Claim: Climate Skeptics Think What Elites Tell Them to Think

Elite UN Climate Envoys (composite image). Leonardo DiCaprio,
Michael Bloomberg By Bloomberg Philanthropies – https://www.flickr.com/photos/bloombergphilanthropies/29828795984/, CC0, Link.
“Red” By Miguel Discart from Bruxelles, Belgique (2016-03-19_09-11-02_ILCE-6000_6651_DxO) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

A self identified Libertarian who believes in “aggressive” carbon taxes thinks ordinary Republicans can be persuaded to embrace his ideas if the party leadership tell them what to do.

How the science of persuasion could change the politics of climate change

Conservatives have to make the case to conservatives, and a growing number of them are.

by James Temple April 16, 2018

Jerry Taylor believes he can change the minds of conservative climate skeptics. After all, he helped plant the doubts for many in the first place.

Taylor spent years as a professional climate denier at the Cato Institute, arguing against climate science, regulations, and treaties in op-eds, speeches, and media appearances. But his perspective slowly began to change around the turn of the century, driven by the arguments of several economists and legal scholars laying out the long-tail risks of global warming.

Now he’s president of the Niskanen Center, a libertarian-leaning Washington, DC, think tank he founded in 2014. He and his colleagues there are trying to build support for the passage of an aggressive federal carbon tax, through discussions with Washington insiders, with a particular focus on Republican legislators and their staff.

Lesson 1: Pick the right targets

Political scientists consistently find that mass opinion doesn’t drive the policy debate so much as the other way around. Partisan divides emerge first among “elites,” including influential advocacy groups, high-profile commentators, and politicians, says Megan Mullin, an associate professor of environmental politics at Duke University.

They, in turn, set the terms of debate in the public mind, spreading the parties’ views through tested and refined sound bites in media appearances, editorials, social media, and other forums.

For the most part, people first align themselves with groups, often political parties, that appeal to them on the basis of their own experiences, demographics, and social networks. They then entrust the recognized leaders of their self-selected tribe to sort out the details of dense policy and science for them, while vigorously rejecting arguments that seem to oppose their ideologies—in part because such arguments also effectively attack their identity.

Read more: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/610719/how-the-science-of-persuasion-could-change-the-politics-of-climate-change/

I suspect Jerry is over-estimating the influence of “elites” on their followers.

I doubt the Republican establishment was keen on President Trump winning the Republican nomination, but somehow he went and did it anyway.

The article itself cites an example of a green Republican who was successfully challenged in a primary by a Tea Party candidate.

Hillary Clinton was the Democrat establishment favourite by a wide margin. But on election day many registered Democrats did not vote for her, despite an expensive election campaign establishing her credentials as one of the Democrat elite.

In Australia and Britain establishment Conservatives have suffered a haemorrhage of support to minor parties like UKIP and One Nation, because their elites are trying to push voters in a direction many of them are unwilling to travel.

If there are no decent choices on offer, people sometimes hold their noses and vote for the least worst candidate. But history has repeatedly demonstrated how quickly support for “elites” can crumble if someone who faithfully articulates the concerns of ordinary people steps up.

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214 thoughts on “Claim: Climate Skeptics Think What Elites Tell Them to Think

    • Yr: “In-san-i-ty”
      Could be wrong, but I kinda think there’s a method to their madness, and that the whole “carbon tax” business can’t be judged in isolation, but rather as a part of a much larger scheme of maneuver. In support of that contention, please Google: “Niskanen Center”, Dear Reader, and read, for yourself, the outfit’s remarkably candid, dog-whistle description of its in-your-face, globalist-goober agenda.
      And then, Dear Reader, please view the disproportionately white-boy (a little pandering, there, modeled on a certain stereotype of Conservatives, maybe?) pictures of the Center’s designer-replicant, ice-people “staff”, that follow–I mean, like, are these truly “real” people, or just computer generated images, ordered up from the same workshop that brought us Max Headroom? . And if these images are, indeed, nothing but photo-shopped fabrications then, pray tell, just what does this so-called “staff” at the Niskanen Center really look like?–lizards?, alien-invaders?, mutant pod-people? Kardashians? Regardless, I must say that this Niskanen Center crew doesn’t look anything like the big-joke, lefty geek-balls, we usually find pushin’ a carbon tax, and I wouldn’t underestimate them, even a little bit.
      In that regard, I note, with interest, the Niskanen Center’s cant-friendly, Manichean characterization of “the other: “The 21st century increasingly pits defenders of the open society [like the Niskanen Center’s enigmatic “staff”] against a new breed [breed?…BREED!!!?–let’s see now, humans don’t have breeds, but rather dogs have breeds…hmmm…de-humanizing word-choice, maybe?…de-humanizing, dog-whistle (I warned you, Dear Reader!) word-choice, maybe?…hmmm…have to think some more about this one] of populists animated [note the dog-whistle, “animated/animal”, de-humanizing reasonance?] by a vision of a closed and national community.” I dunno–maybe I’m just caught up in some sort of tin-foil-chapeau, crazy-person, conspiracy-theory ideation, and everything–but I somehow don’t think the Niskanen Center’s shadowy “staff”, would come up with a provocative booger-flick, like that, if they really were just a bunch of cut-up, nicey-nicey, regular-guy-and-gals, havin’ a little grab-ass fun trollin’ everybody with a “carbon tax” prank. And I don’t care what they say!

    • Well, yep, insanity in the first degree it appears to me. But I think you will agree that there is sometimes little in the way of positive action available day-to-day, with the right attitude and viewpoint, there are some insane things that can also be quite hilarious and worth at least a few grins and chuckles. So, in that spirit, here’s a link to a few bits of the Stilton Jarlsberg take on the funny side of life in a faux warming world:
      http://stiltonsplace.blogspot.com/

    • Seriously? In-san-i-ty.

      “DUH”, …… insanity???
      I hardly think that Jerry Taylor’s intentional act of establishing a “donation-funded” non-prophet (Niskanen Center) and appointing himself president (CEO) of said organization would be classified as an “act of insanity” on his part.
      In some “business circles” his action would be called “a stroke of genius.

    • Yet another case of alarmists mentally projecting their mental problems onto others.
      BTW, anyone calling for massive tax increases is not a libertarian.
      (This isn’t a “no true Scotsman” issue. One of the tenets of libertarianism is small government.)

      • True. It’s just a tax. The Left would take all our money if we let them. This is incrementalism, attempting to get us to accept a new tax. It’s not about the environment; it’s about getting us to accept. They will say ANYTHING to get us to give them more.

    • It is no part of science, it is about change and leadership. If you look at basic works like Kotter, you find that these people are following the traditional 8-step plan.
      1 – create a sense of panic (the literature says urgency, but unthinking panic usually works better)
      2 – establish a powerful coalition
      3 – create a vision for change
      4 – communicate the vision
      5 – remove obstacles
      6 – create short-term wins
      7 – build on the change
      8 – anchor the changes
      You can see all of these steps being done with the climate change fraud. But for some reason the climate hasn’t changed like their religion says it should have. So what do you do? Go through the steps again. See step 5? work harder to remove obstacles (people that don’t believe).
      Although Kotter is well respected in the management community, I don’t think he ever understood the evil that would be enable by his work.

      • Hivemind, I believe you are missing number 9 which would read, “and if all that doesn’t work pick up a big stick and beat it into the masses.” Seriously, I sometimes fear that if the CAGW crowd really believes they are going to lose that they will turn to some more strenuous methods of enforcing their orthodoxy. We have already heard some demanding the deniers/ skeptic be thrown in jail or I would imagine if we had them, re-education farms. We have already seen the roots of violence with in the Antifa movement and neo-anarachist groups. It has been my greatest fear after watching the socioeconomic progressives ally or in some cases take over the modern environmental movement that extreme violence is one their agenda. We know Russia, for their own purposes, is feeding the monster.

        • Which is exactly why the gun control mantra never goes away, in spite of the fact that firearm crime and violence have steadily gone down over the last 3 decades. The left can not successfully drive its agenda by force as long as the majority of Americans A. refuse to submit and 2. are well armed. Every city in America Democrats/leftists control have rampant violent crime and heavy restrictions on gun possession, and yet when you point that out to them they screamingly refuse to accept reality. This applies to their climate hoax, as well. In the end they have to force their ideology on people, and they have to disarm us first.

    • It is not about science or facts, it is about levering emotion to manipulate into compliance with whatever the reality of the day is.
      “Government” consists of two root words.
      “Govern” = regulate to control behaviour.
      “ment” = comes from the same root a ‘mental’–the mind.
      When you voted in the Government, you have elected a preferred group-think mechanism for regulating approved thought to control your mind.
      Search the original Latin root meaning of the english word Government—the roots are, “Guberno” and “Mentis”, if you doubt it.
      As they say, “Words have meanings.” … no sh|t.
      Science and facts are simply poor disposable mechanisms for controlling the national ‘net’ mind. Emotive lies attain the aims of mass mind-control and its adhoc reality impositions (Goverment), much more effectively than the truth.
      Government is manipulation, deception, coersion and force—hence a “Police Force, to enforce public policy, by any means necessary to regulate your mentis, thus make you comply, while in direct conflict with the known facts.
      Welcome to civil-isation.

      • thank god someone else here truly grasps that it has always been mind control. There is no other entity responsible for as much death, destruction, deceit, theft, and rape outside of government. Religion doesn’t even come close, unless of course you realize the belief in government as necessary and moral, then yes, religion is number one because it most certainly is a faith based system.

      • I think it more likely that -ment comes from -mentum. It’s a suffix that turns a verb into a noun, like chastisement or enjoyment.

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Taylor
    “Taylor attended the University of Iowa as a political science major.[citation needed] He is also a board game designer who has released three wargames, Hammer of the Scots, Crusader Rex, and Richard III.[4]”
    Taylor is a Political Science Major who does not understand the Scientific Method, and has no clue what he is talking about.

    • That was obvious from “A self identified Libertarian who believes in “aggressive” carbon taxes”. As delusional as self-identifying as new gender—libertarians do not generally believe in massive government intervention. The sheepskin covers a wolf.

      • Waaaait a minute, didn’t we just read about a study they did where if they lie about who their climate propaganda is coming from, then it will be believed more?

        Taylor spent years as a professional climate denier at the Cato Institute

        I want to hear what Ca to has to say about that, because I bet that wasn’t his official job description.
        ~¿~

      • As a long-time libertarian, I can say that telling libertarians what to do is like herding cats. This fellow is no libertarian…

      • libertarian ==> amoralist ==> anything goes
        some people think objective truth exists in and of itself. Some people think science is, properly, the pursuit of objective truth.

      • Taylor is delusional if he thinks he can fit being an aggressive advocate of any sort of tax with being a libertarian.

      • Shawn, are you actually trying to claim that morality comes from government?
        Because that’s what you are doing when you claim libertarian equals amoral.
        Or are you just declaring that it’s only morality when you are permitted to force others to obey you?

      • The rub is, who defines what is harm and what isn’t? Let so-called progressives and their designated victim groups do it and you end up with asinine laws against “hate-speech”.

      • gee dred- did u think harm to be purely subjective?
        pay close attention: if damage is not objectively demonstrable, there can be no plausible claim.
        nature does the defining. nature dgaf about feels.

    • indeed. Last time I checked “believe government intervention is bad, the more massive the worse” was pretty much the very definition of libertarians.
      Some libertarians DO believe in CAGW, and that something must be done, but a libertarian would have NGOs working on it, not some tax.

      • Not only that — “Belief that Government intervention is bad, the more massive the worse” would pass muster as a very fundamental belief of classic liberalism. Then so-called “progressives” took the whole thing straight to hell.
        If you would like to have some interesting reading in the form of thoughtful essays about one general topic, search the internet for “Death of democracy..” I think you will find a few eye-openers.
        One comment in one of the essays by Hans-Hermann Hoppe that really struck a chord with me was,”Democracy is a ‘soft’ form of Communism.” Think that one over while holding our system of democracy-produced governments in mind.

    • “University of Iowa”?? Are you referring to that city in Iowa that is a self-proclaimed nuclear-free zone? That one?

      • Have they covered the campus with a giant umbrella or somesuch? After all, the sun is essentially a great big ball of nuclear reactions. ;]

  2. A process characterized in isolation has failed to realize the prophecy of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. The Earth is flat. The consensus will not be denied.

  3. My first reaction to an “elite” of any stripe that’s trying to convince me to
    DO SOMETHING about this cause or some newsy situation is to ask:
    “What are you REALLY trying to sell… ”
    An appeal FROM authority is just as obnoxious as an appeal TO authority.

    • Indeed. There is always someone trying to tell you something or sell you something. The harder the sell, the less credible the product.

  4. “Taylor spent years as a professional climate denier”
    Here is the problem. Most people who are sceptical of man-made climate change (warming) do so because they have a thinking brain connected to normal sensory inputs. A quick glance at the Agassiz/Renland Holocene Greenland temperature reconstruction (Vinther, et al., 2009, Nature) indicates that even a few degrees of more warming would not be disaster over the next century. Meanwhile, exploding electricity bills are a problem right now.

  5. Libertarian and tax are two words that do not belong together in the same sentence. The dude is lying about something.

  6. Conservatives are notorious for not doing what the main stream Republican party wants them to do. We are a rather independent minded bunch, skeptical you might say… and even more so of socialists who are always telling others what to do.
    We don’t need any wealth redistribution schemes concealed behind the pretenses of a ‘carbon tax’.
    Not going to do it… Wouldn’t be prudent!

    • A side note which I feel compelled to keep harping on when I have a chance: It is a natural impossibility for governments to transfer and redistribute an amount of prosperity (money) without at the same time transferring and redistributing an even larger amount of poverty (cost) as a counter-flow or as a backfire if you prefer. The so-called “war on poverty” has been lost simply because winning that so-called “war” was made a natural impossibility by the means and methods that were devised and deployed with which to fight the war.

      • A liberal is someone who believes that you can take everything a man makes, and that man will work even harder next year.

  7. Makes no sense at all. A true Libertarian believes in the rights and freedoms of the individual. No true Libertarian believes in ‘elites’ and peasants.

    • Spot on David.
      “A self identified Libertarian who believes in “aggressive” carbon taxes…”
      so not really a Libertarian afterall.
      “…thinks ordinary Republicans can be persuaded to embrace his ideas if the party leadership tell them what to do.”
      Yeah, ask those “never-trump” party leaders how well that worked in preventing the little people from pulling the lever for Trump.

  8. Jerry Taylor makes the mistake of assuming CAGW is real, which causes him to assume that all that is required is an argument from authority to make skeptics change their minds. Jerry thinks a lecture from “On high” is all we need. No, Jerry, skeptics want evidence. When you get some evidence that CAGW is real, come back and see us.
    This is another example of Alarmists feeling they are losing the argument and trying to figure out why. They never think to question the CAGW narrative, so they will never look in the right place.

    • Jerry makes a number of mistakes.
      1) Assuming CAGW is real
      2) That a massive Carbon Tax will achieve anything in mitigating CAGW (it won’t, it will just be another source of money for the Government Swamp – something a true libertarian would realize)
      3) That Skeptics can be lead by the nose by authority figures (after decades of appeals to authority, anyone with a brain knows that authority figures hold no more weight with skeptics than computer games/models, only real facts, observations, evidence and data will do).
      Like most alarmist/leftists, he thinks that if you just package the message the right way, skeptics will fall in line. Since the message is bunk, skeptics see right through it no matter how pretty alarmists/leftists try to dress it up.

      • You left something out: When a “conservative” comes up with really stupid ideas, like “CAGW” is real, we elect someone smarter – like Trump. If Trump decides to tell us CAGW is real, we’ll find someone who hasn’t gone senile to “lead” us. In fact, we don’t search so much for a leader as we do a representative.
        Like you said, John, we see right through it. We look at the data available, we look at the rationale. We don’t fawn over every word from some actor whose whole career is judged by how well he pretends to be someone else. In fact, we usually ignore what they say, as we assume it is just another role.
        And yes, we ignore politicians, because we have learned when to tell when they’re lying, too. (Hint: their lips are moving.)

    • Like most people who believe in big government, Taylor believes that the masses are incapable of thinking for themselves. That’s why he believes that we will respond to the diktats of the elite.

      • have you seen this next generation? Methinks the Rockefeller/Morgan/Carnegie/Rhodes re-education scheme has worked. They are literally a mass of zombies, glued to their phones.. unthinking, distracted by all the pretty shiny objects. This plan is so much bigger and older than people realize, and unfortunately, Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric went out the door in the early 1900’s in favor of Prussian, obedience training and memorization techniques.
        Brett Veinotte did a great 3 part expose on the whole game. it was titled “How the truth became illegal” and its on school sucks podcast. I highly recommend it.
        I’m seeing cracks through the veneer of this neo-marxist, global depopulation scheme…but, only tiny pockets of individuals who by their nature don’t adhere to group think, and therefore aren’t prone to solidarity. My fiance is an architect, she says its nearly impossible to find anyone fresh to the industry that hasn’t bought into the left, hook line and sinker. even in banking its not nearly as conservative as it ought to be.
        This next generation doesn’t know how or want to work hard, they don’t know how to have proper relationships, they want everything given to them, they don’t even want to procreate for pete sake! I’m 35 and still just as amped up as I was when I was 16, but these kids are androgenous, asexual, automatons.
        I’d be very surprised if any of these globalist plans was actually circumvented, just by looking at how gullible and stupid this next generation of pansies has become.

    • “When you get some evidence that CAGW is real, come back and see us.”
      This doesn’t work either. Evidence is called fake and dismissed. Without trust in science there can be no evidence. That’s the catch. That’s what the other side is battling: an argument that can’t be won because the opponents will accept no evidence. Day after day, the evidence is ridiculed here through the lens of the press release. It’s a lot easier to mock PRs than the science, but the science gets tainted anyway.

      • Kristi,
        The scientific method does not require trust. It requires that results be available for others to check. The fact that so-called “climate scientists” fight tooth and nail to keep their “data” private is a big red flag that they are actually not scientists at all but propagandists.
        To be a scientist, you have to practice the scientific method. It should not take FOIA requests to get data, and all data ought to be archived so as to be freely available. You do need to trust that scientists are collecting real data from observations and not making them up, but of course “climate scientists” rely on pretend “data”.

      • Chimp,
        “The fact that so-called “climate scientists” fight tooth and nail to keep their “data” private is a big red flag that they are actually not scientists at all but propagandists.”
        There are plenty of data available. Many of the models are available, and algorithms, and all kinds of other stuff. I agree that in the past this was a problem, but it is becoming less so.
        In some cases it was a problem of obtaining agreement from all parties who contributed to the data. It has not always been the case that scientists automatically posted their data online for all the public to use. There are plenty of people who misuse the data in order to support their hypotheses, and this is a real problem. Sites like this aggravate it, giving credence to bad science.
        Scientists are propagandists, huh? What proportion are lobbying Congress, writing books and research articles advocating policy, associate with partisan think tanks, tell the public that science can’t be trusted, write articles for blogs…? This is more the field of contrarian scientists than CAGW scientists.

      • What is this evidence of which you preach?
        First you claim that the fact that it has gotten warmer is proof. When it’s pointed out that the world has warmed in the past without CO2 being the cause, you either dismiss the evidence of warmth in the past, or proclaim that this time it is CO2 because the models have shown it to be so.
        Your side seeks to reverse the Null hypothesis because you know that the Null hypothesis disproves your very contention, that this time it must be the CO2.
        We trust science.
        We don’t trust people who have lied to us over and over again in the name of climate science.

      • Kristi Silber April 20, 2018 at 5:03 pm
        Are you really unaware of how hard “climate scientists” fought to keep their “data” and algorithms secret?
        https://climateaudit.org/2009/06/21/phil-jones-the-secret-agent-in-hawaii/
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/03/01/phil-jones-on-the-hot-seat-not-sharing-data-is-standard-practice/
        Phil Jones famously complained that why should he have to give his data to people who just wanted to find fault with it?
        So-called consensus “climate science” is a totally corrupt enterprise.

      • Besides “losing” his “data” when finally forced kicking and screaming to hand them over.

      • This is America, you are free to believe any silly pseudo-religious drivel you want, and the rest of us are free to laugh at it. What you are not free to do is steal our money under the guise of “saving” the planet, which is precisely what you cultists of the Church of Man Caused Globall Warmining are and have been doing. You don’t care about the environment, you are only concerned with taking other people’s money.

      • Chimp,
        I’m aware of the problems at CRU. If I’m not mistaken, they have since cleaned up their act. It’s not rational to generalize over a whole scientific field because of a problem at one lab 10 years ago.
        “Phil Jones famously complained that why should he have to give his data to people who just wanted to find fault with it”
        Considering the fact that there’s a large contingent of people out there that are willing to do any pseudo-scientific manipulation of the data to show what they want it to show, it’s understandable that Jones would get tired of it. That by no means leads to the conclusion that, “So-called consensus ‘climate science’ is a totally corrupt enterprise.” What a strange idea!
        Looking for fault is not the same as quality control. Looking for fault in order to substantiate distrust is biased, and it can lead to imagining errors that don’t exist and finding error that is irrelevant or handled in a later step. Sometimes people use data completely ineffectively, such as looking for trends by averaging all global absolute temperatures, and draw conclusions from that. It is not science. I can totally understand why someone wouldn’t want the data set they’ve worked so hard on to be used against him.

  9. Republicans don’t tend to follow the herd like the Democrats do. How many congressional votes have been cast with the Democrats all voting the same way? Lemmings all go along with the elites, too.

    • Most groups have strong herding instincts. For example, most Republicans seem to think Trump made the right decision when he launched over 100 missiles to destroy what appears to have been two empty warehouses and a few buildings. This of course happens because you ARE being manipulated. The Democrats are the same. Which explains why USA Middle East policy hasn’t accomplished anything positive over the last 26 years.
      I bet the comment above, which happens to be truthful and can easily be supported, hit many of you like a mule kick. The same manipulation you have undergone to support unquestioningly a lousy policy can be used to make you believe that taxing yourselves to death is just fine.
      While I’m at it, I’d like to point out that your schools and universities are mostly staffed with left wing types who are shaping new generations to be communists. So if you think this is a theoretical issue, wait 20 years and you’ll get to see the ugly results.

      • ” For example, most Republicans seem to think Trump made the right decision when he launched over 100 missiles to destroy what appears to have been two empty warehouses and a few buildings.”
        Do you have a reference for that?

      • Of course he has no proof for that. He’s convinced himself that the US is always wrong, and latches onto any claim that supports what he wants to believe.
        You should listen to him try to re-write the rest of history some time.

      • MarkW, when it comes to foreign policy, the USA is usually wrong. The country runs well on the inertia and wealth created by previous generations. Do you want me to list USA foreign policy “hits” since Clinton took over? How about sending US Rangers to mess around with a bunch of nutty Somalis and becoming famous for the Mogadishu Mile? Bombing Yugoslavia after inventing a non existent genocide in a Wag the Dog operation? Invading Iraq using a lie to justify it? And doing it with too few soldiers while setting up a tasseled loafer turkey from California to make sure things got really out of hand? How about defeating the Taliban in three months to then forget they could come back because the occupation was supposed to turn Afghans into democracy loving feminists? Do you remember the mess Hillary made in Lybia? And how about Obama getting lovey dovey with Castro when that communist dinosaur had his troops helping to destroy Venezuela? Oh, and Obama announcing he would send more troops to Afghanistan while telling the Taliban the deployment was limited to 18 months? And now the USA is trying to replace an Arab dictator with a bunch of Sunni salafists who want to recreate Saudi Arabia, the nation that gave birth to the September 11 terrorists and Osama’s homeboys?
        I guess you really don’t get it. Life doesn’t care how many wars you won in the past, or whether your parents were smarter. It solves things by letting the stronger and smarter win. And when it comes to smarts in foreign policy, I’m afraid the last four US presidents are getting a D minus. Keep it up and you’ll have your children doing cowboy shows for visiting Chinese who’ll own the world.

      • fernandoleanme, thank you for proving me correct.
        It doesn’t matter what evidence is provided, the US is always wrong.

      • Fernandoleanme,
        I agree with most of your post. People on both the left and right are manipulated. They tend to enable it by socializing with their own groups and not understanding others, and that breeds animosity. The partisanship in the media compound the problem.
        Academia often makes it worse. This is a huge problem for America if it results in high academic achievement being the realm of the left. There’s nothing wrong with not going to college, but America needs some who are highly educated, and they shouldn’t all be liberals. American needs conservative intellectuals, academics and professors to represent that “side” of the conversation — we need conversation! Especially in our college classrooms and campuses.
        It’s not as if liberals staged a coup and took over the educational system, though. They aren’t responsible for conservatives opting for other careers, beginning an imbalance that has snowballed to the point where prejudice is now a problem.
        Saying that universities produce communists is counterproductive (and untrue). I believe it is absolutely the wrong tact. Conservatives need to stop whining and do something about the problem and the first step is encouraging their kids to go to college and grad school (if appropriate for them). Stay involved. Encourage them to speak up about their ideas in the classroom, but in a non-combative way. Reason, humility and friendliness are more likely to get someone heard than attacks or defensiveness.
        Sometimes I think if I got together with a few people here over a beer, we would come away with different impressions than we now have, and might be more open to listening to each other.

  10. Voting for the “least worst candidate” is normal for me. I can’t remember the last time I voted for someone who agreed with most of my positions, let alone all of them.
    I prioritize the positions and then vote for those that score the highest of the most important ones. Belief in AGW is a killer for me – not voting for the sheep. If they can convince me I am wrong – well that’s an entirely different perspective, but so far all the believers in AGW can do is call skeptics names – not a convincing argument.

    • That’s one of the things I hate about first past the post voting schemes. They force you to choose the least worst candidate. Voting for anyone else is a wasted vote.
      There are other schemes such as preferential voting and a scheme the name of which I forget, where you vote for all the candidates you find acceptable.

  11. Nothing says Poli Sci major better than taking credit for others’ work.
    No, Jerry Taylor, you did not plant the doubts of climate skepticism. Shoddy science and outright fraud planted the doubts.

  12. He seriously believes that conservatives are waiting around for “their leaders” to tell them what to think? That’s actually more of a liberal thing. True conservatives, and skeptics in general, tell their leaders what to think.

    • Indeed, prime example of that in action is Trumps election. “the leaders” were mostly all never-trumpers urging the masses not to vote for Trump. And we see how well the rank and file followed those leaders wishes.

  13. Me follow Republican (Independent, Democratic, Libertarian) Elites? What a bunch of hooey. Last I looked, I was not a lemming or a sheep. I’m pretty sure I’m not following anyone.
    If Anthony Watts himself turned around and started supporting the Climate Change line, I wouldn’t follow him, either.

  14. The skeptics that i know [present] their argument with data and not as a thought experiment nor as an emotional appeal nor as submission to the elite whoever they may be.

  15. Globalists set the language of immigration, climate, and trade. Those looks to globalists as paymasters, intertwine the language of globalization into their dialogue. Social media and Internet in general has dissolved the old organizational hierarchy of data gate keepers and media promulgators to shape opinion. This is why countries like Russia and China who are trade and military weak use online media controls internally, and fill the Internet chat pages with troll language.

  16. skep·tic
    ˈskeptik/Submit
    noun
    1.
    a person inclined to question or doubt all accepted opinions.
    Jerry Taylor should have checked one of the definitions of a skeptic before he put his foot in his mouth. As you can see in the above, a skeptic is inclined to question all opinions because the skeptic always searches for the truth which he can then label as a fact not just an opinion. No true skeptic follows anybody. He leads by example in his/her search for the truth.

    • Baloney. CAGW “skeptics” are just as subject to manipulation as anyone else. CAGW “skeptics” are just inclined to reject evidence that doesn’t fit their views as everyone else, and accept evidence that is weak even as long as it supports their views.
      You would see this if you looked around you with an open mind.
      Besides, not following anybody in the search for truth will get you nowhere unless you are able to assess the truth on your own, and in the case of climate science that means having expertise across many fields.
      To believe one is able by oneself to arrive at the truth is simply arrogant. All the best minds built on the ideas of others.
      If people don’t trust science (or the integrity of the scientific community), they can’t evaluate it, and there is no decision to make, nothing to argue for or against. It’s a giant cop-out.

      • Kristi said:

        the search for truth will get you nowhere unless you are able to assess the truth on your own, and in the case of climate science that means having expertise across many fields.
        To believe one is able by oneself to arrive at the truth is simply arrogant. All the best minds built on the ideas of others.
        If people don’t trust science (or the integrity of the scientific community), they can’t evaluate it, and there is no decision to make, nothing to argue for or against. It’s a giant cop-out.

        It’s not necessary to be an expert to reject or severely doubt the practitioners of CliSci and their minions. As LBJ said, “I may not know much, boys, but I can tell chicken salad from chicken shit.”
        Climatology is not chicken salad. Its practitioners have made few accurate predictions. They have been secretive about their methods and date—e.g., especially M. Mann. They have cheery-picked. (E.G., Steig’s cover page paper on Antarctic warming. They have attempted to penalize journals and editors who have published skeptical papers. They have engaged in pal review, waving through flawed alarmist papers and raising footling objections to skeptical ones. They have avoided debate, enven under the ideal venue of the Dutch-sponsored Climate Dialogue site. They routinely engage in name-calling where not appropriate. They display symptoms of groupthink, such as an exaggerated sense of their own righteousness and the other side’s deviltry, often emitting ad hom responses to criticism (e.g., to anything by Monckton). They shut out skeptic minority reports, as the AGU did to its most recent position-statement committee to its lone skeptical member, and as the APS did to the report of its Kooning committee.
        It shuts down data-gathering that is inconvenient, as Hansen did in about 2009 to a long-running study of some aspect of the climate that failed to show the warming trend hoped for. It makes hard-to-justify adjustments to its data record, such as the JPL’s adjustment of its satellite record to make it show a warming trend. Another example is its isostatic adjustment to “sea level,” so that the latter is now defined as what the sea level would be if the oven basin hadn’t deepened. (If the ocean basin had become shallower, you can be sure the “sea level” would not have been defined down.) Its press releases and headlines in consensus journals stress the worst-case, alarmist pos ability as the likeliest. It routinely employs the 97% fake news, ignoring more sop[histicated surveys by van Storch and a ten-years-old George Mason U. surveys, which finds only about a 75% agreement with alarmism. It snootily claims the “science is settled,” indicating that they are thinking inside the box, with no comprehension of how doing so is unscientific and unwise.
        Its practitioners are (I suspect) likely far more greenie than, say, meteorologists, as would be revealed by a survey asking them how many belong to green organizations, or subscribe to ecological periodicals, etc. They are, like most of academia, politically one-sided and susceptible to Democratic slogans like “Got a problem? Get a program!” type thinking. IOW, they have Dudley Do-Right do-gooder instincts. These biases feed into an alarmist stance about any manmade chemical entering the environment.
        I could add to this but I’m getting tired. Maybe I’ll sketch out a paper eventually. My view, shared by most skeptics, is that cimate scientists and their enabling milieu are profoundly unworthy too respect. They are the equivalent of the “drug abuse experts” of the 1950s and earlier (and of the UN currently): (WUWT had a thread on this parallel about two or three years ago.) Narrow, fanatical, contemptuous, unscrupulous, etc.

      • Here’s a corrected-for-typos version of the above, with a couple of sentences added:
        Kristi said:

        the search for truth will get you nowhere unless you are able to assess the truth on your own, and in the case of climate science that means having expertise across many fields.
        To believe one is able by oneself to arrive at the truth is simply arrogant. All the best minds built on the ideas of others.
        If people don’t trust science (or the integrity of the scientific community), they can’t evaluate it, and there is no decision to make, nothing to argue for or against. It’s a giant cop-out.

        It’s not necessary to be an expert to reject or severely doubt the practitioners of CliSci and their minions. As LBJ said, “I may not know much, boys, but I can tell chicken salad from chicken shit.”
        Climatology is not chicken salad. Its practitioners have made few accurate predictions. They have been secretive about their methods and data—etc.g., especially M. Mann. They have cherry-picked. (E.G., Steig’s cover page paper on Antarctic warming.) They have attempted to penalize journals and editors who have published skeptical papers. They have engaged in pal review, waving through flawed alarmist papers and raising footling objections to skeptical ones. They have avoided debate, enven under the ideal venue of the Dutch-sponsored Climate Dialogue site. They routinely engage in name-calling where not appropriate. They display symptoms of groupthink, such as an exaggerated sense of their own righteousness and the other side’s deviltry, often emitting ad hom responses to criticism (e.g., to anything by Monckton). They shut out skeptic minority reports, as the AGU did to its most recent position-statement committee to its lone skeptical member, and as the APS did to the report of its Kooning committee. It blocked a Lindzen (sp?) paper in PNAS, something it wouldn’t have done to any other member of the Academy.
        It shuts down data-gathering that is inconvenient, as Hansen did in about 2009 to a long-running study of some aspect of the climate that failed to show the warming trend hoped for. It makes hard-to-justify adjustments to its data record, such as the JPL’s adjustment of its satellite record to make it show a warming trend. Another example is its isostatic adjustment to “sea level,” so that the latter is now defined as what the sea level would be if the oven basin hadn’t deepened. (If the ocean basin had become shallower, you can be sure the “sea level” would not have been defined down.) Its press releases and headlines in consensus journals stress the worst-case, alarmist pos ability as the likeliest. It routinely bases its projections by employing the absurd 8.5 RCP scenario.
        It routinely employs the 97% fake news meme, ignoring more sophisticated surveys by van Storch and a ten-years-old George Mason U. surveys, which finds only about a 75% agreement with alarmism. It snootily claims the “science is settled,” indicating that they are thinking inside the box, with no comprehension of how doing so is unscientific and unwise.
        Its practitioners are (I suspect) likely far more greenie than, say, meteorologists, as would be revealed by a survey asking them how many belong to green organizations, or subscribe to ecological periodicals, etc. They are, like most of academia, politically one-sided and susceptible to Democratic slogans like “Got a problem? Get a program!” type thinking. IOW, they have Dudley Do-Right do-gooder instincts. These biases feed into an alarmist stance about any manmade chemical entering the environment.
        I could add to this but I’m getting tired. Maybe I’ll sketch out a paper eventually. My view, shared by most skeptics, is that climate scientists and their enabling milieu are profoundly unworthy of respect. They are the equivalent of the “drug abuse experts” of the 1950s and earlier (and of the UN currently): (WUWT had a thread on this parallel about two or three years ago.) Narrow, fanatical, contemptuous, unscrupulous, etc. Ii say it’s chicken shit and I say the hell with it.

        • Roger,
          You have said everything that I could have wanted to say, and better, in your excellent reply. Thanks,
          rip

  17. …Taylor spent years as a professional climate denier at the Cato Institute, arguing against climate science, regulations, and treaties in op-eds, speeches, and media appearances. But his perspective slowly began to change around the turn of the century…
    I don’t know Mr Taylor, but why do I keep getting a vision of an establishment figure who fought for big business interests – first for business to be free of environmental taxes and then, as the bandwagon started to roll, for it to be able to take advantage of lucrative government contracts for renewables and the like…?

    • I’m trying to remember the name of a “gentleman” who became infamous a few years back. He was a well known college Republican, but after graduation was hired by a liberal think tank, and immediately began blasting all of his former colleagues, declaring that he had “grown up”.
      I suspect Taylor is following that pattern. He believes what ever his current employer tells him to believe and is quite vocal in condemning those who once supported him.

    • Many businesses fight regulations tooth and nail until they become large and established. Then they support restrictive regulations to raise the cost of entry for any new business that could compete.

  18. “The article itself cites an example of a green Republican who was successfully challenged in a primary by a Tea Party candidate.”
    And in the article regarding this claim, it says, “[Bob] Inglis lost his House seat in the 2010 Republican primary to a Tea Party–backed challenger, at least in part because of his advocacy for a carbon tax.”
    Nossir. Naomi Oreskes attempted to pull this same ‘nameless challenger’ stunt in her “Merchants of Doubt”, but in that instance, when I was in the movie theater and that challenger was ever-so-briefly shown on the screen, a nearby audience member loudly gasped out who that challenger was: Trey Gowdy!
    Bob Inglis didn’t lose in a conservative district because of favoring a carbon tax, he lost because he was not Trey Gowdy. If you know Republican politics, you know who Gowdy is. So what we have here is yet another instance of the far-left being disingenuous about what the real situation was.

    • As a person who voted for Bob Inglis in 6 elections (not including primaries), it wasn’t JUST that he was favoring a carbon tax, but a whole host of issues where he began to diverge from conservative principles, that made a lot of us vote for Trey Gowdy in the primary. His opposition to drilling ANWR was the last straw for me.

  19. I’m glad you used the “big L” Libertarian, there, Eric.
    “Big L” Libertarians are fine with forcing people to give up their gas-powered vehicles, and turning down (or up) their thermostats. “Big L” Libertarians are fine with forcing people to act against their religious beliefs. “Big L” Libertarians are fine with forcing tax-paying citizens to accept millions of unskilled, unassimilable drains on social services, medical facilities, and police protection.
    Socialist tyrants, in other words. They should move to the Libertarian Paradise of Venezuela.

    • Writing Observer – Not sure how your auto-correct got the word “Libertarian” into your post so many times.
      If Hugo Chavez is a Libertarian, I’m the queen of England.

      • Mike Slay, if you were up to date on things, I’d take you seriously.
        Hugo Chavez died several years ago. Maduro runs Venezuela now, and has run it into the ground.

      • WO is condemning the Libertarian party as not being pure enough for his liking.
        He’s not attacking libertarianism itself.

      • The point was that if modern Libertarians (many of them) are libertarians – I’m Princess Diana. This guy. Their POTUS candidates. Etc. Believers that the State should DO SOMETHING about their causes. That is not the libertarian (with a small “l”) ideology – it’s the statist one.

      • Didn’t say he was anything but the finishing guy. Hugo would have gotten them to their current condition faster, in my opinion.
        Whatever you want the State to do, you have to give it the power to do so – and that power is all too often extended to things that you don’t want it to do. You have to be very cautious about where you allow it to poke its nose. The Framers tried, and partially succeeded – but not completely.

      • There’s an old saying: Any government that is powerful enough to give you anything you want, is powerful enough to take everything you have.

      • He was one of the hammer swingers working diligently under tHugo Chavez destroying a successful and prosperous country, and now he lords it over the peons who are fleeing in larger and larger numbers. The Zimbabwe of South America and very sad to watch.

  20. You know BS is in the air when the 1 percenter’s and Hollywood hypocrites are telling you what to believe .
    The underpinning to this fraud was bought and paid for outcome based climate models which have been proven to be grossly false and always in one direction .
    In real science that means go back and keep working on it . It doesn’t mean the world should waste $ trillions of scarce resources pretending we are now in charge of setting the earth’s thermostat .
    By continuing this deadly and expensive farce , tens of thousands of fuel poverty deaths have occurred
    but maybe that’s the point , other than the 1 percenter’s, and other rent seekers including government getting rich .
    What the hell ever happened to California ?

  21. “Climate Skeptics Think What Elites Tell Them to Think” — It is a poor quality statement. If some one believes global warming, come up to convince the educated through science but not from 1.5 to 4.5 with an average of 3 — 50% to 150%. You must show that it is 3 with plus or minus 5% or 10%. Then you are a great achiever on global warming. Otherwise it is better not make poor quality statements like Indian judges.
    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

    • Dr, Reddy,
      You are asking what is not currently possible. That doesn’t mean the science is weak, it means the subject is complex and scientists have enough integrity to avoid making precise projections that they can’t support. There is a large majority who support the idea that climate will be between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees, and that it will most like be in the middle. Some of the predictions have more support than others: Sea level is rising, and oceans are getting warmer and more acidic (lower pH). The Arctic is melting. Precipitation events are more intense (at least in the U.S.). There is a trend toward earlier spring. On it goes, but it makes no difference what the science predicts or finds if there is no trust in the integrity of the scientific community.
      The question is, what would it take for conservative Americans to agree to policies that take into account the risk of climate change? What would it take for us to take responsibility as a nation? It seems that it has to be PROVED that the costs are great, and to prove that would mean waiting until it’s too late, since any disaster is met with the claim – no, the certainty – that it’s all part of natural variation, which is just as bad as being certain it’s all caused by humans. No science can “prove” that disaster will happen because science doesn’t seek to “prove.”
      The first step “skeptics” can take toward seeking the truth is to recognize that conservatives were targeted by propaganda, and still are. That doesn’t mean that the left wasn’t, too, but it is either dishonest or ignorant to believe that CAGW skepticism is completely rational, free of bias, and unaffected by special interests.

      • “policies that take into account the risk of climate change” Climate changes, constantly. Humans are not causing it and can not stop it. Period. Full stop. The problem is warministas such as you have a vastly overblown opinion of your own importance in the grand scheme of things. Get over yourselves, get real jobs and do something of actual worth to your fellow man.

      • “There is a large majority who support the idea that climate will be between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees, and that it will most like be in the middle.”
        Climate is measured in degrees? Your statement literally has no meaning.
        Majority gives it credence?
        “it means the subject is complex and scientists have enough integrity to avoid making precise projections that they can’t support.”
        Then the decimal point is quite funny.
        Faux complexity. A convenient alibi.
        “Some of the predictions have more support than others: Sea level is rising, and oceans are getting warmer and more acidic (lower pH). The Arctic is melting. Precipitation events are more intense (at least in the U.S.). There is a trend toward earlier spring. On it goes, but it makes no difference what the science predicts or finds if there is no trust in the integrity of the scientific community. ”
        A gross fabrication. SLR has been static for a hundred years. Oceans are not getting “more acidic.” Jeeeze, they aren’t even acidic. The arctic melts every spring.
        “Precipitation events are more intense”
        What does that even mean?
        “There is a trend toward earlier spring.”
        No, there’s not. Tony Heller documents how the U.S. is actually trending cooler.
        You are entitled to your opinion, but not your own set of facts.

    • FIrst you have to demonstrate that there is a risk of climate change.
      In the last 10000 years, the earth has been 3 to 5C warmer than it is today on several occasions, and there was no catastrophe. In fact life thrived. Yet today we have alarmists proclaiming that if temperatures go up even 2C, it will be a catastrophe from which we might never recover.
      Yes, it does have to be proven that there is a problem before you instigate programs that impoverish billions and seek to restructure the entire world’s economy.

  22. Maybe the key to understanding this dude is his referencing himself as a ‘professional climate change denier’. He was hired to shill for a position he did not personally understand, basically like a PR dude. Now that he’s doing his own thing he can let his own confused beliefs and assumptions about how real climate non-alarmists think continue to cloud his lack of logical thinking. Climate non-alarmists are certainly not deniers of the fact that climate changes. Quite the contrary. Climate alarmists seem to be aware that climate changes and have this delusion that if it was not for man we’d have a non-changing climate. These alarmists are the climate change deniers.
    But, political science majors are all about how to sway people’s opinion, not the scientific method so no big surprises here.
    PS, libertarian in favor of full control of the energy sector via massive carbon taxes at the federal level?????
    yeah – right …..

    • He sounds more like someone who truly believes whatever the people signing his paychecks tell him to believe. Cato is not sympathetic to the CAGW cause, so when he worked for Cato, he didn’t either.
      He now works for a leftists group, so he’s now a full on CAGW warrior, and to prove his loyalty to his new masters, he’s going to attack everyone who once supported him.

    • His very statement that he was once paid to be a “climate denier” proves that he will say and do anything those who pay him, want.

      • MarkW,
        “His very statement that he was once paid to be a “climate denier” proves that he will say and do anything those who pay him, want.”
        If that’s true, then that means there are likely others that are paid “climate deniers” who will say whatever they are told to say, whether they believe it or not. There’s ample evidence that propaganda is not the tool of the left alone.

      • How typical of Kristi. It doesn’t matter that the man admits to being a liar, if he says what she wants to hear, he must be right this time.
        The very claim that he was paid to be a climate denier is merely the first lie he told.

      • As WC Fields said”We have already established WHAT you are, now we are merely dickering over price!”.

  23. So. Many. Thoughts.
    Libertarians are about as hands-off as you can get without going for anarchy. Only a “libertarian” would support/suggest a carbon tax.
    I am pretty sure that the Cato Institute neither denies climate nor hires people to do so. I am not sure how one would “deny” climate at all. Indeed, I do not think that this is an appropriate noun-verb combination.
    Interesting that the writer talks about “conservative climate skeptics”. One, I do not know anyone, conservative or otherwise, who is skeptical that climate exists (in the broad sense, interpretations are a different matter). Two, does he realize that he has just acknowledged that skepticism exists outside of conservatism?
    TL, DR: These people are morons. The world is a little warmer, we have more plant food and as a result, more plants. Neither carbon nor carbon dioxide is a problem. And I came to those conclusions by looking at data, observations, and claims from different sides, not by listening to snobs with an overinflated sense of self importance.

  24. So. He says he was lying before, but you should trust him now.
    Right.
    This is a perennial thing on the American political left, as they can’t believe that anyone who disagrees with them can possibly do so honestly.
    The poor Libertarians got overrun in 2000 and 2001 anyway, so saying you’re a “Libertarian” doesn’t really mean anything anymore. You might be, or you might be a disaffected anti-war Liberal or a “paleocon” or leftover Ron Paul fan or any number of things, at this point.
    Their last two national candidates were basically Democrats with the word Democrat scratched out and the word Republican written on, and then that word scratched out and the word Libertarian written on in crayon.
    High taxes and heavy-handed regulation is about as Libertarian as and “anarchist” who does their demos with communists and call themselves “worker’s parties,” but that’s what we have to deal with as well. You’re lucky if words mean anything these days.

    • Yup. Its the alarmists who think what the elites want them to think.
      I am so reminded of Nigel Farage being asked from the floor “What he thought about Gay Marriage?”
      “I don’t”
      “Sorry, you don’t what?”
      “Think about gay marriage. I have so many more pressing things on my mind.. I get 60+ letters a day. None are about gay marriage”
      I dont think about climate change. I have studied such data as is available. Come to a conclusion. No need to think further until fresh evidence comes along.

    • Oh, yes. When someone (usually it’s a leftist) makes an accusation it often indicates an attempt at misdirection away from their own deeds and misbehavior. It’s one of their favorite tactics because they can always count on the moronstream media to amplify and endlessly regurgitate their blatherings.

      • PiperPaul,
        You realize, don’t you, that you just made an accusation? You can always count on the people who comment here to endlessly regurgitate such blatherings. What’s the difference? You’re right and the others aren’t? So easy to say!

      • “You’re right and the others aren’t?”
        Sounds like every post Kristi has ever made.
        But it’s only wrong when other people do it.

  25. How strange. He doesn’t believe the “climate scientists”; no Sir.
    His beliefs are formulated by ” the arguments of several economists and legal scholars laying out the long-tail risks of global warming.”

    • Good point lee, Jerry only thinks what he’s told to think by elites (in his case “several economists and legal scholars”) so he assumes skeptics are as incapable of thinking for themselves as he is.

      • It’s called projection, and it seems to be the only mental skill your average leftist has been able to master.

    • You beat me to posting it, lee.
      I assume it means the economists and legal scholars showed him how he could make money at it!

  26. The so-called elites wait for a parade to start forming and then rush to get in front of it.

  27. Jerry Taylor thinks all it takes to change the mind of a skeptic is to send a bunch of hot air his way from the mouths of political elites. Maybe that’s because he, himself, changes his views based on which way the wind is blowing. He must think that everyone else is as much a slave to popular opinion as he is. Watch him change his mind again when the wind changes direction and climate-change zealots lose popularity when their end-of-the-world scare forecasts fail to materialize and become viewed as the snake-oil of modern con artists.

  28. “Conservatives have to make the case to conservatives, and a growing number of them are.”
    The Man Made Global Warming story was sold to the world by conservative Margaret Thatcher.

    • As another weapon in her long battle with the UK coal miners’ unions.
      Later in life she would realize that it was the equivalent of using the Ring to defeat Sauron.

  29. “driven by the arguments of several economists and legal scholars laying out the long-tail risks of global warming.”
    So, he ‘changed sides’ not because of new climate data or new scientific data but because of people who decidedly aren’t climate scientists saying there was a risk. But if the data and science hadn’t changed then why would non-scientists claiming a risk based on science he hadn’t believed before be a valid reason to change now?

  30. All the “climate skeptics” I know are contemptuous of elites, regardless a particular elitist’s political self-identification. Self-appointed elites fully embody the old punchline, “…when their lips are moving.”

  31. Their understanding and predictions about Skeptics mirrors their understanding and predictions about Climate.

  32. Could be a description of how the CAGW movement actually got going. The science of persuasion was used to convince Greens that CAGW is a green politics issue. In fact it has little in common with other green issues such as stopping whaling or replanting forests. Issues which I, incidentally, support.
    The clever part is, it’s been done in such a way that the Greens have failed to spot that this movement is nothing to do with being green, that it won’t protect nature, and that some of its consequences will cause more damage to the natural world than fossil fuel extraction.
    At least Patrick Moore got this one right; pity no-one at Greenpeace would listen to him.

  33. If elites are so keen they can voluntarily contribute to a fund to address their concerns. I doubt many of them will bother.

  34. Been an operational meteorologist since 1982 using the effects of weather to predict demand for natural gas and supply/ production for crops and how that will get dialed into prices in the futures markets.
    It would be ludicrous to suggest that I use anything that contradicts my observations and analysis………as a skeptiic of catastrophic climate change and an observer of the best weather, climate and CO2 levels over the past 4 decades for most life……since at least the Medieval,Warm Period, 1,000 years ago.

  35. This is a simple case of mirror imaging. Believers in catastrophic man made climate change do so because they have been told by the elites that the science is settled and they are too stupid to check the science. So they assume that sceptics are just listening to different elites. In fact sceptics have actually looked that the science and the alarmists unbroken record of failed predictions.

  36. If, what he believes to be his betters, told him to shoot himself in the foot then go jump off a bridge, I guess Jerry Taylor would do it!

  37. I’m a sceptic. If I was persuaded by the elites; politicians form all parties; the mass media, particularly the BBC; heads of organisations such as the Royal Society and almost all celebrities; then I would be a warmist.
    The word itself, sceptic, means you don’t believe everything you are told by authority.

  38. Pop-psychologists strikes again, and the root cause ever time is the same.
    The total inability to accept that others can, fairly and with good reason, hold a different view on the same subject. Hence the need to create a ‘evil authority ‘ that stops these people agreeing without question with them.
    The irony is that it is because they are practicing the scientific method that they do so, not because they are ‘anti-science’ as claimed. That idea belongs with those claiming ‘settled science’ whose leaders cannot be questioned in their authority ,which owns far more to religions position based on unquestioning faith, than one based on ‘take no body’s word for it ‘

  39. So really this guy has a weak set of principles. Anyone who can look at the state of climate data and the massive uncertainties in it and think it is useful for any action is someone fooling themselves.
    The biggest bait and switch is the use of the CLT on data that cannot be defined as having identically distributed samples. You have to assume it does. Which crosses you into Looking Glass territory.
    Sadly academically minded people don’t want to admit this as it means they’ve spent many years and invested much time in a hypothetical fruitless pursuit.
    Even Sheldon Cooper worked that out when he gave up String Theory.

  40. Idiotic premise.
    Conservatives and Republicans do NOT blindly accept or fall in line with what Washington Elite’s tell them to. That is blind, inside the beltway wishful thinking.
    If indeed, the premise were true, Trump would not be President.
    Since the premise is blatantly false, the rest of his argument is irrelevant.

  41. Liberals are more likely to follow the herd than conservatives. They rank much higher on the social desirability scale.

    The social-desirability scale measures people’s tendency to answer questions in ways they believe would please researchers, even if it means overestimating their positive characteristics and underestimating negative ones. link

    Conservatives are less likely to follow ‘elites’ than are liberals.

  42. First, I damn authoritarian credentialists whatever their political stripe, beit black, white, red, blue, pinko, green or yellow. If they will label themselves elite, or scientist, or tyrant, that makes it so much easier to dismiss their senile, anile incontinent dribble.

  43. So they have a new cunning plan to get their way. A cunning plan which will work where all other cunning plans before have failed? I have my doubts.
    It is sometimes said that the best plan is usually to go with honesty and the truth. But that is a problem, I guess, if it conflicts with long term goals.

  44. What really matters is, “is significant man made global warming happening or not?”. It is not clear to me what a legal scholar can bring to this debate.

  45. “Political scientists consistently find that mass opinion doesn’t drive the policy debate so much as the other way around. Partisan divides emerge first among “elites,” including influential advocacy groups, high-profile commentators, and politicians, [..]”

    Well he would agree with that, wouldn’t he? He works for an advocacy group. That he himself founded this advocacy group also means he now has to differentiate himself and his views from his former employers at the Cato Institute.

  46. What a fascinating example of projection.
    The “climate change” believers explicitly depend on their heroes leading their thinking in media, pop culture, education, etc. They depend explicitly in ending free speech and tolerance.
    Perhaps they hope that if skeptics join in their despicable behavior they won’t feel so guilty?

  47. “But his perspective slowly began to change around the turn of the century, driven by the arguments of several economists and legal scholars laying out the long-tail risks of global warming.”
    So he didn’t like where the real data lead him so he turned to economists and lawyers for their opinions. Wow!

  48. “……. They then entrust the recognized leaders of their self-selected tribe to sort out the details of dense policy and science for them, …….”
    ————
    Well Jerry …. “dense policy and science” may not mean just what you think it does to me. That seems to be a rather ‘dense’ claim to me, but if you meant it the way I took it then maybe you have a point, that is, if your point is that it is all BS.

  49. Good commentary. Global warming started when ‘experts’ revised temperature records from the 1930s. They lowered them substantially. Hence, today’s temperatures are higher by comparison. If the temperature record didn’t include that revision, global warming’ would be … well nothing like what meteorologists claim now.

  50. He’s a brainless automaton, so assumes everyone else is too. The majority of Skeptics/Climate Realists used to believe the Warmist stuff, to some extent, but only because they had no reason not to. It was all we heard, so had no reason to disbelieve it, until we actually looked into it for one reason or another.

  51. Following a pseudo-religion is this dude’s choice. His sales pitches don’t work too well on me. He comes off as a convert to something that involves cash in his pockets and doesn’t care if it’s fraudulent or not. He’s boring, too.

  52. Of course this study is correct that is why we have skeptics even after all of the media, school, government and corporate indoctrination on the the consensus of 97% of all scientists, because the elites tell us to be skeptics (sarc). I am skeptic specifically because i don’t believe what people tell me to believe i want to know and understand myself.

    • And French people should be 100% pro vaccines, because the media sources and the “elites” at 100% (not even 97%) pro vaccines. But France has more rejection of vaccine “science” than almost all other countries. That may be linked with reality (most vaccines failed at their initial purpose, and some are abominably dangerous).

  53. No way any real libertarian would buy this gobbledygook. Only “I am in the party to smoke pot” libertarians buy this kind of crap.

  54. Wow, this moron clearly does not know me, or the millions of Americans who see through his lies.

    • If true, they I guess they must have wanted a republican to win all along since they did everything they could to make sure Hillary was their nominee instead of Bernie.

    • sHillary reminds me of an old country song, “How can I miss you if you won’t go away?”. She simply will not accept that PEOPLE DON’T LIKE HER. Even people on the left can’t stand her. The endlessly never ending list of reasons she lost is only missing that one bit of information to round it out. Fact is sHillary is the one who directed DNC to strip the nomination away from Bernie, she had her organization in control of DNC money well before the primaries came around and she STILL lost. Too funny!

  55. I am a climate skeptic waiting for my check from big oil. The puny science that the warmistas spew is easily rebutted, and proven wrong time after time. I don’t do group think. I am an engineer, and sneer at people like Poor little mickey mann who say that people like me can’t understand the science. I can see what he calls science for what it is, junk. Can you imagine driving a car where the designers used climate scare math to do the design?

  56. Freud call that PROJECTION. Liberals who are lead around by the opinions of elites “project” their own behavior onto Republicans.

  57. Exsqueeze me, but no one in favor of a huge Federal carbon (dioxide) tax ought to call himself “libertarian leaning.” If you want to LOSE your freedoms, if you no longer care that your grocery store’s shelves are stocked with affordable food, if you don’t enjoy modern amenities and appliances driven by cheap electricity in your home, if you never again want to be able to afford to travel by plane and car, by all means, vote for a huge carbon (dioxide) tax. But if you want to be free from oppressive government, the last frickin’ thing you would do is vote for such a carbon (dioxide) tax. Cato Institute should be ashamed that it ever hired this guy. If they want to continue to be an opinion driver, they will divorce themselves from this tax, and from their ex-employee.
    Jerry Taylor, I hereby revoke your elite status. You no longer have the ability to influence my vote. But you may go suck an egg if you’ve got one. If you want sincerely to rehabilitate yourself (I doubt it), then read less Thomas Picketty and more Alex Epstein.

    • “read less Thomas Picketty”
      Isn’t he called “Thomas Picketout”?
      (Thomas steals everything)

  58. Chris Christie: Alarmist
    Carly Fiorina: Alarmist
    Lindsey Graham: Alarmist
    Bobby Jindal: Alarmist
    John Kasich: Alarmist
    George Pataki: Alarmist
    Rand Paul: Alarmist
    Jeb Bush: Finger still in the air
    Are these the party leaders Republicans are likely to follow?
    If the 2016 election is any guide, not so much . . .

  59. This amounts to scraping the bottom of the barrel or the underside of the barrel for news. Let’s voluntarily move along.

  60. Skeptical “mass opinion?”
    James Temple seems unaware of the raging the disagreement among skeptics on just about any topic of climatic science. He cannot have read physicist Dr. Charles Anderson’s and Dr. Roy Spencer’s exchange on CO2 radiation. Or Dr. Spencer’s doubts about Christopher Monckton’s CO2 feedback amicus brief. Or the far from unchallenged though prevailing skeptical view of photon flow in terrestrial infrared radiation, relative to the electromagnetic fields of black box radiation theory. Is he aware of “Javier’s” brush off of Dr. Murry Salby’s atmospheric physics on Climate Etc.? Does he know there are skeptics who think CAGWT “physics” does not qualify as such and is a debating society time-waster? Okay, Temple, just who is giving orders here?
    Other than the papers of Drs. Michael Connolly and Ronan Connolly, there has been scarcely anything on this site suggesting that the physics of mass/gravity/height could produces all of our 33-degree planetary warming. James Clerk Maxwell hypothesized that it determined surface to top-of-troposphere temperature in 1872, 24 years before Arrhenius suffered his dubious brainstorm. From the 1950s to 1976, hundreds of scientists and engineers confirmed calculations based on Maxwell’s theory with space shots and compiled the “US Standard Atmosphere.” It validated the theory of mass/gravity/height warming from the earth’s surface to space. But here we thrash about to deconstruct CAGWT nonsense (which being nonsense is unaffected by argument) and always come up short of winning. Why not? It amounts to playing by house rules on the house tables.

    • Tom Anderson,
      “James Temple seems unaware of the raging the disagreement among skeptics on just about any topic of climatic science.”
      It doesn’t matter how much disagreement there is if the common denominator is about policy rather than science.
      The fact that there is disagreement among skeptics is not a sign of independent thought so much as a lack of a cohesive theory to explain the evidence. Much “skeptic” science is more about tearing holes in CAGW theory and evidence in order to influence policy than about finding the truth – evidence for that includes the frequency with which policy is mentioned in the context of science.

      • Man oh man, Kristi is laying it on thick today.
        The fact that skeptics don’t agree is proof that the skeptics are wrong.
        I see that she’s still pushing the line that those who agree with her are the only ones who do science.
        Kristi, tearing holes in other people’s theory is how you do science. If you knew anything about science, you would already know that.
        The mere fact that it is so easy to tear really big holes in your theories is why we ridicule the notion that you are actually doing science.

      • “Much “skeptic” science is more about tearing holes in CAGW theory and evidence in order to influence policy than about finding the truth – evidence for that includes the frequency with which policy is mentioned in the context of science.”
        1. If that were the case, there’d be less intramural warfare among skeptics. Instead, there’d be a consensus not to do so, on the grounds that “any stick is good enough to beat the devil.”
        2. “the frequency with which policy is mentioned in the context of science.” is not all that frequent, IMO. Sometimes it’s non-existent. For instance, see the latest Nic Lewis / Judith Curry paper, up yesterday on Climate Etc. here: http://judithcurry.com/2018/04/24/impact-of-recent-forcing-and-ocean-heat-uptake-data-on-estimates-of-climate-sensitivity/

  61. And just who told me to think this?
    The 396 W/m^2 upwelling and net 333 W/m^2 GHG energy loop as shown on the K-T power flux balance diagram (Figure 10 Trenberth et al 2011jcli24) is calculated using the S-B equation with an assumed emissivity of 1.0 and an average surface temperature of 16 C, 289 K. Because of the conductive/convective/advective/latent heat participating processes of the atmospheric molecules the actual and correct radiative emissivity is about 0.16, i.e. 63/396.
    This GHG energy loop is an inappropriate calculation with zero physical reality.
    Without this energy loop the radiative greenhouse effect theory fails.
    Without RGHE man-caused climate change does not exist.
    It’s called “science.”
    Don’t be frightened, spit out the Kool-Aid and give it a try.

  62. So very many people here are certain of the motives and characters of progressives! Just think: many progressives are equally dismissive, disdainful and insulting of conservatives. Are they right? No. So why do you think you are, those of you who call liberals socialists or communists and irrational and mindless sheep? Every single one of the liberals I know are capitalists; it seems that conservatives pervert the definition of “socialism” to suit their insults.
    And why do so many of you think you can think completely independently of the crowd? Are you aware of the manipulation you make yourselves subject to by frequenting this site? Or do you think you’re immune to it?
    Don’t you realize most people think they think independently, and just about all of them are wrong?
    Those who are truly great thinkers are aware of their biases, and make an effort to be aware of them and where they come from so that they can counteract them. I’m skeptical of those who hang out here and claim they think independently, then go on to insult the Other.

    • “Those who are truly great thinkers are aware of their biases, and make an effort to be aware of them and where they come from so that they can counteract them.”
      Easier said than done, but something we should all try to do.

    • Fascinating. Kristi actually believes that the fact that she believes her professors unquestioningly proves that she and she alone is capable of independent thought.
      The fact that we don’t agree with her professors proves that we are influenced by others and can’t think for ourselves.

    • Of course, everyone thinks on the basis of one or another group, or, preferably, a combination of them. Newton shrewdly observed that he “stood on the shoulders of giants.” So does everyone who cares to penetrate boundaries. The difference is in having the wit and intelligence to keep on discriminating among hypotheses’ validity and to avoid that timid thralldom to some controlling mindset, otherwise known as groupthink.
      There is the occasional Alfred Weggener who holds out against his community, but even Weggener had his followers (although they were surely covert), and was himself a trained, well prepared geologist.

  63. The remarks of Prof Mullins on how people including sceptics look to their elite political leaders for their scientific beliefs is a perfect progressive psychogical transference from exactly what drives their sides beliefs (‘scientific beliefs’, God are we going to recover from this dark age rabbit hole). It looks like we are going to have full democracy in science but none in governance.

    • Sorry, try

      If that doesn’t work, do a websearch with “colbert audience cheers comey firing”

  64. The naivety lies with the author, not the RAMs (Raggedy @ssed Masses). I am anything but a political elite. I nevertheless was a confirmed skeptic of Global Cooling when that was the rage, and also a confirmed skeptic of Global Warming now. Growing up in Northern Minnesota during the peak of the Global Cooling scare, I had every reason to believe in Catastrophic Global Cooling. After learning about chlorine in college chemistry, I filled a gallon jug with a home made slug of the nice green gas and set it out on my back porch to see if it would liquefy at -40. It was mid March, and never got that cold (again) that winter. When the Catastrophic Global Warming scare took over, I remember furiously struggling to finish my ground water heat pump – AC unit during the heat wave/drought of 1988. In all cases, I attributed the weather to weather, not global catastrophe. I was totally Apolitical during those times, but I followed the physics and the data, not some fast talking political hack like Temple, the author.

  65. 1) the title is somewhat misleading in that climate skeptics aren’t singled out as the only ones being susceptible to a group’s elites – the quotation and the actual article say that everyone is
    2) the strategy outlined in the full article can be used by anyone – including skeptics
    3) the photo – showing the elites of CO2 GW side – is the perfect response
    4) elitist Jerry Taylor was swayed by “the arguments of several economists and legal scholars” – but not by scientists?!! – shouldn’t he be sure there’s an illness before seeking a cure

  66. @Shawn Marshall “libertarian ==> amoralist ==> anything goes”
    You are conflating libertarian with libertine. They are not the same thing.

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