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Believers in denial - Comments

robotaholic's Avatar Comment 1 by robotaholic

The woman who thinks being able to see Russia from Alaska counts as foreign policy experience now feels qualified to dismiss the consensus of the vast majority of the world's climate scientists even though she herself has repeatedly demonstrated that she does not understand the difference between 'climate' and 'weather'.

This was an awesome sentence!

EDIT: Well the whole paper was awesome.

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 21:00:00 UTC | #422583

Tom S. Fox's Avatar Comment 2 by Tom S. Fox

I just love Paula Kirby and her British accent!

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 21:03:00 UTC | #422584

Musicmancz's Avatar Comment 3 by Musicmancz

I love this article, especially since it's in the "On Faith" section. Such a nice explanation of why religious people reject AGW, and why they're wrong.

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 21:04:00 UTC | #422585

Bernard Hurley's Avatar Comment 4 by Bernard Hurley

Comment #441123 by Tom S. Fox

I just love Paula Kirby and her British accent!

Aw how cute! BTW I've got a British accent too!

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 21:37:00 UTC | #422589

amuck's Avatar Comment 5 by amuck

Sam Harris talks about the propensity the religious have for irrational thought as aided and abetted by their holy book in "Letter to A Christian Nation":

It is therefore not an exaggeration to say that if the city of New York were replaced by a ball of fire, some significant percentage of the American population would see a silver lining in the subsequent mushroom cloud, as it would suggest to them that the best thing that is ever going to happen was about to happen: the return of Christ. It should be blindingly obvious that beliefs of this sort will do little to help us create a durable future for ourselves- socially, economically, environmentally, or geopolitically.

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 21:40:00 UTC | #422590

j.mills's Avatar Comment 6 by j.mills

Kinda wish the Rapture would happen, so the rest of us could get on with sorting out this mess without the wingnuts...

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 21:57:00 UTC | #422596

Botanical's Avatar Comment 7 by Botanical

LOL! Perfect!

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 22:02:00 UTC | #422597

Demotruk's Avatar Comment 8 by Demotruk

I don't agree with her reasons, I think most are a stretch. I do however agree that the religious right would be and are the perfect people to be convinced that global warming is a massive conspiracy, only because they are ignorant and commonly RWA personalities.

Unfortunately, global warming denial seems to have been much more effective than evolution denial, simply because the populace knows even less about the physics and the rest of the science involved in climatology than they do biology. Members of my own family think there's a conspiracy (two of them are absorbed in it...), and it's much easier for those who don't know much about science to be "skeptical" (actual skepticism involves a thorough examination of the evidence).

Maybe the fact that I'm among "skeptics" is skewing my perspective, but this seems to be one battle we are very much losing.

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 22:05:00 UTC | #422598

Bonzai's Avatar Comment 9 by Bonzai

I am not sure how many Christians actually look forward to the rapture. This maybe a nominal belief but it would be rather simplistic to think that all believers must want it simply because it is logical from their supposed premise. It seems rather unrealistic to expect people, especially supposedly irrational people, to be completely logically consistent.

There are many people who don't care about polar icecap melting or global warming. But this probably has little to do with religious belief. The much more likely reason for the foot dragging and indifference would be short term thinking.

I am pretty sure the 'drill baby drill' slogan is motivated more by short term economical considerations than attempts to usher in the second coming.

Religion is not everything. I observe that recovered fundis (former fundamentalists turned unbelievers) are often,--not always, of course,-- more likely to attribute religious motives than those who never believe. Perhaps old habit dies hard?

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 22:13:00 UTC | #422601

TIKI AL's Avatar Comment 10 by TIKI AL

Demotruk @ 8: Don't worry about a thing, when the Pacific Ocean beachfront is outside our front door in Tempe, Arizona, everyone at RD.Net is welcome to come surfing. We also have a pool for the deniers.

Paula, that was superb, I hope you don't mind that I forwarded it to our progressive blog, "The Left Coaster".

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 22:19:00 UTC | #422603

the great teapot's Avatar Comment 11 by the great teapot

This article is so wrong, I listened to talk sport the other night and they conclusively proved it is a government conspiracy to increase our taxis. I think it was taxis.
Apparently, if you let an ice cube melt in a beaker of water the water level is always constant,sorted.
No further questions your honour.

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 22:24:00 UTC | #422605

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 12 by Steve Zara

There is a long battle ahead to convince people.

This evening, on BBC Radio 4, there was a comment piece by Clive James which was truly depressing. He claimed that the recent e-mail leak was healthy, as it showed that there was really no scientific consensus and debate was "opening up again" about global warming. He also fell into the tired old cliche of how everyone was sure of Newton's work before Einstein came along, and how some elderly global warming skeptic scientists he had spoken to were now vindicated.

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 22:32:00 UTC | #422606

RichardofYork's Avatar Comment 13 by RichardofYork

This article by the brilliant Paula Kirby made me worry about the future . We need more articles like this

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 22:35:00 UTC | #422607

j.mills's Avatar Comment 14 by j.mills

I heard that too, Steve. Disappointed in Clive James. Wish people (especially prominent people) would at least get themselves enough idea of what science is and how it works to understand the extent of their ignorance. This applies to all of us - there is too much for any one person to know, which is why the vast communal project that is science is necessary in reaching even provisional conclusions. Media froth is not scientific controversy.

EDIT: But at least the panellists on the preceding Any Questions debate were united in acknowledging the problem. Nice to hear Ben Goldacre getting his two-penn'orth in.

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 22:40:00 UTC | #422608

the great teapot's Avatar Comment 15 by the great teapot

At least clive is open minded, (without his brain dropping out). He is not quite a denier, that would really betray my teenage love of his autobiographies (and shit novels).

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 22:42:00 UTC | #422609

amuck's Avatar Comment 16 by amuck

Members of my own family think there's a conspiracy (two of them are absorbed in it...), and it's much easier for those who don't know much about science to be "skeptical" (actual skepticism involves a thorough examination of the evidence).

This seems to be a re-occurring theme.

I received an EMAIL from a family member with the subject line "The True Cost of Global Warming Hysteria" that contained this snippet:

An eye-opening documentary called Not Evil Just Wrong: The True Cost of Global Warming Hysteria is being released this
week by the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation-an outfit I endorse.

After a bit a research (which is more than my "skeptical" family member could be bothered to do) it turns out that the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation is a coalition of clergy, theologians, religious leaders, scientists, academics, and policy experts committed to bringing a balanced Biblical view of stewardship to the critical issues of environment and development. (this is pulled right off their web site).

I think AGW denial and fundamentalist xtianity go hand in hand, they are part and parcel of the same mind set.

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 22:43:00 UTC | #422610

LWS's Avatar Comment 17 by LWS

Hi Paula, Good for you to see the connection to religious belief in the demographic of deniers on climate change. They seem to be the ones in denial about the science of evolution too.

You are right also to remind about the juvenile thinking that is the hallmark of faith:

fundamentalist religion encourages childish modes of thinking. It promises that God will keep believers safe, and that everything will work out for the best in the end, because God works all things for good. God put the rainbow in the sky to promise he would never again send a flood to cover the Earth, didn't he?

I wonder what percentage of Atheists subscribe to the 'climate change is a hoax' conspiracy.

My view is that global warming is a natural phenomenon mostly caused by the shifting of the tectonic plates and or the orb's encounters with other stuff as it flies through space. Whatever is happening naturally however is quite obviously exacerbated by human activities. Loss of habit doesn't only affect polar bears but ultimately our species too. The fact that people can't breathe in most cities is thanks to us.

I am dismayed to learn today that Sarah Palin is to be the hot guest at a fundraiser for a hospital in Hamilton, Ontario. The institution will pay her $200,000 for the performance.

What a surprise that Ms Palin hasn't yet been hired by Albertans to promote the Tar Sands. She stands for Jesus, guns and the oil business and so do they. Palin & Jesus 2012

I am curious to know your views on the taboo subject of human overpopulation.

Best, Linda

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 22:50:00 UTC | #422614

bethe123's Avatar Comment 18 by bethe123

It is true, the basic physics has been around for 150 years.
But is only very recently that the climate models have been subject to analysis by super computers

The point is not to say the models are wrong or correct, but to bring attention to the fact the climate models are difficult and non-trivial, and only the advent of the super computer makes an attempted solution possible. Further, climate study is multi-disciplinary, which increases the demands on the researchers, and which makes model building more difficult. There is therefore a non-zero chance that Freeman Dyson may in fact be correct, although he is politically unpopular for voicing that opinion...and he cannot be dismissed out of hand.

“The climate-studies people who work with models always tend to overestimate their models,” Dyson was saying. “They come to believe models are real and forget they are only models.”

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 22:52:00 UTC | #422615

Demotruk's Avatar Comment 20 by Demotruk

People are incredibly willing to accept 'conspiracies' as explanations. Sometimes a culture of corruption is mistaken to be a conspiracy, and that gives the appearance of validity to the idea that certain groups of society can conspire against the rest, and it is feasible that such a culture exists in politics. For example, politicians supporting action against global warming for ulterior motives (I'm not saying it's likely, just feasible). However in the actual science, a culture would not be enough. It would require a massive conspiracy (what a family member calls "taking over peer review"...), and one that's been going on for decades. This just isn't feasible in the slightest. Of course, this family member thinks it "happens all the time" in science.

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 22:54:00 UTC | #422617

Thurston's Avatar Comment 19 by Thurston

Well said. I just hope we're not too late. David Attenborough has said some great things about the Judeo-Christian connection with AGW: that a book that tells humankind that it has dominion over the earth is sure to be catastrophic.

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 22:54:00 UTC | #422616

Quine's Avatar Comment 21 by Quine

I encourage people here to go post supportive comments through the Washington Post link above. Let the general public (who don't usually come here) read support for a rational view they don't usually see.

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 22:55:00 UTC | #422618

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 22 by mordacious1

There is another connection. The religious right tend to listen to Faux News, Limbaugh, etc. These guys "support" religion and the religious feel comfortable listening to such programs. This media also pushes its right-wing agenda, which includes AGW denial. If this is your only source for information, then your already deluded thinking is only going to get worse.

Another nice piece, Paula.

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 22:59:00 UTC | #422620

Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Comment 23 by Rawhard Dickins

Contraception is the only answer, but how often do you hear it mentioned when global warming is talked about? Hardly ever, yet overpopulation is the root cause.

If we don't get our act together, nature will bite back with viruses, famine and flooding if war doesn't do the trick.

And religion isn't helping, Catholicism leads to larger families and religiously intoxicated minorities have a vested interest in increasing their own populations.

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 23:09:00 UTC | #422625

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 24 by Steve Zara

Comment #441154 by bethe123

There is therefore a non-zero chance that Freeman Dyson may in fact be correct, although he is politically unpopular for voicing that opinion...and he cannot be dismissed out of hand.

There is a non-zero chance that global warming is caused by the farts of Martians, but for those of us who wish to continue to live in the real world we have to deal with the overwhelming scientific consensus.

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 23:09:00 UTC | #422626

bethe123's Avatar Comment 25 by bethe123

Yes, I have come to expect the default Steve Zara response, and now that that is out of the way...
...we can continue.

I was wondering if any climate scientist might comment on the climate models predicative ability relative to a local weather forecast...which after all usually starts to degrade if the time frame is greater than a week.

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 23:17:00 UTC | #422629

Hideous Dwarf's Avatar Comment 26 by Hideous Dwarf

Sorry to be the dissenting voice in this debate, but there is one thing that troubles me about the IPCC.

It was set up 21 years ago before most of the data was in and before their computer models to predict the future climate were built. But even back then they didn't set up an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate, but and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate CHANGE. The conclusion reached in advance of the research and study. Is that how science is supposed to be done?

When those who support the climate change orthodoxy seek to conceal their base data and say that the science is "beyond doubt" I hear the words of believers, not a scientists, and what they preach is a religion. I do hope they're right because I'd hate to see the world bankrupted to no purpose.

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 23:20:00 UTC | #422630

Francis Clarke's Avatar Comment 27 by Francis Clarke

If there is one thing a religion is threatened more by reason, it's ANOTHER religion.

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 23:22:00 UTC | #422633

Rikitiki13's Avatar Comment 28 by Rikitiki13

The term "Global Warming" doesn't help either I think. Isn't it actually global climate change£ I know here in the Pacific Northwest, last Winter's severity and length led to many pooh-poohing 'global warming'. Hey, it's COLD, and staying cold LONGER! See£ Global warming is a hoax!

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 23:25:00 UTC | #422634

Scot Rafkin's Avatar Comment 29 by Scot Rafkin

omment #441149 by amuck

You highlight a big issue, which is that there are vast numbers of people that believe that by watching documentaries, either pro- or anti-anything, they gain sufficient knowledge to make a determination about the veracity of a scientific hypothesis.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard folks say they watched "An Incovenient Truth" and are now convienced that we must act now to stop AGW. Likewise, you've got folks like your family that see anti-AGW propaganda and think that is somehow a definitive source of information upon which to make an informed decision.

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 23:33:00 UTC | #422635

Left Ahead's Avatar Comment 30 by Left Ahead

Comment #441135 by j.mills on December 11, 2009 at 9:57 pm
Kinda wish the Rapture would happen, so the rest of us could get on with sorting out this mess without the wingnuts...
...and that's why my moniker is what it is, j.mills. Cheers.

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 23:37:00 UTC | #422636