Claim: Public may be more accepting of advocacy by climate scientists than previously thought


james hansen arrested

Image: Former NASA GISS climate scientist James Hansen arrested for public display of “climate advocacy” during a demonstration in Washington DC in 2011.

Public may be more accepting of advocacy by climate scientists than previously thought

Research published today in Environmental Communication suggests that scientists may have more freedom than previously thought to engage in certain forms of climate change advocacy without risking harm to their credibility.

The experiment, conducted by researchers at George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication, showed that on five out of six occasions when a fictional scientist made advocacy statements to the public on Facebook, their own and their colleagues credibility was left unharmed.

The example statements, tested on a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults, covered a broad spectrum of potential public engagement activities, including a recent scientific finding, a discussion of the risks and impacts of climate change, pros and cons of different proposals to address climate change, a broad call for action on climate change, and two different statements where the scientist endorsed a specific action – limiting carbon dioxide emissions from coal-burning power plants or building more nuclear power plants.

The only instance where the credibility of the scientist suffered was after the endorsement of a specific controversial policy – building more nuclear power plants. This suggests that the American public are more likely to object to a scientist’s advocacy statement when a specific standpoint is endorsed, and not when more general statements are made.

It has previously been thought that public advocacy on issues such as climate change can compromise the credibility of both individual scientists and the broader scientific community. However, this study suggests that scientists have the ability to communicate with the public without the risk of harming their reputation.

“This study certainly won’t end debate about how scientists can best contribute to public discussions about climate change,” said lead author John Kotcher, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at George Mason University. “However, we hope that our findings at least help stimulate a more evidence-based conversation among scientists about the relationship between scientific advocacy and credibility, rather than simply relying upon intuition or anecdote to choose which role is best for them.”

In a commentary that accompanied the study, scientist Simon Donner, from the University of British Columbia, welcomed the findings, but also said that it should “not be mistaken as a green light for scientists to publicly say or do anything without thought about the repercussions for themselves, the scientific community and the audience.”


118 thoughts on “Claim: Public may be more accepting of advocacy by climate scientists than previously thought

    • everybody is afraid of nuclear power
      Well, there’s a falsifiable statement if I ever saw one. Verdict: demonstrably false.

        • So, don’t build reactor plants on coastlines in regions with a high degree of tectonic activity, fear removed, carry on with your lives, with cheap electricity.

      • Matt, Fukushima was a Mickey Mouse problem. They placed the back up generators in a vulnerable place. They should have been in a hardened building and not on the shore side of the power plant. The failure had nothing to do with nuclear reactor design at all. And, by the way, human casualties = almost none. Some had some short, higher than normal radiation exposures but nothing that poses a health risk. On the basis of Fukushima the oh-so-bright Germans shut down their nuclear plants. Yeah, Germany is in great danger of tsunamis, sure it is.
        Nuclear is the most green energy on the planet and is safer than even coal. Only Chernobyl was a bad event but that was because it was built on the cheap and basically constructed to form a huge barbecue if the graphite moderator ever caught fire, which it did. The idiots pulled out the one control rod that was essentially labelled, “NEVER PULL THIS RoD OUT!” So, they did. Bad design, stupid management, dumb actions.

      • “So, don’t build reactor plants on coastlines in regions with a high degree of tectonic activity,”
        That is basically confusing the trigger event with the hazard. Other events could precipitate a similar outcome.
        The hazard is the combination of pressurized water cooling and inflammable fuel cladding. Notably, all except one or two nuclear incidents have been due to the chemical or physical properties of the substances used in reactors, rather than their nuclear properties. I too have a fear of such reactors being built near to me, not because nuclear power is inherently dangerous, but because these are dangerous designs.
        The sensible alternative is the molten salt reactor. Although, there may be other designs with better safety than the PWR/BWR accident-waiting-to-happen.

        • Oddly, the vast majority of reactor accidents appear to be human error instead of physical plant failure. Fukushima is a combo event, major damage from tidal wave and failure of operators to correctly respond, at least from what I have been able to read.
          And on that note, General Electric Electric Boat Division and US Navy have a ;long and successful record of operating nuclear power plants. Perhaps we should be having them design, build and operate nuclear power plants, since they seem to know what they are doing.

      • People must fear nuclear power plants because any disaster there lasts for a long, long, long time and the vicinity is uninhabitable for unknowable lengths of time. And nuke plants are high on the list of ‘blow the systems up so they melt down’ war/terrorist events, too. Then there is Mother Nature and her activities.
        I am not at all surprised that the majority of people fear nuclear power plants compared to other energy systems.

      • I was around before nuclear weapons fell on Japan. I don’t fear nuclear energy; respect it, yes, but fear it,no. And it appears that Matt is projecting his own fears onto everyone else.

      • 30,000 people died from a wave that day.. I’d be more afraid of tsunami’s than nuclear reactors! as to the statement ‘everybody’s afraid..’ no, falsified straight off the bat.

      • emsnews – “People must fear nuclear power plants because any disaster there lasts for a long, long, long time and the vicinity is uninhabitable for unknowable lengths of time.”
        Nonsense. Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Fukushima. Even at Chernobyl, people are filtering back in.

      • I have no problem with nuclear power. I have lived within a few miles of nuclear power stations with no concern. If you are that worried about radiation then depopulate Aberdeen in the Highlands and ban people from having granite counter tops and luminous watches.

      • Yes, this is a very false statement. Afraid of nuklear power and lobbying to renewable energy are only the green meaning-makers around the globe. The normal citizen, on the other hand, if he is informed neutrally about the risks and benefits of nuclear fission, will not be influenced by this opinion. The only shortcoming is that decades ago this neutral information had been lacking and, instead, the battlefields were scattered against the nuclear energy. The person (Hansen), who can be seen as an example in the picture, is ironically an advocate of it. What Trump has the most to fear is this proverbial swamp of green lobbyism. The good Donald probably meant the political swamp in Washinton, but this is comparatively a minor problem. One sign of this is that even such comments are sent, obviously by people with reason: “Not enough information here … everyone is afraid of nuclear power … not a good test question.” Or “Eustace, many, many people have a fear of nuclear power, especially after Fukishima.” All signs of a certain brainwashing, which has been going on for several decades.

      • There goes emsnews again.
        The only place in Fukishima that is “uninhabitable” is inside the building itself.
        Yet she tries to claim that the government declaring an exclusion zone is proof that nobody wants to live there.

      • Matt February 27, 2017 at 5:24 am
        To all I think Matt’s statement is correct. This is because of ignorance and poor information. As well as out right false information. It is not their fault. We are taught “certain” facts and if develop doubts we self educate,with of course the same risks as self medication or first aid. Sometimes good, some times very bad.
        Here is an example, I was once in the situation of explaining the difference between “exposure” and “Contamination”. This of course was days after Fukishima. It involved the discussion as to whether or not a radiation suit would protect you completely from radioactivity.
        I am not sure to this day if my explanation was 100% accurate.
        Anyway all of us layman and specialists are still learning. Much of our cultural knowledge is based on what was believed in the 1950s-60s and that was extrapolated from the limited information and observations of the times. Education has not caught up.

      • Docwat’s statements stands, it was a stupid and inappropriate choice of test case which falsifies the rest of their pathetic study which was set up to support a preconceived outcome: please scientists, don’t be afriad to speak out it won’t hurt your credibility.
        Basically you don’t have any credibility left to lose.

      • Yst but everybody is afraid if a nuclear power plant ‘meltdown’ for obvious reasons. As MarkW points out everyone is scared by scare stories. Its the framing of the story that is at issue. If you predicated the question on a disatser scenario so that the question appears to be do you favour a solution to the aforementioned disaster then hey presto you get a positive response. That’s why they refer to Catastrophic anthropogenic global warming and now ‘climate change’ is just a vernacular shorthand for that.

      • The reason people fear nuclear power is because of the possibility of human error. No matter how good the design, it will not be idiot proof. And if the idiots are the ones in charge, like at Chernobyl, majors disasters are likely to happen. Don’t get me wrong. I am cautiously optimistic about nuclear power. But I still realize that it is precisely when people come to believe that a design is fail-proof, or a ship is unsinkable, that disasters happen. Such attitudes make human error more likely because they cause people to become careless. It’s even worse when the people running a nuclear plant have a union that won’t allow them to be fired for “minor” reasons like incompetency.

        • Well said. Anyone not remember The China Syndrome? The take away from that movie should have been”Never build a nuclear reactor in a tectonicly active region”, instead it was “Never build nuclear reactors PERIOD or we will all DIE!”. Propaganda, it works.

      • “Matt February 27, 2017 at 5:24 am
        Eustace, many, many people have a fear of nuclear power, especially after Fukishima.”
        Purely and simply because of media misinformation.

      • It’s the humans that are unsafe. Until we can fix the inherent problems in humans, for example a religious like belief that co2 is causing run a way heating of the planet, humans should stay away from nuclear. At present there is no way to fix their stupidity. A case in point is the number of regulations that deal with nuclear energy. The regulations didn’t come about from the selfless acts of correct system designs and engineering on the safe side. France has just been caught cutting corners. Doing nuclear incorrectly is like suicide, a long term problem, to a short term solution. Building the back up generators on the ocean side at Fukushima is so clearly a human trait that you can’t see the other system failures that haven’t been revealed yet. If that fault is so obvious, why wasn’t it addressed BEFORE the accident? I hear all the time, ” it’s been running safely for 20 years”. When it runs a 1000 years, then I might have some faith in it. A hundred years in nuclear is like a second in a year to nuclear. There is a difference where people are living because they have to.
        And it’s true, no body died. However, it is the current generation. You might have a few cases that may or may not be from exposure. It’s the next were a number of people start having cancers in their 40s and 50s. Then more cancers in the children of the next. That’s the problem. In some families exposed to nuclear fallout from the tests in Nevada, every single family member has cancer. Why aren’t they classified ? They were in the next County over. But nobody died. You think those numbers ever make the stats ?
        How much of the planet has already become a nuclear waste land, and it’s barely been 100 years. In a 1000 years it’ll be just as dangerous, will we Remember?

      • That´s a very good Example. It is, unfortunately, always so that mankind was most afraid of the “invisible,” before spirits, gods, and idols, before the wild beasts, which were straightened in the undergrowth, and before anyone can see they, they grab you” , The “invisible rays of the atom” and so on. This irrational fear was fueled and used by the Scaremongerers under using examples of human and technical incompetence (Chernobyl) and stupid sites of nuclear power plants (Fukushima), thus destroying a whole power generation sector.

  1. Would have to see the specific questions. If they were all crafted to elicit a specific action like the one to limit “carbon dioxide emissions from coal-burning power plants (as opposed to) building more nuclear power plants” then the study was clearly designed to give them the answer they wanted. So “Center for Climate Change Communication” performs a study in which climate scientists are shown to have more freedom to advocate for political and economic policies? In other news, the majority of foxes advocate leaving the doors to the chicken coop open.

    • I *really* want to know who this fictional scientist is.. 2 reasons, his ‘credibility’ remain even though he’s purely fictional – that should seriously disturb any true scientist, secondly I would love to find out how often he’s been quoted as a credible source by the AGW crowd 😉

    • Straight to the bullseye. Advocacy doesn’t matter till it matters. If Ed, the expert, can’t judge where the line is drawn, other scientists should steer clear.

  2. Depends on who you are polling. Easy example, Presidential polling. Poll only registered Democrats and DJT has a 26% approval rating. Poll registered Republicans and he has 48% approval. Poll people who admit voting for him and he has 54% approval. It is all in who and how you ask. Oh, and in how much you pay for the results you want. A big pile of cash insures you get the poll results you want.

    • @2h9, The most important Poll was won by President Trump so a big pile of cash doesn’t work all the time. It may if George Soros has his way but now the Forces of Good are mobilising against him. Good to see someone in the Guv getting off their Butts and stopping the Anarchy.

      • Sorry, it still stands. Pollsters give the customer the results the customer pays for, otherwise pollsters would go out of business. Trump won an election, not a telephone poll. Soros got exactly what he has been paying for, disruption, division and balkanization in the American population.

  3. When scientists advocate a political agenda without a focussed attempt at determining what is reality, ie, is what I am advocating based on a testable thesis based on scientifically-collected data, are they still scientists? And when they cringe when they face cognitive dissonance in merging science and political advocacy and move to the political side, are they still scientists? How many of these types of scientists still engage in introspection? I see a lot of persons filling the position of “useful idiots” in front of this current group of scientists, the ones who proudly say they are part of the 97% concensus, and wonder where we are headed. I have personally walked along a ridge below the giant wind turbines generating clean energy and counted the dead birds (north of Casper, Wyoming) and thought about the difference between that carnage and modern nuclear electric generating plants, correctly situated and built with melt-down safeguards, and operating day and night at low cost. When I see how easy it is to fool the majority of the population I fear civilization is sliding down-hill.

  4. What people think right now, before the cost of cutting CO2 really bites, is not the same way they’ll think when they’re seeking justification to reject the future pain. Any advocacy will come back to get them.

  5. Scientists should let the science speak, and if they have to open their mouths, they tell the full story.
    Science produced by Climate “scientists” is what is hurting their reputations, and advocacy confirms why their science is rubbish, bias

  6. Public may be more accepting….amazing how they can twist things
    …public may be more immune, over it, and desensitized

  7. A question arises that I would appreciate informed opinion on from WUWT readers.
    Is there validity to the argument that liquid salt / thorium reactors are a viable solution? Have read a great deal about it, including that there are several in experimental operation and two full scale being built in India.
    Sounds like a real option, including safety, but is it likely and if so, how soon?
    I don’t have the scientific background to judge the matter, but there are many on this forum who may.

  8. “The only instance where the credibility of the scientist suffered was after the endorsement of a specific controversial policy – building more nuclear power plants. This suggests that the American public are more likely to object to a scientist’s advocacy statement when a specific standpoint is endorsed”
    Since the specific policy of reducing coal plants did not negatively effect credibility, it is not advocating a specific policy, but that specific policy that harmed reputation. That is it not specific policies but unpopular policies that harm credibility.
    Personally I think we need to listen to experts most when they are talking about their area of expertise. If someone is a climatologist they are unlikely to be an expert in economics and policy implications, so their pronouncements should be taken with a pinch of salt. It is one thing to say raising CO2 levels will cause temperatures to rise by this amount, which will cause sea levels to rise by that amount. It is quite another to say we should therefore do X or Y in response.
    It is rather like doctors who get involved in policy. Sugar causes diabetes ad obesity they say, which is within their area of expertise. Therefore we should have a sugar tax! Now, doctors don’t really know if a sugar tax is the best way to deal with the consumption of sugar at levels that cause diabetes.

    • seaice1 – “It is one thing to say raising CO2 levels will cause temperatures to rise by this amount, which will cause sea levels to rise by that amount”
      And if each of those amounts are zero, what is the “one thing” you’ve said?

      • Thomas, if the experts tell us it is zero then we should act in accordance with that advice. If they tell us it is not zero we should act in accordance with that advice too.

      • seaice1 says “if the experts tell us it is zero then we should act in accordance with that advice. If they tell us it is not zero we should act in accordance with that advice too.”
        Okay. I declare myself an expert: if the temperature of a system varies >100 K at any point of time depending on the location, system temperature measurement precision is lost irrespective of instruments used. Any anomalies <1 °C on system scale (e.g. atmospheric scale from extrapolated pre-industrialised times to a projected future) can be rounded to zero.

      • You don’t get listened to if you are only a self proclaimed expert. You need to back up the claim with evidence of expertise.
        [and this is exactly why nobody listens to you here, you are nothing more than a made up name -mod]

        • “You don’t get listened to if you are only a self proclaimed expert. You need to back up the claim with evidence of expertise.”
          Something none of the “experts” you trot out have ever done.

      • seaice1 says “You don’t get listened to if you are only a self proclaimed expert. You need to back up the claim with evidence of expertise.”
        It has been decades anyone has questioned my expertise in such an obtuse manner, but pleased to see you excel somewhere.

      • I have not declared myself an expert, nor expected anyone to believe me because of that. My arguments here stand on their merit, often backed up by evidence. Publishing papers in academic journals is one way of demonstrating expertise. There are other ways as many experts do not publish. Saying “I declare myself an expert” is not one of them.

        • Really? These globall warmining “experts” simply declare they are experts and expect everyone to do as they command. Sounds a lot like other self proclaimed “experts” on education, economics. medicine, etc etc, all of whom are idiots who can not get or hold a real job. Time to drain the swamp.

    • We should also have a tax on stupidity. This would be the longest-term global tax ever and could be adjusted at any time, country-by-country and individually up and down. If humanity still exists in 10,000 years, this tax would surely still exist. I would be there immediately and would also provide my account for a small usage fee as a collective account for the state, whoever he is and wherever he is.

    • The specific policy of reducing coal plants isn’t currently coupled with some negative outcome. “Nuclear power plants = radiation = bad” is a current association in the public mind. If “reducing coal plants = double electric bill + unreliable source” becomes embedded in the public mind you would likely see similar negative credibility assessments.

  9. “The experiment, conducted by researchers at George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication, showed that on five out of six occasions when a fictional scientist made advocacy statements to the public on Facebook, their own and their colleagues credibility was left unharmed.”
    That just suggests people on Facebook support climate change advocacy.

      • Nope, the key word is “climate scientist credibility” You cannot harm what it does not exist.
        Or maybe is credibility what is fictional.

    • And that “fictional scientists” reputations were adversely affected only 1 time in 6. Were there only 6 examples taken? If so, the study is laughable. If there were more, why weren’t the full results posted?
      I’m really ashamed of my alma mater, GMU, for publishing crap like that.

    • “The experiment, conducted by researchers at…”
      Given the methodology, this was not an experiment and these are barely researchers. All they showed was that facebook users have opinions that sometimes agree with others. Can’t believe these guys get paid for this stuff. The education bubble can’t collapse fast enough.

    • No. Activists research how people feel about their activism.
      It’s just market research and nothing unuusal.
      Show me a climatologist who is also a scientist and that would be something special.

    • Well, if people don’t “feel” right about their research, they want to know how much to adjust the dose.
      (Tough to get the proper balance of tranquilizers and amphetamines.)

  10. …The only instance where the credibility of the scientist suffered was after the endorsement of a specific controversial policy – building more nuclear power plants. This suggests that the American public are more likely to object to a scientist’s advocacy statement when a specific standpoint is endorsed, and not when more general statements are made….
    What that suggests is that the public don’t CARE about the credibility of scientists. They will accept any scientist saying that the sky is blue, and they will be suspicions of any scientist saying that cannibalism is a recommended diet – not because of any scientific issues, but because the statement matches their real-world social norms…

    • I wonder how much of GMU students’ tuition paid for this crap. The university could probably lower tuition if they stopped funding this fake news producing and promoting “center”.

    • The media is the problem.
      They will always report the alarmist position.
      When have you heard an obviously correct sceptical news item on climate.
      I know why that is.
      The media takes serious money from the billions of dollars of taxpayers money on offer to the advocates of the political scam.
      They then present it ( with a look of manufactured grave concern from the news reader) as an accurate and legimate news story.
      It is a paid commercial or FAKE NEWS.

  11. Why didn’t they have the test “scientists” advocate against climate change–as we know their “credibility” would have plummeted

  12. Same ol’ same ‘ol …
    They can’t change (objective) Reality, they can’t change Physics, they can’t change the (unaltered) Data, they can’t control the ( largely uncooperative) “global” weather, and they (no longer) have a monopoly on sources of news, so … change the narrative and “perceptions”.
    The nice thing about being Old is that one very quickly recognizes the phrasing, word-use, and emotional button-pushing tricks associated with a con-job. Ho-hum.

  13. Do you buy a book based on the blurbs on the back cover or on substantive reviews on Amazon? Seems to me that a PR Firm is trolling for more business.

  14. Like I’m ever going to take anything seriously that is published in a journal called Environmental Communication. It’s politics.

  15. Whoever is concerned more with appearance of credibility in the public eye, than actual credibility, will lose both.

    You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.
    — Abraham Lincoln

  16. Just another of a plethora of “studies” about communicating “the message”. They spend so much in time and resources on this kind of stuff how one can one not be inclined to conclude that their product is deficient.

  17. More lies inspired by gravy train scientists.
    Co2 is not a POLLUTANT but rank greed is.
    You have wasted time and money again.
    A quote from Fawlty Towers.
    ” What kind of butterball do you take me for”.

  18. Trojan Horse :
    “The experiment, conducted by researchers at George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication, showed that on five out of six occasions when a fictional scientist made advocacy statements to the public on Facebook, their own and their colleagues credibility was left unharmed.”
    Some way to bring fake news by ‘a fictional scientist’ to a broader auditorium with the excuse of doing studies on ‘credibility’.

  19. The truth and the fallacy of the argument is perhaps best stated by the philosopher Terry Goodkind: “People are stupid. People will believe what they want to believe or are afraid is true, regardless of the evidence.” There is no antidote to the condition and everyone must continually examine their selves to guard against falling to an untruth in the pursuit of truth.
    “Science” is the new religion of the western world. People tend to believe in alarmism because, “what if it is true?” And so we get fragments of “Silent Spring” and cholesterol is bad, sugar causes diabetes (just like CO2 causes temperatures to rise), “Fahrenheit 911,” GMO’s (geneticall altered organisms); each will be the death of humanity. [As an aside, every food crop grown in the world is a genetically altered organism – the alternative can be nothing more than hunter/gatherers collecting wild berries and spearing meat on the hoof as it flies by.]
    The only solution is to apply what we call the “scientific method” to everything, testing to see what bears out in diverse experiments that shed new ways of thinking on the problem, refining and discarding that which does not work.
    Reason will be the salvation of civilization—not “science” with all its pier reviewed censorship.

    • If you think you’re super smart and eminently qualified to rule the world and have lots of money, there are people you can hire to make lots of noise. The MSM has nothing to do but focus their cameras on the noisemakers, who will be joined by hordes of guilty, ignorant, do-nothing virtue signalers, so the level of noise increases evermore. Finally, we must protect our sanity with a small cultural revolution.

  20. There can be another driving force behind advocacy: money. Being in-ya-face and controversial draws attention.
    Very recently Radio New Zealand interviewed one Bill Mcguire. They often find a recent publication and interview the author (on many subjects). Bill’s latest book addresses the “extreme sensitivity” of physical global phenomena” (earth quakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunami e.t.c).
    “There is evidence that monsoons in India can trigger earthquakes” This is (apparently) due to decreased loadings on the sea floor due to the increased water in the atmosphere 🙂
    “Spring melts of snow can trigger volcanic eruptions due to decreased loadings” 🙂
    “Warming around the Southern Alps (NZ) will cause more landslides” A study I recently did on climate stations in the Southern Alps shows an increase (at very most) of 0.2 c over 60 yrs. A number of stations show ziltz.
    One of the last questions put to Bill was, “are we in trouble?” – answer – ” yes, we are in trouble” (all due to AGW of course.
    Don’t f’rt folks you will bring a typhoon down on your head 🙂

  21. Two things – How can they expect this to pass without a computer model?
    Next, oh God, here comes the onslaught!

  22. How can the credibility of a climate scientist be damaged? Isn’t akin to capturing unicorns? Neither exist. You can damage a myth.

  23. Let’s make sure I get this…
    So a group whose purpose is to communicate anthropogenic climate change, conducts a “study” demonstrating that communications of catastrophic climate change claims (by an imaginary “climate expert” no less) is effective… whatever that means… and this “study” is conducted within the arena of Facebook? Well, then, that seals the deal….

  24. Uh, you mean, they were trapped in their university thought bubble, Facebook accounts of the green and left undergraduated students to send and receive fake news over and over again. So that in the end they no longer knew whether they were transmitters or receivers or what they should actually be. This explains a lot.

  25. This is more advanced research from political climate science. We just need political climate psychology to weigh in on it to complete the circle. Jerks!

  26. Well, the re-searchers at George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication may have arrived at bargaining step of Kübler-Ross model, but I’m already sensitised to misanthropists.

  27. Their conclusions are hilariously flawed if they didn’t take into account, and adjust for:
    1-the fact that trust in “climate scientists” is at an all time low, so most people don’t assume they have a respectable reputation in the first place that could “be” affected by advocacy
    2-because trust in climate scientists is so low, no body really gives a crap what they do or say anymore
    3-according to only what the article states, only ONE of the situations/questions/scenarios actually demonstrates a specific advocacy-the one that caused the problem. Simply stating that we need to do something, or stating one’s “professional” opinion generally about something isn’t necessarily viewed as advocacy specifically. We all want to save the planet, but I don’t advocate for anything specifically.
    4-How is it possible (or rational) to expect people to savage the reputation of an imaginary scientist? Did they build imaginary websites and create imaginary employment somewhere in which people could “react” by trying to contact an employer or organization?
    5-Did they conduct the “experiment” with a group of people known to respond in a specific manner-people who WOULD attempt to discredit a scientist immediately and consistently they viewed them as advocating when they shouldn’t be?
    A. If not, then no response from those exposed to the experiment could simply be a matter of not caring at all, not paying attention, being busy with more important things, not being prone to respond in the first place….
    I’d really like to see some “social scientists” conduct some studies using critical thinking skills and logic and reason for a change. If they do, they might EARN some credibility from me. But no one gets credibility automatically simply by having a title or a college degree. Nope. And people like the ones who did this study are ruining any chance of having any credibility all by themselves anyway.

    • Much agreed. Universities that push advocacy instead of neutrality in politically charged academic issues are only damaging their credibilities. Hear this, Berkley, Colorado, Penn State, East Anglia, etc. (ad nauseum)…

  28. Center for Climate Change Communication? Universities really have a Center for that? Why? Then they really jump the shark using Facebook as a valid research tool.
    We need more propaganda, marketing and advocacy in the world like we need more car commercials during sports games.
    Instead, how about a “Center for Learning How Natural Climate Variation Works”. Just a thought.

    • It has become a debate on hiw to deliver the message. The message itself will never be debated because it won’t stand up to scrutiny.

  29. George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication is a propaganda and indoctrination facility whose mission is to advance the Man-caused climate change fiction. They are part of the Fake News crowd and have no credibility.

    • Their entire “Environmental Policy” major is the same. I walked through the GMU bookstore a month or so ago, and looked at the textbooks for the courses in that department. My blood pressure skyrocketed seeing the propaganda masquerading as serious fact.
      The policy hacks have the audacity to act as though their department is equal to the biology department as a “science major”, when the little real science presented is “science-lite”. Even the classes that sound like they might have practical or educational value are meant to indoctrinate students. All you have to do is look at the assigned textbooks.
      If you really hate yourself, spend some time with the environmental policy majors and/or graduates. It may drive you to drink.

  30. The percentage of the population that go along or fail to bother reasoning a scientific claim if it confirms their political culture has only gone up the past 60 years, climate science would be very different without that trend. Of course that implies they wouldn’t be bothered by a nonobjective science authority being advocates.
    I’m not saying it’s a good thing but the premise seem likely factual to me. There comes a point when clinging to past values as if they’ve been maintained and exhibiting shock at what is obviously a deteriorating cultural standard is counter productive. This is the world we’re living in. Better to incorporate these realities in the case against the giant Greenshirt Iron Mask that is being sized for the entire planet by the U.N. Climate protocol.
    What sort of rose colored glasses do so many skeptics in particular wear?
    The paper may be rubbish but the claim doesn’t shock me at all, I think it likely. How many AAAS members are planning to march this coming Earth Day? (Plenty). Very close to a public majority aren’t going to blink at science advocacy conflicts.
    Do you really think there could be a Climate Change science and media consensus cartel if there wasn’t a deep social/social culture willing to put blinders of logic or more traditional ethical standards on?
    Joan Rivers had a memorable stand up comedy line when she would make shocking or crude social observations and the audience would react with shock or disdain; “GROW UP!” she would shout at them. As I read these reactions I have to wonder what sort of climate change movement you’ve been watching that you would be surprised by this papers claim? It all seems thematic and predictable to me.

  31. As usual these days, it’s not the message that’s the problem, it’s how the message is delivered. I don’t think they’ll ever work out where they went wrong!

  32. Mason U climate Cominterm, home of Shukla and the Gang of 20 who wanted sceptics to be waterboarded or crucified or something by a Congressional SWAT team? Yeah, if you don’t show yourself amenable to CliSci communication you could wake up with a horse head in your bed.

  33. Claim: Public may be more accepting of advocacy by climate scientists than previously thought

    The public may be supportive of advocacy, I’m for that. What the public won’t stand for is being defr@uded. That is why this fr@ud must be exposed. People don’t like being played as f00ls.
    Climate “Science” on Trial; The Criminal Case Against the Alarmists

  34. To understand what is really wrong with this study, one needs to look at the Supplementary Material. The entire study rests on asking questions about several single-sentence fake Facebook posts, made by fictional scientists (really a professor) or a TV Meteorologist (the only change in the bio is the profession).
    These single sentence Facebook posts are expected to represent “advocacy”…..they don’t, they are so mild as to be simply ridiculous. Climate Science Advocacy looks like SKS, RealClimate, etc. Not just a simple statement about climate.
    More non-science from the realm of “social science” and “science communications”.

  35. Must this institution deceive social media addicts to gain their data?
    This is quite telling about the tactics of the progressive science practors.

  36. He who controls the vocabulary wins the argument. Activists and other experts litter the trail with intentional ambiguity. The essence of the theory of science and law alike is the elimination of ambiguity; the essence of the practice of these fields is the contrary: to create, foment, and capitalize on ambiguity. This practice reduces issues to politics, to the “talent for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity”, as Hamilton warned in 1788. Advocacy is the bane of reason, logic, civility, debate and hence the university system, of law, democracy and hence republicanism and government, and of science; it is propaganda that blossoms into street demonstrations, riots, mayhem and murder. Taking the right to mean individualism and the left collectivism, advocacy is a tool of the left.

    • That makes sense, observing and acknowledging process as it is practiced is reasonable as well. Propaganda has been produced and accepted for decades regarding climate. It’s a willful process.
      More introspection about skeptics and their own social tendencies might be productive as well;
      It’s not directly related to the climate debate but it fits many who can’t get out of their own orthodoxy about how the climate debate (or any defining political issue) must be maintained. It’s a trend across many issues at the moment. The bulk of skeptics would rather lose maintaining their narrow framing of the climate debate then be forced into alliances and arguments deemed beneath their nobility. Alarmists and warming advocates don’t share this burden. No social backlash can be expected this coming Earthday when scientist will paint their faces and make fools of themselves marching in the streets. Which side objectively dominates the climate debate or in fact much of history?
      Reason has a spotty success rate in history. Everyone wants to critique their opposition but I’m convinced the failure on climate policy rests squarely on the alliance of sycophantic skeptics who can’t square their conflicts to reality. The linked article illustrates the point more broadly but it’s the same trend.

  37. More wishful thinking. When it comes to climate, ” it’s worse than we thought”. When it comes to psychological warfare, ” more people are accepting of the deprivation that will result “.

  38. Public may be more accepting of advocacy by climate scientists than previously thought

    So many possible replies.
    How many of the “public”m they asked are are over 50 or 60?
    How many of the “public” have a clue that an actual and valid scientific finding is not found by waving a sign someone else paid to have printed?
    How many of the “public” realize that an actual scientist welcomes, even if it stings a bit, being shown that he was wrong. (It may take some time to get over. But if his desire to learn is greater than his ego, he’ll get over it. If he doesn’t, he’s a political of egotistical scientist.)
    How many of the “public” realize that the shows they see on the SyFy Channel (where only one scientist saves the world) or even Star Trek are FICTION with a bit science thrown in?

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