Americans believe climate change is occurring, but disagree on why

This must be “polarization week” in social science, as this is the second study published this week on political polarization of the global warming issue. See the previous story on WUWT: Democrats and Republicans increasingly divided over global warming

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From the UNH Carsey Institute:
Disagreement on causes based on political views, not science

DURHAM, N.H. – Most Americans now agree that climate change is occurring, but still disagree on why, with opinions about the cause of climate change defined by political party, not scientific understanding, according to new research from the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire.

Republicans most often point to natural causes of climate change while Democrats most often believe that human activities are the cause. The greatest polarization occurs among people who believe they have the best understanding.

“Although there remains active discussion among scientists on many details about the pace and effects of climate change, no leading science organization disagrees that human activities are now changing the Earth’s climate. The strong scientific agreement on this point contrasts with the partisan disagreement seen on all of our surveys,” said Lawrence Hamilton, professor of sociology and senior fellow with the UNH Carsey Institute.

“However, most people gather information about climate change not directly from scientists but indirectly, for example through news media, political activists, acquaintances, and other nonscience sources. Their understanding reflects not simply scientific knowledge, but rather the adoption of views promoted by political or opinion leaders they follow. People increasingly choose news sources that match their own views. Moreover, they tend to selectively absorb information even from this biased flow, fitting it into their pre-existing beliefs,” Hamilton said.

A series of regional surveys conducted by Carsey Institute researchers in 2010 and early 2011 asked nearly 9,500 individuals in seven regions in the United States about climate change.

Key findings include:

  • Most people say that they understand either a moderate amount or a great deal about the issue of global warming or climate change.
  • Large majorities agree that climate change is happening now, although they split on whether this is attributed mainly to human or natural causes.
  • Level of understanding about climate change varies considerably by region.
  • Beliefs about climate change are strongly related to political party. Republicans most often believe either that climate is not changing now or that it is changing but from mainly natural causes. Democrats most often believe that the climate is changing now due mainly to human activities.
  • Political polarization is greatest among the Republicans and Democrats who are most confident that they understand this issue. Republicans and Democrats less sure about their understanding also tend to be less far apart in their beliefs.
  • People who express lower confidence also might be more likely to change their views in response to weather.

“If the scientists are right, evidence of climate change will become more visible and dramatic in the decades ahead. Arctic sea ice, for example, provides one closely watched harbinger of planetary change. In its 2007 report the IPCC projected that late-summer Arctic sea ice could disappear before the end of the 21st century. Since that report was written, steeper-than-expected declines have led to suggestions that summer sea ice might be largely gone by 2030, and some think much sooner,” Hamilton said.

“We will find out in time—either the ice will melt, or it won’t. The Arctic Ocean, along with other aspects of the ocean-atmosphere system, presents an undeniable physical reality that could become more central to the public debate. In the meantime, however, public beliefs about physical reality remain strikingly politicized,” he said.

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The complete report about this research is available at http://www.carseyinstitute.unh.edu/publications/IB-Hamilton-Climate-Change-2011.pdf.

This research was supported by grants from the Ford Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Office of Rural Development in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, UNH Sustainability Academy, and the Carsey Institute. The UNH Survey Center conducted all telephone interviews.

The Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire conducts research and analysis on the challenges facing families and communities in New Hampshire, New England, and the nation. The Carsey Institute sponsors independent, interdisciplinary research that documents trends and conditions affecting families and communities, providing valuable information and analysis to policymakers, practitioners, the media, and the general public. Through this work, the Carsey Institute contributes to public dialogue on policies that encourage social mobility and sustain healthy, equitable communities.

The Carsey Institute was established in May 2002 through a generous gift from UNH alumna and noted television producer Marcy Carsey. For more information about the Carsey Institute, go to www.carseyinstitute.unh.edu.

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state’s flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.

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116 thoughts on “Americans believe climate change is occurring, but disagree on why

  1. “…“However, most people gather information about climate change not directly from scientists but indirectly, for example through news media, political activists, acquaintances, and other nonscience sources….”

    And therein lies the flawed assumption underlying this whole item. It assumes that there are designated scientific authorities whose job it is to tell people ‘what the answer is’.

    In reality science is a process which anyone can undertake. If it becomes a hierarchical structure with given beliefs, it becomes a religion.

  2. “opinions about the cause of climate change defined by political party, not scientific understanding”
    This study is flawed by the post hoc fallacy. In any individual all of the above – opinions about the cause of climate change, political party, and scientific understanding – are framed by a far more fundamental skill.
    Critical thinking is the *common cause* of skeptical opinions, conservative political attitudes, and scientific savvy.
    A lack of skill in critical thinking leads to credulity, emotional politics, and gullibility to the rhetoric of junk science.

  3. Once you can classify those that think a certain way then you can marginalize and persecute them. Just a natural (or actually anthropogenic) progression for the debate to go.

    Cheers

    Michael

  4. Very Interesting! The debate could be over soon if Joe Bastardi is right that Arctic Ice is now on an upward growth path. No ice-free Arctic, no AGW. God is good!

  5. Wow. The Ford Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Office of Rural Development in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, UNH Sustainability Academy, and the Carsey Institute all funded this stuff?

    Will future generations quote the momentous findings of this study until they become household truths? Will they marvel at the quantum leap in insight, understanding and knowledge that the study reveals to the world?

    Nope. This study and others like it are the inevitable consequences of meetings between unnecessary solutions and aimless feel-good funding.

  6. The argument is not about climate change as the sane amongst us, and I include all at WUWT, know that climates change. The argument is as to whether we, humans, are responsible.

    Firstly the change in climate over the past couple of hundred years is within natural variation. How is it possible to state that man has any input into this natural system? It is not.

    Secondly, to ascribe the rises of temperature of recent times to human produced fossil fuel CO2 is ridiculous given that our production of this trace life giving gas is but 3-4% of total annual CO2 production.

    Thirdly, the theory of GHG temperature increase violates the laws of thermodynamics.

  7. Since that report was written, steeper-than-expected declines have led to suggestions that summer sea ice might be largely gone by 2030, and some think much sooner,” Hamilton said.

    I think Hitler said something about “the bigger the lie…”

  8. Climate changes. It changed before humans inhabited the earth. It changed after human habitation began, but before the industrial revolution. It continued changing after the onset of the industrial revolution. It is changing now. It will change in the future.

    Scientists do not completely understand why climate changed before man, or during the period post man and prior to the industrial revolution. However, many scientists believe, or at least assert, that they understand why climate is changing now.

    Some scientists even deny that certain relatively recent changes (MWP & LIA) occurred, in an attempt the increase the importance of the change currently underway. Interestingly, they are not referred to as “deniers”, or accused of being “anti-science”. “Velly intellesting!” (Apologies to Arte Johnson.)

    I believe that the distinction drawn between Republicans and Democrats is fallacious. The distinction, rather, is between liberals/progressives/socialists/communists and conservatives/libertarians; that is, between those who believe, or at least assert, that man is incapable of rational action without the guiding hand of government and those who believe in human creativity and industry.

  9. This is all I need to know…

    “This research was supported by grants from the Ford Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Office of Rural Development in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, UNH Sustainability Academy, and the Carsey Institute.”

    “The Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire conducts research and analysis on the challenges facing families and communities in New Hampshire…”

    Unfortunately, some of MY New Hampshire taxes helped to fund this “research”…

  10. According to the article:
    “Most Americans now agree that climate change is occurring, but still disagree on why, with opinions about the cause of climate change defined by political party, not scientific understanding, according to new research from the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire.”

    Well, Duh! Because there is no science that explains the causes of climate change, no one can hold a view of climate change based on science. More idiocy from the world of social science.

  11. Their key findings could indicate that climate scientists were the only subjects that participated in the survey. sarc/off

    It is unfortunate, but IMO premeditated, that the focus once again is on the perception of a set of information. I mean, this is how propaganda works right?

    The scientific data is not definitive, and the further they stray from the scientific method the less definitive it becomes. Since the CAGW meme is political in nature: to sieze power of global energy production / availability; the battle lines drawn must be by political demarcation, otherwise it would defeat the purpose, right?

    It also explains why the scientific method was intentionally abandoned to begin with (by Hansen, Mann, Briffa, et al): scientific data, hard unyielding observational data are non-partisan by nature…right? If this were not a purely political issue would anyone really be arguing about a 0.7C temperature increase over the last 100 years?

    It will also be very interesting to see what the final word will be on sea-level rise after recent developments. I know it’s too early to tell but if the negative trend is confirmed…? And the disappearing act the IPCC tried to pull…? Seems these guys can’t take a step without stepping, or tripping over, their own two feet. :0)

  12. It’s the same in Canada – if you are “green” you vote NDP or maybe Green and you are adamant about man being the cause – if you are “blue” you vote Conservative and think that maybe the bureaucrats (in league with the enviros, the CBC, the Suzuki foundation, et al.) are overstating the cause and effect so that top down big government can regain the “command economy” power that was ceded since the Trudeau era. Fact is that the oil sands are not the Devil’s cauldron made out by some, that fraking gas may cause some harmful side effects, cities and land use change can dramatically affect the surrounding area, etc. My biggest concern about the environment has always been about the control of pollutants that degrade water and air, like you might see now in parts of China, and lately the advisability of building large industrial wind factories in the country near migratory routes.

  13. Here’s a simple explanation: Democrats mistrust humanity and its place in nature and Republicans trust humanity and its place in nature.

  14. What they fail to realize is the reason people are divided along political lines is because this is fundamentally a political issue first and a scientific issue second. AGW is just a means to an end for the left & the right realizes that. Why do you think there is such extreme alarmism in trying to “promote” the AGW point of view? The fact that the authors don’t seem to grasp this obvious observation is either a stunning lack of perception or clearly showing their bias for the left wing AGW position.

    WUWT’s strength is in trying to flip the debate – put the science first & the politics second.

  15. If this were an accurate analysis of the situation the thing to be done is pretty obvious. Scientists should be making themselves available for the less sure to question carefully to find out the truth. So where are they?

    Answer: They show up here occasionally and get their clocks wound.

    Answer 2: The article above (at least the part quoted above), is full of weasel words:

    Although there remains active discussion among scientists on many details about the pace and effects of climate change, no leading science organization disagrees that human activities are now changing the Earth’s climate.

    1. How can details about pace and effects be under active discussion and “leading science organizations” agree it’s human activity causing cc? Shouldn’t they demur from having an opinion? Doesn’t this sound like it’s the leadership of the organizations who feel it’s important to get ahead of the discussion? Why?
    1a. Note the use of the word “disagrees”. If one leading organization agreed and the rest didn’t voice an opinion (as they shouldn’t), then the statement would be logically correct but entirely misleading. Why the attempted confusion of the reader?

    2. As people here know, there are many “human activities” including land use and urbanization which can change measured climate change, and not just human CO2 production.

    3. How is it determined that an organization is a “leading” one? Three guesses and the first two don’t count.

    most people gather information about climate change not directly from scientists

    4. Why is “scientists” the word used rather than “climate scientists”? Does being a scientist give you more knowledge of “climate change” that say being a engineer, or economist or statistician?

    5. Why do people insist on publishing such rubbish?

  16. Whats the real true differences behind the gap?

    The answer is simple. For conservatives around the world. They base thier decicions on facts reason and responsability.
    Social liberals base thier on ideology and beliefs. Thats the real true difference between the basic values all ower the worlds.

  17. “If the scientists are right, evidence of climate change will become more visible and dramatic in the decades ahead. Arctic sea ice, for example, provides one closely watched harbinger of planetary change. In its 2007 report the IPCC projected that late-summer Arctic sea ice could disappear before the end of the 21st century. Since that report was written, steeper-than-expected declines have led to suggestions that summer sea ice might be largely gone by 2030, and some think much sooner.”

    Where is Hamilton getting this info?? Granted, the IPCC crystal-ball is known, but “some think much sooner”?? That’s such claptrap. More cut-and-paste, it seems.

  18. Well .. .hey … the AGW crowd has had meeting after meeting regarding their “communication” of alarmism to the public. Rekon this piece is a fruit of all that??

    The article missed the primary objection of “skeptics” … it’s not that the globe has warmed, and it’s not so much why .. but will it be catestrophic. Until the climate exceeds the natual limits that have occurred before, … I think the answer is no.

  19. It very much suits alarmists, for want of credible evidence of anything ‘unprecedented’ happening, to paint this as a party political issue.

  20. What tadchem says.

    You have to take one more step further back and consider the personality types that vote Right-Wing (self-reliant, productive, free-market types) as opposed to Left-Wing (collectivist, inclusive, victim culture, PC) and you have the AGW yes/no split.

  21. “If the scientists are right, evidence of climate change will become more visible and dramatic in the decades ahead. Arctic sea ice, for example….We will find out in time—either the ice will melt, or it won’t.”

    Yes, but if the ice does melt is that because of human activity or natural climate variation?

    We know that ice ages come and go with regular period of about 100,000 years. This is a pattern that has been repeated many times ( about 30 ) over the last three million years on our planet..This is ‘settled science’ and it is not controversial. We also know that these ice ages are separated by inter-glacial periods such as the one we are in now. Inter-glacial periods typically last between 15 and 20 thousand years. We have been in the present one, the Holocene, for say 18,000 years.
    So what do we expect to happen due to natural variation alone? What is the ‘null- hypothesis’? Well, fortunately, because the pattern over the last few millions years is so well established and repeatable, it is reasonable to expect the Earth to continue to warm throughout the Holocene until the onset of the next ice age. Evidence of a warming planet, ice melting, glaciers receding etc. is simply evidence of the natural cycle.
    What were conditions like in the previous inter-glacial, the Eemian? Wouldn’t this be a good guide as to what to expect in the Holocene? Well, in the Eemian conditions were warmer everywhere than at present, the Arctic Ocean was ice free and the northern tree-line was 800 km further north (according to the IPCC). So this current inter-glacial has some warming to do in order to catch up with the pattern of previous natural variations.

    I am always surprised that evidence of a warming world, meting ice etc. is used by some as evidence that human kind must be responsible for the climate changing. This is a process that began 18,000 years ago – we surly were not to blame then.

  22. Hamilton, for example, gets his iconic Arctic Ice example completely wrong.

    What is it with the cognition of the alarmists? It’s as if life won’t go on if they can’t take on a lot of guilt. Maybe we’re responsible, but it isn’t shown yet.
    ===========

  23. I believe whenever these surveys are carried out they should include a specific definition of what exactly they mean by Climate Change. It seems to me that there has been deliberate obfuscation of this term, something which I believe scientists such as Roger Pielke and Richard Lindzen have already pointed out. It is fundamentally dishonest to infer that respondents do not believe in ‘Climate Change’ when it may be that it is simply Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming in which they do not believe. Many of these surveys seem to be deliberately vague in some respects.

    For example this one –

    “I would like to ask you some questions about the issue of global warming or climate change”

    Are they equating ‘global warming’ to ‘climate change’ or not. It seems to me that these surveys would be far more meaningful if they were much more specific.

  24. Jeff L says:
    April 20, 2011 at 5:39 am
    “…The fact that the authors don’t seem to grasp this obvious observation is either a stunning lack of perception or clearly showing their bias for the left wing AGW position…”.

    Agreed, ‘showing their bias’ by continuing the propaganda for their left wing power grab…
    I think that what is ‘stunning’ is that they continue to seemingly extol the now blatant tactic of ‘repeat it until they believe it’, in face of the fact that so many are now aware of their motives.

    They are either incredibly stupid (my vote), or can they really believe they can win this thing through attrition? This tactic worked brilliantly for the Nazis but this is weather / climate right…I mean we can all see it, right outside the window. I mean, c’mon…

  25. I wonder if this spate of ‘studies’ is a direct response to all the Alarmist hand-wringing over their failure to ‘communicate’ the urgency and ‘truth’ of ‘climate change’ (i.e. CAGW). Someone fed these academics a bunch of grant money and said, “Time for some studies! Blame it on the Republican ‘deniers’! Tout the ‘consensus’! Appeal to authority, dammit!”

    This is essentially the same topic as the earlier one today on the ‘left-right divide’, so with moderator’s permission, I will refer to my comment in that thread:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/19/democrats-and-republicans-increasingly-divided-over-global-warming/#comment-645154

    /Mr Lynn

  26. If there ever was a scientific discipline at risk of research bias, it is opinion survey research by sociologists, and readily shows up in their peer-reviewed articles. Their own bias is nearly impossible to eradicate from their endeavors. It would be rather interesting to analyze such articles for evidence of opinion and fact “spin” compared to other scientific disciplines. Anyone in need of a self-submarining Ph.D. sociology research project? If you get it passed your doctorate panel and manage to publish, you will never work again in the field.

  27. “Wow. The Ford Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Office of Rural Development in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, UNH Sustainability Academy, and the Carsey Institute all funded this stuff?”

    As I have posted many times before, there are corporate wealth funds which are providing fuel for the organizations that are trying to influence us all with respect to the environment.

    Sadly, this website refuses to investigate this aspect of the big propaganda gamw.

    Why are these huge corporate wealth funds doing this?

    Why did the Economist turn distinctly pro CAGW once it was acquired by the Rothschild’s?

    What is Ted Turner’s actual agenda ?

    This is the CAGW elephant in the room, IMHO. The money behind all the dire predictions and all this propaganda designed to create fear and, possibly, to control or influence outcome in the commanding heights of the economy!

    Just think about Lenin’s desire to control the commanding heights, isn’t the current attack on private industry just the same wolf but in different clothing. After all, what are the preachers asking for? They are asking for more control over industry (for the sake of the planet or so we are told)!

  28. How sad that this study was done by sociologists and not by scientists. What do the sociologists know about climate change and how did they learn it? This study is a continuation of the socialist methodology of ideologically corralling groups of people so that they can be managed by the state. There ain’t no science involved that wouldn’t be fully understood by any high school clique.
    There’s nothing here that WUWT contributors don’t already know. Every time a phrenologist weighs in on these issues the water just gets muddier.

  29. Gas $5.00 in lots of places. US debt is soaring and the S&P rating of US just lowered, Europe falling into economic crisis, and the Mideast is afire. These things are going to stop all the talk about “Global Warming” and all other such stuff. The magnitude of these things are going to be the only news shortly.

  30. You can tell the bais of the researches when they use the ambiguous term “climate change”. Anyone with half a brain knows climate has always been changing so a good researcher would NEVER use that term. End of story.

  31. What total drivel.
    There is something special about climate change and how people think about it?

    One could rewrite this article on economic change, or religious tolerance change, or attitudes toward legalization of drugs, prostitution, gambling….and on and on forever. Change just a few words and you get the exact same conclusions.

    People get info from sources they trust and are aligned with their personal belief systems and are biased in their conclusions as a result. The most polarized and vocal opinions come from the people who believe themselves to be best informed. The final judgment is always meted out by the real world when actual results trump theory…or at least for the few years that it takes for people to forget the past and condemn themselves to repeating it.

    This “study” has diddly squat to do with climate change. This is how people are on every issue you can think of. This is just an article trumped up to make climate change look special. The authors who no damn well this is the case stand convicted of joining that long list of pigs shouldering their way to the public trough to gorge themselves on other people’s money while pretending that they’ve done something special.

  32. People were asked “Is the climate changing?”?

    Well duh. Today, yesterday and tomorrow.

    I would like to see them ask instead “Do you believe the normal state of climate is 100% static”.

  33. What I know about climate change; it happens.

    What I know about AGFW; the UN wants more money.

  34. jack morrow- agreed the 800 lb. Gorilla in the room is Iran. He is about to let wind (methane) and the world is going to have to deal with him (meaning the USA)
    It is August 1939,not October 1929…
    Prediction: in a few weeks the least of our worries is going to be AGW..

  35. Rigging and kissing.
    They said, “no leading science organization disagrees that human activities are now changing the Earth’s climate”.
    Aren’t the leading science organizations government organizations having been caught rigging their research and reports to agree with their political benefactors?

    They continued, “The strong scientific agreement on this point contrasts with the partisan disagreement seen on all of our surveys”.
    Why use the word partisan, and why add it to disagreement? I would say the survey is a partisan survey. And what strong scientific agreement are they talking about, consensus maybe.

    From a special dictionary: consensus equals kissing the hand that pays you. Or knowing which side of the bread the butter is on.

  36. The strong scientific agreement on this point contrasts with the partisan disagreement seen on all of our surveys,” said Lawrence Hamilton, professor of sociology and senior fellow with the UNH Carsey Institute.

    As I said a little further down the blog page in the previous post, he has “Scientist” tagged on to the end of his “Sociology” bit of his qualification! My recollection of Sociology students at Kingston college was that they were out all night, every night”socialising” in the pubs & bars around Kingston. During the day they seemed to hang around campus supposedly spending time in the library (pronounced “bar”) reading. We engineering students went out for a few drinks on a Wednesday eveing, & Friday & Saturday evenings. All other times we had assignments to get in every week for 10 subjects. Sociologists seem to me to spend a lot of time analysing “feelings”. Very scientific I must say.

  37. Many here have missed the point of the article. The NH Senate is voting this week on the RGGI (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative),. The House has resoundingly supported the Bill at a 2:1 rate. The Bill would have New Hampshire withdraw from the Massachusetts promulgated RGGI and be a first nail in the coffin of the EPA ruling.

    Now that we Scientists (I put us here with a capital “S”) know the above little extra fact, what is your hypothesis as to what this article is all about? What is your hypothesis as to why this article came out now? I’ll let you all have 3 guesses for each query, first two don’t count.

  38. The authors of this survey are clearly biased in favor of AGW. Like all surveys, the devil is in the details. I don’t have the time or curiosity to delve into the guts of the survey, but based on the tone of the authors, I am skeptical of the accuracy and fairness of the results. On the other hand, the results sound like what I would have expected. Getting anyone who has invested time and effort into personal research on climate to change their mind will not be easy.

  39. People increasingly choose news sources that match their own views. Moreover, they tend to selectively absorb information even from this biased flow, fitting it into their pre-existing beliefs,” Hamilton said.

    So normal people’s ‘bull-hat meters’ really do work.

  40. Wonderful, now we have a socialogist stating “facts” which are not correct.
    Have a gentle look around at society today, you will see the results of socialogy and I would guess, nay I know that their models 20 years ago would not even be close to reality.
    Forget this twaddle and move on folks. AGW is a myth.

  41. Most Americans now agree that climate change is occurring, but still disagree on why, with opinions about the cause of climate change defined by political party, not scientific understanding,…….
    ==============================================

    Well, with an opening statement as such, I can see where they’re trying to go with this tripe. Most of us rational people know the climate as always changed. And there isn’t anything that has changed about that. They’re arguing semantics as understanding.

    Now agree? We’ve always agreed. It is simply the way it is worded.

    “However, most people gather information about climate change not directly from scientists ….. Well, if we did, then we’d know winter snow is both increasing and decreasing because of CAGW. And that CAGW simultaneously causes both floods and droughts in the same places. And saltier oceans and desalinized oceans……. and my favorite term, climate change causes “warmcold”.

    Warmcold is the fruition of Arthur Blairs dystopian vision……….

    “But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as doublethink. Doublethink is basically the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

    This is what you’d have to believe if you were to believe the information of CC from climatologists.

  42. This is most likely the same UNH Institute that has a very unreliable record as a polling organization.
    In the 2010 MA election of Scott Brown (R) vs Martha Coakley (D), they predicted the looser Coakly would be the winner.

  43. “jack morrow says:
    April 20, 2011 at 6:45 am”

    Perfect timing for a royal wedding, a distraction, taxes and laws past without constiuent input.

  44. jack morrow says:
    April 20, 2011 at 6:45 am

    “Gas $5.00 in lots of places.”

    Remember when that used to be a crisis??

    Gas prices rattle Americans
    By Judy Keen and Paul Overberg, USA TODAY
    Updated 5/9/2008 11:16 AM

    “Record high gas prices are prompting Americans to drive less for the first time in nearly three decades, squeezing family budgets and causing major shifts in driving habits, federal data and a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll show.”

    “Dawn Morris, a consultant in Dover, Del., is blunt about how gas prices are affecting her family.”

    “It’s killing us,” she says. She and her husband often stay home on weekends, and when she balances her checkbook, “every third line it says gas: $20, $30, $50.”

    Nowadays, it simply means we need to buy a new “green” $40,000 electric vehicle…

    And this is but one of the fruits of the current CAGW scientific/political cult…

  45. JohnQPublic wrote: “Here’s a simple explanation: Democrats mistrust humanity and its place in nature and Republicans trust humanity and its place in nature.”

    Not if you are a biologist who wants to create a new stem cell line in order to keep up with the rest of the world in the most cutting edge science of all.

    Not if you are a geneticist studying ancient DNA in ways that support instead of deny Creationism.

    Not if you are a nutritionist trying to point out to people the errors of the Ancel Keys “processed grains are good for you and fat is bad” food pyramid.

    Republicans continue to be Bible thumpers, basically, and Global Warming caused by man rubbed them the wrong way, as especially does Darwinism. They are an “enemy of an enemy” rather than a particularly good friend.

  46. [Not if you are a geneticist studying ancient DNA in ways that support instead of deny Creationism]

    typo word flip: support/deny

  47. Do I believe in climate change? Yes. 120,000 years ago my house would have been under a lot of ice. Now it is not. About 9000 years ago we had a cold spell followed by a warm spell. Then this happened again about 5000 years ago, the Minoan warming followed by cold spell, roman warming followed by cooling and MWP followed by LIA

    The Real question is “do I believe in CO2 induced global warming?”. NO.
    Don’t let them change the question.

  48. NikFromNYC says:
    April 20, 2011 at 8:31 am

    “Not if you are a nutritionist trying to point out to people the errors of the Ancel Keys “processed grains are good for you and fat is bad” food pyramid.”
    ===========================================
    Nik, that’s a new one to me. Being a life long conservative, (not necessarily Repub.) I’m not aware of any Repub stance on the “food pyramid”, although I can recall being a bit aggravated by it when it came out. Typically, (but not always) conservatives eat meat. I like my grains in liquid form. Nor am I aware of any fund blocking done to prevent the study of DNA. As far as stem cells go, find a different way to gather them other than harvesting from the unborn and we’d all get along just fine in that regard. And, it probably isn’t accurate to paint all repubs as “Bible thumpers” and against stem cell research. I can assure you many favor it. But politics carry its own reality. As you stated, an “enemy or an enemy”…….. this is also true in both political parties.

  49. Republicans most often point to natural causes of climate change while Democrats most often believe that human activities are the cause
    ====================================================
    What spin………..

    People that say show me the science…

    …and people that believe

  50. jack morrow says: April 20, 2011 at 6:45 am
    Jeremy says: April 20, 2011 at 6:35 am

    I think the two of you each are right about one piece of the puzzle. The global economic woes, the Middle East unrest, high fuel prices, etc. are the direct result of the agenda driven actions of the “elite” Jeremy references. They are the ones behind all of this stuff. It’s the power hungry like Ted Turner, George Soros, Obama, Pelosi, Patchy, etc. that try to drive this home in order to gain the control they desire over the entire world. I can’t believe I’m saying this, since I’m not generally a conspiracy theorist, but it really seems like there are a select few who have managed to amass great power and are trying to manipulate the sheeple into their carefully constructed confines. Once rounded up, it will be too late to do anything about it.
    This issue has never been about science. It has always been about using the guilt of the developed world to exercise authority. It is the culmination of decades of indoctrination/brainwashing done by the media, environmental groups, TV and movies, music industry, etc. Even worse is the message being taught in our school system; have any of you seen any modern text books!!! They are absolutely full of pseudoscience-based, agenda-driven, socialist-leaning rhetoric and revisionist alterations of historical events. A couple others posited that the difference in response was due to ability or lack thereof to think critically. I believe they are correct. That’s one of the reasons critical thinking is no longer even mentioned as a side note in our school system anymore.

  51. bubbagyro says:
    April 20, 2011 at 7:51 am
    Many here have missed the point of the article. The NH Senate is voting this week on the RGGI (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative),. The House has resoundingly supported the Bill at a 2:1 rate. The Bill would have New Hampshire withdraw from the Massachusetts promulgated RGGI and be a first nail in the coffin of the EPA ruling. . .

    Let’s hear it for New Hampshire!

    Anyone here from The Granite State? Call your state rep! We don’t have much hope here in Taxachusetts of repealing the RGGI, but we can cheer on our neighbors to the north.

    “Live free or die.”

    /Mr Lynn

  52. … there remains active discussion among scientists on many details about the pace and effects of climate change…

    “If the scientists are right…

    Which scientists? At this point Hamilton has taken sides and is making statements that have nothing to do with public opinion.

  53. If one is a thinker, rather than an icon cheerleader, you see what we are up against with simplicists like Nik running their mouths. Typical non sequiturs posing as deep thinking responses. Right, attack the 0.00001% of young earthers to make an irrelevant, off-topic point, or lump together embryo-killing stem cell therapy with the lion’s share of SCT that derives from adult cells (where all the medical breakthroughs are, BTW).

    But, that is all NYC truespeak. The land of Bloomberg, the great miseducated and their ilk, having more influence on US policy then they deserve. We scientists (the ones who actually do science) are the crimethinkers today. Fortunately, America still has “flyover country” where the rational thinkers dwell.

    I’m originally from NY. I escaped from the Planet of the Apes along with thousands of others that have done so over the years. [Maybe 20 feet of sea rise would not be such a bad thing after all for the long run? Just sayin'...]

  54. We live near the end of an Interglacial Lifeline. It took about half of that Interglacial time for man to acquire civilization skills. It took the other half of that Interglacial time for civilization to advance to the point of questioning itself.
    So, here we are poised on the brink of the decline of the Interglacial Lifeline.
    Was civilization an opportunity or a mistake?
    One side of the argument seems to appreciate the opportunity afforded by civilization, the other side wishes it were never born.

  55. “Although there remains active discussion among scientists on many details about the pace and effects of climate change, no leading science organization disagrees that human activities are now changing the Earth’s climate. The strong scientific agreement on this point contrasts with the partisan disagreement seen on all of our surveys,” said Lawrence Hamilton, professor of sociology and senior fellow with the UNH Carsey Institute.”

    So these conclusions apparently stem from a “Professor of Sociology”. Aahh, now it is clear. Professors of sociology tend to report scientific results as poll correlations and as sociological trends. They tend to have little appetite for needed scientific detail and peer review. Has the general public been dumbed down so much that they will accept this amorphous fog as science? Would they accept Professor Hamilton’s poll of the public as to how best to treat lung cancer or Parkinson’s disease?

    But I am not happy simply castigating the good Professor. A better approach: Mr. Watts, how about helping organize a series of definitive national, televised, public debates on the subject, featuring legitimate physical scientists on both sides of the key issues? Let the DATA be heard. Data such as published on your site. Data that is both quantitative and historical. Data that points out modeling deficiencies. Data that illustrate the numbers of science-credentialed “global warming” skeptics.. The DATA will set us all free.

  56. “This must be “polarization week” in social science, as this is the second study published this week on political polarization of the global warming issue.”

    ####

    This is not a coincidence. Its part of a planed strategy. Has no one else noticed that these Marxist agenda driving propaganda pieces dressed up as “studies” always appear in thematic clusters?

  57. Mr Lynn says:
    April 20, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Mr. Lynn (from the City of Sin, I presume?), the vote is close. Although the state legislature is overwhelmingly Republican, some of them are RINOs who have been around and even sponsored the original bill to install RGGI. The UNH article (UNH is the hotbed for left-wing activity in the state) is part of a full court press, an “October Surprise” in April. The tone is clearly that Republicans are reactionaries because they don’t follow consensus thinking. WWGT? (What would Galileo Think about consensus thinking?)

  58. NikFromNYC
    April 20, 2011 at 8:31 am

    ###

    You do not understand Conservatism (really liberalism until the Marxist stole the term), Republican politics nor Christianity. You are obviously carrying around a lot of socialist garbage in your head which makes you sound foolish when it influences your comments.

  59. I believe it is obvious that climate warmed until about 2000. I also believe it has cooled since that time.

    Cause? Nobody knows for sure. I don’t believe CO2 has much to do with it, though.

  60. “However, most people gather information about climate change not directly from scientists but indirectly, for example through news media, political activists, acquaintances, and other nonscience sources. Their understanding reflects not simply scientific knowledge, but rather the adoption of views promoted by political or opinion leaders they follow.”

    This is funny because at the start of this movement in Kyoto, politics changed the science. The political body at Kyoto in 1996 completely changed what the scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change presented after it was peer-reviewed.

    Among the changes were deletions such as these:
    > “None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed [climate] changes to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases.”

    > “No study to date has positively attributed all or part [of the climate change observed to date] to anthropogenic [man-made] causes.”

    > “Any claims of positive detection of significant climate change are likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the total natural variability of the climate system are reduced.”

    Dr. Frederick Seitz documented the entire Kyoto sham in the Wall Street Journal on June 12, 1996.

    One reference to his article is here: http://www.congregator.net/articles/majordeception.html

  61. First, follow the money. Until there is as much money available for critical analysis as there is for alarmist bull, we will continue to get this type of propaganda. I am writing a large check to the IRS for my taxes on a small business while GE pays no taxes because they are “green”.

    Second, remember the band wagon effect. People like to be on the popular side of any argument to avoid abuse and associate with the “right people” and if there is also money on that side so much the better.

    Third, the indoctrination of our youth regarding these issues has been going on for many years now due to the left wing bias in our educational system. This also needs to get fixed if we are to ever have real science again.

    Finally, there is the ignorance factor. Most people today are innumerate, the mathmatical eqivalent of illiterate, and none of these issues can be properly evaluated unless one has at least a rudimentary understanding of statistics. Apparently many “scientists” also either lack these skills or sell out for the money.

  62. “Moreover, they tend to selectively absorb information even from this biased flow, fitting it into their pre-existing beliefs,” Hamilton said.

    Gawsh, people are actually forming their own opinions and not believing everything they read! Personally I wanted to vomit after reading this story. It’s one thing to research opinions, but this thing is so heavily tainted with the author’s own opinion thats its ridiculous.

  63. A little push back. We’ll use Tadchem’s comment above as representative of a consensus point of view that occurs over and over here on WUWT-
    “Critical thinking is the *common cause* of skeptical opinions, conservative political attitudes, and scientific savvy.
    A lack of skill in critical thinking leads to credulity, emotional politics, and gullibility to the rhetoric of junk science.”
    Like global warming alarm itself, the comment exaggerates a partial truth while blindly exempting one’s own bias from the critical thinking exulted. One partial truth, of course, is that, yes, there has been uneven, but gradual global warming these past 300 years. The exageration is that today’s warming is unprecedented, is accelerating, or is known to be caused by CO2 emissions.
    Another partial truth is that critical thinking is a common cause of conservative political attitudes. This bit of self-congratulatory arrogance abounds on WUWT and is offensive to critical thinking. Social conservatives are renown for their lack of critical thinking in many areas: evolutionary biology, cosmology, founding father’s beliefs, religious fundamentalisms, aspects of sexuality, to name a few. Fiscal conservatives can be ideologues, too. Most reject Keynesian economics and walk lock step with fashionable conservative political correctness as promoted bt El Rushbo, Beck, the Tea party, etc.
    I am unaffiliated politically, but consider myself center left, a social liberal, as I think Willis Eschenbach called himself a few months ago. Conservatives are correct about climate science, but just because Dr. Spencer and Dr. Lindzen are voices of reason and critical thinking in climate science doesn’t mean they are voices of reason and critical thinking when it comes to evolution or smoking. All of us have blind spots.
    The pushy, arrogant conservative view so often expressed here on WUWT is the mirror image of the pushy, arrogant liberal view found on some AGW sites. I hope all of you who value critical thinking, are offended by the insults and demonizing by some conservatives here calling those who don’t folow their party line- emotional, gullible, unscientific, socialistic, stupid, haters of mankind, and such. It’s guaranteed to weaken your arguments about climate science and everything else. I spend a good deal of time showing my liberal friends the climate data and the lack of AGW evidence only to have conservatives insult them on blogs like this.
    I am a pragmatic centrist, not a conservative, for several reasons, partially because ideology is a poor substitute for critical thinking, but also because I’ve lived 70 years and seen conservatives oppose human rights and social justice my whole life: desegregation (mainly by segregationist Democrats in the south who switched to the Republican party in the 1960’s), ERA (and women’s suffrage 60 years earlier when my grandmother couldn’t vote until age 27), and today in the hot button areas of gay rights, immigration policy, and Islam.
    As a centrist, I have conservative and liberal friends and try to find common ground. The pontificating and demonizing on both sides makes it almost impossible. This is an excellent site and deserves the science blog award it received. It would be even better (and much more effective) if political ideologues stopped demonizing those they disagree with.
    Doug Allen
    “If you have an ideology, you have the answer to the question before you look at the facts.”

  64. Almost all of the AGW issue relies on inability to determine the direction of cause-effect relationships. This study is no different and has an obvious flaw.

    The flaw is obvious from Hamilton’s assertion saying;
    “However, most people gather information about climate change not directly from scientists but indirectly, for example through news media, political activists, acquaintances, and other nonscience sources. Their understanding reflects not simply scientific knowledge, but rather the adoption of views promoted by political or opinion leaders they follow. People increasingly choose news sources that match their own views. Moreover, they tend to selectively absorb information even from this biased flow, fitting it into their pre-existing beliefs,”

    OK, if that is true then why is it only true in the US and not elsewhere (e.g. throughout Europe)?

    In Europe the entire political spectrum has major parties that support AGW. And people who doubt AGW also come from all parts of the political spectrum (e.g. I think AGW is scientific bunkum and I am a left-wing socialist).

    So, it seems that people everywhere assess the AGW issue from the basis of their individual world views. The existence of discernible AGW is refuted by those (including me) whose world view places high value on empirical evidence and the scientific method. Also, AGW is doubted by those who naturally distrust anything that has little supporting evidence but is promoted by governments: these people tend to be Republicans in the US.

    But the existence of potentially dangerous AGW is accepted as ‘fact’ by those who place ‘feelings’ above empirical evidence so they see any “threat” to “the planet” as a risk to “our children and their children”. Also, AGW is supported by those who desire more government provision of personal rights, and in the US they tend to be Democrats.

    Simply, the political views people have do not define their views of AGW. However, in the US the world views which people have induce
    (a) Americans who are most ‘laissez faire’ to both – and independently – be Republicans and to question AGW
    while
    (b) Americans who are least ‘laissez faire’ to both – and independently – be Democrats and to accept AGW.

    Meanwhile, the rest of the world does not have the starkly aligned attitudes to ‘laissez faire’ displayed by Americans and, therefore, the political alignment of AGW seen in the US does not exist elsewhere.

    In summation, the “conclusion” of the “survey” is nonsense and derives from
    1. sample selection (i.e. only the US),
    2. failure to observe that the political alignment of AGW is unique to the US
    and
    3. failure to test the assumption of US people that “Their understanding reflects not simply scientific knowledge, but rather the adoption of views promoted by political or opinion leaders they follow.”

    Richard

  65. I am disappointed in half of the comments. The article is not about climate, nor the science. It is about where peoples’ attitudes come from.

    Anthony Watts lists pro-AGW sites on this site, but several posters here have said their posts there were deleted. This is a skeptic site. We are highly intelligent, and very educated–just as the study said.

    It is dismaying to realize that Academia and Dems are soaked in pro-AGW “science” that they think is real. They have no idea how severely skewed it is. Since their nonsense kills plants animals and people, we have to face reality on this.

    At least, I do understand now the alarmists comments on how evil the deniers must be. Given their (false) information, we look utterly nuts (and vice versa, but we are usually more polite about it). The two sides simply do not access the same data.

    The stakes are real. Real humans are dying from the food prices cause by biofuels. Real ecosystems are threatened both by false and destructive “solutions” and by the distraction of almost all ecological research from any other causes than warming.

    And there are enormous real deserts that require CO2 to turn them green again.

    I am an advocate of human caused climate change. Let’s green the Earth!

  66. In my experience people who have actually looked at the facts objectively tend to be mostly sceptical.

    Most people who accept warming theories tend to use the argument – “If the BBC/govt/scientists say so, it must be right”

  67. Doug Allen
    April 20, 2011 at 10:32 am
    ###

    Socialism is a cognitive disorder. Holding socialist views is indicative of faulty thinking. Faulty thinking prevents critical reasoning ( a somewhat flaky concept created by Marxist educators). Democrats are socialists, therefore Democrats are incapable of critical thinking. The only statement here that could be questioned is the equating of Democrats with socialist, but I think that resent history has demonstrated this to be largely correct.

  68. tadchem says:
    April 20, 2011 at 4:44 am

    Excellent point. Or to paraphrase, being gullible predisposes one to leftist politics – and vice versa.

  69. The headline says it all.

    Of course people believe that climate change is happening… because the climate always changes.

    I assume that people also believe in global rotation.

    But now, thanks to relentless propaganda, it is perceived as a problem that we can or should ‘fix’ that allegedly requires this question of why?

    So now we are stuck with this false premise and false question, thanks to the Orwellian blurring of language that has people seeing every cloud as some sign of the apocalypse.

    In related news, why did Saddam put those WMDs in ice cream trucks?

  70. “If the scientists are right, evidence of climate change will become more visible and dramatic in the decades ahead. ”

    It seems to me the left must have held more focus groups and decided they needed to drive the message home that they are the ones backed by science. They need to redefine the issue from catastrophic warming or significant warming to any warming whatsoever and redefine the rational stance of most conservatives into them believing that humans have no effect. I am long past getting tired of alarmists that might as well be doomsday cultists being defined as scientific. I am also getting tired of any warming being defined as necessarily harmful and worth any cost to stop. The tone of certainty in their writings really only exists in religions and political propaganda. It has no place in actual science.

    Even calling it climate change is irritating as if an actual scientist with half a brain believed that climates are ever unchanging. The left is talking about catastrophic warming that needs to be stopped at any cost and not any insignificant change as implied by “climate change” or disruption or whatever else they use to justify their redistribution and tax schemes. Conservatives saying they don’t believe in climate change usually doesn’t mean they believe that climates don’t change. It means they don’t buy what the left has redefined as climate change which is serious or catastrophic warming caused by humans.

  71. How many people believed Y2K was a serious problem? How many billions were spent by IT departments to address a problem that was not a problem? An IT friend of mine noted that poorer South American companies spend almost no money to address Y2K and had no problems.

    Observational evidence and the paleoclimatic record does not support the extreme AGW position/paradigm: melting ice sheets, rising sea level flooding Florida, Al Gore Inconvenient truth paradigm. There is no scientific or environmental reason to cap atmospheric CO2. Plants benefit from higher levels of atmospheric CO2, commercial greenhouses inject CO2 to increase yield and reduce growing times. Planetary cloud cover increases when the planet warms (negative feedback), which means a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will result in less than 1C warming not the 3C predicted as the IPCC base case (the 3C requires positive feedback in the order of 3 times.)

    There are not Trillions of tax payer dollars to cap or roll back atmospheric CO2. There are other environmental and governmental problems that need to be addressed.

    It appears the “Green Movement” and their supportors accept with questioning and without understanding the fundamentals. They appear to look for a movement to save the world.

    In the end, the truth will be found out by all. Trillions of dollars will not be spend to address a problem that is not a problem.

  72. RE: “Climate Change” and Ice Age Cycling…

    Some form of “warmth-ing” caused Ice Age ice to melt. It was turtle slow and generally continuous and continuing into today, with minor interspersed reversals.

    I speculate that the atmosphere has been thickening in volume from ongoing volcanic activity. Gasses trapped within the mantle are released over time by volcanic events and add to the total volume of the atmosphere. This added volume makes a thicker “blanket” around the Earth allowing for more heat to be trapped by the planet, and allowing the warming to occur.

    Intermittent reversals could be occurring from asteroid/meteor impacts or close calls that eject some of the atmosphere off into space, or by just causing the “nuclear winter” effect for brief periods.

    I predict the answer to this dynamic will be “settled” at some point, but “humans” and “AGW” will at best be found to be an almost imperceptible sliver of contribution and certainly not worth the time, money, or effort to influence any “reversal”. We are fools to attempt any bureaucratic, lunatatic, political “solution” to “warming”.

    If this idea has been presented heretofore, please heretoforgiveme.

  73. DesertYote wrote: “You do not understand Conservatism (really liberalism until the Marxist stole the term), Republican politics nor Christianity. You are obviously carrying around a lot of socialist garbage in your head which makes you sound foolish when it influences your comments.”

    Oh I quite well understand Conservatism and deeply appreciate it. Bill Buckley’s take down of the Drug War throughout the years was incredibly heroic, and I’ve read his first and last books from cover to cover to gain better insight into what drives conservative though. I also re-read the New Testament every year or so, in order to better separate in my mind the huge divide between the various versions of the church and the actual Bible, though no I have not gotten through the bulk of the Old. My point, though not fully rounded out, was that Republicans are not very conservative at all in my lifetime (born ’65) if you consider anybody but Reagan.After their early efforts to end racist policy something shifted very deeply and they sort of lost their way due to success in achieving their original libertarian ends. I still don’t understand how and what this sea change represents. The white hoods were all donned by Southern Democrats, but in old school communist fashion, that huge century or more long fight between what I’d call the “labor party” of democrats who were voted for by those afraid of fully emancipated slaves ruining the labor market and very old world libertarians was suddenly replaced by Marxists fighting mere “Bible Thumpers”. I’m currently reading Gibbon’s ‘Decline and Fall’ to establish better insight into what is going on now. In volume one of three, so far, it’s all about labor union problems. Seriously. Their public sector was the army and the whole story so far is about how things went well unless they allowed the army too much slack which created rebellion along the outer borders.

    Your point is well taken though. As a scientist though by training it was in my formative years the Republicans (not necessarily Conservative in general) that very much rubbed me the wrong way.

  74. >>Most Americans now agree that climate change is occurring, but still
    >>disagree on why, with opinions about the cause of climate change defined
    >>by political party, not scientific understanding,

    Interesting. What other field of science is defined by your political preference, rather than the science itself?

    A clear indication of how political Environmentalism has become.

    .

  75. >>Jack
    >>Gas $5.00 in lots of places.

    Come to Europe, it is €8.30 a gallon in Belgium. (imperial gallon) About $12 at current exchange rates.

    .

  76. DesertYote,
    Thanks for supplying an example of conservative pontificating, 11:19 AM, “Socialism is a cognitive disorder. Holding socialist views is indicative of faulty thinking. Faulty thinking prevents critical reasoning ( a somewhat flaky concept created by Marxist educators). Democrats are socialists, therefore Democrats are incapable of critical thinking…”
    If that’s your view, I suspect you’re a dittohead, as I’ve listened to El Rushbo push such nonsense. Communism is definitely, among other things, “the God that failed,”
    but that says nothing about other political philosophies.
    There is no such thing as pure capitalism or pure socialism except in the black and white world of some extremists. All governments are blends of both. Critical thinkers would identify specific policy or statute and show why it’s ineffective or counterproductive or has unintended consequences. Lazy ideologues, on the other hand, would speak ex cathedra and use perjorative labels without reference to political philosophy, history, economics, psychology, and science. The quote above is a good example of politics as religion and is so very much like the AGW religion, a priori statements not to be questioned. If conservatives want to make effective points about climate science, as I wish they could, they need to quit demonizing and take off their political hats long enough to be seen as contributers to a converstion rather than holier than thou partisans. The same could be said for liberals.
    Doug Allen
    “What fools these mortals be” Puck, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

  77. Richard S Courtney said @ April 20, 2011 at 10:41 am

    “OK, if that is true then why is it only true in the US and not elsewhere (e.g. throughout Europe)?”

    I don’t think we are supposed to notice this, or that US “World Series” sporting events are open only to teams from the US.

  78. Doug Allen says:
    April 20, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    DesertYote,
    Thanks for supplying an example of conservative pontificating, 11:19 AM, “Socialism is a cognitive disorder. Holding socialist views is indicative of faulty thinking. Faulty thinking prevents critical reasoning ( a somewhat flaky concept created by Marxist educators). Democrats are socialists, therefore Democrats are incapable of critical thinking…”
    If that’s your view, I suspect you’re a dittohead, as I’ve listened to El Rushbo push such nonsense. Communism is definitely, among other things, “the God that failed,”
    but that says nothing about other political philosophies.
    ###

    Ahh, spoken like a true brainwashed useful idiot. Give it up. You can’t possibly understand what I have to say. If this was not the case, you would not be spouting the nonsense that you are. As it is, you have demonstrated my main point perfectly for all to see. Socialists are cognitively dysfunctional. They have to be or else they would not fall for such a ruse.

    And BTW, I could teach Rush and Beck a thing or two, I can even use a chalkboard to do it …

  79. NikFromNYC
    April 20, 2011 at 12:25 pm
    ###
    Sorry. I think I pretty much agree with your main point, but as a Christian and a Scientist, who has no problem with REAL evolutionary theory (not the socialism supporting pseudo-science presented in non-specialist science curricula) I am a bit touchy about references to Bible-Thumpers.

    I have a pretty good handle on why the GOP ended up where they are now, but it is a bit complicated, after all were talking about 50 years of convoluted history. A clue is that socialists (mostly Marxists) have literally been the gate keeper of all Public discourse since at least the 30’s until just recently.

    You might want to study up on the history of Greece lead up to its domination by Rome. You might start by looking up the origin of the word Tyrant. Edward Gibbon is a good start, but a bit dated. Some of the conclusions should be taken Cum Grano Salis.

  80. Jeff L says:
    April 20, 2011 at 5:39 am
    “What they fail to realize is the reason people are divided along political lines is because this is fundamentally a political issue first and a scientific issue second. AGW is just a means to an end for the left & the right realizes that. Why do you think there is such extreme alarmism in trying to “promote” the AGW point of view? The fact that the authors don’t seem to grasp this obvious observation is either a stunning lack of perception or clearly showing their bias for the left wing AGW position. WUWT’s strength is in trying to flip the debate – put the science first & the politics second.”

    Very well said. I live in academia and there the communist onslaught is almost wholly successful. The “global warming” propaganda and the hysteria that it supports are just one among several Leftist programs that are identical in structure. All of them are thoroughly irrational. Let me illustrate the irrationality by using the case of the “Diversity Dean.” Every college campus has a Diversity Dean. That dean is the visible part of a power structure involving administrators, sympathetic faculty, and many others that enforces a raft of Leftist policies under the flag of “Diversity.” What this means to me, in practical terms, is that I cannot criticize the concept of “Diversity,” at least not as it is embodied by the dean. I cannot criticize the claim that “Diversity” is an inherent good that is of immense value.

    Ponder the broader implications. A concept that Western culture has employed, debated, and discussed for about 25 centuries has been removed from all debate in academia. Can you name another important concept that has suffered the same fate? Liberty? Justice? Freedom? Everything else can be debated. So, there is the clear evidence of the irrationality, the desire to harm Western culture, and the use of political power to overwhelm the traditional academy. The “manmade CO2 causes CAGW” people employ exactly the same tactics because they are exactly the same people with the same goals.

    I enjoy visiting WUWT because I can debate CAGW. Debate is possible because CAGW must seek some scientific credibility and because there are enough people on WUWT with an understanding of science to resist the Leftist political program behind CAGW. There are enough people to provide a genuine forum for debate of genuine climate science, not CAGW. Science among the people is the only thing that keeps debate alive. Otherwise, we would live in a world of CAGW zombies just as I live in a world of “Diversity” zombies.

  81. ‘BravoZulu says:
    April 20, 2011 at 11:38 am
    “If the scientists are right, evidence of climate change will become more visible and dramatic in the decades ahead. ”
    It seems to me the left must have held more focus groups and decided they needed to drive the message home that they are the ones backed by science. They need to redefine the issue from catastrophic warming or significant warming to any warming whatsoever and redefine the rational stance of most conservatives into them believing that humans have no effect.’

    That’s the problem. Pro AGW get to redefine “The Goal Post” and Con AGW don’t do enough point out the distance between the “Old Goal Post” and the “New Goal Post” and hold the Pro AGW accountable for the change.

  82. Doug Allen

    Thank you for eloquently stating your position which closely resembles my own. I read WUWT on a daily basis, and agree that it is significantly diminished by arrogant conservatism which seems just as blinded to genuine scepticism as some of the CAGW proponents they criticise. Equally, there seems to be a strong feeling that conservative=skeptical=good, while liberal=CAGW=bad. Not always so!

    Malcolm

  83. “The greatest polarization occurs among people who believe they have the best understanding.”

    Another empirical datum: when sceptics and alarmists debate, the sceptics usually win. Alarmists now tend to avoid getting into debates.

    So whose “best understanding” is right?

  84. This survey is a typical example of sampling bias. By using the term “climate change” rather than “global warming” they get higher percentages for their biased conclusion than otherwise, because most people understand that the climate changes all the time and has throughout Earth history. This study tries to hijack people who know and understand this truth to bolster those who believe in the much less supported AGW hypothesis of human causes. Furthermore, they dont specify what TYPE of climate change, specifically, people believe is happening. Its obvious that those who believe we are headed into an ice age don’t believe the CO2 AGW hypothesis.

  85. Bruce of Newcastle says:
    April 20, 2011 at 5:25 pm
    Another empirical datum: when sceptics and alarmists debate, the sceptics usually win. Alarmists now tend to avoid getting into debates.

    Seems to me that they have avoided all debates for years now. When talking points are all you have, you don’t do very well in debate.

  86. Doug Allen says:
    April 20, 2011 at 10:32 am

    A little push back. . . As a centrist, I have conservative and liberal friends and try to find common ground. The pontificating and demonizing on both sides makes it almost impossible. This is an excellent site and deserves the science blog award it received. It would be even better (and much more effective) if political ideologues stopped demonizing those they disagree with.

    Unfortunately, the ideologues of the Left command the national discussion at every level, and have taken what should have been legitimate climatological inquiry and turned it into a causes celebres, a weapon with which to attack the values of the West. Or do you think the eco-Marxists have dispassionate, objective scientific research on their minds?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/13/socialists-of-the-world-unite-for-youth-climate-conference/

    Should people interested in science and the environment ignore these fanatics? Or should we fight back, by pointing out who and what they are? Their allies in the White House and Congress damn near got an insane, draconian Crap and Tax bill passed last year. Don’t think they will give up.

    /Mr Lynn

  87. DesertYote wrote: “I have a pretty good handle on why the GOP ended up where they are now, but it is a bit complicated, after all were talking about 50 years of convoluted history. A clue is that socialists (mostly Marxists) have literally been the gate keeper of all Public discourse since at least the 30′s until just recently.”

    I need an Amazon.com direct-link reading list from you if you want me to learn anything.

    Do you believe in love?

  88. Hamilton says:

    “If the scientists are right, evidence of climate change will become more visible and dramatic in the decades ahead. ”

    Even if “scientists” are wrong, evidence of climate change will become more visible and dramatic in the decades ahead.

    What will become more visible is the cause of that change and the lack of integrity of science in failing to apply the scientific method.

  89. Mr Lynn says:
    April 20, 2011 at 9:05 am

    bubbagyro says:
    April 20, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Many here have missed the point of the article. The NH Senate is voting this week on the RGGI (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative),. The House has resoundingly supported the Bill at a 2:1 rate. The Bill would have New Hampshire withdraw from the Massachusetts promulgated RGGI and be a first nail in the coffin of the EPA ruling. . .

    Let’s hear it for New Hampshire!

    Anyone here from The Granite State? Call your state rep! We don’t have much hope here in Taxachusetts of repealing the RGGI, but we can cheer on our neighbors to the north.

    Call your senator. Thursday is the review by the Energy & Natural Resources committee. The committee chair was one of the original sponsors of RGGI, his officemate will likely vote against the the bill too. That will be enough for the committee to not endorse the bill, but either way it will go to the full senate.

    My testimony for tomorrow, err, today is at http://wermenh.com/rggiwatch/enr_testimony.html

    The house committee hearing stretched well into the afternoon. If everyone who showed up for that shows up for this, it will be a long day.

  90. Uh oh…here we go with that liberal opener….”most Americans”….what kind of most Americans…retarded ones?…ones who dont think for themselves? certainly not anyone who is in touch with reality! MOST Americans are not that stupid…I hope!

  91. DesertYote said @ April 20, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    “Socialists are cognitively dysfunctional.”

    Like Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, Stephen Jay Gould…? And you are presumably far more cognitively functional than those “brainwashed useful idiots”. Care to explain? On second thoughts, don’t bother…

  92. @William
    As someone at the coal face, so to speak, of application software development, I cannot help but feel somewhat irritated by the occasional comment here about Y2K having been a non-event. Sure, at the time there was some ridiculous hype in the MSM, but the problem was very, very real where it related to date handling in 6 digit format. I personally had to spend quite a lot of time and devise some fancy footwork in order to achieve seamless cross-over and backward compatibility with archived data. The only reason the public noticed nothing, and now are under the illusion that it was a non-event, is precicely because people like me burned the midnight oil and were effective at pre-emptively containing the problem. Else many, many, really serious problems would have arisen world wide. Don’t trash that effort because you clearly know nothing about it. I cannot comment on your IT friend, but the field is very wide and he was clearly active in some other area, or not well informed.

  93. @John Q Public and others. I think there is a natural bias in ideology. Right-wingers believe there is a natural order of things (which may or may not be ordained by God) and that we cannot or should not mess with it. Hence the class system, slavery, lack of progressive taxation, etc. Left-wingers think that we must strive against anything that might harm us, and by the sheer force of the workers’ might, we will overturn that natural order. Neither is correct all of the time.

    People seek out explanations and solutions that fit their worldview. Hence attitudes to climate change and what to do about it become polar(bear)ised.

    However I’m a pinko lefty who is somewhat sceptical about the speed and causation of climate change. That’s because I’ve tried, like many WUWT readers, to educate myself on the scientific issues. Most people don’t, so they continue to believe what suits them.

  94. Doug Allen:

    It is pointless to argue with political bigots.

    There is nothing you can learn from them, and they refuse to learn anything from anybody.

    So, it is best to ignore anybody provides an irrational rant such as;
    “Socialism is a cognitive disorder. Holding socialist views is indicative of faulty thinking. Faulty thinking prevents critical reasoning ( a somewhat flaky concept created by Marxist educators). Democrats are socialists, therefore Democrats are incapable of critical thinking…”

    Similar silly nonsense is provided by left-wing bigots but is aimed at the right.

    Let them stew in their smug ignorance: they like it that way and there is nothing you can gain from any attempt to educate them (and you cannot because bigots refuse to learn).

    Richard

  95. Veronica says:
    @John Q Public and others. I think there is a natural bias in ideology. Right-wingers believe there is a natural order of things (which may or may not be ordained by God) and that we cannot or should not mess with it. Hence the class system, slavery, lack of progressive taxation, etc.

    Seems to me there may be a bias in your perception, as well.

  96. Right or left you can usually follow the money and find the driving force in any political system. Either Plato or Socrates (someone help me here) said that enlighted, benevolent kings (dictators ?) were the only way that people would get a fair shake and historically I would say that seems to be true. Of course, living in a time and place with an abundance of material wealth probably plays a large role in what happens. There is a tyrany of socialism (communism) and a tyrany of democracy (mob rule) and even a well thought out constitution does not seem to hold for long. These are the facts of history, you can accept them or not.

  97. Theo Goodwin, I always appreciate your comments. Thank you for being part of the discussion on here.

    Doug Allen, you have made some very good points regarding critical thinking and demagoguery. Some people commenting here could stand to step back a little and examine their ideology with the same critical perspective they apply to others. It was that exercise that led me to skepticism about all religion, in spite of (actually as a result of) extensive, earnest, structured Bible study. I don’t necessarily agree with all of your viewpoints, but we could likely have an interesting dinner conversation, i.e. I don’t buy Keynesian economics.

    Richard S Courtney, while we probably agree on many things, you’ve stooped to DesertYote’s level.

    DesertYote, you probably have some very prescient and relevant information, including lessons from history, but you practically eliminate your credibility with your presentation. I probably agree with you more than I disagree, but you’ve stooped to the level of the “alarmist” advocates in your ad hominem style.

    The beauty of WUWT is that all viewpoints can be presented in a civil manner w/o being censored by the moderator’s agenda. Viva la discourse!

  98. NikFromNYC: What does love have to do with this discussion? Are you trying to appeal to emotion? To belief? Neither are useful for more than religion and “feeling good” and fail critical examination.

  99. Pompous Git says:
    April 21, 2011 at 1:46 am

    DesertYote said @ April 20, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    “Socialists are cognitively dysfunctional.”

    Like Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, Stephen Jay Gould…? And you are presumably far more cognitively functional than those “brainwashed useful idiots”. Care to explain? On second thoughts, don’t bother…
    ###

    This is a silly argument. First, Albert Einstein was not much of a socialist, despite what socialists like to claim. Second, just because people who were very smart in one area, were taken in by the deceit early in the 1900’s is besides the point. Almost all who thought seriously about what socialism really was, abandoned it like the plague. Third, though Bertrand Russell did some important work, he was not all that impressive. I developed my own axiomatic set theory based on induction when I was 18, and with only a knowledge of three semesters of college calculus and an introduction to Abstract Algebra.

    The fact is, socialist must be able to hold a whole set of contradictory notions in their head in order to be socialist. This is because, at its core, socialism is a justification of theft. This in turn presupposes the axiom that “The ends justify the means”. There are so many core socialist beliefs that are fallacious, it boggles the mind. The scary thing is that it is impossible to show a socialist this because they can not hold three thoughts in their head at the same time unless they are three thoughts that they have been taught to combine (so they really are one thought, but that is starting to get way to technical). Mark my word, planes will be falling out of the skies, not because of corporate greed, but because the engineers designing them can no longer think.

    I did not just come by the theory that “Socialism is a cognitive dysfunction” because it sounds good. I developed it through 10 years of observation and testing in northern California, no less, where the moonbat runs free and wild. I can prove it, but you socialist can not understand the proof because your cognition has been molded to prevent you from being able to understand it. Do you think I like the idea that so many people are cognitively dysfunctional? To tell you the truth, it took me ten years to come to this conclusion because I did not want to believe it. Frankly, it terrified me. Most of my friends had a hard time believing it also, but that was years ago. Now they see what I am talking about, in fact it has become so evident that others have been discovering it on their own.

    And finally, if socialism is so great, then why do its proponents have to lie, cheat, steal, and murder in order to force their notions on society?

  100. Pompous Git :

    Einstein did not have the benefit of 60 years of watching socialism fail, as have we, so could be excused for believing in a high minded system that does not work.

  101. Theo Barker:

    At April 21, 2011 at 5:35 am I said, “It is pointless to argue with political bigots” and that they exist on the right and on the left.

    I said nothing can be learned from them and they refuse to learn. But they provide irreational rants such as one that I quoted.

    Your response to that is:
    “Richard S Courtney, while we probably agree on many things, you’ve stooped to DesertYote’s level. ”

    Absolutely not! I stand by all I said and I consider your response to be a gratuitous and unjustifiable insult.

    Richard

  102. DesertYote said @ April 21, 2011 at 11:19 am
    “I did not just come by the theory that “Socialism is a cognitive dysfunction” because it sounds good. I developed it through 10 years of observation and testing in northern California, no less, where the moonbat runs free and wild. I can prove it, but you socialist can not understand the proof because your cognition has been molded to prevent you from being able to understand it. Do you think I like the idea that so many people are cognitively dysfunctional? To tell you the truth, it took me ten years to come to this conclusion because I did not want to believe it. Frankly, it terrified me. Most of my friends had a hard time believing it also, but that was years ago. Now they see what I am talking about, in fact it has become so evident that others have been discovering it on their own.

    And finally, if socialism is so great, then why do its proponents have to lie, cheat, steal, and murder in order to force their notions on society?”

    You say I cannot understand your “proof” that “Socialism is a cognitive dysfunction” because “[my] cognition has been molded to prevent [me] from being able to understand it”. I see no attempt at proof, merely assertion. You don’t even attempt to provide any evidence that I am a socialist. Maybe it’s because I’m not. My politics are ever so slightly left of centre and very libertarian. And for most of the last 45 years I have been self-employed in small business.

    And to paraphrase you, if capitalism is so great, then why do its proponents have to lie, cheat steal, and murder in order to force their notions on society?

    Of course they don’t. History is replete with despots of many political persuasions.

    Personally, even though I never shared his politics, I remain impressed by Bertrand Russell. Did you know he wrote his books long hand without corrections? I remain singularly unimpressed by your contribution to Western philosophical thought.

  103. Jim G said @ April 21, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    “Einstein did not have the benefit of 60 years of watching socialism fail, as have we, so could be excused for believing in a high minded system that does not work.”

    Indeed. But that’s a separate argument.

  104. “And to paraphrase you, if capitalism is so great, then why do its proponents have to lie, cheat steal, and murder in order to force their notions on society?”

    You’re clearly confused. No society exists without capitalistic notions, because everyone is self-interested and free willed. How can you even force that notion on someone?

    Are you sure you aren’t getting capitalism mixed up with mercantilism? Almost the entirety of socialist arguments against capitalism make that mistake.

  105. Peter G says:
    April 21, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    “You’re clearly confused. No society exists without capitalistic notions, because everyone is self-interested and free willed. How can you even force that notion on someone?

    Are you sure you aren’t getting capitalism mixed up with mercantilism? Almost the entirety of socialist arguments against capitalism make that mistake.”

    No, I don’t believe that I am confused. Nowhere have I argued that society exists without capitalist notions. I substituted “capitalism” for “socialism” to (apparently unsuccessfully) point out the silliness of Desert Yote’s argument. Remember he originally accused socialists of being “cognitively dysfunctional” and that “its proponents have to lie, cheat steal, and murder in order to force their notions on society”.

    I merely pointed out that Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, Stephen Jay Gould were socialists. So far, no-one has provided the tiniest shred of evidence that these (IMHO) fine thinkers are “cognitively dysfunctional”, or that they ever lied, cheated, stole, or murdered “in order to force their notions on society”. Nor have I in my extensive study of history found that cognitive dysfunction, lying, cheating, stealing, or murdering to be exclusively socialist.

    If you or Desert Yote want me to believe Desert Yote’s assertions, you are going to have to come up with something other than mere assertion. I am always open to being persuaded that my beliefs are incorrect; that discovery is called learning. And the fact that I have learnt much from Einstein, Russell, Gould and even Karl Marx, does not make me a socialist.

    Instead of assuming that I am obviously “cognitively dysfunctional”, why don’t you provide supporting evidence for your theses?

  106. Pompous Git
    April 21, 2011 at 5:13 pm
    ###

    I have pretty much given up trying to explain some things. It is usually a big waste of time. Trying to discuss cognition theory in comments on a blog is almost impossible. I have had these discussions before and they are almost always a failure. I do tend to be a bit judgmental in forums like this. I sometime have to apologies. My friends accuse me of playing to rough. Even though you have not given me any indication that you can understand anything I have to say (I really have given you some hints which you did not see), I will try to explain one simple thing and give a hint of another.

    BTW, even people who’s cognitive capability has not been shackled by public schooling, are hard for me to communicate with. Expressing my thoughts in words is difficult for me.

    Modern Socialism is founded on the works of Bentham and Mills. I have a much more abstract definition of socialism that is more amenable to analysis, but what most people, and probably you think of when the talk of socialism is Modern Socialism. So that is what I will discuss.

    Socialism is an outgrowth of Utilitarian ethic. This is based on the theory that the total marginal utility of a resource is greatest when it has been distributed evenly.

    Socialist believe that by controlling the distribution of resources, they can achieve the greatest good.

    Sounds good so far?

    Controlling the distribution of a resource means taking some of it from those with a lot and giving it to those with little.

    Taking something from someone is usually called theft.

    Therefore Modern Socialism is a justification for theft.

    Theft is bad, but if it is done for the right reason then it is OK, i.e. the ends justify the means.

    And just to be clear Socialism is doomed to failure:
    Any resource that is subject to theft has zero marginal utility.
    If I create something and society can take it at any time, then it has little utility.
    If I can not create something but can get it any time from society, it again has little utility.

    Next:
    There are four main branches of institutional socialism.
    Imperialism, (big s) Socialism/Communism, Corporatism/Fascism, and the last, which I still need a good name for that captures it two faces, is characterized by the dogmatic fanaticism of Gaiaism and other radical religions.

  107. Pompous Git says:
    April 21, 2011 at 1:32 pm
    Jim G said @ April 21, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    ““Einstein did not have the benefit of 60 years of watching socialism fail, as have we, so could be excused for believing in a high minded system that does not work.”

    Indeed. But that’s a separate argument.”

    Same argument, intelligent folks do not buy utopian ideas. Utopia, from the Greek, means “nowhere”. All political systems devolve into dictatorships based usually upon greed rather than benevolence, high life styles and special stores for the communist party leaders, great compensation and benefits plus campaign contributions for the democratically elected leaders, favors for the constituency and supporters, punishment for dissent. The only difference is in the degree of brutality inflicted upon the general population by those in charge, economic, mental and physical and the level of theft that is indulged by the leaders. Benevolent dictatorship is the best one can hope for.

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