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AGW/CC Deniers & "Fake-Skeptics" - their mindset

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inspired by a couple of recent/active status updates, this thread is intended to speak to the underlying mindset of Anthropogenic Global Warming/Climate Change Deniers... it is not intended to discuss/argue the science - there's a brazillion other MLW threads doing just that. In that regard, MLW provides a rather revealing, telling and somewhat representative snapshot of a segment of the greater populace.

in my experience, deniers/fake-skeptics typically don't understand the basic fundamentals of that which they presume to expound upon. Their mindset is one that prefers to blindly accept the writings of the most suspect and biased "journalists" and/or bloggers. Clearly, these purveyors of fact challenged opinion have a ready captured audience, one that never scrutinizes the nonsense offered. They also have limited ability to argue the points they are so adamantly insisting upon... quite regularly, they will simply copy/paste the latest silver bullet "AGW/CC killers" they run across and insist their gems are absolute and definitive statements of fact!

on some levels, scientists have been late to recognize their own failings in communicating to the 'lay person'... certainly a factor in why deniers/fake-skeptics gravitate to the 'dumb-downed' writings they prefer. In the last couple of years groups of prominent scientists have begun to organize and make concerted efforts to engage the public... better and more often; to provide support to legitimate journalists in helping them understand the complexities involved in the subjects/research/papers they wish to bring public notice to.

my experience shows me that (quite obviously) not all C/conservatives are deniers/fake-skeptics; however, it also shows me that most if not almost all deniers/fake-skeptics I've run across are C/conservatives. Much has been written about this, apparently, quite common observation. Perhaps this thread may bring some of that related observation forward.

there's always been a common theme among deniers/fake-skeptics. A theme that they're a suppressed lot; i.e., 'why is everyone always keeping the DenierMan down'? The underlying aspect to this is that they actually believe they are never given a "fair presence", "an equal standing", as compared to actual science, real scientists and the prevailing consensus... a presence and standing they truly believe they deserve and is warranted! In fact, if anything over the last 3-to-5 years, there has been an effort by mainstream media to project a false balance... to actually give an undeserved platform to outright dener cranks. However, on a positive note, that has begun to shift on several levels, with the recent BBC News announcement, simply one of the latest in that regard.


on a related note, with a rather enticing title, from Naomi Klein: Capitalism vs. the Climate
.

Edited by waldo

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following the aforementioned capitalism angle, a scientist offers an alluring challenge that is sure to spark the drive behind the thinking and position of many a denier/fake-skeptic:

Physicist offers $30,000 to disprove climate change - A physics professor and climate change expert is offering $30,000 of his own money to anyone who can provide irrefutable proof that man-made climate change doesn't exist.

entries must be in by July 31st... hurry up... chop, chop!

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a related study from a group of psychologists from the University of Western Australia and the University of Zurich:

a key study finding: climate change denialists display a belief in laissez-faire capitalism* along with a tendency to espouse conspiracy theories.

(* => "laissez-faire capitalism is an economic doctrine that opposes governmental regulation of or interference in commerce beyond the minimum necessary for a free-enterprise system to operate according to its own economic laws")

Psychological SCIENCE - journal link:

Edited by waldo

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my experience shows me that (quite obviously) not all C/conservatives are deniers/fake-skeptics; however, it also shows me that most if not almost all deniers/fake-skeptics I've run across are C/conservatives. Much has been written about this, apparently, quite common observation. Perhaps this thread may bring some of that related observation forward.

If so it will probably be merged with the Conservative Negativity Bias thread.

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If so it will probably be merged with the Conservative Negativity Bias thread.

This thread is more specific in scope but as we explore the reasoning and psychology behind the actions of deniers and fake-skeptics the same ground will be covered. I think this more focused thread will actually lead to a better discussion. The Negativity Bias thread I started has yet to cover any ground beyond the fact that researchers have found biological reasoning behind negative, fearful, conservative views and conservatives don't like being associated with fear and negativity. Hence, I'm fine with the mods killing the Conservative Negativity Bias thread to avoid fragmenting this discussion.

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conservatives don't like being associated with fear and negativity.

No - conservatives don't like ideological propaganda being promoted as if it is science. The other thread has a discussion about how both liberals and conservatives have negative and fear based reactions - they only differ in the things that they fear. A scientist that was not ideologically motivated would have presented the finds in that way. Edited by TimG

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No - conservatives don't like ideological propaganda being promoted as if it is science. The other thread has a discussion about how both liberals and conservatives have negative and fear based reactions - they only differ in the things that they fear. A scientist that was not ideologically motivated would have presented the finds in that way.

Might want to Google "intelligent design" before getting on ye old high horse there.

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following the aforementioned capitalism angle, a scientist offers an alluring challenge that is sure to spark the drive behind the thinking and position of many a denier/fake-skeptic:

Physicist offers $30,000 to disprove climate change - A physics professor and climate change expert is offering $30,000 of his own money to anyone who can provide irrefutable proof that man-made climate change doesn't exist.

entries must be in by July 31st... hurry up... chop, chop!

Oh yes, the $30,000 offer. Actually, it was originally $10,000 until the Young Turks did a story on it and then they offered an additional $20,000.

But if you go to Chris Keating's website and look at the offer, it's absurd. His request is for people to 'prove using the scientific method that man-made climate change is not occurring'. That's absurd, science cannot prove a negative. Even the recent evidence at the LHC for the existence of the Higgs Boson does not prove that the Higgs Boson does not exist, it merely shows that under reasonable assumptions that based upon the evidence one can be certain up to 5 sigma that Higgs Bosons exist. Chris Keating is trolling the climate change deniers and it is primarily a ploy to sell his book. Of course the climate change deniers are dumb enough to 'try to disprove man-made climate change' and the original offer was a response to some climate change deniers claiming that they had proof, so maybe they deserve it.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I contacted Chris Keating asking him if he wants to reword his request to be more reasonable. His response was basically along the lines of 'the deniers are the ones making the claims so the burden of proof is on them' and 'they deserve it'. So yeah he is just trolling them. I then asked him if he could prove using the scientific method that unicorns could not exist; he of course could not. Anyway, my $10,000 offer stands: If anyone can prove using the scientific method that unicorns do not exist I will give them $10,000.

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A scientist that was not ideologically motivated would have presented the finds in that way.

Tim, you often site blog posts as evidence yet dispute papers published in peer reviewed journals based on your belief that scientists want to conform. How does one that distrusts scientists reliably determine what evidence is accurate and what is not?

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I recommend reading this very interesting article called "The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science". It is an easy and fascinating read on why we delude ourselves despite wanting to hold as many true beliefs as possible. This is a snippet from the article.

Consider a person who has heard about a scientific discovery that deeply challenges her belief in divine creation—a new hominid, say, that confirms our evolutionary origins. What happens next, explains political scientist Charles Taber of Stony Brook University, is a subconscious negative response to the new information—and that response, in turn, guides the type of memories and associations formed in the conscious mind. "They retrieve thoughts that are consistent with their previous beliefs," says Taber, "and that will lead them to build an argument and challenge what they're hearing."

In other words, when we think we're reasoning, we may instead be rationalizing. Or to use an analogy offered by University of Virginia psychologist Jonathan Haidt: We may think we're being scientists, but we're actually being lawyers (PDF). Our "reasoning" is a means to a predetermined end—winning our "case"—and is shot through with biases. They include "confirmation bias," in which we give greater heed to evidence and arguments that bolster our beliefs, and "disconfirmation bias," in which we expend disproportionate energy trying to debunk or refute views and arguments that we find uncongenial.

That's a lot of jargon, but we all understand these mechanisms when it comes to interpersonal relationships. If I don't want to believe that my spouse is being unfaithful, or that my child is a bully, I can go to great lengths to explain away behavior that seems obvious to everybody else—everybody who isn't too emotionally invested to accept it, anyway. That's not to suggest that we aren't also motivated to perceive the world accurately—we are. Or that we never change our minds—we do. It's just that we have other important goals besides accuracy—including identity affirmation and protecting one's sense of self—and often those make us highly resistant to changing our beliefs when the facts say we should.

Edited by Mighty AC

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How does one that distrusts scientists reliably determine what evidence is accurate and what is not?

You look at the evidence underpinning the claims. In some cases the evidence is unambiguous fully supports the claims being made. In many other cases, the assumptions and conclusions can be independently verified with real world data. The scientific studies I object to invariably depend on a myriad of assumptions which are not necessarily true. They are only accepted as true because it is convenient for the authors of the paper to believe that they are true. Such studies are best described as opinion pieces rather than science.

Also it is important to remember that saying that "the claim is not supported by the data" is different from saying that "the claim is wrong" or "the opposite claim is true". 90% of the time I am simply saying the "the claim is not supported by the data" which implies that the claim should simply be ignored. I am NOT saying the "the opposite claim must be true" even though many trolls like to pretend I am saying that.

Edited by TimG

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Actually, I'll go back to Chris Keating's Blog to see what has occurred the past month.

Oh look, since then he has denied the concept of burden of proof and denies the impossibility of proving a negative using the scientific method. lol.

http://dialoguesonglobalwarming.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/the-challenge-is-impossibleits-religion.html

Oh look, apparently someone offered Chris Keating $10,000 dollars to prove that they are not a dragon.

http://dialoguesonglobalwarming.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/personal-attacks-are-not-proof.html

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This thread should be morphed into the Conservative negativity bias thread. Cause it's all the same bs.

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inspired by a couple of recent/active status updates, this thread is intended to speak to the underlying mindset of Anthropogenic Global Warming/Climate Change Deniers... it is not intended to discuss/argue the science - there's a brazillion other MLW threads doing just that. In that regard, MLW provides a rather revealing, telling and somewhat representative snapshot of a segment of the greater populace.

in my experience, deniers/fake-skeptics typically don't understand the basic fundamentals of that which they presume to expound upon. Their mindset is one that prefers to blindly accept the writings of the most suspect and biased "journalists" and/or bloggers. Clearly, these purveyors of fact challenged opinion have a ready captured audience, one that never scrutinizes the nonsense offered. They also have limited ability to argue the points they are so adamantly insisting upon... quite regularly, they will simply copy/paste the latest silver bullet "AGW/CC killers" they run across and insist their gems are absolute and definitive statements of fact!

on some levels, scientists have been late to recognize their own failings in communicating to the 'lay person'... certainly a factor in why deniers/fake-skeptics gravitate to the 'dumb-downed' writings they prefer. In the last couple of years groups of prominent scientists have begun to organize and make concerted efforts to engage the public... better and more often; to provide support to legitimate journalists in helping them understand the complexities involved in the subjects/research/papers they wish to bring public notice to.

my experience shows me that (quite obviously) not all C/conservatives are deniers/fake-skeptics; however, it also shows me that most if not almost all deniers/fake-skeptics I've run across are C/conservatives. Much has been written about this, apparently, quite common observation. Perhaps this thread may bring some of that related observation forward.

there's always been a common theme among deniers/fake-skeptics. A theme that they're a suppressed lot; i.e., 'why is everyone always keeping the DenierMan down'? The underlying aspect to this is that they actually believe they are never given a "fair presence", "an equal standing", as compared to actual science, real scientists and the prevailing consensus... a presence and standing they truly believe they deserve and is warranted! In fact, if anything over the last 3-to-5 years, there has been an effort by mainstream media to project a false balance... to actually give an undeserved platform to outright dener cranks. However, on a positive note, that has begun to shift on several levels, with the recent BBC News announcement, simply one of the latest in that regard.

on a related note, with a rather enticing title, from Naomi Klein: Capitalism vs. the Climate

.

Capitalism vs the Climate is at least the beginning of an honest discussion. The problem with alarmists, is that they peddle the nonsensical tripe regarding there being no economic downside at all to their environmental proposals. I'd have more respect for their opinions, and their science, if they were at least a tiny bit honest in that regard. But they're not. Which is why I have a hard time believing them regarding anything else.

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The problem with deniers is that they peddle nonsensical tripe regarding there being no economic downside at all to their anti-environmental proposals.

Edited by BubberMiley

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The problem with AGW hysterians is that they peddle nonsensical tripe regarding there being no economic downside at all to their pseudo-environmental proposals.

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My best guess is that most likely no one read the article by Naomi Klein so I will take the initiative and post this following excerpt from her article:

Most of all, however, we need to go after the profits of the corporations most responsible for getting us into this mess. The top five oil companies made $900 billion in profits in the past decade;

ExxonMobil alone can clear $10 billion in profits in a single quarter. For years, these companies have pledged to use their profits to invest in a shift to renewable energy (BP’s “Beyond Petroleum” rebranding being the highest-profile example).

But according to a study by the Center for American Progress, just 4 percent of the big five’s $100 billion in combined 2008 profits went to “renewable and alternative energy ventures.” Instead, they continue to pour their profits into shareholder pockets, outrageous executive pay and new technologies designed to extract even dirtier and more dangerous fossil fuels.

Plenty of money has also gone to paying lobbyists to beat back every piece of climate legislation that has reared its head, and to fund the denier movement gathered at the Marriott Hotel.

Isn't it time for these big oil companies to pay back to society with their billions in profits and work towards reducing fossil burning fuels.

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Isn't it time for these big oil companies to pay back to society with their billions in profits and work towards reducing fossil burning fuels.

The typical of the hypocrisy of environmentalists. The basic fact is using an energy sources other than fossil fuels is expensive and if a real attempt was made to do the shift then there would have to be a massive reduction in standard of living. But instead of admitting that their ideas are expensive and harmful to the average person, environmentalists choose create evil villains with "undeserved" money to be plundered and claim that if we simply took the money from the evil villains then all of their dreams could come true and it would cost no one but the evil villains.

It is childish world view that would be simply sad if it was not for the large number of adults whop actually believe it.

Edited by TimG

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The typical of the hypocrisy of environmentalists. The basic fact is using an energy sources other than fossil fuels is expensive and if a real attempt was made to do the shift then there would have to be a massive reduction in standard of living. But instead of admitting that their ideas are expensive and harmful to the average person, environmentalists choose create evil villains with "undeserved" money to be plundered and claim that if we simply took the money from the evil villains then all of their dreams could come true and it would cost no one but the evil villains.

It is childish world view that would be simply sad if it was not for the large number of adults whop actually believe it.

Yes, every single scientist, citizen, journalist, researcher that supports climate change has a childish world view and of course all have the label of 'environmentalist'. That makes a lot of sense.

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Yes, every single scientist, citizen, journalist, researcher that supports climate change has a childish world view and of course all have the label of 'environmentalist'.

More "bait and switch". The argument you made was someone other than you should be forced to pay for your desire to have a world without fossil fuels. It is a hypocritical and self serving argument but it also has nothing to do with the question of whether climate change is something we should be concerned about. Please don't try to evade my argument by pretending I was arguing something that I was not.

That said, there are some people who are concerned about climate change but don't cling to delusions about how easy it will be to do but they are few and far between. Most people expressing concerns think it is just a question of "political will" and all that needs to be done is to steal enough money from any convenient evil villains. Unfortunately, the real world is not like a Disney cartoon.

Edited by TimG

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...Isn't it time for these big oil companies to pay back to society with their billions in profits and work towards reducing fossil burning fuels.

No....integrated oil corporations have a very modest net profit margin on all that gross revenue, far less than many other industries that also have environmental impact.

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My best guess is that most likely no one read the article by Naomi Klein so I will take the initiative and post this following excerpt from her article:

Most of all, however, we need to go after the profits of the corporations most responsible for getting us into this mess. The top five oil companies made $900 billion in profits in the past decade;

ExxonMobil alone can clear $10 billion in profits in a single quarter. For years, these companies have pledged to use their profits to invest in a shift to renewable energy (BP’s “Beyond Petroleum” rebranding being the highest-profile example).

But according to a study by the Center for American Progress, just 4 percent of the big five’s $100 billion in combined 2008 profits went to “renewable and alternative energy ventures.” Instead, they continue to pour their profits into shareholder pockets, outrageous executive pay and new technologies designed to extract even dirtier and more dangerous fossil fuels.

Plenty of money has also gone to paying lobbyists to beat back every piece of climate legislation that has reared its head, and to fund the denier movement gathered at the Marriott Hotel.

Isn't it time for these big oil companies to pay back to society with their billions in profits and work towards reducing fossil burning fuels.

1. These companies already pay more in taxes than any other companies.

2. They're not obligated to do anything with their profits, other than pay their employees and shareholders.

3. They employ tens of thousands of people with good paying jobs. Jobs much higher than minimum wage.

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No....integrated oil corporations have a very modest net profit margin on all that gross revenue, far less than many other industries that also have environmental impact.

Exactly. In fact, governments make more per litre or gallon of gasoline in taxes, than oil companies make.

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