UK Academics Advocate Silencing Dissent on Climate Change and Covid-19

Edge Hill University
Edge Hill University Learning Innovation Centre. By Edge Hill University – https://www.flickr.com/photos/edgehilluniversity/6955277595/, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to Edge Hill University Professors Geoff Beattie and Laura McGuire, the way to prevent people ignoring climate change and Covid-19 messages is to “avoid presenting both sides of the argument”.

Coronavirus shows how to get people to act on climate change – here’s the psychology

July 29, 2020 8.22pm AEST

Geoff Beattie Professor of Psychology, Edge Hill University
Laura McGuire Research Fellow in Education, Edge Hill University

With COVID-19, the early messaging attempted to circumscribe the nature of the threat. In March, the WHO announced that: “COVID-19 impacts the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions most severely.” Similar statements were made by the UK government.

A reasonable interpretation of this would be that the virus does not “affect” young people. But as new clinical data came in, this message was changed to emphasise that the virus could affect people of all ages and doesn’t discriminate.

The initial positive message for young people also created an “optimism bias”. This bias is very powerful – we know of various brain mechanisms that can ensure that a positive mood persists. One study found that people tend to have a reduced level of neural coding of more negative than anticipated information (in comparison with more positive than anticipated information) in a critical region of the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in decision making. This means that we tend to miss the incoming bad news and, even if we don’t, we hardly process it.

To make climate change messages more effective, we need to target these cognitive biases. To prevent temporal and spatial biases, for example, we need a clear message as to why climate change is bad for individuals in their own lives in the here and now (establishing an appropriate affect heuristic). 

And to prevent optimism bias, we also need to avoid presenting “both sides of the argument” in the messaging – the science tells us that there’s only one side. There also needs to be a clear argument as to why recommended, sustainable behaviours will work (establishing a different sort of confirmation bias).

We also need everyone to get the message, not just some groups – that’s an important lesson from COVID-19. There can be no (apparent) exceptions when it comes to climate change.

Read more: https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-shows-how-to-get-people-to-act-on-climate-change-heres-the-psychology-143300

I guess big tech shutting down dissenting voices on Coronavirus was just a test run, for what these two professors from Edge Hill University want to inflict on us.

Things have sure changed since I went to school. I remember my professors arguing for logic, debate and reason, rather than an authoritarian shutdown of dissent.

144 thoughts on “UK Academics Advocate Silencing Dissent on Climate Change and Covid-19

  1. Aren’t they already doing that? The “progressives” want to control language and thought while accusing Trump wanting a dictatorship. Projection. It works on some people.

    • You have to remember that Edge Hill University was basically a teachers training college until recently.

      • …. and remember the old saying: “if you can’t do the job then teach!”

        They, like the BBC, exhibit the practices of the Inquisition: denying others any right to differ, or even consider, an alternative belief – the very opposite of the scientific method! Scientists from Galileo, Newton, onwards must be turning in their graves!

        A pathetic performance!

        • “…. the old saying: “if you can’t do the job then teach!”

          …and if you can’t teach, then lecture on the ‘Sociology of Education’ course….

          • Those who can’t do, teach.
            Those who can’t teach, teach in universities.

            And to prevent optimism bias, we also need to avoid presenting “both sides of the argument” in the messaging – the science tells us that there’s only one side.

            All this “prefrontal” crap is basically psychological manipulation. It says everything about the so-called “scientific basic” of the climate scare that they have to abandon the fundamental truth seeking and open debate of science and resort to macheavellian, psychological manipulation.

          • I heard it as:

            Those who can, do.
            Those who can’t, teach.
            Those who can’t teach, criticize.

            As the article shows clearly, these profs cannot teach and have limited themselves to criticizing.

            Unable to conceive of there being a wealth of scientific proofs that their climate alarmist position is unsustainable, they have decided, as they say, to “look on the bright side” which requires that they suppress all scientific arguments contradicting their unsupportable assertions, which exist only in their computer models.

            This article may become a classic example of “how not to think”, and better, “how not to speak” when commenting on a controversial matter.

            The thing reads like a joke, the output to some dare dreamed up at a party to see how gullible the public is and how little attention they pay to such matters.

          • You guys all forgot the full sequence.
            If you can, then do.
            If you can’t, then consult.
            If you can’t consult, then teach.

          • I heard it as:
            Those who can, do
            Those who can’t, teach
            Those who can’t teach, teach theory of Education
            …like these professors

      • That at least explains the reason teachers are so indoctrinated these days then .
        What kind of so called University calls for abandonment of alternate view?
        We are living in increasingly dystopian times.

        • Back in the early ’60s the Department of Education was the department of last resort. If you were flunking out somewhere else you could always go there to get a degree. As far as I know that’s the only research area where new theories (actually just proposals) are widely implemented before being tested or verified. But, ‘Climate Science’ may be catching up.

        • Our American friends need to know that most (the majority?) of British so called Universities are nothing of the kind.
          Most are what we used to call Technical Colleges or Polytechnics. If i remember rightly it was wassicks like Harold Wilson who was a teacher at a Yorkshire college before he became Prime Minister, who started the rot of British academia by calling every tin pot college a University.
          So these so called expert Professors are on a par with every plumber who is now an engineer in Britain.

          • The University has three faculties: Arts and Sciences, Education, and Health and Social Care; these teach at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

            About this ‘seat of learning’, Wikipedia says it all for me.

      • I left Liverpool over 50 years ago and didn’t know this establishment existed, but seeing the name made me smile.

        Edge Hill was the penultimate train station before the terminus at Lime Street. When I was a young man in Liverpool, the expression “to get off at Edge Hill” referred to coitus interruptus as a form of contraception.

        • Thanks. Love it.

          Now getting off at Edge Hill means not being smart enough to get a place at a proper university.

    • A man is a woman is a man.
      A rioter is a peaceful protester.
      Police are always violent and racist.

    • Until traditional minds accept that the Liberal-Progressive mind is INSANE, and acts accordingly, things will not improve.

      • I agree. They are insane, too. Just listen to them.

        The Left has created a huge false reality in which they all live. And a horrible false reality it is, too, going by their rhetoric. Thankfully, that false reality only exists for them (unless you watch CNN), and the rest of us can carry on about our business as soon as we vote these maniacs out of office in November.

    • “to prevent optimism bias, we also need to avoid presenting “both sides of the argument” in the messaging – the science tells us that there’s only one side.”

      Absolutely and patently a lie, as their junk science does not support anything real. They are just plain anti-science and pushing their political agenda based on the ignorance and gullibility of the public.

      What is indeed amazing is they do not have a single piece of real evidence to show what they claim, absolutely indefensible. Thus, they have to cancel debate of all kinds in all places. They have the media and politicians in their pockets and can say anything they want in their echo chamber.

    • Garold ~ “Aren’t they already doing that? …”

      “They” have been doing that for a rather long time . . Consider please;

      Christian intellectuals initiated what we call science (in the modern sense of the word) and continued to dominate it right on into modern times (as evidenced by about two thirds of all Nobel prizes in Physics, Chemistry, and Medicine having been awarded to people who self identified as Christians, for instance).

      And, a prediction was made/recorded many hundreds of years earlier, long before the predictor could have possibly foreseen such a thing by strictly “natural” means~

      “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

      Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”

      On what logical grounds can such blatantly obvious and well documented empirical evidence that we are not in a strictly “natural” universe, be dismissed entirely by a “they”, so as to justify “forcibly” taking money from many millions of people to pay for their own children’s indoctrination into a religion-like belief system (Grand Origin Story Evolution) that they don’t share, while disallowing so much as any mention of a “counter argument” . .

      I suggest many here are “they” too.

    • High UV index and the subsequent high heat index is the reason southern states have more cases and deaths than northern states.

      Relaxed CDC COVID-19 Probable Case Definition Leads to Widespread Misdiagnosis from Deaths from Extreme UV Index and High Heat Index; US 2020 Reported COVID-19 Mortality Rate 9% of 2019 YTD.

      Abstract:

      Centers for Disease Control (CDC) rule changes have affected the quality of cause of death certifications and the number of deaths reported.

      New COVID-19 US case numbers soared during the 2020 second wave1 after CDC probable case definition changed2 in early April allowing for unconfirmed cases to be counted as COVID-19 cases/deaths3 for symptoms once attributed to heat-related illness4 et al. The CDC predicted extreme heat for US states where most cases/deaths have occurred.5 The second wave started in US spring/summer as heat index increased from higher UV Index6 (UVI, ultraviolet) in the 8 to 11+ range (above the 2006-2019 US average) from less cloudiness due to negative Nino34 anomalies7 and positive Central Pacific Outgoing Longwave Radiation8.

      The daily EPA/CPC UV Index9 for 58 US stations for 2020 was directly compared with COVID-19 data10 and weather data11 to evaluate the coincidence of UVI and heat index on areas with high COVID-19 cases. In southern states with the most cases, the number of cases/deaths per day exhibits a geometric growth pattern with increasing UV severity levels 4-11. Case/death growth followed the duration of UV index extremes when the number of continuous days UVI>=10 exceeded a threshold that was location and population-resilience dependent; short spikes in cases/deaths correlated with UVI 7-day average spikes or long-duration high UVI periods.

      The COVID-19 death toll in the US stands at 148K, at 9% of the 2019 US death total YTD. All US state cases are below 2.5% per capita, deaths below 0.18% per capita, the ratio of COVID-19 negative to positive tests is 11.2, with a 1.3% average per capita case rate, and 3.5% rate of death with COVID-19 attribution. 78% of US states reported death peaks/valleys on average every 7 days, often the same day.

      Recent Central and South American cases12 also correlated with high UVI, and could worsen with the SH spring season. Heat-related illnesses in the US should start declining with seasonal UVI towards the NH autumn. Other than actual viral cases, shelter-in-place rules and lockdowns may have contributed to poor weather acclimation to the high heat of 2020 after the US opened again, contributing to the second wave. A new policy is recommended for new public sun & heat advisories with an emphasis on overall healthiness and without mandatory actions like masks and social distancing.

      https://i.postimg.cc/GhGRtKF5/UVI-Heat-Index-and-COVID-19.jpg

      http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_update/ssta_c.gif

      • If you have no confidence in the facts of the matter, you have to silence dissent. Your insecurity and weakness force you to that as the only effective response.

    • Excellent read indeed.

      The last referenced article (1973) on the coronavirus outbreak in an Antarctic station after 17 weeks of complete isolation – beside questionning the lockdown or border closure effectiveness – raises the issue of what can cause such an outbreak and how.

      It also reminds me of the Film The Thing (Carpenter) 🙂

    • Richard Binns I read the summary and used the article graphic for deaths in Arizona in a plot of the UV index for Phoenix, one of 58 US stations listed here in the uvi_map gif:

      https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/uv_index/uvi_map.gif

      https://i.postimg.cc/cCXDTTz0/Arizona-UVI-vs-COVID.jpg

      The article you cited didn’t give a specific reason why the cases are declining. I addressed that recently in the following abstract submitted to the AGU yesterday, explaining how the CDC messed everything up with their change in case definitions by allowing for the misattribution of heat stress symptoms to COVID-19, masking the true reason for the second wave:

      Relaxed CDC COVID-19 Probable Case Definition Leads to Widespread Misdiagnosis from Deaths from Extreme UV Index and High Heat Index; US 2020 Reported COVID-19 Mortality Rate 9% of 2019 YTD.

      Abstract

      Centers for Disease Control (CDC) rule changes have affected the quality of cause of death certifications and the number of deaths reported.

      New COVID-19 US case numbers soared during the 2020 second wave1 after CDC probable case definition changed2 in early April allowing for unconfirmed cases to be counted as COVID-19 cases/deaths3 for symptoms once attributed to heat-related illness4 et al. The CDC predicted extreme heat for US states where most cases/deaths have occurred.5 The second wave started in US spring/summer as heat index increased from higher UV Index6 (UVI, ultraviolet) in the 8 to 11+ range (above the 2006-2019 US average) from less cloudiness due to negative Nino34 anomalies7 and positive Central Pacific Outgoing Longwave Radiation8.

      The daily EPA/CPC UV Index9 for 58 US stations for 2020 was directly compared with COVID-19 data10 and weather data11 to evaluate the coincidence of UVI and heat index on areas with high COVID-19 cases. In southern states with the most cases, the number of cases/deaths per day exhibits a geometric growth pattern with increasing UV severity levels 4-11. Case/death growth followed the duration of UV index extremes when the number of continuous days UVI>=10 exceeded a threshold that was location and population-resilience dependent; short spikes in cases/deaths correlated with UVI 7-day average spikes or long-duration high UVI periods.

      The COVID-19 death toll in the US stands at 148K, at 9% of the 2019 US death total YTD. All US state cases are below 2.5% per capita, deaths below 0.18% per capita, the ratio of COVID-19 negative to positive tests is 11.2, with a 1.3% average per capita case rate, and 3.5% rate of death with COVID-19 attribution. 78% of US states reported death peaks/valleys on average every 7 days, often the same day.

      Recent Central and South American cases12 also correlated with high UVI, and could worsen with the SH spring season. Heat-related illnesses in the US should start declining with seasonal UVI towards the NH autumn. Other than actual viral cases, shelter-in-place rules and lockdowns may have contributed to poor weather acclimation to the high heat of 2020 after the US opened again, contributing to the second wave. A new policy is recommended for new public sun & heat advisories with an emphasis on overall healthiness and without mandatory actions like masks and social distancing.

      https://i.postimg.cc/GhGRtKF5/UVI-Heat-Index-and-COVID-19.jpg

      Since yesterday the number of US deaths has surpassed 150K. I think your article is right, US cases will continue to decline as summer insolation decreases reducing the heat index.

  2. This is nothing short of evil and totalitarian. These professors should lose their jobs immediately for disseminating propaganda, mass dishonesty, attempting to undermine, both freedom of speech and democracy.

    • Never trust academics and experts who only want one narrative…theirs. That is your first indication that something isn’t right. I have had to search for the other points of view in the US for 5-10 yrs now. They don’t make it easy. I want the other side, even when I agree with the official narrative. Banned articles and videos and websites become new information sources and even favorites. Your lists to ban become mine to give a thumbs up, even if I disagree with them. I am an absolute first amendment kind of person. The subject you ban another from speaking about should be forbidden to you. Any subject you can discuss with your thoughts, I can give mine.

      • Is there any other sort of academic or expert in the modern world? The long march through the institutions has just about succeeded. Their journey to the Dark Side is almost complete.

    • Jamie,
      Just be aware they are simply endorsing the current BBC and Guardian official editorial position.
      Those organisations have said in writing, they will not allow any dissenting voice about the causes of man made climate change, to be heard on their programs or publishing.
      The word is clearly going out, how to censor dissent out of the picture.
      There is no such thing as a one sided debate, those one sided events are called instructions or indoctrination.
      Someone should tell the Universities….

        • He is a professor of psychology explaining how to use psychological techniques to manipulate public opinion.

          He is well with in his competence to talk about that.

          He should probably be hauled up in front of the ethics committee for what he suggesting doing with this knowledge. Although the head of the “ethics” committee is probably a Peter Gleick clone who will pat him on the back and say “we’ll cover for you”.

          His new degree course is called Goebels for Beginners.

          • “He is a professor of psychology explaining how to use psychological techniques to manipulate public opinion.”

            Yes, that’s what he is doing. Brainwashing 101.

            We’ll find out how well brainwashing works, or not, on November 3.

            We’ll have a lot better picture of where we stand then.

      • “Just be aware they are simply endorsing the current BBC and Guardian official editorial position.

        Is that why the English translation of the Latin words on the horrid stone carving by Eric Gill on the exterior of the BBC building is “Listen and Obey”?

    • they are acting like the catholic church , ” the world is flat ” ,the iniverse revolvea around the earth ” BECAUSE WE SAY SO .

  3. That would take years for them to agree what their position is on Climate Change and COVID-19

  4. “..And to prevent optimism bias, we also need to avoid presenting “both sides of the argument” in the messaging – the science tells us that there’s only one side….”

    No, Big Brother and the Orwellian thought police tell us that there is only one side. This usually comes from the side which knows it will never win a debate.

    So here we have yet another psychologist who doesn’t recognize the characteristics of a cult when he sees one, and doesn’t even realize he is a member. He has anointed himself to be the active keeper of the Holy Faith for the cult and probably thinks he is properly applying psychology here.

    The level of arrogance and scientific illiteracy on display here is — as Spock would put it — fascinating.

  5. I am 68 and I am telling all you nice young folks that there is absolutely nothing new or modern about suppressing dissent from orthodoxy. There has never been a time in my life where people in power were in any way tolerant of opposing viewpoints, or did not aggressively punish their expression.

    That said, I do not understand why media outlets like The New York Times censor dissent from the climate change narrative. Like most of us who post here, I just can’t understand how so many people have been hoodwinked into believing in the existence of a problem for which the evidence is so weak and the solution so costly. You have to want it to be real to believe in it. Why would anyone want it to be real?

    • Walter Lippmann, Walter Duranty, Nicole Hannah-Jones, Carlos Slim Helu. Why does the New York Times publish or slant toward one side of any issue? Begins with In, ends with fluence.

      • Or fashionable.
        Living in Ice Age, and worried about warming.
        Seems fashionable.
        And fashions change.

    • Their owners dictate what their editorial slant is to be to the editors and the editors funnel that info down the chain.

      There are 6 people who control 95% of the media in north america. There are 3 others who control 90% of the internet media. 9 people control what the vast majority of the people hear, see and read.

    • ” I do not understand why media outlets like The New York Times censor dissent from the climate change narrative.”

      It’s not obvious that the New York Times is politically biased to the Left? The New York Times is the megaphone for leftwing ideology and has been for decades. Expecting the truth from them is expecting too much. What you get from them is “leftwing” “truth”.

      The New York Times uses it pages to promote every leftwing cause out there including Human-caused climate change. It’s as simple as that.

  6. “There also needs to be a clear argument as to why recommended, sustainable behaviours will work”

    Kind of like the underpants gnomes on South Park, whose business plan was:

    1) Steal Underpants
    2) ???
    3) Big Profits!!!

  7. I’m an optimist. I would love the opportunity for them to try and convert and prevent my temporal and spatial biases of optimism. I want this ‘in person’ so I can give their neurotic ass a complete breakdown or a much better outlook on life! I’m quite optimist of the results either way!

  8. “…the science tells us that there’s only one side.”

    I can’t argue with that. The science tells us very clearly that there is no climate crisis, that human emissions cannot cause dangerous global warming and that additional CO2 in the atmosphere is a good thing.

    That’s why they want to silence dissenting voices, because they know they can’t make their case using science.

  9. The Left’s strong urge for suppression of dissent arises because all of their agenda is based on lies, deceptions, and half-truths.
    Examples:
    Climate change alarmism.
    Affordability of wind and solar as major power sources.
    Normalized transgenderism.
    Effectiveness of COVID lockdowns.
    Existence of systemic racism in police departments.

    All the above are based in lies and half-truths that cannot withstand an open challenge by knowledgeable experts.
    Hence, cancel culture and suppression of dissent with bully tactics.

  10. OMG Beattie and McGuire have discovered that some people like to think for themselves. See son that’s what 12 years of university education can do for you.

    • Ah universities! I’ve seriously been considering universities in Japan or India for my grandson, maybe Moscow State uni, very good ones there. I would never send him to Ivy League, or Oxford/Cambridge or the once famous California universities. Their graduates are burning down Portland, Seattle, Chicago, New York, shutting down free speech, democracy, free enterprise, erasing history, scholarship, diversity of ideas…

      Seriously, what are people here doing about this very serious issue?

      • Western Universities have debased and ruined themselves in their lust for money and influence. The Higher Education bubble is going to burst one day.

        • If Trump gets elected higher education is going to be in for some reforms. If the Democrats win, then higher education will continue their leftwing brainwashing of the populace.

  11. Science is not scientific if it cannot be challenged with experiments and debate using empirical data. You cannot say “Science” is fact or settled when over 1000 refereed journal articles are withdrawn or retracted in most years.
    https://retractionwatch.com/
    They list 30 COVID-19 related articles retracted and several more have noted concerns.

    Peter Ridd pointed out the lies and mistakes of others and was persecuted by his employer, James Cook University, for doing so. The removal of his rights to freely speak regarding his field of expertise became advantageous to JCU due to the research grants & donations they could obtain for supporting the AGW theory.

    The usual AGW climate models shown all have the assumption of CO2 causing significant warming as part of their inputs. You cannot use the output of a model to prove the assumptions used as input because that is circular reasoning. They become less useful when those same models vary greatly and deviate significantly from reality. But that and many other disagreements have been debated many times before in WUWT threads and elsewhere.

    We are left with shouting matches until all sides can compromise to clarify the truth or closer to it. This is not a poor little AGW group vs climate deniers backed by fossil fuel. These are big AGW groups supported by trillion dollar industries (and emotion) vs everyday scientists of limited means trying to debate using empirical evidence and practicalities. Communism doesn’t like free speech and disagreement to threaten their created false perception of perfection. You can’t fool all the people all of the time.

    • i wonder how Beattie and McGuire would have reacted when Marshall and Warren proposed the hypothesis that helicobacter pylori was responsible for stomach ulcers.
      There was a lot of original scepticism from the medical establishment until Marshall infected himself with helicobacter and cured himself with antibiotics, showing that their hypothesis was correct.
      No doubt Beattie and McGuire would have shut down the discussion as the hypothesis went against standard medical opinion.

      • This reminds me of the controversy over hdroxychloriquine. The medical establishment and the MSM have latched onto the meme that HCL is ineffective as a cure for covid. Of course that is based solely on studies where HCL was given late in the progression of the disease and not accompanied by anything else. The establishment medicine and the MSM aren’t exactly lying but they aren’t telling the complete truth either. The only study that I know of that looked at HCL as an ameliorative early in the progression of the disease when coupled with a Z-pac and zinc has been the Michigan study. When coupled with the direct observational results by independent doctors using the mixture that shows effectiveness in limiting the disease progression we have very good evidence for the use of the combination.

        But Facebook and Twitter has decided that the meme “HCL is ineffective” can be the only message allowed to be propagated. All other evidence must be suppressed because, that’s it, just because.

          • I see several problems here. For instance: “an international trial looking at hydroxychloroquine for critically ill patients”. No one is saying HCL is a cure for a critically ill patient. Yet this is being use to support the meme that HCL is ineffective for anything!

            Not one mention of zinc is made anywhere in the article yet the doctors providing direct observational evidence almost always include zinc as part of the treatment.

            “yet another NEJM study of 821 participants reported that hydroxychloroquine was ineffective as postexposure prophylaxis”. Once again, everyone that has seen positive effects has used HCL in conjunction with an antibiotic and zinc. What the hell good does it do to study HCL by itself except to further the meme that HCL is ineffective by itself. Of course the “by itself” it always left off and the meme becomes simply HCL is ineffective.

            It’s why I say no one is exactly lying about HCL but they are certainly be imsleading about it!

  12. The climate debate is not about the climate, the covid debates are not about covid-19, their arguments are only a disguise for their unrestricted love of power, they do not care about the human population only an unrestricted grasp for enslavement of the human population.

  13. “To make climate change messages more effective, we need to target these cognitive biases. And to prevent optimism bias, we also need to avoid presenting “both sides of the argument”. The science tells us that there’s only one side.”

    Conclusion: climate scientists now know it all and all uncertainty issues has been resolved and therefore no further research is necessary and no further climate research funding is needed. Is that right?

    And so therwfore thet surely know how to explain what appears to laymen to be a contradiction between “Event Attribution Analysis” and “Internal Climate Variability”.

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/06/29/diffenbaugh-2017-extreme-weather-of-climate-change/

  14. Do a web search for people no longer trust experts. You will get many many hits. It’s a thing, nobody disagrees.

    The problem with experts is they claim to do the impossible, which is to predict the future. They are wrong more often than not. A dart-throwing chimp can produce better predictions.

    When an expert tells you what to do, she is predicting that her advice will be successful. There’s the rub. Her predictions are correct only by accident.

    Why do we have President Trump? We have President Trump because the Democrats have embraced the expert elites. In the process, they have thrown the majority of Americans under the bus.

    Hey all you arrogant experts, we can have something much worse than President Trump. He’s a mild rebuke. If you guys don’t own up to your limitations and quit being demonstrably stupid, the body politic will will develop a fever and you will be expelled like the germs you are.

    People will never again trust experts until the experts actually become trustworthy. That, sadly, requires the kind of self reflection and humility of which most experts are incapable.

    The learned experts pretend they are the same as expert performers. When an engineer designs a bridge, you can trust it. When an economist predicts the economy you can’t. It’s annoying that one word encompasses people who can actually do something as well as people who just know a lot and are good at bafflegab. Engineers, pilots, and musicians on the one hand, academics and MBAs on the other.

      • The problem is usually everything that comes after the approved design by the PE.
        -The materials.
        -The skill of workers.
        -The onsite checks and quality controls.
        -The management of inevitable changes through an engineering process.
        – Not letting subs cut corners.

        • if they cut just a little corner (but the overall safety factor remains solid) it gets you a little bit of liability safety factor.

      • In most countries they also put there credentials on the line, they get it wrong they lose certification.

        Perhaps that is what we should do for Climate Scientists but then none of them would still have a job 🙂

        • There are plenty of jobs for the failed climastrologists. The world needs more toilet cleaners.

          On second thought, I don’t even trust them to do that.

  15. Experts are those who know more and more about less and less until they reach the point that they know everything about nothing. The bigger the suitcase they carry the less they are worth.

  16. Snow deniers silenced, hmm yes, what a great idea.

    A lot of university jobs would have to go of course, self termination.

  17. Back in the day Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises would write about “dull routinists.”

    I wonder what he meant by that.

  18. I love to see how they are going to make this bit fly
    “we need a clear message as to why climate change is bad for individuals in their own lives”

    Pretty sure no matter how much CO2 is burnt it won’t effect me … apparently it might impact future generations, some polar bears, some drowned pacific islands and some in 3rd world nations.

    So still looking for how CO2 emissions are going to impact me … perhaps Griff or Loydo could shed some light?

    • “we need a clear message as to why climate change is bad for individuals in their own lives”

      Costlier, less reliable electricity.
      Oops, that’s an effect of green policy.

      More expensive automobiles.
      Ditto.

      Flammable tower blocks.
      Ditto.

      More flammable forests.
      Ditto.

  19. Climate cooling… warming… change is underperforming expectations and Her Choice is 50 shades short of her Choice… a real “burden”. Planned Parent, protests, etc. were their last hope to force change, to secure their carbon credits. #Wicked Throw another baby on the barbie, they’re done.

  20. They aren’t the brightest bulbs. This is a tool that that has been used by dictators for hundreds of years. The real name is indoctrination or brain washing. If they don’t know the correct name, they aren’t bright enough to do science and if they do, they are far too evil to do science.

  21. “This means that we tend to miss the incoming bad news and, even if we don’t, we hardly process it.”

    Since the mass media content is around 95% bad news:
    H1-missing the bad news is a defense mechanism to keep from being psychologically overwhelmed? Or
    H2-the redundancy compensates for the suppression, which keeps the scam going? Or
    H3-both to some varying degrees?

    Please send more research funding to explore these possibilities further.

  22. “We also need everyone to get the message, not just some groups – that’s an important lesson from COVID-19.”

    Propaganda everywhere (MSM, social media, University, School) is indeed the best way to drown out any contrary argument and achieve a perfect brainwashing of most of the populace, with matches to keep your eyes open while being “formated” in a mental asylum if you don’t comply.

  23. I did trust the experts on Covid but they made really bad predictions so I no longer trust them.

    – they initially predicted low human to human transmission
    – then they overshot and predicted millions deaths in USA
    – they changed their minds in masks

  24. So the statement says:

    “But as new clinical data came in, this message was changed to emphasise that the virus could affect people of all ages and doesn’t discriminate”

    I downloaded UK Coronavirus deaths by age data (up to date to 23 June 2020). The results in the various age groups were:

    Age (yrs) Deaths Percentage
    0 – 19 20 0.1%
    20 – 39 208 0.7%
    40 – 59 2215 7.8%
    60 – 79 10804 38.0%
    80+ 15187 53.4%
    Total 28434 100.0%

    Risks to young people? Must be very small. For those aged under 40 yrs, only 0.8% of deaths – 228 people.

    The virus may affect all ages but it does not necessarily pose a threat to all ages. Weasel words.

    • The real figures are probably around a quarter of the ones in your post as 75-80% of those infected are asymptomatic, and therefore not counted.

    • If the “second wave” these criminals are talking about and preping for, does happen, it will make what they call the “first wave” look like a very very small ripple,
      and it will not discriminate.
      It will be all inclusive, where the young will have it very very bad too.

      What do you guys think happens when the healthcare system fails and capitulates in it’s main act?
      And in this, we are talking global show, globally.

      What do you think happens if healthcare system does not provide, as it can not anymore provide coherent and efficient monitoring-detecting-tracing,
      tackling-management-containment and control- suppression of infection-diseases, like for example hepatitis or tuberculosis,
      just to name two in a very long list of very very nasty diseases,
      especially when such end up getting a chance to flare aggressively and widely in populations and even reaching to epidemic stage??

      What do you think happens at that point guys?

      How long do you think it will take to get at that point, under the extraordinary pressure of the
      criminally insane inducing of global scare mongering global panic which keeps still being inflated forcefully and massively all around the world?
      2 months, 3, 4, 5 maybe six or more perhaps?

      cheers

  25. Typical sassenach Imperialist-Colonialist thinking: dominate subject races by taking away their language, culture, property, and liberty while publicly instisting that you’re just trying to help.

  26. The evidence tells us that the Apollo missions are real and happened as described (and there is no adventure ever in History where these conclusions are as strong) and that presenting “both sides” (that is presenting what happened and the nutty claims) actually makes that case, and plenty of YouTube videos do just that.

    Why wouldn’t it work for “climate”?

  27. I have met quite a few academics and most of them are extremely UNimpressive – even in their own field!
    It’s a sad place.

    • Definitely some are really smart and are focused on their fields and the quest for truth be in science. The ones involved in shutting down speech are usually the ones who are not very competent in their fields.

  28. “To make climate change messages more effective, we need to target these cognitive biases. To prevent temporal and spatial biases, for example, we need a clear message as to why climate change is bad for individuals in their own lives in the here and now (establishing an appropriate affect heuristic). ”

    This quote along shows they are clueless and think that climate does not change naturally. These pundits are psychologists and scientifically illiterate. Not only do they know what they know only because they have been told, but, more importantly, they totally lack the capacity to judge what they have been told on its veracity and completeness. They do not know what they don’t know outside their field.

    A first rate psychologist would be wel aware of his or her own ‘unknown unknowns’ bias. not so these quacks.

  29. As long as the narrative agrees with me, it’s okay. Otherwise, if the argument is weak or wrong, opposition to it must be silenced. You must agree with me at all times.
    I think that’s essentially the message. No need for them to dress it up. It’s Jackboot time.

  30. I’d say that we live in the Age of Propaganda but it seems that more is in play here. These “educators” want to silence dissenting thoughts and voices much like religious fanatics want to silence heretics! At least they haven’t resorted to the torture and burnings of auto-da-fe as yet. Right now canceling and job loss seem to satisfy the thirsty, but for how long? When more and more holes are poked in their pet theories, fanatics tend to become MORE fanatical!
    As more studies and evidence point to the HCQ/zinc cocktail being a prophylactic for the Wuhan Virus will those that suppressed it be held accountable? How many thousands died unnecessarily by having an effective treatment withheld? How many elderly were infected and died when their care facilities were forced to take in Chi-Com 19 infected patients; the polar opposite of what any sane epidemiologist would recommend!
    The Age of Propaganda will not end until our leaders, schools and media are forced to speak the truth and WE are the only ones who can do that!

  31. Previously, I thought that perhaps folks like these “professors” just needed shock therapy and perhaps medication to snap them out of their Climate Confusion™. An interesting symptom of said state is an inability to understand why all others are not also in that world, and wanting to “fix” them, when it is actually they who are hopelessly, and dangerously wrong. I see now though, that what they clearly need are frontal lobotomies. These “universities” have indeed become nothing short of cuckoos nests.

  32. Shameful and downright deceitful behaviour, who the hell do they think they are these people?

    • They think they are smarter than you, and know what’s best for you. How can they save the planet if you don’t stop questioning your betters?

  33. They want to be Gods or something. Gods are The Absolute Authority. No one questions what’s handed down by The Gods.

    I’ve been trying to come up with a real reason for the ridiculous panic attack behavior locally about CV19 and can only conclude the whole thing is aimed at creating a new religion, with punishment for not knuckling under and not kowtowing to these people. The power trip leaves a distinct scent of Hubris mixed with Egomania in the air. It even oozes out of the screen when I watch the news.

    This isn’t the first time in history something like this has happened, nor will it be the last. Just don’t get into arguments with those Fanatics. Just ask yourself how often it has to happen before it is stopped.

    To let you know just how ridiculous these marones are, the Mayor of Chicago has put out a demand that ANYONE traveling to Chicago from Wisconsin is to self-quarantine for 14 days. Now, unless there’s a way to track such people, she is – in her panic attack petty dictator mindset – making a public ass of herself. If I still lived in Chicago (left nearly 2 decades ago), and went across the state line to a very nice shopping center, that means I’m supposed to stay in “quarantine” or some such thing, even though it’s a round trip. The obvious question is: how would that silly cow know where I’ve been unless I phoned it in????

    She is NUTZ! And she’s a certified control freak who will willingly let Chicago burn to the ground if she thought she could gt away with it. It makes me quite happy that I no longer live there and haven’t been there in nearly 20 years. She’s is certifiably incompetent and just plain NUTZ.

    This bunch of nutbars styling themselves academics? They’re just about the same level of idiocy as the May’r of Chicago. They all deserve each other. Don’t send them any food packets. Just herd them into whatever building they work in, lock the doors, and keep them isolated from the rest of us, so that we can go about our daily lives without them. They are NOT needed, NOT necessary to anyone’s existence.

    End of rant.

  34. If history has revealed anything it demands that authoritarian tyrants never be allowed to ascend to positions of power.

    The most powerful people all US Institutions (Press, Academia, Science, Medicine, Entertainment, Education, Deep State Government, Law, Justice, Commerce, Finance, Social Media, even Religion) are all leftist authoritarian types. Censorship is rife in all of our institutions.

    Our freedoms are in peril. Some are already gone. We may never get them back.

  35. As a measure of what a disaster this decision is for Australian Science, had the standards being applied here been extant in the early noughties, Barry Marshall who is one of Australia’s 16 Nobel prize winner would never have got his Nobel prize. He came within a whisker of being struck off at the behest of the American Medical Association, and under these rules he would have been. It seems likely that his research would have been lost with his career, at the very least for some years.

  36. “Things have sure changed since I went to school.”

    That’s because, Eric, when you went to school, an institution conducting itself like this would not have been recognized as a “university”.

  37. Referring to individuals who want to stop dissent and reveal only one side of an issue as “academics” is like referring to Jack the Ripper as a social engineer.

  38. ……need to avoid presenting “both sides of the argument” in the messaging – the science tells us that there’s only one side.”

    That sentence doesn’t even make sense. In what way does “science” say that there is only one side to an “argument”? By definition, the word means that two sides are being presented.

    If there is only one side, there is no “argument”!

    They aren’t even trying to put forward the canard that “there are only one set of facts”.

    • “If there is only one side, there is no “argument”!”

      That’s right. That’s what they want: No argument.

  39. For a climate change to be evident there must actually be a difference from some norm. Now we need to establish what is normal. But extremes in climate happen constantly sometime or someplace so therefore must be the normal situation. So does deviation from some average constitute a change. Well perhaps, but the longer the time period of available data the less obvious the extremes are. In almost all cases it has all happened before.
    So will our future be warmer? Perhaps, it has happened before. Will it be colder? Perhaps, it has happened before. Will it matter to me, my children or my grandchildren? Not very likely.
    Beyond that there are so many possibilities of a catastrophe ending my bloodline that a changing climate seems to be of no consequence. It seems more logical to worry about the sun suddenly exploding. In other words, totally pointless.

  40. Two professors give a scientific explanation of how to make better propaganda. That’s all it is.

    • It’s a poor ‘scientific explanation’ as well.

      Individual optimism bias and social pessimism bias is the norm.

      The 1930’s kings of propaganda took advantage of the above.

      Crushing individual optimism is not proper form in the propaganda business.

  41. In the “Resistance is NOT futile” category I stumbled across this one:

    https://www.citizensforfreespeech.org/how_to_use_the_cffs_no_mask_card

    Print it off and hand it out to everyone who demands you wear a mask. Basically you are fighting fire with fire. You claim that you can’t wear a mask for health reasons. You do NOT have to disclose your health reasons. They are liable if they refuse you service.

    Now I won’t be engaging in any lawsuits but they don’t know that.

  42. “Things have sure changed since I went to school. ”

    Not in the way you suggest.

    Academics have always been distorting and hiding the evidence of views they don’t want heard and even just making it up.

    A classic example is the British Celtic myth which was literally made up in about 1707 and for which there is not a single historical source that even suggests the Britons were celts and indeed there are numerous references that clearly distinguish the Britons from gauls (aka celts). Likewise the so called “genocide” of the highland clearance – was a time of growing population and prosperity in the Highlands. etc.

    As far as I can tell, from the bogus histories that just don’t stand up to scrutiny (at least some) academics have ALWAYS been lying deceiving and distorting the evidence to push their own viewpoints.

    What changed, is that the internet came along, and you didn’t need to be an academic to become an expert in many subjects, you didn’t need to be part of a conformist clique in a University to access libraries of books and material and in many cases even the data itself became easily available. The result is that non-conforming outsiders (like us) were suddenly able to check up on the bullshit being produced by academia and started calling it out for what it is and pushing back.

    And that is why so many academics so intensely hate the internet and freedom of speech. Because the internet has empowered people like us to look behind the once closed doors of academia at the empty shelves of evidence for their views and the cupboard loads of evidence they hide. We formed our own views – views academics cannot argue against, but they intently want to stop anyone else hearing.

    • Excellent explanation. Internet versus academic fraud. This is an idea for the philosophy of science.

      However, don’t forget that there are also different schools in science, different countries presenting contradictory expertizes on controversial events, there are professional scientists expelled from the universities and scientific institutions, etc. There are also conventional medicine and alternative medicine, the last one expelled from Wikipedia, but promoted in China, etc. And on the internet, there are countless meaningless “scientific” articles. Open Access Science journals seem to publish anything, if the author pays the fee. Picture is complicated.

  43. From the article: “To make climate change messages more effective, we need to target these cognitive biases. To prevent temporal and spatial biases, for example, we need a clear message as to why climate change is bad for individuals in their own lives in the here and now”

    Yes, that’s what we need.

    When is someone going to put out that clear message? What would that clear message be? How about some evidence that Human-caused climate change is real? That would be a good start. Anything less isn’t going to get it done.

  44. What sort of student wants to get tens of thousands in debt to be taught by these far quits?

    Thanks to covid, I foresee students preferring to watch cheaper online ones with great presenters (Dr Soon?) on real subjects.

    Hopefully that sort of nonsense will be redundant very soon.

  45. Moderators: I don’t understand how on a blog post about silencing talk on COVID-19 and climate change, in a week where the President goes after tech companies for censorship my two comments posted to R. Binns about COVID and climate were not posted. I spent a month developing a UV index application just to could produce this important public policy-related message that should help diffuse this complex social situation. Thank you.

  46. What a pity that Stalin did not have the help of Mr Beattie and Ms McGuire. Then he could have made sure that only the officially approved view of everything was made available for the masses. Or maybe the Gulags were a pretty effective way of removing optimism bias.

  47. Whenever anybody says “Science tells us …”, you can be sure they don’t know what “Science” is. And if they something like “Science tells us that there is only one side [to an issue]”, they are either shockingly ignorant of the Scientific Method and general logical thinking, or are spreading pure propaganda. Take your choice, but in the end it doesn’t matter because you want to stay as far away from those people as possible.

  48. How weak their science and agendas must be for them to demand that any contrary and obviously defective debate take place.

  49. I had never heard of Edge Hill University. Now I understand why. I also understand why I never want to be troubled by its mention ever again.

  50. Brainwashing 101!

    From their article:
    “Other campaigns have used the perennial polar bear in the associated images, which strengthens spatial bias – polar bears are in a different geographical location (to most of us). These messages therefore allow for a high degree of optimism bias – with people thinking that climate change won’t affect them and their own lives.”

    NO! That’s not why that failed. It failed because the polar bear population increased 30% since 2005, obliterating the “Polar bears are threatened” narrative. If the polar bears actually did start suffering from climate change, we would never have heard the end of it.

    “Latest global polar bear abundance ‘best guess’ estimate is 39,000 (26,000-58,000)”

    https://polarbearscience.com/2019/03/26/latest-global-polar-bear-abundance-best-guess-estimate-is-39000-26000-58000/

    “This new estimate for 2018 is a modest 4-6 fold increase over the 10,000 or so bears that existed in the 1960s and after 25 years, a credible increase over the estimate of 25,000 that the PBSG offered in 1993 (Wiig et al. 1995).

    However, my new estimate is much larger than the improbable figure of about 26,000 (range 22,000-31,000) offered by PGSG biologists in 2015 (Regehr et al. 2016; Wiig et al. 2015). The scary question is this: what do Arctic residents do if there are actually as many as 58,000?”

    We are having a climate optimum for life on this greening planet…………the opposite of a climate crisis.
    https://www.marketforum.com/forum/topic/27864/

  51. I wonder how these academics feel about the UK met offices new paper that finds all models are rubbish!
    Should this new paper be hushed up for not being on message?

  52. I guess they need to ban people from applying for jobs unless they went to brainwashing school then, because if they want to be that totalitarian then no-one should go to college at all.

    So the only way for them to get paid is to force people or else…..

  53. the way to prevent people ignoring climate change and Covid-19 messages is to “avoid presenting both sides of the argument”

    I addressed COVID and climate change in my comment here to R. Binns that wasn’t posted.

    Censoring my comment, my study, is doing exactly what the UK academics want! You need to be better and tougher than that here people otherwise they will end up ending your website.

  54. I have a modest proposal: let’s encourage dissent on everything. If your child dissents with you on who should tell who what to do, encourage your child. If your doctor tells you that something will kill you, dissent. If your boss tells you how to do your work, dissent. Don’t respect anything or anyone. Dissent and chaos is good.

    Unless, of course, you want to consider the radical idea that some people are more intelligent and know better, and maybe you should listen to them. Discussion is only good among peers, that is, people with the same level of intelligence and knowledge. The truth is, when an uneducated idiot disagrees with an intelligent expert, that isn’t true discussion. That’s an insolent idiot not knowing his or her place. But we have somehow forgotten that insolent idiots should not assume they have a right to discuss with intelligent experts, and if the expert allows them to, it’s just to teach them.

    Otherwise, be coherent and tell your children and other younger, much more unexperienced relatives that they have a right to be as stupid and insolent as they like.

    • That’s the wrong idea Doly. We aren’t children to be talked down to, nor do the supposed experts have satisfactory non-contradictory answers. If you wish to be a sheeple and do as you’re told without thinking without assessing the risks of the experts being wrong, then you’re an immature human, a child.

      You are willing to obey their edicts unquestionably, the rest of us, not. Isn’t that what you mean?

      I’ve done research that indicates high UV index and heat stress are driving symptoms that are now misclassified during the southern US states second wave, and the CDC is responsible for it by widening probable case definitions in April.

      https://i.postimg.cc/GhGRtKF5/UVI-Heat-Index-and-COVID-19.jpg

      https://i.postimg.cc/cCXDTTz0/Arizona-UVI-vs-COVID.jpg

      Are you suggesting I shouldn’t have sent an abstract to the AGU with this information and more, and that the AGU should not have had a session over possible links to climate? That is what this cancel culture thing is all about is people like you who can’t handle others’ freedom of thought and expression. Isn’t that right Doly?

      …you want to consider the radical idea that some people are more intelligent and know better, and maybe you should listen to them.

      …and how would you know who is more intelligent?

  55. When you suppress one point of view then violence becomes the only available response. Surely if the case is sound it is far easier to convince people of it.

  56. These psychology professors from the UK assume that they already know the truth and to avoid cognitive bias, they suggest censoring of counter-arguments.

    Unfortunately, banning one side of the dispute will itself create cognitive bias.

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