Changing minds: How do you communicate with climate change skeptics?

Cue Beevis and Butthead sounds~ctm

UNLV researcher develops new method for categorizing climate change beliefs and shares tactics for communicating with deniers

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

UNLV researcher Emma Frances Bloomfield has developed three categories that capture a range of beliefs that people hold about climate change and the environment. She says that knowing the "why" behind climate change denial can help people communicate more effectively with those who question the science behind it. Credit Aaron Mayes/UNLV Creative Services

UNLV researcher Emma Frances Bloomfield has developed three categories that capture a range of beliefs that people hold about climate change and the environment. She says that knowing the “why” behind climate change denial can help people communicate more effectively with those who question the science behind it. Credit Aaron Mayes/UNLV Creative Services

Warming oceans. Shrinking ice sheets. Intense rainfall events. Rising sea levels.

These indicators provide compelling scientific evidence that climate change is happening. But for some, skepticism has crept in, and science doesn’t hold the same authority as it once did.

Emma Frances Bloomfield, an assistant professor of communication studies at UNLV, wants to know why.

“There have been many attempts by scholars to categorize climate skeptics,” Bloomfield said. “A lot of people turn to a strength of denial scale, from ‘I sort of deny it,’ to ‘I really, adamantly deny it.’ Whether they’re very skeptical or not very skeptical, I’m more interested in why. What is driving that skepticism at whatever level it might be?”

Some agree — and are alarmed — with the studies, assessments, and reports establishing a link between human activity and climate-warming trends. Others, however, are completely dismissive.

Knowing the “why” behind the denial can help those who are concerned about climate change communicate more effectively with those who question the science behind it. More conversations can lead to more activism and a grassroots change that develops into a larger political consciousness, Bloomfield said.

“It’s not necessarily about an individual water bottle,” Bloomfield said. “It’s about developing environmental consciousness and raising awareness among individuals, friends, and families.”

Bloomfield, therefore, has established her own scale of sorts — three categories that capture a range of beliefs that people hold about climate change and the environment. Her research, which was published recently in the book, “Communication Strategies for Engaging Climate Skeptics,” focused on religious individuals, and the relationship they see with their environment.

We caught up with Bloomfield to learn about these three categories, and how her research can help people better tailor their communication strategies when engaging on issues of the environment and climate change.

What are the three categories of climate change denial that you created?

The first category we look at are the harmonizers. Harmonizers are a group that we would consider to be environmentalists. They believe that climate change is happening, they think it’s important, and they marry their environmental beliefs with their faith and their faith tenets.

The other two categories are the separators and the bargainers, and they fall into the skeptical category. They don’t believe in climate change for very different reasons, and they communicate that relationship very differently.

The separators see religion and the environment as oppositional, as enemies. To the separator, if you are an environmentalist, you can’t be a good Christian. So they create this divide, this separation, between the two ideas.

Bargainers are also very strong, adamant deniers of climate change, but they see religion and the environment as more of a negotiated relationship. They take some bits of science and marry it with their faith, but then they ignore the parts of science that don’t support their viewpoint. They would likely say that rising carbon dioxide levels are really great because that helps plant life grow. It’s true — carbon dioxide does improve plant life — but only to a certain level, which we’ve far exceeded.

What’s really undergirding the three categories is how they’re interpreting their faith differently.

What are some strategies to engage with climate change skeptics? How do the tactics differ between the groups?

My first strategy for the separators is to ask questions. Have them lead the conversation because they’ll often take you with them to the root of their skepticism. A question such as, “Where in the Bible do you turn to for guidance about the environment,” might lead to the answer, “I believe that God has complete control over the Earth.” The point is not necessarily to be overtly persuasive. But with your questions, you can bring them towards thinking about different opportunities or perspectives.

For the bargainers, my primary strategy is to isolate concrete examples of why environmentalism is good, based on what their frame of reference is. Work with what they already believe in, and try to find specific examples of where environmentalism fits in that frame. One bargainer, for example, was very concerned about cap and trade, and how environmental policies would affect his business. I offered examples of small businesses that had gone greener and shared studies showing how those businesses were more profitable in the long-term.

You can also trade resources with your communication partner. I had a conversation with one bargainer, and every time we spoke, we got into the habit of trading resources. They might send me a critique of a scientific article, and in turn, I would send them a news article. It’s very important for people to get out of echo chambers and read multiple news sources.

Don’t start the conversation from a point of contention, Bloomfield says.

You don’t want to view your dialogue partner as inferior. I think it’s a problem when environmentalists or climate scientists are dismissive, or potentially patronizing to climate skeptics. I think that kind of dialogue can lead to climate skeptics feeling isolated and silenced. You may not agree with the skeptic, but you should still respect the person who holds the beliefs. We must listen, not just for a talking point to jump in on, but to understand the perspective they’re coming from, and what values or identities they feel are threatened by environmentalism.

You’re not likely to have conversations with pure strangers about climate change, so you probably already know a lot about the person that you’re engaging with. Draw on those previous experiences — what do you already know about this person, what are their values? Go into the conversation with a knowledge-gaining mindset, rather than a persuasive goal.

It’s good to talk about climate change online and on social media — it might be even better than interpersonal communication.

If you want to engage with people through social media, it’s important to set the rules for engagement. If you are prompting the conversation, set the parameters or boundaries for how you will engage them. There are many people who try to bait others, but don’t take the bait. Withdraw yourself from the conversation instead.

Karin Kirk is a science journalist who does this really well on her blog. She opens questions to people and genuinely responds to them. If someone posts a modified chart that says global warming isn’t happening, she’ll walk them through the science behind why that chart is incorrect. Unfortunately, it can be a lot of work. But if you have these conversations on social media, instead of one-on-one, you’re not only talking to one person — you’re talking to everyone else who might be reading the conversation. In this way, you can have a much wider reach.

If you have conversations online, you also have time to craft your response with much more time to think about it and edit it; you don’t need to respond immediately.

Strident climate deniers are likely not going to change their mind, so sharing information and news articles online will just bounce off of them. But sharing information about climate change with online and social media communities is an opportunity to communicate with those who are in the middle.

Why did you focus your research on the intersection of religion and the environment?

I’ve always been interested in the relationship between religion and science, because many scholars and many people think of them as diametrically opposed: You are either a scientist or you are religious. In a majority of my research I explore that tension: how people combine them, how people separate them, how they negotiate them.

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From EurekAlert!

Reminds me of something that happened 11 years ago.  ~ctm

137 thoughts on “Changing minds: How do you communicate with climate change skeptics?

  1. This sums it up:

    You can also trade resources with your communication partner. I had a conversation with one bargainer, and every time we spoke, we got into the habit of trading resources. They might send me a critique of a scientific article, and in turn, I would send them a news article. It’s very important for people to get out of echo chambers and read multiple news sources.

    So no need to discuss real science with the ‘bargainer’, let’s turn to ‘news articles’ instead. It’s hard to believe someone could write something this silly, unless they were nothing more than a cataclysmic global warming propagandist and information operations specialist, good only at ‘manipulating’ other people. Believe Ms. Bloomfield falls squarely into that category.

    I remain a skeptic thank you.

    • and science doesn’t hold the same authority as it once did….
      I’m more interested in why. What is driving that skepticism at whatever level it might be?”

      Hey , you need a picture ? Try so called scientists have abandoned objective science and think part of their job descriptions includes “outreach communication” aka political activism.

      Schnieder’s famous “professional dilemma” spelt it out perfectly: a choice between being effective and being honest.

      • Indeed. Scientist who really believe that there is a scientific “other hand” do not know what science is. This includes UNLV researcher Emma Frances Bloomfield.

        Just give us “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but – which means that we must include all doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands and buts”

      • Q: “why”

        A: One word… consensus.

        “If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it is science, it isn’t consensus.”
        – Michael Crichton

    • The Earth is flat and the Sun is the center of the universe consensus and if you don’t believe that truth you are in Beelzebub’s camp.

      • Come to think of it, you’re spot on.

        The modern climate ‘science’ cult is just like the sixteenth century Roman Catholic Church, shrieking for conformity while dismissing all reform attempts.

        The modern climate skeptics are the Galileos of this age, questioning false authority and risking their careers in the process.

    • Any intelligent reader needs to stop at the first use of the term “denier”- which signals stupid propaganda is what the basis of the post is all about.

      • Emma needs to decide whether something is true because she believes it or because it is supported by repeatable physical tests/experiments. Until she makes up her mind there is no point in any further discussion.

        • Well said, but a lot of people for some reason believe the outputs of models. Makes me think they have never created a model. Models are wonderful if well designed and tested against reality.

          I still remember watching a recent Congressional hearing where it was pointed out that the model warming error in question was a mere quarter of a degree. Insignificant. No rebuttal was allowed before the conclusion. So panelists were unable to point out that the entire heating for the same period was only an insignificant half of a degree. The model was only off by 100%… insignificant?

  2. As a skeptic that the IPCC has the legitimacy to decide what is and what is not climate science, I require anything they claim to conform to the laws of physics, conform to the data, conform to the scientific method including being falsifiable and not falsified, must not conform to a political narrative or policy goals and it must make sense. My understanding of how the climate works conforms to all of these requirements, the alarmists pseudo science conforms to none of them. This is why I’m a skeptic.

    Correlation is not causation, so all the self righteous fear mongering based on assuming that it is, only makes me more skeptical since if they had a solid scientific case, they wouldn’t need to resort to such tactics.

    • “Correlation is not causation”. True, of course, but the fact is that the correlation between CO2 concentration and temperature stinks – both in the instrumental record and paleo reconstructions.

    • They could also try telling the whole truth for a start, that would open up Pandora’s box wouldn’t it.

  3. Srom Vegas Shooting crap. This passes for scholarship. Even given that it is rubbish it is rubbish that has been previously repeated ad nauseam .Dont go to UNLV. Spend your money more profitably -at the crap tables

  4. First the term climate denier is offensive.
    So from that point on the opinion expressed is opinionated..
    It is suggested that a good tactic when approached by a climate denier,
    Offering scepticism concerning the climate consensus, is to change the subject.
    To conflate the issue with further spurious ,new information.
    None so blind as those who will not see, would seem to be the mind set.
    For we are right and should not be questioned.
    Oh! I do feel heart sick when closed minds rule.

  5. It is amazing how none of her categories correspond to the reality of skepticism about human-caused climate change. In the first instance, we skeptics all affirm that climate is changing naturally, has always changed, and always will, and we question natural climate change deniers. We ask them question after question: Has it been warmer in the past 10,000 years? Sea levels higher? How much did sea level rise at the end of the last glacial maximum? Were tree lines further north and at higher altitudes? Once their basic level of ignorance of past climate change is established, then we can begin isolating their erroneous “facts” from their belief mechanisms. It’s a very simple process, but of course it never works. Belief systems are immune to facts and are only strengthened when challenged. Still it’s a fun mental game and I always feel better for the exercise.

    • In my experience, it’s impossible to find anyone who is willing and able to discuss this subject. As soon as I ask a Warmer any of the above questions, they look puzzled and say, oh, I know someone who could answer that…….. But that person never appears. The problem is, there is no public debate of Global warming in the UK. The tv stations say the science is settled, and don’t allow sceptics to speak. This makes the believers intellectually lazy, and they don’t prepare proper arguments. And sock puppet Greta is treated like a Climate Messiah.

    • I refuse to waste my time playing “mental games” with those lacking equipment. An “assistant professor of communication studies,” really? Who the hell cares what she thinks, or published in an obscure dissertation no one will read?

      Good grief, let’s wait for oppos worthy of our steel, willya? Otherwise we’re just giving daylight to that which would otherwise, to coin a phrase, “die in darkness!”

    • It shows her own dishonesty when she must make strawman characters and label them sceptics.

    • In my experience, they just proclaim that since they have never heard the things you are saying before, you must be lying.

  6. Charles, it seems to me that you missed an opportunity to remind all concerned that there must always be two separate conversations: Climate change and the cause of climate change. Having any conversation incorporating the term “climate denier” is as silly as the term itself.

    • You are right Jerry…as soon as I am couched as a denier before even replying then I realize it is going to be a hopeless discussion anyway. I had one of these CAGW Gallop Poll style surveys yesterday and I almost didn’t answer the toll free phone number, except I realize now if I don’t participate in these surveys then our viewpoint doesn’t even register. The 2nd question after I answered I didn’t believe that humans caused a lot of climate change in the first place was whether I thought the worst climate damage from anthropogenic carbon would be in 10 years, 20 years or 50 years. No chance to answer none of the above, or what my answer really was, although I was told that I had refused to answer that question. I should have hung up then, but I answered the rest of the questions anyway as best I could a ‘denier’.

      • I bet the results come out, “even the worst case ‘deniers’ say damage Will Occur in 50 years or less!”

  7. Climate Science IS the new religion. It is belief based on a misguided understanding of what controls Earth’s climate.

    It is the religion of dingbats; delusional and high on some form of drug.

    • The author believes skepticism is a religious belief when the truth is she and the other CAGW Believers are the ones practicing religion.

      This article is just another effort to fine-tune the CAGW propaganda. They think if they just get their brainwashing technique right they can convert every skeptic.

      Here is the real way to convert a skeptic: Present even one shred of evidence that CO2 is having a measureable effect on the Earth’s atmosphere. There is no such evidence. That is your problem. That is why you can’t convince skeptics with your arguments.

      There’s no evidence CO2 is changing the Earth’s climate. Bogus, bastardized temperature charts and rank speculation are not evidence.

      One doesn’t have to be religious to see that the proponents of CAGW cannot prove what they claim.

      • You are right, it looks like projection on her side.

        They can fine tune it all they like, but they completely miss the real skeptic argument. So whatever they fine tune will still be grossly wrong.

        Even if the temperature charts were correct and not bastardized as you say, it’s still “so what?”

    • Or those indoctrinated repeatedly by media and the school system.

      Try breaking the ice with them by asking “what is the dominant green house gas?” (they usually don’t know about water vapor).

      Ask them what is the lowest level CO2 can go? They usually don’t know 150 PPM is the place bad things happen.

      • “Try breaking the ice with them by asking “what is the dominant green house gas?” (they usually don’t know about water vapor).”

        Indeed.

        My method is to agree, totally 100%, that we should immediately (for the sake of the planet!! think of the children!!) shut down the largest emitters of the greatest greenhouse gas.

        “Yes!”, they say.

        “So you’re ok with damming up Niagara Falls totally and using it for clean energy?”.

        “Huh?!?” they reply, and then I can start my science lesson.

  8. The trick is to off them before they can recant their confession, thus ‘saving’ them.

  9. And then there are those who have researched the whole science of global warming arguments and conclude the science is lacking. And when time after time, nothing comes out that clearly indicates global warming that is when the proponents start claiming all sorts of bogus events are tell-tale signs of global warming. They offer no analysis but quote experts who say it is so. No, trying to psychoanalysis why people deny climate change overlooks the fact they have valid scientific reasons to deny it.

  10. Wow.

    Seriously. This woman believes that asking for physical proof means Climate Realists are somehow RELIGIOUS?

    Here is a question posted in this article;

    “What are some strategies to engage with climate change skeptics?”

    And here is an answer – STOP TRYING TO TALK DOWN TO THEM!

    You are the ones talking about ‘religious views’.

    We are the ones stating that the claims are based on flawed scientific principles, bogus claims and that the predictions have in no way matched in with the physically observed reality.

    And yet you want to know how to talk to us?

    Wow.

    Speaking for myself I have over 25 years as an engineering professional. I am trusted in what I do. I have worked and continue to work on billion dollar plus world class projects and yet I am still, relatively speaking, a minnow among many of the other professionals who regularly visit this website. Why do I dismiss Global Warming(tm)? Because it is junk science backed by arguments that would have you laughed into professional death in any engineering office in the world. I work in engineering. We validate. If predictions do not match observations then we step back and work out why. We do not double down with claims that our predictions are morally superior or that the observations must be wrong.

    Yet you want to talk about our religious faith.

    Wow.

  11. this gets better on every re-read…

    “If someone posts a modified chart that says global warming isn’t happening, she’ll walk them through the science behind why that chart is incorrect. ”

    Not the use of the word ‘modified’.

    Implication here? There are only OFFICAL charts. If you are not using an OFFICIAL chart, you must have MODFIED it and therefore it is incorrect.

    Wow. No questioning that Climate Faith is there.

  12. Not a hint of Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Meteorology, mathematics in the entire thing.

    EMMA FRANCES BLOOMFIELD
    Department of Communication Studies* University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    emma.bloomfield@unlv.edu* emma-frances-bloomfield.com
    ACADEMIC POSITIONS
    Assistant Professor, University of Nevada, Las Vegas –Department of Communication Studies
    Greenspun College of Urban Affairs, August 2016 to present
    EDUCATIONPh.D.,Communication,August2016, University of Southern California, LosAngeles, CADissertation Committee: Randall A. Lake(chair), G. Thomas Goodnight, Stephen O’Leary
    Title: Rhetorical strategies in contemporary responses to science and modernity: Legitimizing religion in human origins and climate change controversies
    M.A.,Communication, September 2014, University of Southern California, Los Angeles,
    CA Qualifying Exam Committee: Randall A. Lake (chair), G. Thomas Goodnight, Stephen O’Leary, Thomas Hollihan, and Donald Miller (religion)
    B.A., Communication Studies, May2011, Northeastern University, Boston ,MA Summa cum laude Emphasis:Public Advocacy and Rhetoric, Minors:Spanish andInternational Affairs
    Thesis Advisor: RichardA. Katula
    Title: From hopefuls to candidates: Premises of agreement in presidential announcement address

    • So she is an expert in brainwashing. Those that took over the ‘education’ system to get them when they are young. Why does this always reminds me of Hitler Jugend.

      • Give her her due. How else, with her expertise, could she get any paper so widely discussed other than by joining the global warming consensus?

        Write a paper on the rival merits of hard wood and soft wood for timber flooring and the building trade might be interested. Ad a paragraph on the advantages of one over the other for mitigating the ravages of climate change and the world’s press can be expected to pick it up and run it.

    • Yeah you see the same issue even with the trolls on here like Llyodo, Nick Stokes etc they want to redefine everything. You generally can’t even use science or even general norms because they or climate science ™ have butchered everything.

      What really needs to happen is get a good group of physics and engineers to go thru and cull all the junk in the field and that is from both sides. The world has basically walked away from the field and just ignores it and I don’t think much short of that will fix it.

      • Nick Stokes

        Your idea of a troll needs and update.
        Sometimes (more often than not), Nick has good ideas.
        Let’s all stay honest.

        • You clearly have not interacted with him, he lies, he redefines things, he butchers clear norms. Sorry he is polite but a contrarian troll.

          • LdB
            I prefer the term “sophist.” Stokes is not a contrarian. He argues to win for the side of the alarmists, not to discover Truth. He is bright and knowledgeable. Unfortunately, he uses his talents in a less than objective way.

    • The good news is, that with every piece of garbage published like this, we have a new list of what Nassim Taleb would call “IYIs”, i.e., Intellectual Yet Idiots we can safely put on “ignore”.

      Wow, three degrees (although one is from Northeastern, which is barely a step above a degree mill from Guam). Says more about higher education these days than it ever will about “skeptics”.

      Have her “debate” Lindzen, Spencer or Moore using only her massive knowledge of “science”. It would be painful.

    • Karabar
      She seems light on science! How then can she properly evaluate the argument and conclude that the skeptics are wrong? The hubris is strong in this one.

      • “carbon dioxide does improve plant life — but only to a certain level, which we’ve far exceeded.”

        This failure was her only attempt at a scientific argument.

        SR

    • Not a hint of Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Meteorology, mathematics in the entire thing.

      In other words, she is a well qualified climate scientist.

  13. It’s true — carbon dioxide does improve plant life — but only to a certain level, which we’ve far exceeded.

    Atmospheric is about 400 ppm, greenhouse operators frequently go several TIMES that amount. Easy to produce logical sounding studies when you get to make up your own facts.

    • It seems to be a climate science trait just make junk up and so long as it supports CAGW it’s true.

  14. Sorry – there is so much gold to be mined here.

    “There are many people who try to bait others, but don’t take the bait. Withdraw yourself from the conversation instead.”

    In other words, ‘Occasionally you will come across people who are actually very well informed. These people will try and trick you using their STEM powers. If this occurs you are clearly out of your depth. Flee.’

    • Must be the one thing she got right 🙂

      And yes; her advise is the usual tactic along with some verbal abuse and name calling for good measure.

  15. “Changing minds: How do you communicate with climate change skeptics?”

    I would think that the first step would be to stop acting like a pretentious nitwit. But maybe that’s just me.

    • Good One Kurt,
      Ya got right to the point, hats off to ya !!!

      Makes my day , big smile on my face Thanks !!

  16. The best communication with respect to skeptics should be to :

    Tell the truth on the data manipulation, assume the climategates the frauds perpetrated since decades and act accordingly :
    – Dismantle the IPCC and all the fraudulent organizations that take profit of this scam and sack, and sue all the climate fraudsters for the catastrophic actions their fraud induced on humans and nature.

    Undertake an audit on the misconceptions, misleading assumptions, scientific frauds, political agenda (marxism, malthusianism, …) that caused, pushed this scam and clean out the Augean stable that most of the governments and public institutions has become :

    – we need a planetary “Operazione mani pulite” against the climate mafia, a Nuremberg Trials II.

    That would be a good first communication step 🙂

  17. What has religious belief got to do with it? Atheists, agnostics, and believers can all be skeptics or alarmists. Even those who couldn’t care less about religion (like me).

    • “Scientific evidence” is media talk for “the views of academics who claim to be doing science”.

      In short an academic doing biology could claim the earth is shrinking and the media will print their view as “scientific evidence shows the earth is shrinking”.

  18. Still failing to understand that people can see and smell that you are trying to sell them a bucket of s*it, no matter what you call it.

  19. Here’s a physics question maybe someone can answer;

    So, let’s say it’s all true, and that every gram of carbon humanity has put into the atmosphere has to be removed from the atmosphere in some way to make it right, OR ELSE! Now, a lot of heat and light went into getting all that carbon into the atmosphere, too. Energy.

    So, is it feasible that this amount of carbon could then be removed from the atmosphere, however that is done, by any means, for LESS energy than was released by putting it there in the first place?

    • Oops, almost forgot! Lame reply to own post here,
      Continuing, so if there were a way to take all that carbon out of the atmosphere for less energy than was expended putting it in, wouldn’t that then make a perpetual-motion-mechanism possible?

    • You can’t get it out for less energy, that defies the 2nd law but yes you can get it out a number of ways which are all probably more intelligent than emission control. The most obvious is use renewable energy which can not be utilized at that time because of grid conditions.

  20. Belief in climate catastrophe is the propaganda drummed into the young in the UK. They are not skeptical but as they grow older they are sure to from their own opinions, maybe after a conversation with an older skeptic.

    The older alarmists are a lost cause since the narrative is all consuming. They are to be pitied. We have to wait 12 years to debunk the climate emergency. I am counting the days.

    • But this is the fourth time we were given 10-12 years to save the planet. We were told this in 1988, then 1998, then 2008. Each time the deadline passed and we just got new deadlines. Waiting 12 years will do nothing.

  21. Exceeded the CO2 for maximum plant growth? Nowhere near. She appears to forget that when she lies everything she says becomes suspect. Foolish.

  22. Make the warmists cough up. Man impacted warming and modelling has been around for 30+ years. The question to ask is “Of the current global temperature how much is the current man made component?”
    If they can answer this then how much was the man impacted temperature 10 and 20 years ago.

    The warmists are happy to project 30 to 100 years in the future, and display a warming historical trend. But the do NOT present the historical man induced temperature component in the historical display.

    • The only man made warming we had is the urban heat island warming. which makes night temperature warmer.

  23. “Warming oceans. Shrinking ice sheets. Intense rainfall events. Rising sea levels.
    These indicators provide compelling scientific evidence that climate change is happening. ”

    So what ? show me a skeptic (denier ?) who doesn’t accept this evidence. However they do query the interpretation & magnitude of such changes and more importantly what are the causes.

    Perhaps the Earth has been invaded by aliens from a hotter planet and they are deliberately warming the Earth to match their normal environment. The opening line is clearly proof that this is happening – (sarc. off)

    Dr Roy Spencer has even produced correlated data of alien sighting vs temperatures. He was of course simply emphasizing that data correlation is not proof of causality.

    Prof. Snow was right about the two world’s problem in academia where 9 out of 10 of what would by any standard be considered well educated have less knowledge of physics than their neolithic ancestors.

  24. “How do you communicate with climate change skeptics?”
    Just babble away. He’s not really listening.

    • But who is really denying climate can change ? When has climate been stable ? And if you want a correlation than CO2 made us live longer and healthier in increasing numbers. Would a higher CO2 level make us immortal?

  25. They remind me of colonialists trying to figure out what the natives want. Do we want baubles, steel knives, whisky, or Christian schools? In their minds, we certainly don’t want our buffalos back; because that’s just not on the agenda.

    I, in contrast, know exactly what they want: their next research grant.

  26. Millenarianism is a Christian concoction, AGW zealots may preach heathenish views but they are part of a subcultural wave.

    Exhibit A: Revelations

    Put on your sack cloth and repent, for the end is nigh.

  27. Switch ‘Climate Change’ with ‘Jesus’ and ‘Science’ with ‘The Bible’.
    OK, now use the same tactics that have been in use for millennia.

  28. One thing the alarmists hate being pulled up on is when the warming started, according to them it started around 1900 and accelerated from 1980. They conveniently ignore the cooling period from the 1940’s through 1970’s and totally reject the solid “scientific evidence” that this warming phase started 330 years ago at the end of the little ice age, before the industrial age even began.

    • “They conveniently ignore the cooling period from the 1940’s through 1970’s”

      Yes, they conveniently ignore the time period when all these climate genuises thought the Earth was going back into another ice age. A human-caused ice age at that. Then it starts warming up and off they go on another tangent ignoring and even covering up (in the case of the bogus modern-era Hockey Stick charts) the fact that it cooled off substantially over this time period.

      Hansen 1999 puts the 1940 to 1980 period in the proper perspective:

      https://climateaudit.files.wordpress.com/2007/02/uhcnh2.gif

  29. It’s easy to convince a sceptic – just show them the facts.

    What people actually mean by this hand wringing “how do we communicate with sceptics” – is how do we convince sceptics when they either don’t have the facts or as in climate, the facts are contrary to what they are saying.

    What they really mean is: “why are sceptics so resistant to our brainwashing”?

  30. The only way to start a proper communication with the other side on any issue is to admit that they might have a point, and that a communication could change your mind as well as as theirs.

    But the sheer arrogance of most Alarmists precludes that. All they talk about is changing sceptics’ minds, not their own. They start from the position that they are absolutely right and cannot possibly be wrong about any aspect of their beliefs. It is debating with the Inquisition, pointless and worthless.

  31. The real question is: is man’s activity significantly affecting the climate?

  32. Well I thought it set out the hubris of the climate changers pretty well but unfortunately I’m just not on that level powers wise. Perhaps some red undies and cape would help?

  33. Both economics forecasting and climate modeling rely on computer simulations of systems of coupled differential equations that are inherently unstable and chaotic in nature. This is well understood and appreciated in economics, where no sane person will accept a forecast for the year 2100 based on mathematical modeling. It is somewhat ironic that leftist who regularly deny that economics models have any forecasting power are the first to believe in climate models forecasting the climate in the year 2100.

    Next time you debate warming alarmists about climate models you should try to ask them why they don’t put the same faith into economics models although they share many similarities with climate models.

    When you push a system of coupled differential systems into the distant future then only the most prevalent features survive and this may effectively linearize the model, and we all know about the fallacy of linear models.

  34. If Ms. Bloomfield wishes to communicate with so called Sceptics she should fist learn how to speak the language of ethical and rigorous science. Otherwise her words will come over as incoherent babbling.
    We sceptics find it all very frustrating indeed; as she appears unable to comprehend what we say.

  35. After a few years of relative inactivity trying to fight for truth I felt it was my moral imperative to become active again. Especially when so much that is being done to reduce carbon footprints actually causes harm to the environment. I wrote an article and sent tweets but have recieved nearly no reaction. The belief is so embedded that convincing, even those who are uniterested, that it is wrong is imporssible.
    I don’t question other people’s religous beliefs and, let’s face it, this is a very deeply held religious belief. I thought twice because other religions are not taking a €12 donation from me each month in my electric bill to pay for their shrines as the warmists are. They are not taking a €2 religious donation every time I buy a bag of coal or fill my fuel tank (carbon tax). They are not indoctrinating my kids in school as the warmists are.
    But I have a life and a career to concentrate on. Quoting Reinhold Niebuhr I should be wise enough to accept what I can’t change – the belief of warmists and the faith politicians and business leaders have in them, and stop wasting my time and mental energy on this issue.

  36. well if she stated the co2 was above safe levels for plants already to me…I;d be lauging so hard AT her,she may well feel a tad uncomfortable and go away…I hope

    and thats on a good day

    one a bad day..she’d be copping an earful on her utter imbicility to make a statement like that, in my hearing.

  37. How to respond to a CAGWer/Warmunist/Greenbean about climate change:’

    1 – Have a bar chart on hand that goes back at least 600,000 years and shows the constant changes in climate from cold periods to warm periods.
    2 – Point out that the WARM periods are consistently shorter than the cold periods.
    3 – Have a map on hand that can show how far south the northern snow line is creeping on a yearly basis.
    4 – When the CAGWer/True Believer brings up the subject of carbon, as if s/he is even vaguely aware that s/he emits a volume of CO2 every time s/he speaks and breathes, and has s/he measured her/his own personal daily volume of CO2 emissions, and the total volume to date since birth.
    5 – Ask why s/he is wearing clothing/shoes made of carbon-based synthetic materials, and using carbon-based fueled transportation instead of walking.
    6 – Finally, and first off, nod and smile, and say “Yes, the climate changes on a constant basis. It’s been doing so long before humans arrived. Look at this chart. 600,000 years of climate change, and the warm periods are always shorter than the cold periods. More coffee? Waitress, could I have some ice cream?”
    7 – Smile politely and go back to reading your book or writing romantic poetry.

  38. Look at articles on religious evangelists work to convert non-believers. Extremely similar.
    The list of assumptions- false assumptions- this climate evangelist makes in order to manipulate skeptics is breath taking.
    How deceitful, evil and dark this climate true believer is.

  39. “The separators see religion and the environment as oppositional, as enemies. To the separator, if you are an environmentalist, you can’t be a good Christian.”

    Apparently, Christianity is the only religion worth noting in the world. Good to know. No biases or agenda in this article, please do move along.

  40. Catastrophic Anthrogenic Global Warming (CAGW) is a religion. It has its own orthodoxy. Therefore it has its deniers, blasphemers, heretics, apostates and true believers.
    The opposing religion is the religion of Nature’s God. Nature itself as the only oracle of truth. Like all oracles, nature always gives true, yet sometimes misleading, answers. It has one ritual, the Scientific Method, which is used to filter out the misleading answers.
    The CAGW religion, like all religions but one, begins with its conclusion and looks for data to support it.
    Nature’s religion is the only one in which all conclusions are “This is what we know so far; new data may change our minds.” Many the beautiful scientific theory (hypothesis) has been dismissed by just one ugly, inconvenient truth.
    Mother Nature, Nature’s God, nurtures her children, giving them life, and kills them each and every one. Heartless, she has but one commandment: My way (no highway). She neither gives a damn nor blessing, but deny her at your peril. The least consequence in denying her is time and resources wasted; the worst consequence is untimely death.

    How to respond to a CAGWer/Warmunist about climate change:
    1) No real science is ever settled. Scientific reality is decided by experiment not opinion. 97% can be wrong.
    2) Perhaps humanity has had a degree (pun intentional) of contribution to climate; climate has changed cyclically since before there were any humans at all and Mother Nature will proceed in her slow and stately pace to change. It is overweening hubris to even suppose that we can control the climate.
    3) The Axiom of Experience — The future will be like the past because, in the past, the future has been like the past — applies. No catastrophes that have been predicted by CAGW, and previous generations of climate ‘scientists’ have come to pass. We still have Arctic ocean ice this summer. Our glaciers have stopped shrinking and are growing recently. Previous ice ages have begun during grand solar minimums; we are in the first decade of a grand solar minimum.
    4) Whether climate gets warmer or cooler there is a means to survive either in relative comfort: modern, safe nuclear power. Let us both promote nuclear power.

  41. “You are either a scientist or you are religious”

    She and others who think like her have the least scientific minds. They think that identifying with scientists makes them scientific.

    • I studied science until a war in Asia put me on a new career path. I studied electronics after that war. Throughout that time I was, and still am, a Christian.

      Nothing she said fit me, especially “You are either a scientist or you are religious”.

      She understands neither science nor Christianity. I doubt she understands “climate science” either.

      SR

  42. Slightly warming (but not unusually so) oceans. Some dwindling (but not unusually so) ice sheets, others growing. Some rainfall events a bit outside the norm, but nothing that hasn’t happened before. Slowly rising sea levels, at about the same rate as they have been since the LIA. In short, nothing beyond what would be normal and expected during a warm phase of an interglacial. These indicators, along with many others provide compelling scientific evidence that climate change is continuing along normal parameters with no cause for alarm. But for some, alarmism and indeed hysterical fear has crept in, and actual science, and reality don’t persuade those operating on an emotional rather than a rational basis.
    There are several categories of climate Belief, and many stripes and flavors within each category. Sorting out each category and sub-category of climate Belief is a difficult task, but one that is essential to communicating with those who are essentially scared children, with very little knowledge of climate or science. First of all, even though they are essentially frightened little children, don’t let on that you are patronizing them and talking down to them, as this will only make them even more frightened, angry and defensive. Let them speak, so that you can termine where their own individual fears lie. Then, speak to those particular fears so as to calm them. Let them gradually come around to the idea that climate is nothing to be afraid of.
    /sarc.

  43. The bit about “altered charts” is particularly annoying.
    The climate extremists, like flat earthers, creationists and UFO believers, depend explicitly on altered evidence. Their entire program, as these communications non-scientists demonstrate, relies on altering evidence and scaring people.

    • Altering, choosing, clipping, remodelling, scaling, imaging, coloring, smoothing, grouping, assuming, projecting, and using recentism, to begin with.

  44. “Emma Frances Bloomfield, an assistant professor of communication studies…”

    It’s a real mystery who more don’t get their science info from Communication Studies majors.

    • Communication Studies is an euphemism for communist propaganda. They have no idea about STEM stuff nor any knowledge on economy.

  45. But for some, skepticism has crept in, and science doesn’t hold the same authority as it once did. Obviously clueless about what science is.

    • There are a lot of confused people, @SarahEMyhre for instance, who think that scientific authority is conferred upon receiving a PhD. In other words, they think that scientific authority is embodied in persons rather than that in methodology/ideology.

  46. “They would likely say that rising carbon dioxide levels are really great because that helps plant life grow. It’s true — carbon dioxide does improve plant life — but only to a certain level, which we’ve far exceeded.”

    This is a flat-out mistake about the science, and effectively negates the rest of this nonsense. CO2 levels in actual greenhouses can be two to three times the current ‘natural’ levels, and the OSHA standards for safety are even higher. And at present we are only about twice the level where all plant life would die. This person needs to learn the science first, before having any credibility with skeptics. If this is typical of her counter-arguments, no wonder skepticism is on the rise.

    • “This person needs to learn the science first, before having any credibility with skeptics”

      She’s in sales marketing for a reason. Kind of like football players on scholarship used to major in Home Economics.

  47. So telling how they focus on skeptics, in order to divert attention away from themselves and how they use fossil fuels every day just like the skeptics, often more!

  48. “‘I sort of deny it,’ to ‘I really, adamantly deny it.’” I have yet to meet a “denier” who uses the word “deny”.

    • BallBounces
      She has written a dissertation based on an unfounded belief in the behavior of a group she thinks she disagrees with. That is, she is clueless, and she was awarded a PhD for writing fantasy with big words. Definitely a black eye for higher education.

  49. “The separators see religion and the environment as oppositional, as enemies. To the separator, if you are an environmentalist, you can’t be a good Christian.”

    Darling, alarmists see AGW as their religion. So maybe they are the separators, separating themselves from science.

  50. You could rewrite this whole article simply by replacing “deni*r” with “alarmist” and it would be MUCH more accurate.

  51. “They take some bits of science and marry it with their faith, but then they ignore the parts of science that don’t support their viewpoint. They would likely say that rising carbon dioxide levels are really great because that helps plant life grow. It’s true — carbon dioxide does improve plant life — but only to a certain level, which we’ve far exceeded.”
    This blatant error in scientific knowledge leaves the rest of the article in question. This researcher is so convinced of the evil of CO2 that she has not checked the scientific works on increased concentrations. Her whole study is based on accepting the consensus as portrayed in the media which is lamentably biased.
    I remain a skeptic because I can’t find any scientific work that believably answers my basic questions about the consensus’ basic assumptions: How do we know humans have caused the recent increase in atmospheric CO2? How much affect does our CO2 have? How much of the changes measured in the worlds climates is due to human activity?
    I remain unconvinced when I can clearly see that the proposed policies are not about the environment but control of peoples and that they undoubtedly cause vast amounts of damage to the environment and the human population.

  52. Fascinating how they assume that communication only occurs when the result is that you now agree with them.

    If you fail to change your mind, then no communication has happened.

  53. If someone does not accept your claim about a subject that does not mean they “deny” it. It means the claim has not met the other person’s subjective burden of proof. The onus is on the person making the assertion to convince the target – but if the target remains unconvinced, move on. It is not some social ill that needs to be solved.

    … UNLESS — the real goal is demanding money from these people and people who are reluctant to give money are standing in the way. THOSE people challenge the money flow. They challenge the faithful. They make the faithful think twice. They make them question – so they need to be silenced. If they are not silenced — the money might be threatened.

    THAT is the game here.

    Keep the faith kids – if you don’t the world will end soon. If you keep the faith and give them money – they will promise to pretend to solve the variability of a long-running chaotic system with absolutely no obligation to do what the lunatics claim it will do.

    Besides – they are not really going to stop CO2 – they just want to dismantle capitalism in the west and make a mountain of money in the process.

  54. As an atheist with a strong sense of a Judeo-Christian heritage, I can safely say that Emma Frances Bloomfield’s ideas are utter tosh.

    And to think someone is paying for that.

  55. When you fabricate a false premise you can justify any conclusion you wish.

    Warming oceans. Shrinking ice sheets. Intense rainfall events. Rising sea levels.
    These indicators provide compelling scientific evidence that climate change is happening.

    Apparently Ms Bloomfield does not teach, and was not taught, how to perform research (on very basic facts concerning her major.)

    Taking this a step or two upstream, her whole degree is similarly based on a false premise. Many
    university have programs and schools of “Climate Communications”; the assumption of which is “they are right” and the rest of us are ignorantly mistaken in our “wrong” beliefs.

  56. No one doubts Climate Changes … It has been happening since the beginning of time and will continue to happen until the end of time.

    The question is the cause of the change in climate over time. Is it Man forced or Naturally forced, and can Man do anything to accelerate/decelerate/stop it from occurring.

    There is no issue between environmentalism and religion. We are meant to be stewards of what God has provided us including the planet. That said, it does not mean the fanatical/radical environmentalism as many practice replaces religion.

  57. The first step in communication is to understand the other side’s point of view. This doesn’t even attempt to do that; it simply assumes that the person who is skeptical of human-caused climate change is irrational, illogical, uninformed and clearly lacks any knowledge of science, unless they’re a gas-company paid traitor to the human race, which means they’re simply evil.

    They don’t even realize that it is they who do the greatest damage to the understanding of science and the scientific method. To establish a hypothesis requires that the proponents of the hypothesis are able to provide the data and the models to the disinterested skeptics so they can ensure the assumptions and models are based on sound science, and that they are able to successfully repeat and get the same results as claimed. For it to become a strong theory, it must be able to accurately track past data and predict future results. Even then, it is no settled science; it’s just a more accurate science than had been previously available.

    But the bottom line is that, as far as I can tell, the human-caused climate change hypothesis doesn’t pass the simple and elegant Carl Sagan Baloney Detection Test.

  58. “climate change beliefs” LMAO. Okay when I am asked “do you believe in climate change” my answer is always another question back to them: “Why would anyone believe something that is supposed to be science?”. That is not something they are ready for.

    The conversation I then engage in follows these general guidelines:

    1) Never call names. If they call you a denier point out that in any debate or discussion people only call names when they have nothing intelligent to say. Politely point out that they could make 10 great points but nobody will remember any of them if they call names and get called out for it.

    2) Ask if they can follow the science in detail. If they don’t have a degree in math or serious statistics experience they can’t (nor can I). Mention the discussions on climateaudit.org as an example.

    3) Ask them what do you do when you can’t follow a scientific discussion in technical detail? Then answer it for them.

    Do we just believe one side or the other? No. Belief is for religion not science.
    Do we just go with what the majority of scientists say? No. That is consensus and that is the domain of politics not science. Point out that every science has had periods where the majority of scientists held a position that was shown to be wrong.

    Then give them the answer. Follow the predictions! It is simple and easy enough for anyone to do. You simply get a date range and what they think the temp will rise or fall (always include both sides). Copy and paste it into a file to see if it happens.

    If they invoke the precautionary principle as an excuse to reduce CO2 point out that it cuts both ways and that during the last glaciation we were at 170-180 PPM and at 150 most plants won’t grow leading to a massive die off of land animals. Most don’t even know the lower limit much less how close we got to it.

    Always be polite. It annoys the fanatics royally. Refusing to take things personally, especially when it is intended that way, just works so well.

    • The Sahara is already starting to green on the southern fringes. Some credit CO2 increase!

  59. Lewts use ptoper terminology. The book is a propaFnca manual. And those three “communivation strategus?” Methods of making ptopaganda work.

  60. I expect that we will have definitive proof, one way or the other, about the same time nuclear fusion power plants come on line.

  61. Gads — the worst sort of silly social science — trying to combine dubious social science with parodied “religious belief” into a whole THREE (3) categories. Most readers here know that I am a strongly religious person. In my experience, I could not categorize my close acquaintances into such a simplistic system on religion or climate.

    Pure nonsense.

  62. ” science doesn’t hold the same authority as it once did.”….this is because ‘science; has become so corrupted and in the thrall of ‘Climate Change / Global Warming’ that people are beginning to notice that ‘science’ is now unloading as much bullshit as truth.

  63. It’s really not that difficult to convince us skeptics. Present CAGW hypothesis and see if it holds up.

  64. ‘…an opportunity to communicate with those who are in the middle.’

    Communicating climate change science to the uninitiated is a big ask.

    Its going to take a weather shock to support the klimatariat’s hypothesis, because their time is running out and the people grow weary in expectation. Extreme weather in midlatitudes is where all the action will be.

  65. “science doesn’t hold the same authority as it once did.”

    Science holds no authority and never did. Science is a process not a person. A scientist is a person who engages in the process, not a priest or a politician. Priests and politicians have authority, scientists have evidence.

    People who run around in white coats, screaming: “I am a scientist you must believe me”, aren’t scientists; they are charlatans.

    • Maybe she should have more correctly claimed that science doesn’t hold the evidence it used to, and is no longer reproduceable. Authority and legalism have replaced curiosity and skepticism.

  66. Here is a simple method that will convince most skeptics:

    SHOW THE EVIDENCE. Instead of attacking people, show actual evidence that man’s CO2 is causing serious global warming.

    thanks
    JK

  67. Just remember, ahem, the great feat of Western Science – Isaac Newton’s theory of universal gravitation – that started with Greek Archimedes, culminated in the full theory of Einstein, and put a robots on Mars – just remember – scientists had to force everyone to believe in it … NOT. Actually, because it was real science, people were convinced by the arguments themselves.

    As a professional physicist, I have to say that real science doesn’t give a **** about what people think. It’s either right or wrong. And real scientists don’t criticize those who disagree. Instead, we think seriously about objections and try to come up with better models that anyone can study and say: “Yes, I see how much detail and error analysis you put into this thing, and so I’m probably convinced”, or “I’m still not convinced, this isn’t a simple enough explanation”.

    Do you think Newton went around the world running a media campaign saying, “BELIEVE MY THEROY OF GRAVITY – OR ELSE!” No! Of course not. Instead, he reluctantly published his treasured secret due to a priority dispute with Hooke and Leibnitz. But the point remains: Everyone could be convinced by the INHERENT truth of the theroy.

    The thing about climate change is, it has not inherent truth, so its adherence base has to be supported using social control methods. it is all a big distraction from the real problem.

    THE REAL PROBLEM IS URBANIZATION. The effects of urbanization are pollution, deforestation, temperature increases, global hydrogeological disruption, agricultural land use expansion, and loss of countless species. These can all be traced back to an increase in demand for resources.

    If we had access to 100x the energy available today, we could succesfully de-urbanize a quarter of the world’s population, use half of the resources, save its habitats, and begin restoring the environment.

    I have seen evidence after evidence that urbanization is the #1 global problem in the world, and I have seen evidence after evidence that increased per-capita energy consumption IS the basis of a solution.

    But no, the climate ‘scientists’ want to take away your energy, and profit off of keeping everyone energy-poor. The effects will be disastrous expansion of urban land use and exploitation of natural resources.

    They are not scientists at all. They are priests of a rself-serving religion, believing in a nonexistent god and using terror to control the masses.

  68. Climate Change?…. I’m not that interested in climate change, what I’m interested in is the Hypothesis of Anthropogenic Global Warming and whether it has any scientific validation…. What we find is Ice cores showing CO2 responded to Temps rather than the other way. That water vapor feedbacks at the TT resulted in no “Hotspot” and a 20 year hiatus in warming in the Satellite data despite a 12 percent increase in atmospheric CO2 . These findings have all falsified the AGW hypothesis.

    She needs to do some science rather than propaganda.

  69. How do you communicate with “skeptics”, this one at least? Present facts based on empirical evidence and not some pseudo computer simulated modelled “evidence”, fed in to other computer models. Also, those who preach the “Gospel”, the elites, the politician, those invested in the “renewable” economy, the Gore’s, the DeCaprio’s of the work lead by example.

    NGTH

    Not. Going. To. Happen.

  70. Every time some academic writes one of these “how to get skeptics to see the light” articles I’m offended by several underlying premise. In no particular order:

    Skeptics must be ignorant of the facts.
    Skeptics must be less intelligent.
    Skeptics must be uncultured.
    Skeptics must be selfish and immoral.
    Skeptics just don’t want to pay their fair share.

  71. I have yet to meet or even hear of a single person who denies climate change.

    She’s presenting strawman arguments.

    If you really want to change our minds Emma, try showing us that what we actually believe is wrong by showing us the science.

  72. Just replace all words derived from ‘climate’ or ‘environment’ by their equivalents relating to ‘witches’ and you have a good idea what utter nonsense it is. The reason is simple. The writer does not consider the most common cause of climate change skepticism: knowledgeability.

  73. Years of persistent exaggeration, lying, misrepresentation, deception, half–truths, and scientific grants corruption has taken its toll on the outside viewers of the maelstrom of Global Warming / Climate Change. When bits of the fraudulent structure keep breaking off every couple of days, people eventually begin to see the truth the criticisms.

  74. It seems that every article or paper regarding CAGW must be written by people who believe they are masters of three widely disparate fields of study.

    First, they must be masters of the climate sciences, to be able to predict what will happen to the Earth’s weather and temperature in the near and distant future.

    Second, they must be masters of engineering and agriculture, to be able to predict the effects of Earth’s changed weather patterns on infrastructure, farming and food production.

    Finally, they must be masters of finance and economics, in order to inform us of the costs of mitigation and the effect on world markets.

    Somehow, I don’t think they are competent in the first discipline, much less the other two.

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