Shock Green Discovery: Negative Messages make Normal People Feel Sad

Shock green discovery - negative propaganda makes people feel sad.
Shock green discovery – negative propaganda makes people feel sad.

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

A group of climate researchers have made the shocking discovery, that telling people everyone is going to die from the apocalyptic effects of manmade climate change, and that the only hope is for them personally to join a local group of activists who hope to influence the direction of the Washington juggernaut, makes normal people feel depressed and unmotivated.

According to the Huffington Post;

Why Climate Change Rhetoric Simultaneously Succeeds and Fails

Despite mounting evidence about the threats posed by climate change, most Americans do not consider it to be a very important problem facing the country, nor are they engaged in large-scale advocacy efforts to address it.

What might be done? An increasingly common argument, backed both by intuition and social science research, is that rhetoric should highlight how climate change will personally affect Americans’ lives. Among the most common “personal relevance” frames are those that focus on how it might impact personal health or make it more difficult for people to obtain the food that they need.

It turns out that these personal relevance messages have the opposite effect from what we might expect: Although they do increase people’s concern about climate change, they actually reduce their willingness to advocate on the issue.

Framing climate change in terms of its effect on either personal health or food security reminds people that very important personal goals (staying healthy and eating well) will be difficult to achieve. It puts them in a bad mood, and when people are in a bad mood they are less willing to engage in collective advocacy efforts.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-seth-levine/why-climate-change-rhetor_b_8913694.html

A senior political campaign manager once explained the rules of negative campaigning to me. You don’t distribute negative leaflets to your supporters, you distribute negative leaflets in areas which vote for the opposition, to make them feel disengaged with the political process, and stop them from wanting to vote. The fact hardcore greens seem to have trouble grasping this obvious principle, of how normal people’s minds work, makes me really wonder what is happening inside their heads.

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firetoice2014
January 5, 2016 6:27 am

Echoes?

Hot under the collar
Reply to  firetoice2014
January 5, 2016 8:10 am

What’s inside their head is similar to a doomsday cultist. You can give them all the logic and scientific evidence under the sun but the rhetoric will still be “mounting evidence”……..”the debate is over”…..”scientific consensus and 907% of scientists agree” ….”big oil is funding your denial”…
They make ‘normal’ people feel depressed and unmotivated because they know the alarmist propaganda is bullshit but, unlike most doomsday cultist rhetoric, in this case the government and some scientists are stood on the media highway with their “End Is Nigh” placards and in this case the public are the one’s who end up paying for their crap.

Lance Wallace
Reply to  Hot under the collar
January 5, 2016 8:24 am

The end is Nye?

simple-touriste
Reply to  Hot under the collar
January 5, 2016 12:20 pm

“907% of scientists agree”
907% and growing

CaligulaJones
Reply to  Hot under the collar
January 5, 2016 12:44 pm

Yes, its amazing that everyone laughs at that guy who predicted 7 of the last apocalypses, yet praise “scientists” whose accuracy is sometimes even less.
I guess the only good thing is that they aren’t asking us to, literally, drink the Kool-Aid. Yet.

GeologyJim
Reply to  Hot under the collar
January 5, 2016 5:00 pm

Donna LaFramboise has posed the most relevant question:
http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2015/12/20/climate-question-of-the-year/
Why aren’t the Climate Catastrophists celebrating in the streets after Paris?
195 nations signed a piece of paper and declared “We’re finally getting really, really serious about climate change [trust us]”
Problem solved. [OOPS! Bad news for alarmists]
Now, let’s get the UN (and all gummints) out of our pockets so we can keep our own earnings to address issues we actually have a stake in and care about.

Reply to  Hot under the collar
January 8, 2016 5:05 pm

I’ve been asking for some time why environmental activists and other neo-Marxists are so negative and oblivious to the good around them. I can easily explain where the ideas come from in the history of ideas but haven’t been so sure about psychology. (I think people believe because of a problem with their individual psychology, but why so widespread?)
Recently I came across an interview with authors of a book covering Americans who spied for the USSR
Interviewer Jamie Glazov experienced the USSR’s tyranny. “Frontpage Interview: In Denial” can be found at:
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1028504/posts or at
http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=15347
“Psychologically, the leftists you speak of see little of that. They see a Communist state that articulated their vision of the future and which sought to destroy the societies and institutions they hated. They cannot see the horror that communism actually created. They look on that horror and see something else because they cannot admit to themselves that their vision is beyond human grasp.”
The first quote at http://www.moralindividualism.com/newleft.htm illuminates another aspect, current activists’ motivation for trying to tear down our form of society that works for people, instead of working to improve it.

Reply to  Keith Sketchley
January 8, 2016 7:28 pm

“I’ve been asking for some time why environmental activists and other neo-Marxists are so negative and oblivious to the good around them. I can easily explain where the ideas come from in the history of ideas but haven’t been so sure about psychology. (I think people believe because of a problem with their individual psychology, but why so widespread?)”
I’m not sure that it IS “widespread”. I want to be just as careful about not “stereotyping” all environmental activists and other neo-Marxists as I am any other group of people. Labels applied to groups cannot be logically applied to ALL individuals in that group.
Cognitive biases happen to ALL of us to some degree. Healthy, normal, rational people, when shown their biases, can SEE and accept and admit to them. Most will then attempt to correct and adjust them in the future. But if some other behavior is seen after someone is shown their CB(s), it usually indicates that there is something unhealthy, abnormal, or irrational going on. It could rooted in ego- stubborn, proud, etc, or it could be rooted in something deeper-mental disorders, mental illness, mental injury, or something else that affects the degree to which someone can even BE self-aware in the first place.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anosognosia
The problem is, online, it’s impossible to discern between those who simply do not have the ability to be logical or reasonable and those who simply choose not to be logical or reasonable for some other reason.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  firetoice2014
January 5, 2016 4:15 pm

Heads?

rtj1211
January 5, 2016 6:30 am

This is not rocket science.
Reducing this to matters more common to the majority: how many of you have secured a date with a member of the sex you desire to date with by telling them to lose a few pounds, get a better haircut and stop working for a bozo?!

Tom in Florida
Reply to  rtj1211
January 5, 2016 8:00 am

Well, I know for sure that doesn’t work.

Goldrider
Reply to  Tom in Florida
January 5, 2016 10:01 am

Honest truth, the “health and safety” angle of fear-based advertising has now been hammered to death for SO long the public has turned away with the mental equivalent of “adrenal fatigue.” In exactly the same way that “evidence” of CAGW is lacking, there isn’t much “evidence” that living a life of constant anxiety, running on a treadmill while ingesting organic kale, much extends the lifespan, let alone its quality. Some of these memes have simply run their course–notwithstanding that more media-savvy folks are doing the fact-checking for themselves, and dismissing the BS with a raspberry . . .

graphicconception
Reply to  rtj1211
January 5, 2016 8:12 am

Right …
I think I see where I’ve been going wrong now!

Leo Smith
January 5, 2016 6:34 am

The fact hardcore greens seem to have trouble grasping this obvious principle, of how normal people’s minds work, makes me really wonder what is happening inside their heads.
Seriously, you think anything is going on there at all?

A "Science Denier"
Reply to  Leo Smith
January 5, 2016 7:21 am

Inside green’s head: “Corporations are evil, I better get out my smartphone and get on Facepage and let everyone know!”

Hivemind
Reply to  A "Science Denier"
January 7, 2016 4:48 am

“on Facepage” – is that like Farcebook?

Goldrider
Reply to  Leo Smith
January 5, 2016 10:03 am

Occupational hazard of academics everywhere! Since they don’t LIVE in “the real world,” all they know about how it works is what they read in Huff Po and the NYT!

Barbara Skolaut
Reply to  Leo Smith
January 5, 2016 12:03 pm

+1!

Reply to  Barbara Skolaut
January 5, 2016 1:51 pm

+1 too:)

FJ Shepherd
January 5, 2016 6:36 am

Is Captain Obvious green?

Tom in Denver
Reply to  FJ Shepherd
January 5, 2016 9:12 am

No, Captain Obvious wears a red coat

kamikazedave
January 5, 2016 6:40 am

I wonder how much of our tax dollars went to fund this nonsense? I also wonder if these so called climate researchers realize that their butchery of scientific methodology make normal people feel nauseous?

Phil R
Reply to  kamikazedave
January 5, 2016 9:45 am

kamikazedave,
That’s the trick. They’re NOT climate researchers. One is a professor in the Department of Government (at Cornell) and the other is a professor in the Department of Political Science (at Stoney Brook). Not a lick of expertise on climate or climate science, but a whole lot of postmodern discursive social psychology (with a mix of government policy and liberal/progressive self-importance and condescention). To call these two “climate researchers” is disingenuous at best, if not downright Fr@udu1ent.

David Sivyer
Reply to  Phil R
January 5, 2016 10:55 am

Well put, old trout!

CaligulaJones
Reply to  Phil R
January 5, 2016 12:46 pm

Further proof:
http://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/01/04/american-academics-have-moved-to-the-left/
This is certainly my experience. I had high school teachers who wouldn’t get a whiff of a job these days. All were qualified to teach their subjects, cut they weren’t liberal.

kamikazedave
Reply to  Phil R
January 5, 2016 3:03 pm

Roger that, Phil R. That’s why I called them “so called” climate scientists.

JLawson
January 5, 2016 6:42 am

Talk about perverse incentives – they’re wired so thoughts of doom, gloom, and disaster that ONLY THEIR activism can help stop makes them happy.
It’s the environmental equivalent of being a hardcore masochist – they’re only happy when they’re hurting.

Reply to  JLawson
January 5, 2016 12:27 pm

I figure they’re only happy when everyone else is hurting.

Auto
Reply to  A.D. Everard
January 5, 2016 1:41 pm

AD
I knew a lady like that once . . . .
Auto, still feeling . . .

Reply to  A.D. Everard
January 5, 2016 1:49 pm

Auto, I don’t think that one was a lady… 🙂

Logoswrench
Reply to  JLawson
January 5, 2016 7:41 pm

It’s like the old saying we had about the motto of the FAA.
“We’re not happy until you’re not happy”.

Marcus
January 5, 2016 6:49 am

Daily Caller News Foundation
Gold King Mine Disaster Cause May Never Be Known, Thanks To EPA
Photo of Ethan Barton
Ethan Barton
http://dailycaller.com/2016/01/04/gold-king-mine-disaster-cause-may-never-be-known-thanks-to-epa/

TheLastDemocrat
Reply to  Marcus
January 5, 2016 5:17 pm

Gold King Mine: if they do target someone as responsible, it will be a fall guy who is getting something out of the whole deal to be the fall guy.

Data Soong
January 5, 2016 6:58 am

I think it’s more likely that people are disengaged because most of them know that claims of climate change are exaggerated by the media and the Left.

indefatigablefrog
January 5, 2016 7:02 am

Personally, I was extremely interested in and positive about renewable energy from the age of about nine years old – back in the late seventies. Now I find myself feeling heavily critical and dismissive.
The change in my attitude was brought about by the intervening years in which renewables were hijacked and used as a weapon to implement socialist state-control, market manipulation, raising of energy prices, cronyism, rent seeking by depts. of voodoo science in every academic institution everywhere PLUS the idiotic FIT subsidy system in which subsidies seem to be specifically designed to most reward the most expensive technologies available.
To be honest I sometimes wish that I was blissfully ignorant about this entire heap of bullcrap.

indefatigablefrog
Reply to  indefatigablefrog
January 5, 2016 7:06 am

Apologies – I drifted into thinking about what the greens had done to my attitude towards renewables.
But the same can also be said about the shift in my attitude towards climate science – brought about by the constant bombardment with transparently idiotic alarmist junk.

Menicholas
Reply to  indefatigablefrog
January 5, 2016 9:17 am

I feel and share your pain.

average joe
Reply to  indefatigablefrog
January 5, 2016 10:18 am

Me too.

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
January 5, 2016 10:37 am

Oh hey! Are we feeling froggies stuff? Me next! 😛

Bruce Cobb
January 5, 2016 7:04 am

This is hilarious. Their desperation to explain why people don’t take “climate change” seriously is in jump-the-shark mode.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
January 5, 2016 10:38 am

Someone needs to go over to one of Furry Maximums threads and get him to read this study. He doesn’t understand people either. 🙂

January 5, 2016 7:05 am

From the Huffington Post,
[article titled] ‘Why Climate Change Rhetoric Simultaneously Succeeds and Fails’
“Despite mounting evidence about the threats posed by climate change, most Americans do not consider it to be a very important problem facing the country, nor are they engaged in large-scale advocacy efforts to address it.”

The increasing lack of trust in the so-called “mounting evidence about the threats posed by climate change” is the essential cause of failure of activists. There might be a new era we have entered, an era with an ascending culture of cleansing reason of activism.
John

Ian W
Reply to  John Whitman
January 5, 2016 8:36 am

It would seem that there is mounting evidence that climate change is benign and therefore not ‘a problem’ but a benefit.
It would seem that this is yet another case of the ‘greens’ being desperately concerned that nothing is going wrong. It is difficult to be an activist against good news.

Yirgach
January 5, 2016 7:11 am

I actually read the article. What an idiotic waste of electrons.
I believe they are trying for a Lew prize for the biggest piece of Lew paper to wipe out the biggest piece of Lew sh*t.

Bruce Cobb
January 5, 2016 7:16 am

Despite mounting evidence about the threats posed by climate change…

“Mounting evidence”? We haven’t seen any yet. Oh wait, they mean weather. Any weather will do. Never mind.

Oldseadog
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
January 5, 2016 7:36 am

+ 1

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
January 5, 2016 7:40 am

The problem may lie in the definition of “Mounting evidence”. You see, the phrase is syntactically ambiguous, like “flying planes”–(1) the occupation of a pilot, or (2) a number of winged vehicles aloft. In the present instance, we have either “a growing mass of evidence”, which they cannot mean, because that conflicts with the real world; the alternative reading is “evidence of a mounting”. Well, we’ve all been —ed by them, so I say they are spot on!

Wrusssr
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
January 6, 2016 10:53 pm

They’re like a three-legged mongrel that shows up for a greyhound race. Deaf, blind in one eye . . .

Two Labs
January 5, 2016 7:17 am

Or in realville, most people recognize when they’re being bullshitted. That’s the real cause of apathy.

Reply to  Two Labs
January 5, 2016 8:47 am

And the hundreds of failed “predictions”.

Reply to  Two Labs
January 5, 2016 10:40 am

Do you know the difference between empathy and apathy?
***I don’t know and I don’t care”.
Golden nuggets from mom…

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  Aphan
January 5, 2016 4:23 pm

Or was it the difference between ignorance and apathy?

Trebla
January 5, 2016 7:20 am

Why Climate Change Rhetoric Simultaneously Succeeds and Fails: It’s obvious. it simultaneously succeeds and fails because it is linked to the impacts of climate change which simultaneously cause more/less snow, droughts/floods, more/fewer hurricanes etc. It’s sort of like a push me/pull you thing (I think). It’s all things to all people, so it has to be good/bad, up/down, black/white. You get the picture.

Phil R
Reply to  Trebla
January 5, 2016 10:09 am

From Wikipedia:

Rhetoric (pronounced /ˈrɛtərɪk/) is the art of discourse, an art that aims to improve the capability of writers or speakers to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations.

Rhetoric is the art of persuasion, not necessarily determining the truth.
Why Climate Change Rhetoric Simultaneously Succeeds and Fails:
It succeeds with the CAGW believers and activists because it supports their preconceived beliefs.
It fails with the sceptics because the science, the empirical data, just isn’t there. Unfortunately, people like these authors (and Lew “paper” endowsky) assume as their initial premise that CAGW is absolutely true (as proved by a consensus of 97% of “climate scientists”) and, therefore, if they can just send the right message they can magically convince everyone of the impending doom.

Reply to  Phil R
January 5, 2016 1:17 pm

Quite so Phil R
Unfortunately almost all world governments, NGO’s, government agencies and bureaucratic actions start with the unshakable certainty that CAGW is absolutely true. No need to consider that this “certainty” is based on a failed 30 year old hypothesis, which is conveniently ignored. EG. COP 21 or 40,000 Clowns on Paris 21??
Many people see that corrupt politics is using corrupt science to achieve it’s Marxist political agenda which is in lock-step with an equally corrupt MSM.
Hopefully the cAGW boy who cried wolf will be recognised in the 21st century, but turning this entrenched monstrosity around seems most unlikely given the massive forces promoting it.

Reply to  Trebla
January 5, 2016 10:42 am

What’s that saying…
You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.
You’d think they’d eventually run out of fools….

MarkW
Reply to  Aphan
January 5, 2016 12:20 pm

Schools are pumping out a constant stream of new fools.

Editor
Reply to  Aphan
January 5, 2016 12:52 pm

One of the corollaries to Murphy’s Law: If you make something foolproof, a more talented fool will appear.
My guess is that warning labels, nanny state dictates, schools that think self esteem is granted and not earned, etc are providing us with an ever increasing supply of fools.

Marcus
January 5, 2016 7:21 am

The damage they have done to the integrity of science is criminal !!!

Mary Catherine
Reply to  Marcus
January 5, 2016 10:39 am

Yes, indeed!

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  Marcus
January 5, 2016 6:28 pm

The effects will be with me for the rest of my life. I will never forgive them either.

Leo Smith
January 5, 2016 7:24 am


Yup. You start of being vaguely interested, and mildly supportive, because on the face of it it seems sort of reasonable, then they start making outrageous claims, and scepticism starts to build, then you start being called names for being mildly sceptical, and that makes you do the heavy lifting of actual real research and evaluation,. and then the one thing they didn’t want you to do – make up your own mind – happens.
Perhaps its all a way of identifying who in fact is capable of independent thought so we can all be sent to the Gulags, or shot, in due course.
However, I keep a finger on the pulse of what I consider to be mainstream propaganda, and there is a perceptible change at the moment. And the whole thing is losing traction.
Whilst chaps are still wheeled out to promote the on message green line. they are not doing it of their own free will – there is a feeling that favours are being called in, or pressure applied.
The Emperor’s new green clothes are non existent, but everyone is too polite to say so, outside of the little ‘denialist’ blogs.
After all, the Emperor will still be there when he’s back in a wool suit.
It looks like whoever has some influence behind the scenes is looking for a new climate of fear to hang their oppressive but profitable behaviour on.
Radical Islam and terrorism again chaps?

JohnKnight
Reply to  Leo Smith
January 5, 2016 7:11 pm

Leo,
“Radical Islam and terrorism again chaps?”
Seems to me that’s going to be a hard sell too now, after the “open borders” campaign . . Folks will put two and two together and wonder how come the tearless leaders didn’t . . Gonna need different “terrorists” (Saints deniers perhaps ; )

indefatigablefrog
Reply to  Leo Smith
January 5, 2016 7:12 pm

It doesn’t help them that almost all of the prominent alarmists that remain vocal, seem to look more and more mentally ill with each day that passes.
Plus – who the hell are these prominent alarmists? Suzuki, Oreskes, Cook, Lewandowsky, Gore, Klein, Hansen, Mann – off the top of my head.
Then here in the U.K. we had a journalist/zoologist called Monbiot, but he seems to have blown a fuse and retreated partially. Only to be replaced by Dana Nuticelli.
And only two or three hard-science grads in that bunch.
People are right to judge this lot on first impressions!!!
I wouldn’t want them on my side!!!

Reply to  Leo Smith
January 5, 2016 7:20 pm

Leo Smith writes:
…I keep a finger on the pulse of what I consider to be mainstream propaganda, and there is a perceptible change at the moment. And the whole thing is losing traction.
I agree with Leo. There’s a sea change happening. I think the public is finally becoming aware of the fact that CO2 just doesn’t do what they’ve been claiming.
It takes a long time for something like this to happen. And it doesn’t always happen. But when it does, it’s more of a step change. An inflection point. We’re seeing it now.
I think.

Terry
January 5, 2016 7:27 am

It’s probably basic marketing to accentuate the positives when selling a product where there are unpleasant associations – eg:
– toilet bleach leaves the bowl clean and sparkly, children playing smiling vs removes dried out s**t
– anti-wrinkle creams used by young models who clearly have no need vs wrinkly old people
– life insurance shows grateful family vs house repossessed for defaulting on mortgage
Applying these simple lessons to communicating climate change agenda:
– electric cars are quiet, smooth, cheap to run, make your children smile vs petrol/diesel causes diseases
– windmills are a traditional technology with up to date engineering, bucolic scene – farmer and food vs monstrosities we have to live with to avoid environmental armageddon
– using fossil fuels more carefully will ensure there will still be some left for our grandchildren to enjoy vs ocean acidification
– etc etc

Dudley Horscroft
Reply to  Terry
January 5, 2016 7:43 am

For heaven’s sake Terry, do NOT tell them how to make their propaganda almost believable. Let them get on with trying to scare us – we can see through that.
Sending reasonable messages to us could perhaps even convince some people who have not already been immunized by their scares.

Reply to  Dudley Horscroft
January 5, 2016 10:45 am

Dudley…..
ROFL!! Like they listen to anything we say! Are they even capable of creating a reasonable message any more? If Terry stops now and doesn’t sound out the big words, we should be fine.

Reply to  Dudley Horscroft
January 5, 2016 12:54 pm

I think they are so deeply into doom-and-gloom that it would be impossible for them to open their mouths without spouting it. They wouldn’t know how to package a positive message. Misery is all they know and all they want us to know, and they will cling to that until they run out of funding.

JohnKnight
Reply to  Dudley Horscroft
January 5, 2016 7:20 pm

Dudley,
So, I take it you don’t think depicting “climate change” skeptics being exploded, with raining down blood and guts, was a good sales pitch?

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Terry
January 5, 2016 7:47 am

So, lie more skillfully in other words.

Jaakko Kateenkorva
January 5, 2016 7:28 am

Malthusian doomsday belief is a vicious circle. Radical deep ecologist Pentti Linkola opposes medication, but is on antidepressants.

Reply to  Jaakko Kateenkorva
January 5, 2016 10:48 am

What you just said reminded me of a video my kids used to watch all the time. You don’t have to watch much of it, I think it starts with the”Angst, Angst Angst” thing. Every time someone here gets stressed out, we chant that to them and laugh. (It doesn’t help them at all!)

BallBounces
January 5, 2016 7:30 am

This shows that research that can be tied to climate gets funded.
“collective advocacy efforts”. Comrades, awake!

Leo Smith
January 5, 2016 7:31 am

The damage they have done to the integrity of science is criminal !!!
I am afraid that was probably always going to happen. Every single social movement that has arisen spontaneously because it could, and because it worked, and because it was useful is in the end bent to the will of those who have to control dominate and pervert, and the net result is that the thing itself is destroyed.
The Internet is too important and powerful to be left to tekkies. Science is too important and powerful to be left to scientists. Religion is too important and too powerful to be left to believers.
The ridiculous hypocrisy is that it is te self appointed moral arbiters who preach freedom and liberty, but exert the control.

Marcus
Reply to  Leo Smith
January 5, 2016 7:50 am

+ 1,000

BallBounces
January 5, 2016 7:31 am

This shows that research that can be tied to climate gets funded.

Dave in Canmore
January 5, 2016 7:31 am

is it me or do I detect a change from the ‘evidence is overwhelming and everyone agrees’ to “mounting evidence.” Seems like the language is diluting or is that just a rare moment of optimism from me?

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Dave in Canmore
January 5, 2016 8:09 am

Their cognitive dissonance is mounting, so the change in rhetoric may be a sign of that.

MarkW
Reply to  Dave in Canmore
January 5, 2016 12:24 pm

I felt a disturbance in the farce. As if thousands of activists have all suddenly, given up.

Reply to  MarkW
January 5, 2016 4:46 pm

MarkW this makes me laugh and shake my head every time I scroll past it. 🙂

Green Sand
January 5, 2016 7:43 am

By design rhetoric is usually only seen as persuasive by the orator.
Whereas data and the scientific method reaches all, eventually.

Phil R
Reply to  Green Sand
January 5, 2016 10:16 am

Green Sand,
I saw this definition a while ago, and think it is apropos. Would love to give attribution, but don’t remember where I saw it.

The difference between Logic and Rhetoric is that Logic seeks to establish a Truth regardless of what others believe; Rhetoric seeks to make people believe something regardless of whether it is True.

Green Sand
Reply to  Phil R
January 5, 2016 10:36 am

Phil R
That will do! Thanks.

tadchem
January 5, 2016 7:51 am

Disappointing.
They failed to mention the obligatory conclusion ‘more research is needed’.
We obviously need to provide millions of dollars in a grant to analyze ‘messaging’ with an eye toward developing more effecting means of imbuing the public with the motivation to follow our ‘suggestions’ and willingness to serve the cause. Perhaps a Journal of Practical Propaganda could be established for collecting and educating the media in the latest and most effective techniques for public motivation.
/sarc

January 5, 2016 8:01 am

I think their infowar problems run a lot deeper than just negative campaigning.
https://thepointman.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/how-to-run-a-really-bad-infowar-campaign/
Pointman

TheLastDemocrat
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 5, 2016 5:28 pm

Why aren’t they losing faster? A great question.
Here is a possible answer: Al Gore and friends developed all of this green investing, then went to each of many pieces of government and many governments with a get-in-on-the-ground-floor argument – they said to many countries “Hey, you can invest your govt employee pensions in green investments now, and as you make national policy to buy the green technologies, and as other nations sign on, and also invest their pension funds in these green investments as well as buy the technology, you will have a solid, steady return – plus act now and get in on the ground floor before everyone else signs on.”
So, most of the planet’s nations have both signed on, and have invested their public-bureaucrat pensions in green funds. And, at the same time, have committed public dollars to green energy efforts.
Right about now, as costs are reaped, equipment is requiring replacement, and the energy is not materializing, various countries are going to give up on this green juggernaut.
Pensions will hurt.

JohnKnight
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 5, 2016 8:50 pm

Pointman,
Good thinking there, it seems to me. There is an aspect that I feel bears some consideration, having to do with what can be summed up as overconfidence. It’s as though the “ringleaders” did not consider they were doing anything all that difficult . . as though this was not their first rodeo, so to speak.
One thing I notice around here, is the hesitance on the part of many “climate skeptics” to accept that they may have already been bamboozled by a similar PR campaigns (infowar as you put it). And I think I am occasionally seeing agent provocateurs trying to stir up division here, by leaning heavily on previous successes in the “settled science” department.
Particularly along the lines of; “What the hell are you smart science kids thinking? You’ve got stupid Religious people in your ranks! . . They don’t consider Evolution a scientific fact, like you smart science boys and girls do, and you’re not vigorously casting them out.”
This ain’t the Siants giant’s first rodeo, me thinks, and I suspect they thought they could count on more “pull” from the desire to please the teacher, so to speak, from whom the good science boys and girls had received many pats on the head already, for accepting that some ideas can become facts in science, by “consensus” among the specialists.

Reply to  Pointman
January 5, 2016 1:51 pm

Excellent read, Pointman. I read it before and it was good to read again. Thanks for the link.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Pointman
January 5, 2016 2:23 pm

Excellent. I didn’t remember seeing that. Saved in my Climate folder.

January 5, 2016 8:04 am

Malthusian hypocrisy does peak my blood pressure from time to time, but mostly increase my lifespan. This doesn’t mean anything a lot, because in accordance with Comrade Court’s green lexicon Flat Earth Denialists aren’t classifiable as normal people.

Tom in Florida
January 5, 2016 8:09 am

One can gauge the effectiveness of your sales pitch by watching the arm and hand movements of the mark. Arms crossed in front of their chest, mind closed to what you are saying. Hands folded in their lap, closed mind but being polite about it. Arm extended with middle finger raised, you have touched a nerve.

Olen
January 5, 2016 8:19 am

The truth.
It is good the climate change folks are getting into what works or not but a good place to start would be the truth. After that people are capable of making up their own minds and the greens should not worry about that if they have been truthful.
It seems to me the greens are more about manipulation to achieve their goals than being upfront and honest.

Phil R
Reply to  Olen
January 5, 2016 10:22 am

Olen,

It seems to me the greens are more about manipulation to achieve their goals than being upfront and honest.

And the sun rises in the east; bears actually DO sh*t in the woods; and water actually does flow downhill. 🙂

Reply to  Phil R
January 5, 2016 6:14 pm

@ Phil, 10.22 am, ‘And the sun rises in the east”
tell that to somebody that lives above the polar circle. And the bear that shat on my front lawn. ( the water thing? You are probably right although he Dutch have been opposing that idea for a few centuries!)

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Phil R
January 5, 2016 11:29 pm

Ah but how many forrests that have bears have rabbits too?

Reply to  Phil R
January 6, 2016 12:51 am

But it is no longer clear that the Pope is Catholic…

Brian R
January 5, 2016 8:23 am

What research will tax dollars fund next?
I’m betting that some day researchers will find out that hitting your thumb with a hammer hurts.

Reply to  Brian R
January 6, 2016 12:54 am

I am never quite sure how seriously to take “The Journal of Mundane Behavior” http://mundanebehavior.org/
I certainly have no idea how much of that is taxpayer funded.

Resourceguy
January 5, 2016 8:29 am

More huffings of HuffPo

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  Resourceguy
January 5, 2016 6:38 pm

It is well named 🙂

Steve Oregon
January 5, 2016 8:35 am

“Despite mounting evidence about the threats posed by climate change, most Americans do not consider it to be a very important problem”
These presumably curious authors aren’t interested in learning how many Americans simply call BS on the so called mounting evidence. Evidence which is obviously no more than an endless stream of hypothetical attributions of everything imaginable.
The stream is steaming with rancid conjecture and Americans are supposed to be getting worried.
So this psychoanalyzing is needed to explain why it ain’t working so well.
The left always does this. On every issue. They invent afflictions for those who reject their superior positions.

January 5, 2016 8:50 am

More telling is the positive messages from the doomsday camp. When they find a shred of evidence to support their claims, they can scarcely conceal their glee. It takes a truly twisted soul to be happy they found evidence the world is going to end.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
January 5, 2016 9:21 am

Yes, I’ve noticed that as well although from the opposite direction. It seems that when any evidence is presented that something is not as bad as first thought, it is quickly dismissed, torn apart, ignored, laughed at or called “anti-science”. Like good news is not allowed.
Actually, getting back the topic at hand, it seems those conclusions might just apply to those who are trying find such conclusions. The rest of us just face palm.

Old'un
Reply to  davidmhoffer
January 5, 2016 9:28 am

So true.
A quick scan of the articles and associated comments in The Guardian, for example, confirms your point. They absolutely wallow in a self righteous belief that the actions of mankind are sending us all to hell in a handcart. They are never happier than when a member of the Priesthood like Nuccetilli writes an article interpreting the Scriptures of climate science, confirming that hell and damnation Is looming.

Randy
Reply to  davidmhoffer
January 5, 2016 12:07 pm

This is by far the most disturbing aspect of all of this for me. Sometimes I wonder if some people like it because if everything is hopeless they dont in fact have to do anything themselves. They can just chalk it up as “humanity sucks”. Which might explain why so few people Ive known who think our actions are killing the earth itself dont do anything beyond token gestures in their own lives. If I thought my actions were threatening the future of lifes ability to persist I would change my ways. In fact the environmental issues I do see validity to have shaped my lifestyle. when I point this last part out to believers I get stuff about how hard it is, and such then get ignored as I tell them real changes they could make. It is bizarre to watch.

January 5, 2016 8:55 am

I love it when shrinks become climate experts.

MarkW
Reply to  Per Strandberg (@LittleIceAge)
January 5, 2016 12:28 pm

I love it when climate experts shrink.

CaligulaJones
Reply to  MarkW
January 5, 2016 12:50 pm

Like George Costanza’s “frightened turtle”, you’d think they’d embrace warming…

Sean
January 5, 2016 9:06 am

Let’s see, people are hammered with data suggesting that we are too fat, the government forces us to put 40% of the corn crop into biofuels and the environmentalists want us to believe we are going to starve to death from climate change. And they wonder why no one takes them seriously?

Goldrider
Reply to  Sean
January 5, 2016 10:14 am

The “data” suggesting we are all too fat was also cooked. When you change the goalposts for what’s considered “normal,” especially based on an “averaging” formula (BMI) invented by an astronomer in 1830 (nothing whatever to do with health), yeah, you can in one night move 40% of the population into the “overweight” category and declare them “diseased.” Follow the MONEY!

Don E
January 5, 2016 9:19 am

Motivational psychologists who work in advertising have know for years that scare stories don’t sell products. The insurance industry learned that lesson many years ago. Look at the GEICO ads today.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Don E
January 5, 2016 9:50 am

That’s it! What they need is a new icon – call it a “Climo”. It would be cute, green (of course), walk and talk like a human, maybe with a scottish brogue – saying things like, “we can do this, if we all pull together”, and he could pick up some trash and put it in the recycling bin and drive off into the sunset in his electric tincan car. It would be awesome. No idea yet what the “Climo” would look like. Maybe a polarbearpenguinekittenpuppy.
[Maybe a sleekfuzzyfurryfeatherypuffy polarbearpenguinekittenpuppy. With big eyes. .mod]

Phil R
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
January 5, 2016 10:24 am

ManBearPig!!

Goldrider
Reply to  Don E
January 5, 2016 10:17 am

I still remember the worst ad EVER–for some insurance company back in the 60’s. Views of a derelict Victorian graveyard in a dark rain, with church bells dolorously accompanying the narrator’s litany of death by disease. Used to just about give me nightmares as a little kid!

January 5, 2016 9:30 am

Intellectual cap and trade, and a trait of this current administration is diversion. A literal shell-game with no shells except the nuts, who hide in them.

January 5, 2016 9:31 am

The truth is scarier than the rhetoric and diametrically opposed to the narrative. The next inevitable ice age will precipitate a catastrophe beyond comprehension and no amount of CO2, or any other GHG for that matter, will stop it from occurring.

Goldrider
Reply to  co2isnotevil
January 5, 2016 10:18 am

You mean I’ll have to play polo in Wellington instead of Greenwich? 😉

Reply to  Goldrider
January 5, 2016 10:22 am

And we will be able to ski on top of the km’s of ice and snow burying much of the US and Europe.

Dennis
January 5, 2016 9:38 am

If your kids go to public schools and they seem depressed, it might be the result of the non-stop liberal brain washing they receive.
Public education is child abuse.
Get your kids to safety.

Ben of Houston
January 5, 2016 9:51 am

Another thought. When they give personal examples, these examples become much easier to comprehend and evaluate. With the claim that polar bears will starve, it’s distant and you can separate your personal knowledge. The claim that 1C of warming will cause you to not be able to feed your children, your alarm bells start going off as it’s an innately ludicrous claim.
Similarly, the “New York will feel like Atlanta” evaluation was an own-goal. Despite using exaggerated and unlikely warming to base the study on, there is still the issue: People live in Atlanta. People live in Cuba. Without air conditioning. It makes the effects easier to grok and much less frightening

Goldrider
Reply to  Ben of Houston
January 5, 2016 10:22 am

Most people just aren’t this stupid. While you might be able to believe (unless you read) that 1C of warming could cause a family in sub-Saharan Africa to “not be able to feed their children,” the idea that would happen in advantaged countries just doesn’t pass the logic test. And frankly, most of the “market” for CAGW agitprop (dot-org. donors, Prius buyers) is a long way on the hierarchy of needs from worries about their next meal. It’s not passing the ignorance test.

Resourceguy
January 5, 2016 11:18 am

Now try connecting the dots. The senior political ops specialists have turned off the scare tactics after Paris. And they can just as easily turn the heat up after the elections and throw in a claim of mandate too.

Svend Ferdinandsen
January 5, 2016 11:20 am

The problem is that the activists can not promise a better world, they can only say it will not change if we take their bitter medicine.
The sceptical side has more or less the same problem except that you don’t need to take any bitter medicine.
Peoble know that the world in 100 years is very different anyway, so a little GW looks not scaring relative to the changes during a year. I am much more scared of the climate politics than the climate itself.

Wharfplank
January 5, 2016 12:08 pm

Environmental Catastrafarians…Erich Erlichs all.

January 5, 2016 12:22 pm

The activists get indoctrinated at their places of ‘learning’ and then flap around like thousands of chicken little’s drunk on the kool-aid. If only they could be taught critical thinking and how to spot an agenda.

Gunga Din
January 5, 2016 1:46 pm

Instead of trying to get people to feel good about what they are doing by feeling bad about what they are they are doing, they should switch their message to “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die!”?
Their audience might start to do something then. 😎

pat
January 5, 2016 4:18 pm

with suggestions floating around that the next IPCC report should focus on the social sciences, Sierra Club finding this research “priceless” is a bit of a concern!
Oct 2015: Daily Nexus: Neil Yanga: Adam Seth Levine Hosts Seminar Discussing Presentation of Climate Change
Assistant Professor in the Department of Government at Cornell University Adam Seth Levine hosted a seminar titled “Citizen Engagement (and Disengagement) in Response to Climate Change” to discuss the communication of climate change at Bren Hall Thursday afternoon…
Levine’s research is based on an experiment in which he gave sheets presenting the issue of climate change to different subject groups with varying degrees of urgency and observed which participants chose to sign a petition in support of political action on climate change. He found those who received more personalized, urgent information were less likely to want to engage in a solution…
Sierra Club member Robert Bernstein said Levine’s research is “priceless.”
“Somebody has actually done evidential research on what it is that motivates people to do environmental action,” Bernstein said.
2 pages: Dec 2015: HomelandSecurityNewswire: Andrew J.Hoffman: Social sciences are best hope for ending debates over climate change
(This essay was adapted from Andrew J. Hoffman’s recently released book, How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate. Andrew J. Hoffman is Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, Education Director at the Graham Sustainability Institute, University of Michigan.)
To move forward, we have to disengage from fixed battle on one scientific front and seek approaches that engage people who are undecided about climate change on multiple social and cultural fronts. Only by broadening the scope of the debate to include this social and cultural complexity can we ever hope to achieve broad-scale social and political consensus. More scientific data can only take us so far; engaging the inherently human aspects of this debate will take us the rest of the way…
In the words of Tony Leiserowitz from Yale University, “the proper model for thinking about the climate debate is not a boxing match, but a jury trial. We can never convince the die-hard skeptics, just like a prosecutor will never convince the defense lawyer, and doesn’t try. Rather, we should focus on convincing the silent jury of the mass public.”
Two tactics are necessary for reaching the undecided middle…
http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/dr20151201-social-sciences-are-best-hope-for-ending-debates-over-climate-change
April 2015: Nature: David Victor: Climate change: Embed the social sciences in climate policy
David G. Victor calls for the IPCC process to be extended to include insights into controversial social and behavioural issues
Building the social sciences into the IPCC and the climate-change debate more generally is feasible over the next assessment cycle, which starts in October and runs to 2022, with efforts on the following three fronts…ETC
http://www.nature.com/news/climate-change-embed-the-social-sciences-in-climate-policy-1.17206

[Ah. So the “social sciences” found out that they too can “win fiends and influence people” AND get more government money from the so-far-unobtainable “hard science” money coming into the climate change climate wars! .mod]

Gunga Din
Reply to  pat
January 5, 2016 4:46 pm

with suggestions floating around that the next IPCC report should focus on the social sciences,

“Social science” applied to help the individual? OK. To a point.
“Social science” applied to control the masses? Not so OK. That’s the point.
(Besides, it’s nothing new. It just now has a name.)

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  pat
January 5, 2016 5:58 pm

It’s very telling that they feel the need to align themselves with the social sciences, and pathetic that they believe it will help their Cause. They cling desperately and foolishly to the idea that somehow, after all these years, they are going to get the message just right so that the people who are, I suppose “confused” will finally “understand”. The heavens will open up, trumpets will sound, and Green angels will sing.
They are delusional.

emsnews
Reply to  pat
January 6, 2016 8:45 am

‘Win FIENDS’? HAHAHA. Yes, we need more devils as buddies.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  emsnews
January 7, 2016 7:40 am

Q: Why are friends like pirates?
A: Because you can’t have them without the arrrrr.
I’ll get my coat.

RACookPE1978
Editor
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
January 7, 2016 7:50 am

Bruce Cobb

Q: Why are friends like pirates?
A: Because you can’t have them without the arrrrr.

But, why do your friends like pirates?
Because without the argggh, they’d be fiends.

jorgekafkazar
January 5, 2016 4:26 pm

Leftists are sand in the Vaseline of Democracy.

Reply to  jorgekafkazar
January 5, 2016 4:43 pm

Oh! Ewwwwwww! That’s just wrong jorge! lol

Gunga Din
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
January 5, 2016 4:54 pm

“Vaseline” is a petroleum product so …. I guess … we’re back to … um … Leftist are part of “Big Oil”?

Editor
January 5, 2016 6:29 pm

“Mounting evidence about the threats posed by climate change…” Should be “mounting counter-evidence.”

January 6, 2016 3:55 am

Climate Alarmism has fully degenerated into non-stop Bulverism. As C.S. Lewis described it:
Suppose I think, after doing my accounts, that I have a large balance at the bank. And suppose you want to find out whether this belief of mine is “wishful thinking.” You can never come to any conclusion by examining my psychological condition. Your only chance of finding out is to sit down and work through the sum yourself. When you have checked my figures, then, and then only, will you know whether I have that balance or not. If you find my arithmetic correct, then no amount of vapouring about my psychological condition can be anything but a waste of time. If you find my arithmetic wrong, then it may be relevant to explain psychologically how I came to be so bad at my arithmetic, and the doctrine of the concealed wish will become relevant – but only after you have yourself done the sum and discovered me to be wrong on purely arithmetical grounds. It is the same with all thinking and all systems of thought. If you try to find out which are tainted by speculating about the wishes of the thinkers, you are merely making a fool of yourself. You must find out on purely logical grounds which of them do, in fact, break down as arguments. Afterwards, if you like, go on and discover the psychological causes of the error.
In other words, you must show
that a man is wrong before you start explaining why he is wrong. The modern method [Note: This essay was written in 1941.] is to assume without discussion that he is wrong and then distract his attention from this (the only real issue) by busily explaining how he came to be so silly. In the course of the last fifteen years I have found this vice so common that I have had to invent a name for it. I call it “Bulverism.” Some day I am going the write the biography of its imaginary inventor, Ezekiel Bulver, whose destiny was determined at the age of five when he heard his mother say to his father – who had been maintaining that two sides of a triangle were together greater than the third – “Oh, you say that because you are a man.” “At that moment,” E. Bulver assures us, “there flashed across my opening mind the great truth that refutation is no necessary part of argument. Assume your opponent is wrong, and then explain his error, and the world will be at your feet. Attempt to prove that he is wrong or (worse still) try to find out whether he is wrong or right, and the national dynamism of our age will thrust you to the wall.” That is how Bulver became one of the makers of the Twentieth Century.

Resourceguy
January 6, 2016 7:35 am

…and we’re current running a sale on $50 million ad campaigns for the election.

u.k(us)
January 6, 2016 7:50 pm

“Negative Messages make Normal People Feel Sad”…..
==================
If you say so, but it generally improves my billiards game 🙂

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