The Conversation: Talking Up Carbon Taxes will Win Conservatives

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

University of Queensland Literature PhD student Jamie Freestone thinks the way to convince Conservatives to support climate action is to make climate action sound Conservative.

To get conservative climate contrarians to really listen, try speaking their language

May 15, 2018 2.06pm AEST

Jamie Freestone

PhD student in literature, The University of Queensland

Climate change holdouts are not necessarily ill-informed. But they naturally – like everyone else – do not welcome information that conflicts with their worldview. Conservatives are likely to disregard or filter out information that threatens economic growth, standards of living, and business interests.

They’re also likely to be unmoved by messages that emphasise the impact of climate change on the world’s poor. Especially ineffective are morally tinged narratives about how climate change is humanity’s fault and that we’re getting our comeuppance.

The first suggestion is that carbon dioxide emissions could be explained as a disruption to the status quo (of the climate), and thus at odds with conservative values. Climate change is a radical, anarchic experiment with the world’s atmosphere and vital systems.

Conservatives are more likely to respond to positive messages that emphasise agency rather than doom and gloom. Promoting geoengineering or market-based solutions like a carbon tax is a good idea. Even if your own political identity is opposed to these specific solutions, it’s at least worth using them to win conservatives round to the idea that climate change is real.

Third, climate change can be framed as a matter of impurity rather than harm. Harm to marginalised people and the environment is how many liberal-minded people conceive of climate change. But conservatives think more in terms of purity or sanctity. No worries. The effects of climate change can be no less accurately framed as being a violation of the purity or sanctity of the planet. Instead of harm to ecosystems, it’s a contamination of God’s green Earth.

Finally, we come to a difficult but potentially powerful narrative. It involves turning big industries in general against parts of the energy industry in particular. The more severe effects of climate change threaten the interests of everyone, including those of most large corporations.

Read more: https://theconversation.com/to-get-conservative-climate-contrarians-to-really-listen-try-speaking-their-language-94296

I can’t help thinking Jamie has missed the target, but what do you guys think? Would messages about the benefits of carbon taxes and “climate impurity” move you to support more climate action?

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135 thoughts on “The Conversation: Talking Up Carbon Taxes will Win Conservatives

  1. In general, a Conservative can do a very convincing imitation of a Liberal. Good enough to “pass” at a meeting of academics or mainline clergy. This is a perfect example that the reverse is seldom true.

    • reminds me of Spock – “it is quite easy for a civilized man to pass as a barbarian, but a barbarian can never pass as a civilized man”

    • Agreed. There is almost no way to follow the news, and not see the liberal perspective. One has to do a bit of effort to see anything other than whatever the legacy media pushes.

    • So true, there have been studies that proved that conservatives were better at understanding the liberal worldview than liberals were of correctly understanding the conservative worldview.
      So maybe the next challenge for The Conversation should be to write a message that would convince liberals that Climate Change is not a threat to mankind at all. That would be the real challenge.

      • Notanist,
        The Conversation would not publish it! They are not equal opportunity publishers. They have an agenda.

    • Fox News does a lot to channel the socialism of Barack “You didn’t build that” Obama via Tucker Carlson and his host Newt Gingrich: (honest paraphrase)
      “big internet corps: you didn’t built the Internet; the US gov did! Now bend over while we regulate you for getting the privilege of using IP technology that actually belongs to the gov.”
      And BTW, there was no mass walkout of advertisers. Or any advertiser apparently caring.
      A “conservative” GOPer can say with a straight face that he is all for free speech but that some video games have no “redeeming value” and thus could be forbidden. Or that people don’t “need” to play video games.
      “Conservatives” (Fox style) can be socialist, pro-regulation, anti-free choice, pro-state, pro-invasion of privacy whenever they want. It’s an empty non ideology that’s why it’s dying. The label covers nothing.

      • The post-WWII ‘Conservative’ movement was just the controlled opposition to the Marxists. Its purpose was to give people someone to vote for who’d pretend to be opposing Marxism, rather than actually opposing it.
        It used to try to ‘conserve’ whatever the Marxists were pushing twenty or thirty years ago. Now it tries to ‘conserve’ what the Marxists were pushing five years ago.
        And that is why it’s now a dead man walking. ‘Conservatism’ has completely failed to conserve anything worth conserving, and the right is abandoning it en masse.

      • s-t,
        Are you attempting to prove Tregonsee’s point above?
        There is nothing wrong with pointing out that some video games are potentially harmful to the youth; most of us Conservatives then suggest parental control over “toys” that are graded inappropriate for children by the gaming industry itself. “Forbidding” is a phrase more likely to be heard from the left these days with respect to free speech. (Likewise one can also be “conservative” and not favor unlimited access to narcotics to youngsters.)
        Our “empty ideology” includes belief in the individual, limited government and attention to the Constitution as written or lawfully amended. You have every right to think otherwise, but before you pronounce conservatism dead you may want to look at the results by county of the last Presidential election in the US .
        (You sorta lost me on you internet quote; who actually said that and why do you think that is a “conservative” position?)

      • “attention to the Constitution as written or lawfully amended”
        Really? How much attention?
        Which of the currently existing, powerful, costly federal agencies (some of which even have their own police force) are rooted in the written words of the Constitution and not just on the fluid interpretation of the notion of the “common good”?
        In particular, which part says that pot (legal or not) is a federal matter?
        Depending on your answer, I might ask which political party has some practical plan to put the functioning of the state in line with the exact written words?

    • It’s probably because we’re inundated with liberal thoughts, opinions and actions on a daily bases through pretty much every means of mass communication so we have a REALLY good idea of what and how they think.
      They, on the other hand, are only exposed to caricatures of the right.
      Because of this, any effort by them to “speak our language” comes across as clumsy and ham-handed if not outright ridiculously insulting.

    • The well known aphorism–if you are conservative at 20, you have no heart; if you are liberal at 40 you have no head–is roughly true and has some meaningful corollaries. First among them is that most conservatives were liberal in their youth, whereas very few liberals were conservative in their youth (and those that follow that path tend to be true nutters, possessed of neither heart nor head).
      A natural corollary to that is that most conservatives, having once been liberal, understand what it means to be liberal and understand why liberal ideas don’t work, whereas most liberals, never having been conservative themselves, haven’t the slightest clue who conservatives are, what they believe, or why they believe it.

      • I was a liberal in high school, but by the end of college I was a libertarian.
        While I’m still a libertarian at heart, I find myself caucusing with the conservatives most of the time.

    • In general, conservatism is rationalism and the typical conservative is a rationalist whose opinions are formed as informed by reason and shaped based upon knowledge yet with the flexibility to change an opinion when facts change and/or observations provide reason for changing an opinion.
      This definition was “borrowed” from an internet posting: Rationalism: A belief or theory that opinions and actions should be based on reason and knowledge rather than on religious belief or emotional response.

  2. Would messages about the benefits of carbon taxes make me want them?
    About as much as stories about magic flying unicorns would make me want one.

    • I have no opposition to taxes. Public goods should be paid for by the general good.
      But Carbon taxes are regressive. They are crueler to the poor than to those who can take it.
      You can’t do without heating, lighting or access to work. That’s all taxed by Carbon taxes,
      Until they force you to abandon the access to work.
      Taxing the poor is not left-wing.

      • M Courtney were talking about the New Left, the Champagne/Davos social5ts. Their constituency today is not the folk who elected them but the global governance crowd. They are outsourcing governance.
        I respected choices made by lefties in my family and among friends over the years but in the last decade and more, Ive argued they are supporting a party in name only, that it is not the party they think it is. Actually both liberals and socialists and some right wingers have been smitten by the Kumbaya of all this reckless activity.
        When the Iron Curtain came down it wasnt only freedom flowing in but aparatchiks also flowing out who set about to fill up Western academe, the UN, NGOs, heading up scientific societies, etc.
        Trumps victory was because no one was looking after the poor or even the middle class.

      • The platform of the French Socialists as well as the UK Labor is to outlaw cars cheap enough to be used by the poor in the near future. They can use unreliable and slow public transportation while the elected people who never had a real job in their life benefits from “free” big fossil powered car with chauffeur.

      • “Taxing the poor is not left-wing.”
        Yes, it is. They want the poor to remain poor, so they’ll be reliant on government and keep voting for leftists who’ll keep them poor.

      • Some taxes are levied to support the activity taxed (ex., gasoline taxes to fund road repair); other taxes are levied to change behavior (ex., cigarette taxes intended to reduce smoking). Carbon taxes fall into this second category–they are intended to encourage low-carbon life choices.
        To justify the carbon tax, is first must be shown that reducing the carbon footprint is a public good. That has not been shown. Therefore, carbon taxes are immoral and bad public policy. There is not at this time a valid conservative argument for carbon taxes.

      • A public good has a specific definition, that being a good that is non-excludable.
        That is once it’s provided, it benefits everyone whether they pay for it or not.
        Defense is a public good.
        DisneyWorld is not.
        When you defend a country, everyone in that country benefits, whether they paid for the defense or not.
        DisneyWorld can easily exclude those who haven’t bought a ticket.
        There are grey areas, roads are excludable, however the cost of doing so is high. (Think classic toll roads)
        Utilities are only public goods in so much as government has created artificial monopolies, that the government then regulates.
        There is a follow on benefit to health care, in that communicable diseases can be controlled and healthy people work harder than sick people. However neither of these is sufficient to declare health care a public good.

      • On an holistic basis, all taxes regardless of who the payer is and regardless of how able to pay the payer may be have a greater negative effect on the lives of those in a society who have least. The costs of taxation, perhaps reasonably directly or perhaps by way of a very indirect path, will and must become a part of the prices that are paid for all goods and services by everyone, regardless of ability to pay. When prices increase, it is those who have the least ability to pay who are priced out of the market first.
        Liberal governments can indulge themselves in their collective delusions and pretend but they are unable to fake it and do so successfully with sustainability.
        There is a reality and there is just one version of reality.

    • Especially, if we were forced to buy these eternally back-ordered unicorns from the government.

    • I want a magic flying unicorn. That’d be both useful and lucrative.
      I don’t want a carbon tax. No amount of messaging is likely to convince a conservative that taxing energy is a *good* thing for the economy, because it’s obviously false.

  3. Isn’t “tax and spend” a label usually applied to policies supported by liberals?

  4. You get a PhD for this utter, fatuous drivel? Intellectual excrement of the highest order.
    My god times have changed.

  5. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha The exact opposite will move conservatives. Logic moves conservatives and skeptics. I didnt see any logic in that article. Was that person really educated in some sort of education system? Attitudes like that are beyond belief. If a person like that exists then we really do live in a world of OZ. Well in any case we live in a world of OZ if 2/3 of people believe in global warming. However with every poll the number is creeping up and soon we skeptics will be in the majority.

    • Alan,
      Working in academia, this is too often what passes in the current liberal arts faculty as “logical exposition”. George Orwell was correct – there are some ideas that are so absurd, only an intellectual could believe them.

    • The exact opposite will move conservatives.

      I would have thought that was obvious … apparently not to everyone.
      There should be a rule that PhD candidates justify why their opinions differ from the popular conception. Perhaps advocating new taxes will indeed appeal to conservatives. That’s counter intuitive and needs to be justified with data.
      Pigs do fly after all. link Perhaps conservatives do think that extra taxes are a good idea.

      • I’m reminded of Obama declaring that the only reason why the country didn’t fully back ObamaCare was that he just hadn’t explained it well enough to them.

    • Someone told me that in a CS exam, there was an exercice where the description of a train system being modeled implied that some trains had to arrive at destination before they started (or, alternatively, that all trains traveled in exactly zero time). That was a direct and clear consequence of the framing of the issue.
      Many student reported that strange property at the end of the exam. The university professor had to admit that the students were correct (some trains in the modeling arrived before the departure) but it was a “simplification” of the real world trains, and that such simplifications are expected in such academic exercices, because the details of a real train system were too complicated. (The testimony I received is positive on the use of the word “simplification”.)
      Some students were stunned by that reply. A (young) assistant teacher laughed, called is Star Trek trains and said that it was indeed an error. But no professor admitted there was something fishy.

      • If the only way to get your model to work is by applying impossible solutions, then you need a better model.
        Sometimes things are too complex to model, and you just have to live with that fact.

    • It would appear that the writer sees AGW sceptics as uninformed and slightly simple-minded right wing Christians who can be easily manipulated. It is not a good starting point for debate.

  6. I don’t want to harsh too badly on what might be available in Queensland, but that guy really needs to find some new literature to study.
    WUWT is really finding them today.

  7. I would hope that persons who consider themselves to be conservative would be more practical in their thinking, whereas the green inclined tend to think that ” if only things were like this or that”
    Pracital solutions rather than fantisy.
    Mje

  8. In short no one is buying the earth has a fever con game claiming humans are now in charge of the earth’s
    thermostat .Promoters need to repackage so Conservatives don’t have to listen to “morally
    tinged narratives ” . No no can’t have that can we . Morally tinged narratives are simply a waste of time on
    Conservatives and big business .
    What this guy is saying .. Their grossly exaggerated lies haven’t worked so they need a new marketing plan .
    Climate changes when it wants , it’s warming thankfully , and humans have almost no control over it .

  9. “……Third, climate change can be framed as a matter of impurity rather than harm. Harm to marginalised people and the environment is how many liberal-minded people conceive of climate change. But conservatives think more in terms of purity or sanctity. No worries. The effects of climate change can be no less accurately framed as being a violation of the purity or sanctity of the planet. Instead of harm to ecosystems, it’s a contamination of God’s green Earth….”.
    Mr Freestone is obviously completely oblivious to the existence of natural drivers of climate. Why would natural forces that have driven climate since time immemorial be a “violation of the purity or sanctity of the planet?” Is Nature violating that purity and sanctity when it spews CO2 into the atmosphere?
    Maybe I’m not fully understanding him here. If I’m not Eric, I think he’s missing more than the target.

    • yes, he is.
      Besides, most conservatives instinctively see that the “solution” will harm the poor for more than the “problem” it is designed to “fix”. Thus the “harm” portion of his exposition is false.
      Of course being a typical leftist/progressive/whatevertheyarecallingthmeselvesnow, he believes that conservatives are “mean-spirited” and are unfeeling to the “suffering” of the less fortunate. What his ilk fail to recognize is that conservatives want to teach people to fish rather than continuously have to bust their butts giving them fish, and consider that providing someone with the means to be independent is greatly more moral than enslaving them to permanent handouts.

  10. A report from the GWPF estimates that 2,000,000 people in developing countries will die prematurely from toxic fume inhalation by 2050.
    The fumes are a result of burning biomass (wood) and animal dung for cooking and heating.
    They are forced to burn wood and dung because they don’t have access to meaningful electricity as a minimum.
    So to clarify, more than three times the population of the UK will die young within thirty years because western governments wont give their countries credit to build fossil fuelled power stations.
    How many people in western civilisations will die from climate change over the next 30 years? I’ll venture none.
    Yet we ‘Conservatives’ are inhuman?

  11. Wow, this Jamie Freestone has clearly not learned squat about conservatives in general and especially about skeptics of the climate consensus.
    Has this “PhD student” even bothered to discuss what it is that we are concerned with, and what it would take to convince us?
    Clearly not.
    His ideas about “impurity” sounds like Gen. Jack Ripper in “Dr. Strangelove”.
    His idea that conservatives would support either carbon taxes or geo-engineering are so off base as to be a joke.
    Perhaps this “PhD student” is studying satirical writing?
    And the assertion about harm that he blithely accepts is at the heart of the matter.
    The kid is clearly clueless.

    • I too was thinking Dr. Strangelove as I read the piece. However, the “PhD student” probably has not seen the movie. In any event, it demonstrates how poorly Liberals understand Conservatives, despite having convinced themselves that they are smarter than Conservatives.

  12. “Conservatives are likely to disregard or filter out information that threatens economic growth, standards of living, and business interests.’
    …..full stop right there
    “Conservatives are more likely to respond to positive messages that emphasise agency rather than doom and gloom”
    …LOL, then what does that say about liberals

    • “They’re also likely to be unmoved by messages that emphasise the impact of climate change on the world’s poor.”….another full stop! Jamie is so out to lunch.
      As a fiscal conservative I absolutely support poor people enriching themselves, proper sanitation, food availability, jobs, etc are all provided by inexpensive energy.
      Developed countries have proven once wealth and security are achieved, birthrates fall, lifespans increase, education & women/human human rights improve and ultimately large parts of our excess wealth goes towards cleaning up the environment. As example, poor countries don’t use automotive catalytic converters, they are too darn expensive.
      Liberals have it all backward, they want to keep the poor poor. The only way to help them is sending them free money. Can’t they see for themselves it is so a$$ backward.

    • “information that threatens”
      How would that actually work? More information in our hands would threaten … us?
      Usually too much information in the hands of the enemy is a risk.

  13. If it waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck it is a bloody duck.
    He really just doesn’t understand. Some of these people think they are so intelligent and we are so thick. Bloody narcissists.

  14. Want to convert me? Use provable, repeatable, science without modified data. If your idea requires me to “believe in” something rather than proving something, your cause is lost on me.

    • Does the kid even know the difference?
      If he came here, in a reasonable fashion and was willing to accept frank feedback, he might actually learn something of value.
      But he might lose his climate faith….
      Snowflake or bold intellectual?
      It would be interesting to find out.

    • Exactly. When the graph of the adjustments to the temperature looks exactly like the graph of the climate that’s supposed to scare me, how can I be afraid of the climate? It’s damn close to being insane, IMO.
      How about a good psychological analysis of the people who ARE afraid of CAGW? I bet that would reveal a strong disposition to stress anxiety, and stronger than normal propensity to believe in end times, and acute susceptibility to propaganda and appeals to emotion and authority.
      These people need to smoke more pot and operantly train themselves to chill out, and I’m only half-joking about this last therapeutic suggestion.

      • I may return the question. The benefit of the polio vaccine is taken as a fact by so-called “conservatives”.
        What makes people who reject the “consensus” of “the 97%” on “climate science” trust the “consensus” of medical doctors on vaccines? (The very people who can stop having that “qualification” just for loudly doubting the consensus.)
        Why would people reject the Mannian temperature collage but accept the even more Mannian polio data made of ever changing concept of “polio”? What makes people trust past medical diagnostics more than temperatures measured without thermometers? Why is it acceptable to restrict both polio and MS definitions has new technologies appear? Why do people accept at face value the claims that MS is not linked with hep B vaccine when no study even tries to measure MS without modern technology (a big taboo) to know if medical imaging really creates an increase of MS?
        What about the natural changes of the rate of polio? Why has “polio” (whatever that was) decreased in the past?
        The case for most vaccines is underwhelming even for a child. Why do adults accept them?
        Why do “conservatives” feel the need to restrict the CDC on its “science” of “gun violence”? Why would scientists need to be restrained? When is it OK to restrain a science organisation?
        Why do so-called “libertarians” cite the CDC like the Christians cite the Bible? Do the “libertarians” believe in federal agencies?

        • s-t
          Poliomyelitis used to be a common debilitating disease in the western world, even presidents suffered from it. It’s extremely rare now. If it was not the vaccine that ended it, then pray tell what is the explanation?
          Small pox has essentially disappeared. If it was not the vaccine, what was the cause?
          Measles, diphtheria, mumps, all childhood diseases that are almost unheard of today, but were once very common. Explain, please.
          The reason why we reject climate “science” but accept the CDC work is that our thinking is evidence-based.

          • “even presidents suffered from it”
            You know that? How? Can I see the full medical dossier incl. lab results for these people? I will need a confirmed lab test (that didn’t exist at that time) to accept your statement.
            You just suppose. You have been told that there is a consensus. That’s why it’s hard to take climate skeptics seriously: they believe anything they are told about anything that isn’t climate.
            “It’s extremely rare now”
            1) No, actually it’s rising in India (the place where the good doctors are vaccinating people). But then, it isn’t “polio” with the latest criteria, it’s another paralytic disease. What’s in the definition of a disease?
            2) Wasn’t “polio” (the “polio” of that time) rare in the US before WWII?
            “Measles, diphtheria, mumps, all childhood diseases that are almost unheard of today, but were once very common. Explain, please”
            1) No, the childhood disease are not rare everywhere there are vaccines. Vaccination and rate of many diseases are not well correlated.
            2) Also, these childhood disease happen later in life with more serious consequences.
            3) Because they are so rare (but not unheard of), doctors don’t diagnose them correctly on time. So, they are more deadly.
            4) Diphtheria is rare here (1st world) because when don’t get contaminated. This is not a valid test for a vaccine if there is no contamination.
            “The reason why we reject climate “science” but accept the CDC work is that our thinking is evidence-based”
            Then show me the evidence that hep B vaccine is not causing the horrific explosion of MS in France (almost tripling), which the very strong new MS definition cannot hide.
            Even a child would see that the pro hep B vaccine CDC propaganda is just that.
            But then, the terror of disease prevents many people from rejecting the scam that is “vaccine science”.

          • I’m not usually one to complain about going off-topic, but this vaccine discussion is very far from the original topic, isn’t it? I humored it mostly because I know people who sincerely believe that their autistic child was harmed by vaccines and I am sensitive to their concerns even though I still believe they are mistaken.
            Do you seriously think that there is any other person out there who has decided that climate skeptics are not believable because they fail to question vaccine science? How does that even make sense? I could be correct about climate science and wrong about every other topic, or right about every other topic and wrong about climate science. There is no contradiction either way. I could also be wrong about everything. I’m quite sure I’m not right about everything.
            Personally, I do question the validity of a great deal of what passes for science in the pharmaceutical industry. However, I don’t believe it’s incumbent on me to show you evidence against a theory that you posit without providing anything more than a claim that there is a correlation.
            I notice that you do not address the eradication of smallpox. Do you believe smallpox disappeared due to natural causes unrelated to vaccines? Could I believe that some vaccines don’t really work without believing that smallpox disappeared naturally? Sure, if there was any actual evidence.
            So s-t, I would like to express my condolences to you for whatever tragedy you have had the misfortune to experience, that makes you believe these things. Seriously, heartfelt condolences. However, I don’t want to discuss it here any further, since it’s not related to the climate.

        • Just to avoid any confusion, I was referring to the CDC’s actual science related to vaccines, not any political nonsense that they may also do.

      • “Just to avoid any confusion, I was referring to the CDC’s actual science related to vaccines, not any political nonsense that they may also do.”
        Indeed, they have a science division and a political BS division in the CDC.
        You trust the determinations about vaccines because they come from the first. The essentialization of “gun violence” (as opposed to the categories of murder with a weapon, etc.) from the CDC and the propaganda about the need to disarm the citizens comes from the second.
        Any determination about forcing parents to give drugs to healthy children is completely non political.

      • “going off-topic”
        [Yes indeed. Why not carry on the argument about vaccines on a vaccine site? They would appreciate it more. . . . mod]

      • So “hide the decline” is off topic here?
        What about the suppression of minority ideas?
        What is the topic of this blog?
        Clearly, convincing people outside the right bubble isn’t your goal.

  15. Whatever. I guess if begin with skeptics being ill informed this approach would make sense.

  16. Carbon dioxide is a compound of one carbon and two oxygen molecules. Calling it a carbon tax is not logical – it should be called an oxygen tax. It make more logical sense, and will do just about as much for the climate…

    • I fully support your suggestion John. In fact if you step back and consider the more general issue of Greenhouse Gasses one will notice that Oxygen seems to be involved in all of them: H2O, O3, NOx, etc. What we really have is an Oxygen problem not a Carbon problem.

      • Oxygen causes metal to rust
        Oxygen causes food to rot
        Oxygen enables forests to burn

      • Robert Kernodle – “Carbon and CO2 are quite pure”
        Speaking of ‘pure’, we use active charcoal (carbon) filters to purify the water we drink and the air we breathe. Put another way, we force the air and water through carbon to remove pollutants.
        We purposely inject CO2 into the beverages we drink.

  17. ” … likely to be unmoved by messages that emphasise the impact of climate change on the world’s poor. ”
    Yes, fabricating a fantasy to mitigate some personal guilt for not being poor isn’t an effective strategy. This is the same disingenuous self righteousness BS preached by progressives to justify their socialist agenda.
    It’s not climate change that has such a negative impact on the world’s poor, it’s just the climate itself.

    • It’s not climate change that has such a negative impact on the world’s poor, it’s just the climate itself.

      Actually it is neither the climate or its change that has such a negative impact on the world’s poor, it’s the bloody western do-gooders that look down upon the poor and believe they are the salvation, the way and the life for the poor. I have found that those who wish to play gods tend to want to be worshiped and idolized. It isn’t about “the poor” but about the western do-gooders inflated sense of self-esteem.

  18. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

    Hopefully some day Jamie Freestone will put away childish things.

  19. This is the trouble dumbing down education for political purposes. He got the first one right about conservatives, yeah, they do filter out things that damage economic growth, standards of living and business. If you are ready to sacrifice these, how are you going to pay for all this NWO stuff? But the rest – largely projection.
    Here is a PhD believing people who espouse conservative values are callous toward the poor and have no heart for “morally tinged” issues. Man, along with his literature studies he’s had a healthy dollop of bludsuking, horned capitalist pillagers of the earth courses among his options. This whole climateering adventure is going to wipe out a billion poor people if we let them get away with this plan for us all.
    The last one, turning (ugly) big business against cheap reliable energy! What can I say? They did invent globalization as a carrot to enfold them into the Champagne Soshulists circle and reward them with the enticement of cheap and child labor and at the same time laying off the West’s Llabor and even the middle class. At the same time they are suing and harrassing them. About 75% of the guff is now coming from, sociologists, English majors, lawyers, social psychologists, economists, philosophers….The end is definitely nigh.

  20. [QUOTE FROM ARTICLE]”Conservatives are more likely to respond to positive messages that emphasise agency rather than doom and gloom. Promoting geoengineering or market-based solutions like a carbon tax is a good idea. Even if your own political identity is opposed to these specific solutions, it’s at least worth using them to win conservatives round to the idea that climate change is real.”
    Conservatives in most countries want to lower taxes, so promoting a carbon tax is unlikely to win them over.
    [QUOTE FROM ARTICLE] “Third, climate change can be framed as a matter of impurity rather than harm. Harm to marginalised people and the environment is how many liberal-minded people conceive of climate change. But conservatives think more in terms of purity or sanctity. No worries. The effects of climate change can be no less accurately framed as being a violation of the purity or sanctity of the planet. Instead of harm to ecosystems, it’s a contamination of God’s green Earth.”
    Conservatives, or anyone else with common sense, would not call a trace gas we all breathe out, which we all drink in soda or beer (or even seltzer water, a favorite of liberals), an impurity or pollutant. Are we all supposed to stop breathing?
    [QUOTE FROM ARTICLE]”Finally, we come to a difficult but potentially powerful narrative. It involves turning big industries in general against parts of the energy industry in particular. The more severe effects of climate change threaten the interests of everyone, including those of most large corporations.”
    “Big industries” tend to be major consumers of energy, and any increase in energy prices will adversely affect their bottom line. Why would they “turn against” the energy industry that provides them a necessary resource at a reasonable price?
    This PhD Literature student needs to get a real job and pay bills for a few years,and talk to people in the real world, some of whom might be conservative. After getting a few doors slammed in his face, he might learn a thing or two.

    • Quote from Steve
      “After getting a few doors slammed in his face, he might learn a thing or two.”
      That type would only end up with a sore face.

  21. To understand where Mr. Freestone is coming from, it helps to read Stephen Hicks “Explaining Postmodernism” (http://www.stephenhicks.org/explaining-postmodernism/); Pr. Peter Burfiend’s “Gnostic America” (http://www.gnosticamerica.com/) helps too. The Postmodern viewpoint is primarily based around internal emotions and “feelings”, a pursuit of power, and the assumption that one’s words and intentions are what are truly important; actual facts and results don’t mean so much.
    Note his assumptions carefully. He presumes that his postulates are correct and, indeed, need not even be stated clearly. The only problem with conservatives is that we don’t understand properly, that things haven’t been presented properly, not that his facts themselves may be wrong. This, BTW, is the basis behind “Krauthammer’s Law”: conservatives think that liberals are stupid, liberals think that conservatives are evil incarnate. Obviously, only either a fool or a truly evil person would not agree with Mr. Freestone’s theses, and we should feel honored that he merely thinks us ignorant fools.

    • “This, BTW, is the basis behind “Krauthammer’s Law”: conservatives think that liberals are stupid, liberals think that conservatives are evil incarnate.”
      Liberals need someone or some group on which they can focus the anger and hate they feel. They never blame themselves for any problems they run into, so they think it must be some outside evil force that is holding them back from whatever goal they have.. And stereotypical thinking is so easy and they can just operate as though all conservatives are the focus of evil in the modern world. No “content of character” viewpoint in this way of thinking. It’s kneejerk ignorance..

  22. Heck, I was only glancing at this article.
    The kid is
    ” Literature PhD student”.
    So what analysis of skeptic literature has he done?
    What analysis of the literature of the consensus has he done to determine why we are skeptical?
    He is just committing SWAG…. he is more than clueless.
    What a hoot.
    Does he even understand the Dr. Strangelove reference?
    lol.

  23. Don’t use the word Tax. Don’t mention the hundreds of thousands of jobs and investment that will be gone. Say nothing about the energy to heat house in the winter that you won’t be able to afford. Whatever you do, don’t mention the run away inflation that all store shelve good will see, and for Christ sake, don’t tell them that it won’t matter anyway because you won’t have job in the first place. Do all that, and as a conservative you can get elected.

  24. Apparently the writer thinks that conservatives are dumb enough that if you just change the advertising, they will suddenly like the product. Polluting the environment? An unnatural pollutant? All animals produce CO2 as a necessary part of life. How about all of the liberals hold their breath to avoid polluting the environment? How about the marginalized people who will never have electricity because of these dumb ideas. Just disgusting moral preening.

    • Apparently the writer thinks that conservatives are dumb enough that if you just change the advertising, they will suddenly like the product.

      Liberals think all people are taken in by propaganda, not just liberals.

    • Here in Canada all the conservative politicians are holding their breath, as far as any policies go that they might be running on. They’re all a bunch of crawling cowards. They’re all afraid to stand up, tell the truth, and expose the lying left for what they are.

      • To be fair, they know the only thing they need to do to win the next election is not be Trudeau.
        But, yeah, we badly need a Trump up here in the Frozen North.

      • All over the Western world, “conservatives” have been paving the way by accepting or even promoting leftist talking points.
        Nicolas Sarkozy the officially rightist French President (“extremely right” according to the opposition party at the time) in particular promoted “diversity”, did nothing to reduce mass immigration. He pretended to be in favor reducing the nuclear power fleet (no power plant was closed), outlawed fracking, promoted so called “renewables” and even promoted “job creations” from spending taxpayers money. He was anti pesticides and promised to reduce the volume of pesticide use in agriculture (a useless stupid metric).
        He created many taxes, even an “exit tax” (so that former slaves can buy their liberty).
        He pushed an anti “piracy” law that turned the legal principles in the head (although it’s practically harmless). In the process it was demonstrated that “conservatives” were eager to “regulate” things they couldn’t explain or describe.
        French right politicians pushed voting machines with arguments showing that they have strictly no idea what financial accounting is. They believe voting machines are OK because … there are sooo many regulations they have to follow. The French right really believes in regulations.
        Nicolas Sarkozy wanted to be liked by the left, but he was hated by the left.
        “Conservative” here means somewhat less leftist. Even Macron seems less leftist than Sarkozy.

  25. Is anyone here familiar with the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator? Now, I, personally don’t fully subscribe to it but I find one aspect identified by its progenitors fascinating; the notion that there exists THINKING and FEELING personality types.
    Liberals are unable to understand Conservatives because Liberals are FEELING types while Conservatives are THINKING types.
    THINKERS analyze situations and FEELERS react to them (hence knee-jerk liberal).
    This means Conservatives CAN understand and assess Liberals when Liberals can’t understand and assess them.
    THINKERS can understand FEELERS but FEELERS can’t understand THINKERS – and that’s why people like Jamie Freestone write this kind of stuff.
    https://www.16personalities.com/articles/nature-thinking-vs-feeling
    Thoughts?

      • The Liberal mind “feels’ like the NRA and 2nd Amendment were ultimately responsible for the Parkland shooting, for example, while the Conservative mind “calculates” that such a conclusion doesn’t make any sense.
        Jamie Freestone is trying to craft an Emotional argument that he thinks would appeal to Conservatives but he doesn’t realize that Conservatives are not swayed by such things.

      • The “liberals” will explain that the AR-15 is an horribly dangerous “assault weapon” because (from what I read on the Web):
        – high speed of fire
        – high energy of bullets causing very serious damage to victims
        – high speed of bullets that causes “cavitation” inside organs
        and that somehow justifies gun “regulation” with restriction on:
        – the position of the handle
        – the fact some parts of the weapon can be unmounted or folded
        – the “shroud” (not clear what that covers exactly)
        – high capacity magazines

        none of which has any real link, or plausible link from the POV of someone not knowledgeable, with the energy of the bullets or their speed. It isn’t remotely plausibly defensible.

      • Meanwhile, they ignore the fact that, if the school didn’t have an agreement with the police to not arrest kids because the arrest rates of non-white kids went against The Narrative, Cruz would have been unable to legally buy a firearm due to the mental health and criminal record he would have had.
        The left make stupid decisions, then double down and blame everyone else, because they can never admit they’re wrong.

      • The AR-15 fires one bullet per pull of the trigger. Just the same as every other semi-automatic on the market.
        Many states do not allow you to use an AR-15 when hunting because it is not powerful enough to ensure a clean kill with one bullet.

        • Mark, you are assuming the AR15 is chambered in 5.56X45. There are other cartridges available, up to .450 Bushmaster, which is equivalent to a light bullet load for 45-70.

    • I think you are right on the money there, Freedom Monger.
      From my viewpoint, conservatives deal with the world realistically and liberals/leftists deal with the world through their emotions Liberals definitely have more emotional outbursts than conservatives. I have a liberal freind but we can’t talk poitics because he gets so emotionally wound up that rational conversation becomes impossible, even though I am sitting there cooly and calmly (mostly because I know what to expect) and would be prefectly willing to discuss the subject logically, but he just can’t get beyond a certain point and then no amount of logic will get through. Other than that, he’s a good friend who I could count on. We just don’t talk politics.
      It’s funny, he respects my opinion and thinks of me as a different kind of conservative, but when he thinks about any other conservative, you can just see his temperature start to rise. Don’t even mention Trump’s name to him.

    • I think that’s a bit simplistic. I usually score very high on FEELER scale, though I also prize logic and reason.
      Out of curiosity I just tried the 16personalities test, I got “Personality type DEBATER – ENTP-T”…

      • I am an INTP. I would characterize my statements as “generalized”, not “simplistic”, however. My very personality prevents me from being “simplistic” about anything. I analyze everything I care about to the max – even to the point of analysis paralysis.

    • I’m proudly intuitive. I like TV because I can watch and feel people. I like to watch dishonest people’s face although it’s very unpleasant. (I can’t do that for long without risking psychological problems.)
      Usually when I feel someone is dishonest, just from his face and his looks, not knowing the facts, it’s confirmed by facts later.
      Ask a teacher: you can judge a child from his face. It just works.

      • Have you ever taken the Myers-Briggs personality test? I would suspect that you’d come out with an “SF” in the middle, but that’s just my opinion. An Intuitive personality, as defined by Myers-Briggs, doesn’t rely on their senses, so they don’t judge things by they way they appear.

  26. So here’s my book report.
    It turns out the good news is that I’m not necessarily ill-informed, who knew? But I only care about economic questions, especially making sure that my standard of living isn’t impacted. I hate the poor and detest the idea of taking responsibility for my criminal use of energy. I really hate all forms of change, but I love action, which means I’m schizophrenic apparently. I don’t give a rat’s tail about sharing anything with “marginalised people”, let those impure scum die! But I am obsessed with concepts of purity and sanctity, perhaps I am anal-retentive and certainly some kind of religious neurotic.
    So we can sum it up like this, I am totally selfish and venal. If I were ill-informed, my actions might be excused, but far from it, I am well-informed and fully culpable. I never fail to act on my knowledge to exploit others at every turn. You can only influence me by tricking me into thinking I am acting to protect my privilege.
    I guess that he missed the fact that I hate anybody who doesn’t look, talk, and act exactly like me, especially if they have darker skin.

    • Indeed!
      I’ve rarely encountered such a blatant example of caricaturing as this. It’s clearly more revealing about the author’s own personal viewpoints than it is anything approaching reality. I’d call it trivial silliness…if it weren’t so depressingly pervasive.
      rip

  27. Change the phrasing, and the conservative world will wake up saying D’Oh! How could I have not seen the wisdom!
    Simplistic babble. Let them waste their time on this hypothesis. Using that same logic, they’ll probably lose their liberal followers, as the new phrasing will appear too conservative and offend those libs.
    What an as$.

  28. The message needs to be: “climate change threatens our precious bodily fluids”.

  29. I would only go over to the other side if the message was “climate change threatens your precious bodily fluids”.

  30. Idiots gonna idiot. He’s obviously never talked or interacted with a conservative in his life.

    • He could start by trying to talk to his parents. Well, that’s probably not right… he could start by trying to listen to his parents.

  31. I have a rhyme for this sort of slime.
    Authority figures, foretelling
    Hot doom (and our “myths” dispelling),
    Cast great dispersions
    On skeptical versions
    (Which keep carbon credits from selling)!
    Now, shriller and louder they’re yelling,
    To drown out the doubters’ rebelling!
    New taxes are “just”
    When you’ve gained public trust,
    So “the questioners” (quickly) they’re quelling.
    I’ve arrived at this realization;
    Our industrial civilization
    Can only be sin
    If the ‘green’ Marxists win-
    On their platform of demonization!

  32. A better idea for him would be to find out exactly why conservatives don’t accept the CAGW alarmism and then convince them by showing that the basis for their belief is wrong. Conservatives base their opposition on the science, the data, the evidence, so all he needs to do is show them where that science is wrong…..oh, wait….uhm….yeah, well that won’t work either.
    Back to the drawing board…..

  33. More junk from the University of Queensland, Australia. What, again?! I’m not surprised.

  34. A degree in literature is ridiculous.
    — “Lord” Monckton, degree in classics
    I know. Let’s mock a PhD student. Eric, get on this.
    — Watts, no degree

    • When I discuss vaccine “science” (really, pseudoscience), people often ask me what my qualifications are. I answer that I know the four operations. Or that I am at least as qualified as a child. Any child should see through most of that garbage.

  35. Climate change alarmists are necessarilly misinformed and they, naturally, do not welcome information that conflicts we their world view.
    Etcetera, etcetera …..

  36. Once again, liberal propagandists think that if they can just craft their propaganda just right they can fool the conservatives to join their anti-capitalist, anti-human cause.
    ” … likely to be unmoved by messages that emphasise the impact of climate change on the world’s poor. ”
    On the contrary, we conservatives are moved by the impact of the greens regressive “carbon taxes” and “necessarily skyrocketing” energy costs have on the world’s poor. Making energy expensive hurts the poor the most and that’s one of the many reasons why we won’t be bamboozled by the greens propaganda messages no matter why coat of paint they slap on them.

    • Well said John Endicott. The Greens are the ones who ignore the problems of the poor in the pursuit of something which they hope will give them a needed psychological boost. They are people who lack confidence in the real world.

  37. As a physicist who has spent over ten years researching the so-called AGW – in fact all impossible warming by CO2 and other green house gases – it appals me to see students of literature, economics, psychology, accountancy, and above all, geography, mouthing off about the AGW problem.
    They do not have a single clue about the science, they ignore the last twenty years without warming while CO2 increased and millions of years of geological evidence, yet keep touting a silly but VERY EXPENSIVE hoax.

  38. “They’re also likely to be unmoved by messages that emphasise the impact of climate change on the world’s poor.” And yet even if all the hypothetical Climate Change happens as forecast, it wouldn’t be even one tenth as damaging to the poor as any of the proposed so-called solutions.

  39. Aren’t Conservatives for lower taxes and less regulation… how will more of both ‘win’ them?

  40. Allow me to share my most diligent analysis of Mr. Freestone’s approach:

    The first suggestion is that carbon dioxide emissions could be explained as a disruption to the status quo (of the climate), and thus at odds with conservative values. Climate change is a radical, anarchic experiment with the world’s atmosphere and vital systems.

    BS

    Third, climate change can be framed as a matter of impurity rather than harm.

    Deeper BS

    The effects of climate change can be no less accurately framed as being a violation of the purity or sanctity of the planet. Instead of harm to ecosystems, it’s a contamination of God’s green Earth.

    An ocean of BS

    • Speaking of a climate “status quo” is ludicrous. There’s no such thing. You might as well frame the approach in terms of fairies and unicorns and wee elfin folk.
      If we talk about “impurity”, then we best talk about the impurity of our bodies that are polluted by CO2 and carbon, in general. Life, thus, is “polluted” and “impure” and, therefore, should NOT exist at all.
      If humans and all life are carbon based and created by God, then God made a mistake by creating beings that are impure and who propagate their impurity. Even worse, God is self contradictory, since HE created all this crap you want to call “impurity”. HE based all life on “impurity” !

      • And this guy wants to TAX impurity, which is compounding one impurity with another ! And some people will, thus, profit from impurity.
        Okay, my head is exploding from this guy’s idiocy, and so I need to stop now.

  41. The biggest problem with most liberals, is that they find it impossible to believe that they can be wrong.
    Therefore anyone who disagrees with them is
    1) Stupid/Uninformed
    2) Under the influence of some malign force
    3) One of those malign forces.

  42. Oh, I see the strategy now — redefine the basis of how intelligent decisions are made by reducing the importance of real facts, redefining conclusions of pseudoscience as THE “facts”, then double down on popular alarmist claims by incorrectly profiling what a climate-change skeptic is, and use false conceptions based on the incorrect profiling to aimlessly try strengthening your position through even deeper emotional appeals.

  43. This is why Progressives are always the best bigots – they invent a stereotype and then they proceed as if it’s real.
    And it’s all to pull a con – Obama did the same thing, reading a bunch of old Reagan speeches – for cadence and phrasing – certainly not for content.
    I guess he’s too used to people that respond to shiny objects.

  44. Conservatives are more likely to respond to positive messages that emphasise agency rather than doom and gloom. Promoting geoengineering or market-based solutions like a carbon tax is a good idea.

    What is positive about a carbon tax or using unproven geoengineering? And how does either improve individual choice or agency? Is Jamie Freestone that brainwashed? Just because liberals think high taxes are a positive thing and believe a big government promotes liberty doesn’t mean conservatives would ever adopt that kind of thinking. How hard is it to understand that high taxes are regressive, and that the bigger the government, the smaller the individual?

  45. “Conservatives for Carbon Taxes!”
    And when no conservatives show up for your meeting, maybe then you might wish to review who favors taxes, and who opposes, among other simple basic realities.

  46. All of the arguments serve to illustrate my ongoing issue in dealing with the majority of leftists which is…they don’t actually listen to arguments they don’t agree with. They deal in strawmen suiting their own twisted view of what classical liberalism entails, not the actuality.
    Example one..the idea that ‘conservatives’ oppose change and are about ‘conserving’ status or situations because..’conservative’! They don’t internalize the actual arguments…that it’s not about opposing change, it’s about opposition to *imposed* rights violating ‘change’ via govt. We favor more change than they can handle via markets..which is why they’re always trying to limit markets via govt…who opposes ‘change’ again?
    Unmoved by the poor? You mean the folks who *voluntarily* use *more* of their *own* wealth by *choice* to help the poor are unmoved by the poor? The people who point out the costs of fixing the planet at the expense of the poor nations who’ll be banned from using cheap electrons to raise their own standards of living, don’t actually care? Not agreeing with the left means you don’t care about the poor? Another strawman.
    Disruption of the status quo? You mean like classical liberal defenses of markets such as Uber or Airbnb? Supporting online or home schooling? Upsetting union applecarts? Once again, defense of *individual* actions and choices and rights against *govt* interference is pegged as defense of a ‘status quo’ instead of the defense of what people *actually* choose on their own with their own actions and money.
    It’s strawmen all the way down, and they don’t even realize it. And i don’t think they really care.

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