Study: Greens Believe they have a "Moral License" to Pollute

Trash left by climate marchers

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

A new study suggests that most greens believe that by virtue of their support for environmental issues they earn the right to ignore their personal responsibilities.


A new study finds climate change skeptics are more likely to behave in eco-friendly ways than those who are highly concerned about the issue.


Participants in a year-long study who doubted the scientific consensus on the issue “opposed policy solutions,” but at the same time, they “were most likely to report engaging in individual-level, pro-environmental behaviors,” writes a research team led by University of Michigan psychologist Michael Hall.

Conversely, those who expressed the greatest belief in, and concern about, the warming environment “were most supportive of government climate policies, but least likely to report individual-level actions.”

Hall and his colleagues can only speculate about the reasons for their results. But regarding the concerned but inactive, the psychological phenomenon known as moral licensing is a likely culprit.

Previous research has found doing something altruistic—even buying organic foods—gives us license to engage in selfish activity. We’ve “earned” points in our own mind. So if you’ve pledged some money to Greenpeace, you feel entitled to enjoying the convenience of a plastic bag.

Regarding climate change skeptics, remember that conservatism prizes individual action over collective efforts. So while they may assert disbelief in order to stave off coercive (in their view) actions by the government, many could take pride in doing what they can do on a personal basis.

Read more:

The abstract of the study;

Believing in climate change, but not behaving sustainably: Evidence from a one-year longitudinal study

Michael P.Hall, Neil A.Lewis Jr., Phoebe C. Ellsworth

We conducted a one-year longitudinal study in which 600 American adults regularly reported their climate change beliefs, pro-environmental behavior, and other climate-change related measures. Using latent class analyses, we uncovered three clusters of Americans with distinct climate belief trajectories: (1) the “Skeptical,” who believed least in climate change; (2) the “Cautiously Worried,” who had moderate beliefs in climate change; and (3) the “Highly Concerned,” who had the strongest beliefs and concern about climate change. Cluster membership predicted different outcomes: the “Highly Concerned” were most supportive of government climate policies, but least likely to report individual-level actions, whereas the “Skeptical” opposed policy solutions but were most likely to report engaging in individual-level pro-environmental behaviors. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

Read more:

Academics competing to see who can log the most air miles, Jetset hypocrites calling for “deniers” to be banned from public office, large climate conferences full of frequent fliers; the brazen climate hypocrisy of leading greens is nothing new to regular readers of WUWT.

But this study goes a step further – it is not just the leaders who are complete hypocrites. The leaders of the green movement are not duping followers with their hypocrisy, they are an expression of the top to bottom hypocrisy of their entire movement. The most vocal climate supporters are actually the people who care least about the planet – all those noisy expressions of concern are camouflage to conceal the fact they are deeply selfish people who can’t be bothered to make a personal effort to improve the world they claim to love.

I pick up trash outside my house – because I like having a nice house, I like living on a nice street. I don’t think it is someone elses job to make my little corner of the world a better place. If I thought CO2 was a problem I would make a personal effort to reduce my carbon footprint.

Perhaps that sense of personal ownership, of responsibility for one’s actions, is what is missing from the green movement – a point made by the authors of the study.


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Maybe the broader issue is that narcissists don’t have time to think of picking up after themselves since they are above it all and besides picking up slows them down.

Komrade Kuma

ResourceGuy, you have nailed it. First and foremost these people are narcissists, its all about them, their selfies, the gigs ( marches etc) they went to, the adrenaline rush of being in a mob, chanting and marching and of how much easier it is to get laid when you wear an ‘identity’. They do not give a rats about the environment, thats just the script that gets them the gig. Expecting ethical, responsible behaviour from them is about as likely as expecting observation of basic human rights from ISIS. Witness the May Day rampages in Paris. Plus ca change…

Quelle surprise!!!
The Greens (aka watermelons) are pigs! Who knew? I think we all did.
Their fearless leaders like Al Gore and the Hollywood mugs live on huge estates with carbon footprints the size of a large town, and get their private jets to deliver pizza from New York to LA. Their followers, the sheeple, are so stupid they will do anything their leaders say, including acting like total pigs – doing what comes naturally.


A family member of mine complains constantly about others wasting water, but spends 20 minutes in the shower every night. Why that activity should take so long, I have no idea..


It’s the same elsewhere. Conservatives man soup kitchens and give to charities.
Liberals feel that as long as they support programs that have government taking other people’s money and giving it to the poor, they have done their civic duty.


There is an excellent book on this topic called “Who Really Cares” by Arthur C. Brooks written in 2006. Don’t know if you can still get a copy, but I highly recommend reading it if you can. If I remember correctly, at the time he was a Professor at a liberal New York college and took a lot of flack for writing the book.


Part of the problem is progressives, and thus most of the greens, believe WORDS are reality. If you say you care, then you do and your obligation is fulfilled. None believe action need follow. Even the Paris Accord was just words, albeit hoping to rope the US into doling out billions, but still, just words. The progressives live on vocabulary. If there were only progressives, we’d still have black skies, poison water, and live in slums everywhere (except the progressive overlords, of course). When one lives on words only, reality is really, really sad for most of your followers.

Bob boder

True for Racism, Sexism and pretty much every ism out there the biggest culprits are the loudest mouths. When you believe it is governments responsibility to do everything it’s typically because you don’t have the moral fiber to take responsibility for things yourself. When you take care of your own responsibilities you value your efforts and can appreciate the efforts others make for themselves and from that comes respect and appreciation for others.


Actually, they don’t have to support the programs per se. They just have to feel good thoughts about them. The Libs are never about action. It’s all about how they feel inside. Gives them a pass to just about everything.


I’ve long been bewildered about the fact that despite being the only climate skeptic in the family, I am the one who goes around turning off lights, fans, appliances etc that are not being used, which I do only because I am the one who pays the bills and I can’t stand waste. Now all is explained, thank you.


I apologize for not staying on topic, but I was unable to leave a comment on the tips page. So here I am. Online mag Mashable just left this nugget of wisdom
We are all doomed to die a horrible death. Highest ever levels of CO2 ever recorded in Hawaii. Maybe something to do with a volcano?
Sent from my iPad

Hawaii is under quake siege ever since the 30th of April. One strong 5+ and 2 on either side of five just in the last 3 hours, plus numerous smaller quakes. I would rate the probability for a big quake as high at this time. World wide quakes have been out of sync from typical patterns for the last 4 weeks.
Prime time will now be on Tuesday of next week, imo.

Alan Tomalty

Has anybody noticed an interesting thing about the Mauna Loa CO2 graph?. Notice that the angle of decrease during the spring is exactly the same angle of increase during the autumn. Either the Mauna Loa data are bogus or else CO2 emissions have nothing to do with the amount that stays in the atmosphere. If the Mauna Loa data is NOT bogus, the rate of increase in the fall should be sharper than the decrease in the spring. That is because the CO2 emissions are fairly constant throughout the year and there is certainly little difference between spring fossil fuel emissions and autumn fossil fuel emissions, Indeed the Mauna Loa graph doesnt show any difference. The only difference it shows is a neat zigzag pattern which in itself is suspicious because the pattern is too consistent. However my further point is that since the spring and fall fossil fuel emissions are constant, the fall (autumn) upward increase should be at a sharper angle since the photosynthesis process is in reverse compared to the spring. So the fall(autumn) non photosynthesis line should be reenforced by the constant fossil fuel emissions whereas the spring photosynthesis actually lowers the CO2 levels but according to the graph it lowers them at the same rate that the autumn line increases. That is impossible unless the net CO2 levels have nothing to do with the fossil fuel emissions. Well we partially know that anyway because since 1980 the the CO2 levels have only gone up 22% and the fossil fuel emissions have gone up 80%. I have previously mentionned that the Vostok ice core data for last 400000 years shows preindustrial CO2 levels at at a fairly constant 280ppm however during that 400000 years the temperature swings have been enormous on the earths surface with at least 4 glacial periods and 4 extremely warm periods. To top it all off, the Vostok ice core data seems suspect because there is no reason why the CO2 level should be that constant during those 400000 years when it wasnt constant at any other time in the worlds history. Now that Tony Heller has proved that NASA and NOAA have been faking the temperature and sea level data for the last 10 years, there is not 1 grain of truth in the whole global warming scenario. It is one lie built upon another lie which the climate gate emails showed.

Here is one of my most favorite graphs ever.
Over one century, one earthquake accounts for one quarter, and three earthquakes account for one half of the total seismic moment.
LET. THAT. IN.comment image
Note that this graph was produced before the 2011 Great Tohoku earthquake (M=9.1)

@ Max …that is impressive and very informative. I was in SF for the World Series Quake. Have to say that it greatly impressed me for 15 seconds or so, and it was only a 6.9. Luckily that one only lasted for the 15 seconds for everything around me was ready to come unglued.


Allan, the “zigzag” is due to seasonal changes in plant life during the NH year.
Perhaps you’ve heard of it. They are called Spring, and Fall.

Goldminor, just think, the 1960 Chilean quake released almost 8000 times the energy of the Loma Prieta quake.

oebele bruinsma

In this case the study shows the classical divide between the ethics of intent and the ethics of responsibility.


A lot of them are slobs! I have to pick up fast food wrappers, empty drinks cans, cigarette packets, sweet wrappers etc from the road past my house that have been thrown out of car windows on a daily basis. If I didn’t it would soon look like the picture at the head of this article.
How do we educate them? I am sure they get all worked up when watching David Attenborough talking about the plastics In the world’s oceans.


The hypocrisy is astounding.
Rather like the wealthy leftists who claim to be fighting alleged racism against blacks & browns, yet these wealthy leftists intentionally live in areas as far removed from blacks & browns as possible … while sending their children to schools where blacks & browns are very rare.

Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia

I think it is ok to use the phrase “coloured people” again. I have noticed all the virtue signallers don’t hold back with their use of “POC” which is surely the equivalent phrase.
Or are they allowed to because they are SJWs?

Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia

I personally think it is rude to refer to someone by the colour of their skin. But call me old fashioned.


ResourceGuy and others :
Regarding narcissists and narcissism :
Can I RECOMMEND the youtube video by Prof Jordan Peterson.
ps. all his OTHER videos are also well worth a look !
Regards ! Trevor.


Green tyranny.
Why are we not surprised?

Richard Kiser

Wait What? You mean I have to do something about this? This study hurt my feelings and I am going to fly to the next protest and show proof that this study was paid for by _______ and then I am flying to ___________
for a vacation where they have people clean stuff using bio products.

Kristi Silber

No, it’s just a rotten study. Poor methodology. Typical low-quality soft science. Self-report is a particularly bad choice here.

You mean like ALL of “alternative medicine”.


A bit too close to the knuckle for you?
Home truths hurt.


To: Max Photon at 10:54 p.m.
The over hundred thousand yearly dead from correctly prescribed medications described in this article probably have difficulty self-reporting. Try to explain that away……

Dr Giles Bointon

Self reporting is the only possibility with this kind of study. As a ‘flaky’ study it is better than many alarmist studies.


Self-report is a particularly bad choice
Thanks for your self-report.

Paul Penrose

I agree with Dr. Bointon that these subjects can’t really be studied without using some sort of “self-reporting” methodology. They had the participants reporting regularly, so presumably they were recording their actions in a diary of some sort and not relying on their memory. The study period was on year, which seems sufficient for this kind of thing. I don’t recall seeing a how many people were involved, so if it’s a small number that could render the results questionable. But as far as I can tell, this is a reasonable methodology for this field, certainly better than many I have seen. Perhaps Kristi can tell us why this particular study is worthless as compared to all the rest in the field of psychology; unless she thinks they are all worthless – an opinion shared by many on this blog I would think.

It makes you wonder why all of the progressive-leaners in the study didn’t self-report awesome personal behavior too?
However, it does correlate with other studies about personal giving to the poor, etc. Similar behavior, and probably similar causes.

John Endicott

“No, it’s just a rotten study. Poor methodology. Typical low-quality soft science”
so a step up from Mannian style climate science.

Robert W Turner

This is what we’ve been saying here for a long time, now we have a study to back up the assertion.
There is a term for this behavior that basically sums up today’s liberal movement and it’s driving me crazy because I’m drawing a blank. Basically, it’s vocally espousing popular and supposedly altruistic beliefs, but only doing so for subconscious moral evasion.

Robert W Turner

Moral credential effect is what I’ve known it as.


“Heaven’s Balance Sheet”

“Moral License” sounds like what you’re looking for. It’s in the title.


Hypocrisy also works.


Virtue signaling?


Bingo, thanks Ally. That is what I was drawing a blank on.


Robert W Turner: I believe the expression is “Moral Hazard”… a phrase often used by economists. Essentially, the greens are expecting other people to look after everything so they don’t have to… the outcome of such behaviour is ruin. Also, “The Tragedy of the Commons” by Coase.


Self-reporting isn’t the only way to measure these attitudes. After the North Dakota pipeline “event” by First Nations (stewards of the environment) the results were measured in tons and truckloads – good solid data.


Confirming that the only green that matters is cash indulgences sent as tribute to the environmentalist groups so that the purists can defile the earth without a guilty conscience.

Clyde Spencer

Yes, not unlike buying a religious indulgence for one’s sins.


Technically, the Green indulgence has a far more expansive promise than the medieval ones. There’s no need to admit any sins whatsoever to anyone, no formal intention of amending one’s ways, they are applicable to sins committed both in the past and future ones, they are automatically plenary, and the Catholic indulgences only applied to time in Purgatory, not Hell.


The Dakota Access Pipeline protesters are a prime example of “not walking the talk”. The #NoDAPL protesters left several tons of debris, abandoned cars, temporary shelters, etc. at their abandoned camp for the North Dakota state and county governments and the Sioux tribe to clean up before the Missouri River flooded the campsite in the spring of 2017.


Left off the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who performed the bulk of the campsite cleanup and spent over $1 million to clean up the site.

Data Soong

great example!


pets were left too


I’m surprised no children were left behind

Bob boder

there was a dead body at one of the more recent events


The river flood gave everyone downstream the chance to clean it up.


Kristi Silber: nota bene

This has been a bone of contention in the UK for years. The environmental activists, be they tree sitters and tunnel diggers protesting against road upgrading and new motorways or anti-frackers and their brethren opposing fossil-fuel and nuclear development, quit their “camps” leaving behind detritus — predominantly plastic (ironically!) — that makes the traveller community look like paragons of virtue by comparison.
I have commented before on the habits of some of our own local enviro-snobs who refuse to use the local supermarket which they consider a bit downmarket but will take a lengthy bus journey to patronise one that is more … salubrious, perhaps?
The findings of this survey will surprise no-one who has had any dealings with the eco-activists and their overbearing belief in the rightness of their cause which does, indeed, absolve them from any need to behave in accordance with their supposed beliefs. Hypocrisy does not even start to describe it!

Data Soong

My guess is that most of those who believe in CAGW are mostly leaving it up to the government to force them (and everyone else) to be green. I definitely agree that the personal responsibility aspect of conservatives is what likely makes them “greener” than their liberal counterparts. I know my personal actions are very “green”: I carpool, I heat/cool my home very efficiently, and I spend less on other things. My motivation is to save money, but the end effect is that I consume a lot less than others.

Richard Thornton

Watermelons they is says Yoda

Jeff Alberts

“Watermelons they is says Yoda”
Yoda has better grammar than that.

John Endicott

I believe what Yoda says is more along the lines of:
Watermelons they are. Trust them you should not.


Are we talking about the same people that wear pink hats and tw4t costumes, riot and destroy property, attack people, claim they are offended by everything while they offend everyone else, want social justice money for doing nothing, break every law in the books and then want the laws changed to make everyone else a crime…………..those people?
The moral justice warriors


It’s getting really ridiculous. A member of the New Democratic Party (Canada) was kicked out of the party because he “failed to read nonverbal cues” and talked to someone when she didn’t want to be talked to. link
Given the number of ‘geeks’ and ‘nerds’, myself included, in the tech industry we are in deep trouble when failing to read nonverbal clues becomes a hanging offence.


Or those of us with high-functioning Asperger’s Syndrome, for whom being “deaf” to body language is one common trait.


Make a fuss about the ability to read social cues being a form of oppression, and how dare they continue to victimize you. Scream out something like “emotional rape” or other nonsense, and they will be forced to apologise for just about anything. Why, you ask? Because you just outscored them in the Oppression Olympics.

Tom Halla

Yet another thing advocates urge others to do. As the old cliche goes, if they didn’t have double standards, they would have no standards at all.


It’s exactly the same as those who most appose government welfare are by far the most charitable…

Ken Mitchell

It’s called “indulgences”, and they’re supposed to be expensive.

Clay Sanborn

CO2, or “carbon” as it has been relegated, is good for the environment; certainly it is good for plants and animals at these current levels and up to several times current levels.

they know this! This is depopulation plain and simple, especially with the upcoming global cooling phase. restrict cheap energy to keep people warm, fed, and healthy during a period of serious harsh weather and a significant portion of the population will die. ESPECIALLY since they are loaded with vaccines and other such toxins that circumvent the natural body processes of eliminating toxins by having a properly working immune system (the adjuvuncts and excipients contain such neurotoxins as aluminum, plus fermaldehyde, aborted human fetal tissue in some cases, and the list goes on).
Eugenics is alive and well, and CAGW, the attack on carbon (6p-6e-6n), is just the attack on humanity, and life itself since we are carbon based life forms. Too many people don’t know the language of symbolism and therefore they don’t believe that such dark occultists are alive and well in places of high power and influence, running their tentacles into every facet of society, prodding and helping humans destroy themselves from within.
They Live was a documentary. Just because you walk into a dark room filled with sharp objects and refuse to bring a flashlight doesn’t mean those sharp objects won’t impale you.


I call it reaching mental maturity and some people never reach it.
As an example, I used to sit around work complaining with my coworkers that someone at work ought to do this or do that to because it would make our job easier. One day, mid complaint, it struck me that I was someone and I had better stop complaining and start doing instead. If not I had to place myself at the head of the line to blame for it not getting done.


You become an adult when you stop depending wholly on others and start being someone others can wholly depend on.
In this vein, age has little if anything to do with it. There’s 14 year old adults out there, and there’s 40 year old kids.


We needed a study for this? I would say it’s been pretty obvious for years.
BTW, has this been peer reviewed?


We have this hypocrisy in New Zealand.
Russel Norman who was the leader of the Green Party and is now the director of Green Peace in New Zealand has been convicted of getting in the way of the Amazon Explorer a oil and gas survey ship over 50 kilometer off the East coast .
Norman and his cronies thought nothing of using petrol powered boats to protest about oil exploration.
They have yet to be sentenced but they cost the oil exploration company over $100000 as the ship was forced to deviate to avoid swamping the protesters boats and Norman who had jumped in the ocean.
Apparently it is all right to protest in this way in these green beans minds and they will now expect Green peace supporters to help pay the fine..


Yeah he’s a real hypocrite. In a deal offered by GREENPEACE, the smug Norman pleads guilty and all charges are dropped


There’s another way of looking at it as well. As Jordan Peterson likes to point out, it’s hard to effect change on small things in our lives so it’s incredibly difficult to change big complex things. Young people and those without responsibilities are unaware of this and therefore more likely to believe they can change the world.
So it’s thosr people with work, families and other real-world commitments who are typically more realistic – and skeltical – of simplistic big ideas.

CD in Wisconsin

“…Previous research has found doing something altruistic—even buying organic foods—gives us license to engage in selfish activity. We’ve “earned” points in our own mind. So if you’ve pledged some money to Greenpeace, you feel entitled to enjoying the convenience of a plastic bag…..”.
As I’ve read elsewhere, it’s like donating $100 to the SPCA every year. But you still go home after work every day and kick the cat….

John harmsworth

I want to know how buying organic foods is altruistic. Isn’t that selfish? And if you buy them for someone else who didn’t request that you do that, it’s just plain high handed.


That’s what’s so great with leftist virtue-signalling! You can pretend to have done something, anything “good”, so you are completely entitled to being a horrible, loathesome cretin for as long as you remember feeling good about it. Thus a weekly organic grocery run and a Coexist bumper sticker gets you off the hook for genocide.


“Do as I say, not as I do” has always been true as long as humans have had the power to think and speak. OK, maybe they don’t think much anymore.

Gunga Din

Man’s trash is not “pollution” when left behind by those protesting Man’s pollution.

John harmsworth

Same applies to their garbage ideas I guess- that they fling around like monkeys with excrement!

transference. we all could see it. My son’s mother is the posterchild for it. and the thing is, they know full well what they are doing

Thomas Graney

Virtue signaling and hypocrisy are two sides of the same coin.

John harmsworth

That is nail and head, right there.

jim hogg

I didn’t access the full report but the only information quantified in the article above is reported behaviour, not actual behaviour, presumably with reported behaviours as proxies for actual behaviour. Hmmm. . As a sceptic I don’t think I’ll bother making any deductions based on that.


Soooo, they have a Hypocritic Oath?

Big T

Greens will clean up just as soon as al gore rides a bike

Back in the early Seventies, I had an artist friend who even today would still be considered far left.
Fortunately, back then the alarmists were into the population bomb, world starvation, global cooling and drowning in plastic. Today’s catastrophic anthropogenic global warming would’ve fit right into his belief system.
Only, back then, It was still close enough in time to the oil/gasoline shortages for people to remember how much they need fossil fuels; and that was in Massachusetts to boot.
During one of my trips between states, I gave him a lift for Thanksgiving.
Once and only once did I allow him to ride in my car.
He threw anything and everything out the window as interstate highway litter. chicken bones, wrappers, plastic bags, popsicle sticks, aluminum foil, whatever.
His rationale? He would throw anything out on the road that had a shorter life than the roads.
I was angry, because Connecticut and Massachusetts will hold drivers responsible for litter. So, that passenger only got snacks and stuff while we were parked off the road.
Especially since his response to my not wanting to get fined for littering was tough noogies. Common sense is not in the equation.
As it is now, there is no real desire for these kooks to be rational at all. They have some sort of special privilege while ordinary people are overwhelmingly guilty.

Its a bit like putting money in the bank. Sort of like a ledger. I have done x amount of good deeds, so I can draw on that when I don’t feel like being virtuous. We humans do it all the time! We trade on our good deeds, for our indulgences! You all know it well. ” I have eaten very well all week, so now I can splurge on some takeaway/chocolate/alcohol etc.”
In the case of these so called environmentalists, in their minds, they have done something which is for the ‘greater good of the planet’, that is a huge deposit in the ‘moral’ bank! So, if they do something not so virtuous along the way, well, that is just drawing on their deposit, sort of like the cost of earning a living.
Certainly doesn’t make it right though.


Two wrongs don’t make a right, and two rights won’t forgive a wrong.


Two wrongs don’t make a right, but three lefts do.


Kind of like thinking that since I support toilets and inside plumbing I have the right to crap on the sidewalk eh?

John Endicott
Max Dupilka

Me thinks the name Suzuki comes immediately to mind. Closely followed by DiCaprio


Not the best image for the story. The mess was left after a well attended pot smoking session.

Pop Piasa

Was that the one where they mistakenly called in an exterminator because one of the worker reported “there were roaches everywhere”?


I recently came across this review by the late Scott Nixon, a real scholar on coastal marine ecology. I never met him, but have read and studied a lot of his work and knew a number of older marsh ecologists. In one of his last works, he called the crisis over eutrophication, actually only a problem when hypertrophication occurred, a case of the ‘”demonization” of nitrogen.
Nixon, S. W. 1979 . Between coastal marshes and coastal waters–a review of twenty years of speculation and research on the role of salt marshes in estuarine productivity and water chemistry. pp. 437-511, in, P. Hamilton and K. B. McDonald (Eds.) Estuaries and wetland processes with emphasis on modeling. Plenum, NY.
At the end—
“In a number of these discussions, a common sentiment was expressed that it was the responsibility for the ecological community to help in the “battle” to preserve the marshes. The early efforts in this direction helped to gain time while environmental awareness developed among the public and the regulatory agencies. The momentum of the developers was so great that an atmosphere of certainty and consensus was necessary for the ecologist to be heard. The essence of the argument is that, “Yes perhaps we overstated the case a bit but it was important to help save the marshes. Now that is done, or at least well along, and we can go back and work on getting our science right.”” Almost four decades ago, sound familiar?
The next paragraph explains why he did not agree. Basically credibility, the loss of the integrity of communication of the scientific literature, youth and uncertainty of the science. This agrees with my experience, and may have been as big a problem as the developers.


Greens see environmental issues as a tool to get people to accept socialist government.
Wise up. Greens don’t care about the environment. They talk about it because YOU do. They use your beliefs against you.

John Endicott

indeed, under their green exterior they’re really red inside. true watermelons

Curious George

I don’t believe that studies relying on self-reported behavior are reliable. It is a fact that Al Gore’s or Leonardo DiCaprio’s slogan is Do as I say, not as I do, but a chance of finding 600 individuals of that caliber is rather small.

Stevan Reddish

“Regarding climate change skeptics, remember that conservatism prizes individual action over collective efforts. So while they may assert disbelief in order to stave off coercive (in their view) actions by the government, many could take pride in doing what they can do on a personal basis.”
While I applaud Psychologist Michael Hall admitting that green activists aren’t actually concerned about the litter they leave behind, I do not think he understands “climate change skeptics” at all.
No skeptics I know of deny that the climate changes. We just don’t think CO2 emitted by humans is ruining the climate (or the weather).
No skeptic I know off is merely “asserting disbelief”, we really do not believe greens are telling the truth.
No skeptics I know of are motivated to not pollute by “pride”. We want clean water and air (and park lawns) for their own sake.
While I agree that skeptic view the actions of governments to limit climate change are coercive, I do not understand how Hall doesn’t view them that way.

Stevan Reddish

Last para. should be …”skeptics view the actions of governments to limit climate change as”…


His findings are scandalous enough. If he actually asserted your assertion, he might be burned for witchcraft.

Stevan Reddish

Patrick, you lost me. What did I assert he asserted? I used quotes to report his assertions.
All my assertions only pertained to myself and skeptics like myself.


I’m triggered. Where’s my subsidised safe-space.

Mary Dunn

I have seen something similar in avowed pacifists who are remarkably aggressive in arguments. They think their pacifism gives them a license.


Like a bully who passive-aggressively goads his mark into lashing out at him, so that the tormentee is the one who gets in trouble.


This isn’t something new. It was going on back in the 1970s, when Earth Day started. They always left messes behind for “others” to clean up. The messes were usually burnable trash, or plastics that could be recycled into playground stuff, but the mess was inexcusable because there were ALWAYS trash bins available. Did the ecohippies use those trash bins? No. The rest of us did, and got into fights with the ecohippies about how THEY should follow their own advice.
Well, it’s as George Carlin said: they don’t really care about the planet. Not in the abstract, they don’t. They only care about having their own habitat. A “clean” place. They’re worried that some day, they might be personally inconvenienced.
I think it’s about cotton pickin’ time they were dreadfully inconvenienced, don’t you?


Not In My Back Yard : We’ll Use Yours

Just look at the difference between such events as rallies held by Tea Party activists and conservative organizations (many of whom I believe are also AGW skeptics) and Greens. The aftermath of the TP/cons rallies shows nary a piece of trash anywhere while the rally aftermath of the Greens/Progressives/etc are trash strewn and filthy. I guess it shows who is really interested in keeping the planet clean…and it ain’t those screaming the loudest about it.

Leo Smith

At last, the science behind mediaeval indulgences*

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, an indulgence (Latin: indulgentia, from *dulgeō, “persist”) is “a way to reduce the amount of punishment one has to undergo for sins.” It may reduce the “temporal punishment for sin” after death (as opposed to the eternal punishment merited by mortal sin), in the state or process of purification called Purgatory.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes an indulgence as “a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints”.
The recipient of an indulgence must perform an action to receive it. This is most often the saying (once, or many times) of a specified prayer, but may also include the visiting of a particular place, or the performance of specific good works.
Indulgences were introduced to allow for the remission of the severe penances of the early Church and granted at the intercession of Christians awaiting martyrdom or at least imprisoned for the faith.They draw on the treasury of merit accumulated by Christ’s superabundantly meritorious sacrifice on the cross and the virtues and penances of the saints. They are granted for specific good works and prayers in proportion to the devotion with which those good works are performed or prayers recited.
By the late Middle Ages, the abuse of indulgences, mainly through commercialization, had become a serious problem which the Church recognized but was unable to restrain effectively. Indulgences were, from the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, a target of attacks by Martin Luther and all other Protestant theologians. Eventually the Catholic Counter-Reformation curbed the excesses, but indulgences continue to play a role in modern Catholic religious life. Reforms in the 20th century largely abolished the quantification of indulgences, which had been expressed in terms of days or years. These days or years were meant to represent the equivalent of time spent in penance, although it was widely taken to mean time spent in Purgatory. The reforms also greatly reduced the number of indulgences granted for visiting particular churches and other locations.

Jacob Frank

I ride a bicycle most everywhere, use the light rail, and staycation regularly. My brother sneers at my “denial of science” when he isn’t flying his three kids and wife to the Bahamas or boating and water skiing or driving 9 miles to work in a giant suv. I love he fertilizers the planet so well and my choices are ascetic rather than to save the planet. But he make me puke in my mouth when I have to be around him.

“I ride a bicycle most everywhere, use the light rail, and staycation regularly.”
You and me both, brother. I haven’t owned a car for many many years. I delight at the thought of the god-knows-how-many thousands of miles I’ve put on my bike, out in the fresh air, getting exercise, saving money, and NOT rotting in traffic. Best decision I ever made.
Keep on pedaling!!!


I’d ride a bicycle, but it’s 10 miles to anywhere. Then another 5 or more to somewhere.

Leo Smith

I’d ride a bicycle, if I could actually do more than 500 yards without having to take pills


I get you – for me, it’s a mile to get to the road to take me anywhere.

J Mac

When you see a complete mess left behind by the virtue signalling ‘environMentalists’, you can be sure of one hard reality: The really don’t give a shit about the environment.

Tom in Florida

Perhaps it is as simple as they are just filthy pigs.

Kristi Silber

Filthy pigs. Huh
You know, I really want to understand where others are coming from, and why they think as they do. I figure it’s all part of being able to cooperate as a nation rather than simply fight for the sake of fighting. Then I come across comments like this, and I think, What has happened to us? Can we ever be a united nation? Will hatred keep getting worse? What could come of it but violence?
I don’t consider myself an environmentalist, but I suppose you would. I wish you didn’t feel about people like me as you do. Speaking for myself, it’s not mutual.

Kristi, don’t seize on the one name-calling troll to conclude that civility is dead.

J Mac

For 50 years I have witnessed environMental protests leave huge messes in their wake. In some cases, messes that I personally helped cleaned up. Filthy pigs, huh? You damn right! And an unfair insult to the pigs, at that! Did you see the putrid sty of human waste, debris, burning piles of rubbish, and even abandoned animals the Dakota Pipeline ‘protestors’ left behind? And their stated raison d’etre for protesting was the local river water might, maybe, could be, someday contaminated by a pipeline ‘oil spill’….. Do you see any irrational behavior in that? Does it stir even a faint hint of cognitive dissonance in you? Did you applaud the Dakota Pipeline protesters ‘stand against fossil fuels’?
As for your concern about ‘potential’ violence, Oh Kristi, we are waaaayyy past that! I have a 55 year old friend who had to take his wife to the emergency room at 11pm two weeks ago. As they were returning home at 1:30am, the rear window of their old Suburban was shattered by bullets striking it. Some of the peaceful local democrat gang bangers didn’t like their Trump bumper sticker, it seems. Imagine that: You are shot at because you simply have a President Trump bumper sticker on your vehicle, as you are bringing your wife back from the emergency room….. Do you see any violent irrational behavior there? Any? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?
“What happened to us?” you ask? Bloody hell, open your eyes! We are way past the pizza and jug wine let’s-talk-this-out/group hug(!) session in the dorm rooms you seem to exude!

Tom in Florida

You want to understand? I want to understand why people cannot simply clean up. I have been around a long time and throughout those long years have come across so many people who just don’t care. They are lazy, filthy people. The kind that don’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom, the kind that won’t lift a finger to clean something, the kind that leave all their trash and residue for others to deal with. It is not a political ideology, it is not an environmental ideology or any other ideology. It is simply that they are just filthy people. And I apologize to the pigs.

The Deplorable Vlad the Impaler

Ms. Silber, try to figure it out. This is a comment I made at JoNova, which earned me the labels of “bully” and “boring” from one Craig Thomas, after I related an actual incident:
A young lady and I were engaged in mostly pleasant conversation, then (for reasons I do not recall) she made some comment that boiled down to, ‘ … and we’re destroying the planet … ‘ (the “we” being human personages of various ilks).
My thought process was this: if you truly believe that, then you won’t engage in any activity that contributes to said ‘destruction’. At this point, I started asking questions:
“Do you have a cell phone? Where did it come from?” [sidebar: I do not now, nor have I ever had a cell phone; I do not have a tablet-thingy, laptop, or anything like that; my home has a landline, and that is mostly used by solicitors to get me to donate money to their ‘worthy cause’.] Blank stare.
“Where does your food come from?” She looks at me blankly. Silently.
“How did you get here, today?” Silence.
“Why is this building [comfortable] right now? {We were in the middle of winter, and the building was warm} “Did you notice that there’s lights inside here, providing illumination? Where did those lights come from?”
More deer-in-the-headlights from the young lady.
“Have you ever needed medical care for something? Where did that equipment come from? How did you get to the medical facility? Were you prescribed some medication? Where did that come from?”
At this point, she is attempting to make a hasty exit. The discomfort in her expression, body language, demeanor … all pointed to her understanding that she’s the chief hypocrite in this; yes, these brain-washed snowflakes cannot withstand being confronted with it. Cognitive dissonance; even if they are aware of it, they’re certain that something does not apply to them.
As she departed, silently, I continued to ask about various modern conveniences, which most Westerners take for granted. Just a few days later, we passed each other, at which time she refused to even make eye contact with me.
And my questions are unanswered.
To finish an already overly-long (and boring … … and let’s not forget bullying … … ) narrative, our community has numerous recycling depots around town, so each week, I DRIVE (in my gas-guzzler) our plastics, cardboard, glass, … etc to a depot, where, a couple of times each week, the bins are emptied, and presumably taken to a processing facility (it’s really funny, but there is more energy used in transporting the ‘recycled’ items; then ‘reprocessing’ them; transporting the ‘recycled’ elements to locations they can be used … … … but HEY!! “WE’RE “saving” the WORLD, doncha know?””) than is ever saved by doing so. A lot of the ‘recycleables’ could be used to generate inexpensive electricity; I remember as a youngster (1950’s) seeing our local waste disposal trucks going to an incinerator, which, by the way, had an electrical substation right next to it. I asked my father, an electrical engineer, what was going on, and he responded that the trash was being used to create electricity.
Then the EPA came along and all but banished that practice.
My community is largely (US nomenclature) conservative, and almost every time I go to a depot, I notice the bins are usually full-to-overflowing with recycleables. I recycle because I think it just might be the right thing to do, understanding that the amount of energy expended to recycle is “destroying” the planet (in someone’s mind). I do not do it because I’ve been ORDERED to do by our local Kommisarr, or anyone else.
Hope that helps, and my regards,
The Mostest Deplorable-est Vlad the Impaler-est, a crashing-est bore-est, and and even bigger-est bully-est (according to C.T. at JoNova)

Reg Nelson

Kristi Silber May 4, 2018 at 9:02 pm
What could come of it but violence?
It already has, and that violence has come from the Progressives who seek to silence free speech, particularly on college campuses. Cooperation requires tolerance and compromise.


Fascinating how the troll defines “working together” as everyone doing what Kristi tells them to do.
Speaking of hatred, declaring that those who disagree with you are evil and or funded by big oil is not exactly good neighborly. Perhaps Kristi is one of those who believes that her alleged good intentions gives her license to behave however she wants.


At least pigs have an excuse to roll around in the mud. They’re almost hairless and have few sweat glands, so it helps keep their skin moist and protect from sunburn.


Buy carbon credits and *Buy* your way to salvation.
Leave the cleaning up to the peasants.
~signed your Pal, Al.

Monna M

This is the problem of collectivism: when something (anything, really) is everyone’s responsibility, it’s no one’s responsibility. So people expect “the government” to take care of things that are really their own responsibility to take care of.


The left leaning groups tend to trash the place. Conservatives not so much.


Conservative protesters oftentimes leave the area cleaner than they found it.

Kristi Silber

Hard to tell without being able to read the whole study, but I’m skeptical of the conclusions people are drawing from this. It’s a self-report study, which are known to be problematic. If the underlying hypothesis is that those worried about climate change should be greenies, they might not be so careful about reporting their habits, believing themselves obviously green. What appears to be a very big weakness of the study is the possibility that those who aren’t normally green may change their habits as a result of the research. One of the behaviors was public transportation, and that could be an economic choice; another was use of “green” products, which could be a health choice. Skeptics weren’t more likely to recycle, but they did shop with reusable plastic bags.
And this shows that warmists are hypocrites? What about the car they drive, if they have one? The temperatures at which they heat/cool the house? Have high-efficiency appliances? Do they volutarily get some/all their electricity from renewables? (All this is related to income, but that needs to be accounted for in any study like this)
Sounds to me like it’s an undergrad honors thesis.
Then there’s this, from the article:
“Regarding climate change skeptics, remember that conservatism prizes individual action over collective efforts. So while they may assert disbelief in order to stave off coercive (in their view) actions by the government, many could take pride in doing what they can do on a personal basis.
The results suggest that “changing skeptical Americans’ minds need not be a top priority for climate policymakers,” at least if their goal is inspiring individual action. Perhaps the more urgent task is to focus on people who already grasp the problem, and get them to align their actions with their concern.
This should ring all kinds of skepticism alarm bells. Why should inspiring individual action have anything to do with policymaking? Why should individual actions absolve people from working as a collective, not in socialist sense but in simply recognizing that we are a nation, a very large community, and sometimes it’s in our best interest to work together? The ability of humans to cooperate on complex tasks is one thing that enabled us to colonize every accessible area of the planet. While I believe that in theory letting the market respond to demand for renewables would be ideal, the market does not always behave ideally, particularly when in comes to prevention of future problems. The market has no ethic, no morality. I didn’t hear anyone bemoaning market manipulations in the form of TARIFFS, which will hurt the solar industry (what a scummy move that was!). …Oh, gee, I’m getting off-track again.
So what do you think, are skeptics just asserting disbelief for political reasons, as the article suggests?
Individual action is very important, However, let’s be honest and realistic: most people on both sides are going to be slow to change individual habits that much, and it is CHANGE that is needed to lower emissions – current rituals aren’t enough. People can replace appliances an cars with high-efficiency items as the old wear out, but that’s a slow process. Individuals can’t decide to regulate the carbon emissions in their local coal-fired power plant. Many don’t have the option to purchase electricity from renewable sources. Although individuals can undoubtedly make a difference, organized change as a nation will be necessary to keep reducing emissions.
Ah. A classic Eric Worrall:
“The most vocal climate supporters are actually the people who care least about the planet – all those noisy expressions of concern are camouflage to conceal the fact they are deeply selfish people who can’t be bothered to make a personal effort to improve the world they claim to love.”
You, on the other hand, are deeply generous toward others and the environment, I suppose? Because you bother to pick up your front yard – well, there’s heart for you!
I deeply resent the ignorant, arrogant hateful messages Eric sends. It is this kind of insipid rhetoric that is tearing our country apart. He is using his position on WUWT to spread these vile, divisive ideas – and readers eat it up.
Do you people not see the impact on your credibility? Why should anyone respect your scientific ideas or believe you are viewing the situation impartially when you are so caught up in animosity, partisanship and accusations? And you accuse the scientific community of having an agenda??? Talk about hypocrisy!

“The most vocal climate supporters are actually the people who care least about the planet – all those noisy expressions of concern are camouflage to conceal the fact they are deeply selfish people who can’t be bothered to make a personal effort to improve the world they claim to love.”
Kristi, that sums up EXACTLY my experience with vocal climate supporters in the small beach town where I live. (I know almost everyone.) Most are liberal, most have completely bought the whole climate change hysteria and constantly goes off about it, yet not one that I know understands a single thing about the subject. And ALL drive their cars around town, rather than walk or ride their bicycles — and this is a perfect place to get around town on foot or on a bike. Every time they go off on climate change, I ask why they drive their SUV’s to go one mile to the cafe or post office. No one has an answer. Because there is no good answer … other than the fact they they are total hypocrites.
Do as I say, not as I spew.

Stevan Reddish

“So what do you think, are skeptics just asserting disbelief for political reasons, as the article suggests?”
Kristi, why didn’t you read through the comments before commenting yourself? I already presented my answer to this question. It would have made more sense for you to post your opinion as a reply to my post:
Stevan Reddish May 4, 2018 at 4:22 pm

Stevan Reddish

Kristi, the point of the post you and I are commenting on is that green activists demonstrations usually leave a lot of litter, leading to the conclusion that activist feel that it is OK for them to litter. Since actions talk louder than words, their actions tell us they are just pretending to care about pollution.
When you say we should have a conversation about this subject and then ignore those who have answered your very query, even responding directly to you, your actions tell us that you are only pretending to want a discussion.

CD in Wisconsin

“Talk about hypocrisy!”.
With all due respect Kristi, I think you should be careful about where and at whom you toss around accusations of hypocrisy here at WUWT. Did you bother to read Katphiche’s comment above (May 4, 2018 at 2:16 pm) about the amount of garbage left behind by the Dakota Access Pipeline protesters two winters ago in North Dakota?
From what I have read, the total cleanup cost has been quoted to be as much as $1 million. Eric lives in Australia, so he may not be aware of this incident. But I think it is an example of the type of thing he is talking about in his post.
At least when a pipeline leaks, the company responsible for it actually takes responsibility for cleaning it up. If the DAPL protesters cared about their hypocrisy resulting from the garbage they left behind and wanted to make amends for it, they would have raised the $1 million for the cost of the cleanup. That would have been the smart thing to do. However, so far as I know, they did not do that.
Whatever amount of hypocrisy you perceive Eric to be responsible for, I suggest to you that the hypocrisy displayed by the DAPL protesters has it beat by a long shot. I also do not believe that this is something that should be just swept under the rug and ignored as though it never really happened. Many in the media appear to have done exactly that.
I don’t know what kind of a person Eric is; I have not met him. But if he believes that hypocrisy by the environmental movement at this level (at the DAPL protest site) needs to be publicized and made widely known, I agree with him. His character should not have anything to do with it. Attacking his character does not make the hypocrisy go away.

Kristi Silber May 4, 2018 at 8:51 pm
Kristi, I understand your rant, but consider it from the point of view of some of us who are older. We’re amused by this study, poorly done or not. Why? Because it just confirms what we’ve known for decades through personal observation and through other similar studies, many of them well done.
Conservatives give a larger percentage of their income to the philanthropic choices they support than do socialists. Not new. Socialists support their philanthropic choices through the poll booth, electing those who they believe will spend tax dollars on those choices. Also not new.
Its the way it has always been. That the micro debate called climate change reflects the bigger picture is no revelation. Conservatives spend their money, and socialists attempt to spend other people’s money. Forgive the sarcasm, but I’m tired of being lectured to by people who live off of my tax dollars and won’t spend any of their own on the causes they want me to fund. They are hypocrites, and they deserve the scorn you see in this thread.

John Endicott

“However, let’s be honest and realistic: most people on both sides are going to be slow to change individual habits that much, and it is CHANGE that is needed to lower emissions ”
of the plantfood known as CO2? no, sorry, emissions don’t *need* to be lowered. if anything the plants would love to have even more than they are currently getting.

I instantly recognized that photo as Sharon Meadow in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.
Imagine a slice of heaven over-run with drug addicts, liberal loons, and filthy, begging, know-it-all slackers.

michael hart

It’s a refreshing change to read that Hall and his colleagues “can only speculate about the reasons for their results”. Usually there is no doubt expressed at all when academics discuss things related to this most settled of sciences.
Of course, after a moments thought, I realised that this is probably because the results were the complete opposite of what global-warmers would expect. They only discover a love of measured uncertainty when it suits their short term purposes.


Very characteristic for the mentally ill Left.
Another example is ANTIFA acting exactly like what they claim to be against.

Haven’t you got anything better to write abiut Eric than trashy (excuse the pun) articles like this one? How about reporting on the fact that atmospheric gases reached 410 ppm in April 2018 and this is trending upwards? Perhaps you should explore the underlying issues of why this is happening?

Rainer Bensch

atmospheric gases reached 410 ppm
You mean CO₂ ? Accelerated increase? Alarmingly good.

tom s

Most excellent achievement by Ma Earth. Green green green!


CO2 levels have been over 7000ppm in the last 100 million years.
410ppm is nothing to worry about.

Prove it.


All estimates of past CO2 concentration show levels at least an order of magnitude higher early in our current Phanerozoic Eon than now.
MarkW meant to say 500 million years, not 100, when CO2 was a mere six times higher than now.


Is argument from invincible ignorance the only page in Mr. Kinsman’s playbook? And he’s not even good at it.

John Endicott

pretty much. and the proof is in all his posts.

Michael Kelly

Can anyone give me an example of a “collective effort”? I can’t think of one, myself, and am interested in what it might be.