Climate change debate fueled by 'echo chambers,' new study claims

RC-titanic_headerUPDATE: A copy of the paper has been provided to me, the language is stunningly bad in this paper. See below.

From the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (whatever that is, no word on whether WUWT or Real Climate was part of the study, since it is paywalled, but apparently, blogs on both sides of the debate matter)

College Park, Md and Annapolis, Md — A new study from researchers at the University of Maryland (UMD) and the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) demonstrates that the highly contentious debate on climate change is fueled in part by how information flows throughout policy networks.

The UMD and SESYNC researchers found that “echo chambers”–social network structures in which individuals with the same viewpoint share information with each other–play a significant role in climate policy communication. The researchers say that echo chambers may help explain why, despite a well-documented scientific consensus on the causes and drivers of global changes in climate, half of U.S. senators voted earlier this year against an amendment affirming that climate change is human-induced.

A peer-reviewed paper based on the study was published online May 25 in the journal Nature Climate Change.

“Our research shows how the echo chamber can block progress toward a political resolution on climate change. Individuals who get their information from the same sources with the same perspective may be under the impression that theirs is the dominant perspective, regardless of what the science says,” said Dr. Dana R. Fisher, a professor of sociology at UMD and corresponding author who led the research.

In summer 2010, researchers surveyed the most active members of the U.S. climate policy network, including members of Congress and leaders of non-governmental organizations and business and trade unions. Respondents were asked questions about their attitudes toward climate science and climate policy, as well as questions to establish their policy network connections. For example, respondents were asked to identify their sources of expert scientific information about climate change and with whom they collaborate on a regular basis regarding the issue of climate change.

“This time period was particularly interesting for studying climate policy because legislation regulating carbon dioxide emissions had passed through the House of Representatives and was being considered in the Senate. If passed, this bill would have been the first case of federal climate legislation passing through the U.S. Congress,” Fisher said.

The researchers then used an exponential random graph (ERG) model–a complex statistical model for analyzing data about social and other networks–to test for the presence and significance of echo chambers among members of the U.S. climate policy network. In the “echo,” two people who have the same outlook or opinion on a relevant issue share information, reinforcing what each already believes. In the “chamber,” individuals hear information originating from one initial source through multiple channels.

“The model we used gives us a framework for empirically testing the significance of echo chambers,” said Dr. Lorien Jasny, a computational social scientist at SESYNC and lead author of the paper. “We find that the occurrences of echo chambers are indeed statistically significant, meaning our model provides a potential explanation for why climate change denial persists in spite of the consensus reached by the scientific community.”

The researchers say that echo chambers explain why outlier positions–for example, that climate-warming trends over the past century are likely not due to human activities–gain traction in the political sphere. The answer lies in the disproportionate connections among ideologically similar political communicators.

“Information has become a partisan choice, and those choices bias toward sources that reinforce beliefs rather than challenge them, regardless of the source’s legitimacy,” Fisher said.

Jasny and Fisher point out that the debate on climate change is not indicative of inconclusive science. Rather, the debate is illustrative of how echo chambers influence information flows in policy networks.

“Our research underscores how important it is for people on both sides of the climate debate to be careful about where they get their information. If their sources are limited to those that repeat and amplify a single perspective, they can’t be certain about the reliability or objectivity of their information,” Jasny said.

###

This work was supported by National Science Foundation grants no. BCS-0826892, and no. DBI-1052875 awarded to the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC).

The research paper, “An empirical examination of echo chambers in US climate policy networks,” Lorien Jasny, Joseph Waggle, and Dana R. Fisher, was published online May 25 in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Abstract:

Diverse methods have been applied to understand why science continues to be debated within the climate policy domain. A number of studies have presented the notion of the ‘echo chamber’ to model and explain information flows across an array of social settings, finding disproportionate connections among ideologically similar political communicators. This paper builds on these findings to provide a more formal operationalization of the components of echo chambers. We then empirically test their utility using survey data collected from the community of political elites engaged in the contentious issue of climate politics in the United States. Our survey period coincides with the most active and contentious period in the history of US climate policy, when legislation regulating carbon dioxide emissions had passed through the House of Representatives and was being considered in the Senate. We use exponential random graph (ERG) modelling to demonstrate that both the homogeneity of information (the echo) and multi-path information transmission (the chamber) play significant roles in policy communication. We demonstrate that the intersection of these components creates echo chambers in the climate policy network. These results lead to some important conclusions about climate politics, as well as the relationship between science communication and policymaking at the elite level more generally.

 

The methodology of the survey is described in the Supplemental Information (PDF)

UPDATE: the language is stunningly bad in this paper, as seen from a snippet below. The bias of the author is clearly evident. And, why not name Hansen and Christy?

Jasny-2015-ugly-text

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196 thoughts on “Climate change debate fueled by 'echo chambers,' new study claims

    • The President is also a member of that elitist group known as bloodsucking lawyers, like the ones we have here in the PDREU/EUSSR, who wielded all their might to bring in the European Human Rights Act. The same mentality of lawyers who use that very law to get murderers, drugs barrons, rapists, & paedophiles off on the grounds that they are entitled to “a family life”, & other ridiculous things, under the EHRA! That’s the problem when enshrine something in badly draughted legislation, it gets abused! I know of many who supported its introduction, but were abhorred by its misuse in such circumstances!

      • Get murderers, drugs barrons, rapists, & paedophiles…”
        If you want to get rid of drug barons, I suggest getting rid of the lunatic, counterproductive laws that dictate what supposedly free adults can and cannot put into their own bodies…

      • Not only is it used by lawyers to get ne’er-do-wells off the hook, it is also used by minority-group members to blackmail the UK legal system into prosecuting members of the public on ridiculous charges. The blackmail consisting of threatening to engage in a long and costly appeal to Strasbourg if they don’t get their way.
        I’m not sure the HRA was badly drafted either, it’d just that any document can be twisted around to mean something it was not supposed to.

      • Alan, a bit of pedantry perhaps but “abhorred” is a verb. So the supporters revolted by the misuse of the EHRA “abhorred” that misuse, or more simply were horrified by it.

    • Eh … I would watch that guy’s other videos before linking this too much. He seems to be a bit of a flake and has a number of “chemtrail” videos.

    • At the end a link appears saying “NASA space program hinges on 1 lie.” That goes to a video claiming that rocket engines work by pushing against the atmosphere and therefore can’t work in a vacuum.
      I guess some echo chambers work in a vacuum….
      Some nice old NASA footage though.

      • Like most things in engineering, the truth is less clearly defined than the stark textbook theory. Look up ‘nozzle expansion ratio’ for an explanation of why motors designed for first stages differ from those designed to work in vacuum.

      • Ian, which has nothing whatever to do with the claim that without an atmosphere to push against, rockets CAN’T work.

    • I’m a member of the speckled people. Speckled people don’t believe in AGW either. Sounds stupid doesn’t it. But being freckled, “speckled” seems pretty accurate. As accurate as “black” is.
      This definition of who people are based on skin color is hilarious! And silly.

      • I’ve always thought it weird that pale but non-speckled people berate Africans and Asians, but then go to a place where they can sit under damaging UV radiation in order to acquire a darker skin tone, having obviously decided that looks better than very pale skin.
        At least the speckled people know better than to do this, since all it will do is make their skin the same colour as their hair.

      • My son classified folks by their hair before he first started school. At that time he divided the population into folks with “big hair” – i.e. curly or frizzy, and folks with “small hair” – straight, that is. Thus my wife and our black neighbors were “big haired” even though his mother is a red head of German descent. I was classified as “small haired” like the Vietnamese neighbors across the court.

  1. Well, suppression of outside information is one characteristic of an echo chamber, and which side does that? It’s simple acoustics.
    I suppose I could read more. The abstract is plain vanilla, no cherries or nuthin’.
    =================

    • Well, shoot, the researchers are echo-chambered and can’t sense their own bias. It’s likely all hogwash.
      Conceive skepticism as the formation of a sun from a whirling mass of gas. They’ve got the right metaphor for the alarmist side, but the skeptic one is hardly an echo chamber. It’s just inapt, that metaphor.
      ==========

      • Skepticism is condensing climate science into a solid surface upon which we can walk forward confidently, rather than flee in fear through the inchoate exaggerations of the alarmist consensus.
        You’re gonna miss the mangling when I no longer mangle.
        ===============

      • Since the CAGW narrative has captured the main stream media it’s almost impossible to not be exposed to “the message” (it’s happening, it’s bad, it’s our fault, etc.). It’s definitely possible, maybe even likely, that some people never hear anything from or about skeptics aside from how terrible/stupid/evil they are.

      • There’s a vast and overhanging cliff, embowered with low hanging fruit, of need for absolution. High grade richter coming on an earthmoving scale. Vogon work. Don’t ask about their play.
        ===================

  2. Lies flow with high pressure $ and power to tax and spend with the U N and all the political class who depend on the re-election money in the game with votes for fraud when required.
    Truth is left to fend for itself with built in dams such as ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, PBS, CSPAN and the attendant news paper scabs.

    • The “green” food chain is so long now and involves so many people making money in one way or another from anything “green” that keeps this going.

  3. “Individuals who get their information from the same sources with the same perspective may be under the impression that theirs is the dominant perspective…” How is this different from individuals who get their research dollars from the same source thinking that if they get the “wrong”answer those research dollars may dry up?

  4. meaning our model provides a potential explanation for why climate change denial persists in spite of the consensus reached by the scientific community

    So there initial premise is that AGW is real.

    Our research underscores how important it is for people on both sides of the climate debate to be careful about where they get their information.

    But they are careful to say both sides need to be careful about their sources.
    Looks to me like the Doctor’s need to heed their own advice. Maybe they shouldn’t have started the study with a preconcieved opinion about what the correct answer was?
    I don’t doubt that their ‘echo chamber’ effect is real. In fact I believe the effect isn’t anything new and has been discussed and studied before. Although social media and the internet may make the effect more pronounced. But their quotes seem to indicate that this ‘study’ was done purely to attempt to discredit the ‘deniers’.

    • Your first pull quote is where I stop reading. Consensus is not science, therefore the pro CAGW side is one big echo chamber, seeing as that is the natural result of consensus.

    • meaning our model provides a potential explanation for why climate change denial persists in spite of the consensus reached by the scientific community
      No mention that the consensus reached, even if the science is wrong, is the consensus that has been agreed upon to be the one that will be used to support the implementation of the policies that have been predetermined by the echo chamber.

  5. Lies flow with ease down hill with the power of the political re-election money class on the power pumps together with the enablers of the media, ABC, CBS, CNN, CSPAN, MSNBC, NBC, PBS, and the long term corupt paper media now aided by the blog online cults.
    Truth on the other hand must swim upstream against this flood of lies.

  6. In the early days, I spent a lot of time on alarmist echo chambers. Sure, skeptics can echo chamber, and do quite usefully, but the critical difference is that skeptic echo chambers allow introduction of new ideas. There are new sounds introduced and the echoes become increasingly sophisticated, and well, beautiful.
    Not so much on the alarmist echo chambers, they get flat, dull, and sullen. Now, the distinction between the two might well be worth research. Heh, they could even use the results to more effectively communicate, but no, isn’t it lovely just listening to the reassuring echoes, the buzz from the hive?
    ===============

    • Nailing down this distinction would certainly be more interesting than announcing a re-discovery of the birds-of-a-feather effect.

  7. They call it “blocking progress” toward a political resolution on climate change policy. Sounds a bit one sided. I’m sure there is an “echo chamber” effect with warmists as well. Why is it a problem to slow it down until the science is better understood before jumping into policy based on little understood things like climate?

    • Dahlquist – yes the warming community is definitely good at constructing better echo chambers.
      “The researchers say that echo chambers may help explain why, despite a well-documented scientific consensus on the causes and drivers of global changes in climate…”
      With the ‘well-documented’ aspect being the hundreds, nay, thousands of times they have told each other on their content-restricted blogs. “Well-documented”? Ri-ight. Their consensus documentation is as good as their climate models. Just as good, and just as useful.

      • “yes the warming community is definitely good at constructing better echo chambers.”
        Another research topic!

  8. So, they wonder why their propaganda is not working? Hmmm, maybe it is because some people check facts and actual data rather than the opinion from an alleged consensus.

  9. And, it’s already been shown that a few “scientists” on the warmist side will lie, cheat and distort the facts. Why should anyone not want to take the time to verify the facts?

  10. I wonder what they thought of William Connolley and the Wikipedia echo chamber. Did they even look?
    If not, well, I’m ready for the first horselaugh of the day.
    =================

  11. Echo chamber…aka groupthink:
    Groupthink is often characterised by:
    ■A tendency to examine too few alternatives;
    ■A lack of critical assessment of each other’s ideas;
    ■A high degree of selectivity in information gathering;
    ■A lack of contingency plans;
    ■Poor decisions are often rationalised;
    ■The group has an illusion of invulnerability and shared morality;
    ■True feelings and beliefs are suppressed;
    ■An illusion of unanimity is maintained;
    ■ Mind guards (essentially information sentinels) may be appointed to protect the group from negative information. Perhaps it is just me, but these traits seem to pretty much capture the nature of mainstream econo

  12. This is just further absurd intellectualising – very much in Lew/Oreskes mode – about how and why people may not think exactly like they do. When are these numskulls going to wake up to the fact the reason we don’t share their views is NOT that we are idiots brainwashed by websites by sites like WUWT and follow their memes like sheep, but that we just look at what real (not modelled) evidence there is and make up our own minds.
    It’s so insulting to our intelligence to be demeaned in this way. Fortunately, they might be fooling themselves but they are not fooling anybody else with this nonsense.

    • “When are these numskulls going to wake up to the fact the reason we don’t share their views is NOT that we are idiots brainwashed by websites by sites like WUWT and follow their memes like sheep, but that we just look at what real (not modelled) evidence there is and make up our own minds.”
      My guess is that they are very much aware of what they are doing.

      • Gad it must grind them that Nature isn’t co-operating. I’m amused at their surprise.
        The best dressed nests of mice and mern, gang aft astern.
        ===================

      • You’re giving them too much credit. (These guys really do live in an echo chamber. Trust me.)

  13. “The model we used gives us a framework for empirically testing the significance of echo chambers,” said Dr. Lorien Jasny, a computational social scientist at SESYNC and lead author of the paper. “We find that the occurrences of echo chambers are indeed statistically significant, meaning our model provides a potential explanation for why climate change denial persists in spite of the consensus reached by the scientific community.”
    They just don’t get it, do they? We come to these forums AFTER we have had the message and the so called science shoved down our throats. We come here despite being vilified by mainstream media because after doing our own research the evidence doesn’t add up. Most of us were quite open or even receptive to the CAGW propaganda at first. We don’t come here for group think, we come here to find out if we’re the only ones with serious doubts or objections that we can’t get answers to from the other side and simply sigh in relief when we discover how many other people have been thinking the same!

    • Another difference between the echo chambers of the two sides is also important to note.
      Most warmist ‘chambers’ are just echos. Everyone is speaking with almost the exact same voice.
      Meanwhile here at the WUWT ‘chamber’ and other skeptical blogs there tends to be a babble. Many different voices are heard with different ideas. Yes, most disagree with the CAGW meme but their reason for disagreeing and their own ideas/theories and even their amount of disagrement with AGW cover a wide spectrum. Hardly an echo, more of a melting pot of different even competing ideas all thrown together to be debated, refined and even rejected in a search for the elusive truth.

      • +1 ddpalmer. The consultation is important. Shutting off consultation as RC and SkS do is worse than unproductive.

      • That is a key point. The sceptic side is not uniform.
        1) Some believe that the world will continue to warm in the 21st century as it did in the 20th but that adaptation is a better response than cutting CO2 emissions.
        2) Some believe that man’s impact on the climate is low and that the warming will not be dangerous.
        3) Some don’t buy the precautionary principle and just want more data.
        4) Some think that other forcings dominate anthropogenic forcing.
        5) Some agree with the 4s in humid environments but not in dry ones.
        6) Some doubt the temperature records anyway because of poor data collection, unrecorded adjustments and doubt over how UHI (Urban Heat Islands) are treated.
        7) Some just despise the corruption of peer review uncovered in Climategate and so reject the whole field of Climatology over the last 20 years.
        And there are political differences as well.
        But in the Warmist echo chambers there is only one acceptable line and only one acceptable response.
        The two sides are not comparable.

      • MCourtney,
        Regarding
        “5) Some agree with the 4s in humid environments but not in dry ones.”
        Can you please elaborate on this briefly? Perhaps a link to a discussion of what you mean by this?
        I am not sure I am familiar with this particular topic.
        Thanks.

      • 9) Some believe that we simply don’t know what’s happening in the system because all we get is a single line to represent “global temperature”, which is physically meaningless.

      • Menicholas, sorry I can’t quickly find the discussions but it goes a bit like this:
        In an ice age or where the air is cold, it is dry.
        An increase in CO2 (a greenhouse gas) will trap more heat and that will cause warming and the associated change in atmospheric water vapour is proportionately great .
        Therefore, a “high” sensitivity.
        In a humid atmosphere the effects of CO2 are competed with by water vapour.
        The absorption bands are nearer saturated.
        The mechanisms of heat transfer are different (clouds form – perhaps reflecting light).
        The postulated positive feedbacks from water vapour are exponentially less significant the more water vapour there is already in the atmosphere.
        Therefore, a “low” sensitivity.
        The argument may not be convincing in whole or in its parts but the idea that climate sensitivity is not constant in time or in latitude seems worthy of consideration.

      • There’s also skepticism regarding whether the GCM models are accurate reflections of physical reality.

      • Thank you Mr. Courtney.
        I will have to look into this further.
        IMO, the Earth must have what amounts to homeostatic mechanisms, whereby cooler temperatures cause some changes that lead to warming, and warmer temps cause changes that lead to cooling.
        Moisture obviously plays such a role, as both water vapor and clouds can each be seen to limit temperature swings in either direction.

  14. The last line should have been deleted. This was from an article regarding modern economics and specifically the economics press (CNBC, FoxBusiness, etc.). Tring to find source link, but this tablet isn’t the easiest for some of this stuff.

    • Yes, rich, deep, totally unconscious echoes from the Grand Canyon of Irony.
      ====================

  15. With few exceptions the ivory towers of academia are probably the largest echo chambers around, followed closely by the NGO’s and journal editorial staff, all living off the government teat. The whole damned thing became so incestuous they could quite doing real science around the birth of the hockey stick. In fact, the birth of the hockey stick and its acceptance rang the death knell for the scientific method as far as climate studies were concerned.

    • With few exceptions the ivory towers of academia are probably the largest echo chambers around, followed closely by the NGO’s and journal editorial staff, all living off the government teat.

      In the vaults where the money is the echo is strongest….

    • Mr. Crawford,
      You hit the nail square on the head with this comment.
      Even outside of the ivory towers, in the classrooms, lecture halls and campus common areas, people who do not speak the “correct” message are shouted down, booed off the stage (if they even make it to the stage), directed to out of the way “free speech zones, etc.
      There is no pretense of open debate, whatsoever.
      Rather than venues for the free exchange of ideas, our colleges and Universities are well down the road to being indoctrination clinics for one point of view.
      These are the most intolerant people imaginable, and seem to be growing ever more so at a rapid pace.

  16. This work was supported by National Science Foundation grants no. BCS-0826892, and no. DBI-1052875
    And yet paywalled.

    • That’s right, Dawg. It’s an exclusive club and the taxpayer subsidizes the operation with-out any oversight or demonstrable “public good”. On the other hand… paywalls and unbelievable abstracts have saved me many hours of wasted time fact checking gibberish.

  17. How many Sociologists are publishing papers on the acceptance of string theory, I wonder?

    • Exactly so Bernie. This paper is not a serious scientific exercise, it is pseudo-science for the purposes of propaganda. The basic tenets of their so called ‘research’ or ‘analysis’ have been well known and well documented for centuries. People blindly accept whatever supports existing preconceptions or prejudices and question whatever challenges them, often irrationally. People seek out the company of those who hold the same preconceptions or prejudices and avoid those who don’t if they don’t actively fight them.
      Their assumption that scientific consensus equals scientific certainty just demonstrates their lack of scientific acumen, but then, they are social scientists after all, actual facts are inconvenient at best.

    • It is probably much harder for a social scientist to get funding for work on string theory that it is to get funding for work on “global warming.
      It would be nice to see Alan Sokol do a send up of social sciences’ work on “global warming” like he did in the 1990s in his article: “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity”
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_affair

      • Ohhh, you are one bad boy! A paper like that would be royal, and the initial responses from the warmists, even better.

      • What I think is really cool is that some of the consensus papers are just perfect to be perceived as fabulous parody, eventually. They are both that bad and that good.
        ========================

      • Like Steig. I just love that Nature blushed pink for that one. Look, she’s still flush roseate.
        ========

      • Taphonomic,
        There is a simple workaround: Just reword the grant application to make it clear one is researching how string theory is being affected by climate change.

  18. Up to a point a “support group” is helpful, as a sort of sounding board that allows you to develop your own ideas. We find people who agree agreeable and people who disagree disagreeable, and it is far harder to develop an idea among disagreeable people who foster doubt and who kick out your foundations even before you have an idea’s scaffolding up.
    However beyond a certain point a “support group” is just an echo chamber full of parrots, and can get boring. One starts to hanker for challenges. One thing I like about this site is that ideas do get challenged. I myself have seen some of my ideas shot full of holes and go down in flames, at this site. Rather than expiring due to a bad case of hurt feelings, I found out I wound up smarter.
    If you put your fat pride first you are not likely to learn. However if you thirst for Truth then you don’t care if you see your ideas were wrong, as long as Truth is becoming more clear in the process.

  19. “meaning our model provides a potential explanation for why climate change denial persists in spite of the consensus reached by the scientific community.”
    This line alone shows the researchers’ bias and invalidates any conclusions they may come to. Additionally, since the University of Maryland, an extreme pro-AGW hotbed, was involved, the study is worthless anyway,

    • This is a critical sentence. I wonder just what meaning they used for ‘climate change denial’. This study was initiated years ago.
      But you’re right. They started out hopelessly biased. And they’re so blind to the bias that they can declare it, and seemingly not notice.
      Interesting times, yup.
      ==========

    • “Climate change denial”. There it is again. The most empty-headed phrase of the new millennium.
      Can’t anyone corner these clowns and make them explain what it’s supposed to mean?

      • It means a Hockey Schtick or Steven Goddard style aggressive refusal of any considerable anthropogenic climate change. Change did not happen, or it was completely natural.
        Sometimes it appears to mean anything but aggressive alarmism. Often it means the contrarians’ position in general with the assumption that contrarianism always contains unscientific thinking, especially among the scientifically undereducated, blue-eyed, politically radical-leaning people.
        For radicals, climate change = AGW = CAGW. So the CAGW denial equals the climate change denial.
        I put the denial line on people who at this point spread the badly founded ‘it is natural CO2’ or the ‘CO2 can’t warm the surface because it violates thermodynamics’ excuses. Sorry people, I know this is hard for some who like those excuses.
        I think, like Anthony, the anthropogenic CO2 causes some warming, I just find the creepy risk scenarios very far-fetched.

      • “Can’t anyone corner these clowns and make them explain what it’s supposed to mean?”
        I do routinely by asking them “what am I denying?” They usually can’t come up with anything other than a straw man which I can easily shoot down.
        Those who think the debate can’t be won on the science are wrong. I change peoples perception on this issue all the time. Most of the public has zero knowledge about climate and believe what they hear until they hear something different that makes sense.
        Zealots and true believers will never accept facts but curious onlookers can see who has empirical evidence and who has conjecture.

  20. No doubt 97% of scientists believe that objections are not objections when models say that they are not objections to models that are approved by a consensus of climate science that has already been approved by 97% of climate scientists. Well something along those lines?

  21. Don’t believe any report that does not point to the raw data. And even then, be careful – the “raw” data may be more cooked than it appears.

  22. This, Lewandowsky, and the dozens and dozens of ‘studies’ about skeptics/deniers/echo-chambers etc, can be summed up in one sentence: Knowledge is power.
    Look at how Lewandowsky fails to understand how memes, or ‘sticky facts’ work: He thinks they are created by constant repetition, reinforcement, indoctrination, and ‘inoculation’ (his fancy term for telling lies). The reality is the opposite: memes are born when a militant orthodoxy pushes a single perspective suppressing inconvenient facts and bits of knowledge. You’ve suddenly magnified the knowledge-worthiness of these facts.
    No amount of effort can erase doubt, the kind of doubt created by showing a simple graph of flat temperatures when every media organ tells the opposite. The power derives from the graph being true and *the opposite being relentlessly pushed*.
    In reality, the echo-chambers are on the opposite side of what these authors think.

  23. “The model we used gives us a framework for empirically testing the significance of echo chambers,” said Dr. Lorien Jasny, a computational social scientist at SESYNC and lead author of the paper. “We find that the occurrences of echo chambers are indeed statistically significant, meaning our model provides a potential explanation for why climate change denial persists in spite of the consensus reached by the scientific community.”
    Oh wonderful. Yet another “explanation” for why we Orwellian climate thought criminals still exist despite the efforts of Climate Alarmist Big Brother to get us all converted to “right thinking”. One wonders how much more tolerance Climate Alarmist Big Brother has for us climate thought criminals before really drastic measures have to be taken against us.
    I understand that the NSA surveillance program to help fight terrorism has been allowed to lapse in Congress. Perhaps they need to start a new one for climate thought criminals. Sounds fitting.

    • Obama has declared doubt a security threat.
      Heh, I wonder if he realizes how tautological he sounds.
      =======================

  24. Do they even hear themselves? Perhaps they’ll be able to hear the laughter directed towards their utter stupidity.

    • despite a well-documentedfunded scientific consensus on the causes and drivers of global changes in climate…Fixed

    • The consensus is often misunderstood, but IMHO it really does exist. It is that anthropogenic CO2 causes some warming on climate, but the actual amount so far is under a serious controversy. Is it 0.5°C, or 0.8°C? A huge difference! And the scientists have a wide range of opinion on the conclusions. Mitigate or adapt? Doom or lukewarming? What is the size of the natural variation on different time scales? What is the sensitivity? How much aerosols affect? Where is the hot spot, and why?

  25. So they take a well known phenomena, group think, and give it a new name “echo chamber” and announce a miraculous discovery?

  26. What a crock. Their answer is guaranteed by their assumptions, and after some circular reasoning, their assumptions are confirmed.
    An echo chamber is the wrong term. Any electrical.engineer knows that in a cavity resonator, the overlay of signals matched in frequency and phase are a feature, not a bug. We get our act together and tune our understanding to reality, and then transmit the unified signal with much greater power into the national and international discussion. The Left hates us for that, and fears us for that. And well they should.
    This is also exhibit 4,345,678,123,006 that the Left does not get irony. They themselves are the most compelling example of groupthink available in U.S. political life, and the poor dears can’t even see it.

    • They refer to that group which are our moral and intelectual superiors, of which, they themselves are members. Of course. From the towering heights of their position, we seem to be nothing more than knuckle-draggers. And bitter clingers. But not to worry, they know what is best for us.

  27. With 97% of scientists, 100% of science societies, a constant drone from the MSM, high profile reports from the UN’s IPCC called Summary for Policy Makers distributed to governments world wide, one wonders how much work it would take for someone like Inhofe to isolate themselves enough that all their communication was restricted to an echo chamber of their own making.

  28. The Science is Settled
    We are all who we are destined to be
    We have no choice in how we face the world
    Although we like to think our will is free
    When faced with mutitudes of choices swirled
    In cyclones ’round us we will only see
    Those alternations that we have not thrown
    unconsciously aside. How sad that we
    Are blinded to things not already known
    We’re bound so by our personality
    That contradiction leads us to bemoan
    The unexpected. Rationality
    Requires that we embrace the unknown
    The truth demands more than banality
    Honesty is lost in venality

  29. “The researchers then used an exponential random graph (ERG) model–a complex statistical model for analyzing data about social and other networks–”
    WTF! I work in evaluating networks all the time, and my results need to hold up because major telecoms put their own dollars behind the results. This kind of analysis is contingency analysis, and requires the formulation of association rules, and a simple frequencies test, like a Chi-squared. The use of a continuous function, alone, indicates that they were shopping for a method to drive an expected outcome.
    In addition to the language, which indicates a biased frame of reference, the time frame used in the study represents a major bias in selection. Dems were ramping up the climate debate in Congress because many knew, at that time, that they would be in the minority by Jan 1 2011.
    The reference to “consensus” indicates that these are not serious sociologists. At the most, the use of the phrase “widely held” is as far as a serious social researcher would go in describing any “state” within any social system.
    The primary problem in any social research is to find a means of being a neutral observer of a social dynamic, social belief system, or social structure, and then to measure the change or inertia. These bozos were none of the above.

  30. The entire paper is based on ‘marketing speak’ rather than using real terminology.
    So by ‘Climate Change Denial’ they do NOT mean denying climate change which no-one does. They mean denying anthropogenic global warming leading to catastrophic/irreversible climate change.
    Strangely, the proponents of anthropogenic global warming leading to catastrophic/irreversible climate change, have to deny previous changes in climate to justify their position, and are therefore themselves climate change deniers. (see the shaft of the hockey stick and the “must get rid of the medieval warming period” quotes)
    This shows that they are suffering from ‘psychological projection’ claiming that what they are doing is the problem with their opponents.

    • Ian W,
      You’re right. But “anthropogenic global warming leading to catastrophic/irreversible climate change” is a little unwieldy. We know that’s what they mean, but they can’t say it like that because they would look ridiculous.
      I sort of like “dangerous man-made global warming”. Maybe ‘dMMGW’ would do for those who know the secret handshake.
      The whole debate is ridiculous when you think about it. William Connolley and Michael Mann are both constantly repeating “climate change denial”. That ridiculous phrase makes no sense to any thinking person. Which probably explains their audience.

  31. “Individuals who get their information from the same sources with the same perspective may be under the impression that theirs is the dominant perspective”.
    they shouldn’t be so hard on the IPCC.

    • Hey, be fair now – the IPCC has lots of sources for their information.
      There’s Greenpeace, and the WWF, and the Sierra Club, and…

  32. Maybe, just maybe, this paper is the beginning of an epiphany within the warmist ranks, and they’re on the verge of realizing that only by engaging in critical debate with the ‘other’ side can they ever hope to get their point across. ‘Course we all know what would happen if they actually did have to put their work up for real scrutiny…
    I know. I’m a dreamer.

    • Yep. Your a dreamer. The only way to read this is: Anyone who questions any part of the CAGW meme, or the “solutions” that they would impose on the world, is just part of an anti-science cult.
      Not interested in debating us, only “deprogramming” us and reintegrating us into the “mainstream”.

  33. “meaning our model provides a potential explanation for why climate change denial persists in spite of the consensus reached by the scientific community.”
    Change the sign of a few model parameters and the whole thing makes much more sense:
    “meaning our model provides a potential explanation for why true belief in CAGW persists in spite of the contrary evidence discovered by the scientific community.”

  34. “Our research underscores how important it is for people on both sides of the climate debate to be careful about where they get their information. If their sources are limited to those that repeat and amplify a single perspective, they can’t be certain about the reliability or objectivity of their information,”
    Self-awareness isn’t a strong point among some of these social scientists.
    One of the authors says on twitter:
    “Climate denial persists due to echo chambers. See our new paper”.
    Two things wrong with that.
    1. If there are echo chambers, that doesn’t explain ‘climate denial’ – no causation has been established.
    2. We could equally well say “Climate activism persists due to echo chambers”.

  35. This is a text book example of psychological projection. They are attributing the echo chamber effect onto their critics, but it is they themselves who are behaving in exactly the way that this article describes.
    But this is not unexpected.
    After all, many people use this psychological ploy, without realizing it, over and over again for their entire lives
    I think it would be fair to say that some of this goes on with all groups of people in today’s overheated political climate.
    People tend to spend the majority of their time discussing things with like-minded folk.

  36. It is typical. If someone doesn’t agree with you its obvious that they are in an echo chamber. Unfortunately for alarmists they are in the echo chamber and refuse to look at ALL the facts and refuse to debate.

  37. Funny that they managed to avoid mentioning how Echo Chambers might effect their own point of view. After all when you have a “consensus” it seems likely if not impossible that you are not sitting in a room full of like minded people. I have no doubt there are echo chambers within the skeptic community, it seems stupid to think there are not.
    Of course that stupidity is dwarfed by the sheer volume of stupidity and ignorance that it takes to write a paper slamming echo chambers of the other side, from within your own echo chamber.

  38. The “Echo Chambers” idea, generally, started getting a lot of play soon after Obama came into office, and had his appointees in place.
    But the elitist totalitarians have had this idea for a while.
    Ever since the rise of Rush Limbaugh and the rest of AM talk radio, which is largely “conservative,” they have needed a good-sounding justification for controlling the media.
    [think about it – they are afraid of am radio.]
    This is their argument. We live in a participatory democracy.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Participatory_democracy
    [With most of the elitist totalitarian ploys, the error is in the first or second assumption. Our Constitution does not spell out a participatory democracy. There are aspects of this in our political structure, but this is not our political structure.]
    The alternate is that we live in a “deliberative democracy.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deliberative_democracy
    [With most of the elitist totalitarian ploys, the error is in the first or second assumption. Our Constitution does not spell out a deliberative democracy. There are aspects of this in our political structure, but this is not our political structure.]
    As media has advanced, and gets tailored to our interests (i.e., internet links, browser-based suggested content, etc.), we get ourselves in an ever-increasing echo-chamber of news we prefer and people of similar opinions.
    Somehow, according to the elitist intellectuals, having the internet, with all of its view points, and having anyone be able to pilot a talk show and try to get it picked up by any of the many possible venues (AM radio, FM, satellite, cable TV, internet radio, etc.), we are distinctly worse off.
    This will be the downfall of civilization – it is worse than we think.
    To remedy this, there must be a governmental board that oversees all media, and ensures that the correct “diversity” of opinions is included in all media streams.

  39. “Echo Chamber”, what Echo Chamber? “There is a Consensus, There is a Consensus, There is a Consensus…..” “Denier, Denier, Denier….” “The Science [is settled], The Science [is settled], The Science [is settled]…” “Big Oil, Big Oil, Big Oil…” “Koch Bros, Koch Bros, Koch Bros….” etc

  40. The amplification seems to be the most harmful aspect of the echo chamber. It happens here most often in terms of predictions of loss of life or economic harm expected from developing alternatives. I have no problem with fossil fuel competing against any of the alternatives on a level playng field without subsudies.
    At realclimate, the amplification is directed toward climate sensitivity and into extinction arguments.. The hyperbole extends far beyond even the IPCC worst case.

    • Dave Worley, you have mis-characterized the debate. No one here talks about the economic harm of developing alternatives. What we talk about is the economic harm of forced reductions in fossil fuel use when no viable alternatives yet exist. If you were to propose a Manhattan-style project to find viable alternatives, you would find much support on this site.

      • Way more money and effort has been spent on the search for viable alternatives than Manhattan ever dreamed of. At least M gave bang for the buck.
        ========

  41. “Abstract: Diverse methods have been applied to understand why science continues to be debated within the climate policy domain.”
    So the authors began with the premise of:
    The science of how the world’s climate works is settled. The future trajectory of world and regional climate is known. The impact of climate trajectory upon anthropocentric infrastructure is known. The costs, benefits, and risks of renewable energy sources are completely known along with how mass implementation will affect climate trajectory and therefore the anthropocentric infrastructure. So how can people be so stupid as to debate the science?
    Apparently the authors do not know how science works.

    • Because they couldn’t cobble together an evaporative heater to sell. It’s got to be the science.

    • I think that these warmists, like many, believe that SkS’s rebuttals of contrarian claims are conclusive, and that if only WUWTers were exposed to them our ranks would shrivel. (But why is it then that it is their side that avoids debates?) They believe this because they haven’t read enough material on skeptical sites where, in a scattered fashion, various SkS claims have been given a going over.
      This is why a head-on heavy-duty response to SkS’s list, on a point-by-point basis, is necessary. Perhaps the GWPF would help get it rollin. Lubos Motl has made a start.

      • Very good point.
        We complain that the Warmists won’t debate – because they refuse to face up to sceptics – but we don’t engage with them either.
        SkS has a list of Sceptic arguments and why we are wrong. Let’s reply to each line.
        And add lines for what we do actually think.
        It would be polite.

      • Menicholas,
        Good luck with that!
        The Australian cartoonist, who likes to dress up like a N*zi, is unlikely to let you make a fool of the jack*ss. But good on ya.

      • Thank you Sturgis.
        But, do you mean to say that the fool is not a jackass already?
        My impression is that he hardly needs my help in that regard.
        The editing of comments without it being noted is about all you need to know to get a read on what kind of people are running that blog.

  42. Yes, of course, after “the debate is over, the science is settled”, the “consensus” talk among each other and shun the skeptics. That’s an echo chamber.

  43. Shucks, the only echo on WUWT is when your comment appears to get lost and then shows up after you try again… otherwise there is constructive criticism (usually) of any and all comments and articles. I have learned to keep an open mind by participating here and am stimulated by the diverse perspectives, yes even Brandon Gates’ views.

    • Again, THANK YOU Anthony, Eric, Bob, Willis and everyone who contributes to this virtual classroom of meteorology and climate science.

  44. The “settled science” consensus echo chamber is being overwhelmed by the echo chamber of climate realism. These people are obviously so delusional they can’t see the pathetic irony in their ridiculous and stupid claims.

  45. “Our research shows how the echo chamber can block progress toward a political resolution on climate change. Individuals who get their information from the same sources with the same perspective may be under the impression that theirs is the dominant perspective, regardless of what the science says,”
    oh the irony! lol…. you can’t make this stuff up.

    • Seriously. When I saw the headline, I was thinking that it was going to be critical of the warmistas!

  46. Slightly OT but relevant, the National Post has a guest essay by John Cook defending his 97% garbage, perhaps some of our readers well informed on the topic could show up to comment on his fraud.

  47. “Individuals who get their information from the same sources with the same perspective may be under the impression that theirs is the dominant perspective, regardless of what the science says,” said Dr. Dana R. Fisher

    I really couldn’t care less with respect to my conclusions on climate change what the dominant perspective is because I follow the evidence:
    The Modern Warm Period is well established by evidence although its exact extent and duration remains uncertain due to large uncertainties/inaccuracies in the relevant data.
    The Greenhouse Effect is well established by evidence and observation.
    Increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration resulting in slightly increased Greenhouse Effect is reasonably established by reasonable inferences and computations from our current understanding of the Laws of Nature (physics) and observationally confirmed to a reasonable degree of confidence.
    Increasing the Greenhouse Effect resulting in slightly increased temperature is reasonably established by reasonable inferences and computations from our current understanding of the Laws of Nature (physics) and observationally confirmed to a tentative degree of confidence.
    Slightly increasing temperature resulting in greatly increased temperature is a conjecture based on “expert” opinion stimulated by a prevailing paradigm, flawed reasoning, and data manipulation with negligible confirming observations or physical evidence such that while it cannot be absolutely ruled out there’s no degree of confidence.

  48. The only reason why the (C)AGW crowd concedes that there is a “debate” is because the climate is not behaving as modeled. If it had, these people would be steamrolling over us all as they did once. Nowadays, they are fighting for their political survival, no more.

  49. Proving 97% Consensus on Climate Change by the ‘Echo Chamber Method’ can be done via the following steps:
    First, go to the Cook’s climate change focused blog site.
    Second, ask who disagrees with significantly dangerous climate change from burning fossil fuels. Typically, near silence will be enforced by the site personnel.
    Third, ask who doubts the evidence of at a consensus presented by the silence in response to the previous question. Typically, near silence will be enforced by the site personnel.
    Voila! Proof of consensus on the order of 97% via the Echo Chamber Method.
    John

  50. “The researchers say that echo chambers may help explain why, despite a well-documented scientific consensus on the causes and drivers of global changes ”
    Sounds like they’re living in their own echo chamber if they believe in the consencus!

  51. Surely, if you are researching the behaviour of two sides in a public debate, on a subject about which you know nothing except what you have been told by one side of the debate, you shouldn’t start by assuming that the other side is wrong, continue by finding that they are wrong because they talk to each other, and conclude that people on both sides of the debate should be careful about where they get their information.

  52. Echo chambers cannot make an incorrect theory, correct.
    Debating skills and/or name calling cannot change the fact the entire scientific premise of the IPCC is incorrect.
    The cult of CAGW is in deep denial concerning both the ‘science’ and the observations (paleo, recent past, and current). The planet is about to significantly cool due to the abrupt change in the solar cycle. Cooling of high latitude regions has started.
    There is no CAGW problem to solve. The majority of the warming in the last 30 years was due to solar cycle changes not due to the increase in atmospheric CO2. The planet resists rather amplifies forcing changes by an increase or decrease in cloud cover in the tropics.
    The majority of the recent increase in atmospheric CO2 (roughly 2/3) is due to the increase in ocean temperature rather than anthropogenic CO2 emissions. If this assertion is correct atmospheric CO2 levels will fall when the planet cools.
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/TMI-SST-MEI-adj-vs-CMIP5-20N-20S-thru-2015.png
    http://www.academia.edu/4210419/Can_climate_models_explain_the_recent_stagnation_in_global_warming

    Can climate models explain the recent stagnation in global warming?
    By Hans von Storch (1) , Armineh Barkhordarian (1) , Klaus Hasselmann (2) and Eduardo Zorita (1)
    In recent years, the increase in near-surface global annual mean temperatures has emerged as considerably smaller than many had expected. We investigate whether this can be explained by contemporary climate change scenarios. In contrast to earlier analyses for a ten-year period that indicated consistency between models and observations at the 5% confidence level, we find that the continued warming stagnation over fifteen years, from 1998 -2012, is no longer consistent with model projections even at the 2% confidence level.
    Of the possible causes of the in consistency, the underestimation of internal natural climate variability on decadal time scales is a plausible candidate, but the influence of unaccounted external forcing factors or an over estimation of the model sensitivity to elevated greenhouse gas concentrations cannot be ruled out. The first cause would have little impact of the expectations of longer term anthropogenic climate change, but the second and particularly the third would.

    http://www.tech-know-group.com/papers/Carbon_dioxide_Humlum_et_al.pdf

    The phase relation between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature
    As cause always must precede effect, this observation demonstrates that modern changes in temperatures are generally not induced by changes in atmospheric CO2. Indeed, the sequence of events is seen to be the opposite: temperature changes are taking place before the corresponding CO2 changes occur.
    A main control on atmospheric CO2 appears to be the ocean surface temperature, and it remains a possibility that a significant part of the overall increase of atmospheric CO2 since at least 1958 (start of Mauna Loa observations) simply reflects the gradual warming of the oceans, as a result of the prolonged period of high solar activity since 1920 (Solanki et al. 2004).
    Based on the GISP2 ice core proxy record from Greenland it has previously been pointed out that the present period of warming since 1850 to a high degree may be explained by a natural c. 1100 yr periodic temperature variation (Humlum et al. 2011).
    Conclusions
    CO2 released from anthropogene sources apparently have little influence on the observed changes in atmospheric CO2, and changes in atmospheric CO2 are not tracking changes in human emissions.

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/davis-and-taylor-wuwt-submission.pdf

    Davis and Taylor: “Does the current global warming signal reflect a natural cycle”
    …We found 342 natural warming events (NWEs) corresponding to this definition, distributed over the past 250,000 years …. …. The 342 NWEs contained in the Vostok ice core record are divided into low-rate warming events (LRWEs; < 0.74oC/century) and high rate warming events (HRWEs; ≥ 0.74oC /century) (Figure). … …. "Recent Antarctic Peninsula warming relative to Holocene climate and ice – shelf history" and authored by Robert Mulvaney and colleagues of the British Antarctic Survey ( Nature , 2012, doi:10.1038/nature11391),reports two recent natural warming cycles, one around 1500 AD and another around 400 AD, measured from isotope (deuterium) concentrations in ice cores bored adjacent to recent breaks in the ice shelf in northeast Antarctica. ….

  53. “Our research shows how the echo chamber can block progress toward a political resolution on climate change…”
    Imagine a political resolution to a question in astrophysics, or paleontology, or biology. The statement would be virtually meaningless. The “climate change” issue is ALL politics, NO science.

    • In their defense, they were examining the blogs and other info sources used by congressmen prior to the vote on cap-and-trade.

  54. As far as I can see from the abstract and Supplemental Information the paper doesn’t tell me just what kind of echo chamber they have found. Have they found both alarmist *and* skeptical echo chambers?
    There was one curious thing I noticed, and maybe someone here could check against the paper if they have it.
    I looked at the data in the “Present projects” tab in the http://www.drfisher.umd.edu/ data link given in the Supplemental Information, and in the Dataset CSV file the entry for “Office of Senator Jeff Bingaman” shows him (or his office) marked down at the extreme of the Likert scale saying he *strongly disagrees* with both these questions:
    Global climate change is currently occurring.
    Human activities are an important driver of current global climate change.
    I gather Senator Bingaman is known for being quite proactive in urging action on climate so this seems like a mistake. If it is I wonder how that would impact the network study? Since Bingaman seems to quite a central node from what I gather from the references to him in the dataset CSV, if he has been marked as a denier that may skew the result?

  55. Ever see a kid throw a temper tantrum? They come up with all kinds of unreasoned reasons why it’s not fair that they can’t get what they want.
    This temper tantrum was peer-reviewed!

    • I wish I had a dollar for every so called scientist who has proclaimed that “peer review” is the gold standard of science. Any article that has been peer reviewed can’t be questioned, and every article that hasn’t been is to be ignored. (Oh yea, and it must be peer reviewed by one of the select journals.)

  56. The REAL echo chamber is the empty heads at IPCC et al who still cling to the debunked myth that CO2 is driving global warming!

  57. When you are losing the debate, any and all thoughts concerning fair-play go right out the window.
    Near as I can tell.
    I kinda like the new rules.

  58. Edimburgh University has decided to ‘divest from leading fossil fuel companies’.
    [Sorry. I meant to type ‘Edinburgh’ but the error is so apt I shall just leave it.]
    Anyway, the story is recorded on the [Glasgow] Herald website at:
    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/education/edinburgh-university-to-divest-from-leading-fossil-fuel-companies.127170137
    The Herald is in itself (for letters and comments) the most strictly non-partisan newspaper going.
    So long as you follow the rules, you will be OK. [It’s a bit like WUWT.]

  59. Jasny and Fisher point out that the debate on climate change is not indicative of inconclusive science. Rather, the debate is illustrative of how echo chambers influence information flows in policy networks.

    Are Jasny and Fisher such idiots that they really built a model to compare science and the politics of policy?
    Maybe for their next paper they could compare the theory of gravity with campaign conventions. I am sure there is a definable relationship between the balloons that are dropped, the hats thrown in the air and gravity.
    The sad thing is these guys are paid to come up with this stuff.

  60. “If their sources are limited to those that repeat and amplify a single perspective, they can’t be certain about the reliability or objectivity of their information.”
    So says the guys who want everyone to climb into their echo chamber and repeat a single perspective of climate alarmism without dissent or skepticism. An echo chamber doesn’t encourage debate. It drowns it out, which is exactly what the authors of this paper would love to see happen.

  61. Sorry it took so long for me to comment; I had to read all of your comments first so I know what to say. Now I’ve forgotten. Man bear pig?

  62. That’s ok, now let’s run an echo chamber analysis on the networks for advocates of ACW

  63. It is ‘odd’ how all these pop-psychology papers always look at ,through closed eyes, sceptics but never consider if those who show questioning faith in CAGW may have their own ‘issues ‘
    If you did not know better you may suggest that the authors are aware in which direction the funding flows and that those that question any aspect of ‘the cause’ and quickly find themselves of some ‘research and mud throwing ‘
    As for sociology., it has never been nor will it ever be a ‘science’ , despite those working in this areas rather desperate attempts to label it such, there is a very good reason why you cannot get a BSc for sociology in any form.

  64. The paper is available here:
    http://www.socy.umd.edu/sites/socy.umd.edu/files/pubs/nclimate2666.pdf
    The paper considers communications among political actors but essentially ignores the underlying political premises that motivate these actors. The authors’ own premises are expressed without admitting to the possibility of logically consistent alternative viewpoints.

    The opinions measured in this article do not deal with scientific fact; rather, they measure policy debates that surround climate change, an issue that has been framed as wholly scientific in nature. Social structures that increase partisanship and extremity in these views do little else but hamper political and scientific progress.

    For sociologists, they don’t seem to grasp why these social structures exist in the first place. Which leads to a completely unfounded conclusion:

    Further study of echo chambers will contribute to scientific communication above the amplified noise inside these chambers.

  65. How quiet and peaceful this world might be if there weren’t these unscientific scientists making such a hullabaloo about echo chambers and their other rooms of phantasy…

  66. No one, in their right mind, would ever call me an echo chamber. While I would say that there are, represented in this blog by certain individuals and their followers, echo chambers of this or that thesis, I would most certainly not give that description to the owner of this blog. The “cough, hack, gag” study is another great example of why there is no such thing as social science.

    • Social Science does exist.
      Just because social structures are constructed subjectively does not mean that objective testing of them cannot take place.
      It just means that the conditions and assumptions that are used need to be specified and justified.
      OK, some practitioners are poor but that doesn’t make the whole field invalid.
      I can’t bowl a googly but that doesn’t mean cricket doesn’t exist (if you’ll excuse the English sporting reference).

    • Sorry Pamela, but you are an echo chamber of exactly one person, as you have proven to be a complete synchophant of Dr. Svalgaard, uncritical – never wavering or accepting fact-based challenges – you are a real life one-woman echo chamber who constantly reinforces her bellwether’s opinions.
      Anyone who has spent a few years here can see that very clearly – with many comments to that affect.
      So your attempt here at deflection by insinuating someone isn’t in their ‘right mind’ if they call you an ‘echo chamber’ – is a lame attempt at establishing groupthink, no different than the warmists lame efforts at deflection and projection.
      You and Dr. Svalgaard have made it abundantly clear that you’re both on the same page as the warmists wrt the solar control of our climate. This truth hurts you both. The day quickly approaches Pamela when this comfort zone of yours, his, and the warmists will no longer be the least bit tenable (wrt solar). Please don’t conflate my scientific disagreement as being disrespectful to either of you.
      Using SIDC sunspot numbers, for the 68 years from 1936-2003, in terms of sunspot activity, the Sun had 89% more activity than the previous 68 years, 1868-1935, (annual ave SSN of 76 vs 40.2). Using Dr. Svalgaard’s preliminary revised SSNs from 2014 (to be finalized in August), the disparity was 71.7% (73.5 vs 42.8).
      The Sun provided more energy for 68 years during the modern maximum in solar activity than the previous 68 years. Slightly higher surface temperatures were the result of this additional long-term solar energy input.
      The Sun caused global warming!
      This truth will set and keep us free.
      The Sun drives the climate.

      • If you are not an echo chamber, you must have the exact “slightly higher surface temperature” number ready to provide. Provide it. Then do the calculation. Compare your number to the well-known top of the atmosphere change in incoming solar W/m2 between a busy Sun and a dead quiet Sun and its affect on surface temperature. Then provide cloud data for the same period to account for surface insolation changes.
        Sorry. But your numbers do not add up. Prove that they do.

  67. All the paper finds is that the climate issue is politically polarised in the US.
    Wow, who knew, publish a Nature paper!
    From that they go into wild extrapolation of echo chambers being a “cause” of “climate denial”.

    • I disagree that what you said is all that this paper shows.
      In my view, the thing it shows most clearly is that humongous blind spot these people have for their own selves.
      They are so biased and unscientific it is actually gut-wrenching, and yet they are oblivious to the nth degree.
      They must be some of the least introspective people to ever cast a shadow.

  68. And this study is a surprise why? It’s a restatement of the very old “confirmation bias” phenomenon. All policy debates (including all aspects of science) should constantly guard against it. On BOTH sides of the debate.
    Seriously, how do these fluff articles even get published?

  69. Anybody can find a mathematical pattern that is coincidentally similar to what they perceive as a pattern in a the acceptance of a sales pitch (which is what CAGW is). However, there is not a causal relationship between the equation and the process, and no predictive or productive results can be claimed. So funny, these social statisticians!

  70. It just occurred to me that another one of the strange features of AGW research – at least in the psychological arena – is that so much of it is based on Freudian projection. As the paper under discussion illustrates.

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