back to article Fight global warming with Asimov-style Psychohistory - profs

Academics in Blighty and the USA have called for a new "science of communicating science" to be deployed in order to deal with the fact that public concern over global warming has plunged in recent years. Gallup climate concern figures. Credit: Nature Climate Change "We need to move on from a sterile debate about whether …

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  1. PC Paul
    FAIL

    We need to move on...

    Interesting concept right from the start...

    "We need to move on..." from people disagreeing with us to everybody agreeing?

    The only reason the debate about global warming is still going on is because of all the emotional and political arguments about it, i.e precisely because there isn't a clear, unbiased, empirical dataset that both sides can agree with.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      "Many climate scientists are understandably frustrated..."

      "...by the limited response to what they see as the greatest threat facing our planet."

      As a former student of Economics I'd say... people, in general I'd say, and in particular with the recent economic climate really just don't care as much as the climate scientists think they should, and are almost certainly more concerned about what they see as real problems (steady employment, gas and food prices, etc). This most likely has *nothing* to do with if they believe global warming is going on or not.

      It's not too different from what I've seen in IT many times over the years... say for example your best SA has been yelling and screaming for the past year that a particular "critical" server needs to get replaced because he *knows* the hardware is going to fail on it. He has some evidence to back up his case but can't, for whatever reason, convince the powers that be that this is a priority issue. One of two things will happen: 1.) management will continue to ignore him and the server continues to putter along with minor problems (in effect proving the unresponsive decision makers right) or 2.) it finally fails in spectacular fashion and the SA is proven right.

      Make no mistake - the reason the SA was getting ignored had nothing to do was not that he didn't yell enough, yell the right way, present the right data etc... it has everything to do with *other* priorities (usually financial) taking precedent. It also might not have anything to do with said unresponsive decision makers believing/not-believing the argument.

      Just my thoughts on the matter. That said, I wholeheartedly agree with your comment that "The only reason the debate about global warming is still going on is because of all the emotional and political arguments about it" - turning up the volume on their emotional and political arguments is probably more likely to turn people off IMO... that's what my gut says at least.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Headmaster

    "Help us to help you to lie better"

    In other words, it's just public relations. But trying to make itself sound scientific.

    Professor Pidgeon's home page has enough gems to keep Lewis going for months:

    http://psych.cf.ac.uk/contactsandpeople/academics/pidgeon.html

    I enjoyed this note:

    "I am currently fully bought out from departmental teaching through award of an ESRC Climate Leader Professorial Fellowship."

    Bought out. Full stop.

  3. Ian Stephenson Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Manipulating the figures didn't work...

    .. so let's try manipulating fears and emotions.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Stop

      Sold out-!

      Get these 'Scientists' away from the meeja.

      They're worse than religionists, and are giving scientists a bad name.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      well

      it worked for the deniers.

    3. Some Beggar
      FAIL

      Nobody manipulated the figures.

      It's just easier to persuade the reactionary and ignorant by appealing to their baser instincts than to their intellects. Since the deniers have placed themselves solidly in this camp, they're going to need to be spoonfed. Open wide. Here comes the train. Choo choo choo.

      1. Some Beggar

        See?

        A gentle poke and they grasp frantically for the thumbs down button.

        There's no point engaging these people at any level above the bovine.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          FAIL

          As I write this

          You have the same number of upvotes as downvotes.

          This means that your gentle poke elicited the same response (clicking a button) from the same number of what you would term "believers" and "deniers".

          In fact if you screw about with the statistics enough you'll find that El Reg is more deniers/cautious("well, it might happen but it's way overplayed and exploited") than OMFGWE'REALLGOINGTODIEBECAUSEYOUDON'TBELIEVE!!! 'believers' like yourself.

          So a larger proportion of deniers has _not_ reacted to your poke than the proportion of others who have. How does that choo-choo taste now, statistics-bitch?

        2. Jaybus

          Re: See?

          Yes, well the bovine have likewise been accused of causing global warming.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Get over yourself.

          Pompous twit.

          1. LaeMing Silver badge

            Which pompous twit above are you referring to?

            So many to choose from!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @LaeMing

              I was refering to the Pompous Twit known as Some Beggar

        4. O RLY
          Flame

          A gentle poke?

          Referring to those who disagree as "reactionary and ignorant" people who have to be spoonfed like children or invalids is a gentle poke?

          I bet you'll find that people more willing to engage you if you weren't insulting them for having the temerity to ask for the raw data the IPCC used, or disagree with their conclusions. Like the zealots who came before you, I'm sure you have fantasies of more persuasive pokes to deal with apostasy.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Evidence ?

    -or lack of it, people are looking at the facts without spin, FUD and outright lies, and deciding for themselves that climate change is a natural process. The idea of man-made climate change is mostly scaremongering by the recipients of 'climate funding' and justification for increased taxation.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Problem

      "-or lack of it, people are looking at the facts without spin, FUD and outright lies, and deciding for themselves that climate change is a natural process."

      I'm not trying to push one agenda here, but I have to take issue with your logic: both "people looking at the facts" and "deciding for themselves". In the rest of this post, you will note that I draw no conclusions about climatology, so don't complain that I am pro/anti-climate change. I am pro-logic and pro-scientific method; I am anti-nonsense and anti-(anti-intellectualism).

      Let's deal with the second statement first: almost nobody in the country is qualified to make that decision. I wouldn't go into a hospital and ask the doctor to see a CT scan, then say "well, you say that dark spot is a tumour, but I have looked at the facts and decided for myself that it isn't". You aren't (unless you are a doctor) qualified to read medical data, and your conclusions will be junk. All sane people accept that medicine is a subject where unless you have done lots of training, your opinion is worthless horseshit.

      I am a mathematician, and my position on statistics is that almost everyone in the country doesn't have a fucking clue. I am an expert, with multiple degrees, and do maths professionally. Yes, my opinion (on stats) is worth more than someone who got a D at GCSE mathematics. If there are four people in a room, me and three people who haven't the slightest idea what they are talking about, and the three people say that -8 is larger than -3, and I disagree, I am right, they are wrong, *even though there are more of them than me*. The wisdom of the crowds on factual matters is a lie; truth is not a democracy, and you cannot normally reach the truth just by looking at some data.

      Finally, a small point about "people looking at the facts": climatology is a subject where there will be an answer, and there will be noise. How do you know that the facts you are looking at are noise? If I have two tests, one of which says the answer is "yes" and one says the answer is "no", how do you know which is right? If you were an expert, you might have an opinion of which is the more reliable test. You might have that opinion even if you aren't an expert, but your opinion is probably based on your own bias.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Headmaster

        Clearly

        Of course -8 is larger than -3, you only have to look a the figures to see that.

        An 8 is a 3 with two bits added.

      2. kissingthecarpet
        Thumb Up

        Excellent Post

        Truth is not a Democracy - a idea which needs bashing into the heads of the world until they get it.

        What "deciding for themselves" really means is "deciding which conclusion is least inconvenient for them or fits their politics".

        As for statistics - it really does bug me when journos spew out some raw survey data and call it a "statistic" - its well-nigh impossible to analyse the significance of raw data by looking at for half a minute, unless you've memorised a few tables or you've got a maths co-processor interfaced to your brain.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "You aren't (unless you are a doctor) qualified to read medical data.....

        May be true generally but Einstein and a lot of other people punched well above their academic weight.

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Einstein?

          "May be true generally but Einstein and a lot of other people punched well above their academic weight."

          I'll give you another quotation:

          "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

          Albert Einstein.

          (I know this doesn't strictly adress your point, but it's a nice quotation.)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @AC 1549

          Professor Dr Albert Einstein?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @AC 1549

            Professor eventually after he was famous

            He got his PhD and published Special Relativity, the photoelectric effect and a paper on Brownian motion in the same year - not quite what you expect .

      4. Tom 13

        -8 IS larger than -3.

        It is not however greater or more than -3. "Larger" is a magnitude, and therefore one takes the absolute value to determine which is greater.

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Drivel

      There is broad scientific consensus that global warming is occurring, that it is manmade and there is ample evidence to support that view. It's hard to even understand the mindset that wishes to deny what can be readily observed from multiple independent climate studies, which is accepted by virtually every government science advisory body in the world.

      Here is a good link which addresses the usual cod objections that denialists rotate through.

      http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2008/07/how_to_talk_to_a_sceptic.php

      Of course denialists are like most conspiracy cranks / evolutionist / holocaust deniers, you could rub their noses in facts all day and they'd still find a way to flat out refuse to acknowledge them.

      1. aelfheld

        It's not the 'denialists' trying to 'hide the decline'

        And here's a site demonstrating that everything you just claimed is bollocks: http://www.climatedepot.com/

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Aekfheld

          Can you say "figure of speech"?

          That is what "hide the decline is"

          They may have said "correct the decline" or "make the model work" after all, they *knew* that a particular phase of the model was giving errors and that it needed to be corrected. The rest of the model appeared to be functioning correctly.

          I know a few people studying climate and associated subjects, they'd all love climate change not to be happening, if any one of them could prove it wasn't happening, that would be their name made for life. Sadly they all have to conclude that it is happening, this means understanding it better, why it is happening and this extends into questions of what to do about it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        @DrXym

        aah - you're doing an April Fool, right?

        Or is this the concensus you're talking about?

        <quote>

        From: Phil Jones <p.jones@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>

        To: ray bradley <rbradley@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>,mann@xxxxxxxxx.xxx, mhughes@xxxxxxxxx.xxx

        Subject: Diagram for WMO Statement

        Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:31:15 +0000

        Cc: k.briffa@xxxxxxxxx.xxx,t.osborn@xxxxxxxxx.xxx

        Dear Ray, Mike and Malcolm,

        Once Tim's got a diagram here we'll send that either later today or first thing tomorrow.

        I've just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline. Mike's series got the annual land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999 for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90.

        </quote>

        1. DrXym Silver badge

          @AC

          Ah yes, what you've done is called quotemining. You've taken the words of a (private) conversation out of context, screamed conspiracy and expect somehow that it invalidates the mountains of scientific research to the contrary.

          It's funny how global warming deniers employ exactly the same tactics as found amongst creationists, 9/11 "truthers", and holocaust deniers.

          1. hplasm Silver badge
            Troll

            Strangely-

            It's funny how global warming believers employ exactly the same tactics as found amongst creationists, 9/11 "truthers", and holocaust deniers.

            Fungible statement, that.

  5. Mage Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Imaginary?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychohistory

  6. Fading Silver badge
    FAIL

    We've tried lying to them.....

    We've threatened their futures,

    we've scared their children,

    And they still won't believe us!

    Oh well, may be they should give up and do something more useful instead (the amount of money wasted on CAGW could have provided a clean, disease free, water supply to everyone on earth many times over) .

  7. Sam Liddicott

    finally!

    at last - science - officially too hard for the plebs to understand - officially becomes a religion, with the psycho-masters to expound the doctrine of how to save.. the planet.

    The scientists have become the gods with the power and the concern for mankind, now set out to raise mankind to their level.

    How things come around...

  8. Michael 47
    FAIL

    Translation:

    "We psycologist have noticed the insane amounts of money thrown at 'climate sciences' and we want in. "

    "We suggest a carefully crafted campaing of making everyone feel as guilty as possible, and as though they are all personally responsible for the death of teh entire human population everytime they travel in a plane/drive a car/take a bath/use a filament lightbulb (whatever the current trend is at the moment"

    1. Chemist

      Very roughly from "Foundation .."

      "..threw a hyperspace relay and the ship died. For one of the characteristics of the Religion of Science is that its curses really work."

      Sorry can't remember it too well and I don't have the books to hand

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "insane amounts of money"

      Have you any idea what academic salaries are actually like? A numerate physics PhD

      with a job in a bank can quite easily earn more than a professor in next to no time.

      But, no. Let's stick to academia and try to get a research project funded. That's a far

      more effective way of getting "insane amounts of money". But only, if by "insane", you

      mean "way to small for the amount of effort put in to get it funded (or not), and not much

      better at recompensing for the effort required for delivery".

      1. Michael 47

        I do

        i have a degree in physics myself and know very well how much the researchers are paid (and its one of the reason i decided not to continu to phd) i was referring more to research grants. Where most of the other sciences are fighting tooth and nail for every penny, all you need to do in climate science is produce another 'computer simulation' and bam! you're sorted for funding for the next few years

        1. Some Beggar
          Thumb Down

          @Michael 47

          Paranoid guff.

          The most recent analysis in the US (which was about five years ago at the height of the supposed global conspiracy) showed that researchers perceived themselves to be _less_ likely to receive funding for research that potentially supported the climate change consensus.

          1. Michael 47

            @some beggar

            I probably am more than little paranoid now. I like to think of myself as rationally minded, and able to adjust my position based on reasonable evidence, but with AGW there litterally seem to be so many differing opinions and sometime points blank contradictory evidence, that i am somewhat sceptical of all such things as this tbh

            1. Some Beggar

              @Michael 47

              What contradictory evidence? What controversy?

              The constructive and relevant debate is that held between scientists who work in appropriate disciplines and who publish their results in peer-reviewed journals. The outcome of that debate is a very strong consensus supporting man's role in climate change.

              The other 'debate' involves an assortment of unqualified and unpublished lay people who dedicate their time to manufacturing controversies and whipping up paranoia and doubt on blogs while whimpering that there is some conspiracy preventing their voice from being heard.

              If that second debate is enough to make you sceptical about the outcome of the first debate then you probably need to take a step back.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yes ...

        "Have you any idea what academic salaries are actually like? A numerate physics PhD with a job in a bank can quite easily earn more than a professor in next to no time."

        Sadly, true. I'm living proof.

    3. DrXym Silver badge

      Threatened?

      Scientists are telling you calmly, dispassionately, repeatedly that the climate is changing and backing up those statements with studies, analyses, figures, error bars, charts. Some people it seems do not like hearing bad news and pretend it's all some vast conspiracy by scientists for grant money. Or something.

      1. Martin 19
        Black Helicopters

        @DrXym: It's the jump to "you must do this now!" thats the problem

        It's one thing saying "the climate is changing due to man's CO2 emmissions"- there is as you say a lot of evidence for that.

        The problem that most people have is the doom predictions based on tenuous and often discredited modelling of the effects of that; and the instructions to "stop doing X" which are supposed to stop the doom from happening.

        It's very different saying "CO2 is causing the world to warm" and saying "everyone must be stopped from doing XYZ otherwise the sea will consume London".

        1. Steve 76
          Black Helicopters

          Well Said

          People are pragmatic and will respond if practical solutions are presented. (I hope I don't have to add that by practical that means options selected by democratically elected representatives and not a group of supposed elitist in a university or bureaucrats in Brussels.)

      2. Fading Silver badge
        Grenade

        Threatened!

        Google Richard Curtis 10:10 classroom debate - or maybe the Act on CO2 bedtime story advert?

        So yes threatened. This is not calm, dispassionate, reasoned, repeatable scientific facts for the improvement of mankind - this is sick, manipulative, emotive nonsense designed to induce fear and compliance. As soon as anyone resorts to such tactics they lose any credibility.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Pidgeon

      was funded by the ESRC, grant RES-066-27-0013 worth £246k over three years. So that will be his salary + overheads, plus there's a studentship, and probably some money for admin, travel, etc.

      Say the studentship is 30k all up, that leaves ~ 210k for (salary+overheads) x3 or 70k/year. Overheads vary, they can be over 50% of salary, but for a professorial. fellowship they might be quite low. And all that's happened is the university has not had to pay his salary for three years, and had to cover his teaching and admin loads some other way.

      You really think that's somehow "insane amounts of money"? Paying an academic his somewhat unremarkable salary for doing some perfectly sensible research?

      1. fishman

        You are assuming

        You are assuming that it is the only research project he works on during that time. Most of the Profs I know have several projects going on at the same time.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Michael 47

      My partner is studying for a PHd funded by the Met Office she is reliant on my salary in order to not live crappy student diggs. There is no gravy train.

  9. David Karla
    FAIL

    Date check?

    Does nature indulge in seasonal pranks, or is this shite for real?

    1. Antony Riley
      WTF?

      Title Required

      Date checks on the linked articles seem to imply this is not an April fool. 31st March / 29th March. I did wonder too.

      1. Tom 13

        Hard to say. I glanced at the titles on some of the other "papers"

        he's written on the Cardiff website, all only since 2008 in widely disparate but clearly fringe-centric areas. It could have been ginned up a while back as part of an elaborate prank. The best ones pull in legitimate websites as well. But as a dot com address, I'm not sure how legitimate it is.

        Of course, it could also be legitimate psych research into April Fool's jokes, which would let them get paid for it an allow much more time and money for prank development.

        Regardless of what it is, that the question is even raised speaks volumes about both psychology and climate researchers.

        Lewis, well he strikes me as the sort who enjoys a good prank and might even be in on it if it is one. But honestly, his article is the bit that most makes me think it is likely for real.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    too scientific

    that strategy is to scientific for climate 'scientist'and there I would educe that the article is an april fool's joke.

  11. Graham Marsden
    WTF?

    Hang on...

    ... is this an April Fool or not...???

  12. CaptSmeg
    Troll

    Nice try Mr Reg

    Ah you almost got me.

  13. Cameron Colley

    How about we stop this nonsense altogether.

    Let's cut the crap, do away with "Carbon Tax" an all the other shite and:

    Try to work out how the human race can reduce its energy requirements per capita -- so that we don't need to generate the almost impossible amounts of power that will be needed in a few generations.*

    Work out, pragmatically, how to produce power over the short, medium and long terms -- can we use Coal now and move to Nuclear while putting more wind/geothermal/tidal/etc. in place, for example?

    Try to work out if and by how much the climate will change if things stay roughly as they are -- they work out who needs to build what kind of defences. Because, no matter what we do or whether we are contributing to climate change or not, the climate may well change anyhow and nobody seems to give much thought to that.

    The current Carbon Tax and trading is just another money making scheme for governments and the private sector to use to pull money from our pockets and only serves to create short-term problems. It also completely ignores any other form of pollution or ecological damage.

    *I'm probably exaggerating a little there.

  14. efeffess
    Grenade

    It's pretty clear...

    ...this article is an April Fool's gag. If no one caught one last bit, or have been too overwhelmed with Church of Scientology bullshit, it's easy to miss this joke. (I specifically went looking for El Reg gags for today, and this was the first one I opened. I'm damned good.)

    In truth, though, Scientists have been reporting through recent studies the necessity of 'educating' the public to understand global warming/climate change/the next ice age. The problem is that science relies upon money to continue, and as such the public would experience even more brainwashing than what already occurs through mainstream media.

    Climate sciences largely involve brainwashing people these days, since climatology is advanced enough to warrant tricky, complicated technologies like chaos and statistical mathematics. Such skills are sadly lacking in the average layman, making them easy targets for FUD.

    1. kissingthecarpet
      Stop

      No it isn't

      They're real people who've written a real paper - follow the link in the article.

  15. druck Silver badge
    Troll

    Re: Threatened

    DrXym writes: "Scientists are telling you calmly, dispassionately, repeatedly that the climate is changing and backing up those statements with studies, analyses, figures, error bars, charts."

    Scientists may do that, but in your previous post you prefer to hysterically and passionately brand anyone not agreeing with you as "conspiracy cranks / evolutionist / holocaust deniers"

    And you go on further: "Some people it seems do not like hearing bad news and pretend it's all some vast conspiracy by scientists for grant money. Or something."

    Alternatively, some people, i.e. you; are just arrogant, offensive and wrong.

  16. Ben XO
    Thumb Up

    Teamwork for the win!

    Finally, people actually working together on things...

  17. aelfheld

    Better science through propaganda

    There wouldn't be a 'sterile debate' if the warm-mongers hadn't been caught out excluding inconvenient and contradictory data, combining incompatible data sources, and 'hiding the decline'.

    Is the planet warming? Evidence is that, yes it is.

    Is this correlated to extraneous carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, released via combustion? The evidence is dubious at best.

    James Hansen, Michael Mann, Phil Jones, et al have been promoting hysteria based on flawed and misleading computer models to keep the funding flowing (not one of the models, fed verified historical data, comes close to producing anything like our current climate).

    Politicians love the idea because it gives them another d----d thing to tax and regulate.

    So yeah, let's get past the 'sterile debate' and just shove everyone who doesn't think these con artists are worth the fat it'll take to fry them in Hell into re-education camps.

    1. kissingthecarpet
      WTF?

      What on earth

      is d______d when its at home? If it's "damned" then I'm afraid it marks you out as a Grade A religious nutter. Even if its "dickhead" its very silly - you're not quoting anyone(why newspapers do it) - so why not just use a different word, you d_____d a_____q b____z.

      Are you one of these "wingnut" US Republican supporters we like to laugh at in the UK? I think the mention of "re-education camps" pretty much guarantees that.

  18. James Micallef Silver badge

    made-up names??

    Baruch Fischofff?? Nick Pidgeon??

    It is 1st April, isn't it?

  19. Aldous
    FAIL

    i know a great graph

    how about one comparing number of "WE/YOUR CHILDREN ARE ALL GOING TO DIE TOMORROW BECAUSE OF CO2" scare stories and the number of people that believe in climate change. Strange how scaremongering often leads to the exact opposite, while being reasonable and factual often leads to people believing you. See also JAPAN NUKE EXPLOSION WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE IN A MAD MAX WORLD OF ILLEGAL MUTANT IMMIGRANTS

  20. serviceWithASmile

    april foo?

    i aint gettin on no plane.

    co2 emissions, foo.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Doomed!!!

    I have been collecting average temperature readings for several months now, and clearly we should all be very worried.

    At first it seemed that we were headed for a new Ice Age within a matter of mere months.

    However, it would seem that my relief a few months ago when the trend bottomed out was premature, since January my data have been indicating a temparature rise of several degrees celcius every month !!!

    If this continues unabated, the seas will have boiled away by this time next year.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You forgot to request the government grant

      to avoid this tragic outcome.

  22. Jaybus

    Denialist?

    Who is denying what, exactly? I don't think many would disagree that the average temperature has been both lower and higher at various times over the past several hundred million years. It is generally agreed that there was no polar ice at all during most of the Jurassic period, as it was much warmer than now, with less seasonality. And these climate changes happened, obviously, without any interference from humans. So, are denialists those who find it hard to admit that humans are causing climate change? Perhaps denialists are those who see that the climate is changing, but refuse to believe that it is a natural process, because that implies there is nothing we can do about it.

    .

  23. neil 15

    A big problem is...

    ... journalists who try and write on scientific papers, usually cribbing from some badly written website or corporate press release. These people have next to no understanding of science, let alone atmospheric or environmental science and inevitably take just one side of a paper (always a paper behind a pay wall which they have not read beyond the free abstract) on a small part of the whole and declare that there is no such thing as anthropomorphic climate change. I would like to cite any article written by Mr Page on this very website as proof.

  24. Luther Blissett

    Wouldn't it be simpler by far

    to simply wheel out Big Brother?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Bait

    There's no fool like an April fool. The only folk inclined to engage in arguments over this story are the ones who take the bait. I love this place!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    kempton races

    Please will one of these brilliant people give me the winner for next weeks flat race winner. Better still the no. For lottery millions. CO2 is plant food. I'm off for another pint so I can start to think like you

  27. Petrea Mitchell
    Boffin

    That's not psychohistory

    Psychohistory was supposed to be a descriptive science which laid out the inevitable paths future history would take, *regardless* of individual action. (Even if Asimov himself was eventually convinced that it couldn't work that way.)

    It is nice to see a little more attention paid to how to communicate science to non-scientists, though. There's still a desperate need here in the US to explain to the biology community once and for all that "theory of evolution" means something different to the layman than it does to them...

    1. efeffess
      Boffin

      Layman verus Scientist

      It's quite possible that, with higher educational standards and promoting the drive to learn stuff rather than autopilot one's way through life, the line dividing layman and scientist can be dimmed considerably.

      People are expected to have an opinion about everything for some reason. If someone doesn't know a blessed thing about any particular topic, on average I find they have an opinion anyway.

      The houses of cards are made of gelatin.

  28. Daniel 18

    Let's jump over the hard science questions straight to an imposed conclusion???

    The science is equivocal about the nature of global warming. The models have too many guesstimated variables, much of the data is dodgy, for one reason or another, and way too many people stand to make trillions of dollars off "Global Warming!!!".

    We don't know enough about the variation of solar radiation, the effects of cosmic rays on the upper atmosphere, and the response of ecosystems to changes in temperature and carbon dioxide levels.

    Many of the analyses are all about the 'costs' of global warming, and very few look at the 'benefits' of global warming.

    Some of the data that has been put forward as evidence for warming has proved either totally bogus, or at least irrelevant and based on misunderstandings of natural processes.

    And while there is an anthropgenic contribution, we are coming to the end of an interglacial period, when the climate tends to get unstable and unpredictable. It is not at all clear that what we do will dominate climate change, and are we really sure that we can control climate anyway? The world has been both a lot hotter and a lot colder than it is now. To think that we will somehow 'freeze' the climate smacks more than a little of hubris.

    The whole idea that someone should decide what everyone should belive and then manipulate us into doing so is totally repugnant, even if (IF) everything that the climate alarmists say is true is in fact accurate. Better global warming than mass mind control.

  29. Doug Bostrom

    Extra, heaping helping of clown today

    The Register's pathetic slant on climate change is particularly apparent for those readers who happen to actually know the people mentioned herein as "trick cyclists." Stick to what you know or it'll become increasingly impossible to incur the risk of believing what's mentioned in articles covering your core competency.

    BTW, isn't "trick cyclist" a term formerly exclusively employed by stereotypically buffoonish Royal Army officers of the type given to writing letters to the editor? Fashion tip: Bloviation looks poorly on the young.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      FAIL

      Stick to what you know....

      Commenting on a tech forum isn't it.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Slightly worrying

    If I could precis your article in a slightly free way:

    "Some scientists are worried that science on its own can't accomplish anything, so they are hoping to invent politics in order to get their way".

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Obama Killed the issue.

    President Obama no longer supports climate change, nor his government as he was silent about the “crisis” in the State of the Union Address and was silent when the Senate killed IPCC funding.

    You remaining modern day witch burners of climate control belief are sad jokes for history as scientists earn about as much respect from voters as abusive priests do. The vast majority of voters who are now former climate control believers are not going to vote yes for taxing the air to make the weather colder. YOU are the new denier if you think otherwise. You remaining faded clowns of climate blame look like the last fella to ever show up to the party still dressed in Disco duds.

    And meanwhile, the UN had allowed carbon trading to trump 3rd world fresh water relief, starvation rescue and 3rd world education for just over 24 years of climate control instead of needed population control. History is watching and laughing and crying.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OMG

    It is already the 3. of April and the article has not been updated it to state that it is an april fool joke.

    So this means is really meant to be serious. OMG lets run for the hills.

    Anon so THEY won't get me.

  33. Colin Bain
    Pint

    Evidence?

    My greatest suspicion is that we simply don't know enough. From the data that seems to be available, the reliable stuff is over too short a time span. We don't know what systems operate in the atmosphere/oceans/land reliably. We do know that a relatively short natural event (in time) can have a huge impact on climate. We don't know much of the total of all these events.

    I do know that the pro climate change folks appear to have overstated many of the arguments, as have the anti's. I do know that from history science does not progress the way we think it ought (collect evidence, form conclusions, test, retest etc) but mostly someone get an idea and then sets out to prove it. Sometimes they are right and sometimes they are wrong. When politics is involved, it gets really messy and the herd instinct takes over. An d of course theories change over time as more evidence comes in.

    Finally, instead of spending the money on publicity, why not just spend it on funding something that will make a difference and prove the point?

  34. mememine69
    Happy

    Scaring our children.................

    Science divided by politics and criminally lazy copy and paste news editors, equals Climate Change.

    The State of the Union Address from President Obama didn’t mention one word about the climate “crisis” so do the math. History is watching.

    Where the planet saving scientists marching in the streets in protest at Obama turning his back on them? No, so the math.

    Now you faded climate blamers are jokes for the history books and you remaining climate cowards can now return to rubber necking car accidents and yelling “FIRE ! “ in the movie theatre because this CO2 blunder was to progressivism and science what abusive priests and suicide bombers are to religion. REAL planet lovers were happy and relieved a crisis was averted and now we say “Pollution, energy and over population yes, but CO2 causing unstoppable warming? No.” The planet is not dying and condemning our kids to death just to make them turn the lights out more often was criminal and if any of you few existing believers of doom still think there are enough voters to say yes now to taxing the air to make the weather colder, YOU are the new denier.

    And meanwhile, the UN had allowed carbon trading to trump 3rd world fresh water relief, starvation rescue and 3rd world education for just over 24 years of climate control instead of needed population control. Nice job. This Iraq War of climate WMD’s left progressivism being the new neocons for condemning billions of children to death through 25 years of needless CO2 panic. We missed getting Bush, let’s get Gore, the news editors, lazy teachers, PR firms and lab coat consultants in jail for mankind’s most shameful cultural blunder and mass crime of the civilized era.

  35. Rather Notsay
    Happy

    The more things change the more they stay the same.

    "Science" is the new Church. By that I mean there is a class of self-important gits that are acting like the Roman Catholic Church of the old days. The academic science sector is increasingly referring to it'self as some sort of cohesive entity that issues edicts of absolute truth. Those who dare to question these edicts are decried as "deniers", which is a nice modern near-synonym for the old-fashioned term "heretics". The Science Church's inner machinations are jealously guarded and any demands for transparency are accountability are met with a wall of dismissive derision and assertions that theyre self-policing through "peer-review". Ex-communication is common, as the peer-review process is frequently abused to disallow dissenting voices.

    Just like in the reformation, some "denialist" like Martin Luther or some anonymous hacker will expose the shennanigans and empower the common man. This will be resisted of course, but ineveitably, congregations will dwindle.

  36. Eugene Crosser
    Pint

    Scientific foundation

    So, the the old tried discipline of scaremongering is getting solid scientific foundation? Neat!

    Or, a sophisticated April Fool's joke? Doubly so!

  37. Adam T
    Coffee/keyboard

    Bah

    Disappointed by this story. I thought there was going to be a secret mission to the far edge of the galaxy.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    nonsense

    This is just Bad Science. Public concern over climate change goes up and down naturally, and nobody has ever proved the amount of concern has anything to do with human activity. In the Middle Ages, there was much more concern over climate change than there is now. Nature itself causes more concern over climate change than the tiny amount of concern that people generate. The ice cores show that concern over climate change follows climate change, not the other way around; therefore it can't be the cause. I think that this research into the causes of concern over climate change is just because you can't get a grant nowadays without agreeing that humans are causing concern over climate change.

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