UNSW Psychologist: “We are all Climate Deniers”

Belinda Xie
Belinda Xie, UNSW Psychology Doctoral Candidate

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to UNSW psychology doctoral candidate Belinda Xie, everybody is somewhere on the spectrum of climate denial.

Climate change denialism is something we all suffer from

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn 07 FEB 2020   CAROLINE TANG 

Even those who don’t question human-induced climate change can fall on the spectrum of climate denialism if they are all talk and no action, a UNSW psychology researcher argues.

Climate change denialism is something that applies to more than just diehard non-believers, a UNSW Sydney researcher argues.

The unprecedented bushfire crisis has strengthened demand for government action on climate change and galvanised Australians to take to the streets protesting against the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels.

Some Australians have taken more drastic action, such as actor Yael Stone who gave up the permanent right to work in the US.

But for many people, such action seems unrealistic.

While we may know it is better for the environment to give up our car for public transport, stop using single-use plastics, or eat less meat — we do not always do all these things all the time.

“It’s almost impossible to live with zero impact on the planet, but it’s what we do when we recognise this that matters”, Belinda Xie asserts.

The UNSW Scientia PhD candidate specialises in cognitive science and researches the psychology of climate change.

“It’s important that we acknowledge we are all climate deniers, to some extent, and then understand how and why we reached this point,” Ms Xie said.

“It’s not simply because humans are bad or selfish people: there are a lot of external factors out of our control, such as the information we consume that can encourage denialism, or the way our economy is set up.

“So, we then need to ask ourselves: how do we overcome this denialism – what action can we take as a community and what can government and business do?”

“Making behavioural change at an individual level is important, but it’s just as important for the people and institutions at the top to inspire and implement change for the good of our planet and future generations.”

Read more: https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/science-tech/climate-change-denialism-something-we-all-suffer

Belinda Xie’s paywalled paper is available here.

How can greens achieve that idealised state of society described by Belinda Xie, in which leaders and institutions inspire people to more fully commit to fighting climate denial, and inspire people to actively work to correct their personal climate behavioural shortcomings?

The problem Belinda describes is similar to the problem Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong faced when trying to consolidate the authority of their respective Communist states. In the immediate aftermath of the revolutions which propelled them into power, plenty of people claimed to believe in Communism, but on an individual level there was a widespread lack of wholehearted commitment to the actual practice of Communism.

The Communist solution was institutionalised “self criticism”; encouraging people to publicly confess their personal shortcomings and pledge to do better. According to The History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks);

In order to be fully prepared for this turn, the Party had to be its moving spirit, and the leading role of the Party in the forthcoming elections had to be fully ensured. But this could be done only if the Party organizations themselves became thoroughly democratic in their everyday work, only if they fully observed the principles of democratic centralism in their inner-Party life, as the Party Rules demanded, only if all organs of the Party were elected, only if criticism and self-criticism in the Party were developed to the full, only if the responsibility of the Party bodies to the members of the Party were complete, and if the members of the Party themselves became thoroughly active.

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layor nala
February 7, 2020 2:07 pm

Full Xie’s paper available as PDF at http://www2.psy.unsw.edu.au/Users/BNewell/Xie2019.pdf.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
February 7, 2020 4:21 pm

She is essentially saying “We are all sinners. Confess and seek tedemtion from the priests of Climate science, and pay your carbon indulgence if you wish not to be damned.”

Reply to  Michael
February 7, 2020 4:55 pm

IIRC, as an innocent child being inducted into the lifelong guilt trip that was the catholic religion in the 1950s, I’m thinking that climate denialism is deju-vu all over again, retrospectively and in hindsight.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Mr.
February 7, 2020 5:32 pm

I agree with that as I “suffered” as similar experience.

Reply to  Mr.
February 7, 2020 6:16 pm

After the horrors they endured, the WWII and Korean vets were easy prey for the guilt trip the catholic church laid on them. It’s no wonder that the ensuing families were engendered into this role. The current system is a generational consequence of that action.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Mr.
February 7, 2020 11:28 pm

As we all know the mighty Catholic Church was infallible & beyond reproach & question! As a priest once told me & some friends, “Never ever criticise the wisdom of the Church, it’s the only tyranny that’s lasted for 2,000 years!!!”

Bill Powers
Reply to  Mr.
February 8, 2020 3:20 am

I wonder if that hamburger I ate one Friday will jump up to bite my in the arse, since it was consumed before the Church changed their whole “going to hell for that” control routine. Not really.

But. to your point, we do know that ALGORE the Apostle did invest heavily in a program for Climate Indulgences that will allow the rich to sin no more whilst creating gargantuan carbon footprints.

Bryan A
Reply to  Michael
February 7, 2020 6:19 pm

Carbon tithing

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  Bryan A
February 7, 2020 8:39 pm

Warren and Sanders have already begun purchasing their Indulgences.

Poems of Our Climate
Reply to  Michael
February 7, 2020 8:24 pm


Reply to  Michael
February 8, 2020 1:23 pm

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. When will people actually make the effort to inform themselves of the actual purpose of an Indulgence and the conditions requitred to obtain one? Probably for most people who make references to indulgences the answer is going to be “never”. We live in a society where many people prefer to remain in blissful ignorance rather than emerge from their ignorance by actually doing a bit of enquiry to find out the truth.

Reply to  layor nala
February 7, 2020 7:38 pm

I refer to my favourite Orwell :
“”Some ideas are so absurd, only an intellectual could believe them.””

If she is an effective psychologist, I’m an astronaut. This is just regurgitating the babble she read at UNI with a climate spin.
I have a sister-in-law just like her.

Reply to  layor nala
February 7, 2020 9:41 pm

Full Xie’s paper available as PDF at…

Not going to read it – because the “social sciences” have proven themselves to be a litany of drivel, following the twists and turns of the latest pseudo-intellectual fad.

If one studies the social sciences long enough, one will ultimately develop an complete absence of common sense.

Belinda needs to take a strong science degree and fully understand the Scientific Method. Then she should study the realm of climate science until she understands that there is no real CAGW / wilder weather crisis. Then maybe I’ll read something she writes.

Alan the Brit
February 7, 2020 11:35 pm

I suspect this is yet again an self-confidence or lack thereof syndrome! Technical people are feared by those of a non-technical disposition, meaning the bureaucrats are not in control, & that frightens them. The British Civil Service?Public Sector was & probably still is riddled with such feelings of technical inadequacy! That’s why they referred to us as “boffins” & “eggheads”, implying some form of physical disability arising from superior intelligence requiring it to be controlled, often allured to in commical cartoon fashion!

Nicholas McGinley
February 7, 2020 11:54 pm

If they had even a little uncommon sense, let alone any common sense, they would never have spent their years in college and grad school studying something that is completely made up and 100% subjective.

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  layor nala
February 8, 2020 7:17 am

This is certainly consistent with the longstanding standard of psychological academic output. I don’t “deny” that there may be a field of true science called psychology, but what is usually proposed as academic endeavour in the field is just self-justifying nonsense with no resemblance to true scientific process.

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  layor nala
February 8, 2020 7:32 am

My rebuttal to the paper is that she is wrong – many people are on the climate madness spectrum and she is rather high on it.

Christopher Simpson
February 7, 2020 2:07 pm

That’s the nice thing about “spectrums” I’ve noticed: no matter what, you’re declared to be somewhere on it.

Curious George
Reply to  Christopher Simpson
February 7, 2020 3:03 pm

She denies that climate has always been changing. To fight climate change is futile. She might as well fight the Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.

Reply to  Curious George
February 7, 2020 3:54 pm

We have the acquired wisdom of several thousand years of human civilization. The left denigrates that wisdom as a product of the patriarchy. That means they have to learn all the lessons the hard way.

All even minimally educated people understand the lesson of King Canute that Mother Nature does not obey human dictates.

The other thing that Mao, and Stalin, and some libertarians, do not understand is human nature. They think it is more malleable than it actually is. Because they refuse to work with human nature as it actually is, their glorious plans are doomed. Laozi (Lao Tse) pointed that out a couple of millennia ago.

These folks with their great plans suffer from hubris. Of course, that was a major lesson imparted by the Ancient Greeks. When I was young, you’d come out of high school with that knowledge. These days, not so much.

A while ago, I heard an eloquent defense of the liberal arts by the president of the University of British Columbia. link It’s really a defense of the wisdom that our society has acquired with great effort and at great cost. Of course, the left thinks wisdom is a symptom of the patriarchy. /rant

Reply to  commieBob
February 7, 2020 4:55 pm

How does a belief that government should be small equate to denying human nature?
Actually it is those who think that anything runs better when we put government in charge who are denying human nature.

Reply to  MarkW
February 7, 2020 7:01 pm

There’s libertarians and there’s libertarians.

A few hippy-like folks seem to think that something close to anarchy will bring out the best in human nature.

Reply to  MarkW
February 7, 2020 8:32 pm

Anarchists are a tiny fringe element of the libertarian movement.
It’s like judging all climate realists by the antics of the Sky Dragon clan.

Reply to  MarkW
February 8, 2020 12:53 am

And yet, someone will always take control. The strong will always control the weak no matter what delusional system we live under.

Reply to  MarkW
February 8, 2020 1:39 am

As far as I can tell, libertarianism is a pretty diverse movement. link

Reply to  MarkW
February 8, 2020 8:24 am

You also seem to be confusing anarcho-socialists with anarcho-capitalists.

Reply to  MarkW
February 8, 2020 8:25 am

Climate realists are a pretty diverse bunch, but that doesn’t excuse pretending that all realists are also Sky Dragons.

Reply to  MarkW
February 8, 2020 1:40 pm

What I said was:

The other thing that Mao, and Stalin, and some libertarians, do not understand is human nature.

By no means am I tarring all libertarians with the same brush.

shortus cynicus
Reply to  MarkW
February 10, 2020 2:07 am

What do you mean by “we” and “government”?

David Stone
Reply to  Curious George
February 9, 2020 1:04 am

There is a lot of depth in your response CG. If that comment ever got out and people pondered, for just a while…they might find they do a lot more pondering

Reply to  Christopher Simpson
February 7, 2020 3:52 pm

Christopher Simpson wrote, “That’s the nice thing about ‘spectrums’ I’ve noticed: no matter what, you’re declared to be somewhere on it.”

I suspect that I’d be somewhere near the rectum of the spectrum.


Gunga Din
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
February 7, 2020 4:14 pm

Depending on your point of view? 😎

Gary Ashe
Reply to  Gunga Din
February 7, 2020 4:53 pm

Depending on the spectrum surely Gunga.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
February 7, 2020 6:40 pm

It never occurred to me that the spectrum was so wide, it extended clear from Earth to Uranus.

Clarky of Oz
Reply to  Christopher Simpson
February 7, 2020 4:21 pm

I think we are all on several spectra. It’s where they intersect that is the problem.

Bryan A
February 7, 2020 2:12 pm

AYUP…Believe in Climate Change.
Believe in the (G)oracles preaching apocalyptic climate science
With Belief, all things are possible (in religion)

Reply to  Bryan A
February 7, 2020 3:15 pm

It’s insane to deny climate change, as the climate is always changing and if it wasn’t, it would be broken. It’s equally insane to attribute natural climate variability to CO2 missions, when in order for that causality to be as important as claimed by the IPCC’s self serving ‘consensus’, the required laws of physics are incompatible with what we already know them to be.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
February 7, 2020 11:26 pm

…apparently the climate never changed before man came along!!

However, my geological inspection of the rock record refutes that silly notion completely!

February 7, 2020 2:12 pm

Belief in ‘Climate Change and Global Warming’ is similar to a Blinkus on the Thinkus that prevents people from exercising their power of rational thought and critical analysis. This is instinctively rejected by intelligent people and reduce the available field of believers to a low IQ selection.

Gary Ashe
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
February 7, 2020 4:58 pm

It is those with above average IQ who are most affected by noble cause corruption.
They cannot fathom that the ”expertise” would or could be so corrupted and dishonest.
Once they buy in and commit nothing absolutely nothing can penetrate their belief.

Reply to  Gary Ashe
February 7, 2020 6:09 pm

Freezing weather and starvation can knock the noble out of anyone no matter what their IQ.

Reply to  Gary Ashe
February 8, 2020 4:25 am

Gary wrote:
“It is those with above average IQ who are most affected by noble cause corruption.”

I dispute your statement. My close friends, who are well-educated and accomplished in their scientific-professional fields, all understand that the alleged CAGW/climate-change crisis is false. Many of them further understand that CAGW is a deliberate scam, driven by extremists to achieve political and financial gain.

Those who believe in the CAGW scam typically have little or no scientific education, have a liberal arts or social sciences degree, are easily persuaded by emotional rather than scientific arguments, and already have a bias in favor of leftist political propaganda. They inexplicably believe that despite the ~200 million innocents killed by leftists in the 20th Century, this time it will be different. It won’t.

The CAGW scam is supported by two groups – scoundrels, the proponents who know it is a fraud, and imbeciles, who believe it is real.

February 7, 2020 2:25 pm

Institutionalised “self criticism”!
Have these people no knowledge of History?
Read Robert Conquest’s “The Great Terror” (1968) for a comprehensive review of the Purges and Show Trials in Soviet Russia.
On science, Lysenkoism in Russia or Eugenics in the West a hundred years ago are perfect examples of the type of ’groupthink’ this paper is advocating.

James Clarke
Reply to  Herbert
February 7, 2020 2:36 pm

I am beginning to realize that there are those who believe the history of communism was really pretty awesome. These people scare me greatly!

Reply to  James Clarke
February 7, 2020 3:38 pm

Yes, because the capitalists never talk about the purging of the Native Americans.
What exactly is the difference between putting down restive Eastern European ethnic minorities and putting down restive Native American tribes all across the continental United States?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  c1ue
February 7, 2020 3:55 pm

You have not offered us any reason to think you are qualified to criticize others.
Please list your personal victimhood credentials, or we must assume you are simply attempting to foist off your responsibility for your ancestral sins onto other people, in order to purge your knowledge of your inherited evil from your consciousness.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 8, 2020 5:58 am

Personal victimhood is irrelevant. The crime is real, or do you dispute that?

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 8, 2020 8:28 am

The crime is a lot more complicated than your simple mind seems capable of understanding.

Reply to  c1ue
February 7, 2020 4:25 pm

Restive Native American minorities? Don’t think so. Plenty of warfare, slavery and displacement going on even before Columbus set foot in the Bahamas. Btw, there never were nor ever have been “native” Americans. Some where “first comers.” The later “late comers” just happen to have had better weaponry and better enterprising skills.

Reply to  da’kat
February 8, 2020 6:00 am

Warfare is people living on land for thousands of years getting exterminated by foreigners arriving on ships?
More importantly, you don’t answer the question about how it is different when it is Eastern Europeans handling their own inconvenient minorities vs. “Americans” doing the same.
Or is it different when it is brown people getting the shaft?

Roger Knights
Reply to  da’kat
February 8, 2020 7:11 am

“Warfare is people living on land for thousands of years getting exterminated by foreigners arriving on ships?”

90%-plus of AmerIndian deaths were due to European diseases they had no immunity to, rather than “extermination.” For instance, the earliest explorers of the Mississippi valley found thriving civilizations there, but when the next explorers arrived a century later, they were all gone—although they hadn’t had any direct contact with Europeans in the interim.

Reply to  da’kat
February 8, 2020 8:30 am

This has got to be the most pathetic excuse for socialist banditry that I’ve ever seen.

Reply to  c1ue
February 7, 2020 4:56 pm

Ah yes, the old anything that was done by someone who isn’t a communist, is the fault of capitalism argument.

Reply to  MarkW
February 8, 2020 6:01 am

Wow, really? Are you going to term the Early American settlers to be what, then?
Are they socialist?

Reply to  MarkW
February 8, 2020 8:29 am

It really is sad the way socialists try to deflect blame onto others.
It’s almost as if they aren’t even able to be honest with themselves.

People did it, and for many reasons. None of those reasons was “capitalism”. Which is a term that hadn’t even been invented yet.

Alasdair Fairbairn
Reply to  MarkW
February 8, 2020 10:38 am

Indeed. I don’t think Ghengis Khan, Alexander the Great, Rome or the vikings etc. were capitalists.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  c1ue
February 7, 2020 7:48 pm

“What exactly is the difference between putting down restive Eastern European ethnic minorities and putting down restive Native American tribes all across the continental United States?”

Native Americans were displaced from their tribal homelands, if that’s what you mean by “putting down”.

I live in a state (Oklahoma) which was the destination for most of those displaced Native Americans and their situation is much improved since they arrived here.

Native American tribes here are doing so well they are granting money to the white population for schools and roads and all sorts of infrastructure. When they do this they are also helping Native Americans because Native Americans are represented in every aspect of society so when you help an aspect of society, you are helping Native Americans. So they are not just throwing their money away on white people, they are helping themselves in the process.

Native Americans are respected members of the community in Oklahoma. They are not oppressed by the government, other than our current Republican governor seems to think it is a good idea to pick a fight with them right now over their casino income and taxes.

I would advise the governor to come to an agreement and stop pitting the State of Oklahoma against the Native American tribes. The Native Americans are doing so well the governor wants a bigger cut of their income. I think this is ill-concieved by the governor. But it’s going to court now so we’ll see what happens.

Native Americans are flourishing in their new home. That’s not to say that everything is rosy with all Native American tribes. Some tribes outside Oklahoma do have some serious problems.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 7, 2020 11:23 pm

Many so called Native Americans were assimilated into the population of new arrivals.
They are now us.
Millions of Americans have some Native blood in their heritage.
I do (Leni Lenape, aka Delaware people).
And many people who I have met over the years do as well, including my ex (Cherokee), and lots of others.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 8, 2020 6:03 am

Native Americans have a lower population today than they did before the “foreigners” arrived.
Your attempt to explain away how the little brownies are so happy on their reservations because some of them can build casinos now…fail.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 8, 2020 7:15 am

“Native Americans have a lower population today than they did before the “foreigners” arrived.”

Almost entirely due to disease, as historians have documented. Google it.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 8, 2020 8:32 am

Whether there are more or less “native” americans than there were 500 years ago depends on how you count “native” americans. If you use Elizabeth Warren’s definition about half the population would qualify as “native” american.

If you think only full blooded “native” americans qualify, then you are as racist as anyone in the KKK.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 8, 2020 8:44 am

“Your attempt to explain away how the little brownies are so happy on their reservations because some of them can build casinos now…fail.”

Well, I happen to be one of those “brownies” you refer to, Cherokee to be specific, although not a high enough percentage to get an Indian Card, and I’m quite happy, and those Indian Casinos that are built, are built by the Tribe and the proceeds goe to financing Indian Health Care and other social services, and they have enough money left over to donate some to the general society. So your effort to downplay the success of Native Americans in Okalhoma fails if you look at the facts.

We can’t help what happened to Native Americans in the past, and we were not involved in anything during that time, and don’t accept guilt for anything we did not do, and are proud to tout the success of Native Americans in Oklahoma.

And Nicholas is right, millions of Americans have Native American blood in them, so watch out when you go talking about “little brownies”. Not that little brownies would threaten you, they would just laugh at you for being so out of touch with reality.

Martin Howard Keith Brumby
Reply to  c1ue
February 7, 2020 11:13 pm

There are very many socialists who assure us that socialism will certainly work even better next time than it did under Mao and Joe Stalin and Adolf Hitler, just providing this time they are in charge.

Which ‘capitalists’ have adopted General Custer as a role model?

I think I missed that one.

Or perhaps you should just grow up.

Reply to  Martin Howard Keith Brumby
February 8, 2020 6:06 am

Given that all of Europe is socialist – yes, actually I can say that socialism has worked better next time.
The Europeans have affordable health care and affordable education.
The evidence is quite clear what worked better.
And as for Hitler – who subsidized Germany’s rise? American capitalists.
Who literally enabled the Holocaust? IBM
Perhaps you should just read some history, instead of living in a dream world of agitprop.

shortus cynicus
Reply to  c1ue
February 10, 2020 3:23 am

I give you come c1ue: in total contrast to Christian Eastern Europeans, Native American accepted initiation of aggression as universal moral norm.
It is not wrong to treat people according to THEIR believes.
I mean it seriously. As example, it is not wrong to hit a boxer according to rules he agreed upon.
It is also not morally condemnable to kill formula 1 driver during a race thru an act of ‘reckless driving’.
Native Americans agreed to killing, rape and slavery. If you get what you wish for, you can’t complain.
As counter example, peaceful ‘kulaks’ in Ukraine has not aggressed against anyone. Using own body to make capital, and then this capital to make more of it, is totally peaceful activity.
So if you agree that imprisonment of my grand-father was ok because he ‘resisted’ then come and tell it direct into my face. You will be treated then as agreed upon.

Reply to  James Clarke
February 8, 2020 4:28 pm

James wrote:
“I am beginning to realize that there are those who believe the history of communism was really pretty awesome. These people scare me greatly!”

Correct James. My physician friend sent me this video. Don’t let your kids see or hear it.

My friend wrote:

Why do they say Hitler was up to his neck in blood?
…… because he stood on Stalin’s shoulders….

This is gruesome. Watch when you feel ready. The ‘woke’ people hate Nazism, but love Communism!!??

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  James Clarke
February 20, 2020 9:00 pm

I’m beginning to realise …

But before that were Fanny Kaplan; never forget that “fascism” comes from the midst, from the belly of society.


Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  James Clarke
February 20, 2020 9:32 pm
Andy Espersen
February 7, 2020 2:31 pm

Belinda Xie asks, seeing that we are all climate deniers, what must we do to overcome the condition. Well, the solution stares you in the face : as we all suffer from it – and as we all presumably have suffered from it for many years, it must now be accepted as a chronic, incurable condition.

So : we can and should do nothing whatsoever – except grin and bear it, and adjust to life as best we can. Let the global temperature rise by a few degrees for heaven’s sake, let the oceans rise by a few meters over the next hundred or so years. If we continue having cheap energy available by unbridled utilisation of fossil fuel we can afford to shift all our cities to higher ground – whereas with only solar and wind power available there is no way we would be economically able to do that.

Let us forget all about “settled science” and take on the world and its changing environments in time-honoured, ignorant, careless human fashion : day by day – and never worry about tomorrow.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Andy Espersen
February 7, 2020 4:10 pm

Nah, I am only willing to let it rise by about ten inches or so in that amount of time.
Luckily I have the cooperation of the planet itself on my side.
As for “a few degrees” of temperature rise…we need to all hope we get so lucky as to have any at all over a hundred years.
The available evidence is that the halcyon days of degrees of warmth above present ended with the end of the Holocene Optimum period about 8 thousand years ago, and at best we can expect we have a while before the current interglacial ends.

James Clarke
February 7, 2020 2:33 pm

I am very high on the spectrum of climate myth denialism. The author of this article is very low on the spectrum of climate knowledge. Generally, one can’t be high in climate knowledge and low in climate myth denialism, unless your livelihood depends on it.

Dr K.A. Rodgers
February 7, 2020 2:41 pm

There’s that overworked word of 2020 again: “unprecedented”. Last year – but sadly continuing into this year – it was the much cliched: “expert”.

When I hear the word “expert” I reach for my custard pie.

Greg Woods
Reply to  Dr K.A. Rodgers
February 7, 2020 3:37 pm

I reach for my single malt whisky

February 7, 2020 2:42 pm

An interesting new tactic at taking on skeptics. I doubt it will get much use by the Left in that it doesn’t attack skeptics personally.

Robert of Texas
February 7, 2020 2:43 pm

I do not ONCE remember denying the climate! I am innocent I tell you. The whistle-blower who claims I denied climate is lying!

(To tell the truth…I am not even sure HOW one denies a climate?)

Reply to  Robert of Texas
February 7, 2020 3:13 pm

“Climate, get your hands off my chocolate!”

Doc Chuck
Reply to  Robert of Texas
February 8, 2020 1:30 am

Yes Robert, Belinda is an understandably rather confused youngster who suffers from the terminology morphing during her simulated education from ‘global warming’, which was eminently deniable in any crisis form, to ‘climate change’ which is denied by no one with the slightest knowledge of earth history except for those who insist it is presently unprecedented. Belinda is actually the friend of those very climate deniers without even having the clarity of mind to literally comprehend the term she is misusing. Poor kid.

February 7, 2020 2:52 pm

There are two approaches to climate science:

1) Actual scientists and engineers, and

2) Psychologists, sociologists, politicians, activists, soothsayers, astrologers, and ambulance chasers, etc.

The two groups see the climate very diferently!

I tend to believe the first group!

Clarky of Oz
Reply to  RockyRoad
February 7, 2020 4:24 pm

I tend to agree with you but the Astrologers and Alchemists seem to be winning.

Reply to  Clarky of Oz
February 7, 2020 11:33 pm

…a “winner” prevented from filling his gas tank rather defies the description!

Somebody once famously said “Let them eat cake!” Now they say “Force them to walk!”

Even an uneducated idiot can see the folly in that statement!


J Mac
February 7, 2020 2:54 pm

I know which end of the Natural Climate Change Denialism spectrum Belinda Xei is on….
and I don’t need a BS, let alone a PhD, in Climate Change Psychology to determine that with certainty.

Joel O'Bryan
February 7, 2020 2:57 pm

Well Ms. Belinda needs a little cheering-up from her climate change doomsterism.
A happy little song is just the thing she needs…

February 7, 2020 3:04 pm

Australia has more than its fair share of crazies.

Mann must really feel at home there

February 7, 2020 3:05 pm

This comes under the spectrum of everything is a priority and get it all done by close of business today.

Bloody circular reasoning…..

February 7, 2020 3:14 pm

Obviously Xie has never read Mary Douglas, which you would of thought essential for this one dimensional piece of work.
Tansey, O. (1999, 1 1). Cultural Theory and Risk a Review. Retrieved from Healt, Risk and
Society: http://lchc.ucsd.edu/mca/Mail/xmcamail.2014-11.dir/pdfRk8rlpiptu.pdf
This has some easy to read images

February 7, 2020 3:14 pm

Um, she’s a loon, cracked as a teapot.

February 7, 2020 3:22 pm

These people are absolutely pathetic. When will science return to being science-ey? I forecast it’ll be later rather than sooner, and the world (i.e. the U.S. and Europe) is going to have to pay a lot of money to assuage the consciences of these anti-scientists, consequently significantly decreasing living standards, quality of life, and indeed life expectancy.

Andrew Medhurst
Reply to  4caster
February 9, 2020 1:29 am

Yes, when will these 000s of scientists return to thinking the way the few dozen I believe (it’s so unscience-ey) 😂 https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/05/climate-crisis-11000-scientists-warn-of-untold-suffering?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

February 7, 2020 3:36 pm

Psychologists … sigh. Never think to ask an Economist. She’s describing Rational Behavior.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  JSMill
February 9, 2020 5:27 am

“She’s describing Rational Behavior.”

She is describing Rational Behavior and then she complains about it. “Stop being so rational, People!”

David S
February 7, 2020 3:38 pm

Passive aggressive bully.
No doctorate for you.

Ed Zuiderwijk
February 7, 2020 3:41 pm

We all suffer from ‘la Maladie Imaginaire’? The 17th century French playwrite Moliere knew what the remedy was: ridicule.

February 7, 2020 3:44 pm

The unusual extent and destruction of the Oz fires were not the result of climate denialism. They were the result of climate affirmalism. The climate priority sees prescribed control burns only in terms of their CO2 emissions. Wildfires in Oz is the norm but their extent and impact can be controlled with proper management if climate priorities are removed from the equation.

Details ….


Reply to  chaamjamal
February 7, 2020 4:03 pm

Risk management guided by conservation, not preservation, and certainly not environmentalism, of human life, anthropogenic structure, fauna, and flora, in that order, imperatives. A kind of diffused urbanization that mitigates concentrated climate change.

Nicholas McGinley
February 7, 2020 3:49 pm

If she was really very adept at identifying mental illness, she would be writing papers on the subject of mass delusions, cognitive dissonance, and people who think everyone is crazy but themselves and people who think like they do.
My sense of irony is rapidly becoming completely shopworn and numb to further stimuli.
What explains these people and their stupefying ability to believe something they know nothing about?
How can they be so concerned about something they have never bothered to acquire no specific knowledge of?
How can so many people be so easily convinced that events which have always occurred and are extensively documented, are in fact a wholly new and unprecedented?
Will it ever be possible for these people to live normal lives, grounded in reality rather than delusion?

We are now seeing the result of decades of indoctrination in schools controlled by leftists, and a similar period of time during which the mainstream media has blacked out any not just any informed criticism, but in fact any mention of such informed criticism, of climate alarmism.
They have formal educations in crazy talk, and an entire world view based on propaganda, and reinforced by self imposed ignorance.

February 7, 2020 3:58 pm

Cooling… warming… change. Undeniable. Unfalsifiable.

30 years of a persistent, sustainable conditions. The new normal. No models. No inference. No consensus. No empathetic appeals. No sociopolitical gerrymandering. No Planned Populations. Climate change. Fight!

Reply to  n.n
February 7, 2020 6:37 pm

Cooling… warming… cooling… warming… on and on and on… change. Undeniable. Unfalsifiable.
400,000 years of persistent, sustainable conditions.

There, FIFY.
I could go on.
Back to school for you.

February 7, 2020 4:11 pm

Speaking truth to facts. Groundhog day.

February 7, 2020 4:13 pm

“Climate change denialism” is not something I suffer from. Though change in climate is and always has been happening, I am deeply sceptical of the opinion that man is more than a bit player in the process. Knowing this causes me no suffering, no grief, no loss of sleep. It is actually quite satisfying.

Carl Friis-Hansen
February 7, 2020 4:15 pm

To me Sina aged 14 from Germany is so much more mature and insightful than Belinda. I am referring to Sina’s interview with Grosse Freiheit TV (Great Freedom TV) about a week ago. You can read an English translation of the highlights from the interview at:

George Daddis
February 7, 2020 4:21 pm

It is frustrating that all these articles and papers from the academic elite START with the assumption that we are heading for a “Climate Catastrophe” and the only issue is how do we change the minds of those too ignorant or selfish to drastically change their own lifestyle as well as the economies of every country in the world.

You would think there would be a contrarian out there who decides to test that assumption.
As we all know there is ample evidence to destroy the starting hypothesis.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  George Daddis
February 7, 2020 6:30 pm

Many have done just that, from several different angles and perspectives, and to various degrees of skepticism…from mild concern that the worst of the alarmists were slightly exaggerating, to assertions that at least some of the assertions were false (such as increasing numbers and severity of adverse weather events) while not disagreeing with the general premise…etc.
It matters not how mild the criticism from within the ranks is…they are vilified, scorned, called names, and drummed out.
Only be excluding contrary opinions completely and immediately can any issue have anything like widespread agreement among diverse individuals…even if an idea is without evidentiary contradiction.
How to get uniform head-nodding towards a false premise?
That takes a process and people that are outright corrupt.

Gunga Din
February 7, 2020 4:22 pm

Maybe she has a future in writing commercials for Gieco?

February 7, 2020 4:27 pm

Question for the Doctorial Candidate: Is an aboriginal individual living in the deep Amazon, with no exposure to the academic construct of Anthropogenic Climate change a “denier”?

Pretzel logic, an unpolluted mind is a terrible thing to assess without predjudice.

February 7, 2020 4:49 pm

Science deniers are disturbingly common in academia. She just assumes that climate alarmists are right without bothering to investigate the science then bases her entire paper on that incorrect assumption. Never bothers to even question the assumptions she makes. Of course the dunces in the media applaud here because she’s demonstrated that she’s one of them: ignorant.

February 7, 2020 4:56 pm

Send in the psychos. A veritable Ouroboros. To clarify, we are still talking about [catastrophic] [anthropogenic] [global] cooling… warming… change, right?

February 7, 2020 5:11 pm

This woman is repeating the plot of a book written in 1949 , titled 1984. In the book the authorities were successful. Substitute the war with the East in the book with co2 caused climate catastrophe and the plot is the same.

February 7, 2020 5:14 pm

Australia relies in large part for its wealth, on the massive harvesting of mineral resources for sale to places like China. One has to wonder if Ms Xie and her parents would find it such a desirable place to be were the clock turned back to say the 20’s or even the 50’s ? If I were a cynic, I might be tempted to think that what we have here is a very good example of cognitive dissonance. 🙂

Sweet Old Bob
February 7, 2020 5:20 pm

She doesn’t realize that when you run with the herd ( unless you are a leader ) you are running in poo …
maybe she is used to it ? Likes it ?

February 7, 2020 5:25 pm

Psychology and witchcraft are equally scientific. The fact that people are so uneducated, lacking in intelligence and gullible to believe this crap should terrify those on the outside. The climate that will destroy the planet is the degradation of human evolution and a return to the prehistoric magical thought patterns.

Bill Powers
Reply to  Sheri
February 8, 2020 3:28 am

I was majoring in psychology for a while but after numerous courses on the subject I realized that it is nothing more than a bucketful of theories wrapped tightly in used toilet paper. Certainly nothing that a rational mind would choose to unravel. I dropped the major when it became apparent, from my professors that Psychology only existed to keep the mentally unstable occupied.

Reply to  Sheri
February 8, 2020 3:42 am

The blanket criticisms of psychology are unjustified. Sadly there are the legions of Belindas, but at the top of the profession are people like Daniel Kahneman, the late Amos Tversky and in the current generation Daniel Ariely, whose scientific approach demonstrates show easily we are mistaken in our perceptions and the need for honest scepticism.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  RobH
February 8, 2020 12:51 pm

A scientific approach that demonstrated that we are mistaken in our need for honest skepticism?
Or did you maybe omit a needed comma?

Bill Powers
Reply to  RobH
February 9, 2020 12:18 pm

Rob, With all due respect to you as a human being, your comment reads like the musings of an unstable mind. I would suggest you see a psychologist but fear that might only exacerbate your condition.

Unless of course my hypothesis has some validity, in which case I suggest you consult a mirror for psychotherapy.

Gary Pearse
February 7, 2020 5:56 pm

So Stalin and Mao thought what was needed to straighten out the realm was Party criticism and self criticism! Yeah right! Criticise the Party, that’s the ticket. Even self criticism would label you as guilty of something. The wiser populace in cheek to jowl communal flats chose to never speak above a whisper!

PhDs (like this one for Climate Change psychology) are doled out by the millions for ‘disciplines’ that didn’t exist a few decades ago to a populace that’s been tricked, cheated and dumbed down in schools and universities for service in a new centrally planned order (that’s the real battle being fought).

I remember my father helping my sister with her grade nine Latin (!!) and he a product of 10 years of education in a single schoolroom school on the prairies that he went to on horseback. He’d be horrified to see what’s happening in education.

February 7, 2020 6:07 pm

Every time there’s a flood or a bunch of wildfires the citizens all clamor for more action on climate change. The vast majority of these folks seem to think that if, for instance, Australia reduces its CO2 emissions, the Australian forests won’t burn so easily. Don’t they realize that the earth’s atmosphere moves across the entire globe, and that the CO2 in Australian atmosphere likely came from a wide mix of sources including India and China and Russia as well as the US, and Australia’s fraction will be tiny, like ours (Canada’s). Canada or Australia could shut down their entire fossil fuel consupmtion and it would make no difference to climate change, even if CO2 was a real threat.

February 7, 2020 6:25 pm

So, either: rational, educated people do not believe in at least some aspect of manmade climate change; or, there are no rational, educated people.

I’ll go with the first option.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  jtom
February 7, 2020 7:01 pm

I will take the second. Never bet on rationality or education. Always take the under.

February 7, 2020 6:56 pm

The usual way, that I was taught, to sort out effects from random noise is factor analysis. Psychologists seem to delight in making up answers and then trying to figure out if people can make sense of them. “affective, cognitive, and socio-cultural factors”. Assuming you know how”cognitive” factors can be defined in a specific brain, how do you measure them? Grid Group Theory splits everything psychological into 4 groups, for many, many studies.Does it work? Maybe. It’s taken since the late 19th century to figure out that IQ has 5 major facets that describe most of the mental ability differences between people.
“Factor analysis is a way to take a mass of data and shrinking it to a smaller data set that is more manageable and more understandable.”(https://www.statisticshowto.datasciencecentral.com/factor-analysis/).

Ms. Xie’s paper seems to take the shortcut of modifying and older model of climate risk using new terms. They they explained 72% of the variance. Strangely they gave no numbers for the “strong” risk perception and willingess to change.

I strongly suspect that taking the same experiment to a dozen countries across the globe would wipe out any real result.

Walter Sobchak
February 7, 2020 7:00 pm

Sinners in the hands of an angry god. We have all sinned, we have all fallen short of the glory of Gaia.

Why does anyone take these children seriously.

February 7, 2020 7:08 pm

She would have done better if she had concentrated on the belief aspects of climate change. Then, she could have followed that up with the obvious parallels with the belief systems of the world’s major religions. And how, like climate change, they all believe in something that isn’t true.

February 7, 2020 8:12 pm

Nup.Shes wrong.There are climate sceptics and then there are hypocrites.

February 7, 2020 9:41 pm

I wouldn’t say I suffer from climate denialism.

In fact, I enjoy it immensely.

Ian Coleman
February 7, 2020 10:02 pm

First of all, what is with these people that they’re too lazy to include all the necessary words in their key phrases? (Can they not pronounce the word “dioxide? “) “Climate denier?” What could that possibly be?

And of course, she is speaking to people for whom the label “denier” is an insult. I’m a climate change catastrophe doubter. (Notice that I used enough words to be understood. Also words that have meanings that are impervious to political labelling.) But wait, I can explain. Except that Ms. Xie here is not going to wait. After you have conceded your doubt, Ms. Xie is no longer interested in hearing why it exists. Some psychologist.

Wait ten years. Carbon dioxide concentrations will increase, but the skies won’t rage and the seas won’t rise. Doubt will creep in. After twenty years, Ms. Xie may find herself quite a bit more denying than she is now.

February 7, 2020 10:06 pm

An Appendix listing all of the biggest climate alarmist hypocrites and their carbon footprints would provide credibility to her paper. Divide them into categories including politicians, movie stars, musicians, rich people, companies claiming to be green, climate scientists, UN employees, and psychologists. Maybe if Belinda tries really really hard, she will top the psychologist list!

February 7, 2020 10:41 pm

It’s hugely ironic that it is the greenies who are the true climate change deniers. The climate has changed continuously since the earth was formed, yet greenies claim that climate change didn’t happen before human influence, and must somehow be stopped.

February 7, 2020 11:56 pm

Neither I nor anyone I know, *suffer* from the imaginary affliction of ‘climate denialism’.

As defined by the lucrative, incoherent, alarmist ramblings of its acolytes – and Belinda Lie is clearly one such – we simply dismiss it as a load of old codswallop; that’s all.

4 Eyes
February 8, 2020 1:23 am

I thought you were living in a different universe Belinda but then I read this in the abstract “We discuss the need for future research to develop a comprehensive model of behavioural willingness, and the need for public communication to combat mitigation response inefficacy.” Ah! You are like most of them – send more money for climate change related research.

Phil Clary
Reply to  4 Eyes
February 8, 2020 6:27 am

It’s worse. Not a mention of climate. All about governmental brainwashing though.

February 8, 2020 5:10 am

With an Antarctic yacht cruise in their $225k gift bags, every ‘environmentalist’ Oscar nominee leaves a winner – and a hypocrite


Twenty-four nominees in acting categories – including the likes of Joaquin Phoenix, Leonardo DiCaprio and Renee Zellweger – will receive opulent gifts worth over $5 million collectively, each including 24-carat-gold bath bombs, a custom stained-glass portrait (vanity knows no bounds), a certificate for a ‘one of a kind’ cannabis-infused chocolate culinary experience worth $10,000, a 24-carat-gold vape pen, five-star breaks in Ibiza and Waikiki, and – most bafflingly – a 12-day trip for two on the world’s first ultra-luxury expedition yacht, the Scenic Eclipse, valued at $78,190.

The diesel-powered yacht boasts eight restaurants, a spa sanctuary, helicopters, a submarine capable of depths of nearly 200 meters to allow for explorations ‘far beyond any done on expedition ships to date’, indoor and outdoor plunge pools, butler service and an almost 1:1 guest-to-staff ratio.

February 8, 2020 8:21 am

So the new position is, unless we agree that CO2 is going to kill us all, and soon, then we are in denial?

February 8, 2020 10:45 am

Apparently we’re all penis envy deniers with mopery and intent to gawk. It’s Viennese psychology Belinda, forgetaboutit.

February 8, 2020 12:46 pm

“….researches the psychology of climate change.”

She should switch to researching the psychology of people who push massive frauds upon the world. She might learn something useful.

February 8, 2020 1:21 pm

Might as well pile on,
Belinda Xie.
Written a paper, quaint term these days.
Sitting at a computer.
Components sourced from mining done by fossil fuelled excavators.
Transported by fossil fuelled ships.
Manufactured in furnaces and factories.
Office built the same way.
Clothes ditto.
Eats food manufactured the same way but has never done a days work growing , tending and processing her own food, ever.

Perhaps the title is misleading
Fossil fuel realist.
We are all fossil fuel realists to some extent.

February 8, 2020 1:34 pm

“The UNSW Scientia PhD candidate specialises in cognitive science and researches the psychology of climate change.”

She misses the whole cognitive dissonance aspect of her cult.

(vulgar euphimism) experts!

Mike of NQ
February 8, 2020 1:42 pm

I really hate it when people attempt to speak on my behalf, especially when they are wrong. I do not deny climate change. In fact, I wish the Earth would heat up quicker. The global average is what – 55 degrees F. A more lush, greener, wetter planet. Who doesn’t want this?

February 8, 2020 1:51 pm

Just because someone’s a doctoral candidate doesn’t mean they’re not an idiot.

Tom Abbott
February 8, 2020 5:43 pm

So true. 🙂

February 8, 2020 3:46 pm

Lenin and Stalin knew what to do with the collection of foreign ideological volunteers that showed up to help in Moscow. They too were welcomed in the gulag or worse.

February 8, 2020 3:48 pm

I would suggest the video series of interviews on Youtube with the Korean escapees from North Korea. What they talk about is not some distant history. It is current.

February 8, 2020 3:51 pm

Australian climate psychology is one of the more virulent strains. Educate yourselves before the the climate Mengele’s emerge.

Craig from Oz
February 8, 2020 4:41 pm

My current belief is that the main purpose of higher education in modern society is to keep the unemployable from cluttering up the crowded job market for another couple of years.

It’s welfare.

February 9, 2020 5:11 pm

This is chilling. She will make a fine minister of doctrinal compliance in the new age. “If you are not turning cartwheels for de-carbonization and living the paleolithic life, you will get special attention”.

February 13, 2020 8:21 pm

I don’t deny the climate. There is clearly a climate. If you add the words, “present-day short-term extreme anthropogenic” and postfix it with “change.” You start hitting my “deny” zone. Even then, I wouldn’t hit the “there is absolutely no chance” zone. Just, it’s in the, even if you say there are unicorns, I’m gonna need to see one to change my opinion.
I do expect the seas to rise. They’ve been higher than today. I expect the ice to melt. There have been warmer times. I do expect another ice age. There have been multiple ice ages in the past. I also expect humans to be able to moderate all things eventually, which means our domain control would reach the level of the sun, the seas, the earth, and the air. But that day isn’t this day. For all our might, our actions are background noise to the forces regulating global temperature. Like turning on a single lightbulb won’t overwhelm your AC’s ability to regulate household temperature.. because of the lightbulb and the AC operating in different magnitudes of power. Sure, in a closed system, the lightbulb would eventually get the temperature up to 4 or 5 thousand degrees. it’s just… Earth isn’t a closed system.

Johann Wundersamer
February 20, 2020 5:56 pm

“Belinda Xie’s paywalled paper is available here” and guess why Belinda Xie’s paper hides behind pay walls.

Johann Wundersamer
February 20, 2020 8:42 pm

Journal of Environmental Psychology

Volume 65, October 2019, 101331

Predicting climate change risk perception and willingness to act


• Our model explained 72% of variance in Australians’ climate change risk perceptions.

• The same model explained 47% of variance in willingness to take mitigation action.

• Affect and response inefficacy were the strongest predictors of risk perception and willingness.

• Prescriptive norms and free-market ideology were strong predictors of willingness.

• Our model explained 72% of variance in Australians’ climate change risk perceptions: owning the fact that said model is not based on facts but on possibilities.

• The same model explained 47% of variance in willingness to take mitigation action: owning the fact that said model is not based on facts but on the interviewed eagerness to rise in the interviewer’s perception.

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