Now "scientific consensus" is about "cultural views"

Press release from the National Science Foundation:

Why “Scientific Consensus” Fails to Persuade

Individuals with competing cultural values disagree about what most scientists believe

Illustration of a newspaper and a cup of coffee.

Whether a scientist is seen as knowledgeable and trustworthy depends on a person’s cultural values.

Credit and Larger Version

Suppose a close friend who is trying to figure out the facts about climate change asks whether you think a scientist who has written a book on the topic is a knowledgeable and trustworthy expert. You see from the dust jacket that the author received a Ph.D. in a pertinent field from a major university, is on the faculty at another one, and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Would you advise your friend that the scientist seems like an “expert”?

If you are like most people, the answer is likely to be, “it depends.” What it depends on, a recent study found, is not whether the position that scientist takes is consistent with the one endorsed by a National Academy. Instead, it is likely to depend on whether the position the scientist takes is consistent with the one believed by most people who share your cultural values.

This was the finding of a recent study conducted by Yale University law professor Dan Kahan, University of Oklahoma political science professor Hank Jenkins-Smith and George Washington University law professor Donald Braman that sought to understand why members of the public are sharply and persistently divided on matters on which expert scientists largely agree.

“We know from previous research,” said Dan Kahan, “that people with individualistic values, who have a strong attachment to commerce and industry, tend to be skeptical of claimed environmental risks, while people with egalitarian values, who resent economic inequality, tend to believe that commerce and industry harms the environment.”

In the study, subjects with individualistic values were over 70 percentage points less likely than ones with egalitarian values to identify the scientist as an expert if he was depicted as describing climate change as an established risk. Likewise, egalitarian subjects were over 50 percentage points less likely than individualistic ones to see the scientist as an expert if he was described as believing evidence on climate change is unsettled.

Study results were similar when subjects were shown information and queried about other matters that acknowledge “scientific consensus.” Subjects were much more likely to see a scientist with elite credentials as an “expert” when he or she took a position that matched the subjects’ own cultural values on risks of nuclear waste disposal and laws permitting citizens to carry concealed guns in public.

“These are all matters,” Kahan said, “on which the National Academy of Sciences has issued ‘expert consensus’ reports.” Using the reports as a benchmark,” Kahan explained that “no cultural group in our study was more likely than any other to be ‘getting it right’,” i.e. correctly identifying scientific consensus on these issues. They were all just as likely to report that ‘most’ scientists favor the position rejected by the National Academy of Sciences expert consensus report if the report reached a conclusion contrary to their own cultural predispositions.”

In a separate survey component, the study also found that the American public in general is culturally divided on what “scientific consensus” is on climate change, nuclear waste disposal, and concealed-handgun laws.

“The problem isn’t that one side ‘believes’ science and another side ‘distrusts’ it,” said Kahan referring to an alternate theory of why there is political conflict on matters that have been extensively researched by scientists.

He said the more likely reason for the disparity, as supported by the research results, “is that people tend to keep a biased score of what experts believe, counting a scientist as an ‘expert’ only when that scientist agrees with the position they find culturally congenial.”

Understanding this, the researchers then could draw some conclusions about why scientific consensus seems to fail to settle public policy debates when the subject is relevant to cultural positions.

“It is a mistake to think ‘scientific consensus,’ of its own force, will dispel cultural polarization on issues that admit scientific investigation,” said Kahan. “The same psychological dynamics that incline people to form a particular position on climate change, nuclear power and gun control also shape their perceptions of what ‘scientific consensus’ is.”

“The problem won’t be fixed by simply trying to increase trust in scientists or awareness of what scientists believe,” added Braman. “To make sure people form unbiased perceptions of what scientists are discovering, it is necessary to use communication strategies that reduce the likelihood that citizens of diverse values will find scientific findings threatening to their cultural commitments.”

The Journal of Risk Research published the study online today. It was funded by the National Science Foundation’s division of Social and Economic Sciences.

-NSF-

Media Contacts

Bobbie Mixon, NSF (703) 292-8070 bmixon@nsf.gov

Principal Investigators

Dan M. Kahan, Yale University Law School (203) 432-8832 dan.kahan@yale.edu

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126 thoughts on “Now "scientific consensus" is about "cultural views"

  1. There really isn’t a need to overcomplicate this. Those who display ‘individulaistic values’ are those that have shown an ability to think for themselves.
    QED.

  2. “We know from previous research,” said Dan Kahan, “that people with individualistic values, who have a strong attachment to commerce and industry, tend to be skeptical of claimed environmental risks, while people with egalitarian values, who resent economic inequality, tend to believe that commerce and industry harms the environment.”
    ======================================
    Uh, YEAH. Simplistic analysis, but OK.
    Nothing new here. Everybody and their brother figured that one out, a long time ago.
    But the broadbrush that is used here is most unscientific.
    What about individualistic types who love commerce and industry [me], but who are also fearful of environmental risks [me again] ??
    I wont name any names of a good violator [MONSANTO].
    Too much of a broadbrush here.
    And the concluding statement was most disturbing:
    …”it is necessary to use communication strategies that reduce the likelihood that citizens of diverse values will find scientific findings threatening to their cultural commitments.”
    HUH??
    Here’s where the collusion between big academia, big government, big environment, and big corporation is most evident: they all have to spin what they are saying, because some part of their argument is either a lie or a dead end road.
    This article has some essence of the truth [the individualist vs. egalitarian part….I get it!] but all this is destroyed in seconds when they try to recycle their spin to form “communication strategies”.
    Next!
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  3. Individuals with competing cultural values disagree about what most scientists believe…
    False, scientists shouldn’t have a religious BELIEF in controversial subjects, period. Have an opinion, now that’s alright and a different story altogether.
    If the “competing cultural values” are things like always being completely truthful or being sure to highlight both sides of a controversial subject or such, I might agree.
    However, before I even read the core of this article, I already disagree with whoever is writing this from the first few words. Most people I know disagree with scientists ONLY when the competing motivations of the scientists, the hyping of certain aspects of whatever they have discovered, or down right deception is their prime objective instead of laying out their clear description of their work and letting other intelligent persons come to their own conclusions. That is the real problem with your “consensus”.
    If they have to hype their work, even their data and methods are suspect. If they have to state firm BELIEF in their work, even their data and methods are suspect. If they have to twist their data and methods to press their BELIEF, it’s only trash, nothing can be trusted.

  4. It’s simple really if you want a high level of credibility, don’t tell lies!
    For example: If you are unsure about something, say “I am unsure”. don’t say that you’re sure about it, and hope like hell you will be proved right later on.
    The following is an excellent example of how undermine scientific credibility and shake people’s trust in science generally.
    ‘So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.’

  5. When facts and logic do not support a position it becomes necessary to label those who bring logic and facts to the debate as a “deniest” and try to attack them personally rather than to use logic. If facts do not support a position it is becomes necessary to use propaganda, to distort the facts and to manipulate the data.
    This comment is more of the same.
    Greenhouses owners purchase and use equipment to increase CO2 in their greenhouse because increased CO2 increases plant yield and reduces growing times. It is a fact that we are carbon based life forms. Plants make more efficient use of water and can survive with less water due to reduced respiration when CO2 is higher.
    http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/00-077.htm#the
    It is fact that increased CO2 in the atmosphere and a slightly warmer temperature at higher latitudes is beneficial to the environment.
    The scientific data supports the assertion that the planet’s response to a change in forcing is negative (cloud cover increases or decreases to resist the forcing change) rather positive (planet amplifies forcing changes). Scientifically the implications of negative forcing is that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will result in less than 1C warming with most of the warming at high latitudes.
    The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets will not melt due to a less than 1C temperature rise. There will be no tipping point.

  6. Or as Prof Lindzen puts it: ‘Ordinary people see through man-made climate fears — but educated people are very vulnerable’

  7. The conclusion of this article reminds me of a quote from one of the most brilliant comedy shows ever, the BBC’s “Absolutely Fabulous.”
    In all of the constant farce, satire, and higher and lower criticism of that show, one of the episodes was about “P.R.” [Public Relations] and the salient satirical quote from a P.R. executive was this:
    “Why change the world, when all you have to do is change people’s perception of it.”
    Hahahahaha.
    Reminds me of the conclusion of this study, LOL.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  8. “It is necessary to use communication strategies that reduce the likelihood that citizens of diverse values will find scientific findings threatening to their cultural commitments.”
    ======================================
    Well the authors of this study could sure use a lesson in what they preach!
    Oh and BTW [to the authors of this study] ….your particular “scientific findings” are not “threatening” to my cultural commitments. [Whatever the hell that last thing is…LOL]
    No threat whatsoever.
    They are just funny. Thanks for the good laugh.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  9. I suppose offering up the data from which the scientist concludes from and then not speculating would help too. Present and shut up.

  10. Scientific Consensus does not exist but outside of critical thinking and is a sign that a theory has jumped the shark tank.

  11. Dan Kahan is quoted as saying:
    “…while people with egalitarian values, who resent economic inequality, tend to believe that commerce and industry harms the environment.”
    This description inspires me to distrust these people. If you resent economic inequality, you do not understand what America has offered and just might continue to offer to Americans. If you believe that commerce or industry harms the environment then you are severely lacking in knowledge of commerce and industry. If the people described approved of a scientist, I would doubt that they could offer good reason for approving of the scientist. It seems that Kahan’s description of one set of cultural values reveals that the people holding them do not have the ability to identify good science and scientists. So, in conclusion, it seems that Kahan’s description of one culture undermines his claim that its members do as well in identifying good science as do members of the other culture or cultures.

  12. There is a larger truth that must be repeated at this time and all times. Scientific concensus fails to persuade today for the same reason it failed to persuade Galileo. The real motivation for this study is to resurrect the recently deceased scientific consensus on AGW. At least, they are trying to keep the concept alive so that we will not be tempted to rely on critical reason and scientific method. Good old NSF: “The consensus is dead; long live the consensus!”

  13. Look – this study seems to me to be very narrowly based on values pertinent to the USA community.
    I have strong indivilistic values but I also believe strongly in a harmonous society.
    I try to evaluate cases on their merits, even if the outcome is uncomfortable to myself.
    Does that make me a nut case or merely a rational minded, facts based, socially conscious individual?
    Damn – there are advantages and disadvantages in every real alternative for every real problem.
    It’s just that I don’t like chasing smoke dreams or nightmares in the sky.
    So I have views on AGW, atomic power stations and concealed weapons.
    I’m sure on at least one of these I will disagree with you.


  14. Chris S says:
    September 18, 2010 at 8:10 pm
    New study finds Scientists that hype false consensus, most likely to sell Grandmother.

    Some grandmothers I might be tempted to buy. Mann’s, Hansen’s, or Gore’s …not so much.

  15. Steamboat McGoo says:
    September 18, 2010 at 8:18 pm
    I don’t understand.
    They refuse to give up, don’t they?
    ________________
    It’s like the cartoon devise where the character keeps running madly even after he has run off the edge of the cliff. Then he looks down, then he looks at the camera, whispers “mama”, and only then does he plummet to the canyon floor. It takes a while to diffuse the momentum. Doubtless this “study” was conceived and commenced before CAGW hit the abyss and the people doing it were so busy “running” they haven’t yet realized there is nothing underfoot. There is a lot of this going on. The denial is demonstrated everywhere in CAGW circles by handwringing about reworking the terms and the message. Which is little more than a wonderful example of frantic cartoon running without any traction. The free fall is coming but they haven’t quite figured it out yet.

  16. Those who are supporting the paradigm CO2 is a dangerous pollutant appear to have not taken a basic biology course. It does not seem possible that the facts could become this distorted.
    The AGW paradigm seems to have a taken on a life of its own. Billions and billions are advocated for CO2 sequestration and a CO2 trading scheme. Billions and billions are advocated for a massive bureaucratic world monitoring agency and CO2 police force. This is not a right wing vs left wing issue. This is reality vs a manufactured panic.
    If the discussion was energy conservation, more fuel efficient cars and houses, thoughtful cost effective and focused pollution control, it would move likely move ahead with the support of the majority.
    http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/00-077.htm#the
    Introduction
    The benefits of carbon dioxide supplementation on plant growth and production within the greenhouse environment have been well understood for many years.
    Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an essential component of photosynthesis (also called carbon assimilation). Photosynthesis is a chemical process that uses light energy to convert CO2 and water into sugars in green plants. These sugars are then used for growth within the plant, through respiration. The difference between the rate of photosynthesis and the rate of respiration is the basis for dry-matter accumulation (growth) in the plant. In greenhouse production the aim of all growers is to increase dry-matter content and economically optimize crop yield. CO2 increases productivity through improved plant growth and vigour. Some ways in which productivity is increased by CO2 include earlier flowering, higher fruit yields, reduced bud abortion in roses, improved stem strength and flower size. Growers should regard CO2 as a nutrient.
    For the majority of greenhouse crops, net photosynthesis increases as CO2 levels increase from 340–1,000 ppm (parts per million). Most crops show that for any given level of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), increasing the CO2 level to 1,000 ppm will increase the photosynthesis by about 50% over ambient CO2 levels. For some crops the economics may not warrant supplementing to 1,000 ppm CO2 at low light levels. (My comment cereal crops such grain and rice experience a 40% increase in yield for a doubling of CO2. )
    Carbon dioxide enters into the plant through the stomatal openings by the process of diffusion. Stomata are specialized cells located mainly on the underside of the leaves in the epidermal layer. The cells open and close allowing gas exchange to occur. The concentration of CO2 outside the leaf strongly influences the rate of CO2 uptake by the plant. The higher the CO2 concentration outside the leaf, the greater the uptake of CO2 by the plant. Light levels, leaf and ambient air temperatures, relative humidity, water stress and the CO2 and oxygen (O2) concentration in the air and the leaf, are many of the key factors that determine the opening and closing of the stomata.
    Ambient CO2 level in outside air is about 340 ppm by volume. All plants grow well at this level but as CO2 levels are raised by 1,000 ppm photosynthesis increases proportionately resulting in more sugars and carbohydrates available for plant growth. Any actively growing crop in a tightly clad greenhouse with little or no ventilation can readily reduce the CO2 level during the day to as low as 200 ppm. The decrease in photosynthesis when CO2 level drops from 340 ppm to 200 ppm is similar to the increase when the CO2 levels are raised from 340 to about 1,300 ppm (Figure 1). As a rule of thumb, a drop in carbon dioxide levels below ambient has a stronger effect than supplementation above ambient.

  17. Huh, “individualistic values” vs “egalitarian values”? Well, unless Parrots think, since when is groupthink even thinking? And apparently the authors think that all thought is or could be a matter of groupthink:
    Instead, it [who you would say is an ‘expert’] is likely to depend on whether the position the scientist takes is consistent with the one believed [verbalized] by most people who share [verbalize] your cultural values [as verbalized].
    But this is a “finding” which would therefore include as likely groupthink in structure the Authors’ own thought from their own “culture”, making their study equally non-objective by virtue of their own argument. And from there it just keeps getting worse:
    Obviously, in the Authors’ world, objective science does not exist. It, too, is only “cultural”. So is rational thought. Likewise, there is no such thing as reality, since it varies per “culture”. In fact, the same goes for word meanings themselves, in effect making communication itself not possible, unless communication only means repeating the “correct” or “incorrect” noises, etc., as determined by the specific “culture”.
    So that, finally, “Might makes right!”
    Or else the Authors need to explain why they have apparently avoided any discussion of individual rational thought and real Science in considering the matter of what people think and why – and of course along with the question of what is the best thing to do in any particular situation.

  18. “people with egalitarian values, who resent economic inequality” is a nice way to say “socialists”. They’re the same people who believed in “scientific Marxism” until even the Russians couldn’t stand it anymore. They’re the people who believe in what sounds nice without regard for hard things like evidence, reason, logic and truth.

  19. It would seem that people that believe in warm and fuzzie thinking can’t understand why Realists insist on seeing the facts. Sorry, I must be brain damaged, because I work in the REAL world. Wishful thinking does not solve real problems and things that work should not be “fixed”. pg

  20. Many textbooks used to contain phrasing of this sort, “this issue is not well understood,” and usually implied “we don’t know.” Such honesty seems to have gotten misplaced over the years and if these professors would like to do something useful they could try to figure out why. Climate activists and their scientist supporters have given us plenty of reasons to mistrust them. Why so?, is another researchable issue.
    “The problem won’t be fixed by simply trying to increase trust in scientists or awareness of what scientists believe,” added Braman.
    Right. The problem will be fixed when scientists are truthful.

  21. From my essay of Sept. 10th:
    “The problem won’t be fixed by simply trying to increase trust in scientists or awareness of what scientists believe,” added Braman. “To make sure people form unbiased perceptions of what scientists are discovering, it is necessary to use communication strategies that reduce the likelihood that citizens of diverse values will find scientific findings threatening to their cultural commitments.”
    Here I find Braman just a bit cynical. Let me suggest a rewording: []
    To make sure people form unbiased perceptions of what scientists are discovering, it is necessary to be totally honest in every communication. It is through completely open and honest discourse, that wise public policies can be crafted. Science must always keep itself to that which it is capable of doing, i.e. rigid adherence to the scientific method, deductive logic and hypothesis falsification.
    Scientists can and should contribute their world views and philosophical values to that discourse, in addition and separate from, not in place of, their science. The findings of science will rarely threaten the cultural commitments of anyone. They are what they are and nothing more. The public policies that are crafted from science may do so and perhaps should do so. At least they will be understandable if not always palatable. It is not the findings of science but the results of propaganda, ideology, questionable models based on unreliable assumptions, and so on, that are causing many of or current public discourse and policy problems. It is the true believer, demigods among us that do the greatest disservice to society.

  22. “We know from previous research,” said Dan Kahan, “that people with individualistic values, who have a strong attachment to commerce and industry, tend to be skeptical of claimed environmental risks, while people with egalitarian values, who resent economic inequality, tend to believe that commerce and industry harms the environment.”
    Oh, Sheesh!

  23. New study finds Scientists that hype false consensus, most likely to sell Grandmother.
    Unfortunately it’s someone else’s grandmother they have on the auction block, not their own.

  24. If you think for yourself, you are more likely to be a skeptic regarding AGW. If you are a skeptic, you suffer from mental illness, therefore . . .
    This is what tax payer funding of science has wrought.
    As Firesign Theater once said – Welcome to the Future!

  25. For some reason the language used reminds me of the mindless dreck served up in the Sociology class I had the misfortune to take (and the stupidity to not drop in time). The whole goal was to use the largest words possible that contained the smallest information load possible and mix them together for maximum confusion with the hope that someone would mistake it for insight…. while supporting a political agenda.
    Hated the class. My tendency to distill to basic truths and speak simply was, er, unappreciated…
    OK, first off, since when are “egalitarian” and “individualistic” orthogonal? I am a firm believer in “we are all equal” and a firm believer in “we can all live our own lives as we see fit” and “variety is the spice of life”. So right off the bat my BS-O-Meter is shouting big time at false dichotomies and choice of loaded words for emotional and political weight not for denotative meaning. “Speaking in codes” comes to mind, too…
    Carl Chapman says:“people with egalitarian values, who resent economic inequality” is a nice way to say “socialists”. They’re the same people who believed in “scientific Marxism”
    Methinks thou hast cracked said code…
    If I might “distill” the article:
    People who think for themselves and have to make a living by being right smell a rat in the AGW thesis as it’s a pretty poorly assembled “put up job” while gullible folks who follow slick leaders believe in it as they think they might get some second hand fame, fortune, or self worth out of it and get the benefit of not having to do that hard thinking stuff.

  26. Is this another “scientific finding” by three scientists?
    I don’t believe them nor do I trust them, not anymore, not since the AGW lies.
    If there is money involved in the science, I won’t take their word for it, EVVA.
    If politics/politicians are involved in the science, I won’t believe it, EVVA.
    If it’s anything to do with the environment, I’LL KNOW IT’S A LIE, period.
    [EVVA = ?] Robert

  27. Any time someone wants to use the word “consensus” one has to wonder why. Consensus is a majority agreement or opinion of a particular topic. Just because there is a majority in agreement it does not necessarily mean that the topic is a true fact. Science is supposed to be about facts, not opionion or belief. Show me the facts and let me draw my own conclusion. And your facts had better be reproducible, otherwise you have no facts, just a collection of data that you have fit to your conclusion.
    And just because someone uses the word consensus does not even necessarily mean that a consensus of ALL parties involved is in agreement but only those with whom the one is speak happens to agree. Thus while a majority of scientists investigating AGW at CRU may be in consensus, the majority of ALL scientists investigating AGW may not. Again, let’s see the facts.
    At one time it was the consensus of “scientists” that the Earth was the center of the universe. And when the facts proved otherwise, there was “hell to pay” until the facts proved conclusively that the Earth was not the center.

  28. There is a definite ring of truth here. Western civilisation has evolved to allow opinion to be heard, whether it be informed or not. It matters not to many people that they are ignorant of scientific knowledge; they have a point of view, quite often based on emotion, that is deemed relevant because they have the support of other like-minded individuals. The more emotive the subject, then the more people become involved and the less objective they become – almost to the point of irrationality.

  29. False premise! The spin here is that experts on climate all agree on something. Those who make their living studying the potential of AGW all agree that they should be given more money to study the situation, but even they do not agree on any thing specific. Outside of this bunch, there is a great deal of diversity of thought about how climate changes and the significance of a human impact. Almost nothing is known with any certainty.
    Cultural views have no impact on other scientific explanations of the world around us when those explanations are largely proven. For example, gravity, electro-magnetism, chemistry and the structure of the solar system are hardly controversial because the evidence supporting the explanations is overwhelming! Cultural views do not trump strong evidence!
    The reason why so many people don’t agree with the AGW crisis theory is that the evidence supporting the theory is remarkably lame! Even non-scientists can easily recognize that the doom and gloom stories they have heard for the last 20 years are not coming to pass.
    Whenever cultural differences play a major role in a scientific debate, you can be sure that the evidence for the given science is pretty weak.

  30. “We know from previous research,” said Dan Kahan, “that people with individualistic values, who have a strong attachment to commerce and industry, tend to be skeptical of claimed environmental risks, while people with egalitarian values, who resent economic inequality, tend to believe that commerce and industry harms the environment.”
    So greedy bad people don’t believe in AGW and descent good people do.
    Yeah, right.
    How anyone could write this crap and claim it as “science” is very frightening and depressing.

  31. “people with egalitarian values, who resent economic inequality”
    Roughly translated, people who cant be bothered to get off their butt in the morning who sponge of those who do.

  32. The way I interpret this article is this: the drones believe in ‘settled’ science such as the exaggerated perils of AGW, but the thinkers and doers are sceptical.
    I would have thought this was self-evident.
    William, I really enjoyed your comments about the take up of CO2 by plants.

  33. Boogieman Science, Strawman Science, and just plain BS.
    If someone asks you what’s your opinion on Climate Change/Climate Disruption, you show ’em the hard data and tell them to figure it out for themselves, because nobody is going to do it for you.
    Meteorologists are way ahead of Climatologists in this regard.

  34. Ok, this study has already been discussed once before here at WUWT but I’m having difficulty finding the exact link. The paper in question, I believe, can be found here
    http://www.culturalcognition.net/browse-papers/
    It’s the one at the top of the page, unless Professor Kahan has managed to get two articles published in the Journal of Risk Research. I’ve been intending to write a critique of this unreflective and flawed paper but haven’t gotten around to it. It’s ironic that Professor Kahan and his colleagues are perfectly correct in their estimation of the importance of cultural cognitive systems in determining views on a variety of issues with scientific inputs, but then fail to turn that mirror on themselves. They start from the position that the consensus must be correct, without examing the cultural presuppositions and intellectual history behind that consensus.
    Please believe me that not all social science is as shoddy as this.
    R.E. Phelan

  35. Why do I not believe in the ‘experts’? Here’s why.
    I listened yesterday to a great radio documentary about the late Richard Feynman, one of the great scientists of the 20th Century (link here for anyone interested)
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00ts5mm/The_Archive_Hour_The_Feynman_Variations/
    Among his many achievements, Feynman was honest to a fault. When he didn’t know something he said so. When he couldn’t answer a question he explained why. One of his many wise sayings was
    ‘Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool’.
    Compare and contrast with ‘Climatologists’.
    Mann hides his data and methods and bolsters his position by bluster and bullying. Even his own institution uses his fund-raising abilities as a reason to believe in his scientific talent (go figure that one??).
    Jones doesn’t answer any difficult questions about his data and disappears when the going gets hot.
    The twin [snip] of UEA – Acton and Davies hide behind ‘duty of care’ and set up transparently inadequate and predetermined ‘inquiries’ led by useful idiots.
    Pachauri can’t even apply a modest amount of brain power to be even a little suspicious that the entire Himalayan ice sheet will melt in less than 30 years..and dismisses those who question it as ‘voodoo scientists’.
    Gore produces a ludicrously OTT movie, littered with errors (leaving aside the propaganda), and then retreats from public view……..
    If they walk like shysters, talk like shysters and act like shysters, then they very probably are shysters.
    Feynman also said
    ‘Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts’.
    My case rests.

  36. Baa Humbug asks: September 18, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    Is this another “scientific finding” by three scientists?

    No, is from two law professors (lawyers?) and one political science (but not real scientist) professor.

  37. “To make sure people form unbiased perceptions of what scientists are discovering, it is necessary to use communication strategies that reduce the likelihood that citizens of diverse values will find scientific findings threatening to their cultural commitments.”
    Yeah, the best way to do that is to get government out of science. Abolish the NAS with its wasteful and corrupt porn-surfing bureaucrats and stop presenting every scientific argument as an untouchable consensus statement (which is purely political, not scientific). Unbiased perceptions and non-value-laden judgments are not possible within the realm of politics. This fact has nothing to do with any particular scientist’s background or credentials.
    These people are slow learners, aren’t they?

  38. Here it happened the other way round. I and my wife were both academic left-leaning politically disinterested statists. About five years ago a family member – who happened to have a Ph.D in geology pushed me to the right direction regarding this climate change cult. He sent me a dozen scientific articles that were completely against what we were been told about the environment. Antarctica wasn’t melting. Greenland wasn’t melting. Why were we then told they were?
    I started to study this matter. I found this site and lots of others and came to the same conclusions most of you have. But this didn’t affect my political views yet – it was but a single case were the authorities were wrong. A single incident does not political view change.
    Three years ago my wife’s stomach problems got so bad that she started to look for help. Her stomach would swell like a balloon in the evenings so that she couldn’t sleep on her stomach. The swelling would always disapper during the night. Doctors didn’t know what was wrong. She wasn’t lactose intolerant nor was she celiactic. Then she found the low-carb -diet. There were lots of people that had fixed various stomach problems by leaving out sugar, potatoes and wheats and replacing their energy with animal fats. It worked almost immediately and she has been perfectly fine since.
    But this made her interested about the science behind the official nutritional recommendations. She had learned to be sceptical about any scientific concensus after hearing me rant about climate change. There was a concensus that animal fats were horrible to your health. She started to dig in to this “concensus”. There were some eerie similarities to the AGW-cult:
    – Consensus. Anyone who’s anything in the field on nutrirional science knows that animal fats are bad for you. If you disagree, you are either ignorant, crazy or corrupted by the dairy industry (I kid you not!).
    – Concensus is decided in an international meeting, where “the best and the brightest” scientists are invited. If you are a loonie that disagrees, you don’t get an invite. (Sound familiar?)
    – There is a strong ideological base for those driving the science. There are lots of scientist in the field that are vegetarians and think that animals shouldn’t be oppressed. They have ideological interest in proving the link between staturated animal fats and cardiovascular diseases.
    – Thousands of studies prove that animal fats are bad. These thousands of studies are referred always when a new peer-reviewed study disagrees with the link between animal fats and cardiovascular diseases. “There are thousands of studies that say otherwise, a single study proves nothing!” (Sound familiar?)
    – Yet with all these thousands of studies being practically everywhere, nobody can show a single study. A doctor in Sweden was recommending her diabetic patients to stop eating most carbohydrates and start eating animal fats and most importantly butter. The local Diabetic Association sued her, claiming she was endangering her patients.
    In the court the plaintiff sited all these “thousands of studies” proving that defendant was causing grievous harm to her patients. The defence wanted to actually see these studies. In the end they managed to find three(!), of which none(!) proved any link between animal fats and cardiovascular diseases. She was found not guilty.
    That made us both libertarians. This was not just a single case. The fact is that scientific concensus can be manufactured if there is sufficient ideological interest combined with economical interest. There is really no reason for anyone to have blind trust to what the officials say, no matter how much “consensus” there is. Most experts are experts only in a very narrow subject. Most of the knowledge they have about their field is just mindless carbon-copies of someone who they believe to know what they are talking about. After all – everyone knows about these “thousands of studies”, so surely they must exist!
    There is a good change your authorities are ideologues, corrupted, lazy or just plain stupid.

  39. Shona @ 11:52 seems to have it about right. The “researchers ” I would confidently put in the egalitarian camp and as Shona says are sponging off the commerse and industry types who, by the very nature of their enterprise have to be individualistic. What’s more it is these very individualistic types who generate the wealth that the egalitarians like to spend.
    The researchers also ignored the fact that not all the facts in the AGW consensus were published nor were all the facts considered in order to reach the consensus. Commerse and industry types need all the information in order to formulate those plans which will have the best chance of success. Egalitarians seldom need any data to arrive at some feel good decision especially when another group will have to supply the resources. E.g. Artistic types are usually egalitarian but rely on successful commerse types to buy their art or demand government grants to supplement an income which in many cases their ability does not warrant. Academics are artists with tenure.

  40. What a big and new discovery that environmentalism is about a transformation of the society, not about the natural science. Many of us have been explaining that for several decades.

  41. “Professional” = educated/trained person who earns a living doing something and sometimes makes a mistake.
    “Expert” = person from two cities away with a suit and a laptop.
    Alternatively, “Expert” = a drip under pressure.

  42. This study would appear to have ignored those people who have done their own research. I did in fact understand AGW to be a fact until I came across a claim of a consequence that I knew to be untrue. It was at that time that I started to question ‘the science’ and found it seriously wanting. In fact, ‘the science’ is again found wanting in this study by it not considering those people that have come to their own conclusions by their own research. By issuing this flawed study (and thankyou WUWT), the author has added more evidence to my understanding that many published scientific conclusions are no such thing: they are often opinion and should be treated as such.

  43. Robert E. Phelan says:
    September 19, 2010 at 12:07 am
    “It’s ironic that Professor Kahan and his colleagues are perfectly correct in their estimation of the importance of cultural cognitive systems in determining views on a variety of issues with scientific inputs, but then fail to turn that mirror on themselves.”
    You put beautifully something I was struggling to articulate for myself. Thanks.

  44. For anyone who doesn’t already know, Feynman (see my post above) won a Nobel Prize for Physics.
    Quiz question…name the Odd One Out:
    Feynman
    IPCC/Gore
    Obama

  45. “These are all matters,” Kahan said, “on which the National Academy of Sciences has issued ‘expert consensus’ reports.”
    That’s where they are going wrong.
    Institutions like the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society have decided that “consensus” is the thing, rather than ‘Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts’ as Richard Feynman put it.
    (H/T Latimer Alder September 19, 2010 at 12:12 am)
    And now they complain that (in effect) they aren’t managing to get the proles to accept their shroudwaving hype.
    Instead of acting like a catspaw for Government policy and as a scientists’ Trades Union, the National Academy of Sciences should be trying to maintain scientific standards and promote healthy scepticism, especially when considering new and very uncertain science with huge policy implications, like Climatology.
    They have gone out of their way to do precisely the opposite.

  46. Theo Goodwin says:
    September 18, 2010 at 9:14 pm
    There is a larger truth that must be repeated at this time and all times. Scientific concensus fails to persuade today for the same reason it failed to persuade Galileo. The real motivation for this study is to resurrect the recently deceased scientific consensus on AGW. At least, they are trying to keep the concept alive so that we will not be tempted to rely on critical reason and scientific method. Good old NSF: “The consensus is dead; long live the consensus!”
    Please provide some evidence for your assertion that the scientific concensus ‘on AGW’ is now dead. Thanks.

  47. as Prof Lindzen puts it: ‘Ordinary people see through man-made climate fears — but educated people are very vulnerable’

    This bears oft repeating.
    E M Smith

    “since when are “egalitarian” and “individualistic” orthogonal?”

    This is the tactic of Divide-And-Rule. Create false dichotomies. Goodies on both sides, pit them against each other. No, it’s not a matter of most people being somewhere in the middle between two extremes, it’s BOTH-AND.
    Shame the true motto of the French Revolution was so misused. The actual motto contains real truth. Liberty in the intellectual sphere, Equality in the sphere of human rights and legislation, and Fraternity in the social sphere. BOTH-AND-AND.

  48. Latimer Alder says:
    September 19, 2010 at 1:12 am
    Quiz question…name the Odd One Out:
    Feynman
    IPCC/Gore
    Obama
    ————————-
    easy! Feynman! he was a scientist. I won’t say what the others are or it will get…

  49. the isn’t as bad as the press release. Not too much new here, just a study reconfirming what is already known.
    What struck me most about the survey which the paper is based upon was the first statement: “Global temperatures are increasing.” Ask me about that statement when I’m thinking about the last decade and I’ll say most experts disagree, but ask me when I’m thinking about the last 3 or 4 centuries and I’ll say most experts agree. Depending upon where my mind is at the time I could respond either way, and I think I have a fairly decent grasp of the facts.

  50. Stone the crows, as we Orstrayans say it, but heavens to Betsy, the “science” that this report reports on isn’t science – it’s Cargo-Cult Science as defined by the late Richard Feynman – it’s the predictable outcome of the post WWII progressive movement that now controls the West’s universities. An Australian perspective can be studied at http://www.quadrant.org.au/magazine/issue/2010/9/the-tenacity-of-the-liberal-intellectuals.
    When the CAGW crowd start asserting that scepticism is a cultural bias, then the opponents we face are not those who do technically correct post-normal science, but the deeply ingrained post-modernist mindset which drives this mindset.
    It is a philosophical battle between those who wish to control our behaviour in order to make us lead more sustainable lifestyles, and those who aren’t interested in imposing their beliefs on others. That’s the nuts and bolts of the fight.

  51. I believe there is a causation here. However, it is the opposite of what the study authors think.
    People have certain scientific beliefs in part because of their cultural beliefs. Emotion is more powerful than logic.
    I believe I have found a deep cultural basis for a critical error in the models.
    I will be addressesing the error and cultural basis at the time of my choosing. I believe it will suffice.

  52. Most of us, the “common” people, learn to be skeptics soon after we have to live on our own wages. If not, we’re soon broke, and trying to borrow money off “dear old dad”.
    We are inundated with advertising that says “Experts have proven that vitamin x will —“. Or “23 Swedish doctors have found that —-“. Or “Independent lab. tests show that —-‘. Or “A scientific consensus proves that AGW will kill us all if we don’t stop burning coal and oil.”
    They all sound like some salesman’s BS to most of us.


  53. So we have an Ivy League law school professor (Dan Kahan of Yale University) stating:

    It is a mistake to think ‘scientific consensus,’ of its own force, will dispel cultural polarization on issues that admit scientific investigation. The same psychological dynamics that incline people to form a particular position on climate change, nuclear power and gun control also shape their perceptions of what ‘scientific consensus’ is.

    First, what does this say about the attitude toward “scientific consensus” among the authors of this paper? Remember, two of them are law professors, and the third is a professor in political “science,” one of those blart-and-bonkus academic sinecure fields which survive only because larval lawyers have to major in some kind of academic subject area to get an undergraduate degree.
    Anybody else flashing back on Michael Crichton’s observation (2003)?

    Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.
    Second, what does it say about this troika of tenured thugs with regard to their contempt for conscious and considered decision-making?
    They attribute to “psychological dynamics” and to “cultural polarization” – factors not generally considered to function at the level of reasoned analysis – what they have proclaimed to be robust tendencies to take “a particular position on climate change, nuclear power and gun control,” foreclosing appreciation of how their study subjects may be predisposed instead by education and by past experience with the facts of objective reality to come by their “individualistic values” and their “strong attachment to commerce and industry,” and thereby to those positions on the issues of anthropogenic “global climate disruption,” private-sector fission powerplant operation, and victim disarmament of which the entrenched professoriate so constipatedly disapprove.
    This study tells us not so much new about people who approach purposeful human action (pace Ludwig von Mises) from a methodologically individualistic perspective as it serves yet again to demonstrate the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of periodicals like The Journal of Risk Research, its editors, contributors, and subscribers.

  54. It’s one of life’s battles – that of intelligence v. intellect. The normally adaptive intelligent typically have little or no time for intellectuals. Intellectuals fear the genuinely intelligent and seek to control them. The problem for the intellectuals is that they are typically not as clever as they think they are… They only have standing within their own closed loop. Step outside the loop and they soon find their natural level…
    So to all the campaigning academics and politicians who have spent their lives in their blinkered institutionalised worlds I have a message – you will never control me unless you kill me…

  55. A key phrase from a quote in the article:
    “issues that admit scientific investigation”
    Try getting funding (from a mainstream source) for something that rocks the boat…

  56. ‘…it is necessary to use communication strategies that reduce the likelihood that citizens of diverse values will find scientific findings threatening to their cultural commitments.”
    My cultural commitment is truth, transparency, integrity and proof.
    Strategise that.

  57. This subject is well covered in Cordelia Fine’s amusing book “A mind of its own” – how the brain distorts and decieves. A very easy read and a good lesson to us all not to trust our brains ever to be honest to ourselves.

  58. Tim Williams says:
    September 19, 2010 at 1:20 am
    “Please provide some evidence for your assertion that the scientific concensus ‘on AGW’ is now dead. Thanks.”
    Well, Tim, it is not strictly correct to say that scientific consensus has died, for the simple question that it never existed in the first place. Ask yourself this question, how could a consensus be said to exist, when numerous scientists disagree. I can think of Lindzen, Loehle, Douglass, Spencer, Christy, Soon, Akasofu, Scafetta, Pielke sr, Happer, off the top of my head. There are many others who are less well known.
    I suppose you have heard that ‘thousands of scientists agree we are dangerously warming the planet with manmade CO2’, so a few dozen sceptical scientists aren’t important. The truth is, those that have told you to believe in thousands of scientists are being economical with the truth. Pull back the curtain and take a look. Instead of thousands of scientists there are in reality, about 50. These are the authors of Chapter 9 of WG1 of the IPCC report. This chapter is the only place in the entire report that looks at the effect of greenhouse gases on warming the planet.
    So, the consensus, for what it’s worth, never existed. It was manufactured for politcal reasons.

  59. FLUSH…..Another pile of our money down the crapper.
    Experts in the field due to the “Educate an Idiot” system.
    Laundering bad science into a good theory.

  60. “Consensus science” that is offered without scientific argument (proclaiming “its physics” doesn’t count) shouldn’t be very persuasive. But unfortunately, the “consensus science” has been corrupting for long enough that it pervades all levels of our educational system. It has progressed to the point that we now have Doctorates being conferred upon new “scientists” for their demonstrated ability to promote allegiance to the consensus. Some of these “scientists” get to be members of the NAS.

  61. “We know from previous research, that people with individualistic values, who have a strong attachment to commerce and industry, tend to be skeptical of claimed environmental risks, while people with egalitarian values, who resent economic inequality, tend to believe that commerce and industry harms the environment.”
    Obviously “matters, on which the National Academy of Sciences has issued ‘expert consensus’ reports” are based on judgment of a bunch of “experts”. I wonder what “cultural values” NAS experts tend to promote, irrespective of their particular field of expertise. Do the majority have a “strong attachment to commerce and industry” or hold “egalitarian values” and “resent economic inequality”?
    It would be imperative to have objective knowledge on this issue, otherwise we can not measure possible cultural biases hidden in expert opinions. Do we have actual research on this subject?
    Should we find the average NAS expert nourishes cultural values different from those of the general public, to make sure experts form unbiased perceptions of what scientists are discovering, it would be necessary to use communication strategies that reduce the likelihood that experts of diverse values will find scientific findings threatening to their cultural commitments.

  62. JPeden,
    “Or else the Authors need to explain why they have apparently avoided any discussion of individual rational thought and real Science in considering the matter of what people think…”
    Exactly! There are a number of flawed assumptions underpining this study. Anyone who has spent more than 10 minutes worth of research is aware that this assumed consensus never actually existed. Anticipating their next line of defense, they will then retort that as this is a study of beliefs, it doesn’t matter whether a consensus actually exists, but whether it is believed to exist. This might be valid, if it was true. But is it? But how can they prove the respondents believe in the consensus? On second thoughts, I am probably crediting the researchers with too much common sense here. I don’t believe for a second they doubt that the consensus exists. If they did, they would have questioned their subjects to ascertain their beliefs, which they did not do. They have taken it as axiomatic.
    But for sake of argument, let’s assume there really exists a consensus that the vast majority of scientists believe in. They say that from previous research, they know that “people with individualistic values who have a strong attachment to commerce and industry, tend to be skeptical of claimed environmental risks, while people with egalitarian values, who resent economic inequality, tend to believe that commerce and industry harms the environment.” But as E. M. Smith has pointed out “since when are “egalitarian” and “individualistic” orthogonal?”
    This begs the question, what proportion of these people described as ‘individualistic’ have egalitarian values? The only answer that fits into the study is zero. This is clearly nonsense. Most, if not all, of this group believe in equality of opportunity. Perhaps the researchers had something else in mind when they chose the word ‘egalatarian’. Perhaps they were thinking of ‘levellers’ – those that want to level the whole of society down to the lowest common denomiator. Or perhaps the idea they had in mind was socialism or statism, which is the political wing of the levellers. That would certainly fit on the end of their dichotomy, much better. Statists are people who believe in an idea that private individuals cannot run their affairs or the planet to the best benefit and levellers that everything should be taken from the rich and redistributed down, regardless of the net wealth effect this has on the economy as a whole. Only state control can do that. If wouldn’t seem surprising then, that those with these beliefs would also align themselves with a view that sees that the consequence of GHG mitigation is fortuitously, a world government controlling every aspect of of everyones life.
    Viewed in this light, the report does make some sense.

  63. The simple path to success is to judge the author on his/her track record.
    When people blithly write “the experts are in agreement”, my nose smells spin, spin, spin. In an earlier life, if I put 50 geologists into a room and gave them a day to discuss (say) continental drift, I’d get 50+ duffering angles. That’s healthy, to have scepticism of each other. The moronic “science is settled” is written by people of lesser intellect for non-scientists like economists and politicians.

  64. “individualistic – in·di·vid·u·al·ist. n. 1. One that asserts individuality by independence of thought and action. 2. An advocate of individualism. …”
    “egalitarian – e·gal·i·tar·i·an adj. Affirming, promoting, or characterized by belief in equal political, economic, social, and civil rights for all …”
    I don’t get it. I don’t see the connection. Individualistic is individualistic; egalitarian is egalitarian. Sounds like the average Yank, Brit, Aussy, Ivan, etc., etc. –know what of I mean?
    ??Now “scientific consensus” is about “cultural views”?? Sorry, but I don’t buy that pig in a poke. Who you trust in life is about a lot of funny little things that you pick up and put in your Memory Treasure Box (MTB) as you skip along down the Yellow Brick Road (YBR), alone or with your friends.
    I’m getting a signal from my MTB that tells me these guys are trying to confuse me and steal my wallet. Oooooooooooooh Weeeeeeeeeeeeer Offffffffffffffffffff Toooooooooo Seeeeeeeee Theeeeeeeee Wizzzzzzzzzzzard………..

  65. It looks as though they have conclusively shown that those with an “egalitarian” viewpoint are much more prone to group think than skeptics. Not exactly something I would be happy about were it to apply to me, but whatever.
    The cry has gone out to protect the hive!

  66. “people with individualistic values, who have a strong attachment to commerce and industry, tend to be skeptical of claimed environmental risks, while people with egalitarian values, who resent economic inequality, tend to believe that commerce and industry harms the environment.”
    It is also likely that scientists have a strong tendency toward egalitarian values, which makes it tough for them to convince those with individualistic values.
    Hence the direct move toward government support, another group of people with a strong tendency toward egalitarian values, especially where it serves them well.
    If you are naturally skeptical, you will end up butting heads with scientists who are trying to advance their view of the world and politicians.
    And don’t under-estimate the number of people in the world who believe scientists, just because they have a Ph.D and come from a well respected institute.

  67. Unlike politics, consensus is worthless in science. Many times in the past, one man has toppled the consensus. Copernicus, Pasteur, Ernest Rutherford, and many more.
    I’ve been a scientist for 27 years and never heard the expression “scientific consensus” until it was invented by the IPCC and their friends.

  68. Mustafa Quit says “if I put 50 geologists into a room and gave them a day to discuss (say) continental drift, I’d get 50+ duffering angles.”
    That is why you should only work with one-armed geologists. You never get that “well on the one hand…”

  69. Ref – INGSOC says:
    September 19, 2010 at 6:02 am
    I’m an American, and I’ve always thought Americans were egalitarian. Well, the real ones were, are, forever will be. I don’t think the guys who wrote this quacky study should be given a pass to anywhere. They represent a click of whackos who inhabit the walls of our society and who sneek out and foul everything they touch when no one is looking. They have committed a BIG BIG blunder, they have insulted my intelligence (for what it’s worth it’s all mine) and have mixed up some metaphores, and adjutives, and nowns, and verbs. That, to me is subtrefuge! They’re trying to confuse and distract me while their weesel friends go after my wallet. That’s American too, but I don’t like it.

  70. It surprises me that Kahan, Jenkins-Smith and Braman haven’t done a phrenological map of AGW deniers. Deniers must indeed have some interesting bumps on their craniums, and would be most unlike the bumps in Kahan, Jenkins-Smith and Braman’s skulls – such a phrenological study would provide further support for the scientific consensus on human behaviour well established by the 1840’s.

  71. Suppose a close friend who is trying to figure out the facts about climate change asks whether you think a scientist who has written a book on the topic is a knowledgeable and trustworthy expert. You see from the dust jacket that the author received a Ph.D. in a pertinent field from a major university, is on the faculty at another one, and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Would you advise your friend that the scientist seems like an “expert”?
    ———————–
    I’d suggest they read that Book! and quite a few others that differed and use their brain…
    uh..assuming they have one?
    this is what really narks me re the warmist side,
    ALL of us sceptics have to read their hype first to form an opinion and research whats said. and hear/see/read it, on every radio tv and magazine
    but the blind warmists will NOT seriously read or consider any other views.
    or even allow them airtime.

  72. A Man From Europe- I agree with you. My wife and I both were borderline diabetic.
    She had symptoms very like your wife’s. We did a modified Atkins/South Beach type diet, and largely, eat in a “Caveman” style diet or should I say more like our own Native American ancestors. That little fact was hidden from both my wife and I by our respective Southern/Appalachian grandmothers. We had a doctor that truly freaked out when we went Atkins on him. “You will kill yourself! ” “Science says!” ad nausium.
    Well for me 65 lbs. and my wife 75 lbs. later, our blood work is quite normal, and we have a new lease on life. That coupled with more than a bit of alternative medicine,
    we walk miles a day, and have a skeptical view of “consensus ” whatever that is.
    One other thing. My personal heroes tend to be those who fought “consensus “:
    Galileo. Newton. Pasteur. Einstein. Bell(s) both Alexander G. and Lawrence,founder of Bell Aircraft. Richard Fenyman, Burt Rutan. et. al. But these people who fought the
    mainstream are where real science starts. ..


  73. John R. Walker had written:
    So to all the campaigning academics and politicians who have spent their lives in their blinkered institutionalised worlds I have a message – you will never control me unless you kill me…
    To which I add the words of Robert A. Heinlein:

    When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, “This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,” the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything — you can’t conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.

  74. Oh, this is an excellent conclusion:
    “Braman: “To make sure people form unbiased perceptions of what scientists are discovering, it is necessary to use communication strategies that reduce the likelihood that citizens of diverse values will find scientific findings threatening to their cultural commitments.”
    So scientific discoveries must now go through the mill of ‘communication strategies’ in order that even we hicks and thickos start believing and stop questioning?
    Has science become so impoverished that the discoveries cannot stand on their own scientific merits?
    Looks to me like another attempt at brainwashing the (scientifically) uncultured masses, who think it is actually cold when they find their houses and streets covered in feet of snow rather than seeing it as another sign of ‘warming’ …

  75. I guess this reminds me of the Myers-Briggs personality test that many of you have taken.
    We have two types of people in terms of how they make judgements or reach conclusions:
    “Thinking” – Thinkers decide based primarily on logic, and when they do so, they consider a decision to be made. They tend to see the world in black and white and dislike fuzziness. Perhaps because people are so variable, they focus on tangible things, seeking truth and use of clear rules. At work, they are task-oriented, seek to create clear value. Interacting with them tends to brief and business-like. They may be seen as cold and heartless by Feelers.
    “Feeling” – Feelers decide based primarily through social considerations, listening to their heart and considering the feelings of others. They see life as a human existence and material things as being subservient to this. They value harmony and use tact in their interactions with others. At work, they are sociable and people-oriented and make many decisions based on their personal values (more than value). They may be seen as unreliable and emotional by Thinkers.
    Logical reasoning versus Emotion-based reasoning. The world needs both types but Science should be based more on logical evidence-oriented Thinking rather than emotional considerations.

  76. E.M.Smith says:
    September 18, 2010 at 10:57 pm
    Hated the class. My tendency to distill to basic truths and speak simply was, er, unappreciated…

    I had the same experience in Psychology 101 .

  77. Ah, such a nice thread full of independent thinkers. Strange how no one is bothering to question this simplistic more CO2 means more plants claim.
    Lets make this easy;
    Greenhouse != Cultivated, Semi-Cultivated, or Wild
    CO2, and to a lesser extent water != Limiting nutrient
    No one knows what the net effect of increasing [CO2] will have on plant life. There is conflicting evidence and no consensus. Yes, consensus is important. It appears no one here, including myself, has the requisite training to independently review and verify this topic.

  78. This quote probably says a lot about the author’s slant:
    “We know from previous research,” said Dan Kahan, “that people with individualistic values, who have a strong attachment to commerce and industry, tend to be skeptical of claimed environmental risks, while people with egalitarian values, who resent economic inequality, tend to believe that commerce and industry harms the environment.”
    This attitude displayed above is common and quite destructive. The underlying assumption is that both the skeptics and egalitarians are starting with the same level of ignorance of the scientific issues. Those connected with industry will more likely have technical backgrounds and be able to follow and evaluate scientific arguments than those not connected. The level of ignorance is not equal.
    Likewise, individualists are more likely to question scientific claims and seek out facts that disprove them. Once you have proof that a claim is false, it does not matter how many “experts” believe it.
    Those labeled above as egalitarian, more often without the benefit of a technical background, are more likely to rely on “experts” than individualists. They seem to believe that ignorance is global. At least that is what comes through from my “egalitarian” acquaintances seem to think. In their view, non-experts claiming knowledge are merely exposing greater ignorance than their own.
    A great example of this is what happened in California a decade ago. If you will remember, California “deregulated” their electric power industry. (How adding tons of new regulations without removing old ones can be called deregulation is a mystery that no one has successfully explained.) How this was done was based upon the recommendation of “experts.” Right off the bat, the California Public Utilities Commission and the state legislature determined that anyone remotely connected with the power industry would be too compromised by conflict of interest to be allowed to have input into the process. Simply having knowledge of the subject was enough to have your statements dismissed. Even university professors in engineering fields were thus disqualified.
    Who ended up being the golden child “expert” that provided technical input into the planning of the deregulation fiasco? Enron, of course, whose expertise was limited to commodity trading up to that time. Commodity trading is far different from a “must supply when demanded” market. Even worse, the electric power market was redesigned by university economics professors with no knowledge of how the industry worked. The combination of those two major legislative blunders used up California’s 14 billion dollar budget surplus in only a few months and drove it so far into the hole financially that it has never recovered.
    Assuming equal ignorance is a false starting point in evaluating different social responses to a scientific claim.

  79. “To make sure people form unbiased perceptions of what scientists are discovering, it is necessary to use communication strategies that reduce the likelihood that citizens of diverse values will find scientific findings threatening to their cultural commitments.” That is:
    1) exaggerate
    2) prevaricate
    3) destroy the data
    4) hide the decline
    5) create deceptive charts (see Huff on statistics)
    6) appeal to emotion
    7) use logical fallacies
    8) prevent dissenting views from reaching citizens
    9) suppress dissenters
    10) disseminate $10,000,000,000 worth of propaganda

  80. This “study” isn’t merely a study in social engineering, it is *itself* social engineering done by two lawyers and a non-scientist. People for whom this study is a palliative will feel that they can continue being unfair to actual scientists who demand data transparency. I hope people will continue to point out the unfairness of this sort of treatment.

  81. Being a member of the “common” people (unwashed masses??) does not inherently disconnect one from common sense nor intelligence. The world and its people are more easily analyzed a bit at a time, but none of those bits describes the whole. There is at least a little conformity and anarchy in each of us.
    I think this paper is basically bemoaning the advent of literacy. If we didn’t read, then we would believe.

  82. Bill Illis says “We have two types of people in terms of how they make judgements or reach conclusions:…”Thinking”…”Feeling”…Logical reasoning versus Emotion-based reasoning. The world needs both types but Science should be based more on logical evidence-oriented Thinking rather than emotional considerations.
    Bill that is illogical. We can’t easily divide humans into two end members, thinking versus feeling, or individualistic versus egalitarian. There is nothing wrong with scientists having strong feelings about their work. Is Warren Buffet individualistic or egalitarian (you know, the guy who made 50 billion dollars and then gave it away)?

  83. egalitarian and individualistic are on two different axes:

    These items characterize subjects’ cultural worldviews along two cross-cutting dimensions: Hierarchy-egalitarianism (“Hierarchy”) and Individualism-communitarianism (“Individualism”). The former set of items indicate attitudes toward social orderings that connect author-ity to stratified social roles based on highly conspicuous and largely fixed characteristics such as gender, race, and class (e.g., “Society as a whole has become too soft and feminine”; “We need to dramatically reduce inequalities between the rich and the poor, whites and people of color, and men and women”). The latter indicate attitudes toward social orderings that expect individuals to secure their own well-being without assistance or interference from society versus those that assign society the obligation to secure collective welfare and the power to override competing individual interests (e.g., “The government inter-feres far too much in our everyday lives”; “The government should do more to advance society’s goals, even if that means limiting the freedom and choices of individuals”).

  84. Starwatcher says: at 8:42 am
    Perhaps, Starwatcher, you should stop watching stars for a bit and read all the material collected over here:
    http://co2science.org/
    When you return you might then take a crack at critiquing your own comment. Before you go though, please explain in simple and direct English the meaning of the two lines under “lets make this easy;”. Are you intending that the symbol “!=” have the meaning of “inequality” a computer programmer might use?

  85. Well, one thing is certain. The egalitarians, or Egalites if you will, will not only be the first ones up against the wall when the revolution comes, (See Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) but will also be the ones least likely to survive without the massive infrastructure we have built up using “fossil” fuels. The individualists, or Individs shall we say, will not only be the ones pointing the guns during the revolution, but they will also be the ones that can fix the broken machines and find food without a supermarket once the smoke clears.
    I for one welcome the coming apocalypse the Egalites foretell.
    😉

  86. Here’s the difference between evolutionists’ and AGWs’ defences against disagreements. Evolutionists are often haughty and condescending in addressing disagreements, but by-and-large, they address the disagreements. The AGW crowd addresses the mental deficiency leading to the disagreement.
    Frankly don’t care for that second approach.

  87. Tell this story to mothers of children with autism. Then duck. Believe it or not, the consensus used to be that if one had a child with autism, the mother was most likely cold towards the infant and had failed in her duty to bond with her child. Upon that diagnosis, children were often forceably removed from the home and the mother advised to have no more children as she was unfit to carry out the duties of motherhood.
    It wasn’t until the advent of the internet that mothers started message boards, shared their stories with each other, and in the process discovered all kinds of things the “consensus” had overlooked.

  88. The authors make the mistake of assuming that the National Academy of Sciences had an informed opinion on AGW but they don’t and very few scientists do. The issue in dispute is whether the net feedbacks to CO2 forcing are as positive as the models indicate, or only mildly positive, or actually negative. The would have to be familiar with the model diagnostic literature to assess their credibility, and the model independent papers on climate sensitivity and net feedbacks to CO2 in the current climate regime. A far larger part of the the scientific community is expressing an opinion than actual has an informed opinion. Many are just robo-signers who can cite little more than the summary conclusion of the IPCC FAR.

  89. Lemmings Agree!
    Diving off the cliff is the ONLY way to save world.
    When scientific results determines science funding, all bets are off.
    And we are clearly in an era where power-seeking governments and their leadership elites WANT an answer which allows them greater control.
    Not to mention the vast looting of wealth and endless source of corruption that cap-n-tax will become.

  90. Tim Williams writes:
    “Please provide some evidence for your assertion that the scientific concensus ‘on AGW’ is now dead. Thanks.”
    There is an abundance of evidence. There is this website. There is Climateaudit.org. I especially recommend Roy Spencer’s website and his book, “The Great Global Warming Blunder.” There is the fact that the US Senate cannot find enough AGW supporters to attempt a vote on “Cap and Trade” or some similar bill. There is the fact that no UN body expects any substantive agreement on AGW in the forseeable future. Of course, we must not forget that AGW has just been renamed GCD, global climate disruption. Once again, the renamers left off the word ‘anthropogenic’, a weasal tactic if ever there was one. When you give up the name “AGW,” you have pretty much acknowledged that AGW is dead. As for myself, I would also cite the fact that seventy percent of the American people believe that AGW is dead. Well, there is a beginning for you.

  91. You know, most trial attorneys are vehemently opposed to tort reform yet most of the general public is in favor or tort reform. Is this cultural or financial? I maintain that most “climate scientists” (who are funded with government grants…governments that have a vested interest in AGW being “real” enough to justify taxing CO2) are essentially paid to study a “problem”. If the “problem” is shown not to exist there goes their funding and quite possibly their job. Is this “scientific” or financial?
    Then we have those with egalitarian values who oppose economic injustice buying into what the “climate scientists” say. I maintain that people with those cultural values are going to be attracted to the solution and therefore will uncritically buy into the problem. It’s the same with nearly every eco-scare.

  92. re: “To make sure people form unbiased perceptions of what scientists are discovering, it is necessary to use communication strategies that reduce the likelihood that citizens of diverse values will find scientific findings threatening to their cultural commitments.”
    =================================================
    How about changing “Science Culture” back to an honest culture where Scientific Method is paramount (like open and re-producible) not “Post-Modern Consensus Science” embodied in CAGW and the Social Science Politics of the IPCC.

  93. two law professors and a political science professors hardly have the training to use the *scientific* method in their study – which is full of holes other’s have pointed out.

  94. “people tend to keep a biased score of what experts believe, counting a scientist as an ‘expert’ only when that scientist agrees with the position they find culturally congenial…”
    “To make sure people form unbiased perceptions of what scientists are discovering, it is necessary to…”

    This guy seems to think that it’s just people’s business to tot up the numbers of scientists who think something, and the number who don’t, and pick the winner. I know this is how the warmists operate, but does everybody have to do the same? Oh, I see, that way we’ll have to agree with the warmists.
    And do scientists still “discover” things? I thought they formed hypotheses, which were of a tentative character, and which would only be retained if they hadn’t been falsified.
    Did somebody pay this guy to write this drivel?

  95. idlex says:
    September 19, 2010 at 2:17 pm
    “This guy seems to think that it’s just people’s business to total up the numbers of scientists who think something, and the number who don’t, and pick the winner. I know this is how the warmists operate, but does everybody have to do the same? Oh, I see, that way we’ll have to agree with the warmists.”
    ___________________________________________________
    Keep in mind that two of the authors are lawyers. Lawyers don’t have to prove anything scientifically…they only have to convince a jury. This alone tends to skew their world view.

  96. Theo Goodwin says:
    September 19, 2010 at 11:22 am
    Tim Williams writes:
    “Please provide some evidence for your assertion that the scientific concensus ‘on AGW’ is now dead. Thanks.”
    There is an abundance of evidence. There is this website. There is Climateaudit.org. I especially recommend Roy Spencer’s website and his book, “The Great Global Warming Blunder.” There is the fact that the US Senate cannot find enough AGW supporters to attempt a vote on “Cap and Trade” or some similar bill. There is the fact that no UN body expects any substantive agreement on AGW in the forseeable future. Of course, we must not forget that AGW has just been renamed GCD, global climate disruption. Once again, the renamers left off the word ‘anthropogenic’, a weasal tactic if ever there was one. When you give up the name “AGW,” you have pretty much acknowledged that AGW is dead. As for myself, I would also cite the fact that seventy percent of the American people believe that AGW is dead. Well, there is a beginning for you.
    What has any of that got to do with the scientific consensus? All you have there are a bunch of citizen scientists, one maverick climatologist, a collective inability to curb CO2 emissions and an unsupported and irrelevant assertion that ‘75% of American people believe that AGW is dead.’
    You’ll have to do a bit better than that, to convince me that every major national science academy, the IPCC and just about every science body you can think of have abandoned the notion of anthropogenic global warming…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change#cite_note-92

  97. I guess if you don’t have much in the way of a rationally functioning brain, you must substitute “culture” for it, assimilate to whatever that is, and hope you just get lucky? Or else maybe even force yourself into a position where you can create your very own “culture” by “writing” whatever you want on everyone else’s Blank Slate. Bingo!

  98. Chris says:
    September 19, 2010 at 2:09 pm
    “I have strong left-ish political and social views.
    I doubt man made AGW.
    Obviously I don’t exist.”

    Well, I for one am not happy that some good folks are getting painted with the “broad brush”, but as a recovering lefty myself (about two years free now) I know that there are even some conservatives that have imbibed the Klimate Koolaid. Don’t take it personally. In fact, I have tremendous respect for my former comrades that are honourably holding to their politics, rather than lashing themselves to the “ship of doom” that left has become now it is a tool of big environment.
    The behavior of some influential party members was a real eye opener for me. These were the same people I had worked with for 25 years! I even helped some get elected to three levels of government. Folks that had seemed truly caring have become drunk by the promise of power that they see coming from the green movement. It was a quick change for me; like throwing a switch. One day I was the latest of 4 generations of staunch Liberal/NDP supporters, the next I was reading Ezra Levant and Conrad Black! Once the eco-deists took over the party, I could no longer be a part of such a corrupt group of zealots. They have thrown away all integrity and are the real threat to this planet now.

  99. Copernicus
    Gallileo
    Kepler
    Wegener
    Turing
    Marshall
    Each pilloried by the consensus, each was right. Truth is in the data not in the consensus.

  100. Chris says:
    September 19, 2010 at 2:09 pm
    “I have strong left-ish political and social views.
    I doubt man made AGW.
    Obviously I don’t exist.”

    Posted by a ghostwriter? ;o)

  101. @John F. Hultquist
    I am familiar with the site.
    In prose;
    I) Greenhouses maximize plants sensitivity to CO2 by controlling such things as temperature, humidity, insolation, soil structure and providing both macro and micro nutrients in excess. Under these conditions increases in CO2 cause large increases in plant biomass. This means little for cultivated monoculture and even less for uncultivated wild lands. The net effect of increasing CO2 levels in the atmo, even ignoring AGW effects like decreased soil moisture, is undecided. Like I said earlier; There is no consensus among the experts at this time.
    To give one example of where this “Plant life is proportional to [CO2]” is expected to fail; Plants becoming more water efficient (Smaller stomata) is going to disrupt the transevaporation process that supplies the west amazon basin with much of it’s water.
    It’s been some time since I have perused that site, and memory fails. Were all of the linked studies free air [CO2] experiments? This is crucial.

  102. As the saying goes ‘A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest’. This finding is not at all surprising. Those that are believers of the cause obviously accept any drum beating climate scientist as experts. Those that are sceptical know that there are large question marks over the science of AGW and the so called supporting data. Hence, those people obviouslly question the real expertise of so called climate scientists. The studt was a waste of money since the result was entirely predictable.

  103. The paper seems pretty sensible. It doesn’t make conclusions only about the people who have “individualistic values, and are strongly associated with commerce and industry”, but also about people more like me (commo, greenie fools). It says that there is a tendency to distrust scientists who reach conclusions they don’t like.
    As soon as I read this conclusion, I agreed with it. As soon as someone states it, it is obvious. But it is none-the-less worth stating. We all need to be occasionally reminded that our world is coloured by our biases.

  104. Don’t all these very recent effort match up with Man-Bear-Pig trying to restart the AGW propaganda effort? I hate conspiracy theories, but maybe…

  105. I find it incredible that there is not simply a “Are the facts valid? Is the science valid? What are the results?” and then be a big person and live with the logical conclusion of these insightful questions? It is immature to deny reality.
    Take ocean acidification by CO2. At first cogitation, this claim makes no sense as CO2 is part of an extended equilibrium from CO2 to calcium carbonate and carbonic acid is a weak acid. So, this starting point already indicates that more CO2 will have to enhance calcium carbonate precipitation as it will push the equilibrium towards calcium carbonate, meaning along the way that protons (acidity) released by this cannot affect this equilibrium – only an outside proton source can do this.
    Next, I have to recognize that CO2 might acidify distilled water, but seawater is a much more complex solution comprising several buffer systems which serve to resist changes in pH (the acid-base scale) and geologic processes are constantly adding more to this buffer system. I then go back and remember that carbonic acid is a weak acid and it’s very likely to have little effect.
    Then, I go to the literature and look up the records of ocean pH over time and find that there is a recognized range over which pH varies and modern pH values are within this range and not doing anything unusual. So, I have to conclude that ocean acidification by CO2 is a non-issue.
    Along the way, I found multiple reports of coral reefs thriving with higher CO2 (any acidification being ignored it appears), photosynthesis is a very basic process (significantly raising the pH), and that coral bleaching is a normal process in which corals expel their photosynthetic symbionts and switch to another symbiont in response to changes in temperature, both up and down (oceans are currently cooling)—come back in 6 months or so and the corals have regained color.
    Now, all of this fits logical science, using my background as a chemist and a marine biologist – I have a good knowledge suitable for this kind of evaluation. It is important that anybody wanting to understand “climate science” claims should find someone who knows basic science and not just give an opinion, but explain them, being very careful to avoid opinions, which have no place in science. That is why “consensus” science is wrong. The science is either good or bad, logical or illogical. It has nothing to do with feelings or opinions.
    I spent years examining the warmist claims one by one and always (reluctantly, but fairly) thought that the next one would be the one that confirmed warming. It always was not. I kept an open mind and was willing to live with the results, regardless of whether it was what I wanted it to be or not. Adults are willing to live and deal with reality. It is self-destructive to deny reality as decisions made on wishes and opinions will eventually fail and can cause enormous damage.
    I eventually had the epiphany, after realizing that the planet was not warming, that the claims had ALL to be false as they could not be, we are cooling. Simply cannot. I also stumbled over the history of the manmade global warming movement and found that it is a political agenda and a longterm plan originated by Maurice Strong, who set up the IPCC (a political body with scientific trappings) to create a case for worldwide emissions control (to save the planet). Al Gore, recruited along the way, became the spokeManBearPig, spreading the junk science being assembled to sell the agenda.

  106. First, what opinions or beliefs individualists or group-think folks have about scientists’ beliefs, opinions or theories is totally irrelevant. The scientific proof, whether satisfactory to either or neither political persuasion is all that matters. Here we have the new paradigm wrt scientific thought. Essentially might is right like it was in Galileo’s time. This why there is no need for a debate or to present proof. Even the ‘study’ didn’t have to bother having a control group, like for example asking both sides where they stood on Einstein’s theories. Good Lord it’s worse than we thought. When have physical and natural sciences been analyzed by sociologists and lawyers and reported in a scientific publication before?

  107. The problem is one of culture, but not exactly as these “experts” say. The research as described is so full of “cultural” assumptions that their work sees through a highly biased template. Consider their repeatedly equating “scientific consensus” with position statements made by the National Academy of Sciences (and/or other bodies of the same ilk).
    As a scientist at a major university I have to say that, first, in the physical sciences anything that has to make claims to being a “consensus” position through news releases and “expert reports” is immediately suspicious. This is not how scientific consensus is achieved, and when a consensus is achieved it is never necessary to promote it by political posturing. It is achieved through comparing the results of actual SCIENTIFIC WORK until the answer is clear, not by voting in a highly politicized congress complete with pressure groups and lobbying. It would be one thing if “National Academy” positions were arrived at by such a dubious vote — but most of these positions in my experience are generated by a small group of people at the top of the political pyramid, whose motivations are almost entirely political, and whose actual scientific work is generally a bygone thing. They rise to the top in these organizations because they love schmoozing with politicians and fighting over grant budgets more than analyzing data and doing lab work.
    Now I am a mathematician, and we arrive at consensus a bit differently because results are established by deduction rather than by experimental testing of hypothesis, but even in our field, it is true that those who rise to the top of the various “spokesman bodies” are basically political animals who may or may not have any particularly impressive mathematical talent or authority. And they tend to operate more-or-less independently from the membership, trusting their own political instincts over the voice of the mathematician in the trenches.
    So these statements of position are certainly not, in any trustworthy sense, “scientific consensus”, particularly when they pertain to issues that are widely debated. They are attempts to quell dissent. Any “study” that takes society “positions” as the definition of scientific consensus is nonsense.

  108. AusieDan : “Look – this study seems to me to be very narrowly based on values pertinent to the USA community.
    Well, the Aussie version is out now.
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/psychology-provides-insight-into-why-people-doubt-climate-change-20100919-15hy4.html
    Psychology provides insight into why people doubt climate change” – a new University of NSW study that brings together climate science and cognitive psychology.
    The study is by psychology lecturer Ben Newell and climate scientist Professor Andy Pitman. Ben Newell I know nothing about, but Andy Pitman is a very prominent Australian climate scientist who has appeared on a number of television progams on climate.
    I think it would be a very good idea if everyone here had a look at their paper, and then contacted Ben Newell and Andy Pitman to give them constructive feedback.
    The paper is at http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2010BAMS2957.1
    CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Ben R. Newell, School of Psychology,
    University of New South Wales, Sydney, 2052 NSW, Australia
    E-mail: ben.newell@unsw.edu.au
    Professor Andy Pitman is a UNSW Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC) co-director and and leader of the new ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science.
    email: a.pitman@unsw.edu.au

  109. The fact that this paper is written by law lecturers reminds me of the (in my opinion) best-ever joke in a movie, Robin Williams’ ‘Peter Pan’.
    Joke told by Williams,
    “What do you call one hundred lawyers at the bottom of the sea?”
    “A good start!”
    I have nothing personal against lawyers and some of my very nice cousins follow the lawyering trade, but to suggest that a law lecturer is a scientist seems to be stretching definitions beyond their normal elasticity.
    The paper seems more like three blokes making up something to get them tickets on the gravy train.

  110. “The problem won’t be fixed by simply trying to
    1.) increase trust in scientists or
    2.) increase awareness of what scientists believe,” added Braman.
    3.) “To make sure people form unbiased perceptions of what scientists are discovering,
    it is necessary to
    4.) use communication strategies that
    5.) reduce the likelihood that citizens of diverse values will find scientific findings threatening to their cultural commitments.”

    That’s going to be a real treat. When can we get started with this new 5 PRONGED APPROACH to my perceptions? Oh boy. Fun.

  111. Frank Lee MeiDere writes:
    “Here’s the difference between evolutionists’ and AGWs’ defences against disagreements. Evolutionists are often haughty and condescending in addressing disagreements, but by-and-large, they address the disagreements. The AGW crowd addresses the mental deficiency leading to the disagreement.
    Frankly don’t care for that second approach.”
    I’m not sure I agree with your assessment of Evolutionists….they are in the same camp as Warmers, IMHO. They have nothing conclusive on the Origin of Life, yet they want to shut you down if you attempt to teach contrary “evidence” w/o any involvement of religion…..
    ;o)

  112. I wonder if it has occurred to Kahan and friends that Galileo invented a new culture, the culture of scientific method. It has been the most productive and creative culture that has existed. However, it is now under threat from politicians and totalitarians who believe that there is something called “scientific consensus” that is separate from and independent of the culture of scientific method. Needless to say, this so-called “scientific consensus” becomes important only when governments attempt to take ownership of the culture of scientific method. In addition, the scientists who trumpet “scientific consensus” are, in their positions, goals, and ambitions, inextricably bound up with politicians, while scientists go about their daily business of science.

  113. Lets see if I can simplify the outcome of this paper:
    People with differing points of view require different amounts of evidence before believing a particular finding is true/accurate.
    SHOCKING!

  114. It is unfortunate that “egalitarian” and “individualistic” have been used as opposing cultures here. This is surely not what the authors mean, what they mean is socialist versus conservative. The reasons that socialist views (dare I say Marxist) have aligned with the pro AGW view is that this perspective “claims” that some people in society will be disadvantaged by the impacts of AGW and that therefore society has to be managed in order to resolve the problem. In other words let’s centralise all the decision making and remove individual freedoms all in the name of a better society. History, of course, indicates that centralising power has not improved the lot of the disadvantaged in the past and therefore is unlikely to work in the future. The reason for this is, of course axiomatic, centralised power does not respect the individual and is prepared to sacrifice the individual in the name of a greater cause. So the very people for whom the whole charade was established are the very people who get sacrificed first. Instead it is more likely that deprived individuals will get more respect from those who are “individualistic” providing, of course, that we remember our common humanity.

  115. Mike Jonas says:
    September 19, 2010 at 9:45 pm
    Thanks for the reference. The paper concludes:
    Our hope is that this overview of the essence of what psychology can offer will precipitate further much needed collaboration between our two communities and ultimately lead to the message of global warming being heard and heeded.
    I think that translates as “there is lots of loot to be gained from this scam and we’d like to be part of it.”

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