Friday Funny: “Believe you can stop climate change and you will”

From the “cats think they are psychokinetic because they sit in front of a door and will it to open, and eventually it does” department comes this inane study that says we [are] basically able to stop climate change via beliefs

Warwick Research: Believe you can stop climate change and you will
If we believe that we can personally help stop climate change with individual actions — such as turning the thermostat down — then we are more likely to make a difference, according to research from the University of Warwick

  • Individuals’ motivation to prevent climate change is negatively affected by climate change helplessness — belief that climate change is out of our personal control, so our actions will make no difference
  • But those who believe individual actions do make a difference are more likely to perform them — which leads to lower energy consumption
  • Public messages should focus on how we can make a personal difference to climate change, say psychologists

If we believe that we can personally help stop climate change with individual actions – such as turning the thermostat down — then we are more likely to make a difference, according to research from the University of Warwick.

Dr Jesse Preston in the Department of Psychology has demonstrated that people are often negatively affected by climate change helplessness — the belief that climate change is so massive and terrifying, as to be out of our personal control, and that our actions are too small to help.

This feeling of helplessness, however, makes people less likely to bother with individual eco-friendly actions – and actually leads to higher energy consumption.

In one study, the researchers tested a group of over two hundred people, and gave different members of the group varying messages about climate change.

Some were given a High Efficacy Climate Change message (that personal actions do make a difference in the fight against climate change); others a Helpless Climate Change message (that personal actions make no difference); and some were given no message at all.

Over the next week, the group reported whether or not they adopted behaviours to help stop climate change – such as driving less, hanging washing on the line instead of using the dryer, using less water, or turning the heating down.

The people who had received the High Efficacy Climate Change message reported 16.5% more of these behaviours than those who read a Helpless Climate Change message – and 13% more actions than the control group which received no message.

Moreover, people in the group which was told their actions couldn’t make a difference to climate change actually reported higher energy usage than before — showing how destructive a feeling of helplessness can be.

The researchers also found that a belief that personal behaviours make a difference enhances the moralisation of our actions – the notion that they are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ — and an awareness that the energy we individually consume could either prevent or cause damage to human life.

Public messages about climate change which focus on how we can help make a difference as individuals will be far more effective in encouraging people to consume less energy, according to the researchers.

Dr Preston commented:

“Often climate change messages try to persuade the public by increasing belief that climate change is real, or through fear of its dire consequences. But mere belief in climate change is not enough, and fear can backfire if we feel helpless and overwhelmed.

“It is vitally important that individuals appreciate the impact and value of their own actions for us to make a meaningful change as a whole.”

###

The paper, ‘Climate Change Helplessness and the (De)moralization of Individual Energy Behavior’, is published in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.

http://psycnet.apa.org/?&fa=main.doiLanding&doi=10.1037/xap0000105

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198 thoughts on “Friday Funny: “Believe you can stop climate change and you will”

    • Well, the same is true of prayer. If you believe in the Almighty and you pray to her, she will answer (some) of your prayers. The same is true of lotteries. If you buy more tickets, you’ll increase your chances of winning. However, what isn’t mentioned is that increasing nothing by 16.5% still results in nothing, albeit a 16.5% larger nothing than the original nothing.

      • As true believers understand, God always answers our prayers. Sometimes the answer is “No”.

      • Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers
        [Garth Brooks, Unanswered Prayers]

      • Thank you D.J. and John. Yes God answers prayers, sometimes no if it is not good for us or those we interact with, sometimes they will be answered in the future when we are ready, and sometimes there is a yes answer right away. And very often, the answers come in the form of another person helping you or enabling you.

      • ~ If we believe that we can personally help stop climate change with individual actions — such as turning the thermostat down — then we are more likely to make a difference ~

        To the thermostat ; )

      • if a cow could draw a cow god, he would draw it in the shape of a cow. therefore he only answers cow prayers.

      • Thank you D.J. and John. Yes God answers prayers, sometimes no if it is not good for us or those we interact with, sometimes they will be answered in the future when we are ready, and sometimes there is a yes answer right away. And very often, the answers come in the form of another person helping you or enabling you.

        That is a cop-out, rationalization, whatever you want to call it. Reality it isn’t.

    • Human attention span is too short to wait and watch the cat open the door, as any ailurophile knows.

      • Asking for Proof about this –

        prevent climate change is negatively affected by climate change helplessness — belief that climate change is out of our personal control, so our actions will make no difference
        But those who believe individual actions do make a difference are more likely to perform them — which leads to lower energy consumption

        Did ‘Energy Consumption’ = ‘Climate Control’ get proven, or did I miss this story?

        What, Dr Jesse Preston in the Department of Psychology has demonstrated is – “The Climate Change / Green Blob is a great way to get money to put out Idiot Studies.

      • All doors will eventually open. Whether it is by the owner’s hand, the landlord’s, the police, earthquake, or supernova. That’s the fun thing with tautologies. The answer has to be right. It doesn’t have to be reasonable.

    • For once I agree with Griff. The cat bust the cat door which we lock at night. As a temporary measure I pile 5 bricks in front of the cat door. I’m going to have to up to 6 bricks, somehow the cat manages to push the stack of house bricks out of the way…

    • Perhaps it was the other way around; Perhaps the door caused the cat to wait to watch it open.

      • Does slot machine train a person to relentlessly play it? Does a door that now and then opens train a cat to relentlessly watch it?

      • Yes, the slot machine conditions the player to continue to use it, it’s called variable reinforcement.

      • Slots will give out small prizes pretty regularly. Generally not often enough for you to recoup the money you’ve put in, but often enough to give you a small high from winning something and nudge you into putting your “winnings” right back in.

        While the jackpot is naturally super-rare, almost-jackpots are common. The machine is programmed to show “near-misses” to create the illusion that the jackpot is more likely to happen than it actually is.

      • “a small high”

        If a person does something small in order to save the planet does he get to enjoy a small high?

      • If so then maybe the force that drives doing something small is not the saving of the planet but getting to enjoy a small high.

    • Well Griff, Uri Geller attained fame in his day with spoon bending illusion tricks. Today we have much more sophisticated illusion with climate models and attacks on anyone looking behind the curtain, even attacks directed by the Obama administration and party operatives as shown in wikileaks disclosures of Podesta emails. At least magicians and illusionists are not out to assault the skeptical audience members. They just have their run at popularity and then it fades.

    • The analogy of a cat looking at door is flawed. It is possible and not expensive to open a door.

      It is not possible to reduce world CO2 emissions by 30% using solar and wind, even if one had unlimited money to spend on the scam.

      1) The cult of CAGW is based on fake science (there is no CAGW and there is no significant AGW, the majority of the warming in the last 150 years was caused by solar cycle changes).

      2) Ignoring point 1 which if correct means changes of anthropogenic CO2 will have no affect on climate, the cult of CAGW uses fake engineering to justify forced spending on green scams that do not work.

      3) Regardless of cost, it is not possible to reduce CO2 emission by 30% by using wind power and solar power.

      This leads to a runaway cycle of constructing more and more renewable plants simply to produce the energy required to manufacture and maintain renewable energy plants – an obvious practical absurdity.

      If one takes into account the reduction in grid efficiency and the energy cost to construct and maintain wind and solar system and the required electric grid upgrades, there is almost no energy advantage to use wind and solar energy above around 10% of total grid load.

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/11/22/shocker-top-google-engineers-say-renewable-energy-simply-wont-work/

      The key problem appears to be that the cost of manufacturing the components of the renewable power facilities is far too close to the total recoverable energy – the facilities never, or just barely, produce enough energy to balance the budget of what was consumed in their construction. This leads to a runaway cycle of constructing more and more renewable plants simply to produce the energy required to manufacture and maintain renewable energy plants – an obvious practical absurdity.

      A research effort by Google corporation to make renewable energy viable has been a complete failure, according to the scientists who led the programme. After 4 years of effort, their conclusion is that renewable energy “simply won’t work”.

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/11/21/renewable_energy_simply_wont_work_google_renewables_engineers/

      “RE<C was a failure, and Google closed it down after four years. Now, Koningstein and Fork have explained the conclusions they came to after a lengthy period of applying their considerable technological expertise to renewables, in an article posted at IEEE Spectrum.
      Even if one were to electrify all of transport, industry, heating and so on, so much renewable generation and balancing/storage equipment would be needed to power it that astronomical new requirements for steel, concrete, copper, glass, carbon fibre, neodymium, shipping and haulage etc etc would appear.

      All these things are made using mammoth amounts of energy: far from achieving massive energy savings, which most plans for a renewables future rely on implicitly, we would wind up needing far more energy, which would mean even more vast renewables farms – and even more materials and energy to make and maintain them and so on. The scale of the building would be like nothing ever attempted by the human race."

      It is not possible to reduce CO2 emission by more than 10% to 15% (ignoring the energy input to construct and maintain the green scams which reduces the actual energy savings to less than 10%) without the use of storage systems.

      1) ‘Green’ energy wind and solar require storage. Western countries are spending billions upon billions to subsidize wind and solar ignoring the storage problem. Ignoring economic and engineering reality does not make the problems go away.

      2) If there is no practical storage system then it is a fact that there is a limit to ‘decarboning’ using wind and solar. The limit without storage is around 10% to 15% (very, very optimistically). The 10% to 15% limit is due to real economic and engineering facts which do not change by being ignored. The storage problem has been ignored. As there is no ‘practical’ storage solution the only viable option to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by say 40% is nuclear. The problem is the ‘green’ parties have a pathological hatred against nuclear.

      3) There are currently no practical storage systems. A back of the envelop calculation indicates the proposed storage schemes are not scalable and the cost to store energy is more than double the cost to generate the power. This fact has been hidden from the public and politicians when funding ‘green’ scams. Obviously it does not make sense to subsidize wind and solar as they are dead end schemes if ones goal is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 40% and then by 80%.

      4) Cost, scale ability, efficiency, and reliability of the storage system are key factors. The current compressed air storage system is 50% efficient; however, other losses such as 20% to 30% power system losses to transmit electric power from the wind farms or solar farms needs to be included. Cyclic fatigue and cracks likely make compressed air storage not viable. (The compressed air will escape into the geological formation if the scheme is tried for say 20 years or 30 years will require a new geological formation.) There obviously are limited geological formations. (A very large storage system is required.)

      5) There is a limit as to how much industry and the public can pay for electrical power. The cost of electrical power in Germany is twice that of the US. The high cost of electrical power is a type of tax as there is less money available to tax and for basic needs. The Western countries are already spending more money than take in via taxes. Very high yearly deficits lead to collapse.

      • +10

        How quickly we get sucked into the cost-less discussion with serial cost-avoidance types.

      • I believe the cat analogy is right on the money. The cat is exhibiting a learned behavior, in that the cat is conditioned to wait for the door to open because it eventually does open. Cats have no sense of time so they are purrrfectly happy waiting. In the same way, those afflicted with climate change helplessness have been conditioned to have no sense of self worth and to turn to government to provide for them and they are perfectly happy is letting the government do so.

      • Thank you Mr. Astley. Nice description of some the limits of renewable energy and all on the money.
        One point about solar and wind is that solar does nothing at night (no sunlight and no foreseeable
        solution as you mentioned for storage). The most important feature of solar and wind generated electric power is that they are intermittent and can go from maximum to zero or near zero in a short time, and in between the electric power is bouncing all over the place. Somehow the electric power must be held at a steady power output for the grid to work.
        The only feasible way to do this is for each renewable power source to use/build a fossil energy power plant or nuclear plant for the maximum of real electric power (not nameplate) that the renewables produce. This way the total electric power generated can be held near a constant.
        If you think about wind and solar power going up and down over minutes, they need to be supplemented by a constant power source. It has to be this way.

      • With an increase of co2 there is an increase of co2 fertilization. Plants absorb sunlight more efficiently than bare earth. As they spread out plants become a sort of storage.
        This darker ground cover is perceived as a change in temperature by satellite sensors.
        Doesn’t make a stitch of difference to the thermometer on the porch or anything but a positive change for creatures slithering or crawling under it’s shade, but assuming that steady barely perceptible increase in temperature recorded by GISS, UHA, or RSS is anything more than a counterfeit, the margin could be covered by increases of plant cover albedo I think.

    • Wow . . . this really HAS become a religion! The irony is that if you just appealed to people’s better instincts financially (waste not, want not), turning out lights when you leave a room or turning the thermostat back would become second nature, as they are for most old-fashioned thrifty people like me. The biggie you never hear ANYONE discussing (because a consumer-based economy) is now little “stuff” you really NEED.
      If people only bought what they NEED instead of what advertising tells them they should WANT, consumption would fall across the board to a level incapable of sustaining modern economies.

    • Cats have intense self-will that masquerades as intelligence. Actually, most of them only have the IQ of a jar of mayonnaise.

    • Until you’ve had a cat give you the commanding look of “open the door” or “feed me” or whatever it wants at that time you don’t know the power they have to control their environment.
      Maybe this is the power that they are trying to tap into but they don’t realise that we are only her to serve the cat.

      James Bull

    • “If we believe we can personally stop climate change with individual actions… then we are more likely to make a difference.”

      Yes snowflakes, you can make a difference. Stop your greenhouse gas emissions (breathing and farting) immediately.

  1. Ah, this explains the behavior of DiCaprio, Gore, et. al. They don’t believe that anything they do can affect Climate Change (TM). So of course, they use about ten times the resources of the peasantry.

    • This research is observing that behaviour, yes. However I have major doubts that those people could be persuaded to significcantly change their behaviour, no matter how much persuasion was given. The ineffectualness of unilateral behaviour is just the excuse they tell themselves to carry on as normal.

      • For someone who has studied the period just before and during the Reformation, there are many similarities here. There are those faithful that believe their “sins” can be washed away by good acts. Those who follow the Calvinist predestination to its logical endpoint, realize they are “doomed” anyway, so why not have have some fun? Those who really don’t believe in anything, but buy their absolution from the Church prelates. And then the prelates themselves, who truly enjoy their parasitic lives.

      • I think it comes from the same are of the psyche as religion, yes. A lot of people are not treating it as a technical issue. The reaction to renewables is probably the strongest tell. It’s obvious that they’re not fit for purpose but some like Whitlock argue that they’re an effective solution… nay a cheap, effective solution.

      • Tiny: I have long believed that wind turbines are white to indicate purity. It’s a subconcious thing, but very effective. If they were painted black, or purple (said to decrease bird collisions), any dark color, the purity aspect would be lost. Even a bright orange or yellow is not going to convey innocence and purity like white does.

      • Sheri on May 5, 2017 at 10:25 am
        Tiny: I have long believed that wind turbines are white to indicate purity. It’s a subconcious thing, but very effective. If they were painted black, or purple (said to decrease bird collisions), any dark color, the purity aspect would be lost. Even a bright orange or yellow is not going to convey innocence and purity like white does.

        Of course, to the Chinese, white is the color of death…

  2. Little understood phenomena should be left in the hands of the church who has great experience answering questions about the unknown. Our ancestors build little chapels along the road to expell evil. This is more effective and a lot cheaper than windmills. The climate is in excellent hands with pope Franciscus. Prayer saves billions.

    • There is a wind turbine design that looks remarkably similar to a Tibetan prayer-wheel.

      • I’m not surprised. In the realm of psychological manipulation, the wind industry excels.

  3. I think that there are two issues here. The first is – does cutting CO2 change climate? To which the answer might be ‘not much’ The other is – do individual CO2 actions affect CO2. To which the answer is ‘yes but only if everyone joins in’. Warmists don’t choose to reduce their own CO2 if they think the rest of us won’t too. Thus CO2 doesn’t fall. In that this research is correct.

    Personally I’m all for warmists putting their CO2 where their mouths are. If the 50%(?) who say they believe cut their CO2 by 50%, we’d supposedly see a reduction in global CO2 and (if they’re right) a reduction in temperature. Will they do it? I won’t hold my breath.

    • If we really wanted to cut more CO2 emissions, we would build more combined cycle natural gas electricity plants and hydro dams by redirecting the wasted money going into renewables.

    • yes but only if everyone joins in

      You will be compelled to “$aveThePlanet™” non-problem via government-enforced compliance actions; they are doing their part by agitating the government to compel you into compliance.

      See? Simples!

    • It is 65 degrees here today in N. Florida with a stiff wind. I want some global warming.

  4. Does knowing it was total bollocks when I first heard of it back in 1988, and dismissing it as such immediately, count?

    • I was thinking along those same lines. I think that what they claim may turn out to be literally true, but they have to implement it carefully. Here’s how it will work:

      a) Believe sincerely that climate change is going to stop

      b) quit watching left wing news sites and reading left wing blogs for 20 – 30 years. Cut yourself off from that completely.

      c) After 30 years, tune back in, and surprise! Your beliefs will turn out to be true, “climate change” will not only no longer be an issue, most people will have no idea what you’re even talking about!

  5. Learned helplessness is a real thing.

    Maybe the biggest requirement for successful remedial teaching is the students’ belief that success is possible. If you can’t achieve that, the students won’t put in the effort.

    Before you judge the underachieving students, ask yourself this: When was the last time you built a nuclear reactor in your back yard? You didn’t even try did you?

    • “Before you judge the underachieving students….”

      Sorry if you feel judged, commie. !!

    • Purifying uranium is an absolute pain, but can be …..

      Eh never mind, nothing to see here.

    • ” belief that success is possible”
      not quite.
      ‘proof that success is possible’
      fify.
      disney’s first law messed up a whole generation.
      wishing doesn’t make it so.
      only doing it does that.
      this understanding is the passkey for this particular pons asinorum

      • … proof that success is possible …

        Remedial students won’t believe they can succeed unless you prove it to them. They’ve had their inability proved to them time after time.

        Suppose that a student knows only the two times table and the five times table. You teach the student to factor using only those times tables. You can then say, “The other students won’t learn to factor for another six months. You’re plenty smart, you’re just missing a few skills.” Now the student is willing to work with you.

    • “Learned helplessness” only applies in situations where the student could have an effect, but is dissuaded. Teaching a student about the ocean tides and that he/she is helpless to repel them no matter how deeply she feels about them is really a different issue.
      However if they feel strongly about this maybe they might try the experiment the beach goers in the earlier post were attempting, but maybe at low tide?

      • Agreed.

        There is a phenomenon, something like learned hubris. I once heard something like this:

        I’m working on being able to boil water just by looking at it. I’m half way there. I can already melt an ice cube just by concentrating on it.

        People learn that they are experts because they are rewarded with post-graduate degrees. That means they think they understand their field well enough to be able to predict the future. It’s similar to the illusion of control.

  6. A typical Leftist delusion…

    It doesn’t matter if a particular action has any real effect, it only matters that one appears to be doing something…

    The EPA ran the numbers on the Paris agreement and found that even if climate sensivitiy was as strong as CAGW’s hypothetical assumptions, and if the US adhered to the conditions of the “agreement”, it would only reduce glooooobal waaaaarming by around 0.01C by 2030…

    Oh goody…

    It’s now abundantly clear CO2 forcing will likely only add another 0.3C of CO2 warming between now and 2100 at current fossil fuel consumption growth rates…

    So let’s waste $76 Trillion (2008 UN estimate) over 40 years on CO2 sequestion, to assumedly keep CO2 forcing below 2C by 2100, when we could waste $0.00 and ENJOY another 0.3C of beneficial CO2 induced warming at current fossil fuel consumption rates..

    This is why Leftists have lost 1,200 seats in Federal, State and local elections just since 2010, and are the weakest since the early 1920’s…

    I hope Leftists keep up with their delusional behavior… Conservatives would love to gain another 1,200 seats…

    • “It’s now abundantly clear CO2 forcing will likely only add another 0.3C of CO2 warming ”

      NO..

      … it is abundantly clear that increased CO2 has little or no warming effect, possibly even a cooling effect, on the atmosphere.

    • “Conservatives would love to gain another 1,200 seats…”

      Down here is Australia, the so-called “conservatives” are living up to the American meaning of the word liberal.. ie, leftist suckophants.
      Just like quite a few of the US so-called Republicans.

      • Republicans of that ilk are called “Rinos”; Republican In Name Only. Also, “Rockefeller Republicans” which at the time of naming were Democrat Lite. As the Democrats have gone so far left as to have disappeared over the horizon that linkage doesn’t quite work anymore.

      • 1200 seats!!! Surely you need triple that to run a government as progressive as Australia’s. Tell me you’ve figured out downunder that progressive means it’s opposite.

    • The EPA ran the numbers on the Paris agreement and found that even if climate sensivitiy was as strong as CAGW’s hypothetical assumptions, and if the US adhered to the conditions of the “agreement”, it would only reduce glooooobal waaaaarming by around 0.01C by 2030…

      Is there a good cite / link for this, i.e., from the EPA itself?

      • Piper-san:

        Here are a number of clips of Congressional EPA testimonies describing how insignificant US CO2 emissions cuts would be:

        The EPA isn’t required to show results, just the appearance of doing something–regardless of the awful economic impacts– is enough..

        These are depressing to watch… It’s Statism run amok…

  7. I believe that the people who wrote this paper could demonstrate it best by:

    A) turning their thermostats down to ZERO.

    B) during winter.

    This will lead to

    C) colder winters (since they are not heating their houses it won’t warm up the surroundings

    Which leads to

    D) Less global warming.

    • Not sure about the arithmetic here, Otter.
      If they turn the stat to zero they’ll have to buy more clothes which will be made, probably, using electricity, and transported using oil of some sort. This will in turn produce about the same amount of CO2 which has been saved by them turning down the stat.
      Not saying they shouldn’t try it, though. Suffering is supposed to be good for some people.

    • Yeah, but they would have to stop using their clothes dryers also… not to mention their ranges and ovens and – – – oh, oh and the heating blankets.

  8. TYPO:

    that says we can basically able to stop climate change via beliefs

    should read

    that says we are basically able to stop climate change via beliefs

  9. I love the line of thinking, less energy consumption means better weather. :D

  10. I believe in global warming! Tomorrow, we trade the ol’ Corolla on a big family sized SUV! We need that to tow our big cruiser boat for our family fishing trips! Next month we’ll fly around the world! Its a great life being green! You know, YOU really need to reduce your Carbon footprint! Haha!

  11. “…far more effective in encouraging people to consume less energy, according to the researchers.”
    I bet the electric companies love that massage. They have a captive market which is being told not to use electricity. Their cost per unit goes up and they get to past that cost right to you and me. I remember back in the 70’s the big push was on to insulate hot water lines, hot water tanks, more insulation, and wrapping new built homes in plastic. At the same time manufacturing was on the down turn. The CEO of the one of Colorado’s electric company said we have to charge more money because we are not selling enough electricity. Two years ago (Columbus Ohio) Water Board announced they needed a rate hike because they were not selling enough water. Saving resources was never about consumers saving money.

    • Agreed, here in Ontario during the 2009 downturn, rates were raised as electrical usage was down (less manufacturing). And we receive most of our power, about 70-80%, from Nuclear and Hydro.

    • Got that problem here in South Africa. The electricity monopoly is selling less electricity than before, because the year of (fake) blackouts, better known as ‘load shedding’, has caused industries to close, and others to cancel any expansion plans. Places that REALLY need power (imagine a deep mine without power to force air underground, or even to lift its people to the surface) are now generating their own, ‘cos they can’t trust ESKOM. Therefore, because of the lack of income, the monopoly is forced, yes FORCED, to have to increase its charges.

    • Agreed. Use less electricity and your electric company raises rates or raises “fees” or something. Same thing with electric cars—they don’t use gasoline, so pay no road tax yet damage the road. So tax the electric car for not using gasoline. Too bad none of the leaders here understand economics.

  12. This seems to start with the presumtion of CO2 caused AGW, an unproven effect as to reality and magnitude. If that unprovable hyothesis is wrong, the whole article is pointless.

    On my rserach there is stiil no obvious excursion outside the normal range of glacial and interglacial temperatures over the last 4 cycles. So I would suggest the more likely hypothesis that the next ice age is still the most likely major event.

    Check out the evidence and the scale of human effects versus planetary and solar forces during the 100,000 year cycles – a 30% variation pa in solar radiance and gravity at a Milankovitch maximum, versus none currently. Wonder if that has any effect on volcanicity and ocean temperatures that can cause the sudden warming from a stable ice age state to the short term and equally predictable temperatures of the interglacial periods our civilisation has been built in. It seems to me that the most likely major climate event we will have to endure is 80,000 years of ice age. MOre of a challenege that the odd degree temperature rise of a few inches of sea level rise – vs. 300 foot fall nature willalmost certainly tr impose, as it has done 4 times before in recent history..

    • Isn’t there a Law of Thermodynamics about that? Something about the law of negative return?

  13. … such as turning the thermostat down …

    It might be possible, but as nobody knows how the knob looks like, even less knows how it works, it is not possible today. Anything else is megalomania.

    • A couple of years ago someone wrote into the Daily Telegraph complaining that they had been told to turn down their thermostat by so many government ministers and others that they were now in need of a thermostat and heating system that worked in minus temperatures!

      James Bull

    • Schrodinger: No, they don’t have anything better to do. It’s what passes for SCIENCE these days.

    • I read that it will cost the world a conservative estimate of $65 trillion if all the signatories of the Paris climate agreement stuck to their CO2 reduction commitments.

      Want to try some positive thinking instead? Give it a go, I say.

  14. Thirty years teaching school kids have taught me that a friendly audience will tell me what they think I want to hear. An obvious problem with this “study” is that the behavior is self reported, and the subjects have been given the “right” answers in the initial messages. Their “data” is worthless.

  15. It would work. If they all close their eyes and repeat … ‘there is no more climate change’, then open their eyes, they will see that there is indeed ‘no more climate change’

  16. At least they are recognising that Global Warmism is a form of mental illness.
    That in itself is progress.

      • Sara. I think the hard core believers are Warmunists and base other peoples necessity to sacrifice on their Marxist training. Note that none of the Marxist/communist leaders in the past have never, ever practiced what they preach. There is no reason to believe they will in the future.

  17. While their out there believing, maybe they can route some of the “positive energy” to the grids of CA and South Australia.

  18. and, “What you don’t think, can’t hurt you.” Firesign Theater, 1968, made fun of this emerging thinking.

  19. This study measure susceptibility to climate propaganda, not the efficacy of belief. Look at the method. Subjects were primed by messages, then measured. The authors conclusions are in error, because their experimental design is flawed.

  20. The Cargo Cult lives on in the Alarmist Climate Change movement. They should build more straw models.

  21. So, it is a religion. Does it work faster if they all clap while clicking their heels together?

  22. A fundamental kernel of truth in this post… global warming/climate change is all about belief. Forget facts, observations and the scientific process, just believe as in “I believe we can make environmentalists sane again, I believe, I believe…..”

  23. I think the authors are correct. Imagination can indeed fix an imaginary problem.
    /snark

  24. I think we are overreacting here. All they are saying is that a human who believes they can make a difference is more likely to try and make a difference than a human who does not believe they will make a difference. I think that is such a reasonable conclusion that it seems like a waste of time and money to even study it.

    They are simply pointing out the best way to manipulate people to do something. In this case, they are trying to manipulate people to do something that is utterly foolish and crazy, but that is not the subject of the study. The subject is ‘how to we get people to comply’. For that subject, this is a perfectly good study, although highly unnecessary. We humans have known this since before history began.

    • There is some truth to what you say, but the authors are going beyond motivational thought to the point of believing we can control the climate through ceremonial practices. That is potentially very dangerous superstition.

      • It’s true, andrew. All I have to do is chant ‘snow, snow, snow’ facing the four quarters in the winter, and somehow, through the magic of thought and chanting, I get snow. I have pictures. I once had 4.5 feet drifted up on my front steps.
        It’s the thought that counts.

      • Not only that, but they are assigning moral values – good bad – to these actions. Historically, people who view themselves as morally superior are capable of doing some pretty horrible things.

  25. It works! I was told climate change was real and they handed me a bill for electricity that was double what it had been and I eat more chicken and less beef now and I drink more beer.

  26. I wondered how long it would take for science to be corrupted into a form of religion. Didn’t take as long as I thought it would. Well, I do have some suggestions, so here they are.
    1 – All those who are concerned about global warming can do a great deal to contribute to lower CO2 levels by not breathing, speaking, or eating food any longer.
    2 – The AGW peeps and their guru science peeps need their own planet, so let’s find one for them and send them there ASAP.
    3 – As a Reformed Druid, I will attempt to enlighten those less fortunate and unseeing around me by sacrificing a wheel of brie, some nice,crusty bread and a cheap Tuscan red with a nice nose to it on my lawn on Memorial Day. And I will put out fliers to attract a crowd to join me.
    For the uninformed, Orthodox Druids worship oak trees. Reformed Druids worship bushes.
    I will go back to herding cats now.

    • Perhaps with your enlightened outlook, you can endow a Chair of Druid Studies at Warwick University, AKA “Woo-Woo U.”

    • Oh and the cat starring at the door? He conditioned the owner by piddling on the Persian carpet after waiting at the door for five minutes.

      • Warmists in general are piddling on our carpet. It’s what they do to enforce their all-consuming self-will.

      • I find the cat, after sitting at the door waiting for it to open, usually stalks off in high dudgeon.
        In the opposite direction.
        ” There, that will teach you for taking so long”

  27. The people who had received the High Efficacy Climate Change message reported 16.5% more of these behaviours than those who read a Helpless Climate Change message – and 13% more actions than the control group which received no message.

    So, those who received the HECC message were primed to feel guilt, and had that much more motivation to lie about their “climate behaviors”. Besides, they already “know” that it isn’t their behavior that’s the problem; it’s other people’s. There are always plenty of people who have gargantuan carbon hoofprints compared to yours.

  28. Such technospeak: High Efficacy Climate Change message, climate change helplessness, enhances the moralisation of our actions. Next they will join the likes of Lew with claims akin to, ‘the ideation of initiation of personal cognition of climate responsibility’ or some other drivel.

  29. Uri Geller meets climate change alarmism. Put your spoons away. Or get them all out for the next spoon march in a city near you. Simon Says!!

  30. I wonder how many sceptics actually do things (out of just saving money), that reduce energy usage? I drive a Prius (fuel frugal), live in a energy efficient home (average electric bill is $45, nat gas bill $35), installed LED lighting in my restaurant and maintain them to ensure they stay efficient. I’m a deplorable denier CO2 is nothing more than life giving.

  31. Do they suggest we attempt to bend a cloud with our minds or that we secretly proceed with bomb making for ecoterrorism?

  32. I have seen a cat open a door, repeatedly.
    It was one of those jobs opened by breaking the light beam in front of it.
    This cat had it down, he/or she may have been a physicist, or may have ordered it off Amazon.

      • Cat windows (mounted at the bottom of doors) can be set for entry or exit only. My heighbour cat is able to enter a window that is set to exit only.

  33. This article gives me great hope: If I wish hard enough, then the claim that humans cause catastrophic climate will go away. Notice, I said the CLAIM.

    Off to bend some forks with my mind now.

  34. The principle is the same for any collective effort for which each individual contribution is very small. If we live in a democracy, this system depends on voting. But each individual’s vote almost always makes no difference. We need some way to encourage everyone to cooperate and vote anyway. Tragedy of the commons is similar. The common could be preserved if everyone cooperated, bit each individual’s sacrifice by not grazing their cattle makes little difference on its own, so the common is ruined. There needs to be some mechanism to encourage or enforce cooperation. Collectively, the behavior does make a difference.

    This is just the same. If people think their contribution matters, they will change behavior. If they do not, they won’t. Since it is actually the case that individual efforts on their own make almost no difference, this approach is probably doomed to failure. However, a sense of obligation, as we get with voting, might be more successful.

    • You forgot a whole section of the population that simply don’t care. But that is another misunderstanding of the liberal leftists. They think everyone agrees with their “it takes a village” philosophy.

    • For many people, fortunately, collectivist behavior is anathema to their freedom, although the resistance to it can only be found in any numbers in the US and eastern Europe (the climatism movement was aimed specifically at the US since they already long had the rest of the West in proudly-worn nose rings) . Since the great experiment in collectivity, started in October 1917 and run until 1991, failed, a long patient campaign, started in 1992 to broaden it to cover the world. For this reason, it has been thought that the sacrifice of the USSR was a penultimate move for checkmate. While ‘freedom’ rushed in through the iron curtain breach, aparатчикs walked out, climbed the ladders of power in world environmental, UN, other NGOs, scientific and humanities organizations, government agencies, universities… A conspiracy theory perhaps, but worthy of a nation of chess players. Yes, seaice, you do have a point.

  35. There’s a core of science here.
    When people believe that they can’t do something, or that nothing they do will make a difference, they give up, or at least give up more easily.
    Many times a coaches first job is to get those he is coaching to believe that what they are training towards is possible.

    • a basic emotion that controls human behaviour is fear. Coaches take away fear by adding confidence. The call for austerity is caused by fear , the Club of Rome was the result of fear , climate alarmism is fear. So we need a method to restore confidence (in human ingenuity) to eliminate fear. Environmental movements are activists that exploit fear as profitable business model.

      • Don’t forget about money. Many, many people will sell out for the money no matter what they believe. Although I suppose fear of not having enough money is the driving force.

      • Hate is the other key motivational component of the progressive left. Any one who disagrees with them are labeled and despised, and every effort is made to silence them.

      • Isn’t hate the result of fear? And indeed, many things are quite different in reality then the propaganda wants you to believe. The collectivists movements (communism, socialism, environmentalism) promise heaven on earth but create slave states. So in reality they are the revolt of an elite. (Lenin called his followers “usefull idiots”)

      • And remember, the only thing stronger than fear is hope. A little hope is good, too much hope is dangerous.

  36. Following my recent ordination I can wholeheartedly recommend belief in “Doing The Right Thing”.

    Unfortunately on a blog like this I suspect there may well be an argument about “How Right?” , “What Thing?” or even some incantation about Kant and what we actually mean by “Doing”.

    Good ! I can’t wait .

    Here’s the Rev Baj’s thought(s) for today…

    If one claims to be interested in science and the truth of understanding how something really works (say the atmosphere/AGW) is it the right thing for there to be in existence blogs (on either side, pro or anti AGW) who censor talk about certain subjects which clearly have a relevance ? Now I am not talking about UFOs or things which you have to really stretch your imagination for but I am referring to things which are related to climate/AGW. There are, as we know, plenty of sites/blogs with opinions that do not support the supposed consensus on AGW, but interestingly a large number do have a view on which bits of science theory they are willing to BELIEVE and which bits they reject. (See WUWT site policy for example). Note also the line taken at Dr.Judith Curry’s climate etc and Dr.Roy Spencer’s offering . Tallbloke looks a bit more open minded but recently seems to have dropped some ideas although its not clear if they are “banned”.

    Now I know these sites are all owned/run by individuals (or teams) who are perfectly entitled to set their own site rules, as indeed one would expect them to do based upon their own views, opinions or beliefs but I ask this; If one criticises John’s Cooke’s blatant censorship can one do that while maintaining effectively censorship on ones own site without appearing to be hypocritical ?

    On a matter of science is it ever acceptable to close off certain theories because you don’t believe them ?
    Particularly as with respect to the theory of AGW we have a theory which is relatively difficult to support via experimental evidence (repeatable lab experiments). Competing theories may fall into the same camp (e.g. lukewarmers) or completely different (e.g. no GHE at all, there are several like that). I suggest that if you start by categorising all the not yet tested theories into 2 groups, those you do believe and those you don’t believe and then base your entire blog/site on those 2 nicely boxed sets of ideas you may in fact be wrong even though you BELIEVE you are right.

    Would it not be better to adopt the ideas Richard Feynman talked about in that if there may be 2 or more theories which explain something we should keep them ALL in mind because it is important for the future, even if one theory seems to be fully supported by evidence? In the case of AGW we have a fundamental theory that is NOT entirely supported by evidence (well it looks likes most of the community has been so arguing for a Looooong time!) but the different theories of how the atmosphere works, be they small GHE or (heaven forbid) no GHE seem to me to be no better supported. Yet some are “allowed” and some are “we don’t talk about them”.

    So I pose this interesting thought : Is a blog/site based upon a BELIEF system which allows some theories to be aired and others to be kept in the dark a SCIENCE site or a RELIGION site ?

    I think I know what I believe.

    The Rev. Badger,
    In my sett,
    UK

    • I think on this site, it has been demonstrated over time that certain subject matter leads to nothing more than long winded arguments that serve no purpose and end up using valuable moderating time and effort.

    • Badge, it’s only a belief system when a scramble for money makes it so. By gaining support through extortionate means and appealing to hysterical emotions as well as playing to the lowest common denominator, the ignorant masses, it becomes a belief system that scrambles after money. Offering to persecute or prosecute or incarcerate people who disagree is medieval extortion.

      I don’t see that going on here, nor do I see anyone barred from arguing the opposite side of the coin represented here (including you) but I do see it coming FROM the opposite side of the coin. If that’s what you’re promoting, you are pathetic.

  37. I didn’t see anything in the description of the study that said that the enhancement of subjects’ compliance with reducing CO2 based on belief that it would make a difference, would actually reduce climate change. It simply found that if they believed they would make a difference, then they would take those actions. It didn’t take the next step and say that would reduce climate change in the real world.

  38. If we can stop climate change by turning down the thermostat, IT’S NOT A CRISIS. In fact, it’s not even serious.

  39. Here’s a small item for you: This is Kentucky Derby Day. This afternoon the running of the Kentucky Derby, the first part of the Triple Crown of racing, will be held at the track i Louisville, KY. The weather is cooler than usual and the forecast is for clouds with occasional showers. If you are going to place bets at an OTB site, I suggest you pick a mudder. Apparently, the track is somewhat sloppy, but not deep.

    http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/2017-kentucky-derby-unseasonably-cool-weather-forecast-for-saturdays-run-for-the-roses/70001582

    • No today is Kentucky Oaks. The Kentucky derby is Sat 5/6. The Oaks is for fillies and always run the day before. But perhaps you are in a part of the world where it is already Saturday.

  40. ‘These are NOT the ‘droids you’re looking for’.

    As I remember, that only worked on the feeble-minded.

  41. Where do they find the people for these kinds of studies? I assume that virtually everyone already has some notion of whether they believed in CAGW or not. If you don’t believe that climate change is an issue then what difference does it make which statement you read? How do they normalize the actions of the groups?

  42. “If we believe that we can personally help stop climate change with individual actions — such as turning the thermostat down — then we are more likely to make a difference…”

    With summer approaching, it’s good to know that I will be doing my part by turning the thermostat down.

  43. Yeas! I said Jea-sus Loves you! Can I get an AMEN brothers and sisters? Hallelujah!

    I guess they have given up all pretense that alarmism is NOT a religion. Now they sound exactly like a revival tent preacher with a flock of willing faithful.

  44. The reality is that the climate change we have been experiencing is caused by the sun and the oceans over which Mankind has no control. There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and plenty of scientific rational to support the idea that the climate sensivity of CO2 is zero. One must be careful not to mixup weather cycles with climate change. The climate change we have been experiencing is so slow that it takes very sophistocated instrumentation decades to even detect it. But even if we could somehow stop the climate from changing, extreme weather events and sea level rise would still continue because they are part of the current climate.

  45. It is believed by some people that to successfully sell one’s house he/should bury a statue of Saint Joseph in his yard, upside down.

    Reportably one seller did this but, alas, he positioned the statue incorrectly and as a result the house across the street got sold instead of his own.

  46. This is wonderful news. Would all true believers in catastrophic man-made climate change please turn off the lights early, allow themselves to experience more heat and more cold by turning off the heating//cooling, switch off the Internet, stop driving, stop flying, and I think that the world would be much more enjoyable.

  47. The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states IS possible if you believe it’s possible.

  48. Hmmm. The Psychology department. That’s kind of like Poli Sci departments teaching that ocean levels can be lowered by giving the right kinds of speeches.

  49. I don’t believe what the consensus believes about climate change. Like most things the consensus is wrong. But I’ll compare my 6 months of electricity bills under $25 since I upgraded my roof with any climate moon’s bill. I live in Texas in a 2500 sf house central AC. Built in 1955.

  50. I don’t believe what the consensus believes about climate change. Like most things the consensus is wrong. But I’ll compare my 6 months of electricity bills under $25 since I upgraded my roof with any climate loon’s bill. I live in Texas in a 2500 sf house central AC. Built in 1955. And we like to be comfortable.

  51. Another bit if proof that the climate change people are concerned with is Anthropomorphic, not Anthropogenic.

  52. “One group was shown the performance of climate models, and started laughing.”

  53. “Researchers also found that respondents were more likely to believe they could solve an unbounded n-body problem for arbitrary values of n if they were given a cookie first.”

  54. Believe you can make a killing farming tax credits from others no matter the inefficiency as a business model and you will.

  55. The Climate Change Cult is developing its own Articles of Faith, based on Al Gore’s slide show as its Holy Writ.

  56. The great climate warming pause, explanation nr. 328: People started to believe they can stop climate change and it really stopped! It’s a miracle!

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