Doomsday messages about global warming can backfire, new study shows

Here’s a story that maybe some AGW outliers might want to read. Finally, recognition that doom and gloom, hell and high water, and all that… really aren’t effective, and people are getting “climate fatigue” from all that sort of senseless hype. Surprisingly, many major science news outlets (Physorg, ScienceDaily for example) are carrying this press release from University of California, Berkeley, of all places. But then, after you get past the headline, your realize who’s really in denial. – Anthony

Dire or emotionally charged warnings about the consequences of global warming can backfire if presented too negatively, making people less amenable to reducing their carbon footprint, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley.

BERKELEY — Dire or emotionally charged warnings about the consequences of global warming can backfire if presented too negatively, making people less amenable to reducing their carbon footprint, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley.

“Our study indicates that the potentially devastating consequences of global warming threaten people’s fundamental tendency to see the world as safe, stable and fair. As a result, people may respond by discounting evidence for global warming,” said Robb Willer, UC Berkeley social psychologist and coauthor of a study to be published in the January issue of the journal Psychological Science.

“The scarier the message, the more people who are committed to viewing the world as fundamentally stable and fair are motivated to deny it,” agreed Matthew Feinberg, a doctoral student in psychology and coauthor of the study.

But if scientists and advocates can communicate their findings in less apocalyptic ways, and present solutions to global warming, Willer said, most people can get past their skepticism.

Recent decades have seen a growing scientific consensus on the existence of a warming of global land and ocean temperatures. A significant part of the warming trend has been attributed to human activities that produce greenhouse gas emissions.

Despite the mounting evidence, a Gallup poll conducted earlier this year found that 48 percent of Americans believe that global warming concerns are exaggerated, and 19 percent think global warming will never happen. In 1997, 31 percent of those who were asked the same question in a Gallup poll felt the claims were overstated.

In light of this contradictory trend, Feinberg and Willer sought to investigate the psychology behind attitudes about climate change.

In the first of two experiments, 97 UC Berkeley undergraduates were gauged for their political attitudes, skepticism about global warming and level of belief in whether the world is just or unjust. Rated on a “just world scale,” which measures people’s belief in a just world for themselves and others, participants were asked how much they agree with such statements as “I believe that, by and large, people get what they deserve,” and “I am confident that justice always prevails over injustice.”

Next, participants read a news article about global warming. The article started out with factual data provided by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change. But while half the participants received articles that ended with warnings about the apocalyptic consequences of global warming, the other half read ones that concluded with positive messages focused on potential solutions to global warming, such as technological innovations that could reduce carbon emissions.

Results showed that those who read the positive messages were more open to believing in the existence of global warming and had more faith in science’s ability to solve the problem. Moreover, those who scored high on the just world scale were less skeptical about global warming when exposed to the positive message. By contrast, those exposed to doomsday messages became more skeptical about global warming, particularly those who scored high on the just world scale.

In the second experiment, involving 45 volunteers recruited from 30 U.S. cities via Craigslist, researchers looked specifically at whether increasing one’s belief in a just world would increase his or her skepticism about global warming.

They had half the volunteers unscramble sentences such as “prevails justice always” so they would be more likely to take a just world view when doing the research exercises. They then showed them a video featuring innocent children being put in harm’s way to illustrate the threat of global warming to future generations.

Those who had been primed for a just world view responded to the video with heightened skepticism towards global warming and less willingness to change their lifestyles to reduce their carbon footprint, according to the results.

Overall, the study concludes, “Fear-based appeals, especially when not coupled with a clear solution, can backfire and undermine the intended effects of messages.”

Advertisements

145 thoughts on “Doomsday messages about global warming can backfire, new study shows

  1. When my daughter was an undergrad at Cal she participated in studies like this to bring in a little extra cash. So I’m not taking it all that seriously. 🙂

  2. What does fairness have to do with Global Warming and its effects? They might want to add to that study that using words like fairness or justice will get people to ignore them too because those words are indicators of a political ax to grind. Afterall this is a science topic……right? Global Warming isnt just Communist/socialist/progressive/Marxist movement in green clothing……right?

  3. Significance from 97 Berkeley undergrads and 45 people (how selected?) from American cities? Not in my lifetime.
    ==================

  4. So, people who have a distinctly negative view of the world (let’s say, Progressives who think massive government intervention is necessary for “social” justice”) are more likely to accept gloom-and-doom scenarios, while the rest of us need to see reasonable discussion and potential solutions. Hmmm. Who woulda thunk it.

  5. Hmm, they seem at a place where , as we say in greece, “forward is a precipice and behind a ravine” ( you say between a rock and a hard place).
    They have to devise an insidious way of presenting fear, if they want to stampede people, since people seem immunized to overt fear mongering. Fear is necessary for a stampede to economic measures, otherwise you have a mutual admiration society.

  6. Berkeley? Potheads asking potheads what they think of pothead attitudes toward being potheads trying to study potheads……..
    Spark another bowl, Berkeley, maybe you can dream of a world where rational people actually believe you.

  7. “But if scientists and advocates can communicate their findings in less apocalyptic ways, ……”
    But they can’t. Besides they don’t have ‘findings’ as such – just results from model runs.

  8. So the more scientists act like the old guy with the end of the world sign the less people are likely to believe them. What a suprise.

  9. Is this research doing anything other than confirming that people with left-wing political views are more likely to “believe in global warming” than people with right-wing views?
    It is interesting though because to some extent it explains why left-leaning people are so willing to believe that everything is terrible and unfair and heading for disaster, and right-leaning people are so willing to believe that everything is, if not perfect, about as good as it’s going to get.
    One of the spin-offs of the climate debate for me personally has been an erosion of my formerly left-wing views. If the left have got it so wrong on climate, what other cherished left-wing views will not stand up to scrutiny if one looks for evidence to support them? I’ve always been aware of the bias and prejudices of the right-wing, but it’s been interesting to have to question my left-wing world view as a result of my growing climate scepticism!

  10. “factual data provided by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change. ”
    That’s an oxymoron!

  11. To paraphrase this article:
    If the doctor tells you that you have only six months to live, you are more likely to seek a second opinion than if she tells you it’s nothing serious, come back next week if you’re not feeling better.
    Common sense.

  12. Well if you want a truly expert opinion as to the degree of utter balderdash expounded in the above post you could do worse than consult Mr. Briggs who is linked upon this board.
    I am sure he would be happy to help.
    Kindest Regards

  13. The left wing people think with the right side of their brains. The right wing people think with the left sides of their brains. Do I have that about right? Or is it the other way around?

  14. Adjacent to Berkeley is Oakland, the home of A.C.E, the Alliance for Climate Education (http://www.acespace.org/), dedicated to making pro-Gore movies and training sessions and teen-clubs for our high-schools. Following the Marxist-Gramscii infiltration strategy, wherein “Education” is Newspeak for Agiprop, they are setting up the next generation to be brainwashed with Gore-mush. We need to keep our kids and grandkids away from this stuff.

  15. I would agree with the findings and wonder if some of the alarmists blogs aren’t also starting to realise that they may be turning away potential contributors who are essential to maintaining interesting and informative debate.
    Until recently I was a constant visitor to “Skeptical Science” often offering my generally differing perspective. It soon became apparent that some of the self appointed “housekeepers”, when it started to get difficult for them to dislodge the “stains” some skeptics managed to be impart onto their, the “housekeepers” favorite “rugs”, tightly held beliefs in other words, the “housekeeper”would turn their “rug beaters” upon the skeptic himself, hoping perhaps to force him into submission, or send him scurrying, hopefully never to return.
    I would often be accused of just repeating what I had read at WUWT, ironic as at that time I had never visited WUWT, in fact my very first visit was after I had heard Anthony speak during one of his Australian presentations. However it was the constant accusation that I was a WUWT “nutter” that caused me to begin regularly visiting here to see what it was that drew such responses, and liking what was being offerred, the much wider perspective and greater tolerance of differing points of view, decided to stay.
    I would now consider myself a regular reader of WUWT with only an occasional glimpse at “skeptical science” , and then just to see if some of the more persistent skeptics are still stirring the pot there, but it seems that also for some, they too tire of the over the top reactions some of their thought provoking perspectives undeservedly receive.
    I don’t think any blog can afford to alienate any potential contributors, especially given that so many unknowns exist that could turn it all upside down, and I thank WUWT for fostering balance in the debate, and not forcing anyone into a corner where they will become defensive, becoming less amenable to considering all points of view, just as the lead article is telling us.

  16. Next, participants read a news article about global warming. The article started out with factual data provided by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change.

    Is that supposed to be funny?

  17. They then showed them a video featuring innocent children being put in harm’s way to illustrate the threat of global warming to future generations.

    What, they showed people the 10:10 “Splattergate” video?

  18. For millions of years, I suppose, human beings have had to find their way to coexist with the notion that their entire existence could be snuffed out at any instant. And as we explore and discover more and more about the world, we uncover even more apocoliptic threats to our survival.
    Megavolcanoes, tsunami’s, asteroid impacts, avian flu, return of the ice age, nuclear winter, global warming. We are Human Beings. We’ve always lived with the awareness of our own mortality, and for most of us, we are able to prosper and thrive despite this burden. I can’t help but be amused to see the gloomy predictions of the climate change alarmists be ignored by most people.

  19. This is an example of why Karl Popper defined pseudo-science and social physiology is just such an endeavor. I meet lots of young people and students, they are far more attuned to bullshit then most of us think.

  20. kalsel3294 says: Wrote
    November 19, 2010 at 9:45 pm
    “I don’t think any blog can afford to alienate any potential contributors, especially given that so many unknowns exist that could turn it all upside down, and I thank WUWT for fostering balance in the debate, and not forcing anyone into a corner where they will become defensive, becoming less amenable to considering all points of view, just as the lead article is telling us.”
    Exactly!

  21. In the second experiment, involving 45 volunteers recruited from 30 U.S. cities via Craigslist

    Is it April 1, or what? This keeps getting more hilarious.
    I think they’re pulling our collective legs.

  22. Those who had been primed for a just world view responded to the video with heightened skepticism towards global warming and less willingness to change their lifestyles to reduce their carbon footprint, according to the results.

    Which means…. people who believe in a just and fair world don’t buy the catastrophe line?

    DireWolf says:
    November 19, 2010 at 8:55 pm
    So, people who have a distinctly negative view of the world (let’s say, Progressives who think massive government intervention is necessary for “social” justice”) are more likely to accept gloom-and-doom scenarios, while the rest of us need to see reasonable discussion and potential solutions. Hmmm. Who woulda thunk it.

    I don’t think that’s the message the study authors wanted you to take away from the story.

  23. What would one expect of psychologists? There is no reason psychology has to be cargo-cult science,but the quality of people attracted to the field pushes it in that direction. I love the implication that people are skeptical because they are stupid. Yeah,that’ll get them far.

  24. I guess it’s not just weather stations that are at the airports. Looks like the climatologists have been standing at the end of runways …
    Putting it another way, it doesn’t matter much how pretty the wrapping paper is or how fancy the bow. It’s a present people don’t want if the box is still empty (lacking credibility — scientific or politically). After years of getting empty boxes, the wrappings and bows won’t work.

  25. ‘…Willer said, most people can get past their skepticism…’
    I very glad for those fortunate souls whose skepticism of “global warming” can be cured.
    I’m one of those pitiful individuals who actually believe in “global warming” and that human activity since circa 1945 probably has contributed to it but that (on the evidence of those 65 years) that contribution has been minor (less than 50%) and lessening and that a warmer CO2 enhanced world on balance is a good thing — far better than the global misery that would result from so-called ‘CO2 mitigation’.
    Dr Willer, is there any hope of a cure for me?

  26. As per usual, the intellectually superior authors of the study themselves certainly did not fall for all of that exclusive Post Normal Science CAGW disasterizing./sarc.

  27. Why do psychologists try to make very old concepts sound new? The climate scare has backfired because of the old principle: “the boy who cried wolf”.

  28. The greenies need studies like this so that they can communicate their propag … scientific facts more effectively.

  29. I found the study creepy – maybe I need to read it again, but it seemed to be predicated on trying to alter ones world view – all this social justice clap trap – typical liberal nonsense

  30. Well, Berkley should know about alarmism, they’ve spread enough of it. But, really, this is a “duh” moment.
    People don’t respond to whines and doom and gloom. They respond to actionable ideas. When confronted with an alleged problem full of predictions that never come true and solutions that include additional taxation, escalating prices, lower employment, wealth redistribution, less reliable sources of energy, living in a tree house and eating granola bars for the rest of our lives, I don’t think its a big surprise people turn a deaf ear to the doomsayers.
    I’ll try to help our alarmist friends. You want something done about CO2 emissions, get behind nukes. Understand the great strides coal has made towards emissions and understand we still need to use it for a while. Quit with the insidious windmills. THEY DON’T WORK!! And most importantly, quit with the double talk. It doesn’t cost more to emit less CO2! Its bad enough we pay millions of people not to do anything, but now you want us to pay for the privilege of doing less. What moron thought that up? And why did anyone think our economies would hold for very long under that formula? Jeez, a 10 y/o could figure that one out!

  31. Despite the mounting evidence, a Gallup poll conducted earlier this year found that 48 percent of Americans believe that global warming concerns are exaggerated, and 19 percent think global warming will never happen. In 1997, 31 percent of those who were asked the same question in a Gallup poll felt the claims were overstated

    I have not read teh papers so I do not know if it is true there but this statement from the article contains several fallacies
    Firstly it assumes that the warnings in 1997 were as strident and preposterous as the warnings are today. it also assumes that the warnings in 1997 were the same as those today.
    So assume that the warnings are getting more strident and more preposterous. Then this would mean that the increase in lack of concern about them would be valid
    Suppose that the 1997 warnings had predictions and descriptions (tipping points, only months to solve the problem, unprecedented, worse that we expected etc) that tend to discount their own veracity. if your science’s predictions are always wrong, why should we believe you? This sounds like a reasonable attitude to me.

  32. I’ve seen a lot of graphs showing global atmospheric CO2 versus global average temperature, trying to prove the pro and con side of AGW.
    Why do we not see graphs of human produced CO2 (ACO2) versus temperature? What I talking about here is total human produced CO2, say going back to 1870, not just the amount remaining in the atmosphere.
    The reason I ask is that if AGW is correlated with ACO2, then we should see a stronger correlation between total human produced CO2 as compared to total atmospheric CO2.
    This would be strong evidence that AGW from ACO2 is correct. However, is the correlation is weaker, then it would tend to show AGW from ACO2 is not correct.
    This seems to be a very simply test. Why not post it? This is my challenge to the pro and con AGW groups. Show that ACO2 is more/less strongly correlated with AGW than total atmospheric CO2.

  33. I live near an Australian country town, and often have conversations with elderly fishermen and farmers. They were not surprised by the severity of our recent drought, nor are they surprised by our cool, wet spring, and the wide-spread flooding over eastern Oz. Talk of AGW will elicit nothing but a faint grin and a snort.
    This indifference to science could be due to ingrained rustic conservatism. Their refusal to give credence to the climate boffins, the media, and such bodies as the IPCC could be perceived as mere ignorance. Unless…
    I wonder if elderly farmers and fishermen who have made a living from the land and ocean over many decades may not have experienced and observed one or two things. And perhaps they don’t want some kid from Berkeley communicating with them, whether it’s with a positive or apocalyptic message, about weather, climate, land and ocean.

  34. I really like this web page as one of the few places that you kind find coherent alternate viewpoints to the lazy, useless media and the money grubbers who have taken over “science”. It is sad that many readers on this page are characterizing the global warming debate as a left/right political split. Most of the world looks on in shocked horror at what Americans say and apparently believe during elections. Not to be too hard on Americans though, many people around the world have only the most tenuous grip on reality. WUWT is a beacon of truth for people of any political pesuasion. Why are some people on this blog trying to alienate the very people they should be trying to convince. I am afraid that just like the Michael Manns of the world, for quite a number of people, this issue is more about grandstanding, posturing, beating your chests and following your genetic predisposition to loudly declare your group the best, however irrational or pointless that might be. It is no longer about trying to show the warmists the errors in their beliefs. Lighten up and lets all have a good laugh over “factual data provided by the IPCC”. Now that’s a gut buster we can all agree on. At least they used “factual” data as opposed to “imagined” data that some warmist use.

  35. Not so long ago and not so far away, the Messiah said people will come in my good name and make all kinds of claims and say false things. Don’t be a moron.
    I add, There is a world of morons out there.

  36. They are going to capture (CO2) for safe keeping and pump it it to the ground for safe keeping. They are already doing this.
    I’m just saying.

  37. The lack effectiveness of using fear in advertising is common knowledge. It is business psychology 1A. Insurance companies learned this lesson decades ago. Think of the insurance ads you see on TV; that cute gecko for example.
    There are many scientific experiments in peer reviewed journals demonstrating that fear does not sell and that positive reinforcement is much more effective than the threat of punishment in changing human (or animal) behavior.
    You reward a dog or horse to get the desired behavior. That is common knowledge among animal trainers.

  38. “The article started out with factual data provided by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change.”
    I thought I was pretty current on “global warming”. When did they manage to publish something factual?

  39. Someone on their own or with a bunch of other people had to come up with all that jargon in that Wikipedia link I just gave you.
    I’m just saying.

  40. “Our study indicates that the potentially devastating consequences of global warming threaten people’s fundamental tendency to see the world as safe, stable and fair.” (Robb Willer)
    Talk about disconnected from reality! And talk about projection! Rational adults (in fact probably most people past the age of believing in Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy) do not even remotely “see the world as safe, stable and fair” – but Robb Willer and his ilk clearly live on Planet Disney and think the rest of us do too and that surely must be why we cannot accept the Warmistas dire predictions. Robb: Hello?!!! Wake up you idiot. It is precisely this kind of blatant BS that turns people off. It’s insulting and patronising and is based on your own sick prejudices rather than actual evidence.
    And as for that joker Matthew Feinberg (psychology student and coauthor): “The scarier the message, the more people who are committed to viewing the world as fundamentally stable and fair are motivated to deny it.” Again, he is so utterly disconnected he cannot see his own psychological projection of world stability onto the rest of us. It is only the alarmist idiots who believe the world has ever been “stable.”
    Well, my study indicates that Robb Willer and Matthew Feinberg are a pair of self-inflated idiots, who – in the complete absence of real-world evidence to back up AGW alarmism – have authored a paper which does little more than to scream “YOU’RE ALL DENIERS!” Yawn. It’s been done already. How utterly pathetic.

  41. It only takes about 10 percent of the population to look out for the other 90 percent of the population when you have a good constitutional framework in place,
    Like the one we have.
    I’m just saying.

  42. Getting sheeple under control don’t come cheep.
    Aren’t we up to about $14 trillion in debt right now?
    I’m just saying.

  43. I suggest Professor Willer does a study of the effect on volunteers of “a video featuring innocent children” having short and miserable lives due to a lack of cheap reliable electricity.

  44. Overall, the study concludes, “Fear-based appeals, especially when not coupled with a clear solution, can backfire and undermine the intended effects of messages.”

    Well, it sounds like the warmies have finally bothered to read through the WarmList.
    Too little too late, we’re onto you. And the rest of the public is now catching up as well.

  45. Obviously these Berkeley people ( I dread to use the term ‘scientists’) live on a different planet.
    If you repeatedly lie to people they get tired and stop believing you.

  46. Well – judging from the comments collected by Dropstone on James Delingpole’s latest blog in The Daily Telegraph (‘On the anniversary of Climategate, the watermelons show their true colours’) – not only has the whole thing got nothing to do with WARMING – its got nothing to do even with CLIMATE.
    Basically, its all about ‘wealth distribution’ and world government…
    Read and be very, very afraid…

  47. Speaking of psychologists, they will be studying the naked body scanner model for decades to come. They can’t help all the head scratching.
    I’m just saying.

  48. The IPCC broke a rule we all learned as kids…..NEVER CRY WOLF ….. and they have been crying wolf for over 20 years, ( there is NO wolf ) and doom and gloomers have been preaching the end of times since the beginning of times…..yawn….exactly
    Ian

  49. Didn’t Anthony run a piece recently giving advance warning that the psychologists were about to jump on the bandwagon? Is this the first foray into the battle?
    I remember being a student. I remember thinking we could change the world. All it would take was the power of our pure, rational thought and actions, that we could change the world for the better.
    30 years later, I see the world somewhat differently and realise how difficult it is to unpick what has been done in the past, how interconnected the world is and that for every change we might make there is a cascade of consequential reactions, i.e. I am no longer that high-minded student with simplistic ideals. Presumably, the students in this study think along those same lines as I did at that age – all 97 of them – (greater sarcasm rises in direct proportion with age too). Now that my own children are at uni, I do smile to myself a lot when I hear them trot out the same old rubbish I used to spout. Bless ’em.
    I wonder what the age was of the other 47 volunteers?

  50. “Give me liberty or give me death.”
    I can not believe that we have become a nation of people who have been running around like “Chicken Little” screaming because the sky is falling. A people so afraid that we allow ourselves to be groped by our government.
    Words like “Honor” “Dignity” “Courage” need to be studied and re-introduced to our thinking and our civilization.
    There is and will always be danger. Are we as a nation going to live by fear and allow ourselves be so debased?

  51. By the way, that main character in Cool It was one of the broad casters from the Copenhagen Summit apologizing for the warmists.
    Look him up and compare the old footage of him from Copehhagen.

  52. … “The article started out with factual data provided by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change. “….IPCC…. Facts!! Bwhahahahahahaha!!!!
    =======================================================
    They were presented with two questions containing,”facts” from the IPCC…. So in essence, the Questionnaire wants them to choose either the X AGW question or the Y AGW question…. Both are skewed to give the right political answer.
    Isn’t modern science grand?

  53. The question “Is the world just?” is nonsense. Justice is a moral quality. The natural world is neither just nor unjust; it exists and works in ways not connected with morality. Our life on earth is the same: neither just nor unjust. Our choices, now–those certainly have a moral dimension and may be just or not; but that wasn’t the question asked. Examples: Is this tree just or not? How about this cardboard box? Ask a false or nonsensical question, and just try to make sense of the responses. Do it at Berkeley, and you have compounded the problem. The article is a bad joke.

  54. Where I live it is currently -21C which is record cold for this time of the year. Where I live people complain about the cold throughout the long winter and talk about planned trips to warmer locations. People also complained about the unusually cold summer (this the second unusually cold summer). Where I live people wear toques and gloves in the winter as they ride the LRT to work. The LRT car’s heating system loses the battle with the cold as the doors must open to let people on and off. (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
    http://www.accuweather.com/video/432724657001/extreme-winter-travel-conditions-thanksgiving-week.asp
    http://www.accuweather.com/video/681364180001/the-cold-train-rides-roughshod-over-europe.asp?channel=vbbastaj
    The problem with telling people the truth that the planet will warm less than 1C due to a doubling CO2 and that the warming will mostly occur at high latitudes which will result in an expansion of the biosphere is that there will then be no motivation for CO2 taxation.
    If you explain to the public that plant’s eat CO2 and that all plants including food crops thrive when CO2 levels are higher (For example, there is an increase in yield of 30% for cereal crops for a doubling of atmospheric CO2. We are of course carbon based life forms.) and that there is planet wide, an increase in precipitation when the planet warms, there is no motivation to transfer trillions of dollars to corrupt third world governments.
    http://www.advancegreenhouses.com/use_of_co2_in_a_greenhouse.htm
    Telling the truth appears to not be a viable option if the objective is to spend trillions of public dollars bankrupting countries on a problem that is a benefit not a problem.
    I would suggest leaving a way out. If the planet cools rather than warms it will be evident to all (what are you going to believe the fib or your own eyes) that the doomsday scenario is an obvious lie.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030509084556.htm
    “Greenhouse Gas Might Green Up The Desert; Weizmann Institute Study Suggests That Rising Carbon Dioxide Levels Might Cause Forests To Spread Into Dry Environments
    The Weizmann team found, to its surprise, that the Yatir forest is a substantial “sink” (CO2-absorbing site): its absorbing efficiency is similar to that of many of its counterparts in more fertile lands. These results were unexpected since forests in dry regions are considered to develop very slowly, if at all, and thus are not expected to soak up much carbon dioxide (the more rapidly the forest develops the more carbon dioxide it needs, since carbon dioxide drives the production of sugars). However, the Yatir forest is growing at a relatively quick pace, and is even expanding further into the desert.
    Plants need carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, which leads to the production of sugars. But to obtain it, they must open pores in their leaves and consequently lose large quantities of water to evaporation. The plant must decide which it needs more: water or carbon dioxide. Yakir suggests that the 30 percent increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide since the start of the industrial revolution eases the plant’s dilemma. Under such conditions, the plant doesn’t have to fully open the pores for carbon dioxide to seep in – a relatively small opening is sufficient. Consequently, less water escapes the plant’s pores. This efficient water preservation technique keeps moisture in the ground, allowing forests to grow in areas that previously were too dry.”
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/07/090731-green-sahara.html
    “The green shoots of recovery are showing up on satellite images of regions including the Sahel, a semi-desert zone bordering the Sahara to the south that stretches some 2,400 miles (3,860 kilometers).
    Images taken between 1982 and 2002 revealed extensive regreening throughout the Sahel, according to a new study in the journal Biogeosciences.
    The study suggests huge increases in vegetation in areas including central Chad and western Sudan. ”
    My comment: The increase in vegetation in desert regions is due to an increase in atmospheric CO2 (Plant lose less water due transrespiration when CO2 levels are higher.) and due to an increase in precipitation due the current cyclic warming. Unfortunately the cycle has changed and the planet is cooling.

  55. UK Sceptic says: Wrote
    November 20, 2010 at 12:58 am
    “One of the groups pushing the AGW agenda hard is Freinds of the Earth. Here is what they have to say about the soon to be released 2009/2010 winter related deaths in the UK:
    http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/winter_death_advance_notice_19112010.html
    FoE’s logic of the absurd is faultless.
    H/T to Richard North, EUReferendum.”
    If they wanted the government to help them insulate their homes, why didn’t they just ask for that?

  56. my vege patch is growing fantastic thanks to all the extra carbon we produce just think more carbon more veges it will be a better world

  57. Dr. John Ware says: Wrote
    November 20, 2010 at 2:43 am
    “The question “Is the world just?” is nonsense. Justice is a moral quality. The natural world is neither just nor unjust; it exists and works in ways not connected with morality. Our life on earth is the same: neither just nor unjust. Our choices, now–those certainly have a moral dimension and may be just or not; but that wasn’t the question asked. Examples: Is this tree just or not? How about this cardboard box? Ask a false or nonsensical question, and just try to make sense of the responses. Do it at Berkeley, and you have compounded the problem. The article is a bad joke.”
    All I know is the purpose of man is to become as God is.

  58. A reasonable person with a QI above 80 would expect some good news to balance the torrent of bad news. The unrelenting emphasis on disaster does not cut the mustard with bright young folk who will be the decision makers of the future.
    What worries me is present decision makers like the USA Rep Baird who chaired the recent hearings. There is no place for propaganda tactics, like the pre-emptive strike message that 98% of doctors who agree is better than 2% who do not.
    It would ne neat to see the next IPCC report written in two parallel sections, one which assumes AGW to be as believed and the other dealing only with natural variation. People are interested in the baseline case of no man-made warming, even though most believe there is some.

  59. OT
    We are not doing the TSA thing to keep us safer, we are doing it for the dead people from 9/11.
    Those people are dead. They have no idea we are doing something for them . Cause they’re dead.
    I’m just trying to see things from the other side.

  60. After spending a large amount of public money, scientists discovered that Optimists thought that the glass was half full and pessimists thought it was half full.

  61. Michael says:
    November 20, 2010 at 2:50 am
    UK Sceptic says: Wrote
    November 20, 2010 at 12:58 am
    “One of the groups pushing the AGW agenda hard is Freinds of the Earth. Here is what they have to say about the soon to be released 2009/2010 winter related deaths in the UK:
    http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/winter_death_advance_notice_19112010.html
    FoE’s logic of the absurd is faultless.
    H/T to Richard North, EUReferendum.”
    If they wanted the government to help them insulate their homes, why didn’t they just ask for that?
    Because it’ll be a complete waste of money. We’re going to have a lovely Mediterranean climate in the UK thanks to AGW. All the money is being spent on non productive sustainable energy, not some hideously old fashioned, practical prevention. Just don’t mention the thousands of people who are going to die of hypothermia before climate utopia arrives though.
    /sark

  62. Steve R says:
    November 19, 2010 at 10:00 pm
    For millions of years, I suppose, human beings have had to find their way to coexist with the notion that their entire existence could be snuffed out at any instant. And as we explore and discover more and more about the world, we uncover even more apocoliptic threats to our survival.
    Megavolcanoes, tsunami’s, asteroid impacts, avian flu, return of the ice age, nuclear winter, global warming. We are Human Beings. We’ve always lived with the awareness of our own mortality, and for most of us, we are able to prosper and thrive despite this burden. I can’t help but be amused to see the gloomy predictions of the climate change alarmists be ignored by most people.
    ——————
    sums what I was going to say up!
    anyone thinking that the “world” is Just? safe or unchanging IS living a Delusion already, so I guess its those folks who are most likely to fall for we can control the world hype too.
    Justice is a human creation- someon? dei ty? forgot to program/create , that into the way things really work:-)

  63. Presumably, the students in this study think along those same lines as I did at that age – all 97 of them – (greater sarcasm rises in direct proportion with age too). Now that my own children are at uni, I do smile to myself a lot when I hear them trot out the same old rubbish I used to spout. Bless ‘em.
    I wonder what the age was of the other 47 volunteers?

    Exactly. Comparing 97 nineteen year olds attending Berkeley (a self-selecting liberally biased group, even as compared to other colleges) to 47 people spread across the united states of indeterminate age… gee.. who’d have imagined that the 47 people are less inclined to believe that Al Gore is a prophet?

  64. Maybe folk should take a look at Festinger’s cognitive dissonance theories for an explanation of why scare tactics don’t work and some outcomes. Especially the Belief disconfirmation paradigm.
    As for it being the Boy who cried Wolf, personally I see it more as Chicken Little in nature.
    Festinger, L. (1956). When Prophecy Fails: A Social and Psychological Study of A Modern Group that Predicted the Destruction of the World, by Leon Festinger, Henry Riecken, and Stanley Schachter. Harper-Torchbooks

  65. As I wrote on Revkin’s Facebook entry of this study:

    Uh, they created a proxy for optimism, “Just World Beliefs”.
    Then separated the test group into optimists and non-optimists.
    And finally they found a positive correlation of skepticism to predictions that the sky is falling with being an optimist.
    This really isn’t as interesting as they make it out to be, no matter which side of the climate change debate you belong.

  66. First, one of the IPCC “leads” admits that AGW/Climate Change/Label of the Month is just a thin disguise for World Wealth Redistribution, and now a psychologist writes on how best to slap some lipstick on the pig.
    They’re not even thinking of giving up, folks.

  67. Fear-based snake oil disguised as science is easier to sell than just the snake oil, at least for a while. Yeah, we knew that. Now they’re saying, oops, we should’ve skipped the fear-based stuff, and should do so from now on. Two problems: 1) they never would have been able to sell as much snake oil as they did, without the fear element, and 2) now that people know it’s just snake oil they are pissed, and certainly aren’t going to go for the stuff in whatever bright shiny new packaging they put it in.

  68. “… factual data provided by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change. ”
    ROFLMFAO!
    “45 volunteers recruited from 30 U.S. cities via Craigslist,”
    Via Craigslist????? Perhaps they were escorts.

  69. From physorg: “Results showed that those who read the positive messages were more open to believing in the existence of global warming and had more faith in science’s ability to solve the problem”.
    .
    This study obviously aim to provide facts on how to save the lie AGW. A useful strategic effort if global temperature drops (say 1-2 degrees C). I also think IPCC’s Mojib Latif’s prediction of falling temperatures due to ocean cycles was made to save AGW when temperatures drop.
    But no “normal” people who want to stay non-heretic dare to have an objective that differ from AGW. Here are thoughts on what I think is a problem which has to change.
    I think a problem is the dialectical approach in both science and society, and that power can be achieved using this. We are more busy to search for and establish truth on agreement than on the premise of -and humble search for objective facts.
    AGW a lie? Non-scientific gloom and doom indicates dishonesty from those participating in that. But I don’t think this phenomenon is a just conspiracy. Not even if political goals somewhat seeded the issue. It was able to take off and expand in a methodologically relativistic context, where quite often leftists were the driving force. (Another important explanation is that media and politicians gain from alarmism, and together increase it.) Dangerous AGW (D-AGW) fits discourses involving social responsibility well, thus it’s been rooted in universities. (But if social responsibility is an attribute displacing objective truth it’s false and inherently non-responsible.)
    Physorg also mention the cliché “growing scientific consensus” on global warming recent years in order to push a dishonest connection between actual temperatures a few years with IPCC’s D-AGW.
    The AGW issue has been overall successful because it has been intertwined with politics (on highest level UN), and maybe also because multi domain (holistic?) approach are too much encourage on universities.
    This is also Christmas evening for the Marxists, with their critical analysis. I understand critical analysis to be a branch in social science with the goal to identify cases of, say, injustice and oppression, which are used to push forward an alternative society (the socialist utopia) where the old bourgeois with these cases of injustice and oppression are targeted eventually in order to destroy the unjust capitalist society.
    But to if this problem is relativism in general — and dialectics — it’s not enough to describe as a Marxist problem, although Marxists gain from this, and although former communists run much of the environmentalism after the communism era.
    AGW may be an issue in natural science where a successful replacement of truth with construction with moral implications has been made due to methodology in social science.
    If this is the case a way forward — and to prevent environmentalism — is to target that phenomena. It isn’t easy for anyone to counter constructions regarded as holy truth with moral implications with facts. That’s why dissenters are heretics. But on the universities one should be able to discuss methodology and how politics has entered science, both in scientific bodies (e g what Lindzen describes in
    “Climate Science: Is It Currently Designed To Answer Questions”), or in e g too much of idealistic interdisciplinary approach to encourage moral. In methodology Josh Willis adjustment of data in order to, explicitly confessed, fit theory is an example.
    Btw, also extreme feminism’s construction on gender oppression, suggesting that girls shall be forced to play boys’ games and vice versa, escape reason. Global warming is a more simple, good, world saving issue.

  70. When temperature rise during a year, or a decade (I do admit we have had modern global warming), and one suggests that it may have natural causes one is immediately regarded heretic, but if temperature drops that’s 100 percent natural fluctuations, weather, or just completely irrelevant. The opposite is suddenly heresy! Funny!
    Btw I do think temperature drop is irrelevant to long term (in 100 years) +0.05 C, or +1.2 C temperature increase — none dangerous, just as +2.1 degrees –, but all focus is on whether one bear witness of faith or not.
    That’s sick.

  71. This was discussed on Andy Revkin’s Dot Earth blog earlier:
    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/18/an-inconvenient-mind/
    Here’s one comment I made:
    “Seriously though, in recent times we have seen a great deal of inventive theorising, to account for the fact that most people are not stricken by terror at the prospect of catastrophic man-made climate change.
    Some suggested reasons for this are that we are in classic denial (as per Kubler-Ross), we’re short-term thinkers, we’re unconsciously repressing our fears, we lack imagination, we are suffering from green fatigue, we’re unable to comprehend the complexity of the danger, we’re selfish, climate change is too abstract for our simple brains, we’re mostly older people and set in our ways, we’re absent-minded, we’re short-sighted, we’re religious, we have internal filters that prevent us from appreciating the dangers, and this week it’s because we believe in an orderly and just world. Next week, no doubt there will be a new and even more elaborate hypothesis to add to this list.
    Spinning theories is fine, as is running experiments with tiny samples of (mostly female) undergraduate students; people make a living from this sort of work, and that’s fair enough. But sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Could it be that the simplest, most straightforward explanation is the closest to reality? That the majority of us are sceptical because the claims of the catastrophists are overwrought and that the evidence for climate doom is unconvincing.”

  72. Wait, aren’t the warmers the ones saying climate is “safe, stable, and fair,” and humans are messing that up?
    Also, the apocalyptic nature of Global Warning made me chuckle from the beginning. What wears me out is the warmers’ strident insistence that repeatedly being proved wrong doesn’t mean they’re not right.
    Oh yeah, there’s that World Domination issue, too.

  73. Dear Ge0050 (Nov 19, 11.22)
    The statistics of human emitted CO2 are available and they show no correlation with global temperatures, sea level rise and gletscher shortening. My source is a study by Willy Soon et.al. (sorry, I don’t have the link at hand) which shows that yearly antropogenic emissions of CO2 started somewhere around 1800, then increased slowly to 1950, and after that increased rapidly. Taking into account the percentage of the total carbon cycle and the lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere (about which there is much disagreement) the human contribution to the CO2 level must have been negligible before 1950, and as a consequence everything that has happened before that(such as more than half of the global temperature rise since the Little Ice Age) has been happening without any assistance from our fossil fuel burning.
    Evert Jesse

  74. And the Left just continues their assault on science. What should be revealing is the methods they employ to deceive people. If scare and awe don’t work then let’s go find out how to keep that frog of he public in the water as we heat it up. Note acknowledged premise of “warmers must be in control” so how can we “dupe the stupid so they are deceived”. This is just like how the Left uses phrases and arguments to hide their agenda such as “doing it for the children”, “pro-choice”, “tax cuts”, “contribution”, “a-b-c protection agency”, “shovel ready jobs”, “fair access” and, of course, “affordable health care”.
    Thus the road of deception littered with “AGW”, “global warming”, “climate change” and what not. What’s egregious is taxpayer(s) fund these academic charlatans to develop and polish the deceit.

  75. Re: redistribution of wealth and climate scare tactics
    It has become clear to me that, while you and I suffer in a bad private sector economy, the ruling class climate elites have made sure they have “redistributed” billions of dollars of our “wealth” (i.e. tax dollars) to themselves. Take a look at the following AAAS summary report of the Climate Ca$h requested in the 2011 U.S. Federal budget:
    http://www.aaas.org/spp/rd/rdreport2011/11pch15.pdf
    Please note, in many cases, the DOUBLE DIGIT increases their budgets!
    That’s right, while you and have had our jobs eliminated and/or have had no salary increases due to the economy, the climate elites waste spend our (borrowed) money with apparently no regard to the tax payers.
    To tax payers in the U.S. – Please inform your senator and congress person that this profligate spending on dubious research efforts must be reduced or eliminated in the 2011 U.S. Federal Budget.
    Oh, and the help sell these budget increases, they employ the usual AGW scare tactics – from the above report:
    INTRODUCTION AND POLITICAL BACKGROUND
    Past scientific research demonstrates that the Earth’s climate is changing,
    that humans are very likely responsible for most of the well-documented
    increase in global average surface temperatures over the last half century,
    and that further greenhouse gas emissions, particularly of carbon dioxide
    from the burning of fossil fuels, will almost certainly contribute to
    additional widespread climate disruption. This climate disruption poses
    considerable risk to society because it can be expected to cause major
    negative consequences for most nations and to a wide range of species

  76. mosomoso says:
    November 19, 2010 at 11:37 pm
    I live near an Australian country town, and often have conversations with elderly fishermen and farmers. They were not surprised by the severity of our recent drought, nor are they surprised by our cool, wet spring, and the wide-spread flooding over eastern Oz. Talk of AGW will elicit nothing but a faint grin and a snort.
    This indifference to science could be due to ingrained rustic conservatism….
    _____________________________________________________________________
    Actually it is very simple. (Willis is an example) Anyone who is still a farmer or fisherman at an old age has had a life time of dealing with reality. If you can not tell what is true and what is not – fast – you either go out of business or end up dead. Despite academia’s illusion that farmers are “dumb” (The USDA suggest addressing them at the sixth grade level) Farmers are smart, independent and well educated in their areas of expertise. They are also expert at spotting Con Artists. As one mechanic/farmer I worked with said about a new Management “Initiative” “I have seen them come and I have seen them go, it is just another flavor of the month.”
    This, living with reality, is the reason why conservatives are generally rural and the “progressives” live in cities working at well paid city jobs. They are cushioned from reality and can hold onto their warped views without bumping into something that bites them in the rear. If you believe that fresh out of Ag school, wet behind the ears, USDA Extension Service Agent and then lose a whole crop due to his bad advice, you learn fast to be a skeptic and pass it on to your friends.
    The farmers in India who were sold a bill of goods, with the blessing and help of the USDA are a case in point.
    Her is a round up of “Monsanto, and their Criminal Activities against the Farmers of India” India of course is only one of many victims of The Ag Cartel and their World Trade Agreement on Agriculture.
    http://hubpages.com/hub/Monsanto-and-their-Criminal-Activities-against-the-Farmers-of-India
    The impact of the Ag Cartel on our world wide food supply is outlined at this “leftist” site:
    Part I: http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/11853
    Part II: http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/11878
    Part III: http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/11910
    Most farmers are becoming aware of this and are starting to fight back. Hopefully it is not too late but I am very much afraid it is.
    Please note the Supreme Court Ruling on the Commerce Clause:
    “…Wickard v. Filburn got to the Supreme Court, and in 1942, the justices unanimously ruled against the farmer. The government claimed that if Mr. Filburn grew wheat for his own use, he would not be buying it — and that affected interstate commerce. It also argued that if the price of wheat rose, which is what the government wanted, Mr. Filburn might be tempted to sell his surplus wheat in the interstate market, thwarting the government’s objective. The Supreme Court bought it.
    The Court’s opinion must be quoted to be believed:
    [The wheat] supplies a need of the man who grew it which would otherwise be reflected by purchases in the open market. Home-grown wheat in this sense competes with wheat in commerce.”
    http://www.fff.org/freedom/0895g.asp
    Therefore despite propaganda to the contrary S 510 the Food Safety Modernization Act WILL allow the government to control what you grow in a home garden. If not now then, as in the case of the “Animal Welfare Act”, later when a one liner is added to another bill later on.
    SECTION 406 (of HR875) CLEARLY STATES ALL FOOD OFFERED FOR SALE WILL BE VIEWED AS BEING IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE AND SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS BILL. So the intent to add the Commerce Clause has been clearly shown.
    Unfortunately the extreme right are the ones protesting these bills since the head of the Organic Consumers Union is a Canadian and has been given a job as a senior Adviser in the UN.
    “Senate Bill S 510 Food Safety Modernization Act Vote Imminent: Would Outlaw Gardening and Saving Seeds” http://visiontoamerica.org/story/senate-bill-s-510-food-safety-modernization-act-vote-imminent-would-outlaw-gardening-and-saving-seeds.html
    “Breaking: Cloture Vote on S-510 Food Takeover Act; S-787 Water Takeover Act also in Lame Duck Congress; “ http://gulagbound.com/8699/alert-s-510-food-takeover-act-s-787-water-takeover-act-in-lame-duck-congress-for-immediate-vote-contact-senators

  77. They make a clear and undeniable statement:
    “Recent decades have seen a growing scientific consensus on the existence of a warming of global land and ocean temperatures. A significant part of the warming trend has been attributed to human activities that produce greenhouse gas emissions.”
    But begin to raise doubts with this:
    “The article started out with factual data provided by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change.”
    How certain can they be that the IPCC data is factual?

  78. For the real looming global “challenge” see: ASPO-USA 2010 conference.
    Especially: Peak Oil Versus Peak Net Exports–Which Should We Be More Concerned About? Jeffrey J. Brown, Samuel Foucher, PhD, Jorge Silveus
    http://www.aspousa.org/2010presentationfiles/10-7-2010_aspousa_TrackBNetExports_Brown_J.pdf
    Lloyds is warning to prepare for a global fuel (“energy”) crunch about 2012 – 2015.
    Sustainable Energy Security: Strategic Risks and Opportunities for Business
    Chatham House-Lloyd’s 360° Risk Insight White Paper
    Antony Froggatt and Glada Lahn, June 2010
    Robert Hirsch is raising the warning in: The Impending World Energy Mess. and in his
    Presentation

  79. particularly those who scored high on the just world scale.
    What the heck is the “just world scale?”

  80. “Progressives” are the idealists who view the world as “stable and fair”. They must have a boogeyman to explain obviously unfair events, so they find a boogeyman, a set of devils who can be eliminated.
    Sometimes it’s the Jews, sometimes it’s the Masons, sometimes it’s the bourgeoisie. For environmentalists, it’s the entire human race.
    People who innately understand that the world is unstable and unfair are not “progressives”. They just try to deal with reality as best they can, and thus have a pretty good BS detector.

  81. It’s the science, in the sense that for the most part science has become predicting
    doom and gloom, pandemics, famine, the bad news dejour.
    It’s science, science magazines, science reporting, etc that is just simply turning
    people off to all science in general.
    Sitting back and watching their predictions – not – come true.
    People are savvy and can smell manipulation a mile away.
    Global warming – climate change – climate disruption – weather
    Bad news does not sell when people have enough other real bad news to worry about.
    Having our president say that his subjects are just not smart enough to get it.
    Scientists obviously reformatting the message to manipulate……….

  82. Gail Combs said:
    Despite academia’s illusion that farmers are “dumb” (The USDA suggest addressing them at the sixth grade level)
    Indeed:
    Develop a local newsletter that identifies opportunities for conservation applications. Brochures, newsletters, fact sheets should be written for sixth grade reading competencies.
    http://www.ssi.nrcs.usda.gov/publications/_borders/1_ppcs/ppc041_barriersstrategiessmallscaleproducersfinal.pdf
    On the side bar of that USDA pdf doc, it says
    “USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
    Social Sciences Team”
    I’d love to read the “Field Office Technical Guide, Engineering Handbook” they use…

  83. Heh- somebody started serving that dish a while back – it’s called Ravetz with Curry and Uncertain Tea.
    No calories. Just warm air.

  84. By the time I reached High School, I understood that life was neither fair nor even-handed. I had seen kids my own age die of measles. War, road and farming accidents had taken out various older family members. I had lived through the loss of very old and much-loved relatives who had lived out their allotted span. I had dealt with school bullies who wanted my lunch money, my best marbles, my comic books, or to beat on me because I ‘looked funny’ and got into fights to protect less sturdy kids who were getting similar treatment. At times, others stepped in to protect or shelter me. I knew teachers and adults had favourites and I knew adults and teachers who were totally fair and honest. When I started work as a contract labourer on farms at fifteen I knew I had to be sharp to protect myself from some of the less-than-lovely individuals I worked with, and I found that some of the farmers that we contracted our labour to were somewhat unwilling to provide good accommodation and food. I also worked for employers who were incredibly generous and great folk to be around. By the time I was married and raising a family, I knew that I had to mostly make my own luck and that everything I aspired to be and do was down to me. As life went on, I got both rotten breaks and wonderful breaks; decades later I see life as quite wonderful. I acquired a university education much later than most and went on to enjoy success as an educator.
    And some bonehead from Berkely expects me to lose my scepticism while he and his ilk teach me to love his form of Socialism and believe the snake oil he’s selling is the genuine stuff ?
    Sorry, buddy, I ain’t buying your stuff!
    And thanks, Anthony, for running this blog that gives us all the oportunity to pursue enlightenment from some truly remarkable people who post at WUWT and to share stuff that’s important to us.

  85. This sounds like the sort of research that would be conducted in Orwell’s 1984. Carefully indoctrinate your subjects in how they should be thinking, making it quite clear what the answers should be, and then ask the questions.
    They call this rubbish “research”!?

  86. No matter how much or what shade of lipstick they put on the pig it is still a con job.
    They, from their lofty intellect, view the people as idiots who need special treatment to understand.
    Rather than present their theory in a traditional manner they have used the law, censorship, fiction, advertisements, schools and even children and every other means possible to convince the general population of their unproven theory.
    The problem global warming people are having is that people are smart enough not to want to kiss the pig.

  87. “Fear-based appeals, especially when not coupled with a clear solution, can backfire and undermine the intended effects of messages.”
    Conclusion: Marketing failed.
    What THEY apparently ignore is the incontrovertibly fact that they wont be here in a few years living that self conceited life they lived up to now, and that´s their private armageddon. Nobody can eternally live a life based on lies, and worse if these lies are nothing else but self delusion.
    But what the doom preachers´ attitude convey to us is nothing else but their profound fear, because their guts tell them that inevitably there will be an armageddon, a deep CHANGE; however it does not reach their conscious level how it will be and why they will be directly involved.
    We live in a cyclical universe, where cycles repeat with some variations between the turns of spirals of evolution: They intuit that their “weltanschauung”, their way of conceiving the universe, rather theirs, it is over, whatever their field of action may be.
    “Interesting Times” are here to stay and, weather they change or not, as the great intuitive George Carlin said: “Pack your sh**s folks….WE are leaving”

  88. “Our study indicates that the potentially devastating consequences of global warming threaten people’s fundamental tendency to see the world as safe, stable and fair.”
    I’m gob smacked that a psychologist can make such a statement without being excoriated by his own profession. Physics and chemistry and other sciences have considerable precision, yet still leave considerable room for interpretation and bias. Psychology by comparison is barely a science, but that statement is the equivelant of proving the world is flat by sailing all the way around it.

  89. CO2 is mainly dissolved in the oceans. If they warm up, it is released and up goes the atmospheric CO2.
    In the last 61 years, there has been a 30 percent increase in the atmospheric CO2 concentration (http://landshape.org/enm/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/Miskolczi%20-%20Idojaras%202007%20Jan-March.pdf).
    And still, no CAGW forecasts have been proved “robust”.
    Watch what El Niño/La Niña (ENSO) does, if we could understand this natural cycle, we could begin to understand the global climate.
    Nothing backfires worst than lies, but, if catastrophic warmists clean their act, they disappear!
    More at http://www.oarval.org/ClimateChange.htm

  90. Michael says:
    November 20, 2010 at 12:10 am
    “They are going to capture (CO2) for safe keeping and pump it it to the ground for safe keeping. They are already doing this.”
    Michael, here in Germany the first trials are about to begin; but there’s vocal opposition from the locals at the site, and the entire exercise looks to me a lot like it’s about siphoning off EU research grants. No approval by now. Politicians try to pass the buck; nobody wants the responsibility.

  91. Systematic desensitization.
    In psychology it is one approach to help people be cured from a phobia. Repeated and stronger stimuli from something that is the trigger of the fear helps people overcome the fear.
    We have had many people get incredibly sick from a flu. After BSE, Bird, swine flu scares for years, people no longer get frightened reading about all these population ending flu incidents. Every pandemic has been over blown. Every one at some point discovers a narrow cause and target of flu. Bird flu is common with people that have ingested chicken blood.

  92. jason says:
    November 20, 2010 at 4:52 am
    Well eternal damnation kept billions believing in god for centuries so why AGW?
    ========================================================
    No, that isn’t quite correct. While many preachers will preach sermons on hell, and “eternal damnation”, very little is written of it in the Bible. Belief in God is a realized concept prior to belief in ‘eternal damnation” or hell. While I can only speak for myself, there are many reasons to come to the determination that there is something larger than oneself and mankind that leads to my belief. It is impossible for me not to see the wondrous hand of God when I consider the cosmos, the ant, the tree, and mankind. The belief that these things all occurred from a commonality without impetus stretches credulity.

  93. David says:
    November 20, 2010 at 2:09 am
    Well – judging from the comments collected by Dropstone on James Delingpole’s latest blog in The Daily Telegraph (‘On the anniversary of Climategate, the watermelons show their true colours’) – not only has the whole thing got nothing to do with WARMING – its got nothing to do even with CLIMATE.
    Basically, its all about ‘wealth distribution’ and world government…

    I don’t mean to be rude – but the phrase “No shit, Sherlock?” comes immediately to mind.

  94. We in Ne Oregon are looking at highs in the 20F range and lows in the single digits.
    It-is-only-November.
    Got Coal?

  95. One of the reasons why alarmist climate reporting fails is because the claims fail to materialize.
    Here is just one example:
    The article is from 2000 and tells it’s readers that snow is something from the past.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the- past-724017.html
    Well, we all know how Britain looked like Greenland from space last winter.
    And this is only the press.
    We now have the alarmist examples from “Death Train” Climate activist and NASA Scientist James Hanson who told us in 1988 that Manhattan would be under water by now.
    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/the-rumours-of-manhattans-death-are-exaggerated/
    Instead of being punished for their alarmist BS, these scientists are rewarded and the alarmist claims are repeated.
    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2010/11/20/puffington-host-past-the-point-of-no-return/
    What is annoying and worrying is the fact that alarmists from the University of Berkley
    instead of looking at the crappy science they (among others) produced are only interested how their alarmist predictions effect the public.
    I think this is outrageous.
    This underlines my opinion that we absolutely need to prosecute these scare mongers.
    If we fail to do so, the next scare campaign is around the corner and they will continue to undermine the publics trust in the scientific world (they lost their trust in politics long time ago).

  96. “… were more open to believing in the existence of global warming …”
    They always have to get that “BELIEVE” in there.
    They are right, there are no proven facts to “KNOW”.
    It’s a global sales job.

  97. What’s so special about proving that repeatedly screaming,
    “WE’RE ALL GONNA D-I-I-I-I-I-E!!! ….. in AD2100, after the warming starts up again in AD2030 but for real this time….. AND WE ALL GOTTA DO SOMETHING N-O-W-W-W!!!”
    makes people a little skeptical?

  98. Just for amusement’s sake (mine) I’ve edited the first part of the post, slightly.
    BERKELEY — Dire or emotionally charged warnings about the consequences of asteroid strikes can backfire if presented too negatively, making people less amenable to increasing the space program’s budget, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley.
    “Our study indicates that the potentially devastating consequences of an asteroid hit threaten people’s fundamental tendency to see the world as safe, stable and fair. As a result, people may respond by discounting evidence for the catastrophic damage such a strike would certainly cause,” said Robb Willer, UC Berkeley social psychologist and coauthor of a study to be published in the January issue of the journal Psychological Science.
    “The scarier the message, the more people who are committed to viewing the world as fundamentally stable and fair are motivated to deny it,” agreed Matthew Feinberg, a doctoral student in psychology and coauthor of the study.
    But if scientists and advocates can communicate their findings in less apocalyptic ways, and present solutions to deflect any potential strikes, Willer said, most people can get past their skepticism.
    Recent decades have seen a growing scientific consensus on the potential for a major asteroid strike. A significant part of this consensus has been attributed to greater access to high powered telescopes and equipment by amateur astronomers…

  99. James Sexton;
    Well eternal damnation kept billions believing in god for centuries so why AGW?
    ========================================================
    No, that isn’t quite correct. While many preachers will preach sermons on hell, and “eternal damnation”, very little is written of it in the Bible.>>
    Sorry James, that’s not the point. The point is that people have a fundamental tendancy to FEAR the world, not so see it as a safe place. The fact that “eternal damnation” is widely accepted despite scarcely being mentioned in the good book is pretty good proof that the natural tendency of human beings is fear, and that humans will in fact choose fear even in the absence of supporting facts. This is exactly opposite what the psychologist claimed.
    One might add a few thousand examples from history to the argument. How does this supposedly qualified psychologist explain the folklore of almost every culture that includes the existance of ghosts, goblins, evil spirits, bandersnatches and the like, all without a shred of evidence that they exist? Humans have a natural need to fear something, the only possible explanation for so many beliefs over the centuries emerging in the absence of any actual threat. Even without history we know this is true. Anyone who has ever raised a child knows they develop from time to time irrational fears despite any evidence they exist. Children fear the dark. No reason, but try and explain that to a six year old. Put in a night light, or leave the hallway door open a bit to keep the dark away because you’ll never win through explanation and logic.
    One of my sons became very convinced that there were alligators under his bed. He was scared sh***ess. No amount of explaining, no amount of getting down on the floor and showing him… facts were immaterial. So I accepted his reality. I got a big garbage bag, made a considerable amount of commotion as I crawled under his bed, one by one captured the alligators and stuffed them in the bag, even got bit a couple if times, hollering the whole time so he would have a blow by blow picture of the battle. I took the bag to the front door, dumped the alligators outside, and told them they could never come back. After weeks of being unable to sleep for fear of alligators, kid went right to bed and never mentioned alligators ever again. Every parent I have ever conversed with about these things has a similar story or two or three. Point being that irrational fear in the absence of supporting evidence is the natural state of the human condition from the earliest age, not the babble being spouted by this clown whose professional association should yank his credentials on the basis of that single statement.

  100. I know that Anthony does not want religious arguments on this blog but if he allows comments like,
    jason says:
    November 20, 2010 at 4:52 am
    Well eternal damnation kept billions believing in god for centuries so why AGW?
    I think I have a right to at least respond with at least one comment.
    It is true that there are some people who fear “enternal damnation”as a motivation for decent behavior, but as a devout Catholic that is not the reason I believe in and love God.
    Anti-Christianity is just as repugnant to me coming from “enlightened” sceptics as from “enlightened” left-wing nuts.
    So if the moderators do not want religious debate please do not allow anti-religious comments. It is not fair to allow one and not allow the other.

  101. davidmhoffer says:
    November 20, 2010 at 10:38 am
    “The point is that people have a fundamental tendancy to FEAR the world, not so see it as a safe place.”
    Some people.

  102. “Doomsday messages about global warming can backfire, new study shows”

    Calling us ‘deniers’ does not make us hide our heads in shame either.

  103. SM says:
    November 20, 2010 at 4:25 am

    First, one of the IPCC “leads” admits that AGW/Climate Change/Label of the Month is just a thin disguise for World Wealth Redistribution, and now a psychologist writes on how best to slap some lipstick on the pig.
    They’re not even thinking of giving up, folks. [emphasis added -hro]

    I think you’re quite correct, SM. Here in Canada (where, as noted the other day, our Senate has wisely defeated an ill-conceived climate act), IPCC lead author, Andrew Weaver, has been showing his alarmist activist/advocacy colours – again.
    In a recent rant to a local rag – demonstrating once again the unbearable arrogance of climate scientists – Weaver went even beyond the Mannian (‘you must vote this way to protect us poor, embattled scientists’) to insist that Canada’s Prime Minister “has got to get get kicked out”. For details, please see:
    Andrew Weaver’s intergalactic ballistic boomerang

  104. There are things in the world to be feared and things to be loved, you have to find the right balance. I think it was Charlton Heston who said shortly before he died; “…the world is a tough place, nobody’s getting out of here alive…”.

  105. hro001;
    The best part of Weaver’s rant was when he demanded that Harper be kicked out because “this is Canada, not Zimbabwe”. Of course if Harper had allowed that climate bill to pass, millions of people would have lost their jobs and become poverty stricken. Kinda like…. Zimbabwe. Only colder.

  106. Helen Hawkins, Bad Andrew;
    The comment you protest could have been worded more diplomaticaly, but at days end it was not a criticism of religion. It was an observation that people fear all sorts of things without the facts to support them. Religion requires faith, not scientific evidence. It takes a seriously evil dude to knowingly lead the flock astray by striking fear in their hearts to control them. If you insist on protest, protest that misuse of your faith.

  107. re: davidmhoffer says:
    November 20, 2010 at 10:38 am
    Kudos for Dad!!! Great object lesson on facing fears. Oft-repeated theme throughout is “Fear Not”

  108. Dear Dr. Willer and Mr. Feinberg,
    I wish to communicate the following in the least apocalyptic way. Your state, i.e. your employer, is bankrupt. Soon you will be dismissed from your state jobs and will be forced to get real ones or else live under a bridge. This is going to happen whether you believe the world is just or unjust.
    I would conclude with a positive message focused on a potential solution, but I don’t see one out there.

  109. making people less amenable to reducing their carbon footprint
    I take this to mean the current methods do not produce a compliant populace, and compliance is critical to the success because the science isn’t working for them.

  110. davidmhoffer says:
    November 20, 2010 at 8:26 pm
    “The best part of Weaver’s rant … ”
    I’m not sure that “best” is the adjective I would have chosen to describe Weaver’s choice of phrasing [assuming that Knox has quoted him verbatim … and to the best of my knowledge Weaver hasn’t launched a libel suit, yet, so presumably he did!]; “most ironic”, “most ignorant” or “most offensively and unscientifically arrogant” definitely. But “best”?! Nah … I don’t think so 😉
    Not that I dispute (or even mildly disagree with) your conclusion had Harper succumbed to the “climatically correct” provisions of such a disastrous and ill-conceived private member’s bill.

  111. It’s interesting the quotes from the co-authors choose to frame oppositional readings in terms of “denial”, or “discounting evidence”.
    Alternative explanation: unrealistically extreme negative messages constitute a meta-signal, telling us we are being fed a myth. In the UK, we had the government’s “Act on CO2” TV ad showing a puppy drowning because a little girl failed to switch of the lights – as soon as you see something so absurd, you know you are looking at the product of dishonest marketeers rather than factual reportage.

  112. The reason why they can back fire is because the knowledgeable research these claims and find no evidence at all. Also it can become too obvious to almost any one that certain claims are utter nonsence. Only reason why global warming theory phrase has changed is because the planet has not demonstrated these twisted ideas. These agenda ridden scientists/non-scientists should not be allowed to spin there way out of trouble and we should all stick with ‘global warming theory’ as the phrase and not climate change or climate disruption etc.
    The confusion of the term ‘global warming’ and ‘global warming theory’ is also a big problem for most non-scientists because these mean two different things. How many non-scientists/scientists have been called ‘denier’ because they don’t agree with the global warming theory. (politicians are extremely guilty of this too) The global warming phase refers to the planet warming over a period which no sceptics I know deny. Yet, the confusion is obvious by many (even some alarmist scientists) been called deniers because either they don’t think the person believes this concept or make it out that they don’t (spin) The ‘global warming theory’ that refers to human contribution of CO2, causing dangerous levels of rising temperatures where action is needed to stop despair for human civilisation, has a much different meaning.
    Scientists/non-scientists not believing in this and been called a denier or other names is utter nonsence and sad reflection of bad understanding of the subject. The change in phrases just makes it more confusing when people may be disagreeing with ideas that may be different to each other of what the term means.
    The ‘global warming theory’ as described above has been falsified by scientific method and the observable planet shows no scientific evidence of this happening.

  113. Quote from Otto Edenhofer, German economist and IPCC official.
    “We redistribute world’s wealth by climate policy”.
    From an article in the Global Warming Policy Foundation.
    Nuff said!

  114. “The comment you protest could have been worded more diplomaticaly, but at days end it was not a criticism of religion.”
    davidmhoffer,
    I understand. And I know there is room for criticism of religion. But, my so far unacknowledged complaints are more about inconsistent moderation/policy here as they are the criticisms of religion themselves.
    Andrew

  115. “Rated on a “just world scale,” which measures people’s belief in a just world for themselves and others, participants were asked how much they agree with such statements as “I believe that, by and large, people get what they deserve,” and “I am confident that justice always prevails over injustice.””
    These are bogus criteria .

  116. Bad Andrew;
    But, my so far unacknowledged complaints are more about inconsistent moderation/policy here as they are the criticisms of religion themselves.>>
    My understanding is that many of the mods are volunteers, and as what you are referring to is frequently a judgment call, one must expect considerable variance in application of policy. As someone who has an a couple of occassions sparked or participated in debate that got a thread closed down, please understand MY complaint.
    History is repleat with examples of struggle for power that are repeating themselves today. As the economist from the IPCC said, it is no longer about science, it is about redistribution of the world’s wealth, and who will be in control of it. It is about power. History’s lessons are lost to us, condemning us to repeating them, if we cannot discuss them rationaly and objectively. The fact of the matter is that the struggle for power has historicaly been between governance and religion. That is a slight on neither.
    The primitive tribe was guided by their fiercest fighter, the chief, and their wisest elder, the shaman. When they agreed the tribe followed. When they disagreed, there was dissension, confusion and possibly revolution. The Church of England was born of disagreement between church and monarch. Communism regarded organized religion as the greatest threat to it once the monarchy had been removed. Alexander the Great conquered half the planet before he was 30 and was widely believed to be a god. We subject ourselves to long line ups and indecent intrusions at the airport to protect ourselves from religious extremists. The history of power and religion and governance are intertwined.
    We cannot learn history’s lessons if we cannot discuss the history for fear offending those of a given faith. It is one thing to be critical of a religion for its beliefs. It is another thing entirely to observe the historical realities regarding the use and misuse of both power and belief.
    The debate has long left the realm of science, logic, and fact. It is now about belief systems and power. If understanding the wrong doings (and the right doings) of historic confrontations between belief systems and governance provides us the means to learn from them and so not repeat the horrid mistakes, then we must be able to discuss the historical facts without descending into a religious debate. The mods seem reluctant to pull the plug until things get nasty, but I applaud them for being as lenient as they can until it does.
    This debate is not about religion, it is not about science. It is about power, and the quest for power follows history’s path. I’ll put my religious sensibilities aside at this point because I’ve no intention of being condemned to repeat history’s lessons without putting up one he**uva fight. I don’t care if the guy in the trench next to me is left or right or devout or atheist as long as he knows that the common enemy is totalitarian distribution of poverty. We can have a nice civil discussion about the existance of deities and the meaning of life when the shooting stops. Until then history’s lessons are part of the ammunition package and no point shooting them at each other.

  117. The mods seem reluctant to pull the plug until things get nasty, but I applaud them for being as lenient as they can until it does.
    We happy few, we band of (unpaid) brothers, have always tried to allow as much freedom of expression as we rightly can. (There are limits.)
    There are no perfect solutions. If we grant latitude (which we do), people will complain about disrespect for this or disrespect for that. Dennis Miller once commented that not even 80% of the American people are in favor of motherhood or apple pie.
    But go the other way and you are in Taminorealclimateland where dissent is quashed and the hallelujah chorus dominates.
    One (among many) of the reasons this blog is so popular is that our exalted host lifts his hand in favor of the former course.
    We choose to “err” on the side of free expression — and not regard that as an “error”.

  118. evanmjones;
    We choose to “err” on the side of free expression — and not regard that as an “error”.>>
    I for one applaud the balance you’ve struck. It is the openness to debate the issues and facts that is perhaps the most compelling argument there is that sites like Tamino’s and RealClimate and others are actively suppressing factual information that disagrees with their belief systems. Ask a tough question on those sites, and (as I learned early in my personal quest to learn the science) it may never see the light of day, or be snipped and responded to with sarcasm and ridicule out of context. I’ve been snipped here too when my rants get out of hand, and rightfully so. But I’ve outright disagreed from time to time with various articles by Willis Eschenbach or Tisdale or Anthony himself and not once was my argument deleted, edited to make me look silly, or responded to out of context. The fact that this forum is secure enough in the science it presents to discuss in that manner is the single strongest and most obvious evidence that the doomsayers have built a house of cards and wrapped it in a cloak of morality that is visible to no one but themselves.
    Congratulations to all of you on a job well done.
    (and Willis, I surrender on the issue of weasels going on killing sprees but maintain that the proper term for the myth is “rural myth” not “urban myth”. Can I please win just ONE tiny point?)

  119. “We choose to “err” on the side of free expression — and not regard that as an “error”.
    Not in all cases. I’ve been deleted for opining on a certain topic, while others have INTRODUCED and opined on the supposedly objectionable topic seemingly completely freely. What I did was in response and I was the one who got deleted.
    It’s kinda like the NFL where dude throws an elbow but the refs “didn’t see it.” They only saw the response. (Which is hard to do when the “initial elbow” is in a published comment and everyone can still see it.) 😉
    Andrew

  120. David says “and Willis, I surrender on the issue of weasels going on killing sprees but maintain that the proper term for the myth is “rural myth” not “urban myth”. Can I please win just ONE tiny point?”
    How about Goremyth — would that do? But frankly, I would prefer a more pungent epithet… ummm– can I have an “s” please, to go with the “t”, and can I drop the “y” and the “m”? Oh yes, and can I also please have an “i” too?

  121. The study detailed in this report suffers from small study syndrome. A total of 142 people were used as subjects, 97 in one part of the study and 47 in another. Studies this small are almost certain to be wrong and have error bars larger than the effects found. Worthless for drawing any kind of conclusions.

  122. The AGW crowd has been crying woof for far to long….
    If anyone starts using google on all the players… they begin to find out about the 1975 FREEZEOUT… that became a Burnout 20 years later…
    And, for the really inquisitive cartoon watching public, they learned about ICE Ages, then warm periods, then ICE Ages – maybe this stuff just happens.
    And, CAL profs. just can not understand why the public is smart enough to see the BS.
    Guess they will have to stop teaching that version of Earth History…

  123. “But if scientists and advocates can communicate their findings in less apocalyptic ways, and present solutions to global warming, Willer said, most people can get past their skepticism.”
    Oh I see. We just haven’t gotten the right kind of message.
    How typical of the left. It’s always their message hasn’t gotten out or it was presented poorly. “There’s no way those resisting could have understood us and still remain opposed.”
    Yeah, we’re all hanging by a thread of misunderstanding waiting for a more refined message to get us past our skepticism.
    I’ll bet half of the alarmists who are trying to put this pandamonium cat back in the bag are now accepting that they were probably wrong, caught up in “it”, and all they’re really concerned about is finding some posture that enables them to come out of this with at least a tiny shred of credibility.
    Goood luck with that.

Comments are closed.