Polarization may cause climate communication to backfire (so might Tweets from Michael Mann)

From DUKE UNIVERSITY and the department of Mannian screaming and insults, comes this attempt to yet again, find the perfect message to sway climate skeptics.

megaphone-climateMessages that conflict with audience’s partisan identity fail, exacerbate opposition

DURHAM, N.C. — Political advocates who support action on climate change have long sought “the perfect message” for swaying skeptics. If the issue can be framed correctly, they believe, the battle can be won.

A new Duke University study suggests it may be more complicated than that.

“Because climate change has become polarized along party lines, it’s no longer just an issue of finding ‘the right framing’ to convey relevant facts,” said study author Jack Zhou, who will graduate with a Ph.D. in environmental politics next month from Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. “It has become a matter of political identity, particularly the political party we feel closest to.”

Even efforts to frame climate change around seemingly win-win issues such as economic growth, national security or poverty alleviation are likely to backfire, Zhou’s study finds, if the communication conflicts with the partisan identity of the targeted audience.

“These efforts don’t just fail in terms of being unconvincing,” he said. “In most cases, they actually trigger a significant negative effect — or backfire — that polarizes the audience even further.”

Zhou published his peer-reviewed study this month in the journal Environmental Politics.

In a 2014 survey experiment, Zhou asked more than 470 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents to read one of four randomly assigned messages that framed climate change as an issue society needs to deal with and is worth caring about.

One message framed climate change as an economic issue; one as a national security issue; one as a moral justice issue; and one as a natural disaster issue. The first two messages were written to tap into Republican identity; the last two targeted Democratic identity. To further test the power of partisanship, the four messages were then randomly attributed to one of two sources: a fictional Republican congressman or a fictional Democratic one.

The hypothesis, going in, was that Republicans would be more open to an in-party message from an in-party source and least receptive to on out-party message from an out-party source. Instead, Zhou found that regardless of the source, all eight vignettes backfired when compared to the control group, who were asked to simply think about climate change as a political issue.

The study also showed that Republican respondents, after exposure to framing, became more opposed to governmental action on climate change and less willing to take personal action on the issue.

“When asked to read information that clashed with their partisan identities, respondents reacted with motivated skepticism,” he said. “Not only was there greater opposition after reading the framed messages, there was also less attitudinal ambivalence. This means that people dug in and became more sure of their negative opinions.”

These backfire effects doubled or tripled in size among individuals who reported a high personal interest in politics, which functions as a measure of intensity of political identity. These individuals make up roughly one-third of the respondents in the study and one-third of all U.S. Republicans.

“I want to be clear: This reaction is not a matter of intelligence or education. It’s not totally irrational. It’s just a natural reaction — people want to justify and defend their identities,” Zhou stressed. “I would expect if I asked Democrats to read framed messages about how climate change is a hoax, I would also see strong backfire effects.”

The take-away message for climate communicators, he said, is that to avoid backfire, they need to take care to target their audience’s values and understand how polarization affects their evolving sensitivities and identities.

“I’m not saying it’s totally impossible to frame climate change across party lines but it might take more time and resources than advocates imagine, and a much greater degree of care,” Zhou said. “Communication that doesn’t work perfectly — if such a thing even exists — could polarize these audiences further from where you want them to be.”

###

Funding for the study came from the Duke University Kenan Institute for Ethics.

CITATION: “Boomerangs Versus Javelins: How Polarization Constrains Communication on Climate Change,” Jack Zhou. Environmental Politics, April 19, 2016. DOI: 10.1080/09644016.2016.1166602

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Start by listening.

Dems B. Dcvrs

The GW / CC crowd are ones that need to shut-up and start listening.
How many times do we have put up with GW / CC Lies like: 97% Consensus, Earth is a Greenhouse, man-made CO2 is sole cause, increases in CO2 have runway, catastrophic (aka exponential) end-times effect, models are correct – real-world wrong, pause didn’t happen, sea levels rising, Ice Caps have nearly melted away, we will never see snow again, coral reefs are nearing extinction do to GW, satellite data was right but now bogus, … ?????

Bryan A

1st Stop thinking of conservatism in thoughts and actions as a Negative Opinion
2nd Accentuate all aspects of both sides of the debate even the positive aspects of the opposing side point.of view
3rd Demonstrate the benefit of action to prevent proposed possible problems from occurring is far less costly than the benefit of mitigation of those same problems once the true volume of their actual impact is known

Yes, I meant that Zhou should start by listening. It seems pretty stupid to try to frame the message for an audience before you find out what and how that audience is thinking.

Goldrider

Right now the American people’s minds are on our sketchy national security and economic doldrums caused, in large measure, by the sittting Administration’s policies of the last eight years. The ones who wring their hands about the increasingly absurd prognostications of these “model-makers” are those who confine their thought to the Progressive echo-chamber; IOW, they only read each other. Most are literature and PR types who know little to nothing of hard science, let alone economics. This is no coincidence. The NGO’s play to their drama-feeding emotions with breathless stories about how Everything Is In Jeopardy, and those used to receiving information uncritically from authority literally buy it. The rest–are voting for TRUMP, whose speech yesterday made them look like the useful idiots they are.

DonK31

I think that they should start by telling the truth instead of trying to tell us Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

Owen in GA

+10000

FerdinandAkin

When the alarmists do tell the truth, it does not help them.
The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated. – Ottmar Edenhofer
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/18/ipcc-official-%e2%80%9cclimate-policy-is-redistributing-the-worlds-wealth%e2%80%9d/

Svend Ferdinandsen

Why should it at all be framed, if the case is so obvious as they like us to believe.
It is a bit like missionaires. Their own believe depends on the number of followers.

A”frame” around donky poo still stinks.
A “frame” around a lie is just a decorated lie.
Truth needs no frame.
Truth frames understanding. (In the sence of “framing a house”… different kind of framing…

I always enjoyed Grimm’s Fairy Tales. The stories contained valuable aspects of human nature and life. Hansen’s fiery tales, on the other hand, contain nothing of value.

Paul Mackey

I feel the worth of my Ph.D. ( Physics) being eroded away……

Rob Morrow

Are you saying my Ph.D. in Feminist Glaciology is worthless?

MarkW

What about a Ph.D. in Glacial feminists?

GEorge Daddis

Isn’t a PH.D. In Environmental Politics aguably biased by definition? One would think it starts with the assumtion that the science is settled and any differences of opinion are due to pure ideology. How do we convince those stupid Rightwingers to stop being hateful. Sorta like Geo Mason U school of Climate Communications (How many times have they asked Dr Lindzen to communicate HIS thoughts?)

David Smith

I think a phd in paper-clip studies is more worthwhile than a Ph.D. in environmental politics

Rob Morrow

Environmentalist Politics.
Fixed it.

richard verney

Tell the truth, and back up claims with hard empirical evidence.

It is sophistry, however, as most of the CAGW propaganda fails on matters of fact and logic. Personally, I tend to be rather libertarian, and tend to rate politicians on what they can actually do that is dangerous. Currently, it means voting Republican in an attempt to undo Democratic policies on economics, guns, and AGW.

Glen Haas

Totally agree. There have been so many lies or half truths, the AGW / Climate Change crowd carry no credibility. Therefore, nearly everything is rejected. Scientists and people in general are searching for the “truth”.

TA

Tom Hallas wrote: “It is sophistry, however, as most of the CAGW propaganda fails on matters of fact and logic.”
Yes, that is the heart of the matter. Until the Alarmists solve the problem of having no proof for their assertions, they are going to continue to have trouble convincing skeptics to get on board.
Assertions and assumptions are not proof. Skeptics want proof.

Brian H

A good answer to “Why have all AGW predictions failed?” would make a start…

Simple:
1. Quit lying to us
2. Show actual evidence that man’s CO2 is causing dangerous global warming (NOT “climate change”
3. Quit “adjusting” the data.
thanks
JK

On target Jim.

commieBob

Bingo!
I am a skeptic because Mikey Mann’s hockey stick conflicted with my knowledge of history. Propaganda works but once people realize they are being lied to, it does backfire badly.

Dems B. Dcvrs

Based on Mann performing his “work” in College / University environment, Mann refusing to correct flaws and mistakes that have been pointed out about his GW “work”, having lied about being a recipient of Nobel Peace Prize, sure seems like Mann should be given boot for Academic fraud.

Cold in Wisconsin

Dead on!

Owen in GA

Indeed. I looked at the hockey stick the first time and said “what about the Roman Warm Period (which period’s alpine mines are still under thick glacial ice)?, What about the Dark Ages Cold Period, or the Medieval Warm Period (which period’s Greenland cemeteries are sealed beneath the permafrost) or the Little Ice Age? These were all FACTS of history, yet all wiped away with one graph. Then I thought of the Geology courses I had taken and about the inferences about temperature and atmospheric composition that data leads to, and just had to scratch my head. Here was presented a theory that turned all of Earth Sciences on their heads, without any real world observations to back them except for a few (and as it turned out really only ONE!) trees used as thermometers.
Later I saw the adjustments to the data, the infilling of “better calculated” “data” to replace the real readings at a station and all the hand waving on missing heat and knew I was dealing with political propaganda rather than science. Nothing like pulling up a station record and calculating its local trend, then pulling the national adjusted and homogenized data for the same station and seeing opposite trends to give you real confidence in the adjustment and homogenization process.
Messaging this dog’s dinner as filet mignon won’t help, especially since the dog has already eaten the dinner and the data/theory is what came out the other end!

4. De-couple your global governance and wealth re-distribution schemes from your supposed environmental concerns.

.4 stop issuing Phds for joining Greenpeace

Icepilot

Demonstrate that the negatives of increasing CO2 outweigh the positives.

They would first have to prove that there are negative consequences to additional CO2 growth.

Dems B. Dcvrs

“One message framed climate change as an economic issue; one as a national security issue; one as a moral justice issue; and one as a natural disaster issue. ”
The message is Global Warming is not about Science or Physics. Global Warming is about Pravda Politicking.
Global Warming Alarmists would need to “Frame” anything if Facts, Truth, Science, and Physics were on their side.

Missing a “not” and I agree!

MikeH

So he started out targeting Republicans as skeptics and didn’t do his study on Democrats? From the article:
“I would expect if I asked Democrats to read framed messages about how climate change is a hoax, I would also see strong backfire effects.”
So he develops a model (Republican responses) and applies it to Democrats. Why not do the same experiment on Democrats too and confirm his hypothesis? All these people are about are models and theories, what about the real world??

Curious George

That’s exactly how climatologists set their “experiments”. There is no need to ask Mother Nature; I know perfectly what she would say.

Dems B. Dcvrs

“All these people are about are models and theories, what about the real world??”
What? Let Science and Physics get in way of GW / CC fraud!
Heresy, Heresy I say…

noaaprogrammer

The left can ‘change’ history by simply rewriting history books (a la 1984) to suit their ideology. But no matter how hard they try to change the future climate of the earth by tweaking their models, Mother Nature takes her own course without regard to anyone.

rah

I would suspect that if they carried out the same study on Democrats it would be found there were a far larger number of intractable skeptics among them than supposed and that would not agree with the preconceived partisan notions of the researchers and their study may not be published. There is a reason why “climate change” lies at or near the bottom of the list in about every poll of the issues most important to people.

Bruce Cobb

Notice, too, that his theoretical framed message to Democrats is a total straw man. It is guarranteed to fail, because it is designed that way.

Reed Coray

Good question. I think the answer is obvious. To obtain both (a) funding for your thesis, and (b) approval of your thesis by a university faculty, it’s obviously to your benefit to couch the study in terms of the intractability of Republicans than the intractability of Democrats. Note that the latter would have been much easier because if the respondents to Dr.-to-be Zhou’s study came from a University environment, or even more restricted a University faculty, it would have trivial to find 470 Democrats or Democrat-leaning independents and almost impossible to find 470 Republicans for Republican-leaning independents.

Tom Yoke

There is a certain dreary predictability in the fact that this entire “scientific study” was frankly premised on the idea the Republicans are the ones who must change their minds about climate change.

Cold in Wisconsin

So much for objectivity.

Dems B. Dcvrs

“I’m not saying it’s totally impossible to frame climate change across party lines but it might take more time and resources than advocates …”
Summary – Going to take way longer to Gruber the Wolves than it did Gore/Mann/Obama’s Sheepeople.
Explaining petulant Democrats new tactic of GW Intimidation via abuse of our courts.

It is heartening that people (Republicans anyway) react with more skepticism when lied to.

Owen in GA

I think that Democrats, Libertarians, and non-aligned apolitical types also tend to react more skeptically when they figure out they are being lied to.
The problem they ran into was this: They told a plausible lie at first, and even Republicans bought it. Then they presented their “only solution that will fix the problem” and people of a small government, get government the bleep out of the way mind set all smelled a rat. The ones who were able started digging into the story and discovered the lie was based on fairy tales and while it was possible, the proof didn’t stand up to scrutiny. The unknowns outnumbered the knowns by a large margin.
Since there was still a remote possibility this (very early hypothesis that was really more of a scientific guess) idea was real, people agreed to fund the research. Conservatives don’t want to destroy the planet any more than liberals do – we live here. The problem was while we funded a lot of gadgets and sensors and supercomputers, the idea just wasn’t getting any clearer. The unknowns were still just as unknown and the people we were paying good money to shed light on the situation seemed to be withdrawing farther from the light. They were all playing the “Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz” behind the curtain and didn’t want us unwashed seeing how the sausage was made. That just served to raise the doubts higher. Now they have enlisted Fascist prosecutors to harass, imprison and re-educate the skeptics in true “1984” style. That is not a good way to “win a propaganda war”.

TA

Thanks for the good post, Owen.

nigelf

Well you know the old saying:
How do you anger a conservative? Tell him a lie.
How do you anger a liberal? Tell him the truth.

Neo

They should have framed their message as “an MO of a ‘grifter political class'”

schitzree

First they told me CAGW was based on science, despite few of them truly being scientists. But the more I looked into their arguments the more I realized they didn’t understand science.
Then they told me CAGW was based on Ecology, despite few of them truly being ecologists. But the more I looked into their arguments the more I realized they didn’t understand Ecology.
Next they told me their CAGW solutions were market based , despite most of them being Socialists. But the more I looked into their arguments the more I realized they didn’t understand economics.
And then they told me fighting CAGW was the moral choice, despite few of them being ethicist. But the more I looked into their arguments the more I realized they were often amoral and deceitful.
And again they told me fighting CAGW was a religious obligation, despite most of them being Atheists. But the more I looked into their arguments the more I realized they didn’t understand Faith.
And recently they told me fighting CAGW was the Patriotic choice, despite most of them being UN bureaucrats or Globalists . But the more I looked into their arguments the more I realized they didn’t understand Patriotism.
And of course, at every stage when I pointed out their failings they accused me of ‘denying’ their great truth or being in the pay of some great conspiracy against them. >¿<

+1000

Dems B. Dcvrs

You nailed them!

DonK31

Bingo!

It also bothers the alarmists when you tell them a truth AKA both Australia and North America are measured and proved CO2 sinks. We suck it in and do not emit.

PiperPaul

+97
Clarke’s Corollary to Heinlein’s Razor: “Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.”
“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” – Mark Twain

Anne Ominous

It seems pretty obvious that the author has no genuine basis for stating that the rejection of the “informaion” was to “justify and defend their identity”.
In order to do that, he would at the very least have had to show several things he appears not to have shown. Among them: that the information presented was truthful and logical, not rejected on the basis that it wasn’t; that the respondents were not already familiar with and perhaps tired of hearing the rhetoric presented; that people of other political persuasions behaved differently; etc.
The fact that the source had no effect on the result would seem to suggest that the reasons for rejection were in fact not political. One is compelled to wonder why he tested only those whose “leanings” were of toward one particular political persuasion. It’s difficult to draw any solid conclusions from that kind of data.

Excellent points raised.

Owen in GA

Who approved his IRB? This experimental design doesn’t pass muster.

Ben of Houston

Also, he ignored the possibility that he was simply annoying them. This is indicated with the correlation that the more expert they were, the more negative a reaction he got. I would get frustrated to if I was presented evidence on a political issue that I already knew (possibly that I could correct) and was judged on my reaction to it like it was new information. Finally, the author’s political stance on this is clear from the paper. Was it also clear to the participants? If so, then it quite likely that he experienced hostility due to them being suspicious that they were being set up.

“the right framing’ to convey relevant facts,”
it is a good thing that he wants to find the right framing to convey the relevant facts
but first he must have some relevant facts
for example, is the attribution of increases in atmospheric CO2 to fossil fuel emissions a relevant fact?
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2770539

TA

chaamjamal wrote: “but first he must have some relevant facts”
Yes!

Duke U. conveniently concentrated on political identities of Dem. and Rep. Since 40% in U.S. are Independents, no political identity polarization would exist if the study was conducted on Independents. The reason this was not elected is because they knew the answer in advance and it would not support their cause.

kennethrichards

http://www.people-press.org/2013/11/01/gop-deeply-divided-over-climate-change/10-31-13-3/
According to 8 years worth of Pew Research polling (2006 to 2013, link above), only 56% of Democrats agree that humans are the primary cause of climate change. And 22% of Republicans agree. So that means that for every 10 Democrats, there are 4 who do not agree with the “consensus”. Are the differences that vast?

Dems B. Dcvrs

You need to redo your analysis using the “Cook et al” method.
Four Democrats were “perceived” to agree, meaning better than 97% Consensus.
/snark

Be careful of pew polls and research and polls regarding the environment and wildlife.
Pew has a history of severe bias when conducting and analyzing environment issues.

601nan

He might as well be the Environmental Professor of Scrabble!
What worth is THAT?
Nothing!
Who wants it?
No ONE!
Ha ha

“The perfect message to sway climate sceptics”? Simple, do the science right, and release the codes and data ready to be replicated.
Didn’t they know that already?

YES!
You said that better than I did (below).

“I’m not saying it’s totally impossible to frame climate change across party lines but it might take more time and resources than advocates imagine, and a much greater degree of care,” Zhou said.
*
I guess it’s too hard to simply tell the truth, share the data and engage in genuine discussion.
Lies, deception, manipulation, name-calling, screeching and promising the end of everything UNLESS WE DO SOMETHING NOW – especially give up freedom and democracy, technology, civilization and embrace a New World Order that no one can vote out – just might have something to do with it. Yes?

Dems B. Dcvrs

“I guess it’s too hard to simply tell the truth, share the data and engage in genuine discussion.”
But where is the Profit$, the Funding $$$, the Politic$ in that?

Not to mention the Power, the Control and all the Goodie$ one gets for being part of the Elite.
True, true. 🙂

Pat Frank

One wonders if Mr. Zhou thought to do the reverse study. Suppose, for example, “Zhou asked more than 470 Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents to read one of four randomly assigned messages that framed AGW-skepticism as a valid issue that environmentalists need to deal with and is worth understanding.
“One message framed AGW-skepticism as rescuing the economy from negative-value subsidized industries; one as augmenting national security by not distracting the military with false imperatives; one as a scientific integrity issue; and one as not diverting attention away from real (instead of fake) natural disasters. The first two messages tap into Republican identity; the last two target Democratic identity. To further test the power of partisanship, the four messages could then be randomly attributed to one of two sources: a fictional Republican congressman or a fictional Democratic one.

Would Democrats change their minds? Or environmentalists?
Why isn’t such a study equally valid? Isn’t every polarization two-sided? Why shouldn’t the other side be equally studied? Mr. Zhou’s study begins with a framing bias. The entire study is tendentious.
All these surveys by supposedly non-biased sociologists always start as though AGW were obviously true. The mystery is then why so many people disbelieve the obvious.
Mr. Zhou’s subtext is standard: How sad it is that so many are so foolish. How wonderful that we cognoscenti know the truth and compassionately seek ways to communicate it to the misguided.
If Mr. Zhou really wanted to investigate why skeptics think as they do, he’d interview skeptics themselves and ask them. But he didn’t, did he.
He presumed in ignorance that AGW skeptics are misguided and then goes on to investigate whether they can be straightened out.
Such studies as Mr. Zhou’s are a monomaniacal crock, in which only one opinion is irrationally deemed correct; irrationally because the correct opinion is vapidly ideological.
It’s not politics that drives skeptical rejection of AGW, Mr. Zhou. It’s a better (or more honest) understanding of the science.
And that better understanding has both been demonstrated and has been ignored by mindless sociologists.

Dems B. Dcvrs

“All these surveys by supposedly non-biased sociologists always start as though AGW were obviously true.”
Naturally. These studies are done by those who believe in AGW is Fact.

Yes, with a problem to solve – those wily skeptical rascals!

TA

That is their blind spot: They all assume CAGW is real. They are operating on false assumptions. Not the best place to start when doing a study of anything.
They have no proof of CAGW, at least none that will pass muster with skeptics, so when questioned, they point to the consensus and authority of Alarmists as the equivalent of proof.

Dems B. Dcvrs

“He presumed in ignorance that AGW skeptics are misguided and then goes on to investigate whether they can be straightened out.”
Doubt it was out of ignorance. Try intentional Machiavellian, Fahrenheit 451, Pravda, RMPV.

benofhouston

Don’t be so certain that it’s evil manipulation.
To use an example. I have a lot of friends on both sides of the abortion issue. The religious side is shocked at how anyone could disagree that life begins at conception, citing obvious facts like the fact that life is continuous. The liberal side is shocked that anyone could support limits on abortion, citing obvious facts like the freedom of people to control their own bodies. Both are completely certain of their beliefs, have rational arguments to back them up, and genuinely believe that the other is staffed with zealots and nutjobs who just cannot understand reason. Of course, while there are many that can see both sides and make an honest decision, many more refuse to even listen to the “madness” of the “evil” other side.
We see these zealots on this very board, posting about how we the EPA never did any good or how CO2 cannot cause any warming, both of which are demonstrably untrue.

benofhouston,
I don’t recall anyone arguing that the EPA never did any good. I do recall some folks saying the federal EPA should be abolished, but that’s a different argument.
I also think that CO2 causes global warming (but that almost all the warming took place within the first few dozen ppm).
But that abortion argument relies on extremes, such as “conception”. I don’t iknow when life begins, but do I know that when a baby/fetus is capable of living outside the mother, killing it is murder.
Abortion has been a crime for thousands of years. Was everyone wrong for thousands of years before the 1970’s? Or are modern feminists so enlightened that their views should supersede everyone else’s?
And who speaks for the murdered kids? They have their own blood type, their own brain waves, etc. If birth can be induced, why should society condone killing them for what amounts to convenience?

DredNicolson

In just about every legal code I’ve ever heard of, if a pregnant woman is murdered, the killer is also held responsible for taking the life of the unborn child.
Yet I’ve never heard abortion advocates argue that this should be changed, despite the glaring contradiction it creates regarding the legal status of the unborn. But then, left-liberal activists have never been big on consistency.

Dave N

Another article pointing out the bleeding obvious.
The whole problem is that alarmists won’t “get” it.

Reasonable Skeptic

Just reading this makes me laugh:
“Even efforts to frame climate change around seemingly win-win issues such as economic growth, national security or poverty alleviation are likely to backfire, Zhou’s study finds, if the communication conflicts with the partisan identity of the targeted audience.”
Economic growth? How does making energy more expensive help the economy? It can’t and no amount of framing will change that.
Poverty Alleviation? How does making energy expensive help the poor? It can’t and no amount of framing will change that either.
Drop the bullshit, accept reality. Is that too hard to ask?

Owen in GA

Ahh but to most CAGW believers, the economy is a land powered by fairy dust and unicorn farts. The idea that if you make the most common denominator commodity (energy) extremely expensive, you kill productivity is a completely foreign concept to them. All they see is one-world centralized control in the grand Soviet is the only goal worth having and anything that gets us there is fine, even if 5 billion people have to die of exposure or disease to get us there!

MarkW

Like most liberals, they assume that govt spending helps the economy.
They completely ignore the fact that before govt can spend a dime, it has to first take that dime from someone.
Socialism is the theory that if take money from your right pocket and put it into your left, you can make yourself richer.

Barbara

It’s difficult to even imagine that anyone would do a PhD in environmental politics! Who’s paying for this kind of thing? Maybe this fellow comes from a rich family and can afford to waste time.

noaaprogrammer

The Environmental Politics program is housed in the Department of Establishing Re-education Camps.

BFL

Proof positive that we have an education bubble! We have resources to support fetish degrees like this while so many real problems go wanting. All that schooling and the author still has zero critical thinking skills. Pathetic on so many fronts.

AndyG55

I do hope that Mr Zhou has the GUTS to read this blog.
Someone should email him.. make him WAKE UP to reality, and the utter stupidity of his paper.

Michael D

I don’t see his name in any of the replies. Maybe he doesn’t care.

NW sage

Perhaps he is off to the Gulag to be re-educated?

The End of the World and they started hiding the data. Dead giveaway there. Supposedly top scientists behaving like two-year olds and refusing to share. I swear some of them actually pout.
And yes, I apologize for denigrating two-year olds.

rogerthesurf

“”“Not only was there greater opposition after reading the framed messages, there was also less attitudinal ambivalence. This means that people dug in and became more sure of their negative opinions.”
Maybe it stimulated people to use their reasoning and confirm their conclusion that AGW is a scam, and in particular can never be linked with economic growth.
Cheers
Roger
http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com

Rick C PE

“To further test the power of partisanship, the four messages were then randomly attributed to one of two sources: a fictional Republican congressman or a fictional Democratic one.”
OK, right there is all anyone would need to presume the message being pushed is a lie.

Ian H

Apparently the search for more effective political propaganda techniques is a respectable area for academic study now. I hope public funds are not being spent on this.

TA

Ian H wrote: “Apparently the search for more effective political propaganda techniques is a respectable area for academic study now.”
That’s exactly what this study is, although I don’t think they look at it as propaganda in their minds, because they are True Believers. They are just trying to figure out how to educate us ignorant skeptics to their reality.

Odin2

It is telling that this paper treats the AGW hypothesis as if it were solely a political issue. The concern is how to package AGW in order to sell it. They are treating AGW as if they are marketing a new product.

PiperPaul

Well, they’re been using marketing, advertising, social engineering and PR tactics for like, decades. When all else fails, call in the social psychologists to introduce the notion of the “false consciousness” of your opponent.

J Wurts

For those interested,,,,,,,,
From : https://nicholas.duke.edu/people/students/zhou-0
MENGLIN (JACK) ZHOU
Environmental Sciences & Policy Division
I am a 6th-year Ph.D. student focusing on political communication, political psychology, and American climate change politics.
jack.zhou@duke.edu

Dodgy geezer

So…what you’re saying is that there is no fundamental truth behind global warming theory, and it’s just a question of politics?

temp

politics is such an ugly word to describe bold faced lies.

Owen in GA

Sounds like the common definition to me.

MarkW

Wasn’t it Bill Clinton who once said that: Once you learn to fake sincerity, you can get away with anything.

charles nelson

When Tony Bliar the Leader of the UK New Labour party realised back around ’94 that Global Warming (as it was then known) would give him an electoral advantage against the Conservatives, the cast was set. From that moment forward the issue could not be argued on purely scientific grounds.
I remember being puzzled by a sneer of hatred I got from an acquaintance when I expressed my doubts on the quality of the ‘science’.
I know it sounds childish, but THEY started this…and now that the political pendulum is rapidly swinging away from the Left they are feeling the pain…and making that terrible squealing noise.
The Koch Bros have come out for Hillary…you can practically see their eyes rolling around!

Trump wins: everything is fine, Hillary wins: ‘you owe us a favour’.

How about the alarmists stop trying to play psych games and simply tell the truth, give correct valid evidence and show why their claims are true? Oh wait….

David A

Exactly Ron, truth, being purely relative to any statist, has no real objectivity, even in so called science, which has indeed become post-normal. From the article…
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“One message framed climate change as an economic issue; one as a national security issue; one as a moral justice issue; and one as a natural disaster issue”…
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Well they are 0 for 4 as the validity of CAGW is a scientific issue, which it fails miserably. CAGW policy is horrible for the “economy”, and therefore for “national security”, and additionally CAGW policy demands of giving up sovereign powers is also poor for national security. CAGW policy is anything but morally justified as it is criminal in hurting the poor, steals from the middle class to support the wealthy, and is based on pure propaganda, and the “natural disasters” have failed to materialize but the immense benefits, (feeding close to 1/5th of global population with no additional land or water required) are immense.
The condescending study goes on…
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“These backfire effects doubled or tripled in size among individuals who reported a high personal interest in politics, which functions as a measure of intensity of political identity.”
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Arrogance mixed with ignorance, as their is no consideration of the possibility that those with a strong personal interest may have a greater level of education on the issues. Any condescending and wrong attempt to sale CAGW to me based on …”an economic issue; a national security issue; a moral justice issue; or a natural disaster issue”… would simply invoke a bit of angst in my response, just as this ignorant of the issues social studies ideologue assumptions of the “correctness” of CAGW invokes a similar reaction.

David A

I should add that the one means by which CAGW advocates have successfully sold their political message of CAGW is through the giveaway of other peoples money. The author of this study should examine how his own financial security is predicated on accepting the CAGW agenda. He should study the diverse degrees of skepticism in government funded scientists, vs. independent and retired scientists.
He would arrive at the inevitable conclusion that the “perfect” way to convince people of CAGW is to pay them to believe!

A PhD can be awarded for this? What is academia coming to?

Felflames

Piled High and Deep .
That about covers it I think.

It apparently takes only six years of delusion and *** kissing.

Chris Hanley

I’d like to know how people who claim to believe that fossil fuels will eventually cause an unprecedented global catastrophe can continue using them, usually without compunction.
Cognitive dissonance on stilts.
They are either lying to themselves and others or suffering unbearable inner conflict, I don’t know how they live with themselves.

James Francisco

I’ve had the same question Chris. It also seems to me that most of those same people are the ones that scream the loudest when the price of fosse fuel goes up.

I suspect there is far fewer of them than we are led to believe. The few might not be sincere. They act as many, scream as loudly and under as many different names as they can, and are paid for their activism.
That’s my take on it anyway. It’s a massive c o n on every level and in every way.

” … a Ph.D. in environmental politics…from Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment.”
What could be more polarizing than a doctorate in sanctimonious wank from an obscure gag-reflex inducing university which, with absolute certainty, gets its money by forcing it from ordinary people.
Talk about first-to-get-it when the revolution comes…

indefatigablefrog

“Even efforts to frame climate change around seemingly win-win issues such as economic growth, national security or poverty alleviation are likely to backfire, Zhou’s study finds”
Yes, quite possibly because these are areas in which flushing cash down the toilet for no clearly justifiable reason is invariably a lose-lose.
It’s that simple.
We aren’t convinced by your “seemingly win-win issues” because they are lose-lose issues.
All pain and no gain.
Why don’t these idiots actually spend some time trying to comprehend why some other people have no time for their agenda to promote apocalyptic thinking whilst foisting expensive and ineffective energy generation technologies onto the people of the world.
First they exclude skeptics from the debate – and now they fail to understand what skeptics are saying.
Well, idiots, you won’t be able to convince us of anything if you refuse to engage in any kind of reasonable debate. We didn’t turn this into a tale of two isolated echo-chambers – that was the purposeful strategy of the alarmist side. You wouldn’t even engage with Lomborg or Curry.
And Lomborg or Curry are far more eager to accept the basic tenets of the proposed problem and proposed solution, than most commenters and article writers here.
Skeptics asked for debate, alarmists refused.
You walled us in, and now you are puzzled to note that you can not break down the very wall which you erected.
That’s what happens when you dispense with rational skeptical discourse and deplatform reasonable commentators.
So good luck with your stupid delusion, we hope that it works out for you.
In the mean time – watch out for Russia and China – because they are not buying this crap and they are going to quite enjoy watching this massive self-inflicted disaster play out in real time.

I’m trying to comprehend this.
They took fake information, attributed to fake people, and were shocked to find that their subjects saw right through the bullsh*t. Which they then attributed to party affiliation event though the evidence from party affiliation was even more soundly rejected. Oh, and the more people were informed of the issues themselves, the more likely they were to call bullshit.
Hat’s off to Zhou. He disproved his entire belief system and published an article showing his errors. Sadly, he doesn’t seem to understand that is what he did.

kim

Nice.
====

kim

davidm, didn’t you notice it was peer reviewed? Now what do you have to say?
==============

This article gives just another proof of Cognitive Dissonance.

I did not realise our universities had “Departments for Stating the Bleeding Obvious”

4TimesAYear

“all eight vignettes backfired when compared to the control group, who were asked to simply think about climate change as a political issue.”
Did they include the terms “catastrophic” and “anthropogenic”? Need to know…;)

Mark

What utter after the fact garbage.
The warmunists mae it a polarised political argument because the science was never going to win argument for them.

Scarface

As long as AGW’s settled science is unable to deliver even the slightest proof of their hypothesis, I’m not the least convinced. Keep trying!

Leo Smith

The alarmist always claim I ‘deny’ climate change because of my politics.
In fact my politics arise because after being mildly pro warmist, a period of deep investigation convinced me of the complete opposite.
Once the realisation dawns that the evidence is being ignored for commercial and political reasons, its not hard to work out which political classes, and which corporate entities are profiting to the detriment of the actual citizens of the world.

Bryan

This survey is focused on politics in the USA
There is nothing like that polarization here in the UK
Indeed several right wing ‘heroes’ like Margaret Thatcher, Lord Deben and David Cameron pushed the CO2 global warming scare story.
The take home message is that politics has nothing to do with science facts.
To suggest otherwise is completely irrational and anti scientific.

David A

…and, since the science does not support CAGW, the message fails.

Owen in GA

Thatcher did it to break the coal unions, I am not sure she believed a word of it. Cameron could be the leader of the New Labor party for all of his public positions. I haven’t read Lord Deben’s positions so can’t comment.
Politicians tend to take positions that improve their chances for power and control. Fathoming what they really believe is usually an exercise in futility.

Mark

This is more of the stuff Schmidt was talking about, “stop using science with stupid bigoted Texans of whom I have nothing in common because I am a “Religious Atheist from New York apparently””
Yes this man is so deluded as to both identify with a religion and call himself atheist at the same time.
This is the onMessage game they are playing, social engineering, rather than actual science, because they cannot empirically prove their claims and most humans are pragmatic, and want cold hard data, not stuff made of guesses and fancy

So what about those who identify themselves as politically left of centre (ie the equivalent to a Democrat in the US) but are skeptical of climate change?
I am a left leaning voter and disagree quite vehemently with a lot of “politically motivated” skeptics about their politics, say on Europe or on Health care or other social issues, but I agree on the issue of climate because it is a science question FIRST which implies a political response SECOND. The state of the science now is that the political solutions proposed are not justified by the evidence. I don’t need to be politically conservative to see that.
I am extremely concerned about the environment and social welfare. I would rather our efforts go towards helping developing nations develop, ensuring society is robust to any changes in climate, developing newer, safer, cheaper, dispatchable, scalable and more abundant forms of energy such as Thorium fission or small scale fusion. I am reasonably convinced by the argument that human welfare is tied to environmental protection – wealthier societies are more capable of caring for the planet and taking steps to minimize their impact.
I agree with the study that if the position is argued along polar lines, then hubris, or identity bias occurs. “I’m a republican and your a democrat. All pinko leftie democrats are wrong. They think climate change is a problem and since all democrats are wrong, therefore it isn’t.” And it works the other way around just as much. But AGW and especially CAGW is firstly a science question and any objective assessment of the evidence would conclude that AGW is barely detectable if it exists and CAGW is pretty much fantasy. Therefore political action on the science is not justified however well intentioned.
What I really find objectionable is that the issue constantly linked to political allegiances. It’s very strongly linked in the US, a bit less so in Australia, and very much less so in the UK. If we want to make progress on this issue, political allegiances should be utterly irrelevant. Arguing that “the climate change issue suits the left because they want to control our lives” is NOT an argument however much one might believe it. The only issue that matters is the evidence and the science and whether it is fairly represented.

David A

“Arguing that “the climate change issue suits the left because they want to control our lives” is NOT an argument however much one might believe it”
===============
Must disagree with you there. It is not an argument about the science, but certainly it is a valid argument about who advocates for CAGW, and why. Dozens of quotes and hundreds of policy proposals from very prominent globalists support this argument.

No it’s NOT a valid argument. The people “you” think are trying to use the issue to control our lives do not think that’s what they are doing. So in a discussion regarding climate science that accusation of motive only serves to cloud the issue.
I cannot deny that the Schneider nobel cause corruption element exists, but the motives of those “concerned” are often laudable – ie they believe we should do no harm. To argue that climate change is not anthropogenic or not a concern because people promoting it want to control our lives is NOT a valid argument, and it undermines credibility. It is not a concern because the science does not support and nor does the reasoning (the precautionary principle). But that has to be explained and argued and not confused with what to do about it. I’m afraid that reasoning – that CC is not a concern because its only a ruse to “control our lives” is absolutely how the skeptic argument is perceived. Those lazy thinkers that haven’t tried to look at the evidence critically find it easy to then dismiss those with valid arguments and evidence showing that it is not a problem.
It would be better to appeal to their underlying inclinations; do no harm. Argue that Climate Change mitigation is harmful and useless. It is an ineffective and expensive solution to a non-problem. That it is a non-problem can be easily shown, but even if it were look at the harm attempts to mitigate cause economically and environmentally. Show them that the best solution is adaptation and realistic energy solutions – these are things that are worthwhile regardless, and protects both man and nature irrespective of whether fossil fuels are affecting our climate.
That is an argument that has a much better chance of prevailing in my view.

David A

What part of…
============
” It is not an argument about the science, but certainly it is a valid argument about who advocates for CAGW, and why”
===========
did you not read? If you want a nuanced study about the disparate reasons people support CAGW, then read one of several books on the subject as this is not the space to articulate in detail; Peer pressure, confirmation bias, noble cause corruption, political power, greed, control/power, ignorance and trust of “consensus science” monetary motivation, etc.., but there is not doubt that political power, global government and control as well as billions of dollars are motivation’
and you are incorrect, they do say it…
If I were reincarnated, I would wish to be returned to Earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.
— Prince Phillip, World Wildlife Fund
Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?
— Maurice Strong, U.N. environmental leader and IPCC creator
and dozens more quotes if you wish.
Books have been written about this. I suggest you read “Blue Planet in Green Shackles”

David A

some more for you…
”No matter if the science of global warming is all phony… climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.”
Christine Stewart,
former Canadian Minister of the Environment
”The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.”
Emeritus Professor Daniel Botkin
”A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States. De-Development means bringing our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the world resource situation.”
Paul Ehrlich,
Professor of Population Studies,
Author: “Population Bomb”, “Ecoscience”
”Global Sustainability requires the deliberate quest of poverty, reduced resource consumption and set levels of mortality control.”
Professor Maurice King
…many more quotes if you wish.
To enable any of the global save the world policies these people advocate REQUIRES power and control over others, and every single one of these people advocate INTERNATIONAL statist political control.
“Such is the nature of the tyrant, when he first appears, he is a protector” Plato
A significant portion of the founding principles of the US are based on protecting individuals from being “protected”, via government help. CAGW is not supportable by the science, but to remain ignorant of the political motivations of those most ardently supporting it is, IMV, not wise.

David A

oh, and not to rub it in, but one more recent one..
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The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated. – Ottmar Edenhofer
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David A

sorry, but it needs to be rubbed in…
==============================
“In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that ..global warming.. would fit the bill…we believe humanity requires a .. common adversary in order to realize world government. It does not matter if this common enemy is a real one or….one invented for the purpose.” -Club of Rome, Mankind at the Turning Point
================================

David A

It is not bad faith to notice these things or to point them out, nor to remind people that industrial civilization – based on fossil fuels – has roughly doubled life expectancy and fantastically improved the material quality of human life.
It is not bad faith to notice the horrific implications for humanity if the worst of the eco-AGW-radicals ever came to power. We have seen their like before. In the period from 1920 to about 1985, communist governments killed more than 100 million of their own people to enforce their demented vision. The insanity and depravity of those atrocities truly difficult to grasp, yet it is all there in the historical record.
So, in the admirable quest for civility, let us not lose sight of the openly-expressed and standing-ovation-endorsed totalitarian political motivations of a non-trivial element of those on the CAGW bandwagon, including senior leadership of the IPCC.

Raven

David A wrote:

It is not bad faith to notice the horrific implications for humanity if the worst of the eco-AGW-radicals ever came to power.

Agreed, and it’s quite similar to the “Religion of peace” argument, I think.
The problem is that the eco-AGW-radicals are the ones setting the agenda.

TA

agnostic2015 wrote: “but I agree on the issue of climate because it is a science question FIRST”
It doesn’t matter what political persuasion you are, as long as you look at the CAGW issue that way, you are a member in good standing of The Skeptics club. 🙂
The rhetoric does seem to make the CAGW issue much more partisan in the U.S., but that may just be because the Left controls the media, for the most part, and the message, so they have a larger megaphone, which just makes it seem more partisan.
But I think the polls show that even a lot of U.S. Democrats are not buying the CAGW theory. Concerns about CAGW are usually down at the bottom.

Stephen Richards

Where is Dr Robert Brown of DUKE. Miss his comment badly

Owen in GA

It is coming to finals time. This means ceiling high grading piles and exams to prepare for a college professor.
Agree that his posts were always very informative.

michael hammer

I suppose there is no point in suggesting that maybe the best strategy would be to listen to peoples concerns and reasons for scepticism and then try to answer those concerns. Ohhh, wait a minute, that would mean they had to have some credible answers to real questions. Worse, it could end up in a DEBATE !!!! Stupid me, I had better go wash my mouth out /sarc

Eugene WR Gallun

It might be because everything they advocate has only a downside. Their message basically is “Come, wallow in our shit”. People with half a brain get that message. — Eugene WR GAllun

Zhou stressed. “I would expect if I asked Democrats to read framed messages about how climate change is a hoax, I would also see strong backfire effects.”

Why didn’t he?

How do you know he didn’t ask democrats to read framed messages and decided not to publish or try to explain that detrimental piece of scientific data

Evan Jones

“Communication that doesn’t work perfectly — if such a thing even exists — could polarize these audiences further from where you want them to be.”
No kidding. Politics won’t do. Politics is not the dog. It is only the big, bushy tail. Science is the dog. The tail will ultimately go where the dog goes.

David A

… and the atmosphere’s climate is likely a tail between the sun and the oceans.