CAGW bias in academia; Lesfrud and Meyer 2013 revisited.

 Guest essay by Andy West

Posts at WUWT have often featured scientific papers that are clearly impacted by a cultural bias towards CAGW. Given the impressive reach of WUWT and the likelihood that a number of folks from academia will be peeking here, some examination of the impact upon conclusions, and also how bias has occurred for particular scientists or organizations, not only keeps alive healthy skepticism in science but hopefully might result, one day, in a reduction of the CAGW bias. In that spirit, this post revisits ‘Science or Science Fiction? Professionals’ Discursive Construction of Climate Change’ by Lianne M. Lefsrud and Renate E. Meyer, LM2013; It is not pay-walled.

An article at Forbes plus the Investor’s Business Daily on the paper, triggered a WUWT post here. Unfortunately however, the former articles misfired into a tangent that was not well considered, greatly distracting from a deeper look at the paper; hence also from something that I believe is valuable, plus deeply ironic for the authors.

The post is adapted from supporting material in my essay The CAGW Memeplex summarized in a WUWT guest post here. However, no particular memetic insight is invoked here and none is needed to see how the authors of this paper have fallen victim to bias and ended up with unsupportable conclusions; just an appreciation (from history) that social narratives can acquire an inertia of their own, a kind of insistent culture that sometimes dominates events while leaving facts far behind. This can happen not only where the narrative is long-lived and wide in scope, e.g. mainstream religions evolving over many generations, but also where an original narrative is narrow in scope, e.g. Lysenkoism. Such narratives and counter narratives compete in our social space and may do so via strong or weak alliances and wider coalitions, for instance Lysenkoism was strongly coupled to Stalinism in the USSR, and the culture associated with Eugenics was loosely allied to right-wing politics in various countries, later becoming strongly coupled to Fascism especially in Germany. Religions have often found alliances within shifting maps of state and regional politics. The increasing number (and depth) of comparisons between CAGW and religion (e.g. see the varied selection: UK MP Peter Lilley , blogger John Bell, Michael Crichton via blogger Justice4Rinka [Jan 10, 2013 at 10:07am], Richard Lindzen, blogger BetaPlug, philosopher Pascal Bruckner, blogger sunshinehours1 [cult], professor Hans Von Storch [prophets], Evangelical skeptics, and a Climate Etc post discussing this area, plus very many more), acknowledges that CAGW is a (successful) social narrative, an ‘insistent culture’ that has indeed left reality behind.

With the above in mind, the approach of LM2013 seems at first to be admirable. For instance social coalitions (termed ‘discourse coalitions’) are understood to be important entities backing the survival / growth of competing ‘storylines’ within a contestable narrative space, where coalition members attempt to ‘frame’ the debate so as to promote their storylines while trying to ‘break the persuasiveness’ of competing stories, a process within which apparent truths are relative (‘…experts construct interpretive packages or frames that stand in for the ‘truth’.’) It is also recognized that these ‘frames’ are intimately linked to the legitimacy and identity of the framers: ‘Besides defining the issue, framing is also the means by which professionals draw from broader values (Hulme, 2009), construct their self-definitions and expert identities.’ The latter is consistent with literature (e.g. the concept of the ‘The Social Mind’ by neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniger) essentially saying that our thoughts and identities are in some part formed by the societal entities we’re embedded in. This concept not only helps with understanding the motives of the players, it also helps regarding awareness of one’s own social embedding and hence the attempt to distance oneself from personal bias, as presumably the LM2013 authors would wish. Ultimately the authors appear to grasp that it’s a narrative war out there, in which ‘the truth’ may not always win out.

So what’s not to like? Shouldn’t a paper that recognizes these principles be robustly impartial? In trying to analyze the various ‘storylines’ shouldn’t the authors have attempted to position themselves, at least so far as is possible, outside of all of the relevant narratives? Well, unfortunately not…

The survey that forms the heart of the paper was conducted upon experts from or associated with the petro-chemical industry (in Alberta, Canada), showing that within this sector frames largely supporting the ‘C’ in CAGW add up to 41% of respondents, and frames that are largely unsupportive add to 51%. These findings and others lead the authors to a large discussion and conclusion section that includes for instance this bold assertion: ‘it seems unlikely that the defensive institutional work by those in powerful positions within fossil fuel-related firms and industry associations can be breached in the near future without global enforcement mechanisms.’ While other conclusions are not so audacious and there is a reference to ‘scientific disagreement’, readers would be correct in assuming a similar flavor. The rather strident tone of this quote leads one to suspect a fatal flaw within the whole analysis, namely that the authors have failed to recognize their own framing, and hence have done nothing to prevent this framing from biasing the whole analysis. A search for such bias and inherent framing is all too easily rewarded.

For instance there is more than a nod to the ‘storyline’ that older males in senior positions ‘are more defensive’ to climate regulation. This invokes what is effectively a cultural cliché now, therefore alerting us regarding potential misuse to aid a particular framing. Of course within the context of the sector the authors are analyzing, whose interests lie largely in the petro-chemical industry and wider economy of Alberta, it is true; their survey is no doubt correct. But having read many of the Climategate emails, it is clear for instance that the core of defensiveness from the ‘Hockey Team’ (as they once called themselves) against making climate science more open, sharing data, and embracing rather than suppressing scientific uncertainties, also comes from older males in senior (academic) positions. Another similar scenario is that the core of defensiveness against toning down alarmism inside environmental NGOs, comes from older males in senior (administrative) positions. Regarding the latter, see the article about male domination within the leaderships of the WWF and Greenpeace, at No Frakking Consensus here: http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2013/05/09/the-male-dominated-green-landscape/.

So, by isolating a narrow (climate-change ‘resistive’) sector completely from the context of the wider narrative competition, the authors have thus succeeded in morphing a relatively firm metric that surely we all knew about anyhow (i.e. older males dominate org leaderships), and one that is neutral with respect to climate narratives, into a storyline that is not neutral with respect to climate narratives, and is subtly deployed within their CAGW supportive frame to try and morally undermine those who are leaders in the petro-chemical sector. The implied storyline is: ‘those bad old dudes are harming the climate for self-interest; dudettes and younger dudes are way cooler than those stuffy old types anyway’. This storyline is a recurrent meme within the social phenomenon of CAGW and indeed within other cultural movements that foster radicalism and seek a change to the current regime, sometimes attempting to frame that regime in terms of an ‘Ancien Régime’. Yet a universal truth regarding the statistically dominant position of older males in society (which recent changes addressing gender bias have not yet balanced out), lends no legitimacy whatever to subcultures like CAGW that attempt to leverage this fact for demonization of opposing leaderships; let CAGW adherents look to their own frame-related leaderships, most of which will have the same male over-weightings.

The ‘older male’ storyline within LM2013 is only a minor contributor to the total narrative of the paper. But it exposes the fact that the authors have failed to recognize the full scope of the narrative competition and hence their own place within this contest, and thus are working within their own inherent framing. At the heart of this blindness is a critical and fatal error; the assumption that framings are to a large extent consciously constructed, deliberate if you will. This error occurs despite the authors having recognized a link to identity (and so potentially to subconscious behavior).

Hence I speculate that the authors’ reasoning regarding personal bias would run somewhat like this: “we are not consciously or deliberately constructing any frame, we are merely ‘seeking the truth’, hence we must be impartial.” But this is not so. They have not grasped that their own identities are linked to a very powerful framing (i.e. *C*AGW) within the wider contest, and so they’re unknowingly engaged upon promoting the storylines within that framing as though these were unbiased ‘truths’. This error is in turn based upon the lack of recognition that CAGW, with an emphasis on the ‘C’, is simply another framing in itself, i.e. another (and aggressively infectious) culture if you like. They have mistaken this framing for ‘scientific facts’ or ‘environmental reality’, and then identified with it.

This all too common mistake is revealed by the opening of the ‘Discussion and Conclusion’ section: ‘Climate change could irreversibly affect future generations and, as such, is one of the most urgent issues facing organizations’. While the authors mitigate slightly with the word ‘could’, the level of impact and urgency (if any!) is precisely one of the relative truths that is being fought over in the narrative contest of storylines and their alliances within frames. Above a certain level of scientific uncertainty about climate behavior and interactions, there is no absolute truth regarding the major issues of impact and urgency. Despite (at one time) a successful narrative about ‘settled science’, it transpires that there is and always was a wide enough uncertainty to allow a blossoming of arbitrary narrative competition (in essence, no scenario could be completely ruled out). Hence every position, including of course that of the IPCC itself, is just an interpreted package (frame) filled with storylines that promote this position. This does not mean that all frames are completely devoid of facts, just that the ability to compete in a narrative war is rewarded more than the level of verifiability, a situation which typically results over the long-term in factual content being skewed or drowned out. (Skeptic and Luke-warmer narratives have tended to compete poorly, in my opinion partly because they rely more heavily on unadorned facts, including the realities about uncertainty, which thus seed much less sensational storylines).

LM2013 applies terms that lend an inappropriate emotive weighting to certain frames; for example the terms ‘resist’ or ‘resistance’ are used to describe the defensiveness of professionals against challenges to expertise or legitimacy, but the context is always in the sense of those groups resisting (the cause of) climate change or associated emissions regulation. This short statement within the conclusion effectively summarizes the context of LM2013’s usage: ‘With our findings, we provide additional insights into climate change resistance.’ Yet there appears to be no equivalent terminology regarding the resistance of professionals to that which calls out problems with Consensus climate change theory or related policy (and which skeptics might be tempted to call ‘science resistance’, though I’d be kinder and call it something like ‘debate resistance’). An objective analysis of the narrative competition ought to apply the same terminology and associated meaning to all players, all frames. Where no-one does or can own ‘the truth’ (the authors must assume this in order to aspire to complete objectivity), no differential weighting of terms should be applied. So it is perfectly fair to use ‘climate resistance’ only if one also uses ‘climate-debate resistance’ and ‘moderate policies resistance’ and all the other ‘resistances’ that each frame is engaged upon for their own best interests. (For this same reason I expressed all my frame comparisons five paragraphs above using same term ‘defensive / defensiveness’). In the great majority of cases, ‘their own interests’ will be inclusive of what the frame promoters believe is a good course for society as well as self, but belief is not absolute knowledge and is formed in part from narrative immersion.

Despite the above interpretive bias LM2013’s assessment of the emotive content of frames is likely reasonable, and says of the ‘economic responsibility’ frame (which is unsupportive to the ‘C’ in CAGW): ‘They express much stronger and more negative emotions than any other group’. Yet once again we must remember that only a small sub-sector of the total narrative competition is considered, and one that is relatively skeptical overall. So while no doubt in this extremely limited context their results are once again true, what of the full narrative competition and the content of all frames?

Well even a cursory look at the full picture regarding CAGW shows that many frames are absolutely saturated with emotive content, which also appears to be heavily biased towards pro-CAGW frames (e.g. as supported from the major NGOs like Greenpeace and WWF, advocacy orientated climate scientists, mainstream media, political framings allied to CAGW, mass comments on pro-CAGW sites, etc.) Content includes the highly exaggerated language of disaster, the inappropriate emotive leverage from ‘threatened grandkids’, demonization of ‘denialists’ and more, all of which proliferate. This does not mean that the cynical and emotive content within ‘climate resistive’ framings per the LM2013 examples (centered on ‘scam’, ‘hoax’, or ‘left-wing conspiracy’ perceptions) doesn’t exist, but within the full narrative contest these are heavily outgunned by opposing emotive storylines such as (I paraphrase) “we’re all gonna fry”, “your coastal cities are gonna drown”, “your grandkids are gonna die”, “only N days to save the planet”, and the attempted suppression of argument by deployment of the ‘denier’ term, which diverts enormous and negative emotive power from a completely different narrative domain (Holocaust denial) and injects this into the climate arena.

This high level of emotive expression is not merely from some fringe framing. It is mainstream and systemically applied, plus legitimized by influential folks in the media, government, charities and science. Indeed many from all of these domains use the ‘denier’ term, and the scientist that folks associate most with Global Warming, James Hansen, not only pushes the psychological hot-button regarding threatened grandchildren, but calls coal trains ‘death trains’. Due to such a high level of promotion there is also mass public adherence to these emotively charged frames, an adherence that overwhelms skeptic numbers (and also objections). Yet attempts to find plausible real-world drivers for this excessive emotive content show only that Consensus science as summarized by the IPCC itself does not support any of the above paraphrases or the actual quotes they represent; the emotive content is due to iterative framing activity, and so is not rooted in likely outcomes (at least for approx a century timescale), even as perceived by the majority of scientists who contribute to the IPCC. Indeed AR5 confirms that the IPCC now fosters at least two frames, if not more; the framing represented by the summary for policy makers being significantly more alarmist than the core Consensus science framing.

Surveying the environmental NGO and activist sectors using the methods defined by this paper would likely produce results off-the-scale regarding plays of emotion, and most especially negative emotion. Yet no context or balance from the wider narrative competition is invoked by the authors, which would enable readers to realize for instance, that the ‘economic responsibility’ frame as defined by LM2013 is very far from being the strongest emotive play in the whole game. Providing this balance would almost certainly give the paper a very different flavor and undermine the current conclusions. Though the authors have limited their scope to just one narrow sector (which they regard as ‘resistive’), I’d love to see a similar survey of the entire CAGW narrative landscape, including all the Catastrophe ‘sympathetic’ sectors, using the same criteria to characterize frames. I suspect very different conclusions would then emerge.

The emotive term ‘denier’ is also used in the conclusion of LM2013; this is yet another sign that the authors are blind to their own inherent frame and associated framing activity. It does not appear in the sense say, of merely acknowledging the use of the term by others or attempting to analyze its arising and effect; the authors do actually use it to identify and label a class of opposition to CAGW. For instance: ‘However, given the polarized debate (Antonio & Brulle, 2011; Hamilton, 2010; McCright & Dunlop, 2011), gaining access to the reasoning of deniers and skeptics (Kemp, Milne, & Reay, 2010), let alone unraveling their framings, is far more difficult than analyzing supporters of regulatory measures.’ I have not followed up Kemp, Milne, & Reay, which appears to be pay-walled. But my opinion is that this statement is sheer myth. It is no more difficult to analyze skeptical framings than any other. But if one starts from the position that they are ‘deniers’, ‘an aggressive framing in action’, one will seriously cloud any data one may attempt to analyze further, and most likely it is therein that lies the source of their problem. All framings contain some level of narrative aggression, this is their entire point. Yet all are analyzable using a single methodology, unless one is too immersed oneself in a particular frame within the competition, especially a frame that attempts to characterize opposing frames as ‘not normal’. No analysis of the relevant competition can survive such an immersion bias. Essentially, another storyline is being promoted here: ‘regulatory supporters are normal and so can be analyzed; skeptics are not normal and so cannot easily be analyzed’. This of course is utter tosh!

I return now to this snippet from the conclusion: ‘it seems unlikely that the defensive institutional work by those in powerful positions within fossil fuel-related firms and industry associations can be breached in the near future without global enforcement mechanisms’. Underneath the trappings of academia and the raft of references, this quote highlights that LM2013 is treating us to more than a hint of those calls from highly immersed green street-activists; i.e. CAGW must be right and thus forcing regulation must also be right, where in the activist case overriding democracy plus direct action against oil and coal interests are both candidates for action. No doubt, unfortunately, such activists will benefit from this type of academic work. What a disappointing and very unenlightened dead end to a promising approach, which if it were but wider in context could hardly fail to identify to the authors their own framing work, and maybe provide a good formal entry port into an analysis of the memetic mechanisms that drive narrative wars. Not to mention exposing the aggressive framing of the self-named ‘Hockey Team’ (the small core of climate scientists promoting the original Global Warming theory). As the well-known climate commenter and contributor to BEST surface temperature series, Stephen Mosher, said: ‘Rather than using this methodology to understand skeptics, it’s probably better used to understand “the team” .’ See here for the original comment.

In not explicitly mentioning that the same process (of narrative competition) occurs across all sectors, and also in taking the word of the IPCC as an ‘absolute truth’ that is somehow magically defined as outside of this entire competition, the authors have painted a picture of the narrative struggle as though it is merely a secondary issue. An issue regarding only the dissemination of this ‘absolute truth’, plus the consequent policy action (or lack thereof), both of which are impeded or accelerated by the resistive or supportive frames within their arbitrarily narrowed contest. Yet the authors’ own frame and the supportive home for their storylines is enabled entirely by (unacknowledged) CAGW culture, by far the most dominant uber-frame within the environmental domain. Hence a very intelligent and careful work, no doubt associated with a great deal of effort to conduct their survey and analyze the results etc. is in my opinion completely undermined by a cultural bias to which the authors appear almost entirely blind.

To summarize: The authors’ haven’t sought to distance themselves from their own immersion in a (dominant) frame within the narrative competition they seek to analyze. Hence LM2013 is highly entangled with their own framing activity, including emotive content. While equal terminology ought to have been applied to all frames, this simply cannot be done in any case when only one small sector (experts from or associated with the petro-chemical industry [in Alberta]) of the battleground is considered; many entire frames that prosper outside this sector aren’t even acknowledged! One cannot analyze a single narrow sector in isolation from the wider narrative competition, and still draw useful conclusions about that wider competition. Even the more limited conclusions one might draw should be tested for possible framing bias from the wider competition. Nor can one take a near universal truth (e.g. regarding older males in society) as being meaningful for or against any particular frame in a given narrative competition; it will have near equal weight in all frames and hence should be disregarded. The authors appeared to recognize that all ‘truths’ in the total narrative competition are relative, yet then contradict themselves by singling out one particular relative ‘truth’, i.e. that of the orthodox IPCC view, and granting this the status of an absolute. While they may claim that the law (in the form of emissions regulation) supports their ‘absolute truth’, it is well established that arbitrary framings can in any case alter the law* and even morals* in their favor; hence this is no excuse for ceding objectivity. [*see my essay for more on this, including supporting refs].

NOTE: The 41% largely supportive of the ‘C’ in CAGW (or at least the need for strong controls on human emissions to combat climate change) is made up of two frames, a 5% ‘regulation activist’ frame and a 36% ‘comply with Kyoto’ frame, of which only the latter strongly believes that ‘humans are the main or central cause’ of global warming (the 5% frame accepts the possibility of a larger natural component). Some skeptics have thus made much of this result, i.e. only 36% of the respondents, a significant minority, believe ‘humans are causing a global-warming crisis’. For example see the Forbes article and IBT article (later discussed at Watts Up With That here). However this article, which calls the LM2013 survey respondents simply ‘geo-scientists and engineers’, fails to point out that the entire sample consisted of experts from or associated with the petro-chemical industry in Alberta, Canada, a state in which this industry also dominates the economy. Hence the respondents would clearly be defensive of their industry and economy and thus pretty biased towards skepticism. I very much doubt that a truly broad world-wide sample even among generic ‘geo-scientists and engineers’, would produce anything like this result. While I agree with the Forbes article regarding unmistakable bias, and indeed the article makes a similar point to me regarding biased terminology, stretching the LM2013 results inappropriately ‘out of sector’, a similar error to those the authors themselves make, is not the way to set matters straight. In my opinion this paper completely falls apart on its own merits; it needs no push whatsoever. (The comment by Brian Angliss at WUWT alerts to inappropriate assumptions in the Forbes article, as do various comments below the article itself – though the scientist/engineer ratio is not a critical issue and I am not endorsing or otherwise further comments by Brian – the limited sector of the respondents is highly relevant). In their own objection at Forbes, Lesfrud and Meyer warn against making generalizations from a ‘non-representational data set’. The data is indeed not at all representative of the whole narrative contest, and hence should not make assumptions about unexamined frames within the contest, such as for instance that IPCC framings contain ‘more truth’, or indeed ‘an absolute truth’.

Once a major narrative war is well under way, the accumulated weight of narrative frames will tend to dominate over any truths that may still survive beneath the battle. Critically, highly persuasive storylines from winning frames will actually alter perceptions so much that searches for the truth (scientific or otherwise) will very likely become highly biased or outright corrupted, as occurred in the historic examples mentioned at the top of this post (and it is all too easy to see this in climate science). Hence the successful narratives will tend to maintain conditions that maximize those uncertainties which led to the narratives arising in the first place. The apparently rampant CAGW bias in academia is a result; very likely the extremely poor progress on bounding climate sensitivity in the last twenty-five years (perhaps the single largest contributor to uncertainty) is also a symptom of this mechanism.

Many articles at WUWT have highlighted CAGW bias in academic papers across a great diversity of topics from ‘threatened’ butterflies to agricultural impacts to core climate metrics like temperature and sea-ice extent. I picked this particular paper because its mode of investigation holds both a very deep irony for the authors, and also something very well worth rescuing indeed; something immensely valuable in fact. I mentioned above that more and more folks in the climate sphere, whether well-known or less so, and some even from within the Consensus itself, are applying religious metaphors to CAGW. Also they are increasingly using terms like ‘framing / reframing’, ‘meme’ and ‘narrative’ (e.g. ‘narrative competition’ ‘successful narratives’, ‘reframing the Climate Change narrative’, ‘dominant narrative’ etc) to characterize the evolution of the CAGW phenomena and the many struggles this spawns. LM2013 homes in upon this angle, and it is the right angle, a highly valuable angle, for attempting to understand the social phenomena of CAGW. Religions are essentially successfully evolved narratives, and the same mechanisms that support them also support the rise of CAGW. Reality (including acknowledging the real uncertainties) has been left far behind because once conditions were right for a narrative war to blossom, narrative success became more important than factual content; the winner so far in this particular war is the aggressive CAGW culture. Understanding that culture will help defeat it.

The deep irony for the authors is that they had in their hands the right tool that could provide a much better understanding of what is really happening regarding CAGW, yet they discovered nothing of note. They failed to acknowledge their own cultural immersion and hence have not realized their uncritical acceptance of CAGW supportive frames. While I see no reason to doubt the immediate findings of their survey of Alberta’s petro-chemical industry, what this paper doesn’t say regarding the whole narrative contest, plus the fact of the authors’ CAGW cultural bias, together rob the conclusions of any real meaning and betray the paper’s supposed objectivity. Rather than remain neutral as academics should, they have significantly furthered the purpose of their own frame with LM2013, which might be labeled ‘authority of academia’, and which appears to be wholly allied and committed to CAGW.

Religious narratives essentially never run out of fuel; there is and likely always will be some level of uncertainty about the existence of God(s). Secular narratives, especially those spawned by science, should in theory run out of fuel one day, *if* the scientific method survives of course, as this is the means to eventually remove uncertainty. But there is vast social inertia behind CAGW now, to the extent that even a 17 year ‘hiatus’ in global temperatures has had surprisingly little impact on the big narrative beast. Most likely it won’t be tamed for some years yet, but understanding the nature of the beast can only help.

Andy West.

Footnote 1: I make the caveat here that the narrative competition is essentially unrelated to whatever is happening in the real climate, and whether that is good, bad, or indifferent. Social narratives feed upon uncertainty, and even if a ‘bad’ real climate scenario emerged (though this seems increasingly less likely), most of the excesses of the aggressive CAGW culture would swiftly die-out. This is because a real enemy not an array of fantasy ones would now be identified, and just like for a war or a natural disaster, society would soon grasp what to do and folks would simply get on and do it.

Footnote2: References regarding various points above, such as the comparison by many folks of CAGW with religion (or use of religious metaphors), narratives altering the law, etc. can be found in my essay The CAGW Memeplex; a cultural creature. A memetic perspective provides great insight on the competition of social narratives, and allows a detailed exploration of how and why these happen, which is simply not possible in the space of the post above.

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M Courtney

The ‘older male’ storyline within LM2013 seems very similar to the methodology of Lewandowsky that Brandon Sholenberger recently exposed. Taking a finding with a small group (Alberta oil execs) and saying that the finding is due to the “group”, because that ois what you are looking for… and not controlling for other factors.
You can find anything that way.
So I wonder if doing such an analysis oif the Hockey Team would actually add any light.
Can anyone put their own bias to one side when doing this sort if thing?

Very good analysis. And of course, they use the “peer review” method to advance the supposed credibility of their thesis, even though that entire system is shot through with the same types of biases as has been examined here.
The referenced paper reads like a report from a committee of Scientologists, trying to examine and explain why some people are skeptical and resistant to the Manifest Truth of Dianetics.

Mike McMillan

4500 words.
Needs editing down.

sabretruthtiger

Actually Eugenics was coupled with Left wing socialism. The right or conservative wing promotes religion generally which promotes inherent value of the individual.
Darwinian liberalism promotes ‘survival of the fittest’ eugenics.
Germany under Hitler was socialist.

highflight56433

It is pretty clear that the CAGW believers do not practice what they preach. Thus they are a fraud. However, there may be a handful that live in the woods which is fine. To what extent do believers of any religion or cult practice to the letter their belief? And to what extent is a religion forced upon a population? And to what extent are we to be free of the resultant powers that force others into compliance? I say the answers are in the history of who leads and who follows. What is enforceable and to what extent is enforcement?

An excellent commentary and understanding of why the embedded memes within academia perpetuate the ongoing dogma. Moreover, it shows why attempts to use data and science to derail the AGW narrative as it evolves and re-invents itself are ultimately futile: the change has to be at the source — in the framing of the foundational political narrative of global salvationism itself.

Thankyou, Anthony.
Andy.

On “Academia”
1. They are the problem.
2. They are co-commies.
3. They voted for Al Gore, they voted for John Kerry, they elected B. Obama.
4. They not only lie on the facts they lie to themselves.
5. They will not change.
6. They must be defeated.
keep it simple

Gail Combs

“he culture associated with Eugenics was loosely allied to right-wing politics in various countries, later becoming strongly coupled to Fascism especially in Germany.”
I think you have that very very wrong. You really have to watch the pea with an eagle eye because a favorite sport of MSM propaganda is convincing us black is white and slavery is freedom.
Heck even the Guardian has a story: Eugenics: the skeleton that rattles loudest in the left’s closet, Socialism’s one-time interest in eugenics is dismissed as an accident of history. But the truth is far more unpalatable
The Fabian link to Eugenics is explained in this article. The eugenics movement Britain wants to forget
Fascism in Germany was under the National Socialists or in German Nationalsozialismus. However now no one wants to claim fascism.
E.M. Smith does a good job of explaining the links of Fascism to the “Third Way” beloved of Clinton and the Fabian founded London School of Economics HERE, as well as clearing up the confusion of why corporate CEOs favor socialism not capitalism. (They HATE capitalism for very good reasons.)
Here is another essay on the hot potato of Fascism “The line between fascism and Fabian socialism is very thin. Fabian socialism is the dream. Fascism is Fabian socialism plus the inevitable dictator.” ~ John T. Flynn
Fabian Anthony Giddens, former head of the London School of Economics, defends third-way politics
In 1998, a new term hit the political scene. According to the two most powerful leaders in the developed world, US President Bill Clinton and British Prime Minister Tony Blair the “Third Way” was the ideology of the future. Their declarations, and a series of subsequent Third Way summits, evoked strong responses from political parties in all parts of the ideological spectrum.
And an explanation of the link between “Third Way” and fascism.

The Concise Encyclopededia of Economics: Fascism
The best example of a fascist economy is the regime of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. Holding that liberalism (by which he meant freedom and free markets) had “reached the end of its historical function,” Mussolini wrote: “To Fascism the world is not this material world, as it appears on the surface, where Man is an individual separated from all others and left to himself…. Fascism affirms the State as the true reality of the individual.”
This collectivism is captured in the word fascism, which comes from the Latin fasces, meaning a bundle of rods with an axe in it. In economics, fascism was seen as a third way between laissez-faire capitalism and communism. Fascist thought acknowledged the roles of private property and the profit motive as legitimate incentives for productivity—provided that they did not conflict with the interests of the state.
Fascism in Italy grew out of two other movements: syndicalism and nationalism. The syndicalists believed that economic life should be governed by groups representing the workers in various industries and crafts. The nationalists, angered by Italy’s treatment after World War I, combined the idea of class struggle with that of national struggle….
After Mussolini consolidated his dictatorship in 1925, Italy entered a new phase. Mussolini, like many leaders at this time, believed that economies did not operate constructively without supervision by the government. Foreshadowing events in Nazi Germany, and to some extent in New Deal America, Mussolini began a program of massive deficit spending, public works, and eventually, militarism.
Mussolini’s fascism took another step at this time with the advent of the Corporative State, a supposedly pragmatic arrangement under which economic decisions were made by councils composed of workers and employers who represented trades and industries.

It is a rather murky subject because hiding the facts is a major past time of politicians and their puppet masters. Just look at the word ‘Liberal.’ That used to mean ‘Classic liberal’ but now means the opposite, hence the addition of classic to the term.

M Courtney

fobdangerclose says at January 27, 2014 at 6:49 am…
Well, that is simple.
But is it too much of a generalisation?
And, is it helpful?

“4500 words.
Needs editing down.”
Although I do understand your point, and sympathize a bit, remarks like this always remind me of Emperor Joseph II as portrayed in the film, “Amadeus”: “Too many notes, my dear Mozart, too many notes!”
I would suggest a one or two paragraph “Executive Summary” at the beginning, for those who simply wish to skim the main points without worrying about the attributions, followed by the bulk of the article in which the case is carefully laid out.

Russ R.

The core of this problem is an economic reality, that can not be “papered over”, with introspective white-washing.
If you subsidize steel, you get more steel. If you subsidize windmills, you get more windmills. If you subsidize, poverty you get more poverty.
When you subsidize CAGW research, you expect to get un-biased research?

mobihci

There is more than enough evidence to prove that those that push the ‘C’agw narrative are either deluded or have vested interests.
being a sceptic is not a position or frame, it is just not believing the deluded people! alarmist often try to box sceptics so they can counter only a few arguments (often not the actual argument) because there is no other way of countering what is essentially not a position at all. ie uncertainty.
while there is a level of uncertainty, it is not with the fact that ‘C’agw is just plain wrong, it is just about how much influence does co2 actually have over our global tempertures. something that will not be known until the science is removed from the political process.
so, the weather will set the publics belief dial it seems, lets just hope it keeps flat/cooling.

“To summarize: The authors’ haven’t sought to distance themselves from their own immersion in a (dominant) frame within the narrative competition they seek to analyze. ”
translation: The authors are not very smart.
I’m so glad I left University.

hunter

the paper is a Lewandowsky with slightly less snark, more words and, if possible, even more false assumptions.

Thanks for the hat- tip not so many people would be so gracious.

John West

”I make the caveat here that the narrative competition is essentially unrelated to whatever is happening in the real climate, and whether that is good, bad, or indifferent.”
That may be true to a point, but a GAST (global average surface temperature) nose dive would certainly make it difficult for all but the most devoted to “The Cause” ™ to keep the faith. Unlike the circa 1940’s – 1970’s cooling, the satellite data will ensure the record isn’t adjusted to fit the narrative to the degree that would likely be necessary to hide a decline if it should occur. If ocean “heat content” also doesn’t cooperate, excuses exhausted on the already uncooperative GAST (where’s the accelerating warming of the 1990’s assertions?) would make the meme difficult to sustain as well. Like the day after a predicted (projected) rapture, many true believers suddenly awakened to the fallibility of their idols while the idols are forced to recalculate in an attempt to save some face.
I also see signs of an increased realization that, yes, we’re in a warmer world than circa pre-industrial revolution and that world is better. Warming is nothing to fear, cooling is the real enemy. True geologic timescale thinking and knowledge of past climates and the life supported in those climates could serve to soothe the anxiety some have about what they may perceive as the unknown (unprecedented) from a few degrees increase in GAST.
”The apparently rampant CAGW bias in academia is a result; very likely the extremely poor progress on bounding climate sensitivity in the last twenty-five years (perhaps the single largest contributor to uncertainty) is also a symptom of this mechanism.”
Yes, they cannot admit to what their own numbers say. According to them: Total downwelling IR (GHE) is 300 – 350 W/m^2; total temperature gain from the GHE including all feedbacks is 30 – 60 degrees Celsius; and 2XCO2 enhancement of the GHE is approximately 3.7 W/m^2. This means the sensitivity to 2XCO2 is probably between 0.3 and 0.8 degrees Celsius from simply S = (T gain) / GHE X D(GHE) assuming the law of diminishing marginal returns hasn’t already significantly reduced addition IR heat flux from increasing temperature in which case the sensitivity to 2XCO2 could easily be indistinguishable from zero but very doubtful that it’s greater than 1.

‘being a sceptic is not a position or frame, it is just not believing the deluded people! alarmist often try to box sceptics so they can counter only a few arguments (often not the actual argument) because there is no other way of countering what is essentially not a position at all. ie uncertainty.”
there is only one “successful” mode of being “frameless” and that is a practice known as “deconstruction’ as practiced by Derrida. And even it is not frameless. Frames can be anything: metaphors, storylines, binary oppositions. Try writing or expressing a thought without a frame. You might be able to in pure math or logic, but other discourse and thought is shot through with frames and framing. To think is to frame.
Lets look at your frame. Do you see how a presupposition of belief is built into your definition of skeptic as a disbeliever? It’s hard to see your own frame.
The notion that one can be “frameless” is the ORIGINAL FRAME, the deepest frame: the frame that somehow you can be outside the “box” you mention. That somehow by adopting a certain position you can be above or outside of the human condition. Put another way, are you sure about the uncertainty?
to give you a clue, defining skepticism as a refusal to believe “deluded” people, presupposes a decision to classify them as deluded based on a position of definitive knowledge. In short, you know they are deluded and define yourself in opposition to that. So instead of basing your disbelief in uncertainty, which you claim, you’ve based it on the certainty that the “other” is deluded.
You’ve fallen into an old trap that’s related to the errors of the academic skeptics. You’d be better off reading Pyrrho and focus on the concept of ataxaria
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ataraxia
I’ll make it easy: understand the concept of suspending judgement.
not believing “deluded people” is not suspending judgement because you’ve made the judgement that they are deluded. Suspending judgement– is just that, living in uncertainty
which includes the recognition that you might be wrong about your own lack of knowledge.
In short, you are living and acting as if you know, while proclaiming that you dont.

Memes are an important, and too infrequently appreciated means, of altering culture and prevailing beliefs and values. In fact, there’s a book called Good Work that readily acknowledges education is deliberately manipulating memes (it uses term) to destroy capitalism as an acceptable economic system.
As explained here CAGW plays a major role in both the US Common Core K-12 implementation and the UN’s plans for the rest of the world’s education as well. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/translating-the-off-putting-term-dialectical-materialism-and-discovering-the-intended-process-in-all-classrooms/ When changing actions in the material world is the whole point of a theory of transformation, hyping potential catastrophes like CAGW or grievances like racism or sexism is highly effective in guiding desired behavioral changes.

Gary Pearse

“Skeptic and Luke-warmer narratives have tended to compete poorly, in my opinion partly because they rely more heavily on unadorned facts,..”
What else could a skeptic of scientific theory, incompetence, data abuse and willful dishonesty rely on. First, adopting a smoke shoveling contest may even the field but how are thinking onlookers to judge. Second, the skeptic has turned the tide quicker than even I thought possible. Holding the team’s feet to the fire works and only because people ultimately understand the importance of facts. Even the team knows they must avoid debate or the cause is lost. They prefer to fill up op-eds, vilify dissent, block and intimidate journal editors, attack the person and the like. What is data and code supporting theory that is being held back by authors and why do they do it. Well exposure of the facts, even if it is the fact that the data was improperly processed, brings down the theory. Yes they know to hide the facts, the selected facts, the rejected facts is necessary for bad science to survive.
An impressive social analysis of the CAGW culture, Andy West (a little outside my own area of knowledge) but I think it could be improved a lot – my point and Gail Combs’s always spectacular instant encyclopedic, annotated, linked comments could be of use in this.
Gail Combs says:
January 27, 2014 at 6:51 am
You are an international treasure. How do you have so much at your finger tips? You could set up well-needed competition to Wikipedia on seemingly all subjects.

Reed Coray

Russ R. says: January 27, 2014 at 7:13 am
The core of this problem is an economic reality, that can not be “papered over”, with introspective white-washing.
If you subsidize steel, you get more steel. If you subsidize windmills, you get more windmills. If you subsidize, poverty you get more poverty.
When you subsidize CAGW research, you expect to get un-biased research?

AMEN! My exposure to the issue was in the form of a quote from an unknown author.
If you want more of something, subsidize it.

Rob Ricket

Well done Andy!
A meta-analysis of the references cited in the LM2013 would strengthen your assertion that the authors’ objectivity is constrained by entrenched mental constructs. For example, Hoffman is cited no less than six times and Wittneben (2008) is nothing more than an interview of George Monboit. A statistical analysis of the prevailing viewpoints of the individuals cited in LM2013 would surely skew heavily towards a strong belief in CAGW.
It’s really quite ironic that Lesfrud and Meyer were able to produce a paper devoted to personal (frameworks) belief systems, in a vacuum of metacognition. Alternatively, they may be perfectly aware of their own belief systems, and remain convinced that anyone opposing said beliefs has to be wrong. The former is the mark of a fool and the latter a mark of the Devil.

richardscourtney

Friends:
sabretruthtiger wrote at January 27, 2014 at 6:04 am

Actually Eugenics was coupled with Left wing socialism. The right or conservative wing promotes religion generally which promotes inherent value of the individual.
Darwinian liberalism promotes ‘survival of the fittest’ eugenics.
Germany under Hitler was socialist.

I copied it here to enable the laughter of those who missed it.
And it provides a challenge.
Can anyone else provide so many laughably untrue falsehoods in under 40 words?
Richard

Slartibartfast

I think I’ve previously referred to Steven Mosher as “relentlessly glib”. His comments in this thread prompt me to retract that, which I now do.
Not that I am anybody in particular.

temp

Good write up Gail Comb.
Eugenics is a purely collectivist/socialist ideology. Most people nowadays know nothing about eugenics and have sucked up huge sums of pro-socialist propaganda thus believing that somehow eugenics is some kind of politically “diverse” “science”.
Eugenics is the socialists science for controlling the most basic means of production… aka the human being. Long have collectives attempted breed the “prefect human” aka a human that didn’t have any of those nasty rightwing individualist ideas of self. In eugenics they attempted to “codify” what a good collectivist should be through the new found information of genetics.
Only by breeding the “prefect humans” could the collective survive such problems as running out of resources, over population, pollution and so forth(aka insert every common whine made by global warming cultists/other socialists).
It was hoped by socialists that instead of the near random genocide of past socialists utopias’ that with this new “science” of eugenics they could identity the evil individualist and purge him more successfully and thus “this time socialism would work”. That combined with selective breeding of the means of production(aka humans) they could prevent evil individualist thought from ever accruing again.
Eugenics is one of the most basic tenets of socialist/collectivist thought.

richardscourtney

temp:
re your post at January 27, 2014 at 10:04 am.
I write to suggest that you study the post sabretruthtiger at January 27, 2014 at 6:04 am.
He posts similar nonsensical and untrue twaddle to yours but manages to pack it in to fewer words. If you were to adopt his style then it would enable people could scroll past your rubbish quicker.
Richard

From the article:
b>The implied storyline is: ‘those bad old dudes are harming the climate for self-interest; dudettes and younger dudes are way cooler than those stuffy old types anyway’. This storyline is a recurrent meme within the social phenomenon of CAGW and indeed within other cultural movements that foster radicalism and seek a change to the current regime,
This reminds me of the recent “Occupy Wall Street” movement. Where these people,mostly youngsters, demonstrate that they have taught to resent success. They’ve been taught that success can be likened to greed. They’ve been taught that the wealth of successful people somehow should be theirs.
The Authors of the article, like the occupiers, Are sure their frame is the “truth”. so, tacitly not a frame at all. The implication here is that those older person’s “frames” are false.
A bias story frought with bias.
The Irony, it unwrinkles..

Peter Miller

This was such heavy reading, I gave up before the end.
The problem with today’s climate science is the unprecedented size of the troughs, swilling over with money. Everyone wants a piece of it – by everyone I mostly mean second rate scientists and statisticians – and more important than this, they all want to see the perpetuation and growth of these obscenely overflowing troughs.
The inevitable result? A fast exit for ethics and morality, all out the window, never to be seen again.

davidmhoffer

This analysis missed the main question IMHO.
It is often said that one should never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence. So, are the results of this paper a consequence of the authors being trapped in their own reference frame (hence incompetence) or was the paper written with malicious intent?
Given the outright contrived nature of the paper’s subject matter, the very specific industry targeted, and coupled with conclusions in regard to the action that should be taken (authoritarian control of disbelievers) that have nothing to do with the central analysis of the paper itself, my conclusion is the latter.

Mike Maguire

“It is no more difficult to analyze skeptical framings than any other. But if one starts from the position that they are ‘deniers’, ‘an aggressive framing in action’, one will seriously cloud any data one may attempt to analyze further, and most likely it is therein that lies the source of their problem. All framings contain some level of narrative aggression, this is their entire point. Yet all are analyzable using a single methodology, unless one is too immersed oneself in a particular frame within the competition, especially a frame that attempts to characterize opposing frames as ‘not normal’. No analysis of the relevant competition can survive such an immersion bias. Essentially, another storyline is being promoted here: ‘regulatory supporters are normal and so can be analyzed; skeptics are not normal and so cannot easily be analyzed’. This of course is utter tosh!”
Some very profound points, that, though well known by us all, are still not fully appreciated. The term I prefer is being brainwashed. As an operational meteorologist for 32 years, I have an advantage in most discussions when the topic is the atmosphere. At this site, there are plenty, who have equal or more understanding, so I refer to 99.9% of those I interact with.
I can present what I believe is 100% purely empirical data as objectively as possible, about an aspect that would seem to be obvious to everyone from both sides. For instance, numerous studies that show how CO2 is effecting vegetation on this planet. It’s hard to imagine anybody disagreeing with the known law of photosynthesis and key role of CO2. This takes the topic into another realm which is not just theory and would not seem to be so contaminated with labels, buzz words, false assumptions and frames.
I’ll use this link as an example:
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/study-finds-plant-growth-surges-as-co2-levels-rise-16094
It’s assumed that everybody learned about photosynthesis in science class growing up. I try to reach those that disagree thru this understanding. Also, through expressing my strong agreement with them on every single other aspect of what pollution is in the air, water and soil and the need to take aggressive actions, that is except for CO2.
As soon as they know or if they did know to begin with what my position is on CAGW, they find reasons why photosynthesis is not as important as CAGW risks or why none of the other real pollutants are as important as CAGW risks. Photosynthesis in reality should be getting the greatest weight.
Hitler would have admired the results of those that did the brainwashing.

FOBDANGERCLOSE, you are correct, and it is helpful. A bit from my family history: When Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” no one would publish it in book form. The “moderates” said that it was too inflammatory and it wouldn’t be helpful. An ancestor, John P. Jewett, was an abolitionist and publisher information Boston he did publish it. I think that it is time to stand up and say “enough”!
GAIL COMBS Thank you for putting it all together. I have often wondered why they put Marxist-Lenninist Socialism (Communism) at the left end of the spectrum and National Socialism (NAZIs) at the other. It appears that Communism should be at the extreme far left and the Nazis should be placed on the left, only a little more moderate than the Communists. Anarchists (no government) should be on the far right, and the hard-core Libertarians more moderate on the right.
I had a friend whose parents were from Lithuania and another whose grandparents were from Estonia. In both cases the parents/grandparents experienced the Communist dictatorship from about September 1939 to about June of 1941. Then they experienced the Nazi dictatorship until 1944/1945. And in both cases they decided that Nazis were less evil and fled while the Nazis retreated.
By the way, the Soviets and the Nazis signed a non-aggression pact, called the Molotov-Ribbintrop pact. They became allied in the subjugation of eastern Europe. On September 1, 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland from the west. Seventeen days their ally, the Soviet Union, invaded from the east. The Soviets went on to invade and subjugate Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia and part of Romania as per their agreement with the Nazis. They also invaded Finland, but the Fins fought to a stalemate in the Winter War of 1939.
Some might take issue with the equivalence of the Communists and the Nazis. There are clear differences.
The National Socialists promised their followers a Utopia. To do this, they had to have a dictatorship and they had to exterminate certain groups. They murdered some 6.5 to 25 million, with the most common figure being 12.5 million. The Utopia would be so perfect that it would last 1,000 years!!
There are clear differences when compared with the Marxist-Lenninist Socialists.
The Marxist-Lenninist Socialists promised their followers a Utopia. To do this, they had to seize all material property (not only the means of production, but most personal wealth also) in the Name of the People. To do that, they had to establish a dictatorship and exterminate certain groups. They murdered some 120 million to 170 million. Their Utopia was to be better than the Nazis: it would be so perfect that it would be the end of history because no further improvement could be made! It would last forever!!
I would suggest reading the “Black Book of Communism”, translated from the French and published by Harvard University Press.
Regards,
Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’ evil twin)

Rob Ricket

RobRoy Says:
“This reminds me of the recent “Occupy Wall Street” movement. Where these people,mostly youngsters, demonstrate that they have taught to resent success. They’ve been taught that success can be likened to greed. They’ve been taught that the wealth of successful people somehow should be theirs.”
The ironic part is that most of the “Occupiers” could not deal with the cold weather and went back home to the climate-controlled confines of Mom’s basement when the going got tough. Conversely, the courageous Ukrainians are enduring bitter cold temperatures in an effort to wiggle free of Putin’s oppressive boot.
Methinks, that the male of the ‘occupier’ species finally realized that free love with a gal in the next tent…who hadn’t bathed in a week…was hardly worth giving up a warm bed, free food and old reliable PlayStation. Consequently, the current crop of would-be ‘occupiers’ is played out.

tommoriarty

An argument from the CAGW crowd is that that the skeptics (“deniers”) will mistakenly see a refutation of CAGW in papers that really support it. The CAGW crowd is usually wrong about this, but they were right in the the case of Lefsrud and Meyer 2013. See…
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/17/global-warming-consensus-looking-more-like-a-myth/
I got a fair amount of grief (from the skeptics, which I am one of) for pointing out the obvious facts about Lefsrud and Meyer 2013. See…
http://climatesanity.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/science-or-science-fiction-professionals-discursive-construction-of-climate-change/
I am happy to see Andy West’s rational analysis of Lefsrud and Meyer here at WUWT. Better late than never. I have found West to be pretty smart guy, and his discourse on memes and the ‘CAGW memeplex’ in general to be dead on. Here is a plug for his blog…
http://wearenarrative.wordpress.com/

richardscourtney

Friends:
Totalitarians are dangerous and exist across the entire political spectrum. All totalitarians need to be opposed because they are dangerous whatever their politics. They are all genocidal to opponents.
H1tler pretended his political party was not extreme right wing. The extreme right still attempt to pretend that falsehood to this day, and some have disrupted this thread by doing it here.
H1tler and his party was totalitarian and extreme right wing. People who attempt to refute these truths are attempting to dissociate themselves from H1tler and his party: the best way to constrain them is to laugh at their risible falsehoods.
Richard

wws says: January 27, 2014 at 5:45 am
L Graham Smith says: January 27, 2014 at 6:40 am
Thanks both.
Gary Pearse says: January 27, 2014 at 9:09 am
Also thanks. Holding the team’s feet to the fire has worked the best so far; but I wouldn’t regard the current progress (i.e after decades, almost unimaginable sums still diverted from better purposes and still a very dominant ‘catasrophe’ culture) as ‘quick’. However, smoke shoveling has its dangers too; the ultimate in that game is a powerful counter-narrative. Assuming someone could construct the right one, this would likely change the game much more quickly, but just as likely it would then slip the leash and become as much of a problem as CAGW culture.

Steven Mosher says: January 27, 2014 at 8:57 am
Agree, a ‘framless’ position is impossible to achieve in practice, maybe even in theory. Even the various approaches of pure mathematicians feuding or alliancing over a comlex problem that takes a bunch of them years to solve, will be influenced by the frames they occupy, not to mention that the problems we choose to attempt in the first place will have particular social goals associated with them. Perception of what the solutions mean in the physical or social world can also be relative, and change with time too. Even without invoking any malice whatsoever, mathematical or scientific solutions may end up legitimising causes, which later realision revealed didn’t underpin those causes after all.

richardscourtney says: at various times
Thankyou for going where I feared to tread.

cynical_scientist

The “older male” thing is interesting. At a recent talk by Monckton I was interested to observe the audience to see the types of people who were there.
Skepticism is predominantly an internet community and consequently, apart from notable people whose gender and age are well known, it is generally an anonymous community where clues of age and gender are absent. This talk was therefore my first opportunity to see what my fellow skeptics were like. And for the most part I was surprised to find that they were predominantly in their 50s or older and predominantly male. In other words they were people like me.
So isn’t this confirmation of the older male myth? No! The older male social myth is that old fossils resist change in society by controlling and abusing positions of power. It is a very disparaging meme seeing nothing of value in older males at all. But I would not characterise that audience as consisting of people in positions of power. I would characterise them as non-conformists.
It takes courage to buck the social consensus. And it seems to me that older people often have the self-assurance needed to do this. By the time you get to your 50s you are much less inclined to be swayed by what other people think. If you a looking for one person willing to stand up in a crowd and tell them all that they are wrong, get someone in their 50s. Young people are often too concerned with fitting into a social group.

rogerknights

“Skeptic: person disinclined to accept popularity or authority as proving the truth of opinions.”
—Joanne Nova
==================
John West says:
January 27, 2014 at 8:25 am
”I make the caveat here that the narrative competition is essentially unrelated to whatever is happening in the real climate, and whether that is good, bad, or indifferent.”
That may be true to a point, but a GAST (global average surface temperature) nose dive would certainly make it difficult for all but the most devoted to “The Cause” ™ to keep the faith. Unlike the circa 1940’s – 1970’s cooling, the satellite data will ensure the record isn’t adjusted to fit the narrative to the degree that would likely be necessary to hide a decline if it should occur. If ocean “heat content” also doesn’t cooperate, excuses exhausted on the already uncooperative GAST (where’s the accelerating warming of the 1990’s assertions?) would make the meme difficult to sustain as well. Like the day after a predicted (projected) rapture, many true believers suddenly awakened to the fallibility of their idols while the idols are forced to recalculate in an attempt to save some face.

I’m willing 2014 to be a distinctly cool year. It would be a cosmic custard pie. Let’s see how it works out.

Rob Ricket says: January 27, 2014 at 9:31 am
Thanks Rob. In practice I may not get the chance to do more work on this any time soon (too busy!) but your idea for an analysis of the references is a great one that I never thought of.
tommoriarty says: January 27, 2014 at 11:15 am
Many thanks for the vote and the plug 🙂

davidmhoffer says: January 27, 2014 at 10:32 am
I thought my conclusions were clear enough, but for the avoidance of doubt I am not implying malice, rather that the authors are indeed ‘trapped in their own frame’ as you put it. Conspiracies running on malicious intent generally have a pretty weak stretch, both across society and time. Much more powerful is a cause with millions of adherents who genuinely and honestly believe the cause they are immersed in (albeit it may be partly or wholly misguided), so put all their heart and soul and intellect into that cause. Religions work like this (massive stretch, millennia and hundreds of millions). So, I believe, does CAGW. Social narratives can be incredibly persuasive. While there are a few scammers and schemers and such attached to any large human enterprise, most even in the ‘core’ of a religion or a secular memeplex will believe in the cause they are working for, and simply cannot ‘see’ outside of it. This does not make them abnormal or deluded though; given that the vast majority of humans are religious, and probably all of the rest believe in at least some social narratives (e.g. nationalism), then by definition the entire race can’t be abnormal.

tommoriarty says: January 27, 2014 at 11:15 am
P.S. read your piece at ClimateSanity. Good call. Shame I didn’t happen on it earlier, would have incorporated 🙂

davidmhoffer

andywest2012;
Conspiracies running on malicious intent generally have a pretty weak stretch, both across society and time.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.
Really? The papacy recently felt compelled to weigh on on the issue of who killed whom some 2000 years ago. I’m in a rush or I’d provide you with a considerably longer list of counter examples.

L.A.H

Today January 27th is Holocaust Memorial Day –
Eugenics …why not take it to the beginning??
-Horrifying American Roots of Nazi Eugenics-
“Hitler and his henchmen victimized an entire continent and exterminated millions in his quest for a co-called “Master Race.”
But the concept of a white, blond-haired, blue-eyed master Nordic race didn’t originate with Hitler. The idea was created in the United States, and cultivated in California, decades before Hitler came to power. California eugenicists played an important, although little known, role in the American eugenics movement’s campaign for ethnic cleansing.
Eugenics was the racist pseudoscience determined to wipe away all human beings deemed “unfit,” preserving only those who conformed to a Nordic stereotype. Elements of the philosophy were enshrined as national policy by forced sterilization and segregation laws, as well as marriage restrictions, enacted in twenty-seven states. In 1909, California became the third state to adopt such laws. Ultimately, eugenics practitioners coercively sterilized some 60,000 Americans, barred the marriage of thousands, forcibly segregated thousands in “colonies,” and persecuted untold numbers in ways we are just learning. Before World War II, nearly half of coercive sterilizations were done in California, and even after the war, the state accounted for a third of all such surgeries.
California was considered an epicenter of the American eugenics movement. During the Twentieth Century’s first decades, California’s eugenicists included potent but little known race scientists, such as Army venereal disease specialist Dr. Paul Popenoe, citrus magnate and Polytechnic benefactor Paul Gosney, Sacramento banker Charles M. Goethe, as well as members of the California State Board of Charities and Corrections and the University of California Board of Regents.
Eugenics would have been so much bizarre parlor talk had it not been for extensive financing by corporate philanthropies, specifically the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harriman railroad fortune. They were all in league with some of America’s most respected scientists hailing from such prestigious universities as Stamford, Yale, Harvard, and Princeton. These academicians espoused race theory and race science, and then faked and twisted data to serve eugenics’ racist aims.”
I do recommend that you read the whole article.
– See more at: http://hnn.us/article/1796

KNR

In short the authors are guilty of the very things they claim to find as faults in others , but their arrogance means they fail to see or acknowledge it.
Or to put it another way , once again the AGW faithful fail to understand why its all going wrong for them so need to resort to the old stand by of ‘conspiracy of the evil other ‘ in this case ‘older males ‘

Momknowsbest

rischardscourtney please examine your frame of reference and accept some education in the nuances of political thought from several contributors above who have attempted to educate with facts rather than opinions. I would add that the “left wing” in America in the late 1800’s all the way to WWII were unabashedly in favor of eugenics. The so-called Progressives loved Mussolini, Hitler and Fasism until they actually embarked on their expansionist plans. The Progressives were admirers of the Eugenics movement as exemplified by adherents of liberal or left wing politics such as Woodrow Wilson and Margaret Sanger as two diverse examples. Conflating Eugenics with what we today call “Right Wing” politics is ridiculous and a tortured attempt to mold history into a black and white dichotomy. Comments equating Communism and National Socialism above are more historically accurate, and can be made even more understandable when you add the fact that Hitler was an admirer of communist ideology in almost all aspects except the fact that the leading advocates of communism in the world were all Jewish, thus he felt the need to create a new political party that espoused many of the same ideas, but with a German nationalist flavor, thus the National Socialist Workers Party. He added the anti-Semitic flavor of Eugenics that ultimately discredited the entire movement.

temp

Pro-racist genocidal nut case says:
January 27, 2014 at 11:29 am
“Friends:
Totalitarians are dangerous and exist across the entire political spectrum. All totalitarians need to be opposed because they are dangerous whatever their politics. They are all genocidal to opponents.
H1tler pretended his political party was not extreme right wing. The extreme right still attempt to pretend that falsehood to this day, and some have disrupted this thread by doing it here.
H1tler and his party was totalitarian and extreme right wing. People who attempt to refute these truths are attempting to dissociate themselves from H1tler and his party: the best way to constrain them is to laugh at their risible falsehoods.
Pro-racist genocidal nut case”
Yes yes the classic Stalinist propaganda line. Stalin is a moderate hitler’s right wing. As for political “spectrum”. If you believe the ONLY type of political and ideology is collectivism/socialism then yes hitler was rightwing. However for those of us who aren’t closed minded racist genocidal nut cases we believe that their are other ideologies such as individualism. For those of use who believe people to be individuals we see hitler as leftwing because next to us he is being a socialist/collectivist.
As stated above the definition of socialist is where the government controls and owns the means of production.
For the people who want the real definition without the fancy college speak it read. Socialism is where the government owns and controls all land and all people.
All socialism must be genocidal racist nut jobs. All totalitarians or authoritarians MUST be socialist. Genocide as defined from an economic perspective is where a government fully socializes the means of production.
Don’t listen to the Lysenkoism wanna be who repeat well known and debunked nazi and communist propaganda. Read history don’t let it be reinterpreted by the propaganda minsters. If you read what this people wrote not what other claim they wrote you would know that hitler was socialist and only right wing if you believe stalinist propaganda that stalin was a moderate.

Gail Combs

Gary Pearse says: @ January 27, 2014 at 9:09 am
You are an international treasure. How do you have so much at your finger tips?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I love to read but alas do not have Mom’s photographic memory. Bookmarks I do have.

pat

CAGW bias in the MSM.
please explain how thousands of broadcasters & journalists around the world FRAME what they once called AGW as “climate change” & carbon dioxide as “carbon” and no scientific body or media regulator/watchdog – has insisted the MSM uses the correct terminology?
CAGW reporting is now almost incomprehensible, simply because of these two frames.
this framing is happening in media across the political spectrum. news agencies such as AP, Reuters, AFP, no doubt played their part in this re-naming of the two central pillars of the IPCC AGW hypothesis, but that doesn’t explain their adoption by virtually the entire MSM.
with seemingly no institutional interest from scientific or media bodies in demanding MSM uses the accurate terminology – AGW/CO2 – it is evidently only public criticism, whether by contacting the MSM, or by boycotting newspapers & TV stations, that will convince the MSM to revert to the proper naming of these two issues.

richardscourtney

temp:
You clearly made a copying error in your post at January 27, 2014 at 1:42 pm.
You said

Pro-racist genocidal nut case says

and then you did not state your point but, instead, made the mistake of quoting me.
Well, it is obvious than nobody would want to read your “Pro-racist genocidal nut case” twaddle so I suppose your mistake is an understandable Freudian error.
Anyway, nobody outside of a padded cell has any interest in your twaddle so I and all other sensible people will not waste time reading any more that you write.
Richard