rather than being bossy.

    Renewable energy has only gained traction with government support schemes such as subsidies, and theres the question of effective carbon taxes and / or ets schemes.

    I'm a bit agnostic on nuclear energy. You have a good point Liberals are somewhat excessively paranoid about the risks. I grew up with the three mile island scare and chernobyl, and this imprinted on my mind and made me sceptical of nuclear power for a while in my youth, and I suspect I'm not alone. However I have walked myself back from this, because in terms of deaths per capita per year nuclear is actually one of the safer options. But that is not the public perception, and the industry has to turn that around somehow if they want support.

    Nuclear is also slow to build and more expensive than on shore wind power. I feel its in the hands of the nuclear industry to provide cost effective power built within stated time frames. I have no objection to governments subsidising research into nuclear power, or perhaps construction, but not to a greater extent than wind or solar power receive.

  29. There is no consensus

    "Facts are not arrived at by consensus"

    This is a very tiresome strawman argument. We agree. However, the important facts are: a/ the consensus does exist and b/ scientific consensus (especially when strong), is the best guide to policy.  A true scientific consensus is very seldom wrong and you would be an idiot to bet the planet on it being wrong.

    Citing pre-scientific examples of societial consensus (a very different thing) is pointless. 

    "One of Micheal E. Manns (the hockey stick guy) claims in the defamation lawsuit against Mark Styen,et al., was that it is (or should be) a crime to defame a Nobel Prize winner." Citation please. What were his actual words?

  30. Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    Leslie @4, my guess is that you're lucky in talking to someone who transparently told you the root cause of their beliefs. None of the ones I talked to mentioned God, and of course many people who believe in God also believe in evolution and climate change. But arguably, distrusting mainstream scientists (and anyone who believes them) is a more durable way to maintain your faith.

    @nijelj and @Leslie, on the question of "what to do about climate change" my opinion is that lifestyle change is not the answer politically - because yes, it's good to live a less wasteful lifestyle, but people don't like being told what to do and it's not a complete solution. Rather what we need is to build out clean energy, fast. Mainly solar, wind, and nuclear reactors.

    Solar and wind will take care of themselves because there is so much public  support for them and prices keep dropping. In southern climates, I'm fairly convinced solar will demolish coal. In the U.S., Trump will be voted out.

    The key challenge is baseload and/or energy storage. Fundamentally, wind power production is temporally mismatched with demand, so you need either lots of energy storage and a continental-scale grid - expensive - or you need nuclear plants. So although denial is driven by conservatives, IMO a big barrier to solving climate change is liberals who wildly overestimate the risks of nuclear plants and think 1970s plants like Fukushima are the same kinds of plant we would build today. Even the well-known fact that nuclear plants are expensive and take a long time to build is, apparently, caused as much by the politics of nuclear fear as it is caused by limitations of traditional reactor technology.

    I'm hoping that the answer is Molten Salt Reactors (including thorium) which are superior to traditional reactors in just about every way. But whether we get MSRs will depend a lot on public support.

    We should also agressively support diverse research into non-traditional fusion energy such as Dense Plasma Focus, the Polywell, and whatever that thing is that Tri-Alpha Energy is doing. Governments have really dropped the ball in both fusion and fission research - they fund expensive long-term fusion research at ITER, but won't fund comparatively very cheap projects like DPF, so instead we see scientists (who would have preferred to do open research at universities) forming companies like this one to pursue private investors. Granted, it's not guaranteed DPF and Polywell will actually work at scale - that's why we need the basic science research - but if it does work, it could make coal, oil and traditional nuclear plants obsolete very quickly.

  31. There is no consensus

    Windrunner @770 , welcome (back) to SkepticalScience !

    If you have come to defend Dr Judith Curry's reputation as a scientist, then alas you come too late.  That ship has sailed.

    If you have come to argue that the climate scientist consensus on AGW is anything less than 99%, then alas you come 30 years too late.  The consensus has been steadily rising for many years now, and has reached 100% (or more precisely:  100% minus a few crackpots, who are entirely unable to provide any valid contrarian scientific reasoning or supportive facts).

    In addition, your "Churchillian" quote is wrongly ascribed.  There have been many versions of it -— the Twenty-First Century version is:  "If you are not a liberal in your twenties you have no heart, and if you are not a conservative in your forties you have no brain, and if you are not an environmentalist by your sixties then you have no conscience."

  32. There is no consensus

    As this is your first post, Skeptical Science respectfully reminds you to please follow our comments policy. Thank You!

    Found this forum on a link posted on a POW(Protect our Winters) EM article I recieved. I consider myself an open minded person and willing to listen to many points of view and draw my own conclusions from the facts presented, regardless of my personal opinions.  My views have changed on several things over the years.  Winston Churchhill, hardly a scientist but certianly one of the biggest influencers on the course of 20th century history, once said that "if you are not a liberal in your twenties you have no heart, and if you are not a conservetive in your forties you have no brain."

    The heart creates passion, and passion emotionalizes arguements, obscuring the validity of points of contention.  One of the obscured points is the method that one of the cited studies was conducted, the Doran study, conducted by Margeret R.K. Zimmerman, as a grad student under Doran's direction.  Points that make you go huh?... 10,257 surveys were sent out. 3,146 bothered to respond.  Does that mean 7,111 questionaires were not delivered? Or that the intended recipients had no opinions, yea or nay? Only 30%, give or take, bothered to respond. Only 79 respondents answers were eventually used to come up with the 97%- the other responses supposedly did not come from "climate scientists" so they were not used.  Why were they even sent?  There are other questions that arise from the conclusions that were drawn from this study but I think the point is made.  When any survey requires closed answers the results must be considered with a skeptical eye.

    Facts are not arrived at by consensus.  If this were true, the earth would still be flat, and Giordano Bruno's burning by the Vatican Inquisition in defense of geocentrism would be justifiable. Aristotle's expansion on spontaneous generation were accepted as fact for over 2,000 years! Neaderthals are not ancestral to modern man! Micheal Bradley's assertation of Neanderthalic genitics in "The Iceman Inheritance" was laughed at and later decried as racist. Indeed, the scientific community's persecution of any one who questions the dogma of the alarmists who have made substantial financial gains espousing the global warming/end of the world would be entirely defensible.  One of Micheal E. Manns (the hockey stick guy) claims in the defamation lawsuit against Mark Styen,et al., was that it is (or should be) a crime to defame a Nobel Prize winner.  Of course he is not, and it is not.  This claim was dismissed from the suit. The financial gains to be garnered by silencing any thought contrary to the prevailing AGW theocratic dogma is too great to be allowed a voice.  This site has poo-poo'ed Judith Curry and some of her claims, but I have found more open minded and even handed writings on her site, on both sides of the issue. Humankind thinks that they are of gret consequence but the truth is we are like all other afflictions this globe has suffered, and when she tires of us she will shake us off like raindrops and without a second thought.

  33. America's best scientists stood up to the Trump administration

    Related research : "Does Engagement in Advocacy Hurt the Credibility of Scientists? Results from a Randomized National Survey Experiment. "

    The short answer is it doesn't, unless they start promoting specific types of renewable energy (as opposed to the idea in principle).

  34. America's best scientists stood up to the Trump administration

    Recommended supplemental reading:

    Here's How Scientists Can Become More Politically Engaged, Opinion by William T Adler, Observations, Scientific American, Apr 25, 2018

  35. Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    >>They’ll say you’re in a “cult” or “religion” for believing humans cause warming<<

    I think we're almost all guilty of using the words "believe" and "believing" when attempting to argue the point - as in my quote from the piece.

    Deniers will pounce on anything one says - look at the email "fraud" - and using such words does play into their hands: they throw them back at you as if you have a religious or belief system driving you. (Because mostly they themselves are driven by that sort of thinking, perhaps.)

    I prefer to conciously use the word "accept", as in "They’ll say you’re in a “cult” or “religion” for accepting humans cause warming."

  36. Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    "So your key audience is not the guy you’re responding to, but fence-sitters who may be listening in. There are more silent doubters than vocal deniers; always remember that"

    I've always though this in my online denialism rebuttals. I tend not to bother much with the dumbest remarks, which tend to be just a couple of short sentences but I've come to find that the most dangerous, and trickiest to counter, tend to be those who are in the least denial of climate science - the lukewarmers, who believe that climate sensitivity is much less than the vast majority of climate scientists say. To them, the global temperatures won't reach the heights expected by the IPCC position and we may still stay in the Goldilocks zone, where we may still get more benefits from a low rise than disbenefits.

    It is my opinion, although I can't prove it, that many of the 'dumb' arguments one sees endlessly used by apparently intelligent educated people in public positions, such as Senators addressing Congress, are, to them, justified political deception. I suspect that their core beliefs are in the 'lukewarmer' views of Lindzen, Spencer etc yet they realise that if they tried to used those arguments to sway the minds of the public, it would backfire. Admitting that greenhouse gases warm the climate, that the planet is warming, that we are having an effect but that a small minority of scientists say it won't come to much, while the majority say it's very risky, is a very weak argument - the ordinary person is well able to make a personal risk assessment. That is why those movers and shakers, who are personally convinced by the lukewarmers, use the couple of hundred simplistic memes as listed and debunked on, to influence the voting public. Ever wonder why Senators and the institutes keep using these memes, that they know for sure have been debunked a thousand times? Remember, these people are really not stupid! it's because the memes work very well at shaking the confidence of the public in mainstream climate science. These short pieces of disinformation are very convincing to the general public, not that they definitvely 'prove' anything but they certainly succeed at creating doubt and uncertainty and those who want to avoid those political moves that mainstream climate science mandates benefit by using the memes to try to prevent those moves happening.

  37. One Planet Only Forever at 09:20 AM on 26 April 2018
    America's best scientists stood up to the Trump administration

    I have seen posters and tee-shirts saying "Science not Silence".

    Speaking out is essential.

    Albert Einstein's Memorial in front of the National Academy of Science in Washington, DC includes the following "The right to search for truth implies also a duty; one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true."

    And one of the statements on the walls of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial is “I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times.”

    Americans (and other humans), particularly the supposed Winners, really need to be reminded of the thoughtful helpful thoughts of those who have come before us, encouraging us to be open to increased awareness and better understanding and the required corrections that may be contrary to developed Private Interests.

    Freedom has to have responsible limits. Those who will not responsibly self-limit their behaviour need to be repeatedly disappointed, until they learn to change their minds.

  38. Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    leslie, if someones position is not based on data, then arguing with data is pointless. It's very like arguing with a young-earth creationist - their viewpoint is not derived from science, so no amount of science will change their mind. It's really about the biblical authority and exegesis on Genesis and that is where the argument should take place.

    sailingfree makes some good points. Others are that bible promotes living within limits (eg Genesis 2:15-17,Exodus 23:10-11), and note the implied threat in Leviticus 26 :3-5. Plenty of examples of enviromental disaster following disobedience. So how is modern western society doing in keeping the 10th commandent? The prophets and gospel are mostly about justice. Is it justice that those most vunerable to climate change are mostly those that contribute least to it?

    Once you can establish a theological framework, then someone might be more open to looking at the science. Pretty easy to expose downright lies being told by climate deniers. How does that person take to to liars? Christian right is hung up on morality in the bedroom - the bible has more to say about morality in the boardroom.

  39. America's best scientists stood up to the Trump administration

    I always enjoy listening to scientists explain issues in the media. I think the public need to connect with scientists in this way and get a lot out of it. Stick to the science if you are not comfortable advocating solutions.

    The people who say don't do this are probably often climate denialists posing as concerned citizens.

  40. leslie dean brown at 08:08 AM on 26 April 2018
    Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality


    I don't have time to argue with this one. I'm travelling.





    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Shortened link

  41. Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    Article related to social dominance , group theory and race:



    Also National Geographic Special Edition April 2018 is entirely devoted to these issues.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Shortened link

  42. America's best scientists stood up to the Trump administration

    Agreed. It's important to respect people with different views, but state the truth plainly.

    However theres another important issue going on behind this, and the key to the whole thing. This is relevant from Vox.

    "Similarly, popular conceptions of the GOP — that it is driven primarily by conservative economic principles like small government, low taxes, and deregulation — are also wrong. It turns out those things were the preoccupations of a thin and unrepresentative conservative elite, primarily in DC. The Tea Party uprising and its culmination in Trump were driven by white resentment and white backlash. (Here’s another new study supporting that thesis.) The ethnonationalist populism Trump represents is the dominant strain of conservatism in America today."


    The point here is America is being divided on race and cultural issues, and the anti climate science rhetoric , and the anti science and deregulation agenda is being deliberately sneaked in the back door while people are all worked up about exaggerated problems about immigrants an so on.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Shortened link

  43. Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    "Those who... [focus on] social dominance... see the world as an ongoing competition between social groups"  Fear drives us into our respective 'safe spaces'.  The media thrives on fear so as we become more media-driven we are more fearful.  Witness what a 'harvest' Vladimir Putin has made of this fear, and expect more.  In a fear-driven environment, it may be more helpful to 'lead by example'.  Europe and now Asia are beginning to lead on this issue, which will hopefully propel America into the 21st century in the long run.

  44. America's best scientists stood up to the Trump administration

    Recommended supplemental reading:

    Should Scientists Advocate on the Issue of Climate Change? by Ingfei Chen, UnDark, Apr 24, 2018

  45. Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    Leslie @4,
    You might make some theological arguments to your religious friend.
    One would be that God gave man the power to affect the climate, and is simply watching what we do with it.
    “… let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth,….” (Genesis 1.26)

    Another is that that God will not necessarily keep the Earth always comfortable for mankind. After all, as he banished Adam and Eve from the paradise of Eden He said:
    “… cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shall thy eat out of it … in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,…” (Genesis 3.17,19)

    Another time God was not happy with man, and so flooded the earth, originally with the intent of eliminating all of mankind:
    “And God saw the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6.5) “… and so the Lord said 
I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; …” (Genesis 6.7)

    He also caused some heating of Sodom and Gomorrah.

    And so perhaps now He has seen what man did in the twentieth century, WWI, WWII, and the holocaust, and in mid-century became angry. Perhaps now He is allowing the Globe to heat up enough for more drought, famine, and war (but no world-wide flood, of course, just rainbows).

    This warming would be consistent with Relevation, where in 8.7 says ‘… fire, which fell on the earth; and a third of the earth was burnt up, and a third of the trees were burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.”

    Your friend should be asked to give Biblical arguments for his religious belief that God will keep the Planet comfortable for mankind.

  46. One Planet Only Forever at 01:57 AM on 26 April 2018
    Climate Science Denial Explained: Tactics of Denial


    A major incorrect development of the developed socioeconomic-political systems is the way people in the systems/environments are tempted to develop to be less caring and behave less ethically regarding the development of a sustainable better future for all of humanity (Tribalism or any sub-set Us-Firstism; as presented in the NY Times item I referred to). The systems tempt people to care more about their Private Interest in obtaining personal benefit in their lifetime (even the socialist and communist ones can do that).

    The most significant development related to that incorrect development of attitudes and actions is misleading marketing.

    Susan Cain's “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking” highlights cultural historian Warren Susman's identification of the shift from a Culture of Character to a Culture of Personality that began in the 1800s. The terms that were impressive for Character were: Citizenship, Duty, Work, Golden deeds, Honour, Reputation, Morals, Manners, Integrity. The terms that were impressive for Personality are: Magnetic,Fascinating,Stunning, Attractive, Glowing, Dominant, Forceful, Energetic.

    The advancement of emotion/desire related advertising results in a decline of effectiveness of reason based advertising. Well prepared misleading claims will be more successful than efforts to more fully inform and educate the population in a socioeconomic-political environment where people are encouraged to consider their self-interest to be more important that helping to advance all of humanity to a sustainable better future.

    That combination of:

    • encouraging people to desire to compete to appear to be superior relative to others, rather than competing to substantively be more helpful than others
    • with more freedom of the winners of competition to behave less ethically
    • and the ability to get away with efforts against raising awareness and better understanding of the corrections required to develop sustainable advancements for all of humanity

    is a serious threat to the future of humanity, and not just regarding climate science.

    The development of socioeconomic-political environments/systems like that, with their self-perpetuating promotion/advertising leading to increasing incorrect development and resistance to correction, must be called what it is, not be defended because of created appearances of progress or prosperity that are not truly sustainable.

    The solutions/corrections can be understood to require the understanding of the importance of limits on freedoms of belief and actions to get Substantive Ethical Character to be what is admired, to return to the track of Enlightenment that Personality driven socioeconomic-political systems have departed so drastically from.

    Singapore's success included some rather authoritarian rule by a rather benevolent dictator restricting freedoms forcefully. I recall how smoking in theatres was ended. The fine imposed was huge, and the smoking stopped immediately. A similar solution was imposed to end the mess of chewing gum on sidewalks, no chewing gum allowed.

  47. Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    Leslie @4 , your report of the communication from the "blatant denialist" is interesting yet not so very uncommon.

    Quite apart from his being [to quote his own phrasing] "arrogant and foolish" in his unscientific nonsense . . . he is also being arrogant and foolish enough to believe he himself knows the mind of God.  He seems unaware of the irony of his stated position.

    We see this overweening self-confidence likewise, in Dr Spencer and Dr Lindzen — though Lindzen's self-confidence derives from his ideas of Yahweh rather than Spencer's more modern Christian God.   The fundamentalist concept of a rapidly approaching End of Days, does make it a little strange that someone [such as Leslie's correspondent] would bother to spend time communicating with the [probably] inevitably-damned Leslie.  (And it doesn't sound like he is seriously attempting to "convert" Leslie.)   Also, why bother disputing with Leslie, when (allegedly) nothing much is going on (other than a few relatively minor hurricanes etc) and nothing much could go on, until the obvious-to-all and utterly calamitous events of the Final Days ?

    Maybe the guy is suffering from an anxiety that he might not be right after all?   Maybe he is worried that he will be left with egg on his face, when the world continues to go gradually pear-shaped (exactly as the real scientists are indicating) and he will finally have to say: "Why hast Thou forsaken me?"

    Yes, an interesting case there, Leslie.   Wash your hands of him.

  48. Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    Leslie Dean Brown @4, I've also noticed a lot of internet climate denialists are engineers working in transport or fossil fuels etc, for example we had dan the engineering man on this website, and my google search discovered he has an interest in performance cars. Another is Brian Leyland from NZ. As I mentioned polls show denialism is strong in these industries.

    But I dont think all denialists are in this engineer category. These engineer guys are smart enough to be articulate denialists, so are more visible on the net. Some may be fronting lobby groups, so professional deniers. 

    Never undersestimate the power of vested interests in climate denial. However I have always maintained denialism is a mixture of attributes and personalities related to vested interests, politics, and psychology in the main, and the later two aspects closely relate anyway. Politics derives from peoples psychology ultimately.

    Someone wondered about scepticism about vaccines. Read the comments  anti vaccers make and its mostly women so maternal concerns, and very poorly educated people who just dont understand the issues.You can probably throw in conspiracy theory ideation against big pharma amplifying the scepticism. I think conspiracy theory thinking would be more dominant among poorly educated people.

  49. Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    I've been encountering them online for over a decade and have had many pointless debates over the issue. Deniers are incredibly slippery when it comes to any discussion, always able to find some hole out of any intellectual corner they have placed themselves in.

    In the end the conviction I've come up is that many of the deniers I've encountered online have displayed psychopathic tendencies. They lie as second nature, they are willing to take incredible risks with all our lives and they show no remorse at all for their actions. They are often very arrogant and are masters at manipulating people and discussions in their favour and can come across as being charismatic although it usually ends up being a very superficial charm.

    5 Traits of Actual Psychopaths

    "4. They take big risks.

    Psychopaths have little regard for safety, especially other people's. They often lie, cheat, and steal to get ahead. This behavior can be especially toxic. While not all psychopaths engage in illegal activity, those who do plan their crimes well in advance. Their misconduct is usually well-organized, and they leave few clues behind. Psychopaths tend to be very intelligent, which makes them great con artists."

    Given at what's at stake and what has already been lost - like 50% of coral reef systems globally already - I've come to look at climate change denial in the interests of the coal, oil and gas sector as the greatest crime ever carried out.

    Which make deniers some of the worst criminals ever.

  50. leslie dean brown at 14:51 PM on 25 April 2018
    Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    Oh I signed up just so I could provide comments here.

    I've noticed that pretty much without exception, the denialists I have come across fall into one of several work categories. They are usually either civil or mechanical engineers; work in the mining or fossil fuel industries; in transportation; manufacturing; or else the military. You can see it on LinkedIn. It's very easy to check people's background over there. There is a distinct pattern emerging.

    IN OTHER WORDS, the very same industries that produce a shite-load of CO2. Steel, cement and concrete are some of the biggest culprits out there! Not to mention other materials.

    Very few denialists have any formal science training. But even they crop up from time to time. I was very disappointed when I came across a fellow materials scientist who was also a blatant denialist. And this is what he had to say:


    "Hi Leslie, You seem to be very intelligent, but you seem to also be very misinformed (or maybe limitedly informed is more accurate). You need to look beyond the last 20 years of rhetoric and the last 100 years of recorded surface temperatures (which have only become increasingly more accurate and extensive in the last 50 years). Vostok Ice Core Data clearly show that the temperature of the earth is cyclical going back more than 450,000. The earth will go into an Ice Age again with or without the assistance of humans.

    My beliefs about the Farce of Global Warming are not based on Scientific Data, they are based upon my belief in the omnipotence of GOD. I am a Christian, but GOD's omnipotence is not just a Christian belief, it is embraced by virtually every non-pagan religion since the beginning of recorded history. The earth is GOD's creation! HE controls ALL of HIS creations! It is arrogant and foolish to believe otherwise.

    The "Natural Disasters" that we experience are not "Natural" at all, they are "Super Natural".

    I firmly believe that this winter and springs' extremely cold temperatures as well as the rash of recent earthly disasters (hurricanes, tornadoes, fires and earth quakes) are GOD's display of HIS control of HIS creations and HIS disgust and disappointment that most of mankind believes that they somehow control HIS creation.

    Whether you believe in GOD (or not), many clearheaded scientists that are not influenced by politics, finance or popular media entertainment believe that Global Warming (as influenced by mankind) is a farce."


    I mean how does one respond to that? Obviously, this person is not truly scientific, whereupon their logic has flown out the window. They're not open-minded. They're closed-minded. They just admitted "My beliefs about the Farce of Global Warming are not based on Scientific Data, they are based upon my belief in the omnipotence of GOD."

    I used to be super logical and think that data alone could inform and pursuade peoples' opinions. Wrong! Completely wrong! That was a big assumption on my part.

    I personally think it's time scientists got a bit more emotional in their approach. No one listens to you when you sound like Spock. But when you get passionate about something, people take your more seriously.

    The other thing I'd like to add is that if fashion and design have the power to pursuade people to do things on very short timescales, perhaps scientists should be looking to designers for some more clout? As I'm one of the few who speak the dual languages of science and design, I'd like to help scientists with that. Feel free to get in touch with me...

    I'd also like to share readers with my blog, where I try to fuse my passion for writing and design with environmentalism among other things (like my mental anguish).

    There was one other thing I wanted to say here. A few months ago I had an argument with a security guard of all people about climate change. He was clearly out of his depth and I let him have it. Anyway, he was in a classic denial the whole time, and then eventually he finally said: “what do you want me to do about it?” (with an attitude)

    Is this the real underlying problem? That they literally don't know what else they can do to mitigate climate change?

    Maybe that's an idea for a post? WHAT CAN PEOPLE DO ABOUT IT?
    For example: plant more trees, buy second hand, reuse, repair, recycle, buy services not products, slow down and enjoy life, etc, etc.

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