Latest Liberal Climate Plan: Buy Off the "Conservative Elites", To Sway the Sheep


Guest essay by Eric Worrall

One of the more amusing climate dramas in the wake of the Trump victory, is watching Liberal attempts to construct a theory of Conservative climate “denial”, so they can figure out which button to prod to make us all support carbon pricing.

This one weird trick will not convince conservatives to fight climate change

Clever new arguments are beside the point.

Updated by David Roberts @drvox Dec 28, 2016, 9:10am EST

Conservative climate denialists are a source of immense frustration to scientists and liberals — and have been for decades. As long as I’ve been writing, there’s been a perpetual quest to find just the right argument to appeal to conservatives and pierce their denial.

This has led to periodic flurries of headlines in the climate journosphere around various social science studies that purport to finally crack the nut, to find the argument that works. Dozens of “easy ways to get conservatives to care about climate change” have floated through the media over the years; oddly, with all these easy ways to change their minds floating around, conservatives continue denying climate change

The latest chapter of this unending story began a few weeks ago, when a paper was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that purported to show a way to change pro-environmental attitudes in conservatives.

The studies were conducted online. Study participants were exposed to various messages about climate change (and other social problems) and then rated their feelings about the urgency of the problem.

The results showed that “past comparisons” — comparing the damage climate change has done to the past purity of ecosystems — do more to increase conservatives’ pro-environmental feelings than warnings about the future. “Past comparisons largely bridged the political divide in addressing global warming,” the authors write.

“Our studies describe in words and pictures what the past used to be like, an almost Eden-like version of the planet, one with clean forests and little traffic and pollution. Then we draw a comparison to today, without any references to the future,” Matthew Baldwin, a post-doctoral fellow in psychology at the University of Cologne and one of the authors, told Climate Progress. “It is much harder to avoid the reality of change when the comparison is to the beautiful planet in its ‘untouched’ form.”

Only conservative elites can change conservative climate beliefs

The literature on how public opinion is formed and influenced is fairly clear. I summarized it (drawing on this great Jerry Taylor post, which in turn draws on John Zaller’s The Nature & Origins of Mass Opinion) here:

One, most people have no coherent ideology and no firm opinions on “issues,” as they are defined in politics.

Two, partially as a consequence, “elite discourse is the most important driver of public opinion.”

How can conservative elites be persuaded to think and communicate differently about climate change? That’s a subject for another post, but here’s a spoiler: The answer won’t be found in clever arguments or skillful persuasion, but in money, power, and material interests.

Read more:

The abstract of the published paper referenced by the article;

Past-focused environmental comparisons promote proenvironmental outcomes for conservatives

Conservatives appear more skeptical about climate change and global warming and less willing to act against it than liberals. We propose that this unwillingness could result from fundamental differences in conservatives’ and liberals’ temporal focus. Conservatives tend to focus more on the past than do liberals. Across six studies, we rely on this notion to demonstrate that conservatives are positively affected by past- but not by future-focused environmental comparisons. Past comparisons largely eliminated the political divide that separated liberal and conservative respondents’ attitudes toward and behavior regarding climate change, so that across these studies conservatives and liberals were nearly equally likely to fight climate change. This research demonstrates how psychological processes, such as temporal comparison, underlie the prevalent ideological gap in addressing climate change. It opens up a promising avenue to convince conservatives effectively of the need to address climate change and global warming.

Read more:

Hasn’t buying off Conservatives already been tried? That plan failed, as I recall.

There are enormous potential financial opportunities for rich elites who support carbon pricing, to skim money from the misery of poor people through rent-seeking – using their capital and influence to force ordinary people to buy their expensive green energy.

The fact such rent-seeking schemes have been vocally criticised and largely rejected, in many cases by people who stood to make billions had they been implemented, demonstrates that at least some people in positions of influence still give a damn about doing the right thing. You can’t buy off everyone, David Roberts.

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December 28, 2016 5:13 pm

One “conservative” is apparently already all for climate change: our Sec of State nominee Rex Tillerson.
James Delingpole is very critical of Tillerson:
“under its CEO Rex Tillerson, Exxon had a track record of corporate cowardice (withdrawing funding from right-wing think tanks; failing to speak up for fossil fuels; kow-towing to greens)…”
Rex Tillerson Oct 2016: “At ExxonMobil, we share the view that the risks of climate change are serious… [and favor] the Paris agreeement.”

Owen in GA
Reply to  Eric Simpson
December 28, 2016 5:53 pm

His company was positioned to make billions off the shift from coal to gas. I wonder how much was a business decision to use the crony capitalist elements of the carbon scheme to drive a major low-cost competitor out of the marketplace. I still don’t like that Trump is putting crony capitalists into major positions. They like decisions that give them nice long-term stability at the expense of start-ups and new technology entry to the marketplace. That works great for government regulators and mega-corporations, but stifles innovation and the creative destruction that marks a healthy marketplace.

Reply to  Owen in GA
December 29, 2016 12:10 am

Exxon’s own scientists came to this conclusion, so why do you assign their motive strictly to self interest? A carbon tax, which Exxon supports, will certainly have an adverse impact on natural gas and gasoline as well, not just coal.

Owen in GA
Reply to  Owen in GA
December 29, 2016 4:16 am

That is a very weak argument. A scientist sent a memo summarizing the published articles with a comment that he didn’t believe any of it. But keep drinking the “Exxon knew” kool aide, you and Schneiderman can be codefendants when Exxon’s lawyers finally get tired of the slander and file RICO private action against you both.
Of course, now that a new sheriff will be in charge at DOJ next month, criminal RICO may be forthcoming against those AGs that started the over-broad fishing expedition.
I really wish the folks on the left would quit using “1984” and “A Brave New World” as manuals for good government.

Reply to  Owen in GA
December 29, 2016 8:16 am

Ignore all the BS, coming and going, and WATCH THE MOVEMENTS OF THE MONEY. That’s where the real story is told–what basket The Mighty are putting their eggs in. Several years ago Forbes published an article in which it was stated that the “decarbonization” problem would shortly take care of itself via that very switch from coal and oil to gas that you mention. In the meantime, why wouldn’t the CEO of a company standing to make billions thereby indulge in some (wink-wink) “green” virtue-signalling? Remember who was in charge of our culture up until the wee hours of 11/9/16? Yeah–“The Matrix!”

Reply to  Owen in GA
December 29, 2016 8:29 am

Chris, why do you need to lie about things that have been thoroughly covered here.
Exxon’s scientists concluded that the CO2 affected the climate, but made no decision regarding how much.
Even you should be able to recognize that a carbon tax would hit those forms of energy highest in carbon the most. Thus forcing a shift from coal which Exxon doesn’t produce to oil and gas, which they do.

Jim G1
Reply to  Eric Simpson
December 28, 2016 5:57 pm

Having had a career in big corporate I can speak with some knowledge and assure you that big corporate is rife with cowardice in the face of government and the potential for loss of sales. Shareholder value and, even more importantly, CEO compensation are always in the forefront. At some point a guy like Tillerson makes a decision about what is best for him to say in the gace of these primary considerations. It’s what I like least about the corporate hounds Trump is taking on this hunt.

Jim G1
Reply to  Jim G1
December 28, 2016 5:58 pm

Face not gace.

Javert Chip
Reply to  Jim G1
December 28, 2016 6:35 pm

Jim G1
So you’re expecting designated virgins to fill Trump’s cabinet positions; I guess you’d better get used to disappointment.
Most of his selections have stunning accomplishments while working difficult (non-government) jobs. Have they had to compromise – yea, I’m sure they have. Did they check with you before they did so – apparently not. The trick to compromise is to do so to achieve a higher priority goal without selling your soul. So you disagree with a couple of the 1,000,000 high pressure decisions they’ve made. Big deal – none of these guys played bean-bag for a career.
Lemmie guess – you may have had to compromise once or twice in our career…wanna discuss it? I just might have a different perception of it (them) than you.

Javert Chip
Reply to  Jim G1
December 28, 2016 6:36 pm

Ps: I’m a retired corporate CFO

Reply to  Jim G1
December 28, 2016 7:05 pm

Senior management sticks its finger to the wind to determine which way it is blowing.
Major corporations have no “beliefs” regarding climate change, whether it is happening, why it is happening or not, as the case may be, but they are serious about presenting themselves as good corporate citizens because it affects sales and therefore the jobs of the managers.
If the management of a major corporation considers that hugging trees and building windmills somehow enable them to make more sales then they will hug trees and build windmills. There is no belief in the efficacy of tree hugging or windmill building.
Joe Blow in the street knows it cannot be sustained, but as long as it allows the current crop of managers to get out with their suitcases packed with cash it will have been a successful policy [for them].

Jim G1
Reply to  Jim G1
December 29, 2016 8:35 am

Javert Chip,
Character and honesty are sometimes more respected by customers than jumping on whatever band wagon is going by. Not so much govrnment. Selling out on telling the truth can sometimes come back to bite one on the ass in any event. I’ve seen honest guys at high levels as well as brown nosers, though the lickspittles did tend to move along faster. My point was that I hope that Tillerson does not really believe in agw for then I would question his intelligence. In this case my hope is that he was playing the good corporate boy and going along to get along. There is a big difference between smart and shrewd, by the way. And I was a national VP and president of a subsidiary plus I have successfully owned and operated my own businesses. Some of the worst managers I have seen have been bean counters, BTW.

Reply to  Jim G1
December 29, 2016 8:45 am

As Javert Chip indicated, if you want a saint, go look in a seminary. If you want things done, look to those who have done things. Which precludes politics.

Reply to  Eric Simpson
December 28, 2016 6:39 pm

Just a thought Eric, Like Trump who had to build in heavily controlled DEM/Union cities you followed the rules of PC. Exxon had a global target on his firm’s back and had to buy off Greens to be allowed to operate…I am sure not his choosing.

Reply to  visionar2013
December 28, 2016 9:36 pm

The Sec of State arguably would play a key role on the Paris Accord. Why don’t we just get somebody that has no ambiguity in saying they oppose the leftist climate change lunacy and the Paris Accord, instead of someone that says the opposite. 80%+ of Republicans oppose that leftist garbage. It shouldn’t be so hard.

Reply to  Eric Simpson
December 28, 2016 11:35 pm

Say it isn’t so…😟

Reply to  4TimesAYear (@4TimesAYear)
December 29, 2016 12:34 am

It is so I’m afraid. And I’m just seeing more come across the wires:
From the NY Times yesterday: Tillerson Led Exxon’s Shift [Left] on Climate Change
(Tillerson bucked much of Exxon to push his leftism on climate change)
Plus, from The Daily Caller today:
Social Conservatives Aren’t Thrilled With Rex Tillerson:
An excerpt:
Perkins wrote that Tillerson “may be the greatest ally liberals have in the Cabinet for their abortion and LGBT agendas. To hear that Donald Trump may be appointing a man who not only led the charge to open the Boy Scouts to gay troop leaders but whose company directly gives to Planned Parenthood is upsetting at best,” continued Perkins, who accused Tillerson of allying with the radical LGBT group Human Rights Campaign.
Clearly Tillerson’s openness to adult gays leading boy scouts has perhaps nothing to do with the Sec of State position, but it shows a general liberalness, as on climate change, an issue which is relevant to the Sec of State.

Reply to  Eric Simpson
December 29, 2016 2:57 am

Delingpole is hyper-ventilating. Listen to this hour-long interview between Tillerson and Charlie Rose in 2013:

Tillerson is more diplomatic than Delingpole is giving him credit for. I found the interview enlightening for what he didn’t say, but implied.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Eric Simpson
December 29, 2016 4:12 am

Why don’t we just get somebody that has no ambiguity in saying they oppose the leftist climate change lunacy and the Paris Accord, instead of someone that says the opposite.

Eric Simpson, are you inferring that you are that “somebody” that Trump should appoint to the position of Secretary of State?
Eric, were you speaking for yourself in your above rant, …… or speaking for James Delingpole?
Or were you just paraphrasing or mimicking the opinion of James Delingpole after you read/heard that he was “very critical of Tillerson”?
Eric, I guess with all of your knowledge and experience you acquired during your past many years of being CEO of several successful large corporations gives you the credibility to agree with and support James Delingpole’s “badmouthing” of Rex Tillerson, ……. RIGHT?
Iffen one goes to bout any pub or barroom ….. they can always find a few beer drinking “guzzlers” that will surely tell most anyone that they “know a hell of a lot more about running the business” that employs them …… than any of their supervisors and managers do.

Pop Piasa
December 28, 2016 5:14 pm

Obviously conservatives don’t think like liberals would like them too. However, they’ve missed an important factor. Conservative people don’t just blindly follow leadership.

Reply to  Pop Piasa
December 28, 2016 6:49 pm

“Conservative people don’t just blindly follow leadership.”
Conservatives are independent thinkers. Liberals are sheep who follow the leader, and don’t think for themselves but instead adopt the mantra currently favored by their peer group.
I think that is a better distinction between the two than that conservatives are rooted in the past and Liberals are future oriented.

Reply to  TA
December 28, 2016 8:09 pm

A lib thinks the government is the solution
An American thinks the government is the problem.

Reply to  TA
December 29, 2016 3:07 am

Conservatives are independent thinkers. Liberals are sheep who follow the leader . . .

I can name conservatives in my family who are not independent thinkers, they’re reactionary accusatory a-holes, and I have liberals in my family who are nuanced and thoughtful. And vice versa. Throwing everyone into two silos isn’t particularly helpful or descriptive.

Reply to  TA
December 29, 2016 4:02 am

All I can see is that people who are “liberals” want to tell me how to live, what to think, and what I can and can’t do. And If I don’t agree, they want me punished. If that is future oriented? you can keep it.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  TA
December 29, 2016 6:16 am

Ok MRW, I over-simplified. I was a liberal for most of my younger days and was still a critical thinker. I disliked both Bush administrations and blame Reagan and union-busting for the demise of the middle class. To me, the neo-conservative movement was just as anti-constitutional as the progressive movement. The liberal mindset however, has gone far past the traditional Democratic values that existed in the 60’s, and now is blatantly socialist. Free thinkers are the force that put Trump in the whitehouse.

Reply to  TA
December 29, 2016 10:46 am

“Throwing everyone into two silos isn’t particularly helpful or descriptive.”
In the case of politics, it is helpful. That’s not to say that there are not a number of people who do not fit the stereotype, but there *are* a lot of people who *do* fit the stereotype. Enough that a generalization is accurate to a certain degree.
I know some very thoughtful Lefties, but when it comes to politics, their brains stop working properly for some reason. I attribute it to their emotional makeup. We don’t discuss politics among ourselves, because they can’t do so without becoming emotionally overwrought when they realize you don’t agree with them. So why bother.? And that’s fairly standard behavior from what I have seen.

Reply to  TA
December 29, 2016 11:56 am

@Pop Piasa,

now is blatantly socialist.

I don’t know what you define as socialist, and my schoolbook understanding of the word is still stuck in the early part of the 20th C.
“Socialism” became the country’s biggest fear after the 1893 Panic, a global economic panic that lasted for five years and led to the uprising of the Russian peasantry and (subsequently) communism in that country in 1917; the Russian Revolution. In fact, the socialism fear was so great in this country that they had to manufacture the appearance of a private sector component when they created the central bank and the district Federal Reserves in 1913 because the public wouldn’t go along with even the appearance that the federal government might control local and state banks, and hence, their livelihoods. Senate hearings held throughout October 1913 with over 500 businessmen and bankers from around the country appearing as witnesses yielded over 3600 pages of testimony. So it’s a word fraught with fear.
But I still don’t know what anyone means when they use that term in 2016. It seems like an automatic tic to me. As far as I know socialism is when the government owns the means of production and employment.

Tom Anderson
Reply to  TA
December 29, 2016 4:08 pm

Hey, let’s not call them “liberal.” What a misbegotten moniker. There ought to be something better, like deadfish, or killjoys, or Leder-kopfen. Just because a “Liberal” party was once the opposite of some “Conservative” party doesn’t mean there is such a party anymore, or that the bunch who swiped the name own it. They sure don’t deserve it.

Reply to  Pop Piasa
December 29, 2016 10:12 am

More to the point, they’ve missed the fact that Trump won the election despite the opposition of the ‘Conservative elite’. The election was a blatant repudiation of the ‘elite’. They’re a spent force.

Reply to  Pop Piasa
December 30, 2016 4:40 am

“Conservative people don’t just blindly follow leadership.”
Blindly naive. One of the more frustrating problems in all of these divides is this sort of generalization. My facebook feed has become so overwhelmed with reflexively reactionary rubbish from both sides that I had to stop following just about everyone. Conservatism is full of dinosaur riders and liberalism is full of unicorn riders.

December 28, 2016 5:21 pm

of course the buy-off will be with our taxes just like the buy-off idea by the UN to pay undeveloped countries to stay undeveloped.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  chaamjamal
December 28, 2016 5:46 pm

Ironic that the affluence in western societies has been earned, not bought. A free society thrives when grown from seed, but struggles and often dies when transplanted.
The UN must quit harboring oppressive dictators, if the third-world population is to be controlled. People need a purpose in life other than surviving to copulate once more. When all people are presented with the choice of affluence (which is the product of their own work ethic), natural population control will be achieved.

Reply to  Pop Piasa
December 28, 2016 6:30 pm

The UN must quit harboring oppressive dictators …

The UN is mostly made up of oppressive dictators.

Javert Chip
Reply to  Pop Piasa
December 28, 2016 6:39 pm

That is not true; some of them are quite charming. Jimmy Carter said so…and he said more than a few of them had attractive wives.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Pop Piasa
December 28, 2016 9:10 pm

“The UN must quit harboring oppressive dictators”
It is going to be a very lonely place. OTOH, I care not. the UN has outlived its sell by date. Maybe Donald will be willing to shut it down if he can get the rights to turn its buildings into a multi-use condo development.

December 28, 2016 5:29 pm

Heh. I’ll be more than happy to change my views for $10 billion. Any Watermelons want to donate?

Reply to  SMC
December 28, 2016 5:40 pm

Ahh but would you change it for $10?

Reply to  Bulldust
December 28, 2016 6:41 pm

Now we’re just setting the price…

Reply to  Bulldust
December 28, 2016 7:56 pm

$10 dollars will barely buy me a 6 pack of my favorite beer. But I’m willing to negotiate. How about $15 billion. 🙂

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  Bulldust
December 29, 2016 12:09 am

Hell, I’ll do it for half that. $8 billion and I’ll believe whatever you want me to believe.

Ross King(@kingross1st)
December 28, 2016 5:32 pm

What about Gore positioning himself to profit from Carbon-Credit trading …. hypothesis or fact?

Not important
Reply to  Ross King
December 28, 2016 5:34 pm


Reply to  Not important
December 29, 2016 3:11 am


Dale Gulick
Reply to  Ross King
December 28, 2016 6:10 pm

“We have already established what you are, now we are just haggling over the price.”

Matt Bergin
Reply to  Dale Gulick
December 28, 2016 9:51 pm

Thanks Dale.One of my favorite jokes. Guaranteed to give an SJW a conniption.

December 28, 2016 5:34 pm

“Conservative climate denialists are a source of immense frustration to scientists and liberals — and have been for decades.”
Just what is it that you bleeding hearts think we are denying? Griff, care to weigh in on this?

Owen in GA
Reply to  Kamikazedave
December 28, 2016 6:22 pm

Liberals in general see themselves as the smartest example of mankind. Thus, those who disagree with anything they believe aren’t wrong, they are either evil or stupid. Never mind that I’ve blown holes in their arguments time and again even giving them their core starting assumptions using applied logic to their own arguments.
Liberals in general seem to believe in magic, but instead of pointed hats and colorful long robes, their magicians wear lab coats and pocket protectors (nothing wrong with a good pocket protector when you are carrying drafting and writing instruments in your pockets by the way). They also do not recognize the limitations of science.
There was a famous physicist named Philipp von Jolly who advised his student in 1874 not to go into theoretical physics because all the good discoveries in this mature field had already been made. It is a good thing that student ignored him or else Max Planck would have missed his true calling of being one of the fathers of quantum physics. Most liberals make the same mistake as Professor von Jolly – out of misplaced confidence in the knowledge of man, they place a veneer of infallibility over science. Yet every time scientists have investigated something they have found something that doesn’t quite line up with previous theory if they look closely enough. When something impossible happens in the lab, it isn’t because we understood it well, but that we had no idea of something critical. It does happen that the things that don’t line up now are really hard to experiment on – you can’t really make a pocket galaxy in the lab in order to make careful controlled measurements to account for “dark matter and energy” and doing measurements on the real galaxies are complicated by time-space distortions created by the very things we measure. It is also very hard to study individual particles since the act of measuring them seems to change their nature.
The universe is constantly throwing new surprises up for us to find. Warmists would miss the surprise because it didn’t meet their accepted dogma.

Reply to  Owen in GA
December 28, 2016 6:52 pm

Well said. They are over-reliant on logic and reasoning and tend to ignore the glaringly obvious. They act like they have right brain damage. Such people will believe anything as long as it is not self-contradictory. They will underestimate the difficulty of a project and will be surprised and disappointed with the results they get. The book The Master and His Emissary lays out the science well.

Reply to  Owen in GA
December 28, 2016 10:05 pm

Owen in GA “Most liberals make the same mistake as Professor von Jolly – out of misplaced confidence in the knowledge of man, they place a veneer of infallibility over science.”
Also remember “climate change” is politicized science. Politicized science is not science. It’s straight out advocacy, and doing everything to further what their advocating instead of searching for objective truth. Politicized science has no credibility. None.

Owen in GA
Reply to  Owen in GA
December 29, 2016 4:09 am

The “scientists” aren’t the problem per se. It is the mass of liberals who couldn’t spell science who have latched on to this latest sciency fad as an opportunity to implement one-world totalitarianism on the proletariat. They don’t know or even care about the details of the data manipulations. Only the implementation of rule by experts (with them being the experts of course) is important. How one fools the proles into accepting it and welcoming it in is just details to be worked as one goes.

December 28, 2016 5:40 pm

Interesting, they have been bribing the climate community for years and are delusional in expecting people with integrity will fall into line at the expense of the economy and the nation.

December 28, 2016 5:45 pm

I think it odd that climate change alarmists are trying to find the best way to preach to the unfaithful when all it really takes is debates between competent parties and winning that debate. Should be pretty easy if the science is settled. While it hasn’t happened recently, it did take place at Roger Pielke’s blog on occasion several years back and I found these to be very helpful at understanding the consensus view.

Reply to  Sean
December 28, 2016 5:55 pm

Should be pretty easy if the science is settled.
the quickest way for a climate scientist to convince a skeptic, is for the climate scientists to take another line of work. why do we need climate scientists to study settled science? we use engineers to build solutions, once the science is settled.
convince me that climate change is real. quit working as a climate scientists and take a job in another field. so long as there is a need for climate scientists I will be skeptical that the climate scientists truly understand the problem. if they truly did understand the problem, there would be no need for them to study the problem.

December 28, 2016 5:49 pm

what the past used to be like, an almost Eden-like version of the planet
where knuckle-heads like the authors would work 12-16 hours a day to support themselves and their families in a standard of living that would be called “cruel and inhuman” by today’s standards. And their reward for this life of sacrifice? Half their children would die of disease by age 5, their wife would be dead before 40 from child-rearing, and they themselves would die of “old age” before 50.
the Earth isn’t the Garden of Eden. never was. We were kicked out of the Garden and where we end up is Earth. Surely a God powerful enough to create heaven and earth is powerful enough to move humans billions of light years from Eden to the Earth, just to make sure we couldn’t sneak back in.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  ferdberple
December 28, 2016 6:05 pm

Those children that survived to be six started work at about that age too. Forest fires raged unchecked, diseases and pestilence swept whole populations underground. My what a great past we had before learning how to make wheels, bake bread and Tweet. Heaven on Earth, I tell ya, heaven on Earth.
In those days catastrophists had to make sandwich boards on which to inscribe their dire warning of the nearness of The End and over which to drape their untrimmed whiskers.
If catastrophists want to win hearts and minds they have to be prepared to debate the facts. Declaring ‘the science is settled’ is nothing more than admitting they are afraid of debate and unsure of their convictions.
Boring, boring, boring stories of original carbon sin. We will happily debate the issues. Show up, or shut up.

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
December 28, 2016 9:55 pm

Facts are the grenades you toss into their packs of lies. Scares them spitless now that they’ve lost their main propaganda weapon (aka MSM)

Reply to  ferdberple
December 28, 2016 7:59 pm

just as an aside, and to demonstrate that many Christians *don’t* take all the genesis stories literally, the entire “Garden of Eden” story actually works very well if you view it as an allegory about mankind’s shift from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to an agricultural life, which happened in the levant about 8000 – 9000 years ago.
As the Ice Sheets rolled back and human populations were still very small, the entire Earth truly was a virtual “Garden of Eden”. We’ve been reminiscing about that moment ever since, even if only in our dreams.

Reply to  ferdberple
December 28, 2016 9:22 pm

Can these simpletons really have believed that showing me a picture is a natural park would turn me against cities – civilisation? I can visit a forest or mountain any time. Cavemen couldn’t visit a grocery store or hospital though – let alone had their inflamed appendix out, or their kids born in a hospital’s sterile environment.

Reply to  ferdberple
December 29, 2016 10:21 am

The left don’t care how bad life is for the masses, so long as they’re the ones in charge.

December 28, 2016 5:51 pm

Two things, I think;
Conservative elites know that if the illiberal nerd’s voices become too trusted/powerful, they will eventually be used to justify socialism and the confiscation of the conservative elites wealth.
Conservative elites know that many conservatives believe in God, and won’t go along with conservative elites telling them He set a grand trap for humans by stocking the planet with vast amounts of extremely handy fuel, which will destroy the world if we use it, anymore than with illiberal elites telling them that.

December 28, 2016 5:53 pm

I have a sure fire way to convince conservatives:
By that I mean actual evidence that man’s CO2 is causing serious global warming.
The evidence must also show that today’s climate is unusual in view of history over several cycles (perhaps back to Minoan times) and discount all other possible causes,

Reply to  jim
December 28, 2016 5:58 pm

…um, we’ve already been using evidence and no such anthropogenic warming has been identified.
But you’re right!

Curious George(@moudryj)
Reply to  jim
December 28, 2016 6:01 pm

A warmer world should be a better place. Why fight it?

Leonard Lane
Reply to  jim
December 28, 2016 10:24 pm

Jim, having the warmunists tell the truth wouldn’t hurt either.

Steven Mosher(@stevemosher)
Reply to  jim
December 29, 2016 12:03 am

“nd discount all other possible causes,”
Its unicorns what dunnit

Ian W
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 29, 2016 1:20 am

Steven, that is about the level of ‘reasoning’ that blames CO2.
We can’t think of anything else, therefore we will blame what we were told to blame by our funders.
Displays both lack of scientific method and lack of ethics.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 29, 2016 9:08 am

…and it follows the money trail–BIG TIME. That’s three big reasons CO2 = Hysteria is a completely false notion.

December 28, 2016 5:54 pm

Conservatives tend to focus more on the past than do liberals….
…because they didn’t kill all their brain cells and can actually remember something
They need to concentrate on all the liberal elites….and countries like China and India….Kuwait is a developing country my rear!…we’re going to die from global warming….but they’re not! LOL
…no conservative with half a brain is going to fall for this crap until the liberals do

December 28, 2016 5:56 pm

Our studies describe in words and pictures what the past used to be like, an almost Eden-like version of the planet, one with clean forests and little traffic and pollution.
Sure, a time when life expectancy was short, the dark nights held numerous dangers outside the range of the candle or the communal fire, illnesses were treated via blood-letting or incantations, drinking water held uncounted pathogens, and a simple broken limb or tooth decay lead to death from infection. Yep, it sounds like the olden days were much better than today.
Maybe if these climate “researchers” could get a prediction or two correct, I might consider listening to them.

Reply to  PaulH
December 29, 2016 11:26 am

“The past used to be like” contains a significant admission that the author is fabricating their argument.

Javert Chip
December 28, 2016 5:56 pm

Assuming I haven’t missed a hidden /sarc tag, this is just a stunning view into the mind of warmists: an amazingly corrupt view of parties who oppose them as well as thought of ethically questionable tools for advancing fraudulent policies.
I feel neck-deep in slime and have an intense need for a shower (this is not a new reaction of mine for close encounters with this crowd).

December 28, 2016 5:57 pm

The CAGW’s efforts to buy off “skeptical elites” is a fanciful (false) as their efforts to convince everybody that CO2 causes catastrophic global warming.
Already the CAGW crowd has pulled back from emphasizing “catastrophic” by changing the meme to “Climate Change”; they’ll eventually pull back from this charade, too!
Such idiotic bumblers will have put another nail in their own coffin.

John G.
Reply to  RockyRoad
December 29, 2016 8:51 am

That is a standard liberal assertion. Man is an evil cancer on the face of the earth and he will inevitably destroy the earth. Put your lives into the hands of the liberals and they will save you and the earth. The proof, look back 1000, 5000, 10,000 years and observe the paradise that once existed. Don’t bother to look back any farther (it won’t add to your knowledge). Let liberals make earth great again, just do as they say.

December 28, 2016 6:15 pm

Has everybody gotten their Koch brothers check this month ?
.. me neither

December 28, 2016 6:17 pm

Why are there no studies on how to rid liberals of the misconceptions they have been sold concerning climate change and how to get them to embrace the 21st century and learn to love humanity?

Javert Chip
Reply to  Sheri
December 28, 2016 6:25 pm

…lack of test subject with functioning brain…

Reply to  Sheri
December 28, 2016 7:01 pm

Excellent question, Sheri. I would like to know the answer to that myself.

Reply to  TA
December 28, 2016 8:05 pm

Because liberalism has absolutely nothing to do with thought and everything to do with emotion, seasoned by a massive amount of self-righteous moral preening.
The entire purpose of a liberal’s philosophy is to convince himself that he is much, much better, morally, than anyone who disagrees with him. Nothing can be allowed to shake that central tenet of faith.

Reply to  TA
December 29, 2016 6:10 am

Nothing can be allowed to shake that central tenet of faith.
You can imagine what happens when they are given money and status to boost their “faith” (let alone having the lightspeed-fast echo chamber of belief reinforcement that is the internet plus the electronic cheering squad that is main stream media).

Reply to  Sheri
December 28, 2016 8:33 pm

That is the path of research that begs for attention. Yet would our self declared “progressive” friends be able to handle the results?

Reply to  Sheri
December 28, 2016 11:13 pm

Sheri No money for that:
Question to Dr. Richard Lindzen: Is it possible for a young person today to get tenure in one of these institutions (universities) if they disagree with global warming alarmism?
Lindzen: … NOT OPENLY. …and in your grant applications you can’t say “I want to check whether global warming is real or not” [laughs].
So I suppose if the grant application said the study was to “find out how to rid liberals of the misconceptions they have been sold concerning climate change and how to get them to embrace the 21st century and learn to love humanity,” that wouldn’t get any funding either.

Caligula Jones
December 28, 2016 6:22 pm

Sorry, stopped reading at…

Reply to  Caligula Jones
December 28, 2016 8:51 pm

Ha… Yea, me too.

old construction worker
December 28, 2016 6:30 pm

“…..but not by future-……” You can not build a future based on a lie. It’s that simple.

Dave O.
December 28, 2016 6:49 pm

It might be that one of the characteristics that conservatives have that the warmists are trying to fight against is LOGIC.

Smart Rock
December 28, 2016 7:13 pm

They just don’t get it, do they? We are sceptics/sceptics because the “science” is not convincing. That’s it, that’s all there is.

December 28, 2016 7:19 pm

“You can’t buy off everyone” is why Trump has appointed so many billionaires to help the cause.
It is a good thing to see so many involved that are not part of the political establishment. We may actually get something done during this term.
Side note, did anyone notice the recent admission by the current administration that 94% of the jobs created were part time jobs over the last 8 years? The BLS and the household survey count all part time jobs as new jobs if you want to know why the unemployment rate seems artificial. It is……… sell something on Ebay, your employed.That is called buying off the statistics. 🙂

December 28, 2016 7:19 pm

From the article: “Conservative climate denialists are a source of immense frustration to [some] scientists and liberals — and have been for decades. As long as I’ve been writing, there’s been a perpetual quest to find just the right argument to appeal to conservatives and pierce their denial.”
They just don’t get it, do they.
They think the problem is a conservative mental affliction which makes skeptics unable to understand simple science. They assume this because they absolutely believe what they think is true about climate change, and cannot understand why others don’t see it their way.
Just show the skeptics a little bit of evidence, is all it would take to change their minds. Speculation is not evidence, and all the skeptics get from alarmists has been speculation for all these years. This particular skeptic has been looking for evidence since the 1980’s. Haven’t seen any yet. In fact, it appears that human-caused climate change is getting even more unlikely as time goes along.
Evidence is the key. Skeptics say you don’t have it. Alarmists say they do. But they never produce any. All they do is make claims and speculate, and distort surface temperature data. Skeptics are not going to accept such arguments.
Just the facts, please. Speculation is ok, but don’t present it as fact.

December 28, 2016 7:28 pm

The global warming climate hustle was fun (for Libs bashing Conservatives) while it was getting warmer… and no real human-cost downside while promoting their taxation and redistribution schemes.
Now what happens to their happy little climate charade as the global climate is about to descend into another 30 year cold phase? Luckily, we’re about to put the grownups back in charge here in the US. Hope you guys in UK and SA can stay warm when your power goes out. Here in the US we’re fracking baby come January 21st.

tony mcleod
Reply to  joelobryan
December 28, 2016 8:36 pm

And if it keeps getting warmer?

Reply to  tony mcleod
December 28, 2016 8:51 pm

Then you can move to Siberia.

Reply to  tony mcleod
December 28, 2016 9:02 pm

Then life will get better.

Reply to  tony mcleod
December 28, 2016 9:35 pm

It hasn’t for 17 years now Tony. It’s not looking good for the long term forecasts.

Matt Bergin
Reply to  tony mcleod
December 28, 2016 9:56 pm

Tony if the world gets warmer it will be better just like it was the last time it was warm, you know that warm time about 1000 years ago called M.W.P.

tony mcleod
Reply to  tony mcleod
December 29, 2016 1:26 am

You guys are so intoxicated on kool-aid.
It’s not happening,
but if it is, it’s got nothing to do with humans,
but if it does, it’s a good thing,
but if it isn’t, well it just isn’t, ’cause 1000ya it was ok.
Or if it really is and Big Carbon had me suckered in all along – then we’ll just move to Siberia.
Meantime the canary fell off it’s perch.comment image
I know, you think this is actually a good thing.

Bill Illis
Reply to  tony mcleod
December 29, 2016 4:38 am

Going by the global sea ice chart from Wipneus, it looks like global warming “finally” started in September of this year. Just as a record El Nino hit. Who would have thunk it.
But this global warming sure took its time. It was supposed to start long ago. Why did it pick “September 2016” to finally show up.
But then we have this curious thing where just 18 months ago. the Antarctic sea ice went to record highs. We must have had record global cooling in “June 2014”
So how do we have record cooling and record warming just a few years apart?

Reply to  joelobryan
December 29, 2016 1:45 am

Global Sea Ice, another carefully selected statistic for advocacy purposes, just a blip in Antarctic sea ice this year.

tony mcleod
Reply to  climanrecon
December 29, 2016 3:02 am

I suppose an ice free Arctic next September will be “another carefully selected statistic for advocacy purposes, just a blip”?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  climanrecon
December 29, 2016 3:18 am

Next Sept is not far off…

Owen in GA
Reply to  climanrecon
December 29, 2016 6:19 am

several lines of evidence show that the arctic has been ice free in the past during this interglacial period. The problem isn’t whether or not there is ice in the arctic, it is what is the cause and whether the anthropogenic theory holds any water when ice-free was likely in the 1000AD period as well. We are not outside of natural variation, so if there is a man-made signal to find, it is being drowned out in the noise of natural variations. (except for the temperature databases – those are definitely man-made!)

Patrick MJD
Reply to  climanrecon
December 29, 2016 11:02 pm

“tony mcleod December 29, 2016 at 3:02 am
I suppose an ice free Arctic next September will be “another carefully selected statistic for advocacy purposes, just a blip”?”
Al Gore made that claim and the target year was ~2013. 2013 came and went and the Arctic was not ice free. So we have just 9 months to wait for September 2017 to come and go and the Arctic will still not be ice free.
Put your money where your claims are and if after September 2017 prove you wrong, make a donation to our host here at WUWT.

December 28, 2016 7:37 pm

This “conservative” makes up her own mind about everything. She listens, watches, reads, questions, evaluates the sources of all this, and then makes up her own mind. No amount of green-washing or “influencing” “conservative leaders” will change that. And therein lies the real problem for left-leaning greens – they can’t bamboozle independent thinkers.

December 28, 2016 7:44 pm

There is wonderful argument to peirce conservative “denial” unfortunately it’s the only one unavailable to liberals. It’s called reality.

December 28, 2016 8:02 pm

This writer gave a very big “tell” in his piece, which jumps out more when you remember that the left is hopelessly addicted to projection every time they try to “understand” their opponents.
He wrote:
“One, most people have no coherent ideology and no firm opinions on “issues,” as they are defined in politics.
Two, partially as a consequence, “elite discourse is the most important driver of public opinion.”
Think about that! He is writing about what he knows, in other words he is describing the way the vast majority of leftist voters think and act! They are so used to the masses only doing what they are told that he has no other mental model by which to explain the way in which people come by their opinions.
No wonder they cannot possible figure out how to approach us – they cannot conceive of the existence of people who actually think for themselves.

Reply to  wws
December 28, 2016 9:19 pm

@wws: I was surprised to get this far down-thread before seeing projection. You have put your finger on the most vital issue. As a catalyst for evil, projection has no peer.
“I am convinced that exploration of the psyche is the science . . . we need most of all, for it is gradually becoming more and more obvious that . . . man himself is the greatest peril to man, just because there is no adequate defense against psychic epidemics, which cause infinitely more devastation than the greatest natural catastrophes.” – Jung (1944)
Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.—CG Jung

December 28, 2016 8:12 pm

Climate “science” is entirely dependent on sheep. Nobody with critical thinking skills will tolerate it. The sheep happen to live in the coastal Moonie states. The states the Moonies choose to “fly over” happened to control the last election.
Make this a lesson.

December 28, 2016 8:20 pm

Do these kooks realize just how ignorant and crazy they are? Probably not.

John Robertson
December 28, 2016 8:21 pm

Projection is a serious handicap to communication with strangers.
The apparent difficulty these “experts of a liberal bent” seem to have when faced with a point of view different from their own, is quite revealing.
The motives they ascribe to strangers, the reasoning they impose upon their perceived enemies is most uncomfortable to encounter.
I do not go through life seeking to embrace the madness of such small frightened creatures.
How did I become their enemy?
For simply asking questions?
What world view drives their hostility?
And I would be shamed to broadcast to the world, that my point of view on matters of science, my ability to separate fact and fiction, is for sale.
However the cited article is a soup of liberal speak, I suspect most words as used have little in common with their dictionary meaning.
These ethically challenged mental zombies are not Liberals in any historical sense and thinking is not a skill they seem to value.
Herd Beasts, birds of a feather.
What ever happened to “making your case”?
They seek to “pursuade “using no common language, no defined terms, no agreed facts.No verifiable measurements..
Then shriek;”BUT SCIENCE”.

Ian W
Reply to  John Robertson
December 29, 2016 1:39 am

If you want to know anything about a liberal, look at what they say about their opponents.
Projection is an infallible way of forecasting their behavior.

tony mcleod
Reply to  John Robertson
December 29, 2016 1:49 am

See graph above.

December 28, 2016 8:27 pm

The only idiots “denying climate change” are the idiots who deny that the climate changed prior to industrialisation and continues to constantly change – all on its own.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  AP
December 29, 2016 10:19 am

…and that it changed due to natural forces that human beings have absolutely no control over. And that such natural forces continue to be the drivers of climate change. Nature hasn’t declared a holiday so that human beings could become the drivers of the Earth’s climate.
The most telling thing is this – when the “global cooling” scare occurred in the ’70s, it was supposedly caused by particulates, from the burning of fossil fuels (of course), reducing the amount of solar energy the Earth was receiving, thus causing the temperatures to go down. The solution was (of course) the reduction of the use of those (evil) fossil fuels.
The environmental catastrophe du jour about faces 180 degrees (no pun intended) from cooling climate to warming climate, BUT the supposed cause (human fossil fuel burning) and the supposed solution (reduction or elimination of human fossil fuel burning) remain EXACTLY THE SAME.
Essentially, the political elites have been searching for a salable excuse to regulate energy usage for decades, using pseudo-science as their excuse. Why? Because if you can control ebergy use, YOU CAN CONTROL EVERYTHING. The fact that they come up with the same “cause” and same “solution” for diametrically opposed climate “catastrophes” is as pure an indicator there is that it’s all complete BS.

tony mcleod
December 28, 2016 8:33 pm

Hal….lelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelu…u…jah.

Steve Fraser
December 28, 2016 8:50 pm

Going back to Tillerson for a moment… I am not concerned about what he will do related to Climate. I am, rather, quite hopeful that his international experience, and the fact that he is already known and respected around the world, will bring big time gravitas to any meeting where Trump would send him. This, IMO, will immediately distinguish him from the last 2 persons to hold that position.
This is an especially important time for the US to re-establish its international credibility. I believe he could be a persuasive presence speaking in any context (corporate, or political) where he may be sent to make a difference on our behalf. Especially, now tha the US is positioned to be energy independent, and an exporter to boot.

December 28, 2016 9:13 pm

Our studies describe in words and pictures what the past used to be like, an almost Eden-like version of the planet
Question; Where did they find enough participants stupid enough to believe that any such thing ever existed?

Reply to  davidmhoffer
December 28, 2016 9:32 pm

“Where did they find enough participants stupid enough to believe that any such thing ever existed?”
Within ivy-covered institutions?

Walter Sobchak
December 28, 2016 9:21 pm

Reminisce about the past? I am a huge fan of Classical History and the Roman Empire. I think we ought to go back to those days — the Roman Warm Period. It was a couple of degrees warmer than than it is now. More SUVs people.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
December 29, 2016 2:03 pm

What I find amazing and amusing is that there is a lot of evidence on the southern coast of England, and elsewhere, that ocean levels were 3 – 5 feet HIGHER during Roman times, than they are now. Google “Saxon Forts of England”” – a string of late Roman coastal fortifications which still exist, and which are almost all high & dry and miles away from the coast today.

December 28, 2016 9:35 pm

I’ll save them the $millions of taxes spent on research and surveys. I don’t care about Gerbil Worming for the following reasons:
– only 0.3C had been reliably measured (by satellite since 1980)
– given the 60 year cycle peaking in 2005, some of this may be natural
– unadjusted data shows nothing that I would attribute with high confidence to pre satellite AGW
– therefore, I estimate AGW at 0-1C per century with a high degree of confidence
– this is dwarfed by UHI, which I have dealt with through accommodations such as fans
– statistically, cyclones have declined during the Carbon Era, as have tornadoes
– therefore, the only adverse consequence of 0.3C of warming I have observed is 0.3C of warming
– plants grow 10-20% faster in CO2-rich environments, with high confidence
– I consider the lives of 0.5-1.5bn people more morally important than 0.3C of my personal comfort
– reliable petrol and electricity has other positive externalities
– I have seen no post-carbon solutions that are consistent with reliable and affordable operation for a mass grid (albeit that they might work on isolated islands)
– therefore I find no merit in direct action (A666ott-Obama) towards renewable energy
– existing carbon pricing schemes incentivise emitting activity moving to Chindia from Kyoto signatory countries; I find no policy merit in this outcome
My position that CO2 is a net positive is supported by almost all peer reviewed research that supports up to 2C or warming.
2C will never occur given the logarithmic property of GHG and the likelihood of economic thorium-U233 cycle fission within 300 years.
Hope this helps.

December 28, 2016 9:48 pm

This website is one of the large impediments to the liberals having more sway over the masses regarding the belief in AGW. Thanks Anthony for establishing and maintaining WUWT! (I have referred many conservatives to this site who needed to read the give-and-take on many climate topics to become educated enough to make up their own mind.)

December 28, 2016 9:59 pm

Conservative climate denialists are a source of immense frustration to scientists and liberals — and have been for decades.
I think almost all of the “cognitive dissonance” in this screed can be removed by refusing to allow the author to refer to the “progressive” socialist party to call themselves liberal. They’ve been doing this for years and real liberals and libertarian/conservatives have to stop letting them corrupt the word. The difference between Progressives and Neo-Cons is so small as to make no functional distinction possible, in reality they just represent two groups of different people with the same goals and tactics so asking them to complain about it is pointless.
Throughout the comments so far people have wrestled with defining why “liberals” seem enamored of sheep-like group think and leader worship; that’s the natural state of affairs for socialists; they are, by definition “herd animals”. The people the author refers to as “conservatives” are more aptly described as individualists, and most are socially liberal even if they are financially conservative. The axis that distinguishes their politics in general is collectivist/individualist. The terms “conservative” and “liberal” have lost all meaning in contemporary political discourse.
Convincing people who think for themselves to join in supporting the AGW hypothesis is, as so many have already pointed out, very simple. All that’s needed is compelling physical evidence. Any other approach to the problem is doomed.

Reply to  Bartleby
December 28, 2016 11:39 pm

You mean the “regressive” socialist party?

Reply to  Paul767
December 29, 2016 12:22 pm

The call themselves “progressive” Paul, that’s why I put it in quotes. I understand what you mean though.
The Communist/Socialist parties adopted “progressive” back in the 40’s becaus they didn’t want to call themselves by their real names, and for obvious reason. Since then they’ve co-opted the label “liberal” and people just started using it to describe them, but they aren’t liberals. Propaganda and “branding” are well known socialist/communist tactics. Don’t let them do it.

December 28, 2016 10:14 pm

As an aside, it’s my guess the reason the study the author cites concerning “conservatives” favoring arguments based on the past over forecasts of the future is rooted in simple demographics and could be explained if the age of the person responding was accounted for.
It’s often true that people over the age of 50 are more concerned with the past than the future, an effect easily explained by life expectancy. Perhaps this was just too obvious for a sociologist to grasp? It also happens to be true the majority of “liberals” are under 35 years of age.
Notwithstanding that bias, I recall the society of my childhood being much more individualistic. We also didn’t have a helmet for every activity, staid out after dark without adult supervision, went trick or treating without our parents after the age of 8, and didn’t have cell phones we could always be reached on. There weren’t any metal detectors in schools. If we got in schoolyard fights we were sent to the principal’s office and the police didn’t get involved. There wasn’t any debate about who used which restroom.
Sometimes I despair for the children and young adults of today. They have better TV I guess. Maybe that works for them?

Reply to  Bartleby
December 28, 2016 10:16 pm

“stayed”. Don’t you just hate homophones?

December 28, 2016 10:14 pm

The strongest possible method for convincing me of something is to not be wrong.
Also, not lying to me helps.
Not that I think of it, not insulting me would also be worth trying.

Reply to  Merovign
December 29, 2016 4:17 am

This science needs to develop some integrity before I am going to believe it.
At least 80% of the time I look inndepth into a climate science paper or an IPCC position on some impact, I find they have completely fudged it some manner. The basic data they collected completely contradicts the conclusion they reached or they somehow manipulated.
We are being asked to buy something from people who prefer to make stuff up, build “communication messages”, anything BUT just some good old fact-based science proof.
Anthony and Willis did more basic science research recently in their AGU presented paper, than climate science has done in 35 years. They did this on their own dime. Yet the climate scientists have done nothing except spend $200 billion.
Don’t just believe anything you hear or read. Conservatives look to the past and realize that all kinds of made-up things have turned out wrong in the past. Some things, however, have generally been proven over time. And all kinds of schiesters have tried to sell things in the past and people fell for it. Conservatives know to make sure something actually works before adopting it. While the liberals will just jump onto the latest thing without it be proven. Look to the past if you want to understand climate science.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Merovign
December 29, 2016 10:28 am

LOL + 1,000
I’m so sick of people spewing “climate change” twaddle as if they’ve proved anything, and cherry-picking and/or adjusting data when it doesn’t fit their pre-conceived conclusions, and describing those who don’t accept their BS in terms that attempt to liken them to those who deny the Holocaust occurred.

December 28, 2016 11:17 pm

“Conservative climate denialists are a source of immense frustration to scientists and liberals”
I do not know anyone who denies climate, liberal or conservative.
What he should say is those who frustrate him (and other of his belief structure) are those who are not completely accepting of computer projections that show that man made carbon dioxide emissions will cause global warming which in turn, some speculate, will lead to catastrophic global conditions.
Therefore his opening line is a lie, and an often used bullying technique of labeling. What he offers is a combination of sales, marketing and messaging techniques combined with an interesting theory of brain function followed by persuasion through means of greed and force.
I must say the bullying technique, at least in my corner of the States has been quite effective. Especially for those that don’t have either the time, math skills, scientific training, interest or even mental capacity to become familiar with the complexity of the planet’s climate system. Many people are simply amiable and want to go along to get along. They would rather agree with the bully rather than be ostracized. This happens more than we would all like to admit. Perhaps it has happened to some of the readership here.
The bullying technique has been coming up rather short lately.
As the liberal grip on power ebbs and fades, their frustration will increase to a fever pitch and pass not so gently into that good night.
Perhaps this is the real source of his frustration.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Chris
December 29, 2016 3:35 am

“Chris December 28, 2016 at 11:17 pm
“Conservative climate denialists are a source of immense frustration to scientists and liberals”
I do not know anyone who denies climate, liberal or conservative.”
Given “climate” is the “average” of ~30 years of weather (IPCC), I would say “climate” is totally made up!

December 28, 2016 11:23 pm

I am not a “conservative denier”.
I am a neo-19th century liberal with a degree (1962) in geophysics and that adds up to being a skeptic.
A remarkably ambitious political movement has corrupted “liberal” and “science”.
It is now failing.

December 28, 2016 11:44 pm

Exxon was targeted for a reason . Oil companies don’t care if there is a carbon tax it’s just one more tax added to those they already collect for government . Exxon had to considered a soft target and that would not be surprising if the top guy is promoting or supportive a carbon tax .
Like any sports team that starts the season full of bravado till the first game, cabinet appointees who don’t fit will be gone . Tillerson’s judgement on the climate hoax may see him as one of the first off the team .
Never understood the pick . Miscast and motivation don’t add up .

Scottish Sceptic(@scottishsceptic)
December 29, 2016 12:29 am

I love the way some people without a second’s thought can use “science” to refer to any nutcase academic who just happens to have views that agree with their own. But they will use “denier” to refer to even the robust scientific argument they disagree with.
Their use of “science” is just “science-wash” of appalling bad ideas based on appalling bad data, in the same way as “Green-wash” takes the most environmentally destructive ideas and gives then a thin “green-wash” to make them acceptable to the naive greens.

December 29, 2016 12:37 am

“Our studies describe in words and pictures what the past used to be like, an almost Eden-like version of the planet, one with clean forests and little traffic and pollution. Then we draw a comparison to today, without any references to the future,” Matthew Baldwin, a post-doctoral fellow in psychology at the University of Cologne and one of the authors, told Climate Progress. “It is much harder to avoid the reality of change when the comparison is to the beautiful planet in its ‘untouched’ form.”
I wonder if this moron thought to accurately describe his “Eden-like” environment as one in which people die early deaths due to famine, mosquito-borne diseases, lack of modern medicine, etc. It never ceases to amaze (and disgust) me how foolish liberals (sometimes masquerading as scientists) overlook the almost unfathomable benefits mankind has extracted from the industrialization that cause the pollution and other environmental costs they are so concerned about.
Moreover, these silly authors make the logical mistake of conflating the real environmental costs of pollution and deforestation with the purely theoretical costs of CO2-emissions. How precisely do these guys think they are going to illustrate the harm to the “past purity of ecosystems” from climate change when the “climate change” they are talking about is something that has only recently emerged and will only cause noticeable harm in the distant future?,By definition, there can’t have been any harm to the “past purity of ecosystems” from climate change.

tony mcleod
Reply to  Kurt
December 29, 2016 1:52 am

Until one day there are 9 billion of us all crapping in the nest.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  tony mcleod
December 29, 2016 2:39 am

Really, you need to take a break from your alarmist claptrap.

tony mcleod
Reply to  tony mcleod
December 29, 2016 3:08 am
Patrick MJD
Reply to  tony mcleod
December 29, 2016 3:13 am

No alarm what so ever.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  tony mcleod
December 29, 2016 3:16 am

Source link not clear.

Reply to  tony mcleod
December 29, 2016 11:22 am

Conservatives are housebroken, tony.

tony mcleod
Reply to  tony mcleod
December 29, 2016 11:16 pm

Conservatives are housebroken, tony. Lol.
And we tend to be under the impression that flushing it makes it just disappear.

December 29, 2016 4:39 am

They don’t have a clue as to how America works. We don’t kneel, cow tow, bang our heads on the ground, bow, kiss the ring, or lay ourselves out prone on the ground. Nobody is above or below. If you are buying positions, then it’s corruption not a change in direction.
As far as I can tell, the planet seems to be doing a lot better, at least in the US. It depends on how you spin a picture. They could just as easily showed how efforts to clean up the environment have worked. They could also show how trade laws have worked to pollute other countries.
In 20 years how would they change my mind regarding co2 causing temperature increase ? They could buy me off, but that wouldn’t change what I think. They can pass laws limiting association between people that have the same thoughts, still not going to change. They can limit access to data. Corrupting the data only reinforces that I think they are lying.
The only way is that reality matches the models and projections/predictions. In at least 20 years not one has occured. I can predict with accuracy a chemical reaction. I can predict with accuracy the movement in time and space of objects. I can predict with accuracy many things in physics. That’s science. That has credibility. When climate science makes fundamental flaws in those sciences, lays out reasoning and math that is fundamentally flawed, lays out political changes in the system that must take place in order to avoid catastrophic disasters, then they don’t happen during the maximum amount of time for those events to occur, where is there credibility? Do they really think they can change a scientists mind with smoke and mirrors ? No matter how ardently they believe AGW, that doesn’t make it so. As many have stated over the years, AGW is a religion and not a science. I think corrupting the data, failed predictions/projections, and failed models more than prove that AGW is a dead theory. That’s the scientific part. The religious part is how do they get a public confession that AGW isn’t a dead theory.

michael hart
December 29, 2016 6:30 am

They are still refusing to bite the bullet and recognise that many people of both the political left and right are simply not convinced by the unending and, now boring, failed predictions of imminent disaster.
That the matter became politicised long ago was as much due to the left’s choice as the right. The ‘evil oil corporations’ mentality is often the first recourse of the left, and this fits very well with global-warming proponents who wish to see a conspiracy against them.
Perhaps they should devote a bit more thought to why middle-ground swing voters like myself have abandoned them. Unfortunately I see no sign of this happening.

Roger Knights
December 29, 2016 7:02 am

AW said:

Hasn’t buying off Conservatives already been tried? That plan failed, as I recall.

It’s been moderately successful. About a year ago three bigshot financial names (Paulson and two others) came out as alarmists and issued a statement. I suspect this was after thy been subjected to alarmist consciousness-raising (or razing?) sessions. And there have been other instances, though I can’t remember the details. It’s a high-payoff / low risk game for the alarmists to play.

December 29, 2016 7:26 am

In part, it is an instance if the “mirror fallacy”. The watermelons have not realized that the RINO “elites”/”establishment” losership are not leading a monolithic “political identity” easily crammed into a cubby-hole. Nor that the classical liberal citizenry e.g. the constitutionalists like Mark Levin, the philosophical rational capitalists like Thomas Sowell, Walter E. Williams, Randall Holcombe…, and the citizenry who voted in Trump, are not like the leftist sheep. We feel more comfortable thinking for ourselves and escaping from over-crowded irrational herds, from group-think, and comfortable with the scientific method of positing questions, conjectures, theories, hypotheses and then letting the refutations rip.

Paul Penrose
December 29, 2016 7:51 am

“AGW Alarmist nutjobs” versus “Climate denialists”
What a poisoned swamp. How can those two groups ever agree on anything?
Here’s my take.
The AGW proponents *know*:
+ the average global temperature for the last 200 years within a tenth of a degree
+ the average global temperature has been increasing for the last 200 years
+ the increase in average global temperature is outside natural variation, which is small
+ humans are responsible for the increase in average global temperature by adding CO2 to the atmosphere
+ the increase will continue at the current rate if CO2 emissions are not reversed
+ the resulting increase will be catastrophically bad for the biosphere
+ the science is settled and there’s no room for doubt
+ society must take drastic measures to avoid this future calamity
The AGW skeptics don’t think that any/most of the above has been shown well enough to justify any far reaching actions by society at this time. They believe it is OK to admit “I don’t know – yet”. They don’t think that the precautionary principle should be universally applied, especially without considering all the costs. They do know that when faced with uncertainty, it is often best to take no action rather than act rashly.
To me, it is the difference between thinking emotionally (AGW proponents), and thinking rationally (skeptics).

tony mcleod
Reply to  Paul Penrose
December 29, 2016 11:31 pm

“…skeptics don’t think that any/most of the above has been shown well enough to justify any far reaching actions by society at this time.”
Not true Paul. Most so-called skeptics here don’t believe any action should be taken, let alone far-reaching.
“They believe it is OK to admit “I don’t know – yet”. They don’t think that the precautionary principle should be universally applied, especially without considering all the costs.”
Doesn’t “considering all the costs” include the cost of taking no action?
They do know that when faced with uncertainty, it is often best to take no action rather than act rashly.
To me, it is the difference between thinking emotionally (AGW proponents), and thinking rationally (skeptics).
It would be irrational not to consider all the costs IMO.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  tony mcleod
December 30, 2016 6:37 am

“Not true Paul. Most so-called skeptics here don’t believe any action should be taken, let alone far-reaching.”
All the solutions proposed are drastic and far reaching, so what I wrote was true. Give me an example of something that will “solve” AGW that is not far reaching. Small pieces of a larger “solution” don’t count.
“Doesn’t “considering all the costs” include the cost of taking no action?”
Since I was talking about the Precautionary Principle, the cost of taking no action is by definition very uncertain or not known. However the costs of taking action are almost always quite quantifiable. A good analogy is extended warranties on items you buy. Often times the probability of something failing is very uncertain, so how much should you spend up front to protect yourself? Spending $1 to get a 10 year warranty on a $100 item is probably worth it, but $100 for a 3 year warranty on a $120 item clearly is not.
“It would be irrational not to consider all the costs IMO.”
I agree. It would also be irrational to not consider all the benefits of a warmer climate or to deny that there will be any.

Reply to  tony mcleod
December 30, 2016 6:46 am

Based on the data that I have at hand, and those that have been involved in this non debate settled science catastrophe for some time, and however corrupted the data actually is, co2 isn’t causing the warming or catastrophic events as promised. That’s not a ” I’m not certain ” .
The real arguments began in 2004 with temperature not rising as predicted and co2 levels were still increasing. Proving the disassociate connection between co2 and temperature.

December 29, 2016 8:46 am

The whole idea of “buying” off conservatives stems from a simple starting point. They look to see what would cause them to change, and then project.

December 29, 2016 8:53 am

I reject, utterly reject, the belief that being skeptical of CAGW means I’m not an environmentalist. Those are NOT diametrically opposed points of view. Since this whole screed starts with this mistaken premise, anything and everything about it can be ignored. If you start from a faulty assumption, your conclusions are bound to be wrong.

Reply to  TomB
December 29, 2016 9:38 am

Indeed–the most destructive force ever arrayed against true environmentalism is CAGW, which has sucked more good will, money, and manpower from the proper stewardship of planet Earth than anything.
It really should be a crime to support Obumbler’s notion of “climate change”.

Owen in GA
Reply to  TomB
December 29, 2016 11:56 am

When I was a child, there was a need for environmental actions: a river caught on fire, a hepatitis outbreak happened at my school (supposedly caused by a canal and raw sewage swam in by patient 0) and the sky was a uniform brownish gray (US midwest), etc. Those issues were almost universally cleaned up in the US by the late 1970s. So, I too would say I am an environmentalist in that I support the basic concepts of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. Where I am considered a heretic in environmentalist circles is that I don’t agree with almost anything done in the name of those acts since 1980. The problem as I see it is the environmental agencies and NGOs have a romantic view of nature as some nirvana that has never existed in the real world. We are now enforcing cleanliness standards that nature itself can not support, thus I can not support them.

stas peterson BSME MBA MSMa
Reply to  TomB
December 29, 2016 3:00 pm

The true environmentalist position is to raise the dangerously low levels of atmospheric CO2 as Plants over time have nearly consumed all the CO2 in the atmosphere. So called Greens do not even recognize such a danger; and are NOT in any measure or kind, genuine real environmentalists.
America after 40 years of hard effort, has proven that both Clean AIR and Clean WATER can coexist in an advanced civilization. We only need to declare victory to make it official. Only that type of advanced western civilization can both be restoring CO2 to a level that the death of the Plant Kingdom is averted; and cleansing the environment of Pollution is possible.

tony mcleod
Reply to  stas peterson BSME MBA MSMa
December 29, 2016 11:34 pm

I’m with ya all the way stas: time to declare war on plants. Evil bloody things, stealing all our vital global fluids.

Russell R.
December 29, 2016 9:00 am

Let’s look at how conservatives and liberals view governmental intervention in the economy, and how that shows a need for further intervention, or less of it.
The War on Poverty is a good example.
Liberals think it has been a success, because the poor can now get free housing, free food, free health care, free schooling, free legal representation, free cell phones, free access to public services, ..etc.
Conservatives think it has been a failure because instead of less people living in poverty we have more. And they are trapped in poverty to a greater degree than ever before, because as they try to work their way out of poverty, the freebies are removed. This gives them the short term feeling of working for free. They work and now pay for the stuff they used to get for free.
Liberals tend to think that good intentions will always overcome bureaucratic incompetence, political graft, cronyism, and outright fraud. Conservatives know better.

Reasonable Skeptic
December 29, 2016 9:55 am

The best way to convince people you are right is to simply stick to the facts. You lay all the cards on the table face up and after that. there is nowhere to hide. Admittedly it won’t work for everybody, but it will work for the vast majority, leaving but an insignificant minority that can be ignored.
This works 100% of the time. It may take time, but eventually it works.
When it does not work you should ask yourself why your cards aren’t good enough. You do not ask yourself why, for the very first time in human history, people can’t read your cards.

Bruce Cobb
December 29, 2016 10:37 am

The intellectual dishonesty of True Believers like David “war crimes trials for these bastards” Roberts is truly astounding. He takes straight from the Climatist playbook with his conflation of actual pollution and the fake “carbon pollution”, and it’s all downhill from there. Consistent to the end, you’ve got to give them that.

December 29, 2016 11:31 am

From the article:
One, most people have no coherent ideology and no firm opinions on “issues,” as they are defined in politics.
Two, partially as a consequence, “elite discourse is the most important driver of public opinion.”
(A third item note is needed); THIRD, those people that believe and depend upon items One & Two will continue to be very confused as to how someone like Trump became president.

December 29, 2016 11:44 am

Why are they attempting to sway the conservative elites?
Why not sway China and India who are rapidly increasing their CO2 output and have no intent on cutting back on their rate of increase any time soon (if at all)?

Joel Snider
December 29, 2016 12:30 pm

That’s the thing – people on the opposite side of the aisle aren’t sheep. Independents like myself deserted the Left when they started going control-freak nuts.

December 29, 2016 12:33 pm

Let’s just make sure that we understand what the author really means by “liberals and scientists”. The inference is that liberalism is scientific. What a pathetic joke that is. Then the use of “denialist” is just an acceptable way to call those not approved of “ni99er”. The author relies completely on bigotry, dehumanization, and assumes superiority no less than some southern cracker racist in exploring why we uppity skeptics just won’t cooperate and go along with the obvious superiority of “liberals and scientists”. What a pathetic corrupt article.

December 29, 2016 1:10 pm

My new year wish is that climate evangelists lead by example and return to their “Eden-like” world.
They can start by stopping using any carbon-based fuels for transport or electricity or communications or health care, and go live in the country producing their own food while protecting the environment at all times. And the rest of us can get on enjoying our own lives without being constantly harangued by idiotic idealogues.

December 29, 2016 2:42 pm

Well.. the only way they are going to make me a confirmed avid believer in global warming is caused exclusively and only by the burning of fossil fuels is by actually proving it – not just producing models which have rather studiously avoided reality for a few decades now!
However, I no longer identify with conservatives or liberals so appealing to the ‘political’ side of me won’t work either. I’m a realist, and neither political point of view seems to reside much in reality anymore.

Warren Latham
December 29, 2016 2:50 pm

Dear Mr. Baldwin (fellow of psychology),
Your climates on earth change during every second of time, all the time, since it began.
When did any of those climates stop changing ?
I deny that climates do not change and everyone is unable to disagree with that statement.
Your problem seems to be … well … YOU.
If you need to understand how it works, you have only to ask and you shall have the answer.

Johann Wundersamer
December 31, 2016 3:00 am

How can conservative elites be persuaded to think and communicate differently about climate change? That’s a subject for another post, but here’s a spoiler: The answer won’t be found in clever arguments or skillful persuasion, but in money, power, and material interests.
So how does that any good to army veterans.
How does this any good to police officers without ‘Occupational disability insurance’.
Where are the police unions that work on the countries abilities.

January 3, 2017 9:16 am

“Only conservative elites can change conservative climate beliefs”
These people have bought into the notion that conservatives are mindless sheep led by Rush Limbaugh. In reality, conservatives saw the one-sided bias in the mainstream media. Wikileaks, which exposed egregious acts of collusion between the MSM and DNC such as the NYT consulting the Hillary campaign on which stories to run about her and CNN asking the Hillary campaign which questions to ask Donald Trump in the debate between him and Hillary Clinton, only validates the slanted reporting that conservatives has known about for decades. Liberals can’t seem to grasp that their media outlets drove conservatives to alternative media. The “conservative elites” are not pied pipers mesmerizing conservatives into following them.

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