‘Hoodwinking the Nation’ on climate issues

Guest essay by Charles Battig, M.D. VA-Scientists and Engineers for Energy and Environment

American popular culture has scattered nuggets of perceived wisdom. In order to understand and perhaps explain our continuing frustration with getting more of the American public and politicians to accept the reality of climate issues, I invoke “Cool Hand Luke.” In that 1967 film the prison warden tells Luke: “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach…”

Both short statements encapsulate the problem of getting out and accepted the scientifically validated climate information labored over by so many at this site and at other similar sites. Both the mainstream press and government officials are particular challenges. The public-at-large seems to be getting the message that our weather events are not deserving of prime-time concern.

The media loves an attention grabbing headline too much to concede the climate panic button re-set for any event, real or imagined. Our political ruling class and its corporate sycophants are entwined in a mad love and financial embrace that validates “love is blind.” They are blind to any facts of climate research that might threaten their profitable symbiotic relationship.

This conundrum of effective communication of validated scientific fact became of great concern and dismay to Julian Simon. “Hoodwinking the Nation” (1999) was Julian’s last published book, and is just 140 pages.

He was the eternal optimist which made him a rare bird amongst those of the “dismal profession.” Perhaps he is best remembered to the general public for his 1980 wager with Paul Ehrlich. Ehrlich had insisted that a basket of commodities would become more expensive over the next ten years because they would become scarcer as increased global population depleted natural reserves. Simon bet the opposite. His inherent optimism reasoned that more people meant more opportunities for new discoveries which would result in cheaper costs of exploration and extraction. For him, people and their potential discoveries were the “Ultimate Resource.” Fortuitously, Simon won the bet.

In “Hoodwinking the Nation,” Julian describes his successful 1980’s effort to debunk the prevalent claim of the day that urbanization of U.S. farmland was creating a potential shortage of food for the U.S. and its food exports. By 1984, Julian’s analysis of the government’s own data showed that there was no such thing as a vanishing farmland crisis…it was all a scam. The Soil Conservation Service, the National Agricultural Lands Study, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture all reversed their earlier scarcity claims. Julian was proved correct, yet the press “did nothing to uncover the scam.” In the section, “A postmortem,” Julian describes his attempt to understand this lack of interest by the press to publicize the factual good news. His finding: “When shown the facts, these journalists usually say that even if cries of an environmental danger are somewhat overblown, they contain the germ of truth.” I think that this reality is still valid today. The media are pre-disposed to look for “false bad news” or to fabricate it to catch a headline.

The remainder of the book attempts to define and explain this whole phenomenon of good news being crowded out by false bad news. Why is the public pre-disposed to believe things are getting worse, even if facts prove otherwise? Some chapter headings identify the dilemma: “Chapter 1: What Do Americans Wrongly Believe about Environment, Resources, and Population,” “Chapter 4: Why Does the Public Not Hear Sound Environmental Thinkers?” “Chapter 9: How Psychology Affects the Evaluation of Trends,” and “Chapter 10: Why Do We Hear Prophecies of Doom from Every Side?”

These same questions and his answers are just as timely today as writers here and elsewhere lament the fact that they have won the scientific climate debates fairly at numerous climate conferences and conventions, yet the press and politicians, as well as competing academics, refuse to acknowledge their findings. In the contests of political propaganda, emotional appeals have an unfair, but proven advantage over scientific facts. Parents and politicians succumb to images of cute children waving “clean air’ banners. Do not think that arguments centered on climate sensitivity, relative risk, and negative feedback loops will prevail in that arena.

It is encouraging that the public-at-large has continued to rank “climate change issues” at the bottom of possible concerns, and so there is hope that persistent repetition of verifiable facts is finding receptive ears. The Internet was not yet prime-time in Julian’s day, but now it provides an end-run about a mainstream media intent on scares and not science.

So “Cool Hand Luke,” we have come a long way with the ability to communicate. However, we have yet to conquer the: “some men you just can’t reach…” Significant progress there rests upon voting out of office those we cannot reach by reason alone.

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72 thoughts on “‘Hoodwinking the Nation’ on climate issues

  1. Surely the problem is that both MSM and the politicians have painted themselves into a corner by endorsing CAGW and now don’t know how to extricate themselves without looking stupid.
    It will be a very brave journalist or politician who says “I was wrong”.

  2. This is an interesting article , http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2014/08/07/global-warming-pause-puts-crisis-in-perspective/

    “If we choose a starting point of mid-1998, the planet has cooled during the past 16 years. If we choose a starting point of late 1997 or early 1999, temperatures have been flat during the past 15 and 17 years. Examining the totality of the 35-year temperature record, we see approximately 1/3 of 1 degree Celsius warming during the period. Accordingly, global warming has occurred at a pace of approximately 1 degree Celsius per century over the duration of the satellite record.”

  3. Imo the problems are the public doesn’t know or care about global warming and too many people are making too much money for doing nothing. YuThe pols are afraid of not getting reelecctid

  4. Much put very well. No solutions but to redefine the problem so well is always a good start. The human psyche is predisposed from nature or nurture to do what it does. And there are those among them who highlight the path and the rest is history. Here we are witness’s, at the coal face. There is no doubt that subtle (and not so subtle) corruption rules for a time. Once identification is phrased to move the masses, the powers will shift again. Ever does this happen. Reason has many facets in many dimensions of society tracing out chaotic elipses of near repetition. fasten your seatbelts

  5. “In the contests of political propaganda, emotional appeals have an unfair, but proven advantage over scientific facts. Parents and politicians succumb to images of cute children waving “clean air’ banners. Do not think that arguments centered on climate sensitivity, relative risk, and negative feedback loops will prevail in that arena.”

    Indeed, and not just in the arena of politics. The narrative of CAGW pushes emotive hot buttons at every level and in every aspect. Scientists are just as vulnerable to those buttons as anyone, resulting in noble cause corruption, confirmation bias, and other cognitive bias effects that bend the science away from reality. As Jennifer Marohasy points out, the science argument is not won for the skeptics while the dominant paradigm remains; all ‘facts’ will be seen through its filter. That paradigm is enshrined in the orthodox narrative of CAGW. To change it, unfortunately, will perhaps need a competing narrative with it’s own emotional appeal; hopefully one that is a lot more positive and much less distanced from reality, yet nevertheless can act as the inspiring new vehicle for carrying real science and reason back into the heart of the public.

  6. A huge amount of pure terror is being fed to our children in schools nationwide because of “Common Core” standards. I read the section on Climate Science and the pureness of the propaganda is very depressing…

  7. Americans do not seem so scared by it all, many still drive huge cars, despite high gas prices.

  8. I recently cancelled my subscription (of 30 years) to the Chicago Sun-Times print newspaper, it had been faithfully thrown on my driveway the whole time.
    My attempt to rant at the poor woman that answered my cancellation call, was easily circumvented when she offered “was it the content ?”.
    Anyway, they called me back offering the same biased news at a lower price.
    I’m pretty sure I declined, but English was not the mans first language.

    That could be a problem ?

  9. Anthony,

    I agree with your concern over the Media’s inability to pursue fact-driven article content. It impacts the Climate debate and many other current political issues, such as keeping the Citizen tuned to unconstitutional political actions. My thought regarding addressing the broader issue has relevance to your thought and I’d be happy to hear your and your Reader’s views on it.

    In brief, it is this:
    (1) An informed Citizenry is fundamental to a Nation of, by and for the People. So the Media have the duty of providing full truth to the American people. The Citizens also have an obligation to the Media for Freedom of the Press. So, how to thread that needle?
    (2) Here’s my proposal. All Media reports that impact the Citizens governance, taxes and right to pursue Life, Liberty and Happiness must be published/broadcast under one of two prominent labels: (1) “NEWS”, or (2) “NON-NEWS”. If labeled (1), NEWS, the report must include at least 25% contextual comment, each, identified and provided by the 2 top Political parties having current representation in Congress. If the report is labeled (2), NON-NEWS, there is no restriction whatever on the publication. Citizens can then choose to load their minds with factual, possibly contrasting content from the two dominant political thoughts or they can content themselves with reading possible rumor, opinion and self-enhancing propaganda. Either way, I think it is an aid to American governance that the information they receive will be fairer and more accurate. What do Readers say?

  10. Confirmation bias at heart. Also, nobody was ever ostracized for trying to make a good thing better, or at least saying that a good thing SHOULD, if possible, be made better.

    When you are not required to do the work yourself, all things can be done better, faster, more efficiently and cheerfully for the benefit of strangers.

  11. Climate catastrophism is too valuable to the Left Wing to be given up without a fight in the media which serve as its propaganda arm. Even though the US Congress has never voted for “carbon” taxation, even when controlled by Democrats, nor ratified the Kyoto Treaty, the Obama Administration has used the criminal EPA to run around the end of the people’s representatives and senators.

  12. Old Seadog:

    CAGW will never be denied by the media. CAGW … “will not end with a bang, but a whimper”.

    It will, like an old sailor, simply sail off over the horizon.

  13. With respect to the Common Core as well as what Julian Simon wanted in education vs Paul Ehrlich’s vision of the “need to replace our minds with new ones” This laid it all out a few years ago. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/learning-to-learn-or-how-to-replace-old-minds-with-sustainable-new-ones/

    It just gets more prescient as the actual implementation continues to deviate from the rhetoric and Simon’s vision. The only way for Ehrlich not to when the end game the bet was about is to truly get what he means by Foresight Intelligence.

  14. CHAPTER 6

    POPULATION CONTROL AND KNOWLEDGE INFORMATION CONTROL

    A CASE OF LYSENKOISM

    “Population growth has engendered even more intense feelings

    and action than the environment or natural resources, because the

    lives of human beings are immediately at stake. Proposals such

    as putting contraceptives into the drinking water understandably

    arouse passions against such schemes, just as the schemes

    themselves are the product of passions among those who propose

    such schemes. In milder forms, however, population control has

    wide support among the public, the polls tells us, and in the

    Congress, as we know from votes to support U.S. population

    control activities abroad.
    page 1 /mediabk lysenk6m/December 14, 1995″

    I do not believe that Americans are really aware of the population control methods that are exported. Stopping foreign funding of certain procedures abroad was the first act of a recent president, and the activities now being funded are not being done in the light. I do think this statement needs to be updated.

  15. reference: “Mr. Zubrin’s latest book, Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism, is the newest addition to the New Atlantis Books series. Merchants of Despair traces the pedigree of the ideology that human beings are a cancer upon the Earth — a species whose aspirations and appetites are endangering the natural order — and exposes its deadly consequences in startling and horrifying detail. It exposes the worst crimes perpetrated by this antihumanist movement, including eugenics campaigns in the United States and genocidal anti-development and population-control programs around the world. And it provides scientific refutations to antihumanism’s major pseudo-scientific claims, including its modern tirades against nuclear power, pesticides, population growth, biotech foods, resource depletion, industrial development, and, most recently, fear-mongering about global warming. The book’s official homepage is http://www.MerchantsOfDespair.com.”

  16. I would say a big problem is that there are almost no journalists that are trained in a hard science and have taken math beyond algebra. The average journalist, heck even the good journalists, are the equivalent of 8th or 9th graders in their comprehension of science and math.

  17. Wayne Delbeke says:
    August 7, 2014 at 6:11 pm
    Old Seadog:

    CAGW will never be denied by the media. CAGW … “will not end with a bang, but a whimper”.

    Just like acid rain and the ozone hole did.

  18. @ Sturgis. The left wing has been duped by a bunch of scientists with PhD’s after their names who publish in prestigious peer reviewed journals. The right wing on the other hand has been duped by a bunch of religious creationists who believe the world was created 6,000 years ago. If I am going to be duped, at least I would think it better to be in the first group of dupees.

  19. I am soooooooo confused. I am a right winger and think the earth was created out of a ball of dust and gas somewhere around 4 billion years ago. Your hypothesis is therefore falsified.

  20. davidgmills says (August 7, 2014 at 7:01 pm): “If I am going to be duped, at least I would think it better to be in the first group of dupees.”

    If you’re going to be duped, spend more time at WUWT and get un-duped. :-)

  21. I caught on that the Media’s SOLE REASON FOR EXISTANCE is to “aggitate”. I also found out that they were primarily mental midgits, and way below my capabilities (OK, working in Nuclear Power helped bring that conclusion quickly..once I stepped into an operating reactor, and worked in it while it was operating. Yes, you know it alls, there are occassions you need to go inside containment during operations..) But our problem is the people who are “under the spell”.

    As Rod Serling would say, “For your consideration”:

  22. davidgmills says:

    August 7, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    @ Sturgis. The left wing has been duped by a bunch of scientists with PhD’s after their names who publish in prestigious peer reviewed journals. The right wing on the other hand has been duped by a bunch of religious creationists who believe the world was created 6,000 years ago. If I am going to be duped, at least I would think it better to be in the first group of dupees.

    Duped is as duped does.

    – Forrest Gump-ish

  23. The media’s reticence to report good news, rests on the weird fusion, of the worst aspects of marxist socialism and predatory capitalism.
    On one hand, Media companies are driven like oxen before the whip to maximize profits and prophets, in short telling lies using the lowest cost hacks they can corral.
    On the other hand, are the marxist greens, whose entire house of cards is being back door funded, by identities who have…, you get where i’m going with this…, media assets in their bloated portfolio’s.
    Since neither could practically function without the other, why ruin a good thing with honest reporting.

    When has a reporter ever exposed his employers shenanigans?

    The marxist capital consuming, capital destroying mechanism is at full stride, they have to juggle destroying the worlds economy, while keeping it intact enough to continue paying them enough, to fly to junkets, run the air con 24/7 and tuck some cash away in a Swiss bank account.

    Merchants of Despair indeed.

  24. @ james the elder. Well I am a far left winger and long ago concluded that arthropogenic CO2 was not causing global warming. So I guess I disprove everything said about the left wing and disprove the hypothesis that the left wing thinks anthropogenic CO2 causes global warming.

  25. @dbstealy. Obviously you have not run for political office on the right wing political side or you would know that my comment is not a false equivalence at all.

  26. A plague on both their houses. When it doesn’t become newsworthy, they will cease publishing it.They might say they were misled, but if Mann wins court cases, it goes on, and on and on.

  27. One near-term potential game-changer would be a climb-down by the APS from its alarmist position statement. It’s been giving contrarians a hearing this year.

  28. Social consensus through the influence of committed minorities

    PHYSICAL REVIEW E 84, 011130 (2011)

    “We show how the prevailing majority opinion in a population can be rapidly reversed by a small fraction p of randomly distributed committed agents who consistently proselytize the opposing opinion and are immune to influence. Specifically, we show that when the committed fraction grows beyond a critical value pc ≈ 10%, there is a dramatic decrease in the time Tc taken for the entire population to adopt the committed opinion….

    “Human behavior is profoundly affected by the influenceability of individuals and the social networks that link them together. Well before the proliferation of online social networking, offline or interpersonal social networks have been acknowledged as a major factor in determining how societies move toward consensus in the adoption of ideologies, traditions, and attitudes….

    “A key feature in both these models is that once an individual adopts the new state, his state remains unchanged at all subsequent times.”

    http://arxiv.org/pdf/1102.3931.pdf

    Struth

    I’ve been a committed minority for quite some time. If appropriate at the time, I will broach or segue into a discussion on climate change, and depending upon whatever that audience is I will taylor some pointed questions, like “Do you know when we live?”, or “And if sea level goes up somewhere between 6 and 52 meters above present, like it did at the last end interglacial, what do you propose to do about that?”

    As a means of attempting to impart our current half precessional age as well as the purely technical problems of how to recognize a single anthropogenic late Holocene climate “signal” from up to 3 normal natural thermal excursions that curiously seem to attend every interglacial that has achieved our sea levels and beyond. The last one always being the strongest.

    But it generally makes no difference. Somehow, an appreciation of signal to noise ratio escapes even those I once considered the most rational of my personal and professional friends and colleagues.

    It makes no difference that the worst case “business as usual” SRES A1F1 marker series upper error bar (IPCC, AR4, comes in at +0.6 meters amsl by 2099 (or just 10% of the lowest estimate for the second sea level highstand at the end-Eemian, or just over 1% if it was +52.0 meters amsl) or that the worst case AR5 upper error bar estimate comes in at +6.63 meters in the model spreads.

    At least by AR5, and by the year 2500 we have breached the low-end estimate for the end-Eemian highstand! http://www.uow.edu.au/content/groups/public/@web/@sci/@eesc/documents/doc/uow045009.pdf (see Figure 2)!

    I mean if there is going to be but a single thermal excursion at the end-Holocene, and it is to be ours, how are we to recognize it from the 2-3 such highstands that attend 7 out of the last glacial inceptions?

    Of the best preserved interglacials, i.e. those that achieved greater than Holocene sea levels and have not been completely erased, there were between 2-3 close-spaced such sea level excursions. MIS-11 may have scored +21.3 m amsl on its 3rd one!

    http://www.researchgate.net/publication/240752030_A_sustained_21_m_highstand_during_MIS_11_(400_ka)_direct_fossil_and_sedimentary_evidence_from_Bermuda._Quaternary_Science_Reviews_28_271-285/file/9c96051c7177e8b1b2.pdf

    http://www.researchgate.net/publication/229415952_Is_vegetation_responsible_for_glacial_inception_during_periods_of_muted_insolation_changes/file/9c96051e55e2f0f6b2.pdf

    OK, fair enough, worst case is we net a +6.63 meter rise by 2500. How many of these will we do? If only one thermal excursion at a half precession-cycle old interglacial is all we got, what do we do if the Holocene does a typical eccentricity-minima 3 thermal excursion climate cha-cha at its very end?
    (MIS-19’s are here: http://lgge.osug.fr/IMG/fparrenin/articles/pol-EPSL2010.pdf)

    Of all the cognitive dissonance involved in this, who would have ever guessed that it only took 10% of us to bugger the other 90%?

  29. His finding: “When shown the facts, these journalists usually say that even if cries of an environmental danger are somewhat overblown, they contain the germ of truth.”

    aka we wanted expaned government powers and all will be well. The media for the last 60+ years or so has been heavily supporting leftwing to outright communism ideology. The reality is that any story that can be used to support that is pushed. You see very little in the way of repeals of poor laws and things that are now proven wrong. The government keeps getting more and more power and since they have “unlimited” money from the taxpayer they can continue to create fake problem to push.

  30. Remember they now have enviro journalist. Most of them belonging far left enviro activists. If we had stayed with the science journalist there could have been a chance. But not with the present enviro journavists.

  31. davidgmills says:

    @dbstealy. Obviously you have not run for political office…

    But I have run for office, both local and statewide. Won both.

  32. _Fortunately_ Simon won the bet — not “fortuitously.” He did not win purely by chance, and surely you did not mean to say as much.

  33. (And even “fortunately” in the sense of “it is a good thing that,” and not “luckily.” Luck had nothing to do with it.)

  34. Oldseadog says:
    “It will be a very brave journalist or politician who says “I was wrong”.

    it just needs honest journalists and politicians – clearly they are a rare breed.

  35. It is very hard to stamp out a good fraud. On the Johnny Carson show, James Randi exposed the faith healer Peter Popoff as a fraud. Popoff was forced into bankruptcy but later made millions from faith healing infomercials. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Randi Some people want to believe and will do so in spite of overwhelming data.

  36. For sixty-one years I worked in news rooms of TV stations and networks from Peoria to New York to San Diego. For the first 41 years I was mostly surrounded by liberal environmentalist wackos who felt it was their mission to condemn the activities of our civilization for destroying our planet. Only when I arrived in San Diego did I finally find a well balanced and intelligent news room. What was the difference? The San Diego station was not part of a corporate news operation but instead was owned and managed by an individual who works hard to gather a balanced staff and produce a fair and balanced news product. That is the only reason I kept on working until I was nearly 80. I know of no other station so owned and operated. That is one unique station out of 1,300 that produce newscasts nationwide.
    However, today the reach of television is rapidly diminishing. Video by internet, from You Tube to Roku to Netflix is gaining a far greater reach. My 30 minutes global warming video recorded six months ago and posted on You Tube has over 100,000 plays. I see other skeptical videos also getting a lot of plays. TV news is becoming less and less powerful every week. Don’t give up, science and technology always trump the political and government agenda in the end.

  37. I once got into a “letter to the editor” battle with a couple of prominent, Los Angeles climate scientists. Since the newspaper editor had allowed me to take the AGW advocates on in print, I had assumed he had at least some doubts about those scientists’ position on AGW and I attempted, on the side, to educate that editor further. He eventually responded, “I don’t care if what they’re saying is true or not. It it would be good for the environment, I favor it.”

    And THAT, boys and girls, is what those who are interested in scientific truth for its own sake are up against.

  38. The money spent on climate change is such a waste of resource, and either the money could be saved with lower taxation, or the money could be spent on other matters which would bring true benefit to the peoples of planet Earth. See http://www.rtcc.org/2013/11/19/eu-directs-20-of-budget-to-climate-change-on-eve-of-un-finance-meeting/

    When this edifice falls, as it appears that it will do so within the next 10 years as more and more evidence comes in suggesting ever lowering figures for climate sensitivity, someone will tally up the money that has been wasted on this folly. That will make uncomfortable reading, and hopefully the politicians and their sponsors and NGO will be brought to book, although one doubts that that will happen since they never appear to be held to account for their actions. We will never get good government until such time as politicians (and their ilk) are held to account for their mismanagement.

  39. Claude Harvey says:
    August 7, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    I once got into a “letter to the editor” battle with a couple of prominent, Los Angeles climate scientists. Since the newspaper editor had allowed me to take the AGW advocates on in print, I had assumed he had at least some doubts about those scientists’ position on AGW and I attempted, on the side, to educate that editor further. He eventually responded, “I don’t care if what they’re saying is true or not. It it would be good for the environment, I favor it.”

    And THAT, boys and girls, is what those who are interested in scientific truth for its own sake are up against.

    But the solid fact is precisely that it is NOT good for the environment. Carbon taxes, emissions trading, etc., actually seriously harms the environment. Explaining that to nature and wildlife lovers (like myself, but still under the spell of the dark side of the force) is why I wrote “Carbon Is Life”. See http://bunyagrovepress.com/content/carbon-life .

  40. “we have yet to conquer the: “some men you just can’t reach…”

    It is impossible to get someone to understand that which they are paid a lot of money to not understand, or who gain political power from that wilful misunderstanding.

  41. The invention of the devil was the most grandiose invention ever made by humanity. It can make a lot of money when you paint it on the wall

    “Our society is fundamentally dishonest”
    A piece of wood has brought the Bernese geologists Christian Schlüchter in conflict with climate research.

    https://translate.google.ca/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.derbund.ch%2Fwissen%2Fnatur%2FUnsere-Gesellschaft-ist-grundsaetzlich-unehrlich%2Fstory%2F24948853&edit-text=

  42. davidgmills
    You win today’s prize for the first person to bring religion into the discussion. Well, somebody has to do it, don’t they?

  43. davidgmills said at 7:01 pm
    @ Sturgis. The left wing has been duped by a bunch of scientists with PhD’s after their names who publish in prestigious peer reviewed journals. The right wing on the other hand has been duped by a bunch of religious creationists who believe the world was created 6,000 years ago. If I am going to be duped, at least I would think it better to be in the first group of dupees.

    Hmmmm, Believing in creationism or the great pumpkin doesn’t really hurt anyone. However, government enforced family planning, carbon taxes, mandated diets, travel restrictions, and so forth aren’t the prospects of a group I want to be a member of.

  44. While I appreciate the attempt, the author seems to have fundamentally misunderstood the Cool Hand Luke quote. The word “communicate” in that instance had to do with those in power using coercion, backed by the threat of force to get people, particularly those like Luke, to think a certain way. That certain way has to do with obedience more than anything else. It has nothing to do with truth. Fast forward to today, and you have the Warmenistas using the word “communicate” in much the same way, although their tactics more involve the use of psychology and mind-games to try to demolish skepticism. What skeptics are doing is more along the lines of truth-telling. Slowly, thanks to sites like this, and Mother Nature herself, the truth is winning. But, the big guns, particularly the ipcc are still in the hands of the Liars.

  45. @dbstealey. Oh, so we have a professional politician then. Called you out, didn’t I? You ought to know better than anyone what the average right wing voter in America thinks about basic religious tenets and creation versus evolution. I bet you did not run on a platform of “Genuflect to Darwin!”

    As an atheist, and an attorney, I am constantly amazed at all the laws not yet repealed in this country requiring a belief in God and an afterlife to run for political office. This despite the US Constitution clearly stating the contrary and the Supreme Court in 1961 saying all such state laws are unconstitutional. Here is what my own state constitution still says on the matter:

    Tennessee’s State Constitution, Article 9 Section 2
    “No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state.”

    There are many states that have similar language in their constitutions, especially in the South where such laws are nearly universal.

    I doubt the right wingers who run my state will propose an amendment to this provision anytime soon, though they have had 50+ years to do since the US Supreme Court decision.

    REPLY: David G. Mills, I don’t give a rats butt what you are, however, you are off-topic and disrupting the thread. No more comments on politics, religion, etc from you then. – Anthony

  46. I believe that the press is wedded to the notion that western society in general and the US in particular are fundamentally bad. So even if the bad news isn’t as bad as once believed, they will keep pushing the bad news, because it fits into the narrative they are trying to preach.

  47. Jim Francisco says:
    August 7, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Wayne Delbeke says:
    August 7, 2014 at 6:11 pm
    Old Seadog:

    CAGW will never be denied by the media. CAGW … “will not end with a bang, but a whimper”.

    Just like acid rain and the ozone hole did.

    Except that those scares haven’t ended. The reason that UK is shutting down coal fired generation plants is not due to ‘AGW’ it is due to the EU Large Combustion Plants Directive http://www.defra.gov.uk/industrial-emissions/eu-international/lcpd/

    “What does the LCPD do?

    The LCPD aims to reduce acidification, ground level ozone and particles throughout Europe by controlling emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) and dust (particulate matter (PM)) from large combustion plants (LCPs) in power stations, petroleum refineries, steelworks and other industrial processes running on solid, liquid or gaseous fuel.

    These pollutants are major contributors to acid deposition, which acidifies soils and freshwater bodies, damages plants and aquatic habitats, and corrodes building materials.

    (my bold)

    So even though the science has been falsified, and the press is no longer interested, the bureaucratic imposition of ‘defenses’ against a non-existent threat continue even to the extent of causing brown outs or black outs and forcing the UK ‘Government’ to set up acres of diesel generators that can be started to keep lights on – and polluting far far more than the coal fired generators ever would.

    If you think for one moment that when AGW slides off into the sunset falsified by science, and the next chapter of Agenda 21 is activated by Common Purpose, that the bureaucrats of EPA and the EU will stop imposing regulations against a non-existent threat – then you have a very naive view of these controlling bureaucracies. Every single regulation and tax on ‘carbon’ emissions will need to be explicitly outlawed by act of congress or the EU commission or they will continue. Unfortunately, the dogged persistence and ‘engrenage’ of bureaucrats will never be matched by the transient interest of politicians and the bureaucrats know this.

  48. When lambasting politicians about CO2 derived global warming, people should not forget the courts’ role in this. Judges and lawyers have the same difficulty as politicians judging the work of scientists and especially so when it comes the admissibility of scientific evidence and opinion. Here is the applicable Federal Rule of Evidence regarding the admissibility of scientific opinion and most state rules copy it verbatim or substantially copy it.

    Rule 702. Testimony by Expert Witnesses

    A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise if:
    (a) the expert’s scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue;
    (b)the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;
    (c)the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; and
    (d)the expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.

    There are three landmark US Supreme Court cases, regarding the admissibility of scientific opinion and they are collectively known as the Daubert trilogy. Wikipedia has a good discussion on Daubert and the two other cases after Daubert applying the Daubert rule.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daubert_standard

    And here is the basic criticism of the judge as gatekeeper of scientific evidence:

    “The responsibility to assess scientific relevance has shifted from highly trained expert witnesses to judges deficient in science education. The “Daubert” ruling furthermore admits the possible introduction of non-peer reviewed data and conclusions. This increasingly shifts the burden of scientific judgement onto judges who have not had an education which would enable them to properly evaluate such data.”

    Notice the bias in favor of peer review and although not mentioned here, the bias in favor of the consensus of peer reviewed literature. In reality, my experience as a personal injury litigator for 35 years, is what happens customarily, is that courts rely on the consensus of peer reviewed papers as their only basis for admitting scientific evidence.

    Furthermore, judges in my experience, truly are “deficient in scientific education.” I would say appallingly deficient. They and their legislative counterparts are in the same box. Hoodwinking them is not that difficult.

  49. Scarcity is one of the more abused technical topics by under-informed pseudo experts. It tends to pull in predictions and opining from unrelated disciplines and by doing so they set themselves up as an easy mark. The fact that they get away with such unprofessional behavior for decades on end has parallels in climate science predictions and distinguishes these two areas as double standards for conduct. They should be lumped in with other journalist musing topics and not misrepresented as science or even qualified expertise as in Paul Ehrlich opining about commodity markets that he knew very little about.

  50. I agree with AndyWest2012’s that a new, positive, and psychologically appealing narrative, is needed to reverse the current CAGW psywar campaign. Somehow, true scientific and logiical hypotheses need to be supported by good marketing as well as the publication of data and arguments against CAGW on sites such as WUWT. Because the federal government and its teat-suckers have an unlimited supply of tax dollars and “free” money from the treasury/Federal Reserve cabal, this will take the financial backing of people with big money but no attackable conflict of inteAest, hard to come by. Hopefully one day the tide will turn and the rats will desert the sinking ship of CAGW. In the meantime, we can stay positive, support the truth, go out and protest, and keep up to date on WUWT.

    Also, about the quality of journalism today, all one needs to do is read a copy of USA Today. When I was in college long ago, the word on campus was that Engineering students had the highest SAT scores and the lowest GPAs, and (with my apologies to those outstanding teachers and reporters among us) the Education majors had the lowest SATs and highest GPAs. Friends tell me that at their college, Journalism was made up primarily of students who couldn’t cut it in Education. Bear in mind that back then there were no curricula in General Studies, Sports Management, Politial Activism, Community Organization, etc.

  51. davidgmills says:

    Oh, so we have a professional politician then.

    A lawyer being critical of an office holder selected by a majority of the voters? Well, lawyers have a reputation for being hypocrites, and mills does his part to uphold that reputation.

    As… an attorney…

    Yes. We know.

    Mills says:

    …I guess I disprove everything said about the left wing and disprove the hypothesis that the left wing thinks anthropogenic CO2 causes global warming.

    You are late to the party, so you disprove nothing. Richard Courtney has said the same thing for many years now. But I guess you can add, “Me too!”

  52. Here in Montana a group of six PHDs named Acton (Astro-Geophysics,Astronaut), Grimsrud (Analytical &Atmospheric Chemistry), Running (Forest Ecophysiology, Nobel Laureate), Six (Forest Entomology), Smith (Zoology) and Strode (Analytical Chemistry) have penned an epistle stating that “climate change is a reality”. This takes the form of a letter to the editor and has apparently been published widely in the state. Probably no one would argue with the quoted phrase, but the devil is in the details.
    There are the usual references to “97% of scientists…”; “temperatures will increase between 5 to 10 degrees…”; “global warming is already disrupting…”; “the challenging environment we’re passing on to our kids….”; “more extreme and expensive storms, floods, and fires….”; etc.
    What is their goal? They say it is time to move from debate to solutions and support the EPA’s recently released Clean Power Plan while admonishing politicians to “formulate solutions commensurate with the gravity of the issue at hand”. The Doctors conclude by saying that “The views stated are our personal views”. That’s probably why there are no scientific cites in the article. Read it at http://www.bitterrootstar.com/

  53. The topic of this post, and the sentiments expressed in the comments in this thread are at the heart of the “battle” of CAGW in our world today – the winning of the hearts and minds of those in politics and even more so those that vote them into positions of authority (while we in the US still are able to do so). This is accomplished by the Catastrophists as we have seen, through a monopolistic control of the message to the masses via the various media. It is in this battle that the warministas (being apparently very well-funded) have been enjoying victory after victory – in your neighborhood, in the city/township council, your state legislature – and as we have seen, up to the top post in the good ol’ US of A – and around the globe. The truth must continue to be told regarding the uncertainties of the CAGW narrative, enlightenment must come to those being held in the dark, and hearts and minds opened to the truth on this subject. It is indeed a battle. Exposing the lies, obfuscations, half-truths, methods of coercion, through all means of propaganda promulgation – show them to be what they actually are – will continue the turning of the collective public mind away from where we are now – to future victory in the battle for truth. I for one have access to hearts and minds in what I do in my chosen profession – and I am attempting to provide (hopefully without bias) an alternate viewpoint to those I engage to the CAGW narrative – the URL for WUWT being one of the most powerful tools in this attempt to spread the truth. I find it a source of great satisfaction, when someone I have opened up to a “contrarian” point of view – who up until that point had consumed the Evil Red Liquid of Death (that is, the Kool-Aid of CAGW) and swallowed it without vetting the narrative – approaches me with a broadened point of view that questions that which up until that point was taken as truth – that human use of fossil fuels will lead catastrophically to a run-away warming of the earth. Even if they have not been fully pulled from the mire of Catastrophism in Climate, at least I can leave the encounter with a modicum of satisfaction that I, at least in some small way have provided an alternative to the CAGW propaganda machine. As I am sure most of you are as well. Thanks to Mr. Watts for providing the avenue of this website for gaining a broader viewpoint on this subject. And thanks to all of you other warriors in this great battle.

  54. Claude Harvey says:
    He eventually responded, “I don’t care if what they’re saying is true or not. It it would be good for the environment, I favor it.”

    Aside from the obvious lack of concern for reporting facts accurately, what’s additional sad here is that he can’t see that if (a) what they are saying about CAGW is not true, then (b) it calls into question what they’re saying is good for the environment.

  55. The example of loss of farmland being an overblown exaggeration is actually an example of identifying a problem and devising policies to mitigate the problem. Sprawling cities were, and still to some extent, consuming surrounding farmlands but most of these population centers began rezoning the nearby rural farm areas to preserve the nearby farms. Incentives to cluster and use urban/suburban areas more efficiently is now the norm. Problem was identified and problem was addressed. This is quite contrary to your story line of saying there was never a problem to begin with.
    It is sad to see all this effort being put into making sure people don’t become better educated about the issues surrounding climate change.

  56. CAGW has become part of modern mythology. It is embedded like a tick on a coon hound in every entertainment from TV, movies, music, or theater production, every advertisement and promotional or PR campaign from all levels of commerce. It’s in every newspaper and almost every broadcast or cable news program. Most tellingly it is pervasive in our public education system, from preschool to post-doc and has been for well over a generation, probably close to two.

    Rationality can never really turn this tide because the young skulls full of mush have been successfully indoctrinated to believe that it is not important what something they hear makes them think, but only how it makes them feel. Mostly they want the rest of us to feel guilty always, which allows them to feel self righteous and sanctimonious because only they “really care”.

    Of course, this is just as those who chose this “crisis” as their all purpose bludgeon to beat the world into accepting that they are truly our destined overlords wanted this to play out. They knew from the start that the “science” was only pretext. For each of their ballyhooed “Climate Summits” there was great weeping and gnashing of teeth as they repeatedly failed to achieve any meaningful agreements to address globally this looming catastrophe, but buried beneath the faux outrage each one was accompanied by a few hundred $million allocated to fresh UN bureaucracies which immediately commenced to sling new regulatory webs like Spidey on crack. The upshot is that, although the “science” is falling apart like a cheap suit, the IPCC and our EPA are proceeding apace and at this point it will truly take a miracle to derail them.

  57. Reaching the Public

    Hundreds of studies by competent scientists have indisputably proven that the Carbon Dioxide-Global Warming theory is false, and yet simplistic, calamitous statements from the warmists continue to abound, and the public seems as committed as ever to this scam. Scientific logic and common sense are losing the battle.
    The problem may be that scientifically unaware people cannot believe that “97% of climate scientists” could be wrong, or that they would intentionally corrupt science and lead us into this disastrous folly. Perhaps it is time to put aside scientific proofs, give up arguing that the climate is not warming, and forget the claims that current variation in climate are actually normal, and concentrate on the intentions and motives that drive this incredibly destructive, politically determined scheme.
    It’s not as if they were hiding their objectives, or their plans to tear down the entire social structure of the free world. The website @ (http://www.c3headlines.com/global-warming-quotes-climate-change-quotes.html) has dozens of direct quotations from high up UN bureaucrats as well as NGO officials explaining why the present culture is unsustainable. There are quotations from far, far left politicians as well as far, far out university professors and just plain misanthropes explaining why we can no longer prosper, some say even exist.

    See http://www.futilethoughtsrandommatters.net

  58. Ursula K. LeGuinn in her 1969 Hugo/Nebula Award winning “The Left Hand of Darkness”

    “…Truth is a matter of imagination.
    The soundest fact may fail or prevail in the style of its telling…”
    “The story is not all mine…I am not sure whose story it is…it is all one [story]…”
    “…if at moments the facts seem to alter with an altered voice…you can choose the fact you like the best…none of them are false…it is all one story.”

    This is why the Alarmists want to control “the story”.
    It’s why they want to find the BEST way to COMMUNICATE “the (science) story”.
    They want one voice : theirs (no altered voice can be allowed).
    They want one set of facts : theirs (no altered facts can be represented).
    They want no debate because there can be no debate.
    There can be nothing else to choose – there can be no altered choice.
    There can be only one choice: theirs,

  59. “@ Sturgis. The left wing has been duped by a bunch of scientists with PhD’s after their names who publish in prestigious peer reviewed journals. The right wing on the other hand has been duped by a bunch of religious creationists who believe the world was created 6,000 years ago. If I am going to be duped, at least I would think it better to be in the first group of dupees.”

    The former has done considerable financial damage to the World and endangered the lives of millions of people. The latter is quaint and out of touch, but harmless.

  60. Ed Sutton says:
    August 8, 2014 at 10:50 am
    Reaching the Public

    The problem may be that scientifically unaware people cannot believe that “97% of climate scientists” could be wrong, or that they would intentionally corrupt science and lead us into this disastrous folly.

    The way to counter that argument is to remind them of the 97% (?) of nutritional scientists who willfully misled the public for decades about the benefits of carbs. vs. fats.

  61. davidgmills says:
    August 7, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    @ Sturgis. The left wing has been duped by a bunch of scientists with PhD’s after their names who publish in prestigious peer reviewed journals. The right wing on the other hand has been duped by a bunch of religious creationists who believe the world was created 6,000 years ago. If I am going to be duped, at least I would think it better to be in the first group of dupees.

    When given a questionnaire on a political or other topic, conservatives are very good at guessing how liberals would respond; liberals are terrible at guessing conservatives’ responses. Liberals have 2 values, Fairness and Suffering Prevention; conservatives have 5, including those 2 and 3 others (Liberty, Respect for Traditions, Morality;

    The result is that liberals think in cartoons and caricatures. Your post above is a fine example.

  62. The measurement uncertainty surrounding the global average radiative forcing, the energy that heats &/or cools the earth, is +/- 5 W/sq m. That’s a total uncertainty bandwidth of 10 W.
    Hold that thought.
    The radiative forcing attributed to mankind’s CO2 output is 1.6 W/sq m, less than 2% of the uncertainty band.
    How can anybody model or predict future warming and climate change based on a number that is completely lost in a data Oort cloud of noise, that is trivial in the normal ebb and flow of the global radiative forcing?
    It’s pretty obvious by now – they can’t.

    • Nick Reality, The measurement uncertainty surrounding anthropogenic CO2 is a slight .25, not nearly as impressive as your 10 for net anthropogenic components than contain many things other than just CO2. The real “uncertainty” may be with the net anthropogenic components but that is a distraction from the elephant in the room of anthropogenic CO2 which is not uncertain at all.

  63. davidgmills says:
    August 8, 2014 at 6:18 am

    Here is a perfect example of “some men you just can’t reach”. Your citing the following with disdain and stating you are an atheist speaks volumes.

    “Tennessee’s State Constitution, Article 9 Section 2
    “No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state.”

    The irony couldn’t be thicker. This paraphrases the gatekeeper’s “law” used by your CAGW friends!! It even has the word “den_ies in it. And on top of it all you are an atheist, yet accept, holus bolus the warmist creed despite solid and growing evidence to the contrary! At least there is no evidence that there isn’t a God.

    I’m afraid this catches you out – as an attorney you should be ashamed. You guys are supposed to be good at logic aren’t you?

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